Bret “The Hitman” Hart – The Dungeon Collection may very well be one of the quintessential WWE DVDs in a very long time. Even if you’re not a fan of Bret Hart, the variety of old and unseen footage that the WWE pulled for this exceptional DVD is triumphant. It gives hope that all future DVDs will feature such a vast array of matches.
These wrestling bouts were hand picked by the “Excellence of Execution” himself, Bret “Hitman” Hart. Supposedly, Bret Hart was able to comb through the giant WWE archive himself to choose which unseen bouts showcased him at his best. The WWE put out a similar DVD several years ago for Hulk Hogan. The Bret Hart compilation easily blows that out of the water.
Before Bret gets into his WWE wrestling career, he covers a few matches during his Stampede Wrestling days. Stampede Wrestling was the territory his father Stu Hart owned. All the Hart boys worked for their father in some capacity, though Bret was the champion of the bunch. The shining moment of the first four matches is a contest with the underrated and often forgotten about Buzz Sawyer. Buzz Sawyer is an older territory veteran, and a true gem for fans of old school wrestling.
For a former two time tag team champion with Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, the DVD doesn’t cover much from the tag team days. There are two bouts featuring the Hart Foundation. But that’s okay, as this disc is all about the “Hitman.” The disc ends with two bouts against WWE Hall of Famers Andre the Giant, and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Hennig and Hart always had great chemistry in the ring, and the inclusion of their bout from Maple Leaf Gardens in 1989 is a lovely addition. Many fans only know the two for their bout at Summerslam 1991 or King of the Ring 1993. This match from Maple Leaf Gardens is a perfect companion to the others.
The second disc starts with the second Hart Foundation match, this one against the Twin Towers, Big Bossman and Akeem. A strange addition, as the Twin Towers were never considered a top ten tag team in the world of wrestling. Nonetheless, the disc also includes a rare match against Japanese sensation Tiger Mask. The last three contests on the disc are very good matches for several different reasons. The first match is against Ric Flair, just before Bret Hart wins the WWE Heavyweight Championship. Ric Flair was in his prime in 1992, and although it follows the same Ric Flair match formula, it’s still a nice sight to see the greatness that was the “Nature Boy.” Then there is a match against a still rookie Undertaker at Madison Square Garden. For newer fans, seeing the Undertaker in complete “Dead Man” character may surprise them a bit. In the earlier years, Undertaker did a lot less in the ring because that’s what his character called for. Lastly, the disc ends with a fantastic match against Bam Bam Bigelow from Milan, Italy. Bam Bam Bigelow is an often overlooked big man, but this match shows just how great both men were at their respective jobs.
The last disc includes mostly televised matches. This includes bouts from WWE Raw against Owen Hart, and In Your House pay per view matches against guys like the Patriot and Jean Pierre Lafitte. Not surprising at all is the fact that the third disc includes very little from his WCW run. Bret chose two matches from his stint in WCW, one against Booker T and one against Sting. The match against Sting is satisfying, but one has to wonder what these two men could have really done, had the circumstances been better.
Overall, Bret “Hitman” Hart – The Dungeon Collection is a diverse walk down memory lane. It reminds fans just how truly great a mat technician and storyteller Bret Hart was. Even if you’re not a fan, you have to respect the work the “Hitman” has contributed to the WWE. This DVD is a true masterpiece about a magnificent worker.