wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Backstage Report: Bret Hart Weighs In On Greatest Wrestling Match Ever, Rivalry With Steve Austin, More

June 17, 2020 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Backstage

-Welcome to another edition of WWE Backstage. Real quick I loved FS1 showing Survivor Series 1996 tonight. I loved it when they aired Mania 3 and this was great as well. Give me more old school PPVs from when I was younger. I marked out over the Nation of Domination theme and for some reason completely forgot Fake Diesel and Razor were part of this show. Bret/Austin was great and Sid and Shawn had a fun match with a hot crowd that was going crazy for Sid. Go and watch the close of the match where Sid wins and listen and watch the reaction from the crowd. He had MSG eating out of the palm of his hand. As a tie in, Bret Hart is scheduled to join Backstage tonight and CM Punk is back as well. Fun story there as he wasn’t part of the show and seemed bummed when he realized Bret was going to be on the show. Renee tweeted for him to call in and Punk shot back he wasn’t booked. Well, someone was paying attention and Punk will be part of the show tonight. Let’s get to it!

-Renee Young welcomes us to another social distancing episode of WWE Backstage. She is joined by CM Punk who thanks Orton for getting him booked by kicking Christian in the head. They are joined by WWE Hall of Famer, Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Renee goes right to Survivor Series 1996 and Bret mentions he wrestled Steve a few times before, but not any big matches. That was the first consequential match they had. He mentions that Steve was anxious and intense in their matches. He also says there were a little bit of nerves in that first match that Steve didn’t have in their later meetings. He loved the Survivor Series 1996 match and puts it up their with the WrestleMania 13 match. He was worried they couldn’t top it at Mania, but were able to find ways. He felt like he got run over by a train after that match.

-Punk mentions they are friends and he even gets nervous talking to him right now. He brings up that Bischoff famously fired Austin and Bret was one of the guys that pushed for Vince to sign him. Bret says he knew of Steve when he was in World Class and he reminded him of Rick Rude. He would watch him in other companies and he could see he was getting better. When Steve went to ECW, Bret was hot at the office for not signing him, but then a few weeks later he was in the WWF. Punk talks about being in position in 2012 where he was looking for new talent to work and he looked at Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in NXT. He knows Bret had the clout to do the same thing and puts over the promo he had that built towards Survivor Series 1996 where he called Austin the best wrestler in the world. He asks Bret if Austin is his best dance partner and Bret says he is one of them and the list is very small. Bret puts over the chemistry he had with Perfect and Shawn Michaels. He mentions he could have wrestled Perfect in his sleep and had 5 star matches. Bret says Austin is just below those two and he credits Austin for filling those shoes just after their match. He feels he helped give Steve some confidence and he could see the improvement by their Mania match.

-Punk asks Bret about the Orton/Edge match and Bret says it was a great match. He feels it is impossible to pick a greatest wrestling match ever. He mentions there are certain matches you always remember, but it is impossible to pick a greatest one. The one knock he had for their match was not having an audience, which he knows wasn’t their fault. He thought the match was great, realistic and intense. He talks about his era vs the era today and how it is faster paced and they don’t take as much time to build the story. He thought it was a beautiful match and puts over the chemistry the two have against each other. He says Edge and Orton are two of the best wrestlers of any era.

-Renee asks Bret about coaching Edge for this match. Bret says he gave Edge some advice as he was uncomfortable with the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever tag line. His advice was what he did for his matches and that was create a match that would entertain yourself if you were a kid in the front row. Bret has always been a fan of a wrestling match that works a hold and works a body part and builds a story.

-Punk brings up SummerSlam 1994 which was the first event in The United Center. The Main Event was Taker vs Taker, but Punk says all real fans knew the real Main Event was Hart vs Hart in a Steel Cage. Punk brings up the blue bar cage and how hard it was to have a great match, yet Bret and Owen delivered one of the greatest cage matches ever. Punk says he was there live and he thanks Bret for the way he made him feel watching that match live. Again, hearing Punk talk about his love of wrestling is wonderful to hear again. Bret says it was a great memory for him and he would have pitched a ladder match at the show if Razor and Shawn hadn’t stolen the idea from him. Nice! Bret brings up that cage was awkward to work and you had to be careful even running the ropes as you could split the back of your head open. He will always remember the suplex from the top of the cage. He was proud of the fact that they were two brothers that had a great match on skill alone without all the blood.


-We are back as Renee and Punk are joined by Mark Henry and Booker T.

-Week in Review: Styles wins his first IC Title in a classic match with Bryan on SmackDown. At Backlash, Strowman and McIntyre retain their titles and Orton wins The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. On RAW Ric Flair hits Christian with a ball shot and Orton punts his head off.

-Mark says he was worried about Christian blowing up and having a heart attack. Booker says Christian is finished. It’s a young man’s game and he should have stayed in his cushy spot with FOX. Punk just says he is happy to be here and thanks Christian for getting kicked in the head because that’s why he is here.

-They discuss the Orton/Edge Match and Mark says he enjoyed it as they played all the hits. Mark says he wanted ref bumps and bells and whistles. Renee asks Booker if it didn’t have the tag line would it be one of the greatest matches ever. Booker says it’s all about the marquee and the tag line helps sell even if you know it’s not going to be the greatest match ever. Punk says that Randy and Edge needed to just ignore the label as you can’t live up to that as it is too subjective. That’s what makes wrestling great though. He thinks it was a great match, but he has seen better matches from each guy. He thinks it was a lot of unfair pressure on Edge, but he understands trying to sell things with the tagline. Renee brings up the added crowd noise and Booker was a fan. Renee mentions she enjoyed it as well.


-Dominick attacks Seth on RAW to continue the Mysterio/Rollins issues. Renee is pumped seeing Dominick punch Rey in the face. Mark remembers playing action figures with Dominick a decade ago and he feels he will be the next in the bloodline of great generation wrestlers. Booker was a fan of seeing the kid get the rub. He knows they are putting him on the face track and he hopes they aren’t rushing him too quick. Punk likes being able to see him grow. He likes seeing guys look awkward and green. Not everyone can show up polished like Kurt Angle, who was a freak. His only advice for Dominick is that he needs to really lay his stuff in and Mark laughs that Seth is a grown man and he can handle it.


-Back with Bret cutting a promo with Mean Gene in WCW. Bret calls Booker a loser and not deserving of a title shot and feels El Dandy is a heck of a wrestler and deserves the next shot. Gene calls Bret out on that and Bret shoots back, “Who are you to question El Dandy?” That was fantastic and is probably one of the best things Bret ever did in WCW.

-Bret is back as he joins Renee and Booker T. Renee asks Bret about his thoughts on joining WCW and working with Booker T. Bret wanted good dance partners and Booker was one of the guys he thought he could have great matches with, but WCW didn’t understand that. They wrestled a few times, but never got a real storyline. They show footage of their first match and Booker says he felt like a fan. He remembers he had to push Bret hard in the chest to wake himself out of it and Bret just smiled at him. Booker mentions he left the WWE and went to a new company (TNA) and wanted to make a difference. Bret says he was fully motivated and came in to WCW as hot as could be considering he had just punched out Vince, didn’t lose his title and had come off wins over Taker and Austin. Then they brought him in as a special ref and he was shocked that was the best they had for him and he had a million ideas. He brings up that Vince told him WCW wouldn’t know what to do with a Bret Hart. He would go to Eric and offer to work matches with Booker T and some of the other younger guys. Booker says he knows why it didn’t happen because they were good workers and they didn’t want anyone stealing the show from the top guys. Bret says he is sorry he ever went to WCW for a variety of reasons including Goldberg kicking him in the head. Man, Bret always finds a way to bring up the Goldberg story. He does say here that Goldberg didn’t know what he was doing and that nobody was correcting him and only patting him on the back. He also knows the top guys put a lid on him.

-Booker asks if Austin tried to talk him out of going. Bret mentions that Steve told him and so did Owen when he had a brief run there. Nash even told him when he came over from WCW in 1994. Bret knows he could have done big numbers in WCW with Hogan and other guys, but they didn’t let it happen. He puts over Booker and Sting for being great workers. He wished WCW trusted him and he thinks that Hulk Hogan was calling all the shots out there. Booker says he had the utmost pleasure working with Bret in WCW and he felt like a better wrestler working with him. He calls Bret 100% professional and thanks him for always being so complimentary of him over the years. Booker brings up The Fink having the best call of Bret’s name and Bret agrees as he calls Howard the best.


-AJ is crowned the NEW IC Champion by beating Bryan in a fantastic match. Punk says he was excited to watch it, but couldn’t fully get into it. He calls both guys two of the best and he has seen them have great matches in front of virtually no people, but this match was missing the people. It was a good match and he wanted great and thinks the fans would have helped. He can’t say anything bad about it as far as structure and technical aspect. Booker understands where Punk is coming from. He does think AJ and Bryan are in the primes of their careers. For him that match had everything The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever didn’t have. Mark loved the physicality and the aggressiveness. He tells Dominick to go watch that match as they whooped each other. Mark was very impressed with what they did.


-Next Tuesday Royal Rumble 2008 from MSG and then Backstage at 11 PM. Punk says he was supposed to win that Rumble, but John had to come back 3 months early.

-Another fun show and again, hearing Punk speak about wrestling is wonderful. You knew he would be pumped to share a screen with Bret and it was another case where I could listen to them talk for hours. I enjoyed the thoughts everyone had on the Orton/Edge and AJ/Bryan matches. Booker catching up with Bret was fun as well. As always thanks for reading!

article topics :

WWE Backstage, Robert Leighty Jr.