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Posted by TurboMan (6964 posts) -

Small thing, I'm planning on getting all of the Giant Bomb community wrestling fans to start posting in the Wrestling Ring forums on Giant Bomb. Just one step closer to taking over Whiskey Media and creating a Whiskey Media wrestling site.

______

If you've never sat through a WWE DVD, then you haven't experience the high quality documentaries about behind the scenes wrestling that WWE produces frequently. My personal favorite that WWE has done to this point was The Rise and Fall of ECW, and I highly suggest checking it out if you haven't already. The newest from WWE is a beginning to a new series called WWE's Greatest Rivalries, and I'm pretty sure that you might not be able to start of a series like this better than showing off the history of Bret "The Hitman" Hart vs. Shawn Michaels.

The documentary portion looks throughout the entire history with Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Jim Ross serves as the moderator for the conversation. JR does a great job of maintaining the conversation. He sits across the table and let Shawn and Bret tell their stories and usually stays out of it for general knowledge stuff, and pushes the issues that are still unclear to the general public (If Shawn meant it when he told Bret to "get the hell out of my spotlight" at the end of Wrestlemania or if it was part of the story the two were trying to build). Bret Hart is in full shoot mode, and the man tells it like it is even if Shawn is two feet away from him. For someone that has been through a stroke and has lost most of his family and friends over the past decade (Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Helen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Brian Pillman, Curt Hennig, etc.) Bret is emotionally stable enough to not only recollect what happened at every dramatic point in his career, but is able to remember the exact date and location of the incident.

Shawn Michaels is widely known as being a complete asshole during his first major stint in the WWE (before he seriously injured his back in 1997). Since then, he's changed his ways and has become a born-again Christian. This provides plenty of really awkward moments when Hart brings up some issues where he tells a story of Shawn's backstage antics and Shawn has no option except to just laugh it off and admit that he was a terrible person in that stage of his life.

As far as the topics covered goes, the DVD spans all of Bret's and Michaels matches. It begins with a brief segment of how they got into the WWE, and about the next fifteen minutes talks about their matches when they were both a part of tag teams. The highlight of that discussion is how frustrated Bret looks and sounds when talking about the rope breaking during a main event televised tag team match, a match that he thought was going to be historic ended up being so dismal it was never televised (and it was the night The Hart Foundation lost the belts to The Rockers for the first time).

It continues to showcase Bret and Shawn's excellent solo careers, how Bret led the locker room, and how Shawn only worked with The Kliq. This continue until it's time to talk about The Montreal Screwjob. Mostly, the discussion is nothing new, since both men have talked about it at length in their books (not to mention it's been talked about on documentaries, and it has been reproduced multiple times since then). Even if there is nothing new to add to it, it's always a fascinating moment that happened. At the time, it was tragic, but now it's easy to see that nobody was right in the situation. It wasn't right of Bret to refuse to lose the title over demanding more respect, it wasn't right of Shawn to say that he wouldn't put Bret over after Bret said he wanted to put Shawn over, and it wasn't right of Vince to abruptly finish the match and screw Bret (or to book Bret to lose in his final match in Canada). I also love conspiracy theories of whether or not the Screwjob was all part of some grand off-screen story, since there's a good bit of evidence backing the theory, like the cameras not cutting away from Bret when he was air writing WCW and how the Screwjob created the character of Vince McMahon. It all worked out a little "too well" in the end... but that idea isn't even brought into the DVD.

Post-Montreal Screwjob, there isn't too much more to tell in the rivalry. Bret went to WCW where he wasn't used right, and Goldberg ended his career accidentally, and Shawn injured his back and had to quit for a long time a few months after the Montreal Screwjob. Bret suffered from a stroke, and Michaels came back to the wrestling business a new man (reborn Christian) and had some of the best matches of all time against The Undertaker. This takes us to the moment in the documentary where Bret just starts laying his emotions on the table about how he was so bitter towards Shawn and the WWE and how forgiving them and coming back to the WWE helped him to drop his metaphorical sack on his back that he's been carrying all his life. It gets very emotional and kind of inspirational to see these two that burned the bridge years ago forgive each other and become friends again.

The rest of the set includes selected matches between the two. You're reminded immediately of how good Shawn and Bret's tag team partners were, Marty Janetty and Jim Neidhart respectively. The first ever Ladder Match was between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart for the Intercontinental title, it's also worth noting that at the time Shawn Michaels finishing move was a back suplex. Also, you get the full 1 hour Iron Man match at Wrestlemania 12, which is a classic. Having a DVD with the same two people fighting might sound dull, but the great thing about these two is that every time they fight, they will put on a different style of match.

Overall, this DVD is a great pickup for fans of either of the wrestler, or fans of the WWE pre-Attitude era. It's a great way to make people want more DVD's for the "Greatest Rivalries" line... I don't know if there is a more controversial story to tell, but there are certainly some just as memorable than Bret vs. Shawn.

Overall: 9/10

#1 Posted by TurboMan (6964 posts) -

Small thing, I'm planning on getting all of the Giant Bomb community wrestling fans to start posting in the Wrestling Ring forums on Giant Bomb. Just one step closer to taking over Whiskey Media and creating a Whiskey Media wrestling site.

______

If you've never sat through a WWE DVD, then you haven't experience the high quality documentaries about behind the scenes wrestling that WWE produces frequently. My personal favorite that WWE has done to this point was The Rise and Fall of ECW, and I highly suggest checking it out if you haven't already. The newest from WWE is a beginning to a new series called WWE's Greatest Rivalries, and I'm pretty sure that you might not be able to start of a series like this better than showing off the history of Bret "The Hitman" Hart vs. Shawn Michaels.

The documentary portion looks throughout the entire history with Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Jim Ross serves as the moderator for the conversation. JR does a great job of maintaining the conversation. He sits across the table and let Shawn and Bret tell their stories and usually stays out of it for general knowledge stuff, and pushes the issues that are still unclear to the general public (If Shawn meant it when he told Bret to "get the hell out of my spotlight" at the end of Wrestlemania or if it was part of the story the two were trying to build). Bret Hart is in full shoot mode, and the man tells it like it is even if Shawn is two feet away from him. For someone that has been through a stroke and has lost most of his family and friends over the past decade (Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Helen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Brian Pillman, Curt Hennig, etc.) Bret is emotionally stable enough to not only recollect what happened at every dramatic point in his career, but is able to remember the exact date and location of the incident.

Shawn Michaels is widely known as being a complete asshole during his first major stint in the WWE (before he seriously injured his back in 1997). Since then, he's changed his ways and has become a born-again Christian. This provides plenty of really awkward moments when Hart brings up some issues where he tells a story of Shawn's backstage antics and Shawn has no option except to just laugh it off and admit that he was a terrible person in that stage of his life.

As far as the topics covered goes, the DVD spans all of Bret's and Michaels matches. It begins with a brief segment of how they got into the WWE, and about the next fifteen minutes talks about their matches when they were both a part of tag teams. The highlight of that discussion is how frustrated Bret looks and sounds when talking about the rope breaking during a main event televised tag team match, a match that he thought was going to be historic ended up being so dismal it was never televised (and it was the night The Hart Foundation lost the belts to The Rockers for the first time).

It continues to showcase Bret and Shawn's excellent solo careers, how Bret led the locker room, and how Shawn only worked with The Kliq. This continue until it's time to talk about The Montreal Screwjob. Mostly, the discussion is nothing new, since both men have talked about it at length in their books (not to mention it's been talked about on documentaries, and it has been reproduced multiple times since then). Even if there is nothing new to add to it, it's always a fascinating moment that happened. At the time, it was tragic, but now it's easy to see that nobody was right in the situation. It wasn't right of Bret to refuse to lose the title over demanding more respect, it wasn't right of Shawn to say that he wouldn't put Bret over after Bret said he wanted to put Shawn over, and it wasn't right of Vince to abruptly finish the match and screw Bret (or to book Bret to lose in his final match in Canada). I also love conspiracy theories of whether or not the Screwjob was all part of some grand off-screen story, since there's a good bit of evidence backing the theory, like the cameras not cutting away from Bret when he was air writing WCW and how the Screwjob created the character of Vince McMahon. It all worked out a little "too well" in the end... but that idea isn't even brought into the DVD.

Post-Montreal Screwjob, there isn't too much more to tell in the rivalry. Bret went to WCW where he wasn't used right, and Goldberg ended his career accidentally, and Shawn injured his back and had to quit for a long time a few months after the Montreal Screwjob. Bret suffered from a stroke, and Michaels came back to the wrestling business a new man (reborn Christian) and had some of the best matches of all time against The Undertaker. This takes us to the moment in the documentary where Bret just starts laying his emotions on the table about how he was so bitter towards Shawn and the WWE and how forgiving them and coming back to the WWE helped him to drop his metaphorical sack on his back that he's been carrying all his life. It gets very emotional and kind of inspirational to see these two that burned the bridge years ago forgive each other and become friends again.

The rest of the set includes selected matches between the two. You're reminded immediately of how good Shawn and Bret's tag team partners were, Marty Janetty and Jim Neidhart respectively. The first ever Ladder Match was between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart for the Intercontinental title, it's also worth noting that at the time Shawn Michaels finishing move was a back suplex. Also, you get the full 1 hour Iron Man match at Wrestlemania 12, which is a classic. Having a DVD with the same two people fighting might sound dull, but the great thing about these two is that every time they fight, they will put on a different style of match.

Overall, this DVD is a great pickup for fans of either of the wrestler, or fans of the WWE pre-Attitude era. It's a great way to make people want more DVD's for the "Greatest Rivalries" line... I don't know if there is a more controversial story to tell, but there are certainly some just as memorable than Bret vs. Shawn.

Overall: 9/10

#2 Posted by ImpendingFoil (555 posts) -

I was never a big fan of either but this is something I will watch when it shows up on Netflix Instant a few months from now like most WWE DVD releases. Great review and synopsis though!

#3 Posted by Hosstile17 (747 posts) -

I have almost pulled the trigger on this DVD a few times. Next time it is on sale through wwe.com I will pick it up.

#4 Posted by TurboMan (6964 posts) -

@ImpendingFoil: WWE has been usually fantastic about putting up their DVD releases on NetFlix, that's how I got back into WWE's releases when I was reminded at the quality being so high.

#5 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1175 posts) -

@ImpendingFoil said:

I was never a big fan of either but this is something I will watch when it shows up on Netflix Instant a few months from now like most WWE DVD releases. Great review and synopsis though!

Dude. How are you not a fan of The HBK? Hes literally the greatest.

#6 Posted by ImperiousRix (2963 posts) -

I still recall this rivalry as it were yesterday. When the "Screwjob" happened, I was only a lad and was convinced the whole thing was an angle. When Bret left, I remained convinced he'd have a triumphant return someday, likely even teaming with Shawn as kind of an "Old Guard/New Guard" alliance.

But it didn't happen. Bret went to WCW and pretty much disappeared in terms of relevance. I was actually lucky enough to see both men compete live; Bret Hart at a WCW house show against Sting, and Shawn in a pretty spectacular match with Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 21. To have seen them wrestle one another live, however, now that would have been mind-blowing.

#7 Posted by TooWalrus (12991 posts) -

It still blows my mind when I come across people who take wrestling seriously. I guess my love or wrestling starts and stops at WWF Super Wrestlemania.

#8 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4660 posts) -

I kind of want to watch this. When I used to be into wrestling Shawn and Bret were my favorites and their Iron man match is my favorite match of all time.

#9 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (556 posts) -

I haven't really given a damn about wrestling since the glory days of ECW but this Hitman/HBK set is pretty great. Excellence of execution indeed.

#10 Posted by g6065 (270 posts) -

Great Review.

#11 Posted by Demoskinos (13925 posts) -

Has anyone watched   "Hitman Hart:Wrestling with Shadows" ?    Its a intresting albeit biased take on Hart's last year of his career with WWE.   Its on Netflix streaming  or at least WAS last I checked.     

#12 Posted by TheHBK (5416 posts) -

@MasturbatingestBear said:

@ImpendingFoil said:

I was never a big fan of either but this is something I will watch when it shows up on Netflix Instant a few months from now like most WWE DVD releases. Great review and synopsis though!

Dude. How are you not a fan of The HBK? Hes literally the greatest.

I agree with this guy. Look at my pic. How can you not think?, man, I want to be that guy.

But yes, let's do a wrestling site. I would spend all day there and just check back into GB for the bombcast. Keep Kessler out.

#13 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1175 posts) -

@TheHBK said:

@MasturbatingestBear said:

@ImpendingFoil said:

I was never a big fan of either but this is something I will watch when it shows up on Netflix Instant a few months from now like most WWE DVD releases. Great review and synopsis though!

Dude. How are you not a fan of The HBK? Hes literally the greatest.

I agree with this guy. Look at my pic. How can you not think?, man, I want to be that guy.

But yes, let's do a wrestling site. I would spend all day there and just check back into GB for the bombcast. Keep Kessler out.

Awww. Thats mean.

Your profile picture still haunts me from the old days...

#14 Posted by TheHBK (5416 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

Has anyone watched "Hitman Hart:Wrestling with Shadows" ? Its a intresting albeit biased take on Hart's last year of his career with WWE. Its on Netflix streaming or at least WAS last I checked.

Yes, it is still up on Netflix, I saw this thing again over the weekend. Man, I still feel it is really eerie they made a documentary during this time in Brets career. Like he could feel it, everyone could, something was gonna happen. But all I have to say is Business is Business, you drop the belt when they ask you to.

@TooWalrus said:

It still blows my mind when I come across people who take wrestling seriously. I guess my love or wrestling starts and stops at WWF Super Wrestlemania.

What? What do you mean take it seriously? Like how we take games seriously or just that we are a fan of it all? I guess you might better understand. Something like this is watching Jeff and Ryan go to blows.

#15 Posted by Kasswara (178 posts) -

Great review, I wasn't even aware of this DVD. Definitely going to pick it up.

#16 Posted by ImpendingFoil (555 posts) -

@MasturbatingestBear: @TheHBK: I got into WWF after being a long WCW fan, so probably around '98 or '99. By then it was all DX but I found Michaels to be the least intertaining of the bunch. I did like some of his later Wrestlemania appearances though. Bret Hart I was never really a fan of ever.

#17 Posted by Claude (16251 posts) -

Good luck Turbo and great blog.

#18 Posted by GorillaMoPena (1695 posts) -

The only negative is the baffling choice to make the Screwjob match itself the Bluray exclusive

#19 Posted by lord_canti (1490 posts) -

it was before my time but i think il still pick it up and give it a watch

#20 Posted by TurboMan (6964 posts) -

@GorillaMoPena said:

The only negative is the baffling choice to make the Screwjob match itself the Bluray exclusive

Yup, it's actually a really good match that's out-shined by it's ending.