Posts Tagged ‘Hart Foundation’

Let’s visit the World Wrestling Federation in 1997.  This was literally the most exciting year for me as a wrestling fan, and one of the top reasons was The Hart Foundation: Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, and Brian Pillman headed by Bret Hart.  Bret (his character and likely in real life) had grown frustrated with the American wrestling fans for cheering on “bad guys” like Stone Cold Steve Austin. 

This leads me to one of the most exciting and intense moments in wrestling history which took place just a few weeks before Bret reformed the Hart Foundation – the first minute of this video:

(The swearing definitely helped, but Bret’s intensity would have made it work without)

Bret had fought the good fight, yet people cheered Austin for doing things like taking a steel chair and repeatedly drilling Bret in the knee with it.  The interesting thing is:  The Hart Foundation became “bad guys” in the United States but became overwhelming crowd favorites across the rest of the globe – especially in Canada where Bret and Owen are from.  Then Bret finally regains the championship and is set to defend against Shawn Michaels in Montreal at the Survivor Series… but there’s a wrinkle.

In ’96, Bret signed a ten year, multi-million dollar contract with Vince.  Now Vince approaches Bret and says that he can’t pay it.  Vince suggests Bret see if Eric Bischoff (The President of WCW – the WWF’s competitor) can get him a good deal.  Bret doesn’t really want to but agrees.  It’s set:  The Survivor Series will be Bret’s final WWF pay per view before leaving the company.  But wait a second – Bret is the WWF champion and isn’t terribly interested in losing to a guy he really doesn’t like in Shawn Michaels in his homeland.  Vince really wants Bret to lose the title to Shawn at the pay per view, but Bret doesn’t want to.  Alternatives are thrown about.  They settle on a disqualification at the Survivor Series.  Bret doesn’t lose the title to Shawn and they’ll figure something out in the next couple of days as to how and to whom the title changes hands.  The Survivor Series turns out to be an emotional night.  Everybody backstage and most of the fans know that it’s Bret’s last Pay Per View with the company and nobody’s really happy about it.  Then this happened:

Vince screwed Bret out of the championship.  Shawn put Bret in a submission hold (Bret’s OWN submission hold) and the referee indicated that Bret gave up, ending the match and giving the title to Shawn.

Bret was understandably bitter.  He went to WCW a few weeks later and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and The British Bulldog followed shortly after.  Only Owen Hart wasn’t let out of his contract as he was seen as too valuable to the WWF.  For the next two years we held out hope that Bret might come back some day but there was so much anger it seemed unlikely.

Owen deserves his own posting.  He was a ridiculously talented wrestler and absolutely hilarious.  Then on May 23rd, 1999, Owen fell to his death during a WWF Pay Per View (luckily it was not on camera).  He was supposed to descend from the rafters in his Blue Blazer superhero outfit but something happened.  So very tragic.

So if we thought it was merely unlikely that Bret would return to the company after being screwed, now that his little brother died under Vince’s watch we could pretty much erase any thought of him coming back.

But time heals all wounds, as they say.  Bret has apparently signed a contract to host RAW on Monday (TOMORROW!) and the contract runs through Wrestlemania which is in either late March or early April.

AND… there are rumors that he will wrestle one final match at Wrestlemania.

This is HUGE.  Just friggin’ huge.  For the first time in over TWELVE YEARS, Bret Hart comes to Monday Night Raw on Monday, January 4th, 2010.

What’s going to happen with Bret and Vince?

What’s going to happen with Bret and Shawn?

What kind of reaction will the crowd give the five time WWE champion?

I can’t wait to find out! 

Stone Cold Steve Austin is a hyena,

Kev

So I’m about a third of the way through watching RAW last night when it hits me that I’m actually ENJOYING at and looking forward to the rest of the show!  So far we had Jesse Ventura come out as the night’s Host.  He was doing a fine job and told us that we’ve been seeing too many of the same faces in the Championship scene.  He set up a battle royal filled with wrestlers that have never had a title shot.  The winner of the battle royal will receive a shot at his brand’s championship at the next Pay Per View, “TLC” (Tables, Ladders and Chairs).

SWEET!  Somebody gets a chance to break through to the top of the scene!  As much as I love Shawn Michaels and Triple H, there’s only so many times I can get excited about seeing one of them fight in the main event, and goodness knows the world doesn’t need another Cena/Orton match.

Side note about Orton:  I’m really liking him!  I disliked him personally for a few years because he’s been pretty immature behind the scenes, but getting married and having a kid has done him good.  I can feel good about liking him again.

We got a pretty good Cena / CM Punk match.  My favorite part was before the match when Punk told Cena, “Through these sober eyes, I can see you.”  I’ve mentioned before how awesome I think Punk is, but I don’t think I’ve brought up how bored I am of Cena.  BORED.  Turn him bad and I’ll like him again, but I was pissed off when he pinned Punk.

CM Punk is Straight Edge. That means he's better than you.

I think the thing I was most excited about was the DX vs. Hart Dynasty match.  Here we have TJ Wilson and David Hart Smith (the son of the legendary British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith).  The Hart Foundation in the past had huge issues with DX (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) and this would be the first time in over TEN YEARS that DX would face members of the Hart Family.  There was so much history between the two factions and I couldn’t wait to see this explored!  You’ve got the legitimate screwing over of Bret Hart for the WWE title at the Survivor Series in 1997, you’ve got Shawn beating the British Bulldog for the European title in the UK after Bulldog dedicated the match to his dying sister, and so much more!

The Hart Foundation... coolest group ever (provided you disregard Davy Boy's fanny pack)

We get to the match.  NOT ONE WORD of the history between the two groups is mentioned.  You could have had TJ and Smith do an interview before the match and really tear into DX vowing revenge for all sorts of deeds.  Nothing.  DX wins a five minute match after a superkick from Shawn and a pedigree from Trips.

Fuck you guys.  Seriously.  Fuck you guys.

Then Chris Jericho came out and talked smack to DX.  Jericho is exactly what he says he is: the best in the world at what he does.

Jericho!

It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and thankfully we all got to relive the Survivor Series moment from 1990 when the Gobblygooker was unleashed!  Back in ’90 they had a big egg that Mean Gene promised us would hatch at the pay per view and every week speculated as to what could be in it.  I speculated as well!  I was sure that Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake was ready to return and would POUNCE out of that egg ready for action!  Some people thought that Ric Flair was coming in.  Instead we got this:

Yup.  This friggin’ turkey-or-what-have-you popped out of the egg, danced around the ring, did some gymnastics, then clucked off, not to be seen or heard from for many years until the fine folks at WWE realized it could be brought out as a joke to remind us of how goofy things were at one point.

SPEAKING OF GOOFY: there was a six woman tag match featuring the Pilgrims (the bad team) vs. the Indians (the good team).  Normally I fast forward through woman wrestling matches because it’s pretty much tna but I was watching the show live and didn’t have the option.  And it’s a good thing, because the entrance music used for the Indians was TATANKA’s old entrance music!!:

Oh, the hilarity!

So speaking of hilarity and golden moments from the past, it was decided that Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon would do commentary on the main event – just like they did in the ’80s!  Vince even put on his tuxedo with the red tie!  It was amazing and … well, just all sorts of amazing!

Now the main event itself?  The next challenger to John Cena’s championship is this guy:

If he wins the title at the ppv I’ll eat my hat.

I’ll purchase a hat, then eat it.  But best of luck to you, Sheamus.  Hopefully this gives you some credibility and is a jump start to a big career.  You’ve been handed the ball – how far can you run with it?  Personally I’m skeptical but keeping an open mind.

I had texted my friend Ray who was still at work and told him, “best RAW in years”.  I was clearly wrong, but was going off the potential of the night.  A fresh contender for the title?  A DX/Hart match?  Jesse and Vince on commentary (granted, that did pay off). 

This night should have ruled.  When the part of the night that got me most excited was a tie hearing Tatanka’s old music and seeing the Gobbledygooker… there’s trouble a’brewin’.

Well Enough is Enough, and it’s Time for a Change!

Kev