For those that aren’t pimping this match, I’ve got to ask, what’s up? I mean, seriously, contextually, this is one of the most important matches of our time. And, it’s treated like what, the used condom from a ’98 Scott Hall late night anal adventure? Where are the props for this match? I want to know.
So, anyway, Harley Race does the ring introductions and even he, a legend in his own right, and also a chili wizard, says that this is one of the biggest honors of his career. Then, Benoit comes down to the ring, sporting what can only be described as an Owen Hart t-shirt that was designed and created using a teenager’s desktop computer. Bret comes down to ringside, in the arena that, gasp, his little brother died tragically in. The poetry of this is too good to be written, which is all right, because this drama isn’t scripted, unlike a ten-minute in-ring promo by The Rock that was likely airing on another channel at the same time.
They start off doing some amateur wrestling, jockeying for position, etc. There are some good reversals, realistic cinching on holds, and so forth. I kind of look at this match like a three-act play. The next act is when they start ratcheting it up a notch, tempers start flaring, and things take a more physical tone. Strikes are being used now, and we’re starting to see these guys’ competitive urges manifest themselves. For me, the third act is ushered in by a scintillating suicide dive to the floor by Benoit, that just absolutely drills Bret in the face, and Hart flies backwards about ten-foot down the entrance aisle.
There’s a lot of money stuff in this last section, namely a picturesque superplex that gave me back pains by proxy. The whole time Benoit’s just drilling Bret with chops, showing no remorse for the grieving Hart. The finish is sublime, transcendent some could argue, as Hart finally sinks in “The Sharpshooter” and Benoit taps in the middle of the ring. After the match, Bret looks up at the rafters that his younger brother Owen fell to his gruesome death from, and in that moment, this is cemented as one of the most priceless pieces of wrestling footage ever. Thank you Bret and Chris, as well as Harley for the priceless introductions, and most of all, to Owen.