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Just because these matches are always discussed, and so we have it on record, when you have time, can you pull what Meltzer originally said on these matches? I don't want to work you to death or take you for granted or anything, just whenever you can get to it. Thanks!

 

War Games - Wrestle War 1992

Bret Hart v Davey Boy Smith - Summerslam 1992

Vader v Sting - SuperBrawl III

Bret Hart v Owen Hart - Wrestlemania X

Shawn Michaels v Razor Ramon - Wrestlemania X

Bret Hart v Owen Hart - Summerslam 1994

Bret Hart v Bob Backlund - Survivor Series 1994

Bret Hart v Diesel - Survivor Series 1995

Bret Hart v Shawn Michaels - Wrestlemania XII

Bret Hart v Steve Austin - Survivor Series 1996

Bret Hart v Steve Austin - Wrestlemania XIII

Shawn Michaels v Undertaker - Badd Blood '97

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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

War Games - Wrestle War 1992

 

Gary Capetta did a super job in making the announcement of the rules in a tone of voice that built tension into the match. They should have been going through hall those rules in as much detail on all the television shows leading into this thing. Windham and Austin started with Austin juicing early. Windham even bit the cut. Rude came in, followed by Steamboat. The match never slowed down for a second. Anderson and Rhodes followed. Then came Zbyszko. At this point Madusa climbed the cage and dropped the phone into the ring and Anderson used it to crack Rhodes in the head and he did a juice job that would make his father proud. Anderson and Windham also wound up bleeding. There was so much action back-and-forth that you can?t even describe it other than Austin, Anderson, Rhodes and Steamboat in particular were nothing short of fantastic, which isn?t meant as a slight on the other six. The only ones who weren?t wrestling on a plane well above earth were Koloff, who was fine, Zbyszko, whose role wasn?t to be wrestling but to build heat for the turn which he did fine, and Eaton, who had no business being in there in the first place since he was hurting so bad. Sting came in and showed no signs of being injured. Eaton, who suffered a blown out shoulder at the television tapings the previous Monday, tried to stay out of action as much as possible while still being involved in the finish. Koloff was the last man in and isn?t that perfect planning ? For the last several minutes, Zbyszko was undoing the top rope in one of the rings to get the metal thing that holds the turnbuckle to the post. He finally undid it and swung it like a baseball bat at Sting. Sting of course moved and it hit Eaton in the bad shoulder (which I assume will no be used to explain the shoulder surgery which should keep Eaton out of action for a few weeks) and Sting made him submit to an armlock. After the match, Zbyszko argued with all the remaining members of the Alliance, and they teased the break-up but it hasn?t materialised yet. Definite match of the year candidate. *****

 

Bret Hart v Davey Boy Smith - Summerslam 1992

 

Before the match they interviewed Diana Smith who actually did a great Bruce Hart-sounding interview to build the intensity. This was surprising only because the last time she was in an angle, years ago in the old Calgary circuit when Owen Hart was feuding wit Johnny Smith, it was an angle that would live in infamy and not for positive reasons. The match had super heat since Bulldog was so over in the UK, and the crowd booed Hart even though he didn?t use any real heel tactics. This was one of Hart?s best performances ever as he carried the match from start to finish. Hart pretty much did everything and stayed on top since he was going to lose in the end. He even did a plancha over the top rope, finishing the move with a bulldog, which may have been the first time anyone has tried to pull that move off. They kept showing Diana?s reactions whenever Bulldog would get in trouble, which was pretty much the entire match. Hart kicked out of Bulldog?s powerslam. Hart got a near fall with a german suplex. Bulldog got a near fall with a superplex with both men standing on the top rope. Hart used the sharpshooter but Bulldog broke it getting to the ropes before Bulldog cradled him for the win and all the celebrated together after the match. This was very similar to the Rude v Chono NWA Title match held 17 days earlier. In comparison, I?d rate Rude v Chono as the better match. This match was better paced, however Rude v Chono was a lot more exciting at the finish and had a lot better final 10 minutes. Still, this is certainly one of the best major promotions matches of the year in this country. ****1/4

 

Vader v Sting - SuperBrawl III

 

Sting bled from the head. Vader bled from the back after being whipped, and Vader apparently bladed his ear and cut an artery and had to be hospitalised. He was also the subject of major death threat. So many big moves and false finishes and another incredible performance on top by both men. ****1/4

 

Bret Hart v Owen Hart - Wrestlemania X

 

They started out scientifically. After Bret reversed a ride and Owen took a bump to the floor, Owen got back in the ring and gave Bret a hard slap. The early part of the match was matwork with perfectly executed high spots, and a lot of near falls throughout. Owen used a german suplex, reversed a move into a tombstone piledriver and missed a headbutt off the top rope. Bret got a series of near falls as well. The first attempt at a sharpshooter wound up in a double reversal. Bret did a plancha over the top rope onto Owen but ?injured? his knee once again. Owen went to work on the knee, wrapping it around the ring post three times, and put on the figure four, but Bret reversed it and the two wound up in the ropes. At this point, both men were selling their knees. Bret came back with an enzugiri. And got a near fall after Owen took a chest-first full-speed ahead crash into the turnbuckles. Bret followed with a bulldog, a piledriver and a superplex while standing on the top rope for near falls, each time with Owen barely kicking out. Bret was awesome in making his comeback while still selling the knee. He went for the sleeper but Owen broke it with a low blow and put the sharpshooter on in the middle, but Bret broke that hold. Bret came back with a sharpshooter but Owen made the ropes. Bret came off the top rope onto Owen?s shoulders for a victory roll that looked to be the finish but Owen used a Mexican reversal of the spot and got the stunning three count for the tremendous finish. While the idea of Owen beating Bret was a surprise, but not a total surprise, the idea going in he?d do it clean in the middle was almost unfathomable, but also made it obvious that Bret was ending the show with the belt. Although the win solidly elevated Owen to the top of the ladder on the heel side, his post-match interview showed that he?s badly in need of a manger to effectively stay in the spot for any length of time. ****3/4

 

Shawn Michaels v Razor Ramon - Wrestlemania X

 

Diesel clotheslined Ramon early and was thrown out. Michaels took so many great bumps you couldn?t begin to list them all. When the ladder got involved, Michaels did a slide kicking the ladder into Ramon who was on the floor. He gave Ramon a ladder shot to the ribs and destroyed them in the ring with the ladder and threw the ladder at his back. As Michaels climbed the ladder, Ramon pulled his pants down and bare-assed, Michaels did an elbow drop off the second highest step of the ladder and a splash off the second step of the ladder. Michaels climbed up again and Ramon tipped over the ladder and Michaels caught his throat on the top rope. After a double collision, Ramon reversed a whip and Michaels hit the ladder and went over the top rope to the floor. He was trying to take the ladder so it would land on him, but didn?t quite hold on. Ramon took advantage with several ladder shots. On the floor Ramon slingshotted Michaels into the ladder, which fell on Michaels. Ramon hit Michaels in the jaw with the ladder and he took another bump over the top rope. With Ramon on the ladder, Michaels came off the top rope with a double sledge knocking Ramon and the ladder down. Both men climbed to the top again and this time Ramon suplexed Michaels off the ladder, but Ramon fell off as well. Ramon got back up and Michaels dropkicked the ladder and Ramon fell of once again. Michaels came off the top rope with the ladder and splashed Ramon and hit him with a superkick and a jumping piledriver. Michaels then came off the ladder with a splash with the ladder. Michaels climbed up again. Ramon knocked the ladder down and Michaels not only crotched himself on the top rope but managed to tie his ankle in the ropes and Ramon climbed up and got both belts. If you haven?t seen this match, make sure you do as it?ll be remembered for many years. Watch how ladder matches now become hottest gimmick match on the indie scene. *****

 

Bret Hart v Owen Hart - Summerslam 1994

 

Bret Hart retained the WWF title beating Owen Hartin a cage match in 32:22. As they were building the cage, they showed all the film clips dating back to Survivor Series last year, including tons of interviews along the way. They also went through the family interviewing many of them and showing Jim Neidhart sitting with the family but as the lone member supporting Owen, although papa Stu embarrassed Vince on live television by not putting over Bret as the storyline would have it. Several brothers were there with Bruce being most vocal, while Davey Boy and Diana Smith (Owen & Bret's sister) were in the front row. As mentioned earlier, these kind of cage matches have many limitations because big moves play second fiddle to climbing and running, and it's impossible to climb and run for more than 30:00 without it getting repetitive. Bret worked the match with a strep throat. But you couldn't ask for a better performance or a better match given those limitations. Although it wasn't wrestled like an All Japan Budokan main event, the psychology was almost identical although it fell way short when it came to believability in that guys were out of the cage on their way down and pulled back in too many times. Owen hit the first big move; an enzugiri and Bret pulled him off the cage. Bret did a back-suplex off the top rope on him. Owen slammed Bret off the top as he tried to escape. Owen went up, Bret followed, and they traded punches on the top rope. Owen threw Bret down and hit a dropkick off the top rope on him. After a collision, Bret got up first but Owen, in pulling him, crotched Bret on the top. Owen mistakenly went to two comers first before heading to the door but Bret stopped him Bret used a head-butt to the groin but missed an elbow off the top Owen went up and was pulled down, and slammed off the top rope. Owen delivered a back splash and went up. Bret went after him and rammed him into the cage. Bret got out but Owen pulled him back and backward superplexed him into the ring. Owen used a piledriver and went up. Bret followed by as they brawled on the top rope, Owen punched Bret in the ring, lost his own balance and notched himself. Bret slingshotted Owen into the cage and went for the door but Owen made a diving lunge save. The manner in which this match was worked really put Owen over strong as a face until the post-match which changed things because both men worked as equals and came off as having never-say-die attitudes, which after 20:00 made fans have to respect both. Both men then got over and out but were pulled back in. Bret superplexed Owen off the top of the cage and went for the door which appeared to be the finish but Owen pulled him back in. Owen got the sharpshooter, but Bret reversed it and got it on himself. Bret started climbing and it looked to be the finish but Owen got up and both took a big bump back into the ring. Both climbed out together and were over and on the way down when Bret hooked Owen's leg into the cage and hung him upside down and hit the floor for the win. At this point Neidhart clotheslined both Davey Boy and Diana and hopped the rail and attacked Bret. Owen momentarily watched, almost as if to tease a face turn, but then joined in. They threw Bret back into the cage and Owen destroyed Bret while Neidhart tried to lock the cage behind him (it took Neidhart forever to lock the door which is the only negative thing). The two destroyed Bret while the other brothers tried to save him and Neidhart and Owen kept knocking them off the cage. Finally the brothers got in and Neidhart and Owen climbed out and ran, but not until Davey Boy got Neidhart by the foot and pulled his shoe off. This probably won?t win match of the year, but it beat their WrestleMania match and I believe it'll be years before we see a cage match under these limiting circumstances that is this good. *****

 

Bret Hart v Bob Backlund - Survivor Series 1994

 

Bob Backlund won the WWF title from Bret Hart in 35:11 of a match that could only end when a second threw in the towel. Hart held a headlock, which he'd go back to after a few escapes for the first 6:00. Little happened for the first 14:00 because with no holds over, and nobody really selling holds, and announcer Gorilla Monsoon even killing holds ("I've never seen anyone submit to an armbar") for the fans at home, and no pinfall combinations were being done, nothing happened. Finally Hart got a figure four in 14:20 but Owen refused to throw in the towel. Backlund reversed the hold, but Hart reversed it back, in a sequence lasting 3:00 before Backlund made the ropes. When he got up, Backlund only limped one step and then didn't sell the 3:00 figure four at all the rest of the much. Backlund?s ring work in this match was awful. Finally Hart did a piledriver, bulldog, leg sweep, backbreaker, forearm drop off the ropes and hit the sharpshooter in the middle. Owen ran in behind the refs back and clotheslined Bret from behind, breaking the hold. Davey Boy Smith then went after Hart, who ducked, and crashed his head on the ring steps and was knocked out, I guess, until Friday night in Pittsburgh. Backlund got Bret in the chicken wing and held it for more than 9.00 with a split screen camera showing Owen fake turning babyface having sympathy for Bret. Hart kept begging his parents to do something, even crying, overacting really badly in contrast with the parents who didn't seem all that concerned. At one point Helen Hart was about to throw the towel in but Stu snatched it from him. Finally Helen did throw the towel in, and Bret was helped out of the ring. Owen, who had faked turning face, then celebrated and tried to do a Ric Flair interview after the match. The best part of the entire segment was Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon's indignation at what Owen did. That was awesome. But then Monsoon tried to get over that fans in the building were crying, when everyone in the background was smiling. When they finally caught a female fan on camera who looked sad, she immediately started jumping up and down since she was on TV. The difference in the crowds real as opposed to Pavlovian emotional tie to the wrestlers in this wrestling as compared with most other styles of wrestling showed through again. **

 

Bret Hart v Diesel - Survivor Series 1995

 

Hart pinned Diesel (Kevin Nash) in 24:54 to win the WWF title. Both men uncovered one turnbuckle at the start of the match. Diesel dominated the first 7:30 destroying Hart. Hart made a comeback working on Diesel's knee and using a figure four but Diesel made the ropes. As Hart went for a sharpshooter, Diesel kicked him into the unprotected tumbuckles to regain a short advantage. But Hart came back ramming Diesel's knee into the post twice and tied his foot to the ring post. Hart destroyed Diesel for the next few minutes as Diesel couldn't untie the knot. Finally Diesel broke free and did a great job selling the knee for the remainder of the match. Jim Ross had a Vinnie Vegas hallucination when Diesel dropped Hart's face on the top him buckle calling it "snake eyes." Hart made a comeback by ramming Diesel into the unprotected tumbuckles, and used a flying clothesline, a bulldog off the top and a leg sweep for near falls. However Hart missed a plancha and began selling his own knee. While on the apron, Diesel shoulderblocked Hart off the apron where he flew through the table that the Spanish language announcers were sitting and Hugo Savinovich (a long-time former wrestler/manager in Puerto Rico) began selling his knee as well. Diesel threw Hart in the ring and signalled for a Jacknife. He stalled for a second, and it appeared the storyline was (although it didn't appear to be the case) that he was asking the ref to stop it rather than have to Jacknife Hart and the ref said no. As he went to do the move, Hart small packaged him for the title. Diesel then Jacknifed Hart twice after the bell and beat up several referees. ***1/2

 

Bret Hart v Shawn Michaels - Wrestlemania XII

 

Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) captured the WWF title from Bret Hart in 1:52 of sudden death overtime after the two had battled 60:00 with no falls taken. Michaels came out from the ceiling of the building. Hart didn't get as big a pop coming out as Michaels, but he didn't do an elaborate entrance, and he received no boos coming out (largely because there were almost NO Hispanics in the crowd), The first half of the match was slow paced with little crowd noise. It wasn?t as if the crowd was intensely watching because people were steadily leaving for the concession stands. But the execution on both sides was tremendous in what they were doing. The first big pop came when Michaels accidentally superkicked the timekeeper outside the ring when Hart moved, and HE did a stretcher job. This is the type of match where announcing plays a big part, and Vince McMahon was good, but Jerry Lawler was the wrong color commentator for this match, especially since after playing the Bret Hart-hater rote for the past three years, he suddenly dropped his hatred for Hart during this match except for a few one--liners about Stu and Helen. Michaels began working on Hart's shoulder and the crowd started a "Let's go Bret? but it was light and never really got going. Michaels was using some Japanese wrestling submission moves like cross armbreakers but the announcers didn't sell them seriously on TV and the live the crowd just saw them as restholds. After a hot shot, Michaels was monkey flipped into the ring post for a near fall at the 29:15 mark. Hart got a few more near falls and there was a ref bump, although the ref got out to count the near tall when Michaels powerslammed Hart. After Michaels kicked out of a piledriver, it was the first booing for the near falls and it continued for most of the near fails for the remainder of the match. It appeared in the upper part of the budding at this point that the people were booing most everything. Michaels hit an awesome Santo dive at the 33:00 mark, then hit a crossbody with Hart rolling through for a near fail. The match picked up from that point with Michaels hitting a fisherman?s suplex (Perfectplex) for a near fail. The crowd booed when they used a sleeper. Michaels took a great bump over the top tope at 36:50 and Hart rammed his l?ck into the post, Michaels then look a Ray Stevens bump into the comer and Hart took him off the ropes with a backward superplex for a near fall in 41:15. Michaels took a bump over the top and crashed into Jose Lothario at 44:00. Hart then whipped Michaels into Lothario, but Lothario didn?t really sell it was as injury. After several more near falls Hart hit a tope and then used a german suplex for a near fall at 45:55 and then went back into a camel clutch At this point the number of fans leaving the building picked up. Hart used a superplex while standing on the top rope for A near all, went for the sharpshooter but Michaels blocked it. Hart used a half crab and Michaels got a rope break and the fans booed Hart came off the top but Michaels got his feet up. Hart took his fast bump into the buckles hard leading to a near fail with a double sledge off the top at 57:05. Michaels did the Randy Savage elbow for a near fall in 57:40, a Doctor bomb for a near fall and a moonsault block for a near fall fn 58:20. Michaels tried a flying hurracanrana off the middle ropes but it was messed up. He went for a dropkick off the top but Hart caught his legs and got the sharpshooter on with :34 left and Michaels held out until the end without submitting. Hart left with the belt, but Gorilla Monsoon told the ref to re-start the match with a sudden death stipulation, which had never been previously advertised. The pop for that announcement was shockingly tepid. In the overtime, Michaels immediately hit two superkicks and got the pin in 1:52 and celebrated in the ring for several minutes afterwards, nearly choking up. In the celebration, Michaels did a Ken Shamrock by kissing Helen Hart and hugging Bret's son Blade. Bret walked out of the ring at the finish rather than doing a symbolic in-ring passing of the torch. ****1/4

 

Bret Hart v Steve Austin - Survivor Series 1996

 

Bret Hart pinned Steve Austin (Steve Williams) in 28:36 in textbook example of how to build a long match of the year calibre performance without doing any suicidal moves. Austin came out to mainly cheers, although Hart's cheers were much louder sad be was dearly the crowd favorite once the match started. They started with tremendous matwork, with Austin's stun gun being the first hot move. The first signs of brawling came at 10:00. For the rest of the way the two went back-and-forth with big moves and near falls turning it into a very good match. They took it to the next level when Austin monkey flipped Hart onto the table where Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera WERE doing the Spanish language broadcast. The two wound up brawling under the table while Hugo sold it as if be was dead. Austin slammed Hart on the table and gave him an elbow off the apron as ht was laying on the table. Hart reversed things using Austin's stun gun on him and getting a new fall with an Oklahoma side roll. After a piledriver for a near fall by Hart, he went to the top rope but Austin caught him, crotched him and went wild on him with punches and chops. Every chop on this show and basically any show almost anywhere nowadays brings a "whoo!" After a top rope superplex by Austin. Hart caught him in a cradle for a great near fill. There was super beat at this point with fans chanting "Let's Go Hit Man? After a Stone Cold stunner, Hart became the first to kick out of the hold. Austin went for a Texas cloverleaf but Hart made it to the ropes. Hart went for a sharpshooter but before it was applied, Austin made the ropes. Finally Austin clamped on the cobra, or Million Dollar Dream, but Hart climbed the turnbuckles and locked off and landed on top of Austin for the pin. ****1/2

 

Bret Hart v Steve Austin - Wrestlemania XIII

 

Bret Hart won the submission match over Steve Austin (Steve Williams) in 22:05. Austin came out first to a huge face pop, Surprisingly, since the TV the past two weeks has been specifically designed to turn Hart heel, when Hart came out, he got almost all cheers. An incredible brawl from bell-to-bell with psychology and timing the likes of which you'll only see when the best go against each other. Hart posted Austin, but Austin came back and crotched Hart on the guard rail and clotheslined him over. The two brawled into the stands and Hart backdropped Austin down the steps. Hart came off the guard rail with a crossbody. Austin whipped Hart into the ring steps. Austin came off the apron with a clothesline and appeared to hurt his injured knee. At this point Austin picked up the steps to throw them on Hart but he lost balance and dropped the steps behind him. Hart instinctively began pounding on Austin rather than the hesitation you'd expect when a spot is blown. The crowd seemed almost totally behind Hart at this point even though the announcers were telling the story of a changed Hart against an almost heroic Austin, Hart worked over Austin's knee until Austin his the stone cold stunner. Hart came back and wrapped Austin?s knee around the post and gave him a figure four around the post which Austin refused to submit to. Bret got "frustrated" at Austin not submitting and used the ring bell on him He teased the Pillman spot by putting Austin's ankle in the chair, but Austin escaped. Austin hit Hart with a hair chair shot to the head and another to the back. Austin used Hart's Russian leg sweep and used an Octagon special but Hart escaped Austin then used a Boston crab but Hart made it to the ropes. Austin set up a sharpshooter but Hart poked his eyes. Even at this stage Hart was getting the larger percentage of cheers while the story being told by the announcers was of Hart as the heel, but not so overtly so as to lose credibility. Austin took a bump into the guard rail knocking down two officials in the process and juiced at this point. Hart then posted him and Austin bled heavily. After a few chair shots to the knee Hart went for the sharpshooter but Austin escaped with an eye rake and followed with a low blow and a superplex. Austin began choking Hart with an extension chord but Hart got the ring bell and clocked Austin with it. Hart finally got the sharpshooter on and held it for a long time. At one time it appeared Austin broke it, but Hart maneuvered back into the position and eventually Austin "passed out? from the pain and Ken Shamrock called the match. Hart still got a large babyface pop for winning, but the crowd began to turn on him as he attacked Austin?s knee after the match. Finally Shamrock got behind Hart and suplexed him to break up the post-match attack. Shamrock and Hart squared off and then Hart backed off and left the ring-this was the coup de grace in the heel turn and the crowd booed him heavily. Austin eventually revived, selling the knee big time but still gave another ref a Stone Cold stunner and left the ring limping with the crowd chanting his name. This is one we'll remember for a long time. *****

 

Shawn Michaels v Undertaker - Badd Blood '97

 

Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) pinned Undertaker (Mark Calloway) in the Hell in the Cell cage match in 29:59. An absolute classic must-see match, probably ***** Michaels did everything, and then even more-than everything. He ended up knocking dawn a cameraman and beating him up. This caused Commissioner Cloueseau to open the door allowing both to leave the cage area. Before that happened. Undertaker sat up after getting 2 superkicks. While fighting outside the ring. Undertaker catapulted Michaels into the cage and Michaels did a. major blade job, which needed several stitches. In a totally spectacular scene both wound up climbing to the top of the cage and doing a few spots there. Michaels was holding on to the top of the cage with his hands. Undertaker stomped on them and Michael took a bump through the Spanish, language announcers table. Finally they both wound up in the cage. After a ref bump, Undertaker used a chokeslam off the middle rope and a hard chair shot to the bead when the tights went out. Paul Bearer came out with Kane (Glen Jacobs on stilts; actually with lifts in his boots to make him appear to be 6-10). Kane used a tombstone on Undertaker and Michaels scored the pin

 

 

There might be a spelling mistake or two still in there from transcription, but it should be close to error-free.

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Guest Alfdogg

Hart didn't get as big a pop coming out as Michaels, but he didn't do an elaborate entrance, and he received no boos coming out (largely because there were almost NO Hispanics in the crowd)

...huh?
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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

Hart didn't get as big a pop coming out as Michaels, but he didn't do an elaborate entrance, and he received no boos coming out (largely because there were almost NO Hispanics in the crowd)

...huh?
During the build up to the match, they did a vignette on Hart on Raw, and he said something along the lines of having seen no tough Mexican wrestlers, in reference to Shawn's training by Jose Lothario. It got Bret a lot of heat wit Hispanic fans.
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Guest Some Guy

I think I'd go a little higher on the Bret/Backlund match. ** is a bit low. I agree with him about Monsoon killing certain moves, like the armbar spot. He did that a lot, especially from 93 on.

 

HiaC's finish hurt it a little but it was still far and away the best HiaC match ever, with HHH/Cactus being the only other that really came close.

 

I wondered about the bloody ear in the Vader match. But why would anyone want to blade their fucking ear? That's pretty sick.

 

HTQ, if you feel so inclined could you do:

 

Taker/Foley: HiaC

Bret/Hennig: Summerslam and KotR 93

HBK/Nash: Good Friends, Better Enemies

Hbk/Foley: Mind Games

 

If you don't feel like then don't worry about it.

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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

Bret Hart v Mr Perfect ? SummerSlam 1991

 

Bret Hart pinned Mr Perfect in 18:03 to win the Intercontinental title. An excellent match that easily stole the show. Believe it or not, even though Perfect worked the match in great pain (he?ll be out of action for an indefinite period of time and of last word there was a good chance he?s going to need a spinal fusion or other form of major back surgery and there is even some concern that if he needs that serious of an operation that it may be a long time, or even never, when he returns), in some ways the back injuries made him an even better worker. Prefect?s deal before getting hurt a few months back was to take one unbelievable bump after another, which can carry a match when he?s working with a guy who can?t do anything. But in this case, while he did a few big bumps, for obvious reasons he had to limit both their number and their wildness and was forced into wrestling serious style match. They worked spots off a headlock early. Perfect tried to take a powder and Hart threw him back in. Coach (John Tolos) was at ringside for this match, which is his farewell appearance with the group. The last five minutes consisted of one great near fall after the other. While Hart had Perfect pinned, Coach jumped up onto the apron and Hart clocked him, but was standing between the ropes at the time and Perfect used the ropes to crotch Hart. Perfect did a legdrop to the abs/groin area but when he went for a second, Hart caught the leg and turned it into a scorpion and Hart made an immediate submission. The match was slightly better than four stars, but after all those near falls when it looked as though one was going to have to do something ridiculous to win, the actual finish was ridiculous because the guy gave up the second the hold was on without even pretending to struggle, which was the only negative thing about the match. After the match Lord Al Hayes interviewed Stu Hart and pulled the mic from him before he could compete a sentence. ****

 

Bret Hart v Mr Perfect ? King of the Ring 1993

 

Hart pinned Perfect in 18:55 of an excellent match. The two did a good interview before the match building beat and making Perfect into the subtle heel rather than going for a mixed reaction. They also acknowledged the match the two had in 1991 when Hart won the IC title from Perfect in the commentary. They exchanged moves early with the storyline to show that Hart was the better scientific wrestler as he won all the spots. After Hart took a bump to the floor. Perfect held open the ropes for him lo come in, and kicked him as be was coming through to start the subtle heel route. Hart look a dangerous bump off the apron into the guard rail, since there was a cooler right where he was falling in the way and changing the landing in mid-air on a flying bump like that is what can easily lead to a knee or ankle injury. The two went back-and-forth with big moves for near falls, and worked a very believable submissions, although the submissions were somehow ruined by Savage continually trying to get over that neither man would ever submit, which ruins the dramatic value of any submission move in a match involving either. Hart ended up winning after reversing an inside cradle, and both shook hands afterward to make sure fans knew Perfect really hadn?t turned. ****1/4

 

Shawn Michaels v Diesel ? Good Friends, Better Enemies

 

Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) retained the WWF title pinning Diesel (Kevin Nash) in 17:33. Michaels did au Orihara moon say it moonsault from the top turnbuckle OF THE ring to the floor), Diesel pulled off (Spanish language announcer) Hugo Savinovich?s boot and used it Michaels did the Ray Stevens flip into the corner and crashed into the guard rail. Diesel took over and choked out ref Earl Hebner with tape and pulled oil the belt from his pants and began whipping Michaels. He hung Michaels over the ropes tied to the ropes by the belt. Diesel threw Howard Finkel out of his chair and gave Michael two chair shots to the back. As he went for a third chair shot, this time to the faces Michaels moved and Dieses chair shot hit the ropes and rebounded in his out face. As Michaels went to use the chair, Diesel hit him with a low blow. Michaels' selling was tremendous, Diesel power bombed Michaels through McMahon and Lawler?s table with the monitors flying. Michaels made a comeback by spraying Diesel with a fire extinguisher that was underneath the ring. He used two chair shots before Diesel cut him off with a boot to the face. He went for the Jacknife but Michaels fell on top of him and came off the top rope with an elbow drop. As Michaels went for the superkick, Diesel blocks it and hit a clothesline and shoot Michaels over the top rope with a second clothesline and dropped him on the guardrail. Diesel then went after Vachon, pulling him over the guard rail and taking off his artificial kg. Before be could use it, Michaels hit the low blow and used it, with Lawler?s headset wrapped up in the leg. Michaels then used the superkick for the pin. ****1/2

 

Shawn Michaels v Mankind ? Mind Games

 

Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) retained the WWF title beating Mankind (Michael Foley) in 26:25 via DQ. Mankind was brought to the ring in a casket by druids. There were a few "ECW chants but they were barely audible. Michaels used a twisting crossbody off the middle rope to the floor early. He drove the back of Mankind's head into the floor and used an elbow off the top early. He teased the superkick but Mankind ran away. Michaels dove over a table on the floor to tackle Mankind and later rammed him knee into the ring Steps and got in the ring and gave Mankind a chop block, rammed his knee into the casket, used the dragon screw (called legdrag) lo set up the figure four. This was pretty much a Japanese psychology type of match at this point. He continued doing a dropkick to the knee, a half crab, ceding with a rope break and continued on top until going for a hurracanrana and Mankind turned it into a hotshot. Mankind then started stabbing his knee with a pencil supposedly to get the feeling back. After Michaels did the Say Stevens flip into the corner and caught his ankle in the turnbuckles. Mankind went to work. At another point, Michaels on the floor gave Mankind a drop toehold and Mankind crashed his head on the steps. It's a good thing he started with a lot of brain cells because more matches like this and he's going to have a lot less. Mankind then did the Psychosis spot of running headfirst into the ringpost when Michaels moved. Mankind was whipped into the ropes and hung himself in between the ropes, but when Michaels came after him, Mankind used the mandible claw. He kept the claw on and Michaels escaped sending Mankind into the guardrail. Michaels clipped him wits a chair and smashed the chair on his claw hand and began stomping the hind. Mankind came back backflipping Michaels over the top rope to the floor and doing his elbow drop off the apron onto the concrete. He did a swinging neckbreaker on the floor and a double arm DDT for a near fall, followed by a piledriver for another near fall. Mankind threw Michaels into the casket but Michaels fought his way back out. Michaels used a crossbody off the top for a near fall, and when he went up again. Mankind shook the ropes and Michaels crotched himself. He WENT for a backward superplex from the middle rope outside the ring, but Michaels turned in mid-air and the two went crashing backwards through the Spanish announcing table. Back in the ring, Mankind was on the top rope with a chair when Michaels did a Sabu spot running across the ring, leaping off a chair and superkicking the chair Mankind was holding into his face. As he went for the pin, Michaels strangely got up and started punching Vader for the DO. My guess is Vader was supposed to interfere, at the count of two but was a tad bit slow and they had to improvise. As Michaels took care of Vader, Paul Bearer hit Michaels with the urn. Sid then ran in and chased Vader to the back. Bearer used the urn and Mankind sat up ala Undertaker and went to put Michaels in the casket, but when they opened the lid, Undertaker got out of the casket (they did the revolving inside casket gimmick) and chased Mankind to the back. A super match but the weak ending kept it from being a match of the year. ****3/4

 

Undertaker v Mankind ? King of the Ring 1998

 

Undertaker (Mark Calaway) pinned Mankind (Mick Foley) in about 16:00 in the Hell in the Cell match. The match started with both on the top of the cage. Undertaker stepped in a spot on the cage that wasn't well put together as it gave way and he really could have been hurt. There were a few hard chair shots to the back before Mankind took the first bump. After five minutes, they re-started the match and almost immediately he took the second bump into the ring. Terry Funk, who came out after the first bump, tried to stop Undertaker from continuing to destroy Mankind, but got choke slammed and knocked out of the way. Mankind was bleeding from the mouth at this point, although it's possible that was gimmicked but it's certainly believable that it wasn't. Undertaker hit him a few times with the steps that Mankind tried to use, but in selling the shoulder, which took the brunt of the first bump, couldn't lift the steps up. After some brutal punches, reminiscent of the ones Foley voluntarily took a few years back from Vader to get over a WCW angle, Undertaker went for a tope and crashed into the cage. Undertaker juiced. Mankind piledrove him on a chair for a near fall and did a legdrop onto a chair onto his face and a double arm DDT. He then poured the thumbtacks all over the ring. Mankind used the claw but Undertaker powered out and eventually gave him a fallaway onto the thumbtacks, a choke slam on the thumbtacks and the tombstone piledriver. ****1/2

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Guest Some Guy

Thanks a lot. Are you typing these all out?

 

4 1/2 for Foley/Taker? I'd say 5 for the bumps but maybe 2 for the ring work. It doesn't hold up well at all the first HiaC.

 

I agree with him about both Bret/Perfect matches. The submission in the Summerslam one can way fast but considering the condition of Hennig's back I can understand it. The KotR match was better overall, I thought.

 

I also agree with him on the two HBK matches, they were two of the best brawls I've ever seen and the Foley one had some good pschology with HBk going after the claw hand.

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Guest Bruiser Chong

After the match Lord Al Hayes interviewed Stu Hart and pulled the mic from him before he could compete a sentence. ****

I remember this and felt bad for Stu since he tried to keep talking even after Hayes had jerked the mike away from him and turned back towards the camera.

 

Thanks for typing these all out, HTQ. Makes me think I should get back to typing out those WO I have from '96 like I did last winter, only to give up after one outing.

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Thanks a lot.  Are you typing these all out?

 

For the most part, yes.
Then you deserve a Royal Rumble '03 Benoit-sized standing O!!!

 

HiaC's finish hurt it a little but it was still far and away the best HiaC match ever, with HHH/Cactus being the only other that really came close.

 

Watch Brock-Taker again. Much better than anyone gives it credit for. I may have to watch it and do a write-up to back up that claim. In all honesty, I think it holds up against the first one and is much better than Foley-Trips.

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Guest Some Guy

Thanks again HTQ and I echo GH's statement about Boston ovation, that's the one and only time I can remember a Boston crowd doing anything that WWF hadn't trained them to do. I was so proud of my city.

 

GH, please do the write up. I have the DVD with the match on it and I can barely remember anything about it at this point but that's probably because I hate non-97 Taker and was never a big Brock fan.

 

I think I'll watch it tonight. I went back and watched Elimination Chamber I and II today because of you're commenting on them being total garbarge, by and large you're right the first couple times I watched them i just sat back and marked out for HBk's win and Goldberg destroying Orton, HBK, and Jericho. This time I actually put them under scrutiny, they didn't hold up very well.

 

HTQ, I might ask for a few more in a couple days if that's cool with you.

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GH, please do the write up. I have the DVD with the match on it and I can barely remember anything about it at this point but that's probably because I hate non-97 Taker and was never a big Brock fan.

I have been planning to do that match forever since it has such a bad rap but I have a write-up of Tenryu-Jumbo 6/5/89 that needs typing first.

 

As for your comments on Brock-Taker, at the time, I wasn't a fan either. The month before, I watched the Brock-Taker match, and besides the ending, I thought those guys did a helluva job in that match even though I didn't like either at the time. Then when the HIAC happened, I thought it was very good and the net slammed it.... mainly because of the bias against the Undertaker. The same thing happened with the JBL matches. We hate JBL so we assume all of his matches are shit when they really aren't.

 

 

I think I'll watch it tonight. I went back and watched Elimination Chamber I and II today because of you're commenting on them being total garbarge, by and large you're right the first couple times I watched them i just sat back and marked out for HBk's win and Goldberg destroying Orton, HBK, and Jericho. This time I actually put them under scrutiny, they didn't hold up very well.

That is what usually happens when you put a match under the microscope. I marked out for Benoit's title win like everyone else. A couple of months later I watched the WM main expecting it to be the great match I witnessed that night. It wasn't.

 

That is really the difference between a great match and everything else. The great ones hold up long after the moment.

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Guest The Metal Maniac

Brock/Taker HitC ruled, if only because it was exactly what a cell match SHOULD be. No one gets in or out, and they just beat the FUCK out of each other.

 

I mean, tying his casted (?) hand to the cage and wailing on it with a chair? Awesome.

 

And it's good to know I'm not the only one who didn't think the WMXX 3-Way was the best thing ever.

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