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July 25, 1987 / TJ Hawke

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) from WWF 1987


Recap from David Arthur:

This clip I am reviewing is both great and terrible. Great because it features a match between two of the best tag teams of all time, and terrible because to see the match, at least as of this upload, you have to endure regular interruptions of facsimilies of humor/entertainment provided by WWE’s most underwhelming, underachieving superstar, Zack Ryder, due to is being part of something called Zack Ryder’s “Iced 3.” I have no idea what that is.


At any rate, this match takes place at one of the WWF’s (yeah that’s right, F) many television tapings at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The action is called by the classic play-by-play and color duo of Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Aflred Hayes. Rounding out our guest stars of this match is a man I have always referred to as the “MSG Ref.” An older fellow I’ve seen referee many a match at the legendary venue who has a special talent for dulling down the action with his painfully slow pinfall counting.


The match begins with Matilda, the English Bulldog that serves as The British Bulldogs mascot, going after the manager of The Hart Foundation, “The Mouth of the South,” Jimmy Hart. As Hart frantically escapes the ring, and the wrath of the mutt, Davey Boy Smith is jumped from behind by Jim “The Anvil,” Neidhart and Bret “The Hitman,” Hart while Smith’s partner, The Dynamite Kid, wrangles Matilda under control and hands her off to an official.


The HF work over Smith, using classic illegal tactics such as the legal man in the ring distracting the referee while his partner does damage to Smith in their corner. After a whip reversal by Smith resulting in a collision between the HF, Smith makes the tag to Dynamite, and the Bulldogs take control. Right around here is the first of several annoying interjections by Zack Ryder who continuously fails to say anything worth hearing.


The Dynamite Kid has control of the match. He and Smith tag in and out while working over Bret Hart. Bret shifts the momentum by taking a shot at Dynamite’s throat and tagging in Anvil. Anvil manages to put Dynamite out of the ring, so he can distract the referee again while Bret does damage outside.


Back in the ring, Bret is tagged in. Dynamite uses his weight to turn the momentum of a body slam by Bret against him and fall on top of him, but this does little more than cause momentary pause. Bret tags in Anvil, who delivers a headbutt to Dynamite. Now this is only slightly less stupid than headbutting a Samoan wrestler, as Dynamite is well known for using headbutts in his offense. Anvil is the one who suffers for this, and it’s followed by Dynamite delivering a headbutt of his own, taking Anvil off his feet. Dynamite tries to tag in Smith, but Anvil tags in Bret first and Bret quickly blocks Dynamite, who does manage to make the tag, but alas the referee was distracted by either Anvil or Jimmy Hart, for he did not see it and forces Smith back to his corner. The infamous “Blind Tag.”


Around the 10:05 mark, Anvil whips Bret towards Dynamite, who is in the HF’s corner, but Dynamite moves out of the way, causing Bret to crash face first into the turnbuckles. He tosses Anvil outside the ring and finally makes the tag to his partner. Davey Boy Smith proceeds to clean house. He hits his trademark moves on Bret Hart, the stalling vertical suplex and the running powerslam. He even picks Bret up for a gorilla press slam but loses his balance and drops Bret crotch first on the top rope. I’m unsure whether this is better or worse than falling to the floor. Smith tries to suplex Bret back into the ring, but Jimmy Hart distracts the referee and Anvil trips Smith up, causing Bret to fall on him and get the three count for the victory. Dynamite Kid is furious, and the Bulldogs attack. They hurl Bret Hart full speed into Jim “The Anvil,” which is probably like being thrown into a brick wall, then Smith picks Jimmy Hart up for a press slam and throws him onto Anvil, who following the awkward tumble make their escape.


This match is an excellent example of smart tag team wrestling between two of the greatest teams ever. Nothing was dragged out too long and the timing was seemingly perfect on everything. We don’t get this type of match very much anymore since WWE’s modern style of tag team matches consist of pairing two teams of two random guys together and making sure everyone gets as many of their signature moves in as possible with little psychology. This match was so good even Zack Ryder’s asinine interruptions couldn’t ruin it. Sometimes they need to leave the “entertainment,” someplace else and just let the matches, especially old gems such as this, be enjoyed for the great matches they are. Wrestling. That is all.


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