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From the Bowery: WWE Greatest Rivalries: Shawn vs. Bret (Disc 2)

November 4, 2011 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
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From the Bowery: WWE Greatest Rivalries: Shawn vs. Bret (Disc 2)  

From the Bowery: WWE Greatest Rivalries: Shawn vs. Bret (Disc 2)

The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation
Nov. 25, 1989; Madison Square Garden, NY, NY

-The Rockers get a good response from the MSG crowd even if all you can hear is high pitched squeals from the women. The Harts get a stronger reaction mainly due to all the males in the crowd. Though it’s kind of funny to think they men are siding with the guys in the hot pink tights. Gorilla Monsoon wastes no time mentioning that this could a main event anywhere in the world. Marty and Bret start the match and jockey for position. Marty offers a clean break as both teams are faces. Marty uses his speed, but Bret catches him with a hiptoss. Marty is quickly back to his feet however so Bret heads to his corner to talk things over with the Anvil. A new start and this time Marty escapes a hiptoss, and they exchange arm wringers. Jannetty makes the blind tag and the Rockers use some double team moves on Bret, so Anvil rushes in to kill the Rockers with a double clothesline. That got a great reaction from the crowd. Things settle back down, and now Anvil and Shawn take their turn in the ring. Shawn works a side headlock, but gets fired off and gets stupid as he tries to bring the Anvil down with a shoulder tackle. Needless to say the Anvil just stands there and laughs at Shawn. He now gets his own side headlock as Gorilla and Hillbilly Jim put over the importance of winning this match in the tag ranks. You just don’t hear announcers talking about how important a win is for mid-card and tag guys today unless a title is involved. Marty gets the tag and he uses his quickness to frustrate Neidhart and hooks in a front facelock. That doesn’t last long as Anvil puts him on the top rope and then gives him a clean break. Boo! I want the ass kicking Anvil here even if he is a face here. His kindness bites him in the ass as Marty makes the tag to Shawn. Anvil catches Shawn with a slam, and makes the tag to Bret. Now we get the two men we were waiting to see, and I suspect we won’t be disappointed. They run the ropes and Shawn gets caught with an inverted atomic drop. The Anvil gets the tag and Bret actually gets in a cheap shot with the ref’s back turned. Hell yeah! The crowd actually enjoyed that as well. The Foundation has Shawn right fucked as they make quick tags. The Anvil hits a standing dropkick, and then goes to work on the back with a bear hug. The hold gets taken to the mat and Anvil actually gets a few two counts as Shawn’s shoulders are on the canvas. Shawn makes his comeback to some boos and breaks the hold. Marty gets in his own cheap shot in the corner, but Shawn can’t make the tag as he gets cut off inches away. Bret does get the tag and he punishes Shawn with some vicious European uppercuts. Shawn ducks one and ends up getting a back slide for two. Bret tries to hit a side suplex, but Michaels flips out and gets a body slam that leaves both men out. He crawls for his corner, but Bret scissors his legs and makes the tag to Neidhart. Nice! Monsoon and Jim keep putting over Mr. Perfect on commentary and how Bret matches up to him. Neidhart gets some shots in and then opts to bring Bret back into the match. He hits a nice headbutt and then drops a leg. Shawn gets planted with a slam, and the Foundation look for the slingshot, but Shawn moves and Neidhart eats the canvas. Shawn can’t make the tag however as he gets pulled away from his corner. Bret snaps Shawn over and locks in a chinlock as Gorilla questions that strategy. Neidhart comes back in and hits a high backdrop as Shawn is a taking a wonderfully awesome ass kicking here. Back in comes Bret and Shawn reverses a corner whip, but ends up running flush into a boot. Bret tries to drop an elbow from the middle rope, but that misses. That gives Shawn the chance to crawl and he finally makes the hot tag to the delight of the girls in the crowd. Marty is the proverbial house of fire and gets a two count on a knee lift. A crossbody nets him another two count, and a sunset flip gets a third. Bret is just flustered by this speed and needs something to break this momentum. Luckily for him Jannetty tries another crossbody and when Bret drops out of the way, Jannetty ends up flying through the ropes and to the floor. Neidhart gets the tag, and Jannetty crawls back into the ring to make a tag to Shawn. He and Neidhart have an awesome sequence with some great near falls as there is a noticeable buzz with the crowd. Shawn gets caught coming off the top rope, but he shifts his weight to fall back on the Anvil for two. The kick-out sends Shawn to the floor and that gives Neidhart a chance to make the tag to Bret. Now he and Shawn have another great sequence where they trade close near falls. A suplex from Shawn gets another two count and then grabs an abdominal stretch. Neidhart breaks that up and for whatever reason the bell rings. Really? All four men start brawling after the bell, and out comes other faces (Tito, Roma, and Hercules) to keep each team at bay. The official decision is time limit draw even though the match has only gone 19:39 by my watch. Monsoon then tells us they have reached the 20 minute time limit. Bullshit! At least give me the last 21 seconds before the unsatisfying ending. Things finally settle down in the ring and the Foundation leave to a nice ovation from the crowd.

Result: Time Limit Draw @ 19:39
-Slap an ending on that and easily ****+. Instead we got a wonderful tag match leaving me wanting more, but I guess that was the point of MSG house shows back in the day as even the announcers were hyping a Dec 28th show. These two teams had great chemistry and played off each other so well as the Foundation could deliver a shit kicking, and the Rockers knew how to sell one. ***3/4

Bret Hart (w/ Jim Neidhart) vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Marty Jannetty)
Wrestling Challenge: Feb 10, 1990

-The announce team for this one is Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon which is a rare combination. Neidhart gets to deliver the shades to a kid in the front row, and he doesn’t do it with the grace of Bret as he fumbles the exchange. Who does he think he is, Phillip Rivers? I’m sure nobody will get that in a few months when everyone forgets what happened this past Monday in Kansas City. They start the match out with pretty much the same sequence they started out with in the previous tag match as Bret catches Shawn with an inverted atomic drop, but does add a clothesline for good measure. Shawn gets a dropkick, and Bret gold bricks as Shawn heads up to the top rope. He fires Shawn off the top and more than halfway across the ring. Shawn counters a body slam and drops a leg to keep control. They collide in the middle of the ring, and fight over a suplex when they get back to their feet. They get tangled in the ropes as they continue to fight and the ref has to step in to break things. Things get pretty heated as they exchange some punches. Jannetty gets on the apron and punches Bret right in front of the ref, but for some reason we don’t get a bell. That draws Neidhart to the apron and now the ref calls for the bell when Shawn punches the Anvil. Well, I don’t see how that’s fair, and if Bret gets disqualified here it’s just another case of him getting screwed in favor of Shawn. It’s just a conspiracy that’s been set in place since 1990. Oh, I guess the ref has called a double DQ, though I think Bret did get screwed there as Jannetty flat out punched him in front of the ref.

Result: Double DQ @ 4:33
-Now this was a big pile of bullshit here! I guess this was included since was first big time singles match between the two, but damn was it butchered. The ending was pretty horrible, and only giving them 4 and a half minutes is bordering on criminal. *1/4

The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation
March 30, 1991; Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan

-The commentary for this is in Japanese, and makes me wonder why they didn’t have an alternate commentary option with JR, Shaw, and Bret all doing the match. A quick check of the history of the wwe website shows this was the opening match of the WWF/SWS Wrestlefest. The Main Event of the show was a tag match between the Legion of Doom and Hogan/Tenryu. I believe that match is on the LOD DVD, and I am curious to go back and check that out now. Marty and Bret start, and they have a stalemate that gets some applause from the crowd. Another go and this time they battle over an arm wringer. Marty gets a blind tag and the Rockers use some double team moves on Bret, but the Anvil charges in to clothesline both men. Jannetty makes sure to do a complete flip to see the clothesline. Now Shawn and Anvil have a go and Shawn tries to run him down with a shoulder again like in the earlier match. He must have been on some good shit to keep forgetting that’s not going to work. He tries to hit a body slam next, and that goes as well as Hogan trying to body slam anyone within the first 2 minutes of a match. Shawn gets smart and uses his speed before making the tag to Jannetty. He comes in the ring with a rush of speed and gets sent to the floor for his trouble. He is a little more cautious the next time, and drops Anvil with a drop toehold. The Rockers take turns getting two counts off Anvil as I’m not sure why the ref keeps counting when Jannetty tries as he isn’t the legal man. A check look shows that it’s Hebnar and it’s just in his genes to screw anyone associated with Bret I guess. Speaking of Bret he gets the tag and catches Shawn with an inverted atomic drop followed with a clothesline. Anvil gets the tag and he control Michaels with a front facelock. Bret makes sure to get in a cheap shot behind the refs bag and Bret enters illegally as the ref puts Marty out of the ring. Anvil making sure to make a tag sound so the ref can hear is something you just don’t see today. Shawn takes a super high backdrop and that gives Anvil an opening as he goes right to a bear hug. Michaels breaks, but he takes a crazy ass Shawn bump over the top to the floor on a corner whip. Bret gets in some more cheap shots on the floor and fires Shawn back into the ring. Marty tries to get the subdued Japanese crowd into the match, and they responds as they try to rally Shawn. He escapes a Bret side slam, and counters to a body slam, but can’t make the hot tag. This really is just a condensed version of the early tag match only in front of a quiet (respectful) Japanese crowd. Shawn gets abused in the corner including having Anvil tossed into him like a battering ram. We got back to Bret and Shawn, and Michaels is able to create space by reversing an Irish whip, but Shawn still can’t get to his corner. I’m kind of disappointed Bret didn’t take his patented corner bump there. They try the slingshot spot, but Anvil misses, and again Shawn doesn’t have enough to get to his corner. Shawn gets a fluke sunset flip on Bret for two, and that seemingly only pissed the Hitman off as he tosses Michaels to the floor. Anvil works his back over by ramming him into the ring apron, and then sends him back in to Bret. He control with a side headlock, and makes sure to keep an eye on Jannetty at the same time. Shawn reverses another Irish Whip and again Bret doesn’t take the corner bump. I see why this time tough as Shawn comes charging in and eats a boot. Some high quality split flying from Shawn on that one. Bret misses the middle rope elbow and now the hot tag is finally made to Jannetty. He delivers a back elbow to Bret and then gets in a few shots on the Anvil. He drops Bret with a high knee and hits not so sweet chin music. In the corner he gets a sunset flip for two, and follows that with a back slide for another near fall. Bret tries to make a tag in the wrong corner, but he has sense enough to drop out of the way of a charging Jannetty who flies over the corner to the floor. The tag is made to Neidhart, and Jannetty is lucky enough to get a tag of his own. Shawn gets killed with a flying shoulder, but kicks out at two. He stops a charging Anvil with a back elbow as things have started evolving from the earlier tag match. Bret returns and Shawn sends him into the top turnbuckle. He comes off with a crossbody, but Bret rolls through and gets the pin at 14:39.

Winners: The Hart Foundation via Bret pin on Shawn at 14:39
-Not nearly as good as the earlier match, but this one had a proper ending. Perhaps watching this right after the earlier match didn’t help, but I do appreciate that they worked in some new things towards the end. For me also have to get by the commentary as it often does add or take away from the match, and the respectful Japanese crowd was a wonderful contrast to the raucous MSG crowd. Still a very solid tag match as you would expect. ***1/4

WWF Intercontinental Title: Ladder Match: Bret Hart © vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Sensational Sherri)
July 21, 1992; Portland, ME

-This was released on home video on the Smack ‘Em, Whack ‘Em tape. I believe it is also on the first ladder match compilation DVD. This is the first ever ladder match in WWF, and word was that this could have been the match to close SummerSlam 1992 if the show took place in Washington DC. Instead the show was in London and the Bulldog got the IC Title show instead. The ref doesn’t hang the belt in the proper way, so Shawn makes sure to adjust it so we don’t have it falling off the metal ring. They start this like a standard wrestling match and Shawn controls in the corner with some right hands. He looks for a hiptoss, but Bret blocks. Shawn flips out and ends up eating a stiff clothesline. A big ass backdrop follows, and Shawn takes an ass kicking in the corner. A sick European uppercut takes Shawn off the mat, and Bret heads towards the later, but gets cut off even before he can get out of the ring. Monsoon questions why Sherri doesn’t just go and get the ladder, and Hayes questions whether she could even carry it. Shawn grounds Bret and heads from the ladder. He drags it to the ring as Bret basically goldbricks and lets Shawn do all the work. Nice! Shawn gets posted on the floor and then tossed back in the ring. Bret drops an elbow and then goes back to the ladder. He tries to bring it in the ring, but Sherri runs interference. Bret chases her to the back and Shawn tries to sneak up the ladder. Bret turns and sees what is happening so he hauls ass back to the ring to make the save. They brawl for a bit and Bret makes a desperate run up a few rungs, but Shawn drags him back to the mat. Shawn runs Bret into the top turnbuckle, and then for the first time in this match he uses the ladder as a weapon. He batters Bret in the corner with the ladder, and then props it up in the corner. He sets too early on backdrop however and eats a boot to the face. Bret tries to whip Shawn into the ladder, but he reverses and Bret ends up going shoulder first into it. Shawn makes the climb and gets his hand on the title as the crowd freaks out, but Bret makes the save. Shawn crashes off the ladder, and as it falls it comes down on top of him. Bret makes the climb and it’s easy to see that he is the less comfortable of the two in the ladder. Shawn makes the climb and the brawl for a bit before both men crash to the mat. They fight over the ladder and it ends up getting set back up in the corner. Bret gets rammed head first into it, and Shawn whips Bret into the opposite corner. A blind charge eats nothing but boot and Bret follows that up with a clothesline from the middle rope. Bret catches Shawn and in a great spot for the time slingshots him into the ladder. Bret hits the back breaker, but can’t get up the ladder as once again Shawn makes the save. The ladder gets knocked over, and both men collide in the center of the ring leaving nobody standing. Michaels is the first one to his feet and he goes for the ladder. Bret meets him up there, and Shawn gets rammed into the side of the ladder. The whole thing tilts over and each man crashes once again to the mat. Sherri makes his presence felt again as she grabs Bret’s ankle. That slight distraction allows Shawn to hit Sweet Chin Music (though just a transition move for him at the time). He does hit his finisher, a side suplex, and goes right back to the ladder. Shawn starts to climb, and thankfully it’s not a painfully slow climb. The crowd is quite pissed, but Bret dropkicks the ladder and Shawn falls nuts first on the top rope and spills to the floor. That gives Bret the opening he needs and he retrieves the title at 13:45.

Winner and Still IC Champ: Bret Hart via belt retrieval at 13:45
-Obviously this is nothing like the Michael Bay type ladder matches of today and the Attitude Era. You could see that Shawn was very comfortable in a match like this and not really shocking he stole the show with it later with Razor. This was a great match that used psychology and storytelling to build towards the big bump ending. Again, don’t expect anything crazy like we see today, but as a match this is some high quality stuff and mind blowing for the time. ****

WWF Intercontinental Title: Bret Hart © vs. Shawn Michaels
April 29, 1992; Syracuse, NY

-I let you the reader make any appropriate jokes about Shawn and the fact this match is taking place in Syracuse. I wonder if he always thought about what happened to him every time they went back there following the ass kicking from the marines, or whoever it was. Small mistake by the creators of this DVD set as this match should have been before the ladder match, but I guess that’s a minor point. The commentary team for this one is Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon, and this should be a nice treat. Shawn hits an early hiptoss and then showboats to the crowd. He was still working on the getting his cocky character over at this point, and really wasn’t much of a stretch for him. Shawn controls with an armbar, and uses the hair to keep the advantage. Bret uses leverage to send Shawn to the floor and that embarrassed Michaels. He gets consoled by Sherri on the floor and then stalls. He stalls a little too much on the apron as Bret brings him in the hard way. Monsoon gives Ross an opening to talk football and he goes on to list all the greats to play at Syracuse. Normally I wouldn’t pay too much attention, but I get a smile when he mentions Ernie Davis who went to Syracuse, but was born in Uniontown, PA (my hometown). Once back in the ring Bret drops a leg on Shawn’s arm and gets an armbar of his own. Shawn backs him into the corner, and doesn’t break clean as he sneaks in a right hand. Shawn floats over a charging Bret in the corner, but turns around and eats a stiff clothesline. Ross mentions that these two men will end up dominating the 90s, and that’s a pretty solid call. They brawl in the corner, and Bret gets fired in the opposite corner, but once again doesn’t take the chest first bump. What the hell? Sherri makes sure to get in a few cheap shots, and Shawn hits a high knee for two. They fight over an overhand wristlock, and Shawn uses the ref’s position to grab some of Bret’s hair to regain control. Bret fights back to his feet and fights out, but runs flush sweet chin music (called knee by Jim Ross). Again though it’s only a transition move as Shawn preps for the Side Suplex, but Bret blocks that attempt. Shawn charges in the corner, and ends up running into a boot. Bret hits a second rope clothesline, and follows up with an inverted atomic drop. A clothesline gets a two count, and so does the elbow drop from the middle rope. Bret hooks a sleeper and they fall to the arena floor. Shawn gets back in the ring first, and Sherri grabs Bret’s leg to keep him out of the ring. Shawn knocks Bret off the apron and he crashes into the railing to give Shawn the win via count-out at 8:50. Shawn poses with the belt as obviously he is a moron that doesn’t know the rules. Howard announces to the crowd that Bret is still the champ, so Shawn decks the ref for good measure. Hart comes back in and clocks Shawn with the title belt and kicks his ass to send the crowd home happy.

Winner: Shawn Michaels via count-out at 8:50
-Solid match with another crappy ending, but you could clearly see that both these guys were going to be dig deals in the future. **1/2

WWF Championship: Bret Hart © vs. Shawn Michaels
Survivor Series: Nov. 25, 1992

-They include Shawn’s pre-match promo with Mooney in the locker room and he uses the Transitive Property (Bulldog > Bret and Shawn > Bulldog = Shawn > Bret) to guarantee that he will be a double champion. Shawn is the reigning WWF Champion, and his title isn’t on the line so really he has nothing to lose in this match. The awesome announce team here is Vince and The Brain which is always great to hear. We head to the backstage area as Gene interviews Bret Hart. They put over that Bret is defending the title more than any other champion in WWF history. This was Bret’s first real, big time match as Champion and the transition to a new era in the WWF. For Shawn this is his first PPV Main Event, and I compare this to Cena when he got a title shot against Brock Lesnar in 2003. You knew it was way too early, but it was a sign of things to come. I think both men had a lot to proof in this match as the shadow of Hulk Hogan still loomed large over the WWF at this point. That kind of went away the following year when he was finally squashed by Yokozuna. Very cautious start to the match which I like to see as Bret is cautious in his first big PPV Title match, and Shawn wants to feel things out in his first big PPV Main Event. Shawn works a headlock early, and uses Bret’s hair to get an advantage. Bret fights to his feet and counters to an armbar. They go to back to standing position and Shawn has fun with the ref and crowd as he works to get an unfair advantage with Bret’s hair. Cool! They run the ropes and Shawn gets a drop toehold, but Bret escapes and gets a hammerlock to frustrate the challenger. Shawn is able to get back to a vertical position, and he reverses to his own hammerlock. Bret starts running around the ring and uses leverage to send Shawn to the floor. I’ve seen that before on this DVD. Shawn gets brought back in via a slingshot, and Bret goes right back to the arm. Shawn fires him off, but gets caught with a crossbody for two. Bret gets a sunset for a second two count, and then once again goes back to the arm. Shawn gets to his feet and tries to armdrag his way out of the hold, but Bret hangs rolls with it and keeps on the hold. Shawn gets smart a few seconds later and just punches Bret in the face to break. Damn right! Bret tries to catch Shawn with a hiptoss, but Shawn lands on his feet only to get dropped with a clothesline. Nice! Bret immediately goes right back to the arm as Shawn struggles to reach the ropes. He gets yanked back to the middle of the ring and Shawn uses some hair to break. They hit the ropes and after a leap frog, Shawn catches Bret with a nice looking Stun Gun. Heenan starts yelling for some good old fashioned Greco Roman kicking, and I can’t help but laugh. Bret tries a charge in the corner, but nobody’s home and his shoulder ends up eating the ring post. Shawn sells the work on his arm, but soon attacks the bad shoulder of Bret. He peppers him in the face with some right hands and stomps away for added measure. Finally we get the chest first bump in the corner from Bret and all is right with the world. Always loved that as it looked just so damn painful! Shawn forgets about Bret’s injured shoulder and instead grounds him with a headlock. Bret fights to a standing position and they battle over an overhead wristlock, but some more hair pulling brings Bret back to the mat. Vince and Heenan have a nice exchange as they are cracking me up on commentary. Heenan going on a rant about the Harts eating Thanksgiving Dinner is fabulous. Shawn gets a two count of a backbreaker and then heads back to the side headlock. Heenan is playing up the fact that Bret could be burnt out with all his title defenses since winning the championship. Bret shows a little life as he catches Shawn with a swinging neckbreaker, but still not strong enough to capitalize. Shawn switches gears as he goes to a front facelock, and the crowd is staying right with them. This definitely isn’t what they have been conditioned to see from a WWF PPV Main Event at the time. Bret gets to his feet and backs Shawn into the corner to deliver some shoulders. Shawn charges back, but Bret gets the feet up, and follows that up with a bulldog. He tries to hit the elbow from the middle rope, but Shawn rolls out of the way. He covers and gets a near fall. A running back elbow gets another two count for Shawn and he goes right back to the front facelock. In a funny moment that foreshadows things to come 5 years later, Bobby Heenan starts yelling for someone to ring the bell and award the title to Michaels. Seriously this shit is just damn crazy! The ref checks on Bret’s arm and it only drops twice even though again Heenan screams for the ref to ring the bell. Wild! Bret gets a desperation belly to back suplex to break and the crowd is getting into this one. Shawn gets caught again and this time gets sent into the post via a catapult. They fight in the corner, and Shawn basically gets his ass kicked from one corner to the other. He even ends up getting crotched on the top rope and Bret bounces him around up there for fun. The pace picks up some more and Bret starts firing off the 5 Moves of Doom, and the second rope elbow drop gets a two count. Next he sets Shawn up on the top rope and hits a superplex to leave both men out in the middle of the ring. The ref gets to a count of 6 before Bret rolls over to get a pin attempt, but Shawn is out at two. Hebnar gets sandwiched in the corner, but only a tease as he stays in the match. Shawn flips out of a belly to back suplex and ends up sending Bret to the floor. Shawn rolls out after him because he knows he can’t win the match by count-out. Well, I thought he did but he decides to send Bret into the post back first. He heads back in the ring to break the count and then back out to slam Bret on the floor. He finally fires him back in the ring and normally this is where he would tune the band as he walks around the ring, but instead he sends Bret into the corner with an Irish Whip to continue the back damage. Unlike the shoulder he actually goes after the back with a backdrop for another two count. He makes the mistake of arguing with Hebnar and nearly gets pinned with a sunset flip. They both get back to the feet and Shawn ends up hitting Sweet Chin Music, and the Side Suplex, but Bret is out at two. That shatters Shawn’s world as he isn’t sure what to do and he ends up getting tangled in the ropes. He is able to get himself out just in time though and moves out of the way of a charging Hitman. Shawn heads up to the middle ropes and looks for what I assume was a dropkick, but Bret catches him coming off and locks him in the Sharpshooter for the pin at 26:40.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Bret Hart via submission at 26:40
-Fantastic match that was a precursor to what was in store for the next 5 years or so. Shawn wasn’t a true threat in this match, but damn if he didn’t go out a deliver a strong performance in his first PPV Main Event. This was a very solid defense for Bret and it helped get the fans behind him as champion. ****1/4

Steel Cage Match: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
Dec 1, 1993; Utica, NY

– No feeling out process here as they start unloading on each other as soon as Bret gets inside the cage. Naturally since this is early 90s WWF, this is the normal blue bar cage, which I enjoy seeing. The commentary team for this one is Gorilla Monsoon and JOHNNY F’N POLO! Holy Shit! Polo breaks out that Michaels is so quick that he is sudden, and I swear he either stole that from JR or vice versa. Bret gets tossed into the buckles and Shawn starts to walk out the door, but Bret blocks. We get the slingshot spot again and this time it’s into the steel cage. So we have had that spot three times on this DVD and each one had Michaels crashing into something different. They slug it out in the center of the ring as Polo questions why someone should be allowed to go out the door. His idea is that over the top should be the only way to win. Bret gets the back of his head rammed into the cage in a rather painful moment. They start exchanging blows again, and in a ugly spot Bret gets thrown into the cage again. Shawn crawls for the door and Bret makes the diving save. This is like the cage matches from the SmackDown vs. RAW video game series. Each man takes turns lunging for the door, but the other keeps blocking. Michaels apparently has had enough of the door and decides to climb over the cage. He gets completely over, but his hair is too damn long (as pointed out by Polo) and Bret pulls him back inside the cage. Now Bret gets one leg over the top of the cage, but as he gets yanked back in he falls and straddles the top rope to draw a groan from the males in the crowd. Shawn goes crawling back for the door and ends up getting his balls rocked on the middle rope to make things even. They brawl on the floor, and Shawn gets to his feet first and delivers a weak looking Sweet Chin Music. He starts to climb once again, but Bret meets him on the cage as they start brawling up there. Shawn gets kicked off the top rope and crashes to the mat. Hart also falls to the mat and seemingly hurts his knee. That gives Shawn an opening and instead of going to the knee he slaps on a sleeper. I actually forgive not going to the knee as putting Bret to sleep seems like a sound strategy. Speaking of sound, Shawn’s face makes a sick sound when Bret lunges Shawn into the cage to break the hold. Bret sells the knee like a champ as he gingerly climbs the cage. The injury slows him a little and Shawn catches up to him. The both get on the outside as it is a race to the floor. Shawn gets rammed into the cage and falls back, but ends up getting tangled in the cage leaving him hanging upside down. Bret calmly hits the floor to pick up the win at 11:36.

Winner: Bret Hart via cage escape at 11:36
-A much more hate filled match than the previous encounters on this disc which was nice to see. Anything with Polo on commentary is a bonus, and I like rare matches like this. The match itself was solid if unspectacular. I think they could have delivered an all time classic give more time and a bigger stage, but this was perfectly suitable for what it was. ***

The 411: Some good choices here, but the fact we got 3 matches with cop-out endings was kind of disappointing. The Ladder Match and Survivor Series match were released on other sets, but really they make for a nice inclusion here. One more disc to go and sadly it only features one match. Although it's a really long match!
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend

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