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Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig

Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is the better wrestler in your view?

    • The Hitman
      40
    • Mr. Perfect
      6


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I am not asking this question to troll my Canadian associates but I think this is a more worthy comparison than Flair-Bret (which isn't really close in my mind). For Hennig, you have a lackluster WWF run but when you take his Portland and AWA stuff into account, his high end stuff matches the high end Bret stuff. For Bret, you have the strong workrate run from 1992-1997 with several classics but the rest of his career feels bleh to me. His WCW run was ho-hum. I have no love for the Hart Foundation as a tag team so this comparison feels a lot closer to me than it might for others.

 

Bret or Perfect?

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First instinct was Hart but then I remembered how much I liked Hennig on the AWA set. I don't think Hart has ever had a match as good as the Hennig/Bock Broadway, the heel turn against Bock, or the Hansen match. I really need to watch that Portland stuff. I'll come back to this.

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That's where I am Graham... people who watched the AWA project and have discovered Portland Hennig will probably lean Hennig. Those who make WWF their home base will probably think this is a joke and a righteous curb stomping. However, when i make my Top 100 list, I don't know if Hart is listed higher than Hennig on my list. Part of my feeling is that I really don't respect the Hart Foundation as a tag team.

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I've watched every Hennig there is to watch from the AWA and the vaunted Buddy Rose program from Portland (which was good, even very good).

 

Bret still wins. Easily.

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That's where I am Graham... people who watched the AWA project and have discovered Portland Hennig will probably lean Hennig. Those who make WWF their home base will probably think this is a joke and a righteous curb stomping. However, when i make my Top 100 list, I don't know if Hart is listed higher than Hennig on my list. Part of my feeling is that I really don't respect the Hart Foundation as a tag team.

Completely not my position. I am not a guy who is high on Bret and I don't make WWF my "home promotion" by any stretch. I watched all the AWA Curt on the 80s set.

 

But Bret wins this one for me.

 

I didn't really agree with Dylan's assessment of babyface Hennig in the leadup to the set. I just wasn't as high on early 80s Curt as the committee was. I thought he really came into his own when he was "Cool Curt" after the amazing match with Bock. That was probably the best stretch of his career.

 

I was a big Mr. Perfect fan as a kid, and I still like him now, but worked a bit too weak for my tastes, even for a WWF heel (who were all booked weak). I have less of a problem with the outrageous bumping style, I find it entertaining, but Perfect needed some more offense. He reminds me a bit of a fencer, all style and pinache but once you get past all the flash there's no killer blow.

 

Bret has really good matches with Owen and Austin, but he has some more too. The Piper match is good. Daveyboy at Summerslam. I like his matches with DiBiase. He has others in his locker people will point you to. And once you look past that Bock match, what other matches has Hennig got? I remember one with Hansen people liked more than I did. He had a couple of good performances as champ, but then what? I don't really seem them even as being ballpark.

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I like Portland & AWA Hennig. But even peak pre-WWF Hennig doesn't beat peak Bret for me and I'm not anywhere close to the "Bret is a GOAT" crowd.

 

For all the shit Bret gets as a guy who coasted a lot, Hennig wasn't exactly the model of consistency even in his early babyface days. I found myself completely bored by him during more than one of his AWA matches and his willingness to just sit in holds when he's on top.

 

I think his pre-WWF work definitely benefits from the limited availability of footage because I think if there was a lot more of it we'd find more "average" Hennig performances than the really great stuff like him vs. Hansen, Rose and the best of the Bockwinkel series.

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I admittedly haven't seen AWA or Portland Hennig, but Bret's wide variety of classic WWF matches vs. Hennig's very few in that promotion make this an easy vote for me. Granted, Bret had the WWF main event opportunity (see my similar comments in the Jericho/Matt Hardy thread) and Hennig didn't. If Hennig had gotten Bret's push and the injury never happened, would we be singing a different song? I love Hennig but I'm not so sure.

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I voted Bret, but think Curt was great in Portland. Bret to me is overrated, but he has too many highs. Both guys had their fair share of off days.

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That's where I am Graham... people who watched the AWA project and have discovered Portland Hennig will probably lean Hennig. Those who make WWF their home base will probably think this is a joke and a righteous curb stomping. However, when i make my Top 100 list, I don't know if Hart is listed higher than Hennig on my list. Part of my feeling is that I really don't respect the Hart Foundation as a tag team.

Completely not my position. I am not a guy who is high on Bret and I don't make WWF my "home promotion" by any stretch. I watched all the AWA Curt on the 80s set.

 

But Bret wins this one for me.

 

I didn't really agree with Dylan's assessment of babyface Hennig in the leadup to the set. I just wasn't as high on early 80s Curt as the committee was. I thought he really came into his own when he was "Cool Curt" after the amazing match with Bock. That was probably the best stretch of his career.

This is how I felt too. It's not that he didn't have some great matches on the AWA set, it's that the great matches just made you even more aware of how good Curt COULD be but only rarely was.

 

Like, I would have LOVED to see more of the bad ass brawling Curt that we got against Stan Hansen but he rarely brought that much fire.

 

I also think Curt was a guy who needed a great opponent to get the most out of him. I don't think Curt could have ever gotten anything as good out of Nash as the Survivor Series 95 Diesel vs. Bret match. That was one of my favorite matches for YEARS and one I still really love.

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Best way to compare the two is that late '92 - late '93 period when Perfect returned from his back injury. That was the peak of Hennig's WWF run in my opinion and both guys had similar card placement and number of shared opponents: HBK, Flair, Berzerker, Shango, Doink, Fatu/Samu, Luger, Lawler, Yoko... there might be some handhelds of Perfect working Razor also.

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If the goal of this poll was to flush me out of hiding, you've succeeded.

 

Two things. First, the Hart Foundation was awesome. Like I pointed out on the Bret podcast, they had sustained effective runs as both faces and heels. How many 80s tag teams can you say the same for? Second, it's worth noting that the best match of Hennig's career was with Bret.

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I remember things a bit different. I remember you getting owned on that podcast, and it would have been worse but Charles didn't feel the need to kick a corpse. I still laugh at your talking point of Bret being the 1st work rate IC champ. Secondly , Bockwinkle and Rose were Curt's best foes . The Hart Foundation is remembered fondly by a push. Not actual in ring memories. Such a play it by the numbers team .

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they had sustained effective runs as both faces and heels. How many 80s tag teams can you say the same for?

The Midnight Express

The Road Warriors

Demolition

Powers of Pain

The Islanders

The Funks

Ted DiBiase and Steve Williams

 

I'm sure there are some more.

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I remember things a bit different. I remember you getting owned on that podcast, and it would have been worse but Charles didn't feel the need to kick a corpse. I still laugh at your talking point of Bret being the 1st work rate IC champ.

 

I'll freely admit that the podcast wasn't my finest hour. It was my first experience in that format, and I was clearly nervous as hell. Of course, I come across worse if you attribute to me things I didn't actually say.

 

Secondly , Bockwinkle and Rose were Curt's best foes .

 

As far as overall body of work, sure. But I maintain that the KOTR 93 match with Bret is Hennig's single best match. And that's not me being a Bret fanboy, because it's Curt's work that makes the match.

 

As for the tag team stuff, I guess it depends on how one defines "effective." I define it as "being over while having good matches." The latter element disqualifies teams like Demolition and the Powers of Pain. Also, people are overlooking the keyword "extended." MX were babyfaces for what, a year? And DiBiase and Williams were only together for like two years total. In any event, I'm not claiming that the Hart Foundation are literally the only team to meet the criteria, so listing other teams doesn't negate my argument. I'm simply pointing out that most tag teams of the era worked almost exclusively on one side of the fence. That the Hart Foundation was able to have success in both roles is a feather in their cap.

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1. I hate to break it to you. That Bret ushered in the workrate style of the IC title was a talking point of yours. Either you don't want to remember that cringe worthy statement, or you were nervous and don't remember saying it. I'll chalk it up to nerves on your part, and it's obvious your not hanging your hat on that statement now so it's a moot point.

 

2. It's fine if you think that KOTR with Hennig is Hennig's best match. Though don't make it an absolute statement like you did in your original post. Hennig has loads of great matches and their will be plenty of different opinions on this from different people. When you have so many options the odds of reaching 100% consensus is zilch.

 

3. I've watched about 80-90% of the Hart Foundation non squash matches that are on tape and from my conclusions they were pretty hit or miss. For every 4* match with the Killer Bees or insert tag team they had 3 in the 2-2 1/2* range. I found the work very formula, and I'm a guy who likes formula. If I saw one more sternum bump to set up the hot tag as Bret as a heel. and one more sternum bump to set up the FIP as Bret as a face I'd have to quit watching wrestling. You might put a premium on good matches, and that's fine. Don't think that's the only way to look at things though.

 

 


 

 

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I've seen every Hennig vs Rose matches, and I wouldn't put any of them above the 93 KOTR match, really.

 

Bockwinckle was most probably Hennig's best opponent though. Well, he was the best opponent of a number of guys too.

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I've seen every Hennig vs Rose matches, and I wouldn't put any of them above the 93 KOTR match, really.

 

Bockwinckle was most probably Hennig's best opponent though. Well, he was the best opponent of a number of guys too.

 

I too have seen every Hennig/Rose and do have one above KOTR.

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