WWE Hart And Soul Anthology (Discs 2/3) Review By Shaun Nichols

Posted: August 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

This WWE release is hosted by the Hart Dynasty who precede to read from cue cards and don’t show any charisma at all, my tip is to fast forward the links and get straight into the matches. We start back in 1979 in Stampede in a match that illustrated the following – Bret was already far more talented than his brothers, the ropes were barely in place, Dynamite was bumping like a mad man, the commentator was commentating for his own amusement and finally it does not make sense to give the Harts interview time. Result was a double DQ.
Second up we had a bit of a letdown as I’m sure the WWE could have found a much better tag match pitting the Harts vs. Bulldogs. Highlight was Matilda the dog chasing Jimmy Hart and then Jimmy complaining to Gorilla Moonson (who was commentating) that the Bulldogs shouldn’t be allowed to have a German Shepherd at ringside. Harts as the heels were in control for most of it with Davey being the face in peril. Match finally breaks down and Bulldogs retained the titles can only imagine that Dynamite was suffering from injury as he did little in the match.
The first awesome match was the IC title clssic from Wembley Stadium, first though we had to contend with Diana (Davey’s wife and Bret’s sister) being interviewed. People have said that Davey was on drugs at the time, Diana looked to be on a number of valium. Various members of the Hart family regularly get involved before PPV matches and unfortunately these are all shown in full. Bobby Heenan gets in a great line that he says there is nothing between the champion and challenger, when Vince asks him what he means. Heenan replies well you know neither of them can read. Great comedy. Davey picks up his first solo WWF title belt and Bret begrudgingly shakes his hand. A sign of things to come.
Dull and tedious with obligatory Hart family interviews is next. We’re at the 1993 Survivor Series and the beginning of the Owen Hart heel turn. Shawn’s knights are piss poor (Red is Bary Horrowitz, Black is Jeff Gaylord and Blue is Greg Valentine). Action is fine when Shawn, Bret and Owen feature otherwise it is not good. Owen is the only Hart eliminated when he collides with Bret accidently and gets rolled up. Shawn shows what the future holds by losing by count out rather than pinfall. An hidden classic is next in a battle of brothers. This was taped for home video, so commentators including a dreadful Stan Lane make a big thing of Owen doing heel things and not supporting Bret. This isn’t true at all and its actually a fun match which ends in a Double DQ but is one of those rare matches where you don’t feel cheated, they actually get plenty of time as well. Lastly on Disc 2 is the tag title match at Royal Rumble 1994 where Owen goes full blown heel when the referee stops the match saying Bret couldn’t carry on. We also get Owen’s post match interview where he’s screaming that all Bret had to do was tag him but Bret was too selfish. This was shown on the big screen as Bret was being pushed backstage on a stretcher, those were the great days.
Disc 3 starts with great cage match from SummerSlam 1994 which relies totally on athleticism and the crowds love for Bret. Fortunately for you PG fans there is no blood. British Bulldog is back from his time in WCW and Jim Neidhart is revealed as the man who convinced Owen to turn on his family. Jerry Lawler is genius on commentary for this. The only negative part to this is that I don’t think anyone was buying that Owen had a chance to claim the WWF title. Continuing the family feud was  Bret & Davey against Owen & Neidhart in a decent TV match from Raw in November 1994. Interesting to note that TV matches got well over ten minutes.
Fast forward to 1997 and Owen faced Davey to be crowned the first European champion on an episode of Raw taped in Berlin. This was excellent, Vince was accidently hilarious by keep insisting that if you didn’t want to watch the old men you should watch WWF. I guess WCW was kicking his ass in the ratings at the time. Also on the microphone was the Honky Tonk Man this was thankfully a very short stint. Match started off with both men following the rules and holding the ropes open etc. They were also tag team champions at the time. Finally Owen starts to cheat which was fine as the fans wanted the Bulldog to cheer. Bulldog reverses a cradle to become the first European champion and then we get a few minutes of them trading insults which was horrendous as neither man should be allowed to cut promos. That was also probably Davey’s final great one vs one match.
Next was the infamous Canadian Stampade 10 man tag, what makes this so good is the partisan crowd. They really love the Hart Foundation and hated the Americans especially Steve Austin. Match was pretty much by the numbers with Owen forced to the back after Austin attacked him and then Bret sending Austin to the back after retaliating. Those who studied Booking 101 will know this means the finish will involve Owen and Austin. Austin instigates his own downfall by dragging Bruce over the guardrail, moments later he’s thrown into the ring and rolled up by Owen for the loss. We then see the entire country of Canada climbing into the ring.
The final two matches are a bit of an anticlimax and feature a flag match which sees Brian Pillman interfering to ensure the Harts win in a screwy finish. During the entrances Davey his carrying a sign showing all the members of the Hart Foundation pissing on a US flag which you ceratinly wouldn’t get today. Finally we see DX beating the Hart Dynasty on a Chrismas Day edition of Smackdown. This is probably an inside joke of Vince’s saying he thinks that Shawn was better than Bret. Overall the two discs have enough entertainment and with the cutting of a number of pre and post interviews with the Hart family would have been even better. Better hosts wouldn’t have hurt either.

Disc 2
Bruce, Keith & Bret Hart vs. Dynamite Kid & The Kiwis   **1/2
Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs   ***1/4
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog  ****1/2
Bret, Owen, Bruce and Keith Hart vs. Shawn Michaels & His Knights  **1/2
Bret & Owen Hart vs. Steiner Brothers   ****1/4
Bret & Owen Hart vs. Quebecers   **3/4
Disc 3
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart   ****1/2
Bret Hart & British Bulldog vs. Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart   ***
Owen Hart vs. British Bulldog   ****
Bret Hart, Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs. Steve Austin, Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock & Goldust  ****
Bret Hart, Owen Hart & British Bulldog vs. Steve Austin, Dude Love & Undertaker   ***
Hart Dynasty vs. DX   **3/4

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