October 12th, 1992
House show (Saskatoon, Canada)
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Lord Alfred Hayes
I’m watching this on the Smack ‘Em Whack ‘Em coliseum video released on April 22nd 1993. It features other dark matches such and Undertaker vs Razor Ramon, Bret Hart vs Kamala for the WWF Title and the famous Bret vs Shawn Ladder Match. Some of these might be worthy of a review, so feel free to request. Anyway, onto the match.
WWF Championship – Ric Flair(w/ Mr. Perfect) vs. Bret Hart
Great reception for Bret in Saskatoon, Stu’s hometown. Early lockup as Flair fires off the WOOs already, and works the count a couple of times. Naitch works a headlock and switches into a hammerlock, reversed by Bret who turns it into his own hammerlock. Flair makes it to the ropes and we get a stalemate. Bret continues to slug away on Flair’s arm, who keeps taking advantage of the ropebreak rule and turns things over with a chop. Suplex incoming, but Bret blocks it and suplexes Ric for two. Backdrop is followed by the abdominal stomp and Flair bails. Flair puts Bret in a wristlock back inside the ring, only for Bret to bridge his way out of it and turn it into his own wristlock. Flair makes it to the ropes again, but Bret climbs the ropes with the hold still on for a little extra punishment. Naitch tries to escape using a drop toehold, only for Bret to immediately wrestle his way back into the wristlock. And adds a few knees on Ric’s arm to boot. Bret continues the clinic by legdropping the arm, at which point Flair begs off in the corner. This opens the door for a cheapshot from the champ, who proceeds to dump Bret onto the floor.
Hart tries to fight back with a springboard sunset flip, only for Flair to catch him with a closed fist. Bret tries it again and now succeeds, after pulling the tights and exposing what’s on the other side of Space Mountain, and gets two. It gets Flair all worked up as we keep up the pace, leaving Flair open for a comeback by Bret with a backdrop followed by a series of clotheslines. Ric bails for some advice from Perfect, but has a headbutt waiting for him back inside. It gets Bret two. Flair rakes the eyes and rams Bret into the buckle to turn things around, with Bret eating the buckle hard as usual. Another Bret Hart bump on the turnbuckle shakes the whole ring. A cocky Flair takes his time pounding away on Hart, eventually hitting a legbreaker as it seems to be time to go to school. The corner chops set up the kneedrop, but Bret moves out of the way and Flair sets himself up for the Sharpshooter. Flair kicks him off to escape the hold, so Bret goes after the leg some more with a legbreaker of his own. It’s time to go to… the Dungeon?! FIGURE FOUR BY BRET! This match rules!
Flair eventually makes the ropes to break, and misses an elbowdrop to the leg taking himself out. Flair tries to capitalize but he’s limping, allowing Bret to sneak in a backslide for a close nearfall. Flair takes control with another cheapshot as he’s still trying to get the feeling back on his legs. This allows Bret to catch Ric in a sleeper, but Naitch blocks it with a backdrop suplex. Meanwhile, Perfect’s reaching for something in his pocket at ringside. Small package by Ric gets two. Butterfly suplex gets two, as Flair connects with the kneedrop this time around. And a chop gets two more. However, Flair stops to question Hebner’s counting, allowing Bret to roll him up for two. Bret tries to make a comeback, but Flair quickly shrugs it off with a legbreaker. And now it’s time for the Figure Four. Flair gets a few two-counts off it but Bret fights out of it with the support of the crowd, turning it over until Flair again gets to the ropes to break. Ric starts kicking away at the leg repeatedly, as well as throwing some knees on it. He goes for the Figure Four once again, but this time Bret cradles him and gets two. Flair chops away in the corner once more until Bret starts fighting back, only to charge into Flair’s boot in the other corner. Flair goes up but… wait for it… gets slammed off!
BRET HART PLAYING POSSUM ALERT! Bret backdrops Naitch out of the corner, and starts finally making the comeback now. The elbow gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Backbreaker sets up the middle-rope elbow for two. Snap suplex gets two more. Flair again begs off in the corner only to start throwing some chops, with Hart even taking the straps down as a challenge to Flair. Having had just enough, Bret finally slugs his way out of the corner. A big superplex takes Naitch down hard, with a huge pop from the crowd who can smell the incoming title change. Bret hooks the Sharpshooter and BY GAWD wins the WWF Championship for the first time at 26:30. Hebner hands over the belt and raises Bret’s arm, and Saskatoon throws the babies in the air!
- Rating: Just an awesome no-nonsense house show wrestling match here. It was structured brilliantly, with Bret putting on a wrestling clinic in front of his people. A brilliant first day at the office for brand-new WWF Champion Bret Hart, trusted to carry the gold during the ongoing legal issues regarding steroids. I thought the story of both guys going after each other’s legs to set up their own submission move extremely engaging and dramatic. Bret got the better of it in the end, really putting over the fact that he was going to make the most of this one opportunity no matter what. Props to Flair for putting Bret over like a pro shortly before finishing up with the WWF. Great match that I wish had been on TV. ****1/4
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