There 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 hit the industry.
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.
Video: "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 clean.
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.
While I 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.