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I wonder how many WWF matches would come across better without commentary. This one definitely does. This comes across as more of a physical, hard-hitting match than it normally would post-production, and the aggression takes center stage. I thought this was fantastic. Because it's a babyface match, the match layout isn't really a typical Southern tag. So there's less emphasis on the hot tag. It feels more like an All Japan match from the same time period without quite as much offense, although there is some pretty impressive offense by WWF standards at the time. There's not the same heat you normally get in a match involving these guys, but this is fresh and different. When the top rope falls off, I think it actually adds to the match, because they start doing more unconventional spots. My favorite is Bret crotching himself on the bottom turnbuckle. Speaking of Bret, he really gives an excellent performance in this. He's the ring general that keeps things going when they're hampered, and this match reflects well on him for the most part. The unconventional layout and ring ropes breaking give this the feel of a cross between something Giant Baba would promote and something Paul Boesch would promote. I have no idea how a match this long was going to air on SNME anyway, but I sort of like it better that it happened the way it did. It wouldn't have gotten the recognition it deserved in its time, because all of the focus would have been on the folklore surrounding the rope break and phantom title change, instead of rightfully focusing on how *good* this is. One of my favorite matches on the set, and just a shade below the elite matches of the year.

 

Right? Not so fast. There's still a third fall.

 

Oh, the third fall. There a couple of clumsy spots which really knock this off the mountain on which I had it, both involving Bret. He draws a blank during a criss cross sequence with Jannetty, and it looks horrible. He also messes up the finish in a bad way. That surprises me, because it's out of character with how he worked the match before that, and also because I can't recall ever seeing Bret look lost in the ring any other time. Screw the ropes, the editing needed to take place in third fall if they wanted to air this. I think with those two spots taken out, this could have gotten over as an all-time classic. It would have lost some of the intensity that shines through here, but it would hold up as a really good match. But those botched moments really hurt what they had built and that's the reality.

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SNME was to air 11/24/90, after Summer Slam on 11/22. The next TV taping was 11/19/90 & 11/20/90 to begin airing on 12/8 & 12/9. Which is kind of interesting as the tapings for the SNME were also for Challenge that would air on the two weekends after SummerSlam, one of the full weekends after SNME. One would guess that on that weekend of 12/1 & 12/2 that they would have spliced in something about the Rockers winning it on SNME, including clips.

 

As far as cutting it into a 90 minute SNME rather than a 60 minute Main Event, the match went It went 9:33, 9:50 and 5:38. It seems unlikely that they would cut the shorter third fall, unless they did some mid-fall editing magic to make the one spot go away. I don't think the WWF did that a lot.

 

We probably could look at the first two falls and search for "SNME Commercial Break Moments", in other words where someone gets tossed to the floor and everyone else comes to something of a stop for a "We'll be right back" moment. In turn, the face tends to get worked over in the break, and the commercial break comes back a bit before comeback time. Since they often would take commercial breaks during even 10 minute SNME matches, they probably have a moment in at least one of the falls, if not both. Been a while since I watched it, and I don't think I was looking for spots where they might break it up.

 

John

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As the match started I was actively looking for those SNME-ian spots and I honestly didn't see any. No regroups on the floor, no one coming to or leaving ringside, etc. I always thought the point of doing 2/3 falls tag matches on SNME was because those "breaks" were built right in. No need to cut to commercial anywhere except between falls which doubtless would have happened.

 

You had those two awkward moments in the 3rd fall but I don't think those are enough to keep this from my WWF MOTYC, which would put the Rockers at 1-2 on that particular list. Even the criss-cross spot comes a little more like Bret the character saying, "Screw this running around shit, I'm going back to grinding things out." I'm fine with blown spots that still come off as logical in the context of the match and this was all about the Harts trying to negate the Rockers' quickness. I'm not sure if the work was quite as good overall but this was much, much more in tune with how a "teams on the same side" tag match is worked than Horsemen/Doom.

 

Incidentally, this is the only 2/3 falls WWF match I've ever seen that went 1-1-1. Seemingly every other such match, the winning side lost the first fall and then won the next two. Seeing that pattern broken would have made this result quite the shock if I'd seen it in 1990.

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Tough match to rate. There were moments, and not just in the third fall, where they looked out of position and uncertain what to do next. But both teams also pushed themselves to do things they wouldn't normally attempt. I loved some of the cat-and-mouse stuff with the Rockers and Neidhart, and the Hart Foundation went for some double teams that I don't recall as standard for them. I also liked the way each of the first two falls felt like mini-matches with their own ebbs and flows. Overall, I can't reconcile the bad stuff enough to call this a great match. But it was very interesting, unlike any other WWF match I can remember.

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No announcing as match never aired of course. Hart Foundation slightly heelish in match with complaining to referee. Bret was in control but Jannetty blocks a sunset flip. Good first fall. Things going fine until Anvil hits the corner and the top rope breaks off.

 

Bret goes to the headlock as there is lots of discussion going on with the referee what to do. Still think there is some good action after but the Hart Attacks does look weak with Bret not able to get any momentum coming off the ropes.

 

They fix the rope for the third fall. The criss cross spot didn’t go as planned. Bret seems deflated and not even trying now. The finish doesn’t look right. Too bad The Rockers didn’t get a run with the tag belts. Also, not sure why they didn’t try to do the match again. Good match still and Bret has been too harsh about it. Though part of the problem with it was his performance in the third fall.

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I'd heard about this one for years but never seen it. I wish there was an option that, with a push of a button on that remote control, you can turn off the announcers and keep the crowd noise. I might be able to stomach the WWE these days if we had that.

 

I've seen ropes break a thousand times (just about every USWA spot show had the top rope go down) but its always been the turnbuckles coming off the post. This time the actual rope (which is actual rope in the WWF. Not the cables everyone else uses) just breaks away.

 

I loved Bret, instead of hitting the top rope with that "run full speed chest first into the corner" spot of his, going into the bottom two. That was just great prescence of mind there.

 

That criss-cross spot would obviously hit the cutting room floor (so to speak, of course. I know all about the linear editing of videotape. I wasnt very good at it, but I knew about it).

 

Between falls, we see Bret & Jim visibly pissed off at this whole thing falling apart around their ears. Im sure the Rockers werent thrilled either. Many years later, I was at a WWF Superstars taping where Shawn had a mini-tantrum over the microphone not working. I cant even imagine what that Shawn (the 1995 prima donna diva) would have done here in 1990.

 

I guess they made the right call to scrap this one and pretend it never happened. I could see them airing still photos in an Update segment, claiming controversy, Harts keep the belts and rematch at the Royal Rumble.

 

Oh, and the crowd. I wouldnt say they were horrible. God knows how long that taping was and how much they sat through before we got to this match.

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In between the second and third fall you can see Bret throwing a fit about the rope. I don't see how this was a great match let alone a good one, but then again I'm usually more down on Bret Hart matches than most. As the "ring general" here he needed to perform a lot better. What he wasn't involved in looked directionless and what he was involved in looked contrived. OK match that went way too long.

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This one should have aired. Somehow, someway, this one should have aired. It was that good.

 

I'm not one who analyzes every spot to see how crisply it's executed, so unless a wrestler flat out stops dead in his tracks in the middle of a move, I don't tend to see botches. To me, this looked as it should have except for the rope break, and that could have been included too as long as it was fixed before the third fall, which it was. I think WWE Home Video must have cut the supposed "fit" Bret and Jim threw about the broken rope, because I didn't see any foot-stomping or hear any swearing or screaming from either of them. Honestly, if I hadn't read this thread, I wouldn't have known anything was wrong other than the obvious.

 

Anyway, both teams here broke out new moves for the occasion, and this really gave the bout a different flavor than the paint-by-numbers matches that were becoming all too common in the WWF by then. The Harts seemed determined to make Marty and Shawn look as good as they could in victory, and they accomplished that. This might be the best Rockers match I've seen, definitely on a par with their stuff against Buddy Rose and Doug Somers in the AWA.

 

I've seen the Harts look better over the years, but they did their part as well as could be expected. I especially liked the spot where they invert their "partner slam", which usually involved the Anvil slamming Bret on top of a prone opponent. It was nice to see Bret attempt it with Jim, and he did it fairly easily to boot. I also give Bret credit for finding a way to execute the Hart Attack as well as he did to end the second fall. I'll admit that he looked a little unsure at first, but he figured things out quickly enough. I thought the deciding fall finish was quite inventive, and the type of finish that tag team specialists such as the Rockers would come up with.

 

I've always heard that the reason the match didn't air wasn't the broken rope so much as that Vince decided to rehire Neidhart, whom he'd canned before that particular taping. Bret was supposed to start another singles push right after this, and he wasn't happy that Vince decided to keep the belts with the Harts. I can't figure out why Vince didn't air the match somewhere or other and let the Rockers keep the titles; if it was too long for NBC, make it a special feature match on Superstars. It would have taken up about half the program, but so what? (I know that this was a Challenge taping, but Vince would have undoubtedly commandeered this for the A show regardless.) This would have given the Rockers about a four-month title reign before they dropped the belts to the Nasties at Mania VII; after that, we could have seen the slow build of the breakup angle throughout the summer, as we did in real life. The Harts did nothing special with the titles while they held them anyway, mostly because no heel teams were set up to challenge them. There was a half-hearted feud with Rhythm and Blues, but that was as good as it got. No Power and Glory (at least on TV), no Orient Express, no Faces of Fear (who, you'll remember, lost to the Rockers at Mania VII), nothing. They didn't even give Demolition a televised rematch.

 

This is my WWF tag match of the year, and it has the honor of unseating Garvin/Valentine for number three on my overall WWF ballot, mostly because it was a title change whether Vince chose to recognize it at the time or not.

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I really enjoyed the lack of commentary on this. I don't know if I've ever seen a WWF/E match without it, and it definitely adds a different dimension to the match. I don't know, usually botches don't bother me much, but for whatever reason the Bret stuff in the third fall really brought this down for me as well. And honestly, that may have to do with the people involved. If Beautiful Bobby had made the same mistakes I would probably be arguing it works in storyline as fatigue or something. I'll be watching this one again, as I'm trying to do with a lot of the stuff I didn't like initially.

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I've seen this match a few times, and I've always liked it. It really clicked with me today. I really enjoyed no commentary and the uniqueness of the match. It gives the feel that you are right there in the ring with them. For some reason, some of the moves felt so much more impactful. For example, the Russian leg sweep and piledriver that Bret gives Shawn in the first fall, looked and sounded devastating. Yeah, Bret wasn't too happy about the rope breaking. But, It didn't really take anything away from the match for me. Per usual, I liked a lot of the teamwork spots from the Rockers. ***3/4

 

#443 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-401/

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Loss #443. Man, I was such a Hart Foundation mark back in the day and their entrance is still cool. I love Bret's swagger when he enters the ring. This was a pretty good match. A lot of the time, people look at teams like these and expect the WWF equivalent of The Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express; something which was never going to happen but disappoints folks all the same. Taken on its own terms, this is a good bout. A touch too long maybe, and a little disjointed, but there was plenty to like. I especially liked the early work between Jannetty and Bret. That would have been an interesting singles match now that I think about it. Bret definitely seemed in a shitty mood in the third fall. Even though they'd fixed the rope, his timing was way off on the ropes. The spluttering end to the bout does deflate things a bit. The Rockers' win doesn't really feel like a big moment while Bret pulling an Isiah Thomas and not wanting to shake the Rockers' hands feels 3/4 legit given how grumpy he seems. But the first two falls pull the third fall up by its shoe laces and the end result is a good match.

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Long match that was not bad, but seemed a little half-hearted by all of the participants for a good portion of it. I was not impressed.

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