wrestling / Video Reviews

Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Bret “Hitman” Hart – The Dungeon Collection

February 14, 2017 | Posted by TJ Hawke


Bret Hart is our host. He’s very proud of this DVD. There is no bigger fan of Bret Hart than Bret Hart himself after all.

Stampede Wrestling
January 5, 1979

Bret Hart(c) vs. Dynamite Kid [British Commonwealth Junior Champion]
This was sadly joined in progress. It was ⅔ falls match. We missed Bret taking the first fall.
After getting to see some dull as fuck action for about 15-20 minutes, the second fall ended in a DQ after Dynamite dumped Bret over the top rope. HARD PASS ON THIS ONE, folks.


Georgia Championship Wrestling
November 3, 1979

Bret Hart vs. Buzz Sawyer
They did some solid grappling, kept up a good pace, and did not overstay their welcome. They never really got out of second gear, but they did not absolutely need to given the ten-minute match length. It finished in a time limit draw. (***)


Stampede Wrestling
May 22, 1983

Bret Hart vs. Leo Burke(c) [North American Heavyweight Championship]
This was also JOINED IN PROGRESS. Bret won after hitting a piledriver. However, they did a Dusty Finish because the first ref was knocked out, and he wanted to disqualify Burke for attacking him. Whatever~!


September 14, 1985

Bret Hart vs. Dynamite Kid
This match really shines a light on the flaws of both performers when they were not in there with someone fun and a bit more exciting. While clearly gifted physical performers, neither guy could consistently tell a story that would suck me in or produce enough hot action to compensate for the lack of intrigue. They worked hard but had so little to show for it. Dynamite Kid won with a fruit roll-up. (**½)


March 14, 1987

The Hart Foundation(c) (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) (w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis) vs. The Islanders (Haku & Tama) [WWF Tag Team Championship]
This was a very LONG match. It featured the traditional eighties tag structure with a long shine, a long heat, and a quick go-home. There was not much excitement, urgency, or violence to it, but it was not terrible. It was just was very average and then featured a schmoz ending with Davis helping Bret steal a pin. (**½)


April 10, 1989

Bret Hart vs. Andre the Giant
This was mostly a squash for Andre, obviously. Andre did give him some offense though so that it was not a complete mauling. It would have been cool to see this match with Andre in his prime. This was mostly dull though (if neat). **


April 23, 1989

Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
This initially seemed like it would be my favorite match between these two. The action was crisp, and there was a true sense of urgency to it. Then they slowed down to a crawl, and the match never compensated with an interesting story. It then ended in a draw. This truly had a ton of promise, but I lost interest very quickly. (**¼)


Bret Hart is still our host on Disc 2. He really looks like George Bluth’s twin brother on this set.

May 17, 1989

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. The Twin Towers (Big Boss Man & Akeem)
This was a really light and easy-to-watch tag match! It would have been better if they cut down on the length of the heat segment on Bret, but the match was still mostly very fun from beginning to end. The Towers won via countout. (***)


April 20, 1990

Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask
Misawa was doing the Tiger Mask gimmick at the time. This was a rather infamously boring match between two of the most beloved wrestlers in history. There was no way to get invested in any aspect of the match, and it would be safely considered one of the worst matches of either man’s career. Bret Hart made a bunch of weak/problematic excuses about why it’s not pleasant to work Japanese wrestlers all he wants, but other wrestlers did way better than him on this night. It ended in a draw. (DUD)


November 13, 1991

Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair
Bret and Flair’s matches together always seemed like a weird cross of competitive styles and instincts. They really just needed to do Flair formula, but they instead always seemed to do some super methodical match that was not all that compelling. Flair winning via countout also certainly did this match no favors. ()


January 31, 1992

Bret Hart vs. Undertaker
Long. Boring. Methodical. Lacking substance. Shitty finish. These were just some of the terms and phrases that come to mind when thinking about this match. This collection should have stayed in the Dungeon! Taker won via URN shot. (½)


April 25, 1993

Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
While this was *clearly* way too long overall, this was still a fun battle between two guys with excellent chemistry. Their work together appeared to be so effortless that it almost worked against them. They were so smooth that the worked looked much lighter than it probably deserved to look. That’s a minor nitpick though, as this was an easy one to enjoy. Much like the night before on this loop, Bret survived the long beatdown and ended up winning via victory roll. (***)


Bret Hart is still our host as we get to dive into Disc 3.
June 19, 1994

Bret Hart(c) vs. Diesel (w/Shawn Michaels) [WWF Heavyweight Championship]
These two worked really well together and told logical stories at a good pace. Bret would try to cut down Diesel. Diesel was able to survive that long enough to overwhelm Bret with his size and strength advantage. Diesel dominated for a while. Bret made his comeback. It got quite dramatic and was as well executed as you could want. Interference from Shawn Michaels eventually drove Jim Neidhart to flat-out attack Diesel which got Bret disqualified. (***½)


March 27, 1995

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart [No Holds Barred]
This was a really good brawl. There was a ton of intensity. Owen’s relentless heat segment was very compelling stuff. Bret managed to foil Owen’s attempt to use an exposed turnbuckle, and Bret then won via a sharpshooter. Real good stuff! (***½)


WWF In Your House
September 24, 1995

Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte
This was overlong, but it was still solid overall. Juan-Pierre clearly could go and was probably a little ahead of his time. He was a big guy who worked hard and flew around there (including coming up empty on a tope suicida to the floor). Bret sold well for him and both guys came out of this looking better for it. Bret won via submission. (***)


September 14, 1996

Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin
This was VERY long and boring. It felt like a test balloon match for future more important matches in the company. They at least made sure to make Austin look strong in defeat otherwise this would have been a complete waste of time. Bret won via inside cradle. (½*)


In Your House: Ground Zero
September 7, 1997

Bret Hart(c) vs. The Patriot [WWF Championship]
I take back all of my sass about Bret Hart. The Patriot is, by gawd, one of the most boring performers in the history of the business. This was BRUTAL. AND IT WENT ON FOREVER. Does anyone this one was good? Please explain why in the comments. What the fuck was this and why in the fuck was it on a DVD? (I>Bret won via submission. (DUD)


WCW Monday Nitro •
January 25, 1999

Bret Hart(c) vs. Booker T [United States Championship]
This was fine. They paced the match reasonably well, but they struggled to make people to care as it was 1999 WCW. There just was not enough spark to their work to overcome the flatness of the overall presentation. It was not bad though. Bret won after a belt shot. **½


WCW Mayhem
November 21, 1999

Bret Hart vs. Sting
This was a fine brawl. At one point, Lex Luger showed up and attacked Sting. Bret Hart fought him off. The ref tried to disqualify Bret, but Bret managed to get him to reverse it. Bret then later won by reversing the Scorpion Deathlock into a sharpshooter. (**¼)


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