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Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect (WWF Summerslam 08/26/91)

WWF WWE Summerslam August 26 1991 MSG Bret Hart Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig Title Changes 3.75*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:07 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:35 PM

I don't like this match quite as much as its rep, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. There were some really spirited nearfalls, and Perfect gave a lot to Bret, including him kicking out of the Perfectplex. Still, there is some weirdness about this, as it seems like that should have been a bigger part of the final stretch instead of just another nearfall. I also didn't care for how he started to work over the leg and didn't. But they took the crowd on a ride and Bret had his moment, so the big stuff was done right. Hennig puts on a classy performance on his way out, and Bret starts looking like an up and coming star. I still love how Alfred Hays asks Stu what he thought and then pulled the mic away from him as soon as he started talking.

#3 Zenjo


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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:15 PM

Coach was awesomely pointless at ringside blowing his whistle. This is one of those matches I'd call a WWF classic, because it's only a classic in a microcosm. After the initial stages Perfect had a lengthy period of domination culminating in the Perfect Fisherman. But Bret shocks him by kicking out of his finisher and launches a comeback. There were still twists and turns ahead and it ended up being quite a strong match. Sadly an attempted series of near falls was never going to work with Hebner as ref. The amount of damage this incompetent individual inflicted over his career is far beyond any other referee. I loved the transition into the Sharpshooter for the finish. Bret had arrived as a force in singles.

#4 PeteF3

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:05 PM

Hennig has fallen off since his AWA days, but considering the state of his back this is quite the gutsy performance with some particularly nutty bumps, especially getting hiptossed on the floor. Bret kicking out of the Perfect-Plex came off as a big moment, but I agree the build-up to the move wasn't that good--in hindsight I wish we'd have gotten the old "opponent tries a backdrop" finish that we saw in a million Perfect matches, as that would have been a much more effective false finish. Perfect puts over Bret big-time on his way out--for the second SummerSlam in a row, I got a Bret Hart title win that stunned me when I heard about it. "He's a TAG wrestler! He's not supposed to be winning singles titles!" The early '90s would be a period of me constantly being taken aback by each renewed Bret push.

#5 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:49 PM

Really good match but doesn't hold up on many additional viewings. Again, it is still good match though. Never liked how Hebner called for the bell so quickly when Bret started to put the sharpshooter on. Yes it was a cool reversal but submission was goo quick. Needed a bit more of tease. Bret kicking out of the Perfect Plex as cool but problem was that move was already weakened over time. Great moment for Bret becoming IC title when that stuff did matter. And yes I got a kick out of Hayes asking Stu a question and then pulling the mic immediately away from him.

#6 soup23

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 08:48 AM

Coach doing pushups in the ring cracked me up. Bret is doing his sunglasses bit. Gorilla gives a great Will you Stop while Piper and Hennan are yammering on. I liked a lot of things in the first portion of this match. Perfect mixed in some cool subtle heel things like stepping on Bret's back to get in the ring. The comeback from Bret after he was sent into the photographer and guardrail was odd as he just started firing off shots before Perfect cut him off again. Perfect to me has a legit claim at Hebner for the slow count when they tumble from the top rope. I also thought the crucifix cut off after it was execute earlier was a nice touch. The match really seemed to fit to the perfect plex and a formality that Perfect would win. The pop when he kicked out was awesome. Bret then does his superman comeback and get the first big singles moment of his WWF career. Great performance by Hennig and still a really cool moment with the way the match was structured. I have no issue calling this a great match.

#7 garretta

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 09:12 PM

To Kevin's point above, Curt's back was probably bothering him so badly that he didn't want to spend any more time in the hold than he absolutely had to. If you notice, at certain points in the match he could barely even stand up. The fact that he even let Bret win with the Sharpshooter instead of demanding a rollup pin or other finish that wouldn't involve his back is a tribute to his sense of professionalism and showmanship. Those few seconds were more than most guys would have given Bret if their backs were bad, believe me.


Knowing that Curt went into this match with an injury, I spent most of the match framing it in that context, and even if the match itself isn't quite the classic you'd expect if these two were fully healthy, it's a hell of a lot better than could have been hoped for. Curt had every right under the circumstances to do as little as possible; instead, he risked paralysis with some of the bumps he took, particularly the hiptoss on the concrete. He didn't noticeably cut back on his offense either, and set Bret up for quite a few hellacious bumps of his own that I'm surprised didn't result in legit injury, especially the whips to the buckle. Curt was limping so badly that Gino had to acknowledge his bad back on commentary a couple of times, though it really wasn't part of the storyline. They might have had a more technically pleasing bout if both men had been a hundred percent, but Curt was able to portray the desperate champion beautifully, and Bret's own desperation to win the IC title in front of Stu and Helen made this one epic, or at least close to it.


The problem, as usual of late, was with the commentary. There was way too much back and forth between Piper and Heenan that was out of place in this particular match. They were a little better once they settled in to their respective partisan roles (Piper for Bret, Heenan for Perfect) and Heenan in particular buckled down to business eventually, but it took way too long to get there. Gino was no help at all, resorting to some of his and Bobby's old Challenge and Prime Time schtick (particularly the "I'll have you thrown outta here" routine) just as the match was starting to heat up. He's noticeably declined since he returned from having his toes amputated at this time last year, and I'm sure that Vince would have had him replaced if he could have found someone to replace him with other than Vince himself. There simply wasn't anyone better who would have come to the WWF at this time, and the only other possible internal option (Sean Mooney) was simply not of pay-per-view caliber as a play-by-play man.


The bloom's really off of Piper's rose too; if I'm not mistaken, this is his last-pay-per-view in the booth, and I won't miss him and his insightless screaming one bit. Last year, he was one of SummerSlam's bright spots; this year, he dragged some of its best moments and matches down.


I actually liked the Perfectplex kickout; I agree that it could have been done a little later on, but having a "normal" wrestler do it as opposed to Hogan or Warrior was a great way to symbolize the changing of the guard.


Anyone notice that Curt called himself the greatest IC champion of all time in the pre-match promo? Yes, it fits the character, but there seems to be a lot of that going around this month between Honky, Rude, and Curt. 


I think Bret coming over for a hug from Stu and Helen took up the time His Lordship was going to use to interview Stu, which led to what there was of the interview being cut short. The hug was a better moment anyway, in my opinion. I think someone else reached out to hug Bret just as he moved out of camera range. Was that Julie, or perhaps Diana?


Pete said it first, so I'll just echo him: Tolos was absolulely useless, although he did get creamed by Bret. They could have used anyone for that, though. I have to wonder: Was it Tolos himself that was the problem, or did Vince realize too late that the Coach gimmick had no legs? We'll find out soon enough, as I think the Beverly Brothers debut not too long from now with Tolos in their corner.


Is there any reason why Bret ripped Curt's singlet off and kept it for himself? That was an odd thing for him to do after he'd already made the man submit and taken his title.


I'm looking forward to seeing how Bret gets from here to the World title in a little over a year. It seems like a steep climb from this point, and I'm sure that if you'd told your wrestling-watching buddies that Bret would be a singles World champion in just fourteen months they'd have said you were out of your ever-lovin' mind.

#8 JKWebb

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 01:49 PM

I really love Hennig's exhausted pins.  Like the one from the top rope where he just falls on Bret, and the one after the samoan drop where he's portraying he's blown up.  Perfect was dominating on offense by the time he went for the Perfect Plex, so I had no issue it wasn't the very end of the match.  He lost his cool after Hart kicked out, so it gave Bret just enough time to recover and build his comeback.  It was the Hennig show to that point, but it was great how Bret got fired up and returned the favor using the hair to toss Hennig.  Love the dramatic nearfalls, Bret's expressions, Hennig's expressions & bumping, so this match has still got it.  It's still great to me.  Great point from garretta talking Hennig's professionalism.

#9 dawho5

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 02:02 AM

I liked the finishing run a lot.  Perfect did way more than he had to do and he should have gotten a lot of respect for that.  Both guys worked hard and while there are definitely flaws, it seems like we should grade this on a curve for how limited Perfect was going in.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WWF, WWE, Summerslam, August 26, 1991, MSG, Bret Hart, Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig, Title Changes, 3.75*

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