Bret “Hitman” Hart DVD Review

He’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, and you’ll never forget it. Not because his matches back it up, but because he won’t shut up about it. Welcome to Ego 2006, the story of Bret “Hitman” Hart.

bret-hitman-hart-dvd-cover

Cert: 15

Length: 549 mins

Highs and Lows

As a story, the tale of Bret Hart is fascinating. The DVD pulls no punches in taking an historical look at not only Bret but the Hart family as a whole. Memo to the WWE: put together a Hart Family DVD. With Bret, Owen and Stu, not to mention the history of Stampede, the brothers-in-law and the Dungeon graduates, you have at least three discs worth of quality viewing. But I digress. I have to say, the packages were put together well, if not for just a little too long. Nonetheless, there’s plenty of historical content for any wrestling historian to sink their teeth into.

Moving into his days of the WWE, we hear more about Bret, and how popular he become, and how great the tag team with himself and Jim Neidhart were. At this point, the ego of Mr. Hart starts to grate quite heavily. I’m all for a guy having pride in his work, but Bret seems to truly believe that he was practically God in the ring. I guess some out there would agree, but I can’t say I do. Not that I don’t like Bret, but he’s overrated by himself. In saying that though, most wrestlers generally are.

A number of key Bret moments are covered, such as the match at Summerslam 1992 with British Bulldog, and his work with Stone Cold Steve Austin. This is a personal highlight for me as, all credit to Bret, he did his utmost to make Steve Austin look like more of a star than he otherwise would have been, not to say that Austin wouldn’t have been a star. I do think that they could have covered the whole 1997 heel turn in more detail though. Maybe that’s just my bias towards WWF in 1997, but I would have loved to have seen more of the classic promos and moments of the era.

Naturally, the Montreal Screwjob is covered, and truth be told, there is nothing new there. For a much more in-depth look at the event, check out “Wrestling With Shadows” or the Wrestling Observer write-up on the event by Dave Meltzer. There’s nothing much to note here, as far as the DVD goes.

Ironically, the coverage of his WCW run falls under the same category because his actual run saw nothing of note also. Pretty much everyone agrees that his WCW tenure was useless, and let’s be honest – it was. However, it did provide one high spot for Bret – the Owen Hart tribute match with Chris Benoit. Thankfully, that match is shown on the DVD extras too. In fact, there are a number of solid Bret Hart matches on the extras section. Do be aware though, that seeing one is the equivalent of seeing them all.

That in itself is probably the one defining moment of the whole DVD, and it’s a moment that you’ll not be able to escape. Sure, you may enjoy the story of Bret having to retire due to a mistimed kick from Bill Goldberg, and the turmoil of facing up to the death of Owen Hart, and the matches featuring Bret against such guys as The Undertaker. But I’ll be honest, this DVD was mislabelled. It should in fact be named “The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, The Best There Is, There Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be” because that’s all you will hear as the DVD goes on, and believe me, it will go on. It never ends. It’s the never-ending story of Bret’s ego inflating as he talks. Make no mistake about it, Bret loves hearing the sound of his own voice, to the point that I muted the whole thing near the end, and took in the visuals instead.

DVD Bonus Matches

  • Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs (Madison Square Garden, 13/07/85)
  • Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees (Madison Square Garden, 17/02/86)
  • Bret Hart vs. Ricky Streamboat (Boston Garden, 08/03/86)
  • Bret Hart vs. Ted DiBiase (Odessa, TX, 08/03/89)
  • Hart Foundation vs. Rockers (Saturday Night’s Main Event, 28/04/90)
  • WWE Tag Team Championship Match:

Hart Foundation vs. Nasty Boys (Wrestlemania VII, 24/03/91)

  • WWE Intercontinental Match:

Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (SummerSlam, 26/08/91)

  • WWE Intercontinental Match:

Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (SummerSlam, 29/08/92)

  • Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (Barcelona, Spain, 24/04/93)
  • King of the Ring Semi-Final Match:

Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (King of the Ring, 13/06/93)

  • Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X, 20/03/94)
  • WWE Championship Match:

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (White Plains, NY, 29/09/94)

  • Bret Hart vs Hakushi (In Your House, 14/05/95)
  • WWE Championship Match:

Bret Hart vs. Diesel (Survivor Series, 19/11/95)

  • WWE Championship Match:

Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (In Your House, 17/12/95)

  • Submission Match:

Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Wrestlemania 13, 23/03/97)

  • WWE Championship Match:

Bret Hart vs. Undertaker (One Night Only, 20/09/97)

  • Owen Hart Tribute Match:

Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit (WCW Nitro, 04/10/99)

Overall

Bret Hart is a guy obsessed with his legacy. Ok, I can understand that to a point. However, I would rather he showed me his legacy, not tell me about it over and over again. It’s a shame, because he actually was a talented individual, a great worker, an attractive guy and a captivating story. Unfortunately, every time he opens his mouth he diminishes his past, and serves simply to back up the statement that Bret is a bitter, arrogant man desperate to cling on to what he once had. Due to this, I cannot possibly give the DVD a perfect score it would otherwise deserve. Instead, I have to knock a full five points off. If Bret hadn’t have taken up half the DVD with his deluded self-importance, it wouldn’t have scored half as much as it should have. As it is, the only thing that ever stood in the way of a Bret DVD was Bret himself. The disappointing irony is that we now have the DVD we always wanted, and the only thing standing in its way of being 100% entertaining is the man himself. Best there was, possibly the best there will be. But he’s not the best there is anymore, and he’d do well to remember that, because after watching the DVD, I don’t think anyone clued him in.

Points: 5 / 10

Buy It:

 

UK: DVD: £23.99 / UMD: £19.99

USA: DVD: $24.97

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