Wednesday was the 30th anniversary of the legendary Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog match from Wembley Stadium. It was also my Birthday. I’ve written about this match hundreds of times; however, there is no clear-cut reason why I’m writing about it this time.
I know it’s personal as opposed to analytical. I’m spitballing here. My words might be clumsy in this exercise of writing for the sake of writing while strolling down memory lane.
It was the first time SummerSlam occurred on my Birthday, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. I learned about it initially at my local newsstand when I saw the August issue of WWF Magazine.
Ironically, the British Bulldog was on the cover. And the back, an advertisement for SummerSlam on Monday, August 31, 1992, listing Macho Man Randy Savage defending the WWF Title against the Ultimate Warrior.
A double whammy of utter excitement washed over me. Not only was SummerSlam on my Birthday, but it was a rare good guy versus good guy match. Also, SummerSlam hadn’t been announced on television yet. It felt like I was privy to inside information that no one else had.
Well, me and the other kids in my neighborhood once I blabbed it to everyone.
I couldn’t ride my bike fast enough as I raced home to ask my parents if we could order the event. As I whirled past city hall and random pedestrians at what seemed like lightning speed, I wondered how the heck Savage was going to beat the Warrior, who ended his career the year prior at WrestleMania 7.
While I rooted for the Ultimate Warrior in most encounters, I was firmly entrenched in the aura of Macho Madness. My parents agreed to order the event and a Birthday party sleepover. But Houston, we have a problem.
The VCR was broken.
To say this was a catastrophe would be an understatement. Growing up, I taped every wrestling pay-per-view. The idea I wouldn’t be able to watch SummerSlam on an endless loop until November, when Survivor Series hit the airwaves was foreign to me.
Money was tight, and we couldn’t afford the pay-per-view, birthday party, and VCR. After much self-deliberation, I decided to forgo the VCR repair. Ultimately, I’d rather have fun with my friends while watching SummerSlam.
Not seeing the event wasn’t an option.
SummerSlam was a good show with some hits and misses, but… Have you ever experienced utter euphoria after witnessing something so spectacular? Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog for the IC title was a transformative experience that changed how I watched professional wrestling.
The brothers-in-law put on a classic in front of what was the largest crowd in WWE history. What made it more impressive is that it was the main event featuring two babyfaces. This match made Bret Hart my all-time favorite wrestler.
After lights out, I couldn’t focus on the covert chatter with my friends. All I could think about was that match! Even though Bret Hart lost, it didn’t matter. I witnessed something I would never forget.
30 years later, I still reminisce about it!
SummerSlam holds a special place in wrestling fandom because it was the only major WWE event in the UK. That ends on Saturday as Clash at the Castle emanates from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Maybe, it will break the all-time attendance record once held by its predecessor.
Perhaps Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre, Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins, or Gunther vs. Sheamus will become someone’s Hart vs. Bulldog.