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[1999-03-01-WCW-Nitro] Bret Hart vs Chris Benoit

Superstar Sleeze

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Bret Hart vs Chris Benoit - WCW Nitro 3/1/99


I really liked aspects of the commentary in this match. My favorite part was Tony and Bobby putting over how dangerous and difficult it is to be a pro wrestler. I think commentators should bring this up once a show to remind me us of the risks these men and women take to entertain us. I think it will build more respect and admiration for wrestlers and actually increase the heat for spots that have become passe like taking a bump to outside the ring.


Definitely not as good as the Owen Hart Tribute match, but another great TV bout that just littered WCW around this time. What kept this from reaching all-time great status was Bret's cold performance. I first noticed this reviewing Hart Foundation matches is that Bret can come across as very mechanical and disinterested in the ring. He may be one of the most naturally gifted wrestlers to ever lace up the boots and I think the actual execution of wrestling was too easy for him. I wish he would challenge himself to be a better wrestler by being more engaged. Technically, this was a perfect performance. He performed his spots correct. He laid it out appropriately using heel tactics like eyerakes, choking, testicular violence and the ropes to set up his high impact moves: suplexes, piledriver, the Five Moves of Doom. It is hard to put it all on Hart because Benoit's performance was unusually tepid. The one great thing about Benoit, which is also his downfall is that he makes everybody wrestle his match and drags them out of their comfort zone. He is just an intense, always moving forward, bring the fight to you kinda wrestler that every match tends to have heat just because he is always struggling. I don't know if he was deferring to The Hitman out of reverence, but he basically just played ragdoll to Bret's great offense. You get some good selling here and there, but it was not continuous. I will say once Benoit started roaring back the match started to generate heat. The tease of the Crossface as a reverse out of the Sharpshooter got a huge reaction and was the coolest spot in the match. Benoit's comeback proper generated a good buzz with his usual wicked chops and intense strikes and suplexes. He can not immediately capitalize on the Diving Headbutt. Bret tries to mount a comeback. They both take a nasty spill over the top rope that looked like Bret was inches of landing right on the top of his head. The tag team champions, Curt Hennig & Barry Windham, attack Benoit on the outside and roll him in. Hart applies the Sharpshooter with Benoit in the ropes and won't let go. The ref disqualifies him and the beatdown commences. Malenko comes out and a similar fate awaits him. The crowd is left with their dicks in their hand when Flair does not make the save. It is a very good match that was given a good amount of time to develop, but nothing terribly essential to see. ***

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