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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Smark Remark:
Best There Is, Best There Was, And Best There Will Ever Be

March 5, 2005 by Rhey Higgins


Wow, it's time already. This is the newly dubbed "Smark Remark", and I'm hoping not only for it to become a regular column here on Obsessed With Wrestling, but for it to become a popular one as well. Let's see if it will or not. Now down to business.

This column will be on the subject of the wrestler known as "the best there is, the best there was, and the best there will ever be". And no...I'm not talking about Bret Hart (please, Bret fans; read the whole thing before you jump down my throat). I'm man enough to admit that he was a great wrestler, but he pales in comparison to the TRUE best there is, best there was, and best there will ever be. You know who I'm talking about. The first and only Olympic gold medallist. Your Olympic and American Hero. That's right: Kurt Angle. Don't agree with me" Read on.

Take a look at their careers. True, Bret may have had a better career than Angle thus far, but Bret's retired. Kurt still has a good five years left (at least) before his career ends. And if Bret truly was the technical masterpiece that his fans claim, then why doesn't he have two gold medals" Or even one" Why wasn't he ever even in the Olympics" I'll tell you why: 'cause he's not in Kurt's league. Have you ever seen Bret Hart land eight consecutive Greman suplexes" How about moonsault off the top of a cage" The answer, of course, is no. Put Kurt Angle in his prime against Bret Hart in his prime, and I GUARANTEE that Kurt will carry the match...and win it, too.

How about their mic skills" It's like comparing Chris Jericho to Chavo Guerrero. True, Bret has had his moments, but Kurt has his moments EVERY DAMN TIME he picks up a microphone. Granted, mic skills are much less important than a wrestlers in-ring ability, but the truly great are able to piss a crowd off (or get them on their feet, depending on their role) and then wrestle circles around their opponent in the ring. Could Bret do it" No. Could Kurt do it" He does. Almost every night.

And as far as their characters go" Both were terrific faces, but how about as heels" In order to get Bret to go heel, they had to give him the crappy "America-hating Canadian" gimmick. Kurt" He's the only person in the world who could be known as "The American Hero", yet get booed IN AMERICA. No matter how hard he tried, there would be no way that Bret could call himself "The Canadian Hero" and still be able to get Canadian fans to boo him. But Kurt's charisma level is high enough to get the crowd to do whatever he wants.

Now, I'm not the biggest Kurt Angle fan in the world. I chant "you suck" at him just as loud as the next person (true, he doesn't suck, but its still fun). And he's not my favourite wrestler in the WWE, or even on SmackDown!. But facts are facts: Kurt Angle can out-wrestle, out-perform, and just plain out-do Bret in everything he tries. So everybody needs to wake up and realize the truth: Kurt Angle is the true best there is, best there was, and best there will ever be. And that's the remark from this smark. And it wasn't my fault!

by Rhey "King of the World" Higgins..


Scavenger (Junior amateur wrestler from Finland) wrote:
First of all Kurt is not only olympic medalist. Iron sheik won a medal at 1968 but he represented Iran so you don`t want to remember it because you are an american. . . Kurt has won only one cold at olympics. Other medals that he has are from other tournaments or so. I have read all the year books since 1965 and all olympic winners. Kurt Angle won olympics 1996 and world championship 1995 in freestyle wrestling.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
I think you should have put more views and points on why Kurt is better than Bret was. However, Kurt Angle does represent perfectionism to me and everything he does in that ring is perfect. I can't think of anyone on SD! right now who has the same as Kurt does. Great heel, perfect in ring skills and of course a "top playa" heel guys faction. His physique is impressive and i always look forward of his match. Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle at WM21, now THERE'S a potential for a match of the year.
Redsoxfan3488 wrote:
I agree with everything you said in your article. As to the reply above, Kurt Angle only won one gold medal at the '96 Olympics...in singles competition. The US won the team gold as well, so he does have two gold meals.
Phil T wrote:
Rhey, awesome column brother. I've never seen so many idiotic points in my life as you have in your column. Hope you picked up on the sarcasm because I'm not done yet. The only thing I took away after reading your article was a total hatred for one of the greatest wrestlers of all time in Bret Hart and not one of genuine praise for Kurt Angle which I'm guessing was your intent. How can you call yourself a wrestling fan and bash on Hart like you do. Where you scarred by a Hart fan as a child" Kurt Angle is a perfect clone of Bret Hart. I'm a huge fan of both men and the only reason I say Angle is a clone of Hart is because Hart was here first and it wouldn't make any sense at all to say it the other way. In wrestling ability they are dead even. Bret wrestled every match like it was his last as does Angle today. I love the point you make about Angle's two gold medals and Hart's big fat zero. Here is a reason why, try to follow if you can, Hart started pro wrestling when he was in high school and was hooked ever since. Hart never aspired to be an Olympian much less win a gold medal in the Olympics. So comparing Hart and Angle in that respect has no relevance what so ever. That's like comparing Angle and myself. I don't have a gold medal because I wasn't in the Olympics, therefore Angle is far superior to me as well.

The term "Wrestling Clinic" is used when describing many of Angle's matches. If Hart and Angle would have ever hooked up the term used in describing that match would be "Wrestling University". Any true fan of professional wrestling would sit back and watch this match in a trance with no cares at all who got their hand raised at the end. Unfortunately this is one dream match that will never ever happen. Lastly, the best part of your column is at the end when you said Angle wasn't even your favorite wrestler on SmackDown or the entire WWE. Then why even write this article in the first place" After bashing Bret Hart like you did I would bet a million dollars your favorite WWE wrestler is John Cena. Now there's a wrestler that's the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. HA! HA! HA!
Bil wrote:
Well I'm not going to jump down your throat about your opinion because well it's your opinion. To me I just don't think that it is fair to compare the two wrestlers on an Olympic wrestling standpoint nor on a move by move standpoint. Moonsaults are great to see but if it isn't in your arsenal it isn't in your arsenal, same goes for German suplexes. So just because Bret didn't use the same move 8+ in a span of two and a half minutes doesn't make him inferior to someone that does. Now I agree that Angle does out do Bret on the mic so I'll leave that one alone. Now you also can't compare them as per what they've done as professional wrestlers because although Angle has been quite successful Bret at one point was the man in the WWE and truly the man no two ways about it whereas Kurt at every stage has been a top tier guy but never "the guy" Angle came in as a relative newcomer to pro wrestling and got a big push right away going on a decent undefeated streak to build up his name and in less than a year and after injuring a few wrestlers most notably Bob Holly he still got handed the ball. Whereas Bret spent years in the WWE not just years as a pro before ever seeing the light of day as singles wrestler he spent six and a half years as one half of possibly the best true tag team that the WWF/E has ever seen(based on work in the WWF/E). Then when he got the singles push he had to go the mid card singles route as the IC champ/contender for over a year before gettin his Main event push which lasted from his first title reign to the end of his time in the WWF which was close to 5 years in length. He was one of the major catalysts in the athletic outburst of the mid 1990's WWF. he had ***** matches with Curt Hennig, Shawn Michaels, Davey Boy Smith, Roddy Piper and Owen all of whom are true pro wrestling legends and who where in their primes at the time of the matches he even pulled a good match out of Big Daddy Lazy Kevin Nash. No On the subject of Olympic wrestling there is no comparison nor any grounds for comparison because it is obvious that Bret did not go down that route but who is to say that he couldn't have been an Olympic Gold medalist but that can only be imagined, no proof of his inability or ability to do so is there.

My advice to you for the future is remember In 1996 at Wrestlemania 12 Bret Hart was 38 years old and he was one half of the WWF/E's greatest true wrestling match.
Johnny LaRue wrote:
How old are you" To have a regular column you have to make a valid point. Please take a writing course. Winning Olympic gold and wrestling in the WWF are not connected. Using your logic Michael Phelps has the potential to be the greatest wrestler ever since he has more golds than Kurt does. Better yet Steve "Mongo" McMichael is a better wrestler than most since he has a Super Bowl ring.

Bret was able to piss off a crowd and wrestle circles around his opponent (go back and watch some of his older matches). Bret was a good heel when he was in the Hart Foundation and don't blame Bret for not having Canadian fans boo him. Canadians are loyal to their fellow countrymen. If US fans boo an "American hero" that speaks volumes about US fans I guess. Then again Austin was always cheered no matter what he did. Does that make Austin a lesser star" Sorry, I don't think your writing is worthy of being a regular column.
- Rhey "King Of The World" Higgins wrote:
First of all, I want to say thanks to Kirsty Quested, who posted this even though she's a huge Bret fan and I trash on Bret a lot in this article. Scavenger: 1. Iron Sheik wrestled for Iran and won a bronze medal, not gold. 2. I live in Canada, not America (you just assumed the latted because of my Bret-trashing). And thats all for now, but I'm sure I'll have lots of other arguing to do later on.
Rhey Higgins wrote:
WOW!!!!!!! I already aceived just what I was trying to do. In case you can't tell by reading this column or my past column, I LOVE to push peoples buttons an piss them off, and damn, did I ever! Phil T: Read my column from last month. Is Cena still my favourite wrestler" Also, it doesn't matter who I cheer for or boo. A wrestling fan is a wrestling fan, and I just DON'T LIKE BRET. And yeah, Angle is far superior to you...I don't know you, but I can say that without a doubt. Bil: I couldn't tell if you were for or against my column...just sounded like a lot of rambling to me. Johnny LaRue: HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Feedback like that with people trying to piss me off always cracks me up! Keep up the good work! (assclown!) Redsoxfan3488 and Erkka Jarvinen: Thanks. I know I seem like a jackass, but I truly do appreciate good feedback. Or bad feedback, for that matter. Keep up the good work everyone!
Ditto Robertson wrote:
I find your article makes a good argument and the fact that "it wasn't your fault" is a shame. Anyways, I enjoyed the article. As a huge HBK Shawn Michaels fan, everyone immediately assumes "of course you would agree with the smark, you hate Bret Hart." True, I may not be a big Bret Hart fan. You could say I don't like him. But, I do give credit where credit is due and say for the record he was an amazing wrestler. But as good as he is, Kurt is that much better. First of all, Kurt has the crowd more or less in the palm of his hand. If he wants to get people to cheer him" Good as done. Boo him" Already done, everyone says "you suck."I've seen him go from heel to face to heel again all in one night, and I doubt any other superstar could do THAT, let alone Bret. Hart couldn't help but get cheered, which I totally understand; it's a good thing, he was supposed to get cheered, he's a face. But if he wanted heat, could he get it" I don't think so. It's like John Cena; he could wrestle just about anybody in attempt to go heel, but whoever he fought would end up the heel. This shows that Bret can definately get the ball rolling, but only in one direction. Of course, Steve Autsin got cheered everywhere, so who am I to complain, right" Kurt Angle is also an amazing mic worker, and the fact that he uses words like 'bucko' and 'sicko' go great with his charecter, which is a guy who would get frusterated and call his opponent... Well, Bucko and Sicko. I applaud Kurt for being able to grab the gold, though I don't really find how this is supposed to put Bret down at all. It means Kurt is an amazing technical wrestler, but whoever said Bret wasn't good enough to get a gold medal" Allright, that's getting a little weird. But, Bret never tried to go for an Olympic Gold Medal. Kurt holding gold makes no difforence to me. It's like when you said Kurt is better because his 8 sum suplexs. That would be like saying "can Big Show do the 619" No, therefore Mysterio is better." It's quite random and frankly doesn't have anything to do with anything. Impressive, but pointless. One more thing you said that bothered me; Bret didn't retire because he was out of shape or anything. He quite because he's a whiney bugger, their's a difforence.
Kirsty Quested wrote:
Hi Rhey, actually I didn't post the column. I edited it, and sent it to Brad "Puppet Master" Dykens for posting on the website. You're right about my being a huge Bret Hart fan - it made my teeth ache to edit your column! I had serious thoughts about deleting it and pretending I'd never received it. Just kidding! Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I predicted that others would do a great job of voicing my outrage - and my prediction was correct. Phil, Bill, and Johnny - amen brothers. I could not have put it better myself. I must underscore Bill's recommendation that you take another look at the Iron Man Match at Wrestlemania 12 Rhey - it is truly one of the greatest matches of all time, due in no small part to Bret Hart. Yes, Shawn Michaels wrestled brilliantly that night as well, I take nothing away from him, but I do think it bears mentioning that the match was the first of it's kind, and combined both amateur and professional skills - and the amateur elements were brought to the match by Bret. To say nothing of the fact that Shawn was younger, faster, and lighter, yet Bret still managed to have him sucking air and sweating a lake. However Rhey, I will say this - my hat's off to you for having the stones to write this article. You must have known your opinion would not be a popular one and you voiced it anyway - good on you.
sfhardrock wrote:
When I read this article it made me sick to my stomach! How dare ANYONE put down Bret Hart, one of the greatest wrestlers of all time! Bret Hart deserves a lot more credit than what you're giving him! I have the mind to just go to your place and... shake your hand, well done.

Although yes I really disliked this article for really dissing one of my favorite wrestlers, I appreciate the fact that people aren't just brown-nosing Bret just because he's a WWF (he never was a part of WWE) legend. Yes, Hart isn't a gold medalist because he never wanted the gold medal, but could have if he had gone for it. But Bret never was truly great on the mic, especially compared to Kurt Angle, one of those few guys who can ad-lib to whatever happens.

I do see a lot of faults in your article, however. Kurt Angle is better than Bret Hart, because he did 8 consecutive German suplexes" Um, does that mean Chris Benoit is better than Angle, because he did ten consecutive German suplexes on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. No, it doesn't, so I see the point you made on that is completely useless. Just because Bret never did a German suplex doesn't mean he couldn't do one, he just means that he didn't feel right doing one. It's kinda like watching Mick Foley do a few submissions and technical holds, he knows how to do them, but he never felt right doing them.

One downside with Bret was that he finished many of his matches the same way every night. However, during his time, not many changes were made and it was perfectly acceptable for someone to end the match with the same routine. 'Taker used to as did Shawn Michaels in a series of matches. What set them apart is Taker and Shawn were able to find variations in their matches as time went on. Not every one of Shawn's ppv matches during his first title run ended with a superkick then pin. Some he won by DQ, which is REALLY frowned upon nowadays. So Bret Hart as a champion was perhaps one of the best for WWF standards during the 90's up until "attitude" came along."

Kurt Angle's downfall" His athletic abilities. With his health really escaping him with every match due to age and injuries it's inevitable that his skills will decrease. So just like with Taker, they'll have him wrestle less and do more promos. I actually enjoy his "Hometown Hero" run and actually hope that someday, a hometown hero beats him. (ME! j/k)
Kirsty Quested wrote:
And one more thing, to Ditto Robertson: Bret did not quit wrestling because he was out of shape OR a whiney bugger. He quit because several concussions caused a stroke that paralysed him down one side of his body. If he ever wrestles again he risks permanent brain damage and/or another stroke. And THAT is the difference.
Rhey Higgins (Original Author) wrote:
Let me just clear one thing up. I know I said that when Kurt did eight consecutive German suplexes it made him better then Bret. Maybe I should have put a little more thought into the wording of that, along with the gold medalist comments. They do show no relevance in a debate between who is better However, although those comments don't put down Bret, the do accomplish one thing: showing cool moves (Eight consecutive German suplexes) or accomplishments (Olympic gold) of Kurt Angle. And Ditto: although I may hate Bret, he still needs some credit: he retired (not quit) because he got his final concussion after being kicked in the head by the HUGE PIECE OF CRAP that is Bill Goldberg. He left WWF/E after the Screwjob, but he still worked for WCW for a while after that.
Larry Christison, wrote:
When I see Kurt Angle, from the beginning I compared him to Curt Hennig, not Brett Hart. If we are going to have a best of the best tournament, then set up a dream tournament. 1st match-ups Kurt Angle vs Curt Hennig, Brett Hart vs Lou Theiss, Shawn Michaels vs The Dynamite Kid, Chris Benoit vs Rick Flair, Iron Sheik vs Bruno Sanmartino, Pedro Martinez vs Chris Jericho, Andre the Giant vs Harly Race, and ________ vs _______. Each would argue that they deserve the title. Can any of them prove it without such a tournament" No. Too bad we couldn't see it.
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