This latest retrospective from the WWE pays tribute to Mark Calaway aka
the Undertaker who gained popularity during the WWF
are those who think that wrestling is nothing other than grown men in tights throwing and smacking
each other around. While this might be true for some of the "wrestlers"
currently in the industry today, Bret "the Hit Man" Hart is NOT one of those
wrestlers. After viewing this three disc set in its entirety, you'll understand
that the mark of a TRUE wrestler is one who could successfully accomplish their
own moves while insuring that their partner (opponent) is not injured. See, regardless
of the fact that each match's outcome is predetermined, the journey to the final
bell lies solely on the two (or more) people in the square circle. There are few
people in the industry that could (or have been able to) pull this off. With the
latest release from WWE Video "Bret "Hit Man"
Hart: the Best There Is, the Best There Was, the Best There Ever Will Be", Vince
McMahon and the WWE pay homage to one of the finest technical wrestlers that ever
It seems that some people are predestined to follow a
certain path in life. With a wrestling ring in his basement, and a father who
was one of the most respected men in the industry (he even wrestled a tiger and
a bear!), it was no surprise when Bret followed in his father's footsteps.
Initially, he started wrestling for his dad's "Stampede" promotion
in Calgary, and once he made his debut in the WWF, he languished for some time,
before his career took off after teaming with Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart
and Jimmy Hart to form the Hart Foundation. Neidhart's aggressive, brawling
wrestling meshed well with Bret's impressive technical style. Since they were in
the midst of the "Hulkamania" era, according to Hart, Hogan and his
cohorts were getting all the attention, while the Hart Foundation's matches were mostly
overlooked. Sure, Hogan might be putting asses in the seats, but TRUE wrestling
fans knew when the real wrestling was happening - when the Hart Foundation
stepped in the ring. On January 26th, 1987, they won their first WWF World Tag Team
Championship. They held the belts for close to a year before losing to Rick
Martel and Tito Santana the following October, and it'd be three
long years before they reclaimed the title.
After losing the belts for the second time in March 21, 1991 to the Nasty
Boys, the Hart
Foundation split up and Bret struck out on his own. Once he did this, his popularity
only intensified and he had some classic matches with the likes of Curt "Mr.
Perfect" Henning and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, which resulted in Bret becoming a two time WWF Intercontinental Champion. It wasn't until 1992, in a
match with Ric Flair, that Bret won his first of five WWF World Heavyweight
Championships. As time wore on, he'd have some great matches with his brother
Owen, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Eventually, Bret's career
in the WWF would come to an end in one of the most controversial events in wrestling
history. Following the "Montreal Screwjob", his run in the WCW was far from impressive, but that's where he spent
the remainder of his days, until Bill Goldberg cut his wrestling career short.
During the documentary, Bret shoots from the hip (no pun intended). In
actuality, his involvement was last minute (and after some careful
negotiating on Vince's part). It's been reported that over seven hours of interview footage was
shot when Bret visited WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut on August 3,
2005. If that's true, it's a shame that only two of those hours made it on to
this set. Let's hope the relationship between Vince and Bret is cordial enough
to give the fans a well-deserved second volume.
"Bret "Hit Man" Hart: the Best There Is, the
Best There Was, the Best There Ever Will Be" is spread over three
single-sided DVDs. Disc one contains the main feature along with some extra
moments and two MSG matches. Discs two and three contain some matches
hand-picked by Bret for inclusion on this set.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match [SummerSlam 8/29/92]
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog 30m
Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow [Barcelona,
Spain 4/24/93] - Your
ears aren't playing tricks on you -- the ringside announcers are calling
the match in Spanish - 14m 48s
King Of the Ring 1993 Semifinal Match [6/13/93]
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
Wrestlemania X [3/20/94] Bret Hart vs. Owen
Hart 25m 33s
- Boston Garden [3/8/86] Bret Hart vs. Ricky
"the Steamboat" Dragon 17m 11s
- Bret Hart vs. Ted DiBiase [Odessa, TX 3/8/89]
- Saturday Night's Main Event [4/28/90] Hart
Foundation vs. Rockers 10m 18s
- WWE World Tag Team Championship Match [WrestleMania
VII 3/24/91] Hart Foundation vs. Nasty Boys
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Match [SummerSlam
8/26/91] Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
In Your House [5/14/95] Bret Hart vs. Hakushi
WWE Championship Match
[Survivor Series 11/19/95] Bret Hart vs. Diesel
WWE Championship Match [In Your House 12/17/95]
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog
Submission Match [WrestleMania 13 3/23/97] Bret
Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWE Championship Match [One Night Only 9/20/97]
Owen Hart Tribute Match [WCW Monday Nitro 10/4/99] Bret Hart vs.
- Disc 3
- WWE Championship Match [White Plains, NY 9/29/94]
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
"Bret "Hit Man"
Hart: the Best There Is, the Best There Was, the Best There Ever Will Be" is
presented in the full frame 1.33:1 ratio and, while there are some slight differences in the textures of the video (depending on
its age), it was a pretty attractive transfer. Obviously, the older "Stampede"
footage isn't a sharp as some of Bret's later matches, but they were pretty
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal
clear and enveloped my living room while I was watching it. All of the
matches included are in Dolby Digital 2.0 with a 192kbps bitrate.
Conclusion: In my opinion, Bret's a slightly cocky individual. However, after watching this retrospective and the matches that
were included, he has every reason to be. As I said earlier, if one were to overlook the fact
that the outcomes in the WWF were predetermined, perhaps they might realize
that Bret was one helluva wrestler. In fact, i'd dare say that he truly was "the Best There Was
& the Best There Ever Will Be". Not only that, but I think this DVD set
should be required viewing for any new hires in the WWE - hell, have some of
the "veteran" wrestlers watch it too. Perhaps they'll learn something.
truly wish Vince had included more of Bret's matches on this set (the Shawn
Michaels "Iron Man" match was rumored for inclusion), but as it is,
this is a Highly Recommended DVD and I have my fingers crossed for a
follow-up volume with more classic matches.