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[1987-11-24-WWF-MSG, NY] Strike Force vs Hart Foundation

Superstar Sleeze

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WWF World Tag Champs Strike Force vs The Hart Foundation - 11/87 MSG


From what I have seen, this is the best match from heel run of the Hart Foundation. It should come as no surprise as Tito Santana & Rick Martel are not two of the best babyfaces of the 80s, but of all time. Plus this had Bock on commentary!!! I did not know Bock was ever in the WWF. He had no singular gems that stood out just added a lot of intelligence to usually bereft of intelligence WWF commentary team. The early story of the match told very well by commentary was that Bret is a technical wizard, but can be a mental marshmallow in there. Once things start going against him he is too easily rattled. After some early successes against Martel, he takes two armdrags and bails to the outside tagging Anvil. It was a nice little story early.

Strike Force work the headlock against the Foundation. Martel executes a headlock on Bret that would make Backlund jealous. Before it gets too entrenched in "heel in peril", Tito executes a small package and that brings him too close to Hart corner. Bock thought that was awfully dumb. Tito takes some offense before Bret takes his signature bump into Tito's knee this time, which was a cool variation. Martel is a house of fire. He definitely one of the best at throwing strikes with both hands. Too often wrestlers try to use their off-hand and those are the strikes that look wicked awful. However, his zeal betrays him as Anvil holds down the top rope and he tumbles over onto the exposed concrete. Anvil whips him back first into the railing and Bret follows up with a backbreaker. Everything is against Martel's ribs & lower back with an Anvil bearhug. There are more hope spots than usual in a Hart Foundation match. Martel got a Oklahoma roll and he was really working to get out from underneath the Hart Foundation onslaught. Bret was going to what would become his stock moves: 2nd rope elbow and vertical suplex with of course liberal choking and switching.

They do a great false tag with Martel firing up out of the corner only for Bret to pick his ankle right before he can get to Tito. Martel is able to whip Anvil into the ropes which sends Bret on the apron flying to take the Pillman bump on the railing. Now Tito is in and he clocks the Anvil with the flying forearm and Bret comes in only to elbow his partner. Strike Force hits a double clothesline and Martel goes for the Boston Crab on the big man, but nothing doing as Bret breaks it up. Tito with the Flying Burrito on Bret. Then they whip the Hart Foundation into each other Boston crab this time locked in on the Anvil, but Bret blindsides him with the megaphone drawing the DQ. Harts lay a beating on them post-match.

This match was all-action for about 15 minutes with both teams playing their roles excellently. Strike Force looking to overcome the cheating of the Hart Foundation with their speed and heart. The Hart Foundation look to take back their titles by any means necessary. The best tag match of Hart Foundation's heel run. ***3/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [1987-11-24-WWF-MSG, NY] Strike Force vs Hart Foundation
  • 3 years later...

Nick Bockwinkel commentating his old rival's (Martel) match would've been cool if they acknowledged their history. But forget that, imagine if Bockwinkel and Bret Hart fought? That would've been magnificent. This was a really good tag team match in the tried and true formula. Except maybe the Strike force comeback was too short. The opening exchange was excellent. Martel outshines Bret technically which bruises Bret's ego which made him irrational and that made things worse. Then he calmly tags out. The whole idea of that was highly fascinating to me. Martel still continued to shine in the early parts, as did Tito when he tagged in, but a critical mistake sent Martel to the floor which the Hart Foundation capitalised on. Neidhart attacks Martel's ribs via the bear hug and a couple of back breakers. Martel fights two on one well enough but is always just off from getting the tag. Martel doesn't always connect with me as a fiery face but he truly did here. There was a great spot where he absolutely blasts Bret with a punch that Bret no-sells it immediately. Fuck sake Bret. Tito's hot tag is pretty fun but then the DQ finish comes quickly via the megaphone. The Hart Foundation thought they won the titles for a short bit but then the decision was announced much to their frustration. ****

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