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[1990-04-13-WWF/AJPW Summit] Bret Hart vs Tiger Mask

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Just the finish of a very famously disappointing match between two guys who would really make their mark in the decade ahead. It felt too talked about to not be represented somehow.

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Bret and Misawa work like they're underwater, and the crowd shits on the ending in a major way though it seems the (in)action didn't lose them before. Supposedly the WWF policy of not doing time limit announcements was one of several factors working against this. Of interest to see that, yes, Bret and Misawa worked each other once.

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Time limit call came out of nowhere and was promptly shit on by japanese audience. Clips we saw of the match were not terrible but certainly not great either.

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Can’t remember if ever seen this in full. Bret does a weird atomic drop that Misawa seemed to think was just going to be a double leg takedown. Time limit goes off in the middle of an Irish whip. Flat finish and the crowd is not happy. Apparently Bret has chosen this match to be on his new DVD release coming out this year.

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What is shown here is not terribly exciting. Both men would go on to bigger and better things in the decade ahead (only a slight understatement).

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Just the last few minutes, so there isn't really that much to say. The ref seemed to give Misawa extra chances to hold his arm up during Bret's chinlock.

 

The WWF is the only promotion I know not to give time limit announcements during arena matches, and that goes all the way back to Bruno's day. I wonder why?

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Is it just me, or does Misawa sometime seem to struggle in matches with gaijin? I remember a TM2/Curt Hennig match from around this time which was pretty dreadful too. And years later, there was the infamously terrible Samoa Joe abortion, Heck, Misawa didn't even manage to click with guys like Stan Hansen, Steve Williams or Vader as well as Kobashi and Kawada did.

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Common, there's nothing wrong with the Hansen or Vader matches. And the Joe match is all Joe blowing it. I also recall Misawa got the best possible match out of Bison Smith.

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Bret Hart talks about this match a little bit in his book 'Hitman' (I'm going off memory from 10yrs ago). He thought this Tiger Mask was good but not as good as the original. He doesn't mention Misawa by name or even that he would go onto bigger things. It was almost as if this Tiger Mask #2 just faded away. I found this to be odd since Misawa was such a star in Japan that it might be interesting to the reader and give some reference. He clearly was into WWF and had his blinders up...I can't recall what his thoughts were when he worked with Jinsei Shinzaki. I like Bret and he does have some fantastic matches in the WWF but for someone who is The Excellence of Execution its telling he seems to be completed ignorant of Misawa. Bret never updated his moves or style after this time period whereas Misawa would continue to improve and stay fresh for a decade plus.

This is an OK match with some neat moments. It would have helped if they went for a shorter match and a double count out.

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