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Bruno in the 80's


Why didn't Crockett, or Watts, or Gagne, or Von Erich make a play for Bruno in, say, 84? Would there have been money Flair vs Bruno in, say, 85? Could it have competed with the WWF at the time?

​Bruno ended up pretty disgusted with the wrestling business as a whole, and he was financially secure, so I doubt he would have had much interest.  Clearly though even in 86 when he was doing the Steamboat revenge tour against Savage he had some drawing power left, so I'm surprised no one ever did make a serious go at him once he left.  Ditto someone like Bob Backlund after he dropped the title in 84 and then vanished off the face of the earth for 10 years.  ​

Comments

  1. Wow HartKiller isn't here yet...he's slacking off!

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  2. Bret was always booked bad in the wwf and it was his shear talent that got him over

    Wretlemania agaisnt bob backland. The summerslam agasnt a evil dentist. While Shawn got the push...

    If Bret ever got the Kevin Nash Shawn push he would be known as the greater ever. He still is to me though and that's all that really matters

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  3. Aye, Bret being given the title is kinda weird. An early provisional
    plan of Bret losing it to Austin at the next Mania?

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  4. With the way they downplayed him you'd think he was leaving the company or something.

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  5. Extant1979 - Extreme SuperstarApril 24, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    Survivor Series 1997 was a pitch-perfect ending, "Screwjob" and all, to the previous two years of Bret Hart's career. When Bret Hart won the title from Diesel at SurSer95, Vince McMahon started subtly began taking jabs at Hart on commentary, questioning if he still had it. And throughout the final two years of his WWF career, during every one of Hart's feuds, he had an underlying agitator in Vince McMahon.


    In terms of a story, the screwjob makes sense as a final act, with that "documentary," Wrestling With Shadows, serving as a behind-the-scenes look at what was going on at the time.


    Why would VKM put the title on Bret Hart at the SummerSlam in 1997? Because it helped set up Survivor Series.


    I do wonder, though, if the original plan at some point for Bret Hart was to eventually have an on-camera feud with Vince. I wouldn't be surprised if the actual plan for WrestleMania XiV was HBK-Austin with Tyson as the referee, with a secondary main event of Hart-McMahon.


    I still say Montreal was a work.

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  6. I thought Bret named his son Blade, not Bacon. Maybe Bacon is one of his illegitimate children with all the random women he banged over the years?

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  7. I wouldn't nessecarily say DX was "hot" then, but Shawn did convince Vince that he should be in the main event over Bret and then went out and delivered two great Taker main events. DX was over but not like WWE tries to make it out to be today.

    The hottest act between Summerslam and SSeries was Austin, hands down. Literally nothing else was particularly over. The Hart Foundation was stuck feuding with the Nation and lower level Americans and Hunter/Mankind was on its last legs, a feud that was never over to begin with.

    Also Shawn/Bret was not that hot of a feud either, with a week to go before their match. It was the 1wrestling report about Bret leaving that got everything going 6 days before the match.

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  8. *shakes Extant1979 violently*

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  9. Shawn was a cool dude who had chicks all over him, and liked to party and bring those chicks along.

    Bret was more of an introvert and went off on his own to bang chicks and talk about feelings, rather than party.

    Vince liked hanging out with Shawn more than with Bret, and so Shawn was in his ear, and Bret was in the midcard.

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  10. AverageJoeEverymanApril 24, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    It is too bad they didnt go with the 1 on 1 Bret vs Vader match, that would have been a killer 1-2 punch with the Hell in a Cell. Ill admit though that while others may not, I loved the Patriot at the time. I thought it was a great contrast to have this over the top good guy in the burgeoning Attitude shades of grey era and he fit the storyline well, just too bad he got hurt quickly.

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  11. My first reaction to Patriot was pity. One half of Stars and Stripes seemed like he'd be overmatched in the WWF.

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  12. Extant1979 - Extreme SuperstarApril 24, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    That's a hell of a rebuttal.

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  13. "To this day I'm still confused about why he even put the World title back on him in the first place given how much we know now." Vince McMahon has the attention span of a gnat?

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  14. They should've put Bret with Mankind.

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  15. In hindsight things would have been so much simpler to keep the belt on Taker until Bad Blood but Bret and the Foundation were seriously hot at that point and I can see the reasoning behind him getting the title back.

    The problem for him then was that Shawn and DX caught fire so quick as "new era" heels that they blew the Harts more standard heel act away in basically no time. Seriously watch the tussling promo's between the Harts and DX and it's obvious to anybody which was the act they had to go with at that time.

    Bret's demotion was strange in that he was champion but really they had their reasons 1) DX were a far hotter heel act, 2) Taker/Kane was an angle they were committed to plus Taker was involved with Shawn, 3) Austin was heading for the top and they needed to keep him around and in the limelight, 4) Most importantly BRET WAS LEAVING

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  16. Why Vince gave Bret the belt at that point is the real mystery in the Montreal affair. Someone a while ago posted a theory that I'm too hungover to remember exactly, but it was very convincing. Any ideas?

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  17. Totally agreed on the DX/Harts point. In fact, I think the promos leading up to Survivor Series really underline just how incongruous and anachronistic Hart was at that point - he looks and sounds like a crusty old man, shaking his fist feebly at the punk kid who just rang his doorbell and ran off across his lawn.

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  18. Shawn was over. HHH was his high pitched trying to be cool sidekick

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  19. Doctor FunkopolisApril 24, 2015 at 8:49 AM

    Everything says Bret drops the strap to Austin at Mania.

    And I suspect Shawn gets murdered by Taker and goes on vacation as HHH starts his way to the top and Taker sets his sights on Austin.

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  20. Shawn hitting Taker with the chair and helping Bret win the title help launch him and DX into the stratosphere. Plus is it me or does Bret hauck the best loogies in the business?

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  21. they really didnt know Bret was leaving in early August (when he won the title).

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  22. I think Bret nailed it in during Wrestling with Shadows. Bret was the hot heel in summer 97 but Shawn swiped all his heat at SummerSlam.

    Once Shawn/Taker started, that was the #1 feud. Also hurt Bret that Austin was on the shelf, so they couldnt keep that going.

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  23. No its not. He wanted Shawn to beat Bret for the belt on Bret's way out. Not rocket science.

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  24. "With spit in my eye, I told Bret that nobody threw a better loogie than him."

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  25. ehh the neck injury slowed Austin down a bit in that time span. He picked it back up in December and around Rumble time imo.

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  26. What are you talking about?? DX wasnt hot?? Go watch Hell in a Cell again...people are literally screaming for Taker to kill Shawn. DX was on FIRE by October.

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  27. Unless Vince was CERTAIN that Bret was leaving before Summerslam, the obvious reason that Hart got the belt back was so that he could lose it to Steve Austin at Wrestlemania. Austin was finally going to get his win over Bret Hart.

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  28. exactly that was the end game before the whole "I'm broke and cant pay you" bullshit.

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  29. Yep the problem wasnt Bret getting the title. The problem was the finish made HBK, not Bret, the #1 heel.

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  30. Which Bret picked up on immediately. As smart as he was, I'm still surprised that he went along with that particular finish.

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  31. because he was good friends with taker and probably wanted to help protect him would be my guess.

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  32. This reminds me of that horribly blatant blade job Undertaker did on Raw after getting hit with the chair by Michaels. An old school guy like Bill Watts probably would have fired him for exposing the business like that.

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  33. Bret "Midcard" Hart has a ring to it.

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  34. I think Summerslam was early that year, like the first week of August...so Bret got the belt back more than a month before Vince brought up wanting to let him out of his contract. I'm guessing Bret getting the belt and dropping it to Austin was the original plan so they stuck with that up until Bret's and/or his contract became a pain in the ass and heel Shawn took off and they changed directions.

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  35. Totally disagree. There wasn't a whole lot of screaming done by WWF fans in late 97 unless it involved Austin. Its a lot of revisionist history that makes people think DX was so over then.

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  36. But when he had the injuried neck he was stunning everybody, really put the character over the top.

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  37. Bret used to like to meet girls at a bar, sweet talk them back to his hotel room, pop on his match vs Davey at the Summerslam and confide in them that he had no idea why Vince thought Shawn was better than him.

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  38. I didn't really get Bret's complaints with Vince's commentary. His return match vs Austin is the one he complains about most, but he was off for six months and Vince suggests he's rusty which really just puts Bret over more for fighting through the ring rust to win the match.

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  39. I have to disagree with you, DX (moreso Shawn rather than HHH) were pretty over as annoying heels. This having watched that era with a bunch of college kids in the dorm, who HATED their guts, and they got pretty good heel heat as well.

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  40. I guess Vince wanted to water down Hart incase he jumped as not to allow to WCW to capatlise on Bret. Vince clearly didn't need to do that as WCW made sure Hart's career was clearly over the moment he left WWF.

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  41. Because Vince?

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  42. Even as a huge Bret fan at the time, and more or less still, I would call that a not-unfair assessment after reading his book.

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  43. So are you just going to pretend the "MAKE HIM BLEED!" chants from HIAC didn't exist? DX was drawing monster heat from the crowds.

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  44. "Pretty over" and "Austin over" are two different things. I just don't think you could point to many WWF fans in late 97 and say I'm paying to see HBK get beat. Hunter was no where near over and it's a coincidence that he was in DX.

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  45. I watched that match a hundred times and have never heard that chant before. And this is late 97, fans wanted blood, doesn't matter who was bleeding.

    Granted HBK did draw heat, not saying that, but to say he drew monster heat in late 97 is disingenuous. I wouldn't put his DX run in the top 50 most over factions/wrestlers, not even close.

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  46. They were undeniably improving their ratings behind DX's antics. The first hourly victory Raw had in 18 months came in a Raw that was basically centered entirely around the group. We're really just gonna have to agree to disagree. I've been watching the late 97/98 Raws and they were absolutely loathed by the crowds.

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  47. there's some truth to this.


    just look at how Bret Hart's championship reigns in the WWF went:


    1. the "fighting for respect" champion. won the belt by suprise and was presented as a much smaller deal in the buildup to his first ppv title defense as four other guys (Savage/Warrior vs. Flair/Ramon). loses the belt at Mania, only for the "real hero" to come in and save the day.

    2. wins the belt in a convincing fashion. but loses the first ppv title defense by dq and is getting destroyed by Michaels and Diesel afterwards. is put in a less good spot than the Undertaker - who closes the other two shows that Hart came in as champion at.
    3. gets the belt to stop the Diesel push but is a mere transition champion that gets beaten up by the former and the Undertaker and is made to look like he only managed to escape with the title because both of them interfered in their matches against him.

    4. not a real "reign" because he won the belt only to lose it one day later to further the angle between him and Austin.
    5. the one mentioned in the initial posting. is put in feuds with guys that were presented as midcard angles.

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  48. You're right, when viewed in that framework, Shawn wasn't as over as Austin, just about nobody was, but when you take him away (which in the annals of wrestling history, he would be top 3), Shawn and DX held their own, and fans did want to pay to see them get their asses kicked because they were beyond obnoxious. HHH found his footing in DX, but you're right, it was Shawn (and to a lesser extent Chyna) were the main driving forces.

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  49. You can argue that entire spot is the most important 10 seconds in the history of the industry.

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  50. We'll have to agree to disagree but I'm inching closer to your last comment.

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  51. When did DX beat Raw in the ratings? That would be a good trivia argument, but I can believe it to be true.

    And as opposed to watching them for the first time now I watched them for the first time in late 97, and they just went as over as you're thinking they were. I assure you.

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  52. Sorry meant when did DX beat Nitro in the ratings, carry on.

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  53. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!April 24, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    You win.

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  54. December 22, 1997. Second hour of Raw beat the third hour of Nitro. The whole show was nonstop DX antics with the main event being the infamous HHH/HBK European title match.

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  55. Ok, I'm trying to find that myself. Certainly don't remember that but not saying you're wrong. In any case, late Dec 1997 is not what I've been referring too. The original email about HBK and Bret in late 97. My consensus has been that DX was not particularly over when Bret was still with the company. Indeed, the tide was turning as went into 1998, ratings increasing, attendance increasing. But I still say Austin had more to do with that than DX.

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  56. "Ween" Dean AndrewsApril 24, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    The slow burial of Bret was such a well-written slow-burning story, and a perfect example of why anyone saying, "It's just a conspiracy theory to think the WWE is 'refusing to push' Bryan as part of a modern grassroots campaign spanning 2 years", is a huge mark.

    I'm still not personally convinced that Shawn didn't retire at WM14 due to rehab. He was careless in the casket match. Right. Famously sloppy, that Shawn.

    And we all remember the time that HBK was so in pain with his back that he thought Jericho was the New Doink. Hell he showed up in so much back pain that they had to send him home!

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  57. Do you have a source for these hour breakdowns but I can't find it. I found a site that said Nitro beat Raw 4.5 to 3.1 on dec 22 so that would indicate to me that you had a false source.

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