Thursday, May 16, 2019

Holy Grail: Lost match between Tom Magee vs. Bret "The Hitman" Hart

[VIDEO] After watching the WWE Network yesterday having seen both NXT and NXT UK I got wind of a short documentary about the search for a long lost match between Bret "The Hitman" Hart and a wrestler named Tom "Megaman" Magee. It never aired on TV and by accounts in this documentary Magee would've been the next face of the World Wrestling Federation after Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan back in 1986 was the star of the WWF.

You may know Bret Hart from his role in the Montreal Screwjob where he lost his title in a very suspicious (yes I'm being a tad nice here) and controversial fashion. Regardless during the course of the 1990s before he jumped ship to World Championship Wrestling he was the new face of the WWF. He was the face of WWF once Hogan himself jumped ship to WCW.

So Magee was to be the new face of the WWF it was said McMahon said it himself he was so impressed with Magee's match with Bret. And what's noted in other articles and in the documentary itself is that Magee wasn't quite ready and had the good sense to listen to the veteran Bret Hart. As The Hitman said himself if Magee did what Bret told him, there will be big plans for him. In other words listen to The Hitman and he'll make Megaman look good.

I don't know if the match itself is available on YouTube however Magee himself later wrestled another WWF legend a man known as "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase in yet another unaired match for TV. Magee from his match with Hart and certain with DiBiase I think could fit in with the high-flying style of todays wrestling. He's jumping around doing cartwheels and doing backflips from the top rope. He may not have been a great worker, however, he kept my attention even though we're talking about matches from over 30 years ago. [VIDEO]

Magee unfortunately fizzled out, and as seen in that documentary on the WWE Network he holds no regrets about that period of time. He wanted to hear the roar of the crowd, however, whatever stardom he could've had before retiring from the business almost 30 years ago he admits he missed out on. He never heard the proclamation that he'd be the next Hulk Hogan, so at least that helped him not take himself too seriously. He doesn't seem very bitter about how his wrestling career fizzled he doesn't see much of a difference between hypothetically enjoying his WrestleMania moment to just walking the streets everyday with no one recognizing him. He knew that he had his time and perhaps it just wasn't meant to be.

As conceded by some of the people who were interviewed for this documentary - two of The Hitman's nephews wanted to watch this match when they in developmental and it never happened or Bret himself was said to have a copy and he couldn't find it himself. An archivist for Hart found the match in question and in aired on the WWE Network for the first time. This lets you know how long ago it was as the primary vehicles for WWF programming during the late 80s to early 90s was syndicated on Saturday's and Sunday's in the mornings.

Magee vs. Hart would've aired on WWF Wrestling Challenge with commentary by the late Gorilla Monsoon and the late Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Obviously they were talking up Magee and I would imagine a hot prospect in today's WWE would get the same treatment though in this case through their headset with Vince McMahon in the so-called "gorilla position" barking instructions.

With this said the match I saw kept my attention but let me just say it's a match to watch for anyone who's training to become a pro-wrestler. In that world, sometimes you have to make the other guy (or gal) look good as Bret did. The one whom the hype followed well he didn't get his time in the limelight, but the one who did most of the work to help make the other guy look good he legitimately became the star. Bret "The Hitman" Hart has a remarkable run as the star who followed Hulk Hogan. And even some of the people agree Hart was really good and earned the spot he held during most of the 1990s.

Finally, as a wrestling fan I never got into this hobby of collecting tapes of wrestling matches. I do believe that during the history of an independent promotion known as Ring of Honor it was tape collecting that helped get them in business believe it or not in about 2002-03 which was not long after the bankruptcy of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Tape collecting as a business doesn't exist without content, which is as true as making money off of YouTube videos.

Now, this tape if it was truly an important match if not a particularly quality one probably would get traded around now that's it's been found. It makes me wonder in a time of social media or even streaming networks if tape collecting of wrestling matches is still a thing. Are there still some dedicated wrestling fans looking for a match anywhere on this globe to watch. I've learned that a lot of those matches I had missed out on (say PPVs I never watched or just something so old I'd have never seen it anyway) I can find online now.

So after seeing this very special documentary has me wondering about it today.

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