I’m not as nostalgic as some fellas my age; I like cartoons from when I was a kid, for example, but I also recognize that they were almost uniformly crappy.
Likewise, I think today’s WWE product, for all its faults, is underrated by fans who remain somewhat blind to the faults of ‘80s and ‘90s WWF.
However, inspired by chatter in recent BoD threads, I thought I’d check out the main event of Survivor Series 1996. Only I got distracted by Hart-Austin.
And here’s the thing: it’s not just the scrubs and goofs and hosses whose modern efforts pale in comparison to that match; the smark darlings look like hopeless hacks in light of that match, as well.
Mute the audio (although Ross and even McMahon do offer some compelling analysis on commentary) and just watch Bret Hart sell during the final fifteen or twenty minutes of that match.
I struggle to take Finn Balor or Seth Rollins seriously after watching a match like this.
Bret Hart was the goddamn man. For my money, no one could sell a beating better (the current crop tend to forget to sell when they’re on offense; that’s when Bret’s selling was at its most convincing!), and I rank him high on the list of the greatest storytellers of the twentieth century.
Bret from 96-97 was just killing it in the ring. That being said, Bret NOT killing it could be really lazy and repetitive, just like many others, but when he had something to work with, there were few workers on his level.