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Bret Hart vs Diesel (WWF Royal Rumble 01/22/95)

WWF WWE Royal Rumble January 22 1995 Bret Hart Diesel Kevin Nash Tampa 3.75*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 04:20 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:21 PM

I remember watching this match in the past and thinking Bret was a hypocrite. How could he accuse Shawn of sandbagging Diesel in the Wrestlemania match when he went out of his way to overly dominate this one? He stood toe-to-toe with him and I thought didn't put over the size difference as much as he could have. Then Bret Hart's book came out. He had an explanation. He was purposely going out of his way not to sympathetically sell because he thought it would undercut Diesel as champion. So with that in mind, I was wanting to watch the match again. And Bret was right. He struck a really nice chord here -- any more aggressive and he would have heeled himself. Any less aggressive and he might have heeled Diesel. So this is not in the top handful of Bret Hart matches, but as a performance, this is a Bret Hart masterpiece. Right away, they get into a slugfest, and right away, Bret goes after Diesel's leg. Bret is pretty dominant for 90% of this. Some of the ideas thrown out here, like the possum spot before the inside cradle or Bret tying Diesel's legs together, would be fleshed out more by Survivor Series. I'm not sure how the matches will compare to each other, but I'm looking forward to watching the November match when I get to it. The heel run-ins are overdone to the point where it's comedic. Very good match, but a fantastic Bret Hart carry job.


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Posted 09 November 2011 - 06:45 PM

Very good match, but a fantastic Bret Hart carry job.

I've long since thought this was the best match Nash ever had but thinking about it a lot lately i'd put this in the #1 spot for my favorite Bret match too. Whole thing really felt like an epic war. Whole thing just had a big match, important atmosphere about it, helped by the fact that I thought the build up was really intriguing too. I'd only started watching wrestling in the Summer of 91 so i'd never seen or even known about Bret's past before then and only knew him as goody goody baby face. Him working slightly heel was pretty shocking to me at the time and really did do a good job putting over Nash as being THAT tough to beat and the match/title as being THAT important to win.

The heel run-ins are overdone to the point where it's comedic.

Totally loved it myself, did a good job of making sure both guys came out staying face, was a clever way of getting out of either guy losing, made the heels come off as pricks, added something to the feuds Nash/Bret had going with all those guys and I just plain thought it was cool.

#4 El-P



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Posted 09 November 2011 - 06:53 PM

Loved that match back in the days. Last time I checked though, the SS match was even better, if only for the lack of goofy run-ins.

#5 NintendoLogic


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Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:22 AM

Then Bret Hart's book came out. He had an explanation. He was purposely going out of his way not to sympathetically sell because he thought it would undercut Diesel as champion. So with that in mind, I was wanting to watch the match again. And Bret was right. He struck a really nice chord here -- any more aggressive and he would have heeled himself. Any less aggressive and he might have heeled Diesel. So this is not in the top handful of Bret Hart matches, but as a performance, this is a Bret Hart masterpiece.

I thought Bret was pretty clearly heeling it up. He started by refusing to observe rope breaks, and the chairshot to Diesel's leg was the coup de grace. That's my biggest problem with the match. Stuff like that is bad enough in promotions like AJW where refs generally let the wrestlers do whatever they want. But in the WWF, where weapon shots are almost always an automatic DQ, it creates a huge plot hole.

#6 Tim Evans

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:10 AM

I wouldn't have mind the run ins if there was only 1. However, it had 3 and the ref continued the match after the first 2. Why even have DQ's if the ref wasn't going to stop the match after the first run in? Is this the attitude era? Just totally killed the flow of the match for me.

#7 PeteF3

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:55 PM

I have a few problems with this match from an agent's perspective: they ran the exact same story as Jarrett/Razor, from the knee injury to the false finish, except ramped up several notches. While the knee work makes sense in both contexts, that's the type of thing the WWF is historically very good at avoiding. That being said, on its own this match is excellent, probably a bit stronger than KOTR and I liked that match more than just about anyone else here. Bret's heeling goes from subtle to blatant, with some really clever spots like tying Diesel around the ringpost with his wrist-tape, and one of the best of Bret's many "playing possum" spots. I will say that unlike his stronger matches in '94, Diesel really felt along for the ride for this. It's definitely the Bret Show all the way, and it's one of his better performances, but it's definitely more broomstick-y than one would expect. Bret pretty much managed to undo the booking faux pas in how the new babyface ace was handled. Cheap-o finish but I don't know what else you could have booked, which is yet another strong indication that this match shouldn't have been booked to start with.

#8 Yo-Yo's Roomie

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:46 AM

Very good match which I think is marred by the two restarts. Was this the first big main event match where they did a total shmozz finish? I don’t mind the run-ins and the no contest finish, but I think the restarts hurt the flow of the match, and it seemed really unfair on Diesel in particular, who had Bret beat with the jackknife. Diesel’s selling of the leg is spotty at best. Bret, though, puts in one of his best selling performances here for me. I especially like the way he sells a sternum-first impact into an exposed turnbuckle. Everything he does looks so believable. I also like how Bret would heel it up in face/face matches. I think he was a very selfless worker in that regard.

#9 JKWebb

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 03:28 PM

This is really good, but I'd have it notch below KOTR and not in the same league as Survivor Series.  I was a fan of Nash as a teenager, but I felt more invested in the match while Hart was on offense.  Diesel's offense seemed a little bland to me in this encounter.  Still, really good.  ***1/2


I did like that HBK attacked the same leg that Hart had been working on during the match when he interfered.  But, I do think the interferences took away from the match a little bit. 


#442 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-451/

#10 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:14 AM

WWF World Heavyweight Champion Diesel vs Bret Hart - WWF Royal Rumble 1995


All hail Bret Hart, king of the babyface vs babyface match. Bret would have been an excellent understated travelling NWA World Champion. Bret is the challenger so he is ultra-aggressive but he runs into the Mack Truck that is Diesel. I really enjoy Big Sexy as a character and a shoot interview, but in the ring he underwhelms 95% of the time due to his inability to bump, stiffness (in like an awkward not flexible way), his lack of aggression. Nash is a pretty big dude, but more often than not he does not feel big. Bret made him feel big. Bret prompts a shoving war by taking him into the ropes. Then loses a battle of fists. He goes for a crossbody and gets caught thrown to the mat. Nash feels like a force. From the outset, Bret has the subtle heel touches not to heel Diesel. The first really overt one is picking the leg and dragging him to the post and wrapping it around the steel. Really solid leg work and loved the figure-4 repeatedly. It just makes sense. Nash's selling leaves a lot to be desired. LOVED Bret's dive through the ropes tackling Diesel. Awesome spot that added some spontaneity to the match. Diesel reverses a whip into the steps. Nash runs his usual corner offense, sidewalk slam. Teases jackknife and goes with Argentine Backbreaker nice hope spot from Bret, but eats Big Boot. Bret catches Diesel charging, but I love this little touch that Bret needs to go to the middle rope to get a clothesline to knock Diesel off his feet because earlier in the match the clothesline was ineffective. Here is the wrist tape spot, which would be done better at Survivor Series with the cord. This sets up the Five Moves of Doom section of the match. Love that Bret goes for another dive to the outside, but gets caught and rammed hard into the post. Bret was really good at setting up repeat spots in this match. Diesel hits the jackknife. Then I remember I have seen this match before because all of sudden it occurred to me Shawn Michaels was going to interfere, but they were not going to call DQ. Weird. Michaels attacks the bad wheel of Diesel, Bret reapplies the figure-4 and Bret goes back to work even slamming a chair over it. Still no DQ? Alright this ref is being consistent. Bret finally goes for the Sharpshooter, but now Owen interferes. Ref is adamant that there must be a winner. Owen exposes the turnbuckle pad and rams Bret into it. I watched this match last night and am doing this all on memory. At some point, in Bret's third heat segment (second on the leg), he takes a really unique Bret Bump where he charges in and Diesel moves slightly and Bret hits the pads hard and really sells well. So the exposed turnbuckle shot to the chest by Owen is an escalation based on that. Now the match turns into a knock down drag out affair with fists flying. I thought Diesel's selling was a lot better here really milking it before he finally left his feet. We get the Bret playing possum spot getting inside cradle. The O'Connor Roll takes out ref and here comes the heel locker room, HBK, Double J, Backlund and Owen to finally draw a the No Contest.


It is a real testament to Bret's vision on laying out a match that I was able to wake up this morning and write this review with no notes. But when you tell a coherent story that goes from A->B-> C. It is not that hard to remember! I really want to highlight that this was very well done in regards to momentum shifts. Bret establishes he cant win a battles of fistcuffs and power with Diesel. He must take him off his feet. He has a challenger's mentality so he is very aggressive with the pescado. But on the outside he loses the advantage. He then takes to the air to get him off his feet, but he needs to use a trick to really cement his advantage. That ultra-aggressive mentality almost costs him the match when Diesel catches him rams him into the post and then hits the Powerbomb. Michaels saves re-setting up the leg work. Bret takes that really cool Bret Bump, but is able to recover to try to apply Sharpshooter and now Owen comes in. They have a heat finish, a fun Bret possum spot and schmozz. It highlights Bret Hart as a master of Realpolitik and Diesel as a force. I think Nash just adds almost zero to this match like this is a really obvious carry job. The Survivor Series match is way better, but I think this should be commended for Bret's ability to string a bunch of memorable spots along in a really logical fashion. This may sound weird, but I think I found the match I would show non-wrestling fans because the story is clear and there is no misstep to the narrative and the spots are memorable, but also not super great so they wont get false expectations and/or not a appreciate a master piece. Great entry level wrestling match and I guess when you are working with Nash that's what happens. ****

#11 SmartMark15

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 12:00 AM

This reminded me of the Payback match between AJ Styles and Roman Reigns in that it had two babyfaces taking on each other and lots of shenanigans to protect both of them. Loved Bret going for the leg and Diesel sold it pretty well actually. The slugfests were intense and Bret hitting that dive out of nowhere really added to it. Thought the heel tactics also added to the story with Hart tying up Diesel and using a chair. Bret is really great on offense in pretty much every match I see him in.



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