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[1998-08-10-WCW-Nitro] Bret Hart vs Lex Luger


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  • 2 months later...

This is "advertised" as finish only but is here in full. It was a hotly debated match on whether to cut or keep in full, but if you enjoy it, thank soup and I for lobbying for it as a keeper. If not, blame Will for listening to us. :)

 

While the match isn't a classic or anything, I think it's an interesting glimpse of how two of the most talked about guys on all the yearbooks look after their best career days are over. This is different from usual Bret performances in that there's less wrestling and more heat-seeking stuff, but he does a great job keeping the crowd really hyped for the entire 15+ minutes of this. While Luger is perfectly fine in his role and looks better than he has in a long time, he isn't the guy holding this together. This is the Bret Hart show, something we didn't see nearly as often anymore. Luger wins the U.S. title.

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  • 1 month later...

I liked this during the vetting process but pushed it ahead more on seeing late 98 Luger and what Bret was doing. This time, I thought it was a better stand alone match. Hart takes a deliberate approach in this match but he is just a complete dick doing everything he can to save the US title and taking every shortcut afforded to him. Luger is still able to garner some great heat and his comeback had the crowd rocking. Luger winning the title feels like a nice moment and a memorable moment for the week in wrestling. (***)

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Solid match for sure. I know some people have argued Luger's work in this period should help his case to make a GWE list. Not sure I saw anything that made me feel that, though he was certainly game enough. But Bret worked with a lot of intensity, showing how much he had to offer, even after eight months of ridiculous undercutting. This blew away everything from the PPV two days earlier.

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  • 1 month later...

WCW US Champion Bret Hart vs Lex Luger - WCW Nitro 8/10/98

 

1998 has not been kind to either of these men. Bret Hart has been horribly misused, but at least he has been used. My main man, Lexy Flexy has basically disappeared after February. First he was shoehorned into the horrible and interminable Steiner vs Steiner feud. Then he made the horrible career decision of joining directionless and pointless NWO Wolfpac. He was in pointless tag title matches for months and just generally not used. It was a real waste of the in-ring lead babyface of WCW in 1997. This match actually feels like a pretty big deal for both guys.

 

Unfortunately, I did not see the full match and missed what seems to be a pretty sizeable chunk of the middle. From what I saw this at very least was a good Bret Hart broomstick match, but I think from other reviews I have read that Luger pushes Bret past that mark. Bret Hart and Scott Hall had taken out Luger in the back last week in another beatdown in the never ending Civil War that was not going anywhere. Early on, Luger establishes the power game and Bret Hart establishes the coward game. Bret takes control with some eyerakes as the match goes to commercial. The part 2 does not sync up and I get teleported to the middle of Bret Hart's heat segment. I loved how Tony and Bobby fawned over Bret's suplex technique. It was a legitimately good suplex and loved that commentary pointed that out and why it was a good suplex. Bret Hart is really a good singles heel, I wish he had a longer run as one. He holds Luger in such contempt and is so smug that you really want Luger to take it to him. Luger is very good at verbally selling and taking turnbuckles hard. Luger is underrated in his quickness and explosiveness in the ring. Unfortunately his clotheslines fucking suck. His flying forearm is pretty sweet and he should have just done that. I liked the teased Bret Hart foreign object finish only for Luger to sneak behind with the Torture Rack to win the US title to a pretty nice pop.

 

Bret Hart will get his rematch at Thunder that very week. We all know Luger has problems with quick turnaround rematches, will he survive with his title reign intact?

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  • 1 year later...

Wasn't as high on this as the others, though the crowd was admittedly into it the whole way. I'm also really sour on the result--I mean, it's folly to think that there's any way of salvaging Bret Hart in WCW at this point but there was a hopelessly naive part of me that still thought they might be able to protect him until whatever the fuck they were going to do with him at Starrcade.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1998-08-10-WCW-Nitro] Bret Hart vs Lex Luger
  • 2 years later...

I really enjoyed this.  I hadn't seen this since it aired, and I was expecting some type of DQ finish and a match that that didn't last long.  Instead, it's a really good TV match with a fun finish and a memorable moment for Luger.  Bret was the highlight though with his hard-hitting and precision offense.  This was a fun Nitro match to revisit. 

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