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WWE Network Deep Cuts (May 14, 2014): Bret Hart! Owen Hart! Not against each other!

Bret Hart faces Dr. Tom Prichard in a TV special! Owen Hart takes on a young Edge! Nikita Koloff lays on the mat and so does Bobby Eaton! Dean Malenko faces Jeff Jarrett the brief Horseman! Rob Van Dam has a friend!

This week's edition of WWE Network Deep Cuts is a real grab bag. I watched a couple matches I hadn't seen in forever to see if they'd gotten better. They did not. And then I was, like, I want to watch some Hart brothers stuff. So I did, but chose some rather obscure matches. Huh? OBSCURE?

There's also a match between Rob Van Dam and Friend! NWA! WCW! ECW! WWF! It's all here! It's time for the Deep Cuts!

Nikita Koloff vs Bobby Eaton (NWA (WCW) Bunkhouse Stampede, 1/24/88)

"Koloff's a smart athlete," Jim Ross notes at one point. "He's learned a lot from teaming with Dusty Rhodes, his Superpartner." I was hoping maybe this match had aged well, because I haven't watched this in a long, long time. Nope. NOPE. It sucks. This match sucks, you guys. I like Koloff, and I love Bobby Eaton, but the second half of this match is just Eaton holding a hammerlock for the most part. Big sorry piece of crap of a match. Swing and a miss. Maybe you'll disagree. Watch it! Or don't. I really recommend you don't, unless you're zombified and just want to stare at something and wonder why. Big ol' pile of garbage. This reminds me of the Rude-Roberts match from WrestleMania IV. Laying around and waiting on a time limit draw. Two talented performers sucking so hard it's unreal.

Match Rating:

Bret Hart vs Dr. Tom Prichard (WWF Monday Night Raw, 2/21/94)

  • (Start time: About 25:00)

This show was during the build-up to WrestleMania X, where Hart was scheduled to face brother Owen for the first time, and then get a title shot later in the night. Color commentator Randy Savage had a shot at Yokozuna coming the next week, and if he had won, he would have taken Yoko's spot at Mania. He did not.

This is a really good TV wrestling match between two guys who could really go. It's fun watching Bret be the clear favorite in these matches, especially when he's in with someone good, which Prichard was. After a commercial break, Vince has Donnie Wahlberg of NKOTB on the horn. He's SO pumped about their new album. He thinks Donnie Wahlberg coming to WrestleMania is a big deal. 1994 Vince was not in the loop.

Dean Malenko vs Jeff Jarrett (WCW Slamboree, 5/18/97)

  • (Start time: About 1:07:00)

Jarrett was a quasi-Horseman at this point, which didn't last long. Malenko was the WCW United States champion, which also didn't last long, and Malenko probably should have been a Horseman at this point, but he was later, and that didn't last long. I remember there was a Prodigy chat that Arn Anderson did in late '97 or early '98, maybe, where he said that if he could reform the Horsemen at that time, he would have chosen Flair, Benoit, Malenko, and Bill Goldberg. He also plugged his book a lot. Yes, a Prodigy chat. A Prodigy chat.

Jarrett was pissing off Mongo McMichael around this time by hanging out with Debra a lot. Turned out Mongo had things to worry about, but not really Jarrett so much. This is a hell of a good match between a couple of really good professional wrestlers. It's entirely about the match, and then Mongo comes out to drag Debra away at a pretty random time, which leads into Jarrett losing. Mongo was all concerned about his upcoming classic with Reggie White, and needed Debra's input.

Owen Hart vs Edge (WWF Breakdown: In Your House, 9/27/98)

Edge was a lil' feller at the time, brand new on the scene with a vague, totally undefined character that seemed mysterious at first but quickly just became pointless. It was pretty obvious that they didn't know what they were doing with him, other than he was supposed to be some kind of, like, techno Raven who had some past history with the new vampire idiot, Gangrel. That became the Brood, which sucked, and then eventually Edge and Christian got to break out later in 1999 with the Hardys. Yay!

Owen was in his DANGER! period, solidly entrenched in the WWF midcard, still a top worker when he felt like it, though he did not always feel like it. Here, he looks to give the newcomer something good, and he does it. Edge later credited Owen with helping teach him about life on the road and in the ring and what have you. Edge had also struggled out of the gate in the WWF, but he got his first good match here, which was also his first PPV singles match. There's a sick powerslam on the floor that some jackass gets his sign in the way of, but luckily there's a good angle replay. Christian makes his debut distracting Edge, giving Owen the win.

Rob Van Dam vs Scotty Anton (ECW Heat Wave, 7/16/00)

  • (Start time: About 1:49:00)

THE NETWORK had put Scotty Riggs into a sort of notable role. In reality, Rob Van Dam was getting his pal some work, and a chance to look good in ECW. Anton wasn't exactly warmly embraced by the ECW crowd, as expected, but that was OK in his role as a NETWORK STOOGE. ECW was so rinky dink that THE NETWORK was TNN. They were having a war with TNN. Paul was running short on options and ideas at this point. Anton clapped like he did with the American Males, so he was going to "give you the clap." Get it?! Haha. Hilarious. Revolutionary. ECW! ECW!

The story here is that Van Dam had brought Anton into ECW as a favor, and then Anton turned on Van Dam and caused him to lose a match for the first time in two years, to Jerry Lynn at Hardcore Heaven. Getting revenge, Van Dam broke out the Van Terminator for the first time in this match, and tried to carry his pal through a compelling 20 minute match. Well, he did hit the Van Terminator. And Joey Styles said SHIT, which is edgy. This is another match I was hoping might have aged well, but it has not. Pretty standard RVD stuff for the time period. He was weird, sort of a novelty wrestler, in that his matches didn't really make sense, and his pacing was bizarre, and if you weren't super into RVD's athleticism and signature stuff, it could get really boring after 10 or 15 minutes.

Tell me about your feelings! Not about your life, so much, but just these matches.

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