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Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart DVD Review

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

By

Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart DVD Review

WWE Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart DVD Cover

© 2011 WWE, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Montreal Screwjob is the most controversial and talked about match in wrestling history. This DVD set features Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart discuss that match in an interview conducted by Jim Ross. Unfortunately, that match is not on the DVD. It is only available on the Blu-ray version of this set. Please note that my review and star rating for this set is for the DVD version of this release.

Review and Recommendation

Format of the DVD: The first disc features Jim Ross interviewing Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart about their famous rivalry. Discs two and three feature eight matches as well as Bret's return to RAW and both men's WWE Hall of Fame induction speeches.

Packaging Note: The DVD set features a chapter listing on the inside sleeve of the package.

The Interview: The interview portion of the set lasts around two hours and features Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart sitting next to each other while being interviewed by Jim Ross. Both men have seemed to put the anger of their past behind them and appear to be watching their words to not come off as petty or nasty. That doesn't mean that they don't show real emotion during this interview though. This is by far the best interview the WWE has put out on DVD.

While it would be easy to credit just Bret and Shawn for that, a lot of credit must also be given to Jim Ross. Jim Ross did a significantly better job in this role than Matt Striker did for the Rey Mysterio DVD and Michael Cole did for Shawn Michaels DVD. He kept the conversation moving and made sure that both men spoke about some of the things they had mentioned in the past that it looks like they would rather have not have talked about in this interview.

Match Selection: This is the biggest problem with the DVD set. How can you possibly have a DVD set about this feud and not feature their bout from Survivor Series 1997? I know that the WWE is trying to get fans to buy Blu-ray sets but to rip off their DVD customers like this is just ludicrous. As if that wasn't bad enough, one of the matches features commentary in Japanese. Since the company had Bret and Shawn together for the day, one has to wonder why they couldn't get them to do an alternate commentary track for at least one match.

Length of the DVD: I know this is starting to get tiresome with my reviews, but as long as the back of the box says "Approx. running time: 9 hours.", it is my duty to let you know just how far away from that time these sets are getting. Excluding previews and the "Don't Try This at Home" segments, disc one has a running time of 126 minutes, disc two runs for a minute less than that, and disc three clocks in at a respectable 173 minutes. That comes out to a little more than seven hours. It's not like they didn't have the time on this DVD set to include the Montreal Screwjob.

Overall Recommendation: Great idea but hideous execution by the production team over at WWE Home Video. A conscious decision was made to turn the Montreal Screwjob into the DVD Screwjob. Because of that, I can't in good conscience recommend that you purchase this DVD. Another issue with the final two discs of this DVD is that you never get a real sense that there is a huge rivalry and hatred between the two men. There are just a bunch of random matches between the two men over a seven year period. It would have helped to feature some of the promos from 1997 where the mutual hatred the men felt towards each other was very noticeable or even some of the vignettes that Bret mentioned in his book before the Iron Man Match to illustrate the lack of respect that Bret was feeling from the company. While I can't recommend the DVD, I would suggest if you buy this to get the Blu-ray version of the set.

I also highly recommend that before you watch this that you check out Wrestling With Shadows which is currently streaming online for free. That will give you a real sense of the hatred and behind-the-scenes issues going on between the two men. Especially if you weren't a fan of the sport back in 1997, you will get a much better understanding of some of the events the two men discussed during the interview.

Matches on This DVD Set

For matches that are available on other non-PPV DVDs, I will note the DVD it is also available on in parenthesis and italics.

Disc Two

  • MSG 11/25/89: The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation (Shawn Michaels: My Journey)
  • Wrestling Challenge 2/10/90: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
  • Tokyo Dome 3/30/91: The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation
  • Portland 7/21/92: Ladder Match - WWE Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (The Ladder Match)
  • Syracuse 4/29/92: Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
  • Survivor Series '92: WWE Bret Hart vs. Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels - Only the WWE Championship was on the line (Greatest Stars of the '90s)
  • Utica 12/1/93: Steel Cage Match - Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
Disc Three
  • WrestleMania XXII: Iron Man Match - WWE Champion Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (Shawn Michaels: From the Vault; The History of the WWE Championship)
  • Bret Hart's Hall of Fame Induction
  • RAW 1/4/10: Bret Hart Returns to RAW
  • Shawn Michaels' Hall of Fame Induction
Blu-ray Exclusives (source: Silvervision)
  • Survivor Series '97: WWE Champion Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (Best of Confidential Vol. 1)
  • Several promos from 1997 as well as some extra footage from the interview
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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