My Favorite Matches #6: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect

The night before the Summer Slam 88, a Mega Powers’ promo hyping their match against the Mega Bucks got me hooked on professional wrestling. The actual matches were ancillary as it was all about the drama and interviews ending in “whatcha gonna do.” Three years later, my wrestling fandom got flipped turned upside down by an amazing match between two all-time greats.

The Intercontinental Title match at Summer Slam 1991 between Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart completely changed how I looked at wrestling. I didn’t know anything about booking or storytelling at the time, however, the match was a masterful display of the art.

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Top Five Royal Rumble Eliminations

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This past Sunday’s Royal Rumble match treated fans to some fun over the top rope eliminations. One elimination, in particular, saw Braun Strowman hurl the ill-suited James Ellsworth out of the ring with a chokeslam that sent him crashing to the floor, hip first.

Seeing this hip-crushing ejection got me thinking of some of the memorable Rumble match eliminations over the years that have stuck with me. Some made for great moments while others served as the kick-off to a bitter feud. Then there are those that are just plain terrible.  Continue reading

Favorite Matches #8: Bret Hart vs. Undertaker

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The Undertaker and Bret “Hitman” Hart are my two favorite wrestlers. Hart’s never give up attitude, despite not being the biggest, fastest or strongest, along with Taker being the unconventional hero to conquer the biggest threats when no one else could, were ideals that inspired me growing up.

I often flip-flop on who takes the number one spot on my list because it changes almost every day. They helped define a generation of wrestling by being two of the best storytellers to step into the ring. However, can you name their best match with one another?

While their highest profile match occurred at Summer Slam 1997, the only thing that people remember from that match is when Shawn Michaels, as the special guest referee, accidentally blasted Taker with a steel chair, allowing Hart to win the title.

It’s not a bad match, however, it’s a slow and plotting affair that focused so much on the narrative that everything else got lost in translation. The same occurred in their match at the 1996 Royal Rumble where Undertaker won via DQ.  Continue reading

My Favorite Matches #10: Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

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What is your favorite wrestling match? This is the single hardest question for any enthusiast of the squared circle to answer. There have been so many legendary nights over the years that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one.

Over the next ten weeks I’m going to write about my ten favorite wrestling matches of all-time. The listings will be in no particular order as I’ve given up on trying to rank every match in specific fashion. Now I just enjoy them as fun collection.

Bret “Hitman” Hart Stone Cold Steve Austin: Survivor Series 1996   Continue reading

To Buy, Or Not To Buy: The Owen Hart DVD

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Wrestling fans from all walks of life are well aware of the tragedy that took the life of Owen Hart over 16 years ago. On December 8th, WWE is scheduled to release a DVD looking back on his life and career titled Owen – Hart of Gold. 

This is a compilation that fans have wanted for a long time, however, years of messy (and that’s putting it nicely) legal proceedings between WWE and Owen’s widow, Martha Hart, stalled movement on the project.

It irks me when people say that fans only care about Owen Hart because of how he died. While it definitely raised his notoriety, Owen’s mid-card status on the roster was hardly a true barometer of his talents. Continue reading

10 Greatest Intercontinental Title Matches Held at Summer Slam

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Another Summer Slam is in the books and overall, I thought it was a good show. One of the matches featured Ryback defeating The Miz and Big Show to retain the Intercontinental title. However, it was a far cry from the classics of yesteryear.

Just like WrestleMania is known for its world title matches, a hallmark of Summer Slam was once the stellar Intercontinental title encounters. They weren’t just great in-ring spectacles, but they often served as a defining moment for a wrestler’s career.

Bret Hart’s impressive back-to-back performances for the coveted title played a large role in ascension to the main event scene while the power of the Warrior nearly blew the roof off of Madison Garden in his rapid pursuit of the gold.

I long for the days when biggest party of the summer produced some of the great I.C. title matches of all time. So, let’s look at ten best held at Summer Slam.
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The Undertaker is One of My All-Time Favorites

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The Undertaker is tied with Bret Hart as my all-time favorite wrestler. While his dark side persona has gained him fame the world over, he represented something else to me. The giants of the squared circle often apply dastardly tactics while using their size advantage to steal victories. Taker started off the same, but quickly became something different, something more.   Continue reading

Raw Is In-Zayn

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The Montréal faithful were loud in their disapproval of John Cena as they sang “John Cena sucks” to the tune of his entrance music. The U.S. open challenge was laid out on foreign soil as chants of “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole,” filled the Bell Centre, foreshadowing a pending arrival. Much to everyone’s surprise, the legendary Bret Hart came out to introduce “a great wrestler.” The people slid to the edge of their seats with baited breath as Sami Zayn emerged from behind the curtain. Continue reading

Meeting the Excellence of Execution: Bret Hart

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Bret Hart is my all-time favorite wrestler and he was my inspiration for trying my hand at professional wrestling. The “Hitman” appeared at a pop culture convention last weekend and I was offered press credentials to cover the event.

I really wanted to meet him. So for the sake of professionalism, I declined the offer. I didn’t know when I’d have another chance to rub shoulders with the “excellence of execution” so in the words of Mike Pono “Dude, be a fanboy for once.”

The thing is, I know so much about his career, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have anything to say or ask. On the drive to the convention center, my wife assuredly stated “Its Bret Hart, I’m sure you’ll think of something.” Continue reading

Smith Hart Talks WWE’s Creative Direction, Roman Reigns, Bret Hart, Vince Russo, and More

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In this special edition of the Gerweck Report podcast, I talked to Smith Hart of the legendary Hart Family. Smith is the oldest brother of Bret Hart and the uncle of WWE Diva Natalya. Click here to find out what Smith had to say about various topics such as

-Earliest memories of breaking into the wrestling business

-His days as an amateur wrestler

-Stampede Wrestling

-Wrestling in Japan

-Thoughts on the UFC

-His relationship with his brothers Bruce, Keith, and Bret

-WWE current creative direction

-Would he ever work for WWE, TNA or ROH

-His dealings with John Laurinaitis

-How to book heels and babyfaces

-Does he believe Roman Reigns is ready to be the top guy

-His blog about the ten worst executives in the history of wrestling

-His challenge to Vince Russo

-and more!

Warning: strong language

Visit Smith Hart on Facebook and Twitter @SmithHart1