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Bret Hart vs Steve Austin

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#1 Loss

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:44 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Tenese Sarwieh

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 05:19 PM

Talk about it here.

This match was excellent from start to finish. Both men played their roles perfectly in flipping but roles as face and heel. What also made the turn even greater is the fact that they did it purely on ring work.

#3 Smack2k

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:59 PM

Saw a cool Austin interview where he mentions that while he was lying there after he "passed out" while Bret and Shamrock were doing their thing, he was thinking something to the effect of "We fucking nailed this match perfectly..."

#4 jpchicago23

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:13 PM

My favorite match of all time. Worked so smartly and the double turn was flawless. It felt like a blow off match but it actually kicked the feud into the next gear making for an awesome Canada/US dynamic. My favorite feud of all time as well

#5 Sidebottom

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 04:38 AM

My favorite match of all time. Worked so smartly and the double turn was flawless. It felt like a blow off match but it actually kicked the feud into the next gear making for an awesome Canada/US dynamic. My favorite feud of all time as well

Your avatar sums that period up so well to me also!

The match was incredible and still holds up today. The addition of Shamrock added to the realism I felt, also.


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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:36 PM

I tend to judge the entertainment quality of wrestling by how much my girlfriend will tolerate it. She seems to be a big Austin fan so this one worked well tonight while she was doing her nails, which was fine with me. She loved this, everything about it. The brawl through the crowd that has been replicated so many times and done to death seemed so organic in this one, with the minimal security all around. Hell, Lou Albano and Tony Atlas were holding fans back initially. Austin takes a backdrop and what appears to be the steps going up in the 100 section of the Rosemont Horizon which is crazy enough. The crowd is so rabid, which is nice. This Wrestlemania gets a bad rap for being bad and has since it happened I guess, but watching it tonight gives me a different feeling looking back. It was this match that saved the event and the heat held for the rest of the night. Austin doing Brets moves of doom at one point sticks out. The early stunner sticks out. The turn, by God, the turn. Weve talked enough about the turn all too much ... The use of weapons is great and adds the perfect amount of violence to the match. Austins bloody face is so iconic that its on two tshirts and a video cover. This is, if not the best match ever, the perfect match to show someone who may not like wrestling. Other matches, good or bad matches depending on who you ask, have come around at Wrestlemania in recent years that have taken wrestling storytelling and "wrestling as film" to a new level for better or worse. Fuck all of those matches. This is the match that does that perfectly right here.

#7 Loss

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:24 PM

Legendary match, and deservedly so, not just for launching Austin's meteoric rise, but also for the outstanding performance of Bret Hart. It was mentioned earlier in the thread that they actually told the story of this double turn through the action in the ring, which is pretty impressive and shows the storytelling power of pro wrestling. Vince and production helped it along, but the crowd was not giving Austin an electric reaction early on, despite Vince's attempts to sell it that way. I think what worked here is that no matter how much of a shitkicking he took, Steve Austin was still Steve Austin -- still had the same attitude and still went after Bret with the same intensity. It's an interesting contrast to the frustration changing Bret's attitude. The images of Austin blood soaked and trying to power out of the sharpshooter are iconic -- perhaps the most memorable visual of the era.

#8 goodhelmet

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:43 AM

I think the only other image that rivals the bloody Austin is Foley falling off the cage.

#9 Marty

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 08:18 AM

I think what worked here is that no matter how much of a shitkicking he took, Steve Austin was still Steve Austin -- still had the same attitude and still went after Bret with the same intensity. It's an interesting contrast to the frustration changing Bret's attitude.

This is a great point. Austin at the end of the day never changed, and because he was a guy who, even if his character didn't always have the most ideal "good" traits (for lack of a better term), would never back down from a fight and at the end of the day, that's one of the strongest qualities of a wrestler. He was a guy who wouldn't make excuses of a fight either. Bret became the opposite of that last sentence and changed not for the better in the fans' eyes.

Also, even though it doesn't get talked about that much as Austin's and Hart's performances (deservingly so, of course), I thought Shamrock was perfect in his role. Not overshadowing, but also being audible when he needed to be at the end, to really get over Austin's passing out. Hart's change of character benefitted Shamrock too, as one takedown of Hart was all that was needed. All three were better off than before the match happened, although this was probably Shamrock's peak as far as reaction and presence go.

#10 Childs

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:30 PM

One thing that struck me: Austin, though about to explode, was still clearly below Bret at this point. He never really had a chance to win the match. It was more a performance of defiance than of command. Other than that, not much left to say about this. It was conceived and executed as well as it possibly could have been.

#11 Smack2k

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:53 PM

Why is it that Austin NEVER pins Bret during this entire feud? I never got that part of it....at least the next month or during the Street Fight have him pin Bret.....as much as he had turned and was a badass now....he never got the pin..

#12 Loss

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:59 PM

I think they were saving it for Wrestlemania 14. I think something happened before then with Bret if I remember right. :)

#13 jdw

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:05 PM

From all I remember, Bret liked Austin a lot at the time and would have been willing to put him over when the time came. But this was also before the era of "I pin you this month on PPV, and you pin me next month on PPV." So at the time, there really wasn't the expectation that Austin would pin him in the next few months. There's also another hindsight element: It's hard to watch this feud/rivalry now and get a proper 1996/97 mindset because we all know how huge Stone Cold became. It's different watching him as Stunning Steve in WCCW or WCW, because he looks different, acts different... he's not Stone Cold. In this series, and specifically this match, we're at the epicenter of Stone Cold Iconography... Except he wasn't *that* level of over yet. The WWF's business in 1997 was such that Vince was thinking about getting out from under that Bret contract. The massive cash machine of Stone Cold actually started the next year. But... but... but... this still always sticks in out mind as launching him, along with the KotR comments the prior year. There's enough gap the prior year before he does anything of note, and it's also so early in his "Stone Cold" character that it's easier to split off. But this match... it's etched in everyone's mind. So when we think about Austin getting his win, it's half because within a few years that's how the WWF booked all the time... and it's half because we sense with this match and series that Stone Cold is at the Bruno-Hogan-Stone Cold level... when he really hasn't gotten there quite yet. I'm not sure how many matches / wrestlers are like that.

#14 Tim Cooke

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 02:48 PM

Excellent. Been many years since I'd seen this one and it works on every level. Much better brawling than every single ECW match on this set.

#15 NintendoLogic


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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:27 PM

I'm sorry, it drives me crazy when peopple call this an I Quit match. It's better than an I Quit match precisely because it doesn't have the bullshit with the microphone to drag it down. Anyway, this is probably my most watched match of all time. The things that make it great have been pretty well covered, so I'll just talk about how similar it is to Hokuto/Kandori. They both feature brawling mixed with submission wrestling, they both have storylines centered around blood loss, they even both have crappy crowd brawling segments. I don't think it's anything more than a coincidence, but it's a pretty remarkable one.

#16 soup23

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:09 AM

Wonderful match that kicks off in high gear with some great brawling and a chaotic atmosphere and never lets up. I think the best thing about this match like Tully vs. Magnum is that where the violence is off the charts, there is also a deep storyline progressed here that makes it more memorable overall. Everything from the commentary to the iconic image of Austin passing out is spot on. Probably up there with Warrior vs. Savage and Bret vs. Owen as my favorite WWF matches of all time.

#17 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 02:32 PM

The prematch video package is amazing in setting up the double turn in the match. Shamrock gets the WrestleMania theme as his entrance. Austin gets the glass breaking entrance and has a big fan response. Vince maybe be lusting about Shawn but JR loves him some Steve Austin. Hart family sitting ringside. Captain Lou and Tony Atlas had some good seats too. Them brawling outside sets the pace for things immediately. Vince hopes this match will make Bret come back to his senses. Stunner to a big cheer from crowd. Ross was really heavy with the cliches already. Hart does the ringside figure four which is such a great move for him. Oh, but the crowd likes Bret using the chair to go after Austin's ankle. But Austin gets up and clocks Bret with it much to the fans delight. Crowd just wants these guys to beat each other up. Ross tells us this match is not about posing (he would use that one a lot when announcing for WCW back in the day) and covering up a bald spot. Austin busts out a funky submission. We get the infamous line of Lawler mentioning about Bret submitting to the sharpshooter and Vince's response of "it could happen". Austin gets great blood. Love Bret's sell of the low blow. Vince, is not sure if that was maybe deserved. Sheesh. Vince trying to downplay the violence. Austin choking Bret with the cord and Hart using the ring bell to counter. Back to WrestleMania VIII. Austin shows great fight and we get those amazing visuals of the blood pouring down his face while he's in the sharpshooter. He even fights the Sharpshooter off at times but Bret holds on. Austin passes out from blood loss and we are made clearly aware that Steve never gave up. Announcers are putting over Austin's performance more than Bret winning. Bret ain't finished going after Austin and Shamrock does the great waistlock on Hart to break things up. Hart is not having any of Shamrock and just walks off and the boos rain down from the crowd. Things were so set up for a Bret/Shamrock feud. Big Austin chant. What a match and amazing they could so effectively turn Bret into one of the biggest heels of 97 and set the stage for Austin in becoming the top guy. This is one of my faves.

#18 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 10:11 PM

Jim Cornette even loved this match.

#19 Robert S

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 02:00 PM

When Wrestlemania XIII aired on German TV they cut out the finish of this match. When Bret was applying the Sharpshooter they went immediately to Shamrock pulling Bret off of Austin. After the German TV regulation board almost kicked off WWF from TV for good (it eventually was pushed into a late night spot after they tried airing it on Sunday afternoon for two or three weeks) in late 95 I guess WWF (I think they edited the footage themselves) was extra careful what to show and what not.

#20 concrete1992


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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:48 PM

Watched this match for the very first time today because of the current "Greatest WWE/WWF Match Ever Thread". So from my own personal Word doc that I will probably do something with at some point...


A truly special match that has earned being called one of the greatest matches ever. The opening brawling sets a tone for the entire rest of the match. Both guys despise each other and want to beat the tar out of the other. Loved how Austin clotheslines Hart off the guardrail into the laps of Captain Lou and Tony Atlas. I yelped. Everything else that followed was gritty from beginning to end. Submissions weren’t pretty looking but elements like the Figure-Four on the ring post, which I’ll be honest doesn’t make much sense as far as rules go, looked SO painful. When the chair gets involved they just take it up another notch. The commentary adds to the match in a way I don’t see often. It allowed me to greater understand the importance of the chair for Hart. Once Austin gets bloodied, the match gets another level higher. The way they got Austin’s cut in? So great! Austin comes flying into the bell keeper’s area with reckless abandon, taking out staff on his way into the guardrail. The camera angle was so abrupt it added to it. Hart punching Austin right in the cut looked nasty. The way he goes with high impact moves to the head is grand. And the chair jabs to the leg? Awesome. The final moments are obviously the most memorable and for good reason. Austin passing out after coming so close to getting out of the submission is perfect. The match is one of the greatest I have seen. The match works so well on so many levels.

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