12th May2013

‘Bret “Hit Man” Hart: The Dungeon Collection’ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat

Bret Hart has had a long and historied wrestling career, from his early days in his fathers promotion Stampede Wrestling, to his time in the WWE and the controversial Montreal Screwjob in 1997; from his days in WCW to his return to the WWE in 2010, Bret Hart is also one of the most famous wrestlers of the past three decades and this new Blu-ray collection shows why…

Bret-Hart-photo

Bret Hart is an “interesting” character. One of the greatest stars of the WWE during the 80s and early 90s, Hart was – much like John Cena, Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker – one of those superstars that could do no wrong. No matter whether he was face or heel, Hart had his fans and they loved him. But then along came the Attitude era, his personal problems (including a severe concussion in 1999 which led to his October 200 retirement), his much-publicised falling out with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and the death of his brother Owen Hart in 1999, and the luster of Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation faded.

Of course Hart has since made his peace with Vince McMahon and the WWE and has made numerous appearances at WWE events (most recently at Royal Rumble 2013) and is, of course, an inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame. However I, sadly, don’t think Bret Hart ever really recovered from the infamous Montreal Screwjob, he may have made some professional inroads back into the spotlight but that magic is no longer there, the “The Excellence of Execution” isn’t as excellent as it once was.

However despite my feelings on Bret Hart he can still draw a crowd. And pull in DVD sales… Already the subject of two documentaries – Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows and Bret “Hit Man” Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, Hart’s career has been covered quite substantially already so this latest WWE release had to be something special.

Essentially a companion piece to the previous WWE release, Bret “Hit Man” Hart: The Dungeon Collection was compiled by Bret Hart himself and features over 8 hours of in-ring action, encompassing matches never before released on DVD or Blu-ray, including some pre-dating Hart’s time in the WWE – in fact all the way back to the late 70s and Hart’s first few appearances in the Stampede Wrestling promotion.

As Hart’s personal story has already been well documented, this release see Hart takes viewers behind each match in brand new interview footage detailing the inside stories surrounding these hand-picked matches. And what matches! Not only does feature plenty of Hart’s WWE and WCW matches – including those against some familiar (wrestling) faces: Bam Bam Bigelow, Andre The Giant, Mr. Perfect, Ric Flair, Yokozuna, Sting, Booker T; but it also includes two matches with the UK’s own Dynamite Kid, Hart’s match at the Tokyo Dome in Japan where he wrestled Tiger Mask II and his feud with his own brother, Owen Hart, from 1995.

Whilst this is the Bret Hart story, Bret “Hit Man” Hart: The Dungeon Collection is also a look at the history of wrestling through Hart’s matches and as such is essential viewing for not only Bret Hart fans but also for those true wrestling aficionados who appreciate the skill as well as the spectacle.

Bret “Hit Man” Hart: The Dungeon Collection is released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 13th, courtesy of FremantleMedia.

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