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[1989-06-03-WWF-Boston, MA] Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect


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Interesting precursor to the famous matches. 

I started watching when Bret was champ (summer of '94) so I may be biased, but I have a hard time seeing him as anything other than a main event, especially in early singles matches like this. The way he carries himself is so different than any midcard face. There's a realness to how he does things in the ring and it adds a sense of seriousness to his matches. It's astounding that it took another 2 years for him to really break out as a singles star and then another year to be a main eventer.

I don't know who would be comparable to him. Even Shawn was a pure midcard heel in 1992, with exaggerated traits as he tried to find his new character. Bret just screams top guy even here. Maybe Daniel Bryan, but we had years of him main eventing in RoH beforehand. I wouldn't put Bret's young run in Stampede on that level.

Hennig already had a ton of great work in AWA, but his character in WWF wasn't fully developed. He does a good job here of playing off Bret, but doesn't seem to be in the driver's seat. Bret feels like a bigger, smarter threat and if anything Hennig feels more on the level of Dolph Ziggler (sacrilegious) Compare that to SummerSlam 1991 where he comes off as the veteran upper card star and Bret as the up and comer. 

These two together is always going to be something, but this felt more like a 20-minute exhibition. Especially with the ending coming out of nowhere. It was never boring, but it was missing a story more specific than "Perfect has finally met a match". Even then, make it more legit by having Bret actually almost pull of the win rather than arbitrarily ringing the time-limit bell on a backbreaker one-count.

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