Backstage: Standing by with WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels is Sean Mooney. Mooney accuses Michaels of being responsible for Sherri getting smashed by a mirror via Marty Jannetty, but Shawn vehemently denies it. He speaks about British Bulldog defeating Bret Hart for the IC Title at SummerSlam, then subsequently beating The Bulldog for the championship, therefore making him better than Hitman. Shawn states that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain with only Bret’s title on the line. Shawn starts to make his way to the ring and we go to ‘Mean’ Gene in the back with WWF Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart. Bret talks about the association between Thanksgiving and Survivor Series, nobody knowing more about giving thanks than he does. It took him a long time to earn the WWF Title, starting out at the bottom and surviving for eight and a half years. He states that he’s won a few and lost a few, having respect for Michaels’ athletic ability, but right now he’s the WWF Champion and feeling excellent tonight.
Match #8 for the WWF Championship: WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs. WWF Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
Bret gives away his trademark shades and we get underway, collar & elbow tie-up, both guy jostling for position and the champion backs Shawn into the corner, the official having to step in between to force the break. They lock-up again, Michaels goes to the midsection, waistlock takedown, Hitman counters out and Shawn quickly goes to the ropes to create some more seperation. He’s angered that Bret hangs on a little too long, they shove each other back and forth, tie-up again and Hart with a wristlock.
Shawn counters to one of his own and pulls Bret to the mat by the hair, The Hitman kips up to his feet and goes back to his own wristlock, hammering away at the shoulder joint. He grounds Shawn and switches to an armbar, the challenger works to a standing position, The Hitman keeping the pressure on as Michaels uses the hair to throw him to the ropes. Shawn ducks down, leapfrogs over and hits a drop toe hold, Bret quickly countering out of a side headlock into a hammerlock and grounding the challenger. Michaels finds his way up, reversing out to a hammerlock of his own. Bret gains a head of steam and uses the momentum to dump Michaels to the outside, Shawn pulls himself to the apron and has words with the people, Hart bringing him in the hard way and going right back to the armbar.
Michaels sends him off to the ropes again for a slam, The Hitman slips out of it, pushes Shawn to the ropes for a roll-up and gets thrown away, coming right back with a crossbody for a count of 2. Hart falls to the outside off the kick-out, hops back to the apron and buries a shoulder to the challenger’s midsection, sunset flips back inside and gains another 2 count before taking Michaels back down with an arm drag into an armbar. Shawn tries to escape with an arm drag of his own, the champion maintains the hold, Michaels scoring with a big right hand to break it. Irish whip to the ropes, Hart reverses for a hip toss, Shawn flips through and lands on his feet for a clothesline, Bret ducks it and levels him with his own for a near fall, then stays on the arm with the armbar.
The challenger to a vertical base, unsuccessfully reaches for the ropes, uses the hair to push Hitman away to the ropes and gets dropped by a shoulder block. The champion goes back to the ropes, Shawn leapfrogs over, lifts him in the air coming back through and drops Hart on the top rope with a hot shot. Michaels attempts to drive the champion head-first into the top turnbuckle, Hitman blocks, takes a thumb to the eye, is able to reverse a whip to the corner, charges in and drives himself shoulder-first into the ring post. The challenger takes control now with an armbreaker, fires away with stiff rights to the chops, then shoots Bret hard into the corner sternum-first for a count of 2.
He slaps on a rear chinlock to grind the champion down, Hitman battles to his feet, hits the ropes and runs right into a dropkick, Michaels gaining another 2. Shawn hits a backbreaker, gets 2 off of it, sticks with the rear chinlock, Hart finding his way up again with right hands, hits the ropes and counters a back body drop attempt with a swinging neckbreaker. He can’t capitalize and Shawn with a heavy right, puts the boots to Bret and utlizes a front facelock this time around, the official checking the arm and the champion keeping it in the air on the third attempt. He drives Michaels back into the corner, buries shoulders to the breadbasket, Shawn reverses a whip across, charges in and meets boots to the face, the champion following up with a running bulldog.
The Hitman goes to the 2nd rope for an elbow drop, the challenger rolls out of the way, covers for 2, shoots Hart to the ropes and connects with a jumping back elbow, gaining another near fall before grabbing the front facelock again. The ref checks the arm and Hart keeps it up on the third attempt once again, works to a vertical base, sneaks in a small package and nearly steals the 3 count. Shawn stays right on Bret with strikes, sends him to the corner and rushes in, The Hitman hops up and over, planting Michaels with a back suplex and they both struggle to their feet.
The champion with a side headlock, Shawn pushes him away to the ropes, leapfrogs over, tries it again and this time gets caught in the air, Hitman planting him into the mat and catapulting the challenger into the top turnbuckle, both guys doubling down. Bret pops to his feet, punishes Michaels with punches to the abdomen, shoots him hard into the corner, Shawn lands planked across the top rope and Hart with a big kick to the breadbasket, sending the challenger to get crotched on the rope. Irish whip to the ropes and The Hitman elevates Shawn with a back body drop for a 2 count, sends him back to the ropes and goes downstairs with a right hand, snapping him back to the canvas with a side russian leg sweep for another 2.
He splits the challenger with a backbreaker, heads to the 2nd rope and drives down an elbow drop, still unable to put Michaels away. Bret props Shawn on the top turnbuckle, climbs up and plants him with a superplex, drapes an over over and gets a near fall. Michaels misses a wild right hand, the champion applies a sleeper hold, Shawn backing him to the corner to break it and the official gets squashed. The Hitman checks on the ref, the challenger tries to surprise him with a kick, gets his foot caught, Hart spinning him around for a back suplex, but Michaels flips out and lands on his feet, grabbing a waistlock. The champion switches out, Shawn using Bret’s momentum to send him spilling to the outside, pursues and rams Hart into the ring post, rolling back in and then out to restart the 10 count.
He slams Hitman on the floor, throws him back in the ring, hard irish whip to the corner, falls into a cover and gains 2. He sends Bret to the ropes for a back body drop, covers once again for 2, then starts to get frustrated and argues with the referee. The champion surprises him with a roll-up from behind for a near fall, Michaels comes right back with a superkick, thinks it’s over and picks Hart up for the Teardrop Suplex. The Hitman goes to the eyes to avoid it, they exchange fists, the challenger going right to the Teardrop Suplex, but still can’t finish it.
Shawn sends Hart to the ropes, Bret connects with a haymaker, Shawn falling backwards and gets tied up in the ropes, the champion with a head of steam and charges for a crossbody, but Michaels breaks free and side-steps it. The challenger goes to the 2nd rope, attempts a dropkick, Hitman catches him by the legs, steps through and locks in the Sharpshooter, Michaels being forced to submit.
Winner and STILL WWF Champion: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (Sharpshooter)
- After The Bell: Santa Claus comes down to the ring, snow rains down and Bret puts on an elf hat, celebrating with Jolly Saint Nick to end the show.
- EA’s Take: Pretty corny ending with Santa Claus which was not necessary, but that’s the WWF at this point in time. Great main event here that was enjoyable, but was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Michaels/Hart encounters to come in the future. Shawn had defeated British Bulldog for the IC Title a couple of weeks earlier, which was originally part of the plans for him even after it was decided The Bulldog had to go due to his HGH use. His stock would continue to rise in the coming months as he’d re-engage himself against his former tag team partner, the returning Marty Jannetty, all while tensions between himself and ‘Sensational’ Sherri reached a boiling point. The Hitman gained the WWF Championship for the first time from Ric Flair just over a month prior, oddly enough in a match that was not taped for WWF television, but for home video release. He was really billed as the fighting champion, taking on any and all challengers with this being his first PPV defense. That trend would continue into 1993, as a relative newcomer oozing machismo would set his sights on the strap.
EA’s Finisher: Overall this is a most forgettable show, nobody really “stole the show” per say. The departure of Ultimate Warrior and last-minute scrambling likely affected that main event, but the rest of the card aside from Michaels/Hart was nothing to write home about. If I’m recommending this, those are the only two contests worth watching, everything else felt like a glorified edition of WWF Superstars, to be honest. The roster switch to a younger base of performers, dwindling number of “household names” and the characters getting more and more cartoon-like would eventually lead to a down time for the business in the next few years.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
2 – Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair & Razor Ramon
3 – Tatanka vs. Rick Martel