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03-01-2011, 02:29 PM #1
Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows
This is probably my favorite documentary ever, wrestling or otherwise.Was really surprised to find it under IMDB's free movies...
If you haven't seen or heard of it, it was shot at the time of the Montreal Screwjob
03-02-2011, 12:05 AM #2
03-02-2011, 01:11 AM #3
03-02-2011, 04:41 AM #4
Bret really does think highly of himself.Anyone who claims to be a better in-ring performer than Ric Flair (whether it's true or not) certainly has issues.I still have respect for the guy's accomplishments though.
03-02-2011, 08:32 AM #5
I was in Calgary at the Stampede PPV when they were filming all of this stuff. If memory serves there's a very quick shot of the intro where they show Vince & co. with their big cowboy hats. There's a 16-year old RGM81 in there. :)
I've always enjoyed this documentary and even though it can't give the full story about what happened in Montreal, you get Bret's perspective and that in itself makes for a great historical document. I've never believed that what went down was necessary, or that there was any possibility at all that Bret would have shown up on Nitro with the WWF Championship. The "plan" to have him drop it to Shawn at the December PPV - whether or not it actually existed beyond what Vince said to Bret - would have been fine and given the company one more PPV worth of revenue from a Bret/Shawn match.
As to Bret and his ego, obviously it was a massive clash of them between Shawn and Bret, and Vince manipulating the whole thing. I think that Shawn had Vince's ear to a greater degree than Bret did, and Bret was determined to maintain his position in the company which is why there were so many issues. Bret didn't have a problem with jobbing for other guys, but when Shawn's running around telling people that he (Shawn) won't do any jobs for anybody, of course that's going to rub Bret the wrong way and lead him to say he wouldn't job for Shawn.
03-02-2011, 11:17 AM #6
but yea I don't think it was neccescarily that Bret didn't want do job for HBK. I heard just about every side their is from documentary's, shoot interviews, articles, etc...first off you can't believe either one of their version's from the late 90's lol, there's just way too much heat still involved and false facts at that point. The modern day consensus is that Bret was supposed to lose to Shawn in Montreal because it was already pre-determined that Bret was going to WCW because he signed a better contract with them. Bret apparently didn't have a problem doing that except for the fact that it was in his home country and didn't want to lose there. he wanted to beat Shawn and show up on Raw the next night saying that he couldn't wrestle there anymore and give up his title to vacancy. Vince didn't want that (and who would want someone leaving as champion). Vince didn't want Bret having left beating Shawn and crossing brands in doing so because HBK was the face of the company at that point. Shawn, Hunter, and Vince, and Bret all knew what was going on in the back but Shawn, Hunter, and Bret had no idea the match would end that way with Vince running out and pulling the trigger like he did. Shawn and Triple H always got the brunt of it from spectators claiming they'd screwed Bret but in the end they did business for Bret because he wasn't willing to. That seems to be the consensus today of what happened. Whether all the facts of that are true or not who knows but it does make a heck of alot of sense seeming Bret was contractually binded to WCW and knowing his ego, him not wanting to lose in Montreal makes sense as well.
03-02-2011, 11:29 AM #7
I still regret not seeing the '92 Royal Rumble in person.I was only 11 years old at the time and going to a live event never crossed my mind.The Rumble was held just up the road from me and is still one of my favorite PPV's ever
My favorite part of the doc is Bret's wife yelling at Triple H
03-02-2011, 11:38 AM #8
03-02-2011, 02:44 PM #9
November 2, 1997 - Hart and McMahon started a very amicable conversation with the pressure finally off and the decision for Hart to leave having been made. He again suggested that Michaels win the title in Montreal and in what will go down as perhaps the ultimate irony, said they could do s screw job ending to steal the title from him, and that the next night, on Raw, McMahon suggested the two get into a mock argument where Hart would punch him, blaming him for the screw job. McMahon even suggested to hardway him to make it look legit. Hart again refused to do the job in Montreal, saying that he had never refused to do a job but he wasn't going to lose on Sunday or Monday (at Raw in Ottawa). He agreed to put Michaels over in Madison Square Garden on 11/15, Springfield or anywhere else and said he'd put over Vader, Shamrock, Mankind, Undertaker or even Steve Lombardi. McMahon then made legal threats to Hart if he wouldn't lose in Montreal. Hart talked about the clause in his contract giving him "reasonable creative control" but McMahon claimed that refusing to drop the strap in Montreal wasn't "reasonable".
. . .
November 5, 1997 - The internet had paved the way for stories in the Calgary Sun, the Toronto Sun and one line in the Montreal Gazette in a PPV preview story about Steve Austin a line which resulted in the paper getting an incredible switchboard-blowing response of phone calls. McMahon called Hart and said that Michaels had agreed to the previous day's scenario, but that now he had changed his mind. He said the news was out everywhere and that Bret had to drop the belt before Monday because he couldn't have Bischoff go on television on 11/10 and announce the signing of his world champion while he still had the belt. Hart said that he would get Bischoff to postpone the announcement, but with Bischoff on a hunting trip all week in Wyoming. Hart couldn't get a hold of him. McMahon then asked Hart to drop the title on 11/8 at the house show in Detroit. Hart again refused, feeling the way everything had been built up, he wanted the match with Michaels, which in the wake of all the insider publicity was building up a life of its own like no match in the recent history of wrestling, to not come off as anti-climatic and for that to happen he needed to go into Montreal as champion. He said that he would drop the title any time after 11/12 suggesting he'd do it at the house shows in Youngstown, OH, on 11/13, Pittsburgh on 11/14, or in Madison Square Garden if they wanted it that soon rather than waiting for 12/7. Jim Ross on the company's 900 line acknowledged the statement that Hart was exploring other options said that nobody knows the real story, and in hyping the big match tossed in the phrase they'd be pushing in the final days leading up to the match--it will be their first meeting in 18 months, and most likely the final match between the two ever.
. . .
November 9, 1997 - The Prelude - Imagine giving into the most anticipated match on the inside of pro wrestling in years and on the day of the show not having any semblance of a finish? McMahon and Hart met that afternoon and McMahon said something to the effect of "What do you want me to do? You've got me by the balls." Hart said that he just wants to leave the building with his head up. Hart said to McMahon "let me hand you the belt on Raw (the next night in Ottawa). Everyone knows I'm leaving I'd like to tell the truth on Raw Monday. At this point the "truth" wouldn't include talking about finances, contract breaches, arguments about finishes, or anything that would make McMahon or the company look bad publicly. McMahon said he agreed, that it was the right thing to do and the two shook hands on it. Hart and Michaels were dressing together putting together a match. Both were professional with one another and talking about putting on the best match possible in Hart's last hurrah. Agreeing to a DQ finish in about 17:00 after a lengthy brawl before the bell would even sound to start the match. As they were putting their spots together Patterson came in. He had a suggestion for a high spot in the match as a false finish. There would be a referee bump. Michaels would put Hart in his own sharpshooter. Hart would reverse the hold. Hebner would still be down at this point and not see Michaels tap out. Hart would release the hold to revive Hebner. Michaels would hit him when he turned around with the sweet chin music. A second ref, Mike Chioda, would haul to the ring and begin the count. A few paces behind Owen Hart and Smith and possibly Neidhart as well would run down to the ring. Chioda would count 1-2, and whomever got to the ring first likely Owen would drag Chioda out of the ring. While they think they've saved the day on the pin on Bret suddenly Hebner would recover 1,2, and Bret would kick out.
That would set the pace for about five more minutes of near falls before it would end up in a disqualification ending. Before the show started both Vader with his Japanese experiences and Smith told Hart to watch himself. He was warned not to lay down and not to allow himself to be put in a compromising position. He was told to kick out at one, not two and not to allow himself into any submission holds.
It's so interesting to see how the "plan" had changed over the course of just a few days. They went from a month-long program culminating in December with Shawn winning at the In Your House to realizing that there was just no way to keep the whole thing under wraps and they'd have to wrap up Bret's story much sooner than any of them wanted to. Patterson's suggestion of the "false finish" was obviously worked out between himself, Shawn, and Vince so that they could get the belt off Bret and pre-empt Bischoff from having any chance to do the big announcement the next night on Nitro.
Man, all of this stuff takes me back to those times. I remember being just devastated to hear that Bret was leaving. Whichever of the wrestling news pages it was that broke it...Micasa?...I just stared at the screen in disbelief when they announced it. I never liked WCW and I knew that they'd find a way to mess things up with Bret simply because they had too many people pulling backstage strings. I'd hoped that they'd be able to have all these great matches with Bret/Sting, Bret/Hogan, Bret/Goldberg, etc., but they gave them away in stupid schmozz things on Nitro and just buried him in the midcard for too long.
In the end, it paid off huge for Vince. It gave him the genesis for the Mr. McMahon character that was the perfect foil for Steve Austin. It freed up the dollars needed to bring in Mike Tyson. It allowed things to happen that otherwise wouldn't have.
But it was all so unnecessary for it to go down in the way that it did. It left Bret written out of history for many years, we never got to have some awesome Bret/Rock matches. The Bret/Austin feud could have gone on for many more years. And Owen's accident would never have happened if Bret were around.
So many what ifs? and all that could have beens eh?
03-05-2011, 01:17 PM #10
Yeah I remember reading alot about this, and Bret was willing to job to anybody from Brawler to Vader but Shawn.....which is kinda understandable because it was Brets ego Vs. Shawns backstage pull and antics.......and if I were Bret I would have the ego and bullheadness of him also, with the wwf all those years and served as a whipping boy alot........singles push got delayed cause they were going to let Anvil go and Bret wanted Anvil to keep his job, screwed by Hogan.....stuck in storylines with people like Nash whos entertainment value is very low in the long run, and Bret played victim to the WWF not having alot of solid talent for him to wrestle and showcase what could have been........Hidden Content
Wants are: Topps WCW Autographs, Topps WWE Autographs and Event Used....All Peter Warrick, Damon Stoudamire, Juwan Howard, Brian Grant.