The Undertaker Vs Bret Hart – One Night Only 20/09/1997
It’s the SummerSlam rematch with no HBK as ref, and in the UK! No time is wasted here as Undertaker goes straight to work on caving in Bret’s face for taking the WWF Title from him in controversial fashion.
Undertaker is so violent in his attack that the referee tries to get involved, only to be run out of the ring with a single glance from the Dead Man. And while the ref was running away scared, Bret was taking off a turnbuckle pad in hopes of using it somewhere down the line.
Hart knows what The Undertaker is capable of, hence the exposed turnbuckle pad, and the moment he gets Undertaker down for the first time, he immediately attempts to lock in the Sharpshooter! No doubt people can interpret that as fear or respect on Bret’s behalf, but personally I’d say it’s both. Bret knows he needs to put Undertaker away early because Undertaker is THAT good (respect), and also because The Undertaker is fucking pissed with him lol (fear).
The very strange set up for the ring nearly injures both men, as the ring seems to be raised up with the guardrail on the floor, allowing for a small gap. Bret dives onto Undertaker, who catches him, but falls back and falls down the gap a little, causing him to trip up and fall forward onto the floor (with Bret breaking his fall lol). Being professionals though, Undertaker and Bret get right back up and continue with the spot of Undertaker smashing Bret into the ring post.
They stay on the outside for a little while, as Undertaker punishes Bret with a slam on the floor etc. Once they get back in the ring though, the Excellence of Execution finds an opening and takes advantage of it with a pretty slick looking DDT. Really nice transition spot.
Unfortunately for Bret, he doesn’t stay in control for long as the exposed turnbuckle of all things backfires on the Hitman, who is launched chest first into it! Just as Bret would go after the back and the legs of his opponents, Undertaker gives targeting a body part a go as he focuses on the now injured chest of Bret! Always cool to see The Undertaker move away from the stereotypical big man offence like this.
Bret is still a “technical marvel” though, and despite being worn down by The Undertaker, he keeps getting a few shots in on the knee of his bigger opponent, knowing it will be his way back into the match if he can get enough time to work them over before Undertaker fights back. After a few attempts, the leg of the Dead Man finally gives way and Bret is back on top.
Bretman’s leg work is pretty great to watch (Bretman is what King called him at one point during the match lol); ranging from kicks to the knee, punches to it, slamming it on the mat and even a figure four leg lock around the steel ring post that Andy loves so much :). Undertaker sells well throughout it all, and he’s really great at reacting to the fans too. When he’s in the figure four in the ring and the fans start to chant for him you can see his face changing from pain to determination, and then he starts to fight his way out of the hold to get into the match. Too many times you will see guys in submission holds just sit there while the fans chant, then the fans get bored of chanting when nothing is happening, and the guy then starts to fight out to no reaction lol.
Undertaker’s legs are hurting now, and one shot to a knee puts The Undertaker down once again, ending his comeback. Knowing the legs are pretty much fucked now, Bret starts to work over the lower back of the Dead Man, as his Sharpshooter will apply pressure to both Undertaker’s legs and lower back.
Awesome counter from a legdrop into a Sharpshooter by Bret. Undertaker started building some more momentum, but the master of the Sharpshooter knows how to lock it in from any position, and when he saw his chance he took it. Surly after all the leg work, and the little back work done, Undertaker will give up right? Hell NO! The Undertaker is no mere mortal; he kicks out of the Sharpshooter and seems to have a second wind!
Bret can sense that The Undertaker is back in this match, and in a moment of desperation grabs the ring bell to try and get DQ’d! Instead Undertaker takes it from him, and looks to get DQ’d instead, until the ref takes it off him, allowing Bret to go after the leg again! But the power of The Undertaker AGAIN allows the Dead Man to kick Bret off, and this time Bret flies to the outside, landing on a camera man! Really great sequence there.
Speaking of great sequences, the finishing stretch and finish is really great. Bret attempts a Tombstone, only for Undertaker to reverse it, followed by Bret reaching for the ropes to avoid it, which leads to Undertaker trapping Bret in the ropes by his neck! As the referee tries to free him, Undertaker goes to town on Bret’s face, causing a DQ!
Tremendous match here. I’m a fan of their other matches, but this is definitely the best of the bunch. Awesome work from Undertaker when he changes his style to more of a “Bret Hart” style once the exposed turnbuckle puts Bret down, and great leg work from Bret as he tries to get back into the match. Plus I really loved the finish too.