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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Fantasy Warfare: Kurt Angle V.S. Bret Hart
September 6, 2004 by Brandon Mazzei


I've been watching wrestling for about 12 years of my 14 years of existence, and during that time, 2 competitors, from different time periods stand out as possibly the best ever. Kurt Angle and Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Both men are no-nonsense athletes who are extremely technically sound. Both are former W.W.F. World Champions, W.C.W. World Champions, Intercontinental Champions, World Tag Team Champions, and former King of the Ring winners. Both have headlined some of the biggest events, and sold out some of the largest arenas around the world. Both have had numerous classic matches with a variety of opponents. Taking all of this into consideration, if these two ever stepped into a ring together, it would promise to be one of the greatest matches of all time, but due to a chain of unfortunate events, Bret is unable to wrestle, maybe forever. So I will make a clear evaluation based on each mans strengths and weaknesses, and determine a final outcome.

Bret Hart: In Bret's prime, he was the hottest prospect of the W.W.F. He was their poster-boy in the midst of a steroid scandal. Bret opened the door for other smaller wrestlers in this business when he captured his first world championship from Ric Flair. He was very popular with the fans, and he provided as a saving grace for his company which was almost certain for a downfall after it's largest star, and household name Hulk Hogan, parted ways with the company. Bret's matches were really the first technical, and fasted paced matches the wrestling world had ever seen. He enjoyed a long period of success as the promotion biggest star and world champion. Bret would go on to leave the W.W.F. for their rival promotion W.C.W., in an incident known as the "Montreal Screw job", where he was lied to and screwed in front of his hometown fans. This "Screw job", which happened 7 years ago, is still a large part of wrestling to this day, and stirs up controversy when ever it is mentioned. Bret went on to capture the W.C.W. United States, and World titles, before being forced into retirement. During a match with Bill Goldberg, Bret was whipped into the ropes and given a stiff kick to the head, that resulted in a concussion. Bret was in my estimation, the greatest World Champion of my time, but the end of his career was plagued by controversy and injury.

Kurt Angle: Kurt Angle is a pure athlete. He is a former amateur great, who went on to win a gold medal for freestyle wrestling during the 1996 Olympics. Shortly after, Angle made a decision to dabble in the art of Pro Wrestling. During the year 1999 he debuted and made possibly the smoothest transformation from amateur to Pro wrestling ever. He debuted at the 1999 Survivor Series event, to defeat 2nd generation star Shawn Stasiak. In Angle's rookie year, he captured the European, Intercontinental, and World championships, and he also won the King of The Ring. Angle, much like Bret , is a technical master, and a fast paced wrestler. He competes regularly for the W.W.E. and he can be seen on their "Smackdown" program every Thursday night. Angle has headlined the last two Wrestlemania's with the likes of Eddie Guerrero and former amateur athlete Brock Lesnar. Angle personifies where a lot of hard work and dedication in the wrestling business can get you.

Strengths, and Weaknesses

Bret Hart:

Strengths: Bret is a very versatile competitor. He is famed for being able to slug it out with the best brawlers, and take to the mat with the best of grapplers. He also has a very wide variety of moves in his arsenal that help to keep his opponents always guessing. Another strength of Bret is his stamina and ability to absorb punishment. One example of that would be, his Iron Man match at Wrestlemania 12. He was able to go an hour against Shawn Micheals, in what was ultimately a losing effort. Bret is a fighter, with a ton of Hart. A very tenacious wrestler, who refused to give up. Bret also enjoyed playing "opossum" during his matches, where he would pretend to injure a part of his body leaving an opponent vulnerable. Bret is also a great submission artist, utilizing his very original "Sharp-Shooter" finishing maneuver.

Weaknesses: One of Bret's few weaknesses was his red hot temper. Bret has been known to sometimes let his emotions get the better of him, which was true during a world championship match with Sid Vicious, when Bret allowed himself to be distracted by a menacing Shawn Micheals. Another example of this would be his long lasting feuds with Jerry Lawler and Owen Hart.

Kurt Angle:

Strengths : One of Angle's greatest strengths is his ability to chain wrestle. With every move he applies comes a new one. Angle, much like "The Hitman", is a great submission artist, using the Ankle Lock hold, among others. Angle is also a very fast wrestler. He uses speed to his advantage, most notably during his matches with the likes of Eddie Guerrero.

Weaknesses: Kurt's neck is very vulnerable. He has taken off a few months twice so he can have neck surgery. His bad neck is probably his greatest weakness. Another weakness of his is the fact that he is usually not the strongest man in a fight. Kurt could stand to improve on that. Final Analysis

This match would most likely end up being the main event of a Wrestlemania, or some other mega-event. Given both mens god given talent, and killer instinct, this match would promise to be a classic. If this match took place during both mens prime, I would have to say Bret has the edge. He had an incredible move repoitore, and great stamina and conditioning. I could see Angle tapping out to the sharpshooter, somewhere at the 25 minute mark.

by Brandon Mazzei..


Richard Powell wrote:
Apparently, you don't know Kurt Angle too well. He is not the weakling you think he is. Kurt Angle is pretty strong for his size, considering he is not the size of a Batista. Here is how I stack Bret Hart and Kurt Angle:

Wrestling ability and moves - Even

Stamina - Even

(both men have wrestled 60 minute iron man matches, Bret vs Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar)

Strength - Bret Hart (Slight edge, not by much)

Grit and Determination - Even

Speed - Kurt Angle (Slight edge, not by much)

I don't know about you but this match would more or less come out as a draw, in my opinion. Now this is considering that no outside interference or foreign objects are used. In a clean, sound technical wrestling match, I would call this a draw. The only way I give Bret Hart an advantage is if he could injure Kurt Angle's neck during the match. If that were to happen, the win would go to Bret Hart. Otherwise, the match is a draw.
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