Five-Star Match of the Week: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect - Intercontinental Championship Match, SummerSlam 1991
Every Wednesday, WWE Classics and Greatest Matches team up with your favorite Superstars to bring you the Five-Star Match of the Week. We ask a Superstar in the WWE locker room to select one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, and WWE.com brings you that full-length match, uncut.
Most members of the WWE Universe know Heath Slater as the frontman of the quirky trio called 3MB. Or, fans know Slater as the cocky loudmouth who dared returning Legends to face him leading up to Raw 1,000. But what you may have forgotten is Slater is a multi-time champion. The ginger-haired rocker has held the WWE Tag Team Championship on three occasions. So perhaps it is no surprise Slater picked a championship match as his choice for Five-Star Match of the Week.
“My pick would be SummerSlam 1991. Bret ‘Hit Man’ Hart versus Mr. Perfect,” Slater said. “You can literally sit and watch that match, which I have, numerous times, over and over and over and over.” ( MORE "HIT MAN")
By many accounts, it is one of the greatest Intercontinental Title bouts of all time, widely regarded in the same class as Randy Savage versus Ricky Steamboat from WrestleMania III.
“Just studying it, it’s one of those matches that just doesn’t get old,” Slater insisted. “You just get hooked on it.”
Going into SummerSlam, the “Hit Man” was mostly known as a tag team specialist, having paired up for much of his young career with his brother-in-law, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. This was Bret’s opportunity to establish himself as a formidable singles competitor, but he had quite the challenge ahead of him. WWE Hall of Famer Curt Hennig, known then as Mr. Perfect, won his first Intercontinental Title in a tournament in spring 1990. By SummerSlam 1991, he had been champion for 13 of the previous 16 months. ( MORE MR. PERFECT)
It was, by far, the longest contest of the event, which featured a stacked lineup including Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and other iconic Superstars. In the end, The Excellence of Execution forced Mr. Perfect to submit to the Sharpshooter with Bret’s parents looking on from the crowd.
“All in all, it was just a very good night for Bret Hart. Good, memorable night for him because it was his first singles title,” Slater said. But as great as a night it was for Bret, what makes the match even more remarkable is that Hennig wrestled with a badly injured back. His performance cannot be ignored.
“There are a lot of Five-Star Matches that are pretty damn good,” Slater stated. “But Bret Hart versus Mr. Perfect from SummerSlam ’91 was one of those matches that I would love to have for myself.” ( MORE SLATER)
Perhaps one day, the 3MB crooner will also rise from the team ranks to win a singles championship.
PREVIOUS FIVE-STAR MATCHES:
Oct. 3, 2012: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XII
Oct. 10, 2012: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, Halloween Havoc 1997
Oct. 17, 2012: Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout
Oct. 24, 2012: CM Punk vs. John Cena, Money in the Bank 2011
Oct. 31, 2012: Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase, WrestleMania IV
Nov. 7, 2012: Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog, SummerSlam 1992
Nov. 14, 2012: Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania X
Nov. 21, 2012: The Hart Foundation vs. The British Bulldogs, Madison Square Garden
Nov. 28, 2012: Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar, No Way Out 2004
Dec. 5, 2012: Ric Flair vs. Big Van Vader, Starrcade 1993