Friday, 30 December 2016

Remember I Started a 1994 WWF Project?

It was like five years ago, but yes, I did start that. This is me now continuing it. I guess.

Bret Hart v Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X, 3/20/94)

I've always really liked this without loving it. Last time I checked it out was for a Greatest WWF/E match ever poll about six years ago, and even if it wasn't a personal favourite I thought it was pretty great. I figured it would hold up, and it did. I've seen Bret a hundred thousand times at this point and I know what I'm getting with him. He was good in this like you'd expect. All of his stuff looked nice and crisp, he sold well, bumped well, and the layout was simple yet effective with transitions that held weight. I like that about the longer Bret matches. They're usually broken down into clear chapters, and the progression from chapter to chapter makes sense. It's pretty standard Bret Hart layout, but I absolutely don't mean that in a bad way. But man, this was Owen's chance to shine and shine he did. The early stuff is pretty basic, mostly being armdrag/armbar work, but Owen is really fun during it. He celebrates everything like it's a victory, grabs hair and subtly cheats, then gets indignant when Bret does the slightest thing well. So he just slaps him real hard across the face (which we get a great payback to shortly after). There were two extended runs of offence for Owen in this, the first where he works over the back and the second, which comes after a short Bret comeback, where he works over the leg (including kicking his leg out of his leg). Offensively he dipped into his New Japan bag because he was throwing out all sorts of cool stuff for 1994 WWF. He hit a bridging German suplex (which looked better than most German suplexes thrown in WWE in years), did a couple dragon screws, put on a funky Indian deathlock thing, sat in a camel clutch while yanking hair and shit talking at the same time, etc. Just a really fun offensive display. Bret's offence was mostly his usual stuff; the back breaker, the side Russian leg sweep, elbow off the middle rope, all the hits you expect him to play. I like the finish a lot as well. Did Owen get lucky? Maybe a little. But was it luck that he knew to make that counter in the first place? Was it luck that he was able to execute it properly and keep Bret down? Was it luck that he controlled most of the match and showed he could hang? Maybe Bret wasn't all there mentally, having the title match later to think about and never being completely happy about wrestling his brother anyway, but that wasn't Owen's fault. Next time Bret should know better. I don't think this is the best WWF match of the 90s or anything (I don't know if it's the best WWF match of 1994), but it had a well-told story, lots of nice little touches, cool paybacks, smart callbacks...yeah, it was pretty great.

1994 WWF Project