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[1997-07-06-WWF-Canadian Stampede] Bret Hart & Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith & Jim Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs Steve Austin & Goldust & Legion of Doom & Ken Shamrock

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Steve Austin/Ken Shamrock/Goldust/Hawk/Animal v Bret Hart/Owen Hart/Davey Boy Smith/Brian Pillman/Jim Neidhart (WWF Canadian Stampede 06/97)

 

This is of course, a molten hot brawl with the crowd going totally wild for the Foundation. It isn't Rock/Hogan level reaction, but it's getting there, and takes a match that would have been merely decent, into something memorable. There's hate, lots of different storylines played out, wall to wall action and Brian fucking Pillman. It's awesome. The problem with this match though, is that it also has a lot of sub-standard workers. The match is great when Owen, Bret, Pillman, Davey, Austin or Shamrock are in together, and Goldust puts on a fair display. Neidhart is pretty useless though, and the Road Warriors are about 10 years past their prime, and they weren't exactly great workers then either. They drag the match down, and there's a little too much repetetive action here, but they get over the fact that anything can happen, and in the end it's a well executed wild brawl for the most part. ***3/4

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I'd have this somewhere around the Slamboree six man tag - not technically great, but ultimately very satisfying because of the spectacle nature of the match. I'm not looking forward to NOT getting a proper ending to the Austin/Bret rivalry.

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I liked this match more than I ever have this time around. I think the atmosphere overcomes any points where the action is a bit dull. Bret and Austin (and Owen) are just fantastic in this, and the rest benefit from a hot crowd and a great layout. But those things alone are enough to put this over the top. This match makes me proud to be a Canadian.

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It's a great "event" more than a match but just so much fun to watch. It was really cool seeing how much fun Pillman was having during the entire thing.

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I have never quite gotten the love for this as a match. As others have said, it was a tremendous event with one of the best crowds in WWE history. The Hart Foundation's entrance was as captivating as anything in the match. All of the stuff with Austin clicked. But god, when Austin wasn't there, the match just died. At least half of it featured wrestling of the meh, Raw-main-event variety. Tim compared it to the Slamboree match, but I thought that featured more energetic work with better build to the big spots. Shit, give me Kevin Greene over '97 Jim Neidhart any day of the week. The yearbook context made me appreciate this more than ever as a spectacle. The match itself? Still not buying.

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I may have to run for cover after saying this but I don't think this ppv holds up over time. While the heat for the main event is through the roof, I don't think the match itself is all that special. Also, while there isn't a bad match on the card, are any of the other matches worth going out of your way to see ? This is worth checking out if you weren't around in 97 to see the U.S./Canada feud but otherwise I say skip it.

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I’ll be one of those that really, really love this match. We have seen Bret and Hart Foundation booed since WrestleMania and as they return to Canada they get a huge ovation. Bret gives his glasses to Helen which gets a bifocals comment from Lawler. Ross flips out on Jerry for that joke. They start out with Bret and Austin which is the perfect way to get it going. The crowd is electric cheering and booing the changes in momentum through the match. Austin having fun being heel again for one night. I think everyone plays their part great as the better in ring performers get more match time and some like Anvil gets limited action. Pillman spent more time cheating as an illegal man than being a legal man in the ring.

 

My only minor criticism is having both Owen and Austin leaving to back due to leg injuries. I think with a match of this magnitude buy guys would have “gutted things out”. Though they aren’t gone long and their eventually returns leads to climactic and satisfying finish. Bret got his huge pop but crowd were just as much behind Owen and it was his big night to get the pinfall over Austin. Bruce Hart needed to get his ass kicked. Shamrock obliges some what by firing him into the guard rail. I was chuckling at Bruce getter the better of Hawk who appeared to be sleeping on the ropes as Bruce was clubbing him in the back. Austin gets arrested after match but still manages to finger the fans. The Harts have a big family gathering in the ring. This is still one of my favorites.

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This reminds me of the very best parts of territory wrestling. The hometown hero's vanquishing the hated heel in front of a molten hot crowd. This match never gets old for me.

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I'm with Kevin in that this is in my top 10 for the year and to me feels like one of the better Wargames type matches. I dont necessiarly know if those have better execution than this. The performances of Bret/Austin/Owen are all amazing. You knew Owen and Austin would be coming back out for the finale but they built to that spot well. The Shoving spot at the finish was also teased earlier in really good fashion. I liked that the Harts still took the shortcuts in the match and werent pandering just for the audience. It kept everything within storyline sense while making this match feel special. The golddust vs. Bret segment makes we wish they would have had feud for the title from Survivor Series 1995 to WM12. Shamrock careening into the table was a nice spot and this really feels like the last highlight of Pillman's career. Really the only person that was bad to me was Anvil and he certainly didn't do enough to detract too much. The match feels like a jazz jam in that the cohesiveness may not exactly be top notch but the peaks and valleys are so good that you excuse that because you couldn't have reached the crescendo any other way.

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Bret has a funny story about the aftermath in his book:

Hart kids swarmed the ring (...). I spotted some smiling kid in the ring and asked, "Who are you?" He excitedly said, "I just told them I was a Hart." "Wave at the crowd and enjoy yourself!"

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This could be on the year-end MOTY list, definitely. Like the very best WWF spectacles such as Warrior-Savage, it's a match that pretty much transcends and defies any attempt at serious analysis. It's not perfect--Hawk and Animal bring this down quite a bit, though they have a few moments of usefulness. Shamrock's lack of experience shows a few times. But for heat and intensity and passion, few other bouts can touch it. It also surprised me quite a few times: never would I have bet that Jim fucking Neidhart would work a decent sequence with Shamrock at this stage, but he did. Never would I have bet that Shamrock would be the #3 guy in the match, but he was--he flashed some cool offense and took a nutty bump over the table. Plus everyone knew when to work 1-on-1 and when to descend into clusterfuckery, and the house-cleaning sequences are all timed well. The mirror storyline of Owen and Austin getting their legs injured gives this a running psychological thread, and nicely sets up a side feud between the two. And the ending with Austin grabbing at Stu and Harts leaping over the guardrail--holy shit, that could have led to something truly chaotic. They follow that with another holy-shit moment with Austin crashing the celebration and being led out in cuffs all while flipping the bird behind his back in an indelible image of the era. All in all just a tremendous blend of decent work, one of the hottest North American crowds in memory, and a dash of total fucking chaos and you have the WWF's #2 match of 1997 to date.

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HI guys, Travis from the Titans Stampede Territory podcast here.

 

We kick this match around as a sort of symbolic end of Stampede Wrestling in the second half of our discussion in Titans #63.

 

I have an obviously profound fondness for the match, but still think it's a 4 1/4* match if you remove the circumstances that take the night in to more legendary territory.

 

Check out the show if you haven't yet!

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The peak of the USA vs Canada feud with the fans fully behind the 2 Canadians, 1 Brit and...erm yeah. Austin was at his antagonistic best. As is often the case in multi-mans the opening stages were strongest as rivals squared off for the first time. Order intermittently broke down with everyone mass brawling. Owen and Cold both got taken to the back temporarily with leg injuries. It hurt the momentum when Austin wasn't out there. Not a smart decision. The finish was really weak as well. Despite some shortcomings the rivalry and atmosphere carried them through. Cool scenes afterwards as 200 members of the Hart family celebrate together.

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#183 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-200-151/

 

The last time I watched this show in it's entirety, I remember really loving it. That was probably a few years ago. A scene like this is what wrestling is all about. I love that this starts with Austin and Bret, and they are firing punches at each other. Bret got the upper had at first, and the crowd was going NUTS for it. There is lot's of great tag experience in this match. You have the Hart Foundation, The Road Warriors, The Hollywood Blondes, Dustin Rhodes (previously a tag specialist in WCW, and one of the very best at that), Davey Boy (British Bulldogs), and Ken Shamrock is really the only person in there without lots of tag experience. The great parts of this match are the crowd, the Steve Austin story, and all the uncontrollable moments and breakout brawls. They put on one hell of a show here, and gave the crowd (and anyone watching at home) exactly what they wanted and more. This is just incredible. It is timeless.

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This is an incredible viewing experience. One of the most entertaining & satisfying I've ever had watching the WWF. I've seen this before but in context the specialness is huge. Everything from the Canadian National Anthem, to the incredible entrances, to the action packed match, to the atmosphere, & to the heartwarming post-match is wonderful. The Hart Foundation entrance is probably the greatest entrance in WWF history. The crowd is probably a top five crowd in company history. Austin is a riot here jawing with fans, brawling with crazy Bruce Hart, grabbing Stu in a holy shit moment, etc. Owen's shine segment is amazing. The opening exchange between Bret & Austin causes the building to literally shake as Bret comes out on top. There are flaws. There's no true FIP segment which I think the match really needed in order to make it a classic in-ring encounter. Pillman's heeling is entertaining but at times it gets annoying as I think the match would have been better served if Pillman had toned his character down a bit at certain points. Being Loose Cannon Pillman a time or two for a pop is great & fun but multiple times in this environment is aggravating. The match is also full of a lot of random exchanges that don't really go anywhere. Back to the positives, there is a story here with Austin & Owen getting their knees attacked & coming back & finishing the match. The Hart Family's involvement at ringside slowly boils over in the match as well. There is plenty of nitpicking to do on this match, but this match isn't one about details. It's the whole package. The whole experience. I was actually extremely happy for the Canadian fans & the Hart Family. I got goosebumps several times watching this. It's the Hart Family's shining moment in WWF. It's one of the greatest WWF main events & experiences of all time. One of the truly special events in WWE history.

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Like many things with WWE, it's mind boggling that they didn't come back for a major event in Calgary based around the Stampede. This crowd is absolutely insane. I agree with some great points in this thread: it's like the real end of Stampede, it's a goodbye to the territory, it's an amazing spectacle, the crowd is insane, the Hart Foundation entrance is one of the best entrances ever.

 

Vince McMahon is great on commentary.

 

The match itself is good, the work feels disjointed but not in a bad way. But this match isn't about the match, it's about the crowd and the intensity and the Hart's.

 

Must-see.

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I love that at one point, Bret and Jim do a double-team and Vince can't help but be a little nostalgic about the original Hart Foundation on commentary. Nice little moment, it's a shame that just the two of them didn't have any matches against anyone during this time.

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The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, Brian Pillman) vs Team USA (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust, Legion of Doom) - WWF Candian Stampede

Sometimes, pro wrestling is not about wrestling. Wrestling fans would be wise to remember that.

There is no doubt this is a ****** pro wrestling crowd. The Hart Foundation entrance is legendary. The way it crescendos for Bret's entrance is amazing. The beginning portion for Bret vs Austin is molten. I loved how when Austin when offense so loud the boos were. The random "Austin Sucks" chants were amazing. This was a crowd that was not trying to get themselves over. They were adding to the match. I miss crowds like this. Pro wrestlers are right that the fans are the most important element of the show. Call me a old fuddy duddy, but watching this more than I think modern day pro wrestling fans have betrayed the art and the pro wrestlers. Has Owen ever been more over? Holy shit! That enziguiri was amazing. The return from the back to save Bret is legendary. The missile dropkick and kip up. ELECTRIC! This match is completely elevated by this crowd as there are many parts of the match where the action drags.

Ken Shamrock should have never, ever been placed in this match. His inexperience shows many times. Why did he just hold Bret's foot twice? Shamrock should not be selling, should be looking like an ass against Brian Pillman (did I pop for "He's tapping out" of course, but doesnt make it the right move) and the World's Most Dangerous Man needs a low blow to get a tag. Poor use of Shamrock and Shamrock simply was not suited for a raucous Summer popcorn action blockbuster. This is near sacrilege, but Goldust was also mostly useless in this match. I am surprised that more people have not praised the LOD. They were great. Hawk looked awesome. How about that big top rope splash! Doomsday Device on Owen! It was all great shit out of the LOD. I am also surprised we did not get a proper heat segment on Bret and/or Owen. Taking Owen out was money. Bruce throwing the drink at Austin and grabbing his tights while Austin destroyed Owen's knee was a great touch. I think a heat segment on Bret followed by Owen's return would have been huge. I think taking Austin for any period of time was a bad idea. He was a heat magnet without him Team USA was a thrown together motley crew that was not working. The finish run was great. My eyes went huge for Austin grabbing Stu, which I totally forgot happened. All the Hart brothers pouring over the barricade to swarm Austin was great. Unfortunately, in a way this was not a house show because then you could have had Austin tap out to the Sharpshooter, but this being on PPV in the US you needed Austin to look strong in defeat so we get the rollup finish. The post-match is incredible. The Hart Family in the ring, Austin getting carted out in handcuffs flipping off the crowd with his hands cuffed behind his back. Stu & Helen in the ring with grankids. Pro wrestling is not always about pro wrestling. This match shows how much pro wrestling can mean to a family, a people and a country! O CANADA! ****

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This was good. This gets a reputation for being an all time brawl but I don’t see that a whole lot. Instead this was more focused on fast tag team work that is constantly flowing back and forth. The crowd probably elevates the work to the point where I can see why people think so highly of this. However I think desperately lacked a killer stretch where the match turned into that transcendent masterpiece. And there were a few aspects that I really hated. Austin and Owen got sent backstage after hurting their knees via figure fours on the post. I don’t know why that was necessary. It’s a fairly standard spot in the 90s and they don’t even look in bad enough shape to be sent away. It takes two of the most over in the match out of it, Austin in particular. And Owen being taken out of the match, only to return for the finish and win made it a whole lot worse. And the finish beside that was so anticlimactic and comes out of nowhere. Austin gets attacked by Bruce outside, a small brawl takes place and then Austin goes in the ring and gets pinned. A bad finish to what was a pretty good match. ***3/4
 

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