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Owen Hart vs Davey Boy Smith (WWF Monday Night RAW 03/03/97)

WWF WWE RAW March 3 1997 Owen Hart Davey Boy Smith Title Changes Berlin

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#1 Loss

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:28 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:21 PM

I wasn't sure how this would hold up, but this is super. Cool to see Owen and especially Davey Boy do all sorts of things they didn't really show on a week-to-week basis at this time. Lots of European style armbar reversals and showmanship early on, and some beautiful wrestling exchanges as the match progressed. Owen is the heel, but gets the tone just right. It's subtle and he doesn't go too far with it, since at this point they are family, on good terms and engaged in friendly competition.

#3 Childs

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:38 PM

This was a straight spotfest. They started to develop the idea that Owen would cheat to win, but then they dropped it, which bugged me. I also hate the Owen spots that require naked cooperation from his opponent. This was fun to watch overall, because these guys were great athletes who knew each other well. Vince also amused me on commentary, pushing his company's youthful, athletic wrestling. Hey, you go with what you got. I've seen people list this as an all-time favorite WWF match, and I don't think it deserves that degree of love.


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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:19 PM

Watched this yesterday. The match really held up over time and had me gasping at certain times, mostly out of vivid memory of the match. Must have watched it fifty times in 1997. The ole victory roll spot is always good to finish a friendly, or otherwise, Hart family contest.

#5 soup23

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:07 PM

Kind of surprised to see Childs call this a spotfest. It was athletically oriented but had enough structure and tones that I would not classify it as a spotfest. I thought it was a terrific wrestling match. Sometimes Owen can wrestle a match and he is my favorite wrestler in the world. He does a great subtle heel job here showing off his stuff and taking advantages without resulting to numerous shortcuts he would versus any other opponent. I really enjoyed the ending with how they went back and forth and embraced at the end.

#6 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 10:31 AM

This was probably in the top 3 of my favorite matches when I watched it at the time. Tag partners competing for the brand new European title. Honky on commentary. Bulldog playing it up as a face. Honky wants to know what his tag team partners are doing at all hours. What a stalker. I liked they both allowing each other back in the ring as Owen doesn’t cheat where you think he would. Commentary keeps repeating this match will lead to more friction between the two. Honky does a Stu Hart impression. Just great action. There will be a better WWF match a couple weeks later but this is a joy to watch. WWF letting two of their guys go out there and wrestling for 20 minutes. Probably Owen's last great singles match for me.

#7 Happ Hazzard

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:44 AM

Didn't this do an appalling rating and leave to Russo being given more booking power?

#8 Loss

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:54 AM

No, it was a RAW in South Africa in April with a Savio Vega vs Crush main event.

I have corrected this SO many times in these yearbook threads. Not singling you out, it's just amazing how many people believe that this is the RAW that gave Russo power. It's not.

#9 slabinski611

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:06 PM

I didn't see this match in full until years after the fact. I had this theory going for a long time that neither Owen or Davey were all that good and they were only capable of having good matches with Bret and to a lesser extent Shawn. After watching this my theory was blown to pieces. I think this is a top 10 wwf MOTD. I like it more than both Bret/Davey matches and I would have to watch both again but I think it is very close to the WMX match. Fantastic stuff.

#10 PeteF3

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 10:32 PM

Oh, how I love it when Davey Boy shows he still knows his old WOS holds and counters. Always a joy to watch two workers gel so effectively as these two do here. Lots and lots and lots of signature moves being countered initially, only to pay off later. The work around Owen's killer enzuigiri is a particular standout in that regard, and it's enough for me to dismiss the accusations of this being a spotfest. Owen strikes just the right chord, wrestling just a little bit unsportsmanlike in a manner that will piss the crowd off, but not overdoing it. The best WWF match of '97 so far, though of course that won't last long.

#11 Zenjo


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Posted 10 October 2016 - 05:05 PM

A scientific encounter from start to finish that never descended into fisticuffs. Owen was playing the role of heel, yet held off cheating because he was facing his tag partner. It was done in the same way as a rudo might stay within the boundaries of the rules because it's a title match. Some highly impressive chain wrestling, with sound technique utilised. It was reminiscent of famous battles both men had had with Bret. Full length, well paced and with a proper structure. It brought the best of Hart traditions. A top 5 American match for '97 I should think.

#12 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 07:09 AM


This was all right, but I think its rep over the years is largely built on the fact that it was a good match in the WWF at a time when good matches were rare. Being heel vs. heel doesn't really help even if Davey Boy was positioned as the face in Europe and Owen was meant to be working heel. Davey Boy comes across as strangely neutered to me unlike, say, his big win at Wembley in '92. I was a huge Owen mark back in the day and this was the kind of match we wanted to see that proved that Owen could work a **** match, and Davey was a guy who always kind of bordered on being accepted as a good worker, so there was a fair bit of goodwill towards this match, but I think there was a little naivety too in claiming that this was "scientific" or overly "technical". I can only believe that from a WWF fan's perspective and not from anyone who's branched out a bit.

#13 JKWebb

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 09:49 AM

#387 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-400-351/


As mentioned above, I thought these two showed some great athleticism in the early going.  I really liked Owen bouncing off the top rope into a hip toss, then getting caught in the powerbomb from Bulldog.  I also liked how Owen used the ref to get out of the surfboard submission.  They kind of lost me a little bit in the middle.  But, I thought Owen did a fine job of cutting off Davey.  Take a shot every time you hear the word "scientific."  I get they were trying to push athleticism for Mania 13.  Owen's execution of the German suplex was spot on, followed by some near falls, and a sweet enzuigiri.  I'm always for a sucker for the reversal of a piledriver.  I thought the finish was good.  I saw this as a good match, but it didn't hit the great level for me. 

#14 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 10:24 PM

Owen Hart vs British Bulldog - WWF RAW 3/3/97 WWF European Championship


Vince is really pushing the first new championship in twenty years and this would be an excellent scientific contest, but that it could devolve into a brawl if tempers flare. Neither really happens. I think it is a great match and very entertaining nonetheless. A match is a bit hard to describe with it being heel vs heel (my least favorite type or match) even with Davey Boy playing de facto face. It was not very scientific outside the usual Stampede chain wrestling sequence at the beginning. I thought they did a good job playing up how well they knew each other with Bulldog avoiding the monkey flip with a  cartwheel or Owen avoIding the delayed vertical only for Bulldog to avoid the enziguiri. Loved the flashy Owen arm wringer escape leading to Tthe powerbomb and then catapult was excellent! I remember thinking this match was amazing like match of the decade contender for the WWF. Bulldog does his front handspring and holds the ropes open for Owen. A couple minutes later Owen sends Bulldog to the floor and then he does a front handspring and holds the rope open for Bulldog. Owen feigns a knee injury to sucker Bulldog in and start attacking the knee so Bulldog gets pissed and starts shoving Owen. I thought this was going to bust the match wide open, but it just leads to the heat segment via the spinwheel kick. Owen's transition are too normal in the matches I watch. Honky saying this is not the over 40 crowd made me laugh.


Owen starts going after the lower back of the Bulldog and the classic Owen Wooo gets some boos. Owen does have an affinity for the chinlock and camel clutch, which more often than not does not feel like it is adding much to the match. Bulldog takes a powder after a kneelift, gets a sunset flip, chinlock leads us to the commercial break. Back from the break, big belly to belly by Owen, Vince is saying we are giving you action as Owen applies a camel clutch. Electric chair by Bulldog, but Owen is relentless cutting Bulldog off. Loved the superplex spot where Bulldog shifts his weight in mid-air. Bulldog really throws himself into that first clothesline. Here comes Davey Boy! Wish he was more fired up! Nice Bret Bump by Owen, press slam into crotching him on top rope. Great spot! PERFECT GERMAN SUPLEX BY OWEN! That was awesome. See how he just blew off the crotching on tope rope. That's why the match just is not hitting that next level for me. I liked Owen hanging on for dear life to top rope to prevent the running powerslam and when he lets go, Bulldog falls backwards and Owen ends up on top. Great enziguiri into Sharpshooter with rope break was a good setup for Owen's big nearfall. Loved the Tombstone reversal into the Running Powerslam! Should have been the finish. Owen Victory Roll reversed into a Bulldog rollup for the win. They embrace afterwards.


I really wanted to like this match as a match of decade contender because I have soft spot for both these guys. I can see the argument that this a spotfest as the match really did not have a hook or a sense of struggle. They just sort of hit moves on each other. The moves were really well done and the match never really dragged. The beginning with the symmetry and Owen feigning knee injury was interesting. Owen's heat segment did not do much for me, felt very standard. There was issues with selling throughout and the moves did not seem to have much in the way of consequence. It is a really good series of moves, but not a great match. ***3/4

#15 Exposer

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:47 AM

Great wrestling match. I loved all of the athletic exchanges early. These two were working their asses off. Owen is smart & played heel a little bit to get the fans behind Davey Boy. I loved when he suckered him by faking that he knee was hurt. Great near falls down the stretch. The crowd went wild for Davey Boy while in the sharpshooter. Finish is good too as it keeps both guys strong. I liked the post-match where they shook hands & were mostly cordial but Owen kept holding onto the Euro Title a little too long. Nice touch. I really enjoyed this.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WWF, WWE, RAW, March 3, 1997, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Title Changes, Berlin

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