Famous Lost WWE Bret Hart Match Finally Found

'The Hitman's carry job against Tom Magee looks to have been unearthed.

TOM MAGEE BRET HART
Twitter, @marykayfabe/ WWE

In an era where just about every wrestling match you can imagine is available within two clicks of a mouse, thanks to extensive, nearly all-encompassing archives such as the WWE Network and the enterprising efforts of amateur uploaders beyond that, there's no such thing as delayed gratification.

Even the Last Battle of Atlanta, for so long thought unfilmed, its legacy a figment of faulty memory, was dredged by WWE's curators and uploaded in 2016. There's nothing we can't have, and now.

Except that is, for one piece of pro-wrestling apocrypha: Bret Hart's infamous (or famous, given the extent to which it has gilded his reputation) carry job of WWE rookie Tom Magee.

In 1986, Magee was everything Vince McMahon was looking for - that is to say, muscle-bound, and not much else. But such was the extent to which Hart embellished his opponent's ability during a Rochester, NY TV taping, that the chairman had designs on making Magee his next champion.

It didn't happen. Why? Because Magee was rank. Footage of his other, hilariously inept matches have became testament to the miracle 'The Hitman' must have worked.

Whether Hart really did pull off a five-star match with the human broomstick or was simply aggrandising his own efforts we've never been able to confirm, the tape painfully lost to the annals of time.

Until now, that is.

Mary-Kate Anthony, who helped Bret collate his footage, this past week posted an image on social media of a VHS she claimed contained the mythical match. Questions over its validity were raised given the date - 09/19/89 - didn't correlate with the Rochester taping.

She has since posted screengrabs of the tape's contents, presumed to be the Holy Grail of wrestling.

And yes: this does appear to be the cup of the carpenter.

If that's not Tom Magee and Bret Hart grappling in the mid-'80s, it's a bloody good impersonation. Almost cruelly, prolonging 35 years of wrestling fandom blue balls, Mary-Kate has stated she will not be uploading the full match to the internet. We may never know for absolute sure if this is the real deal.

But maybe that's for the best. Perhaps indefinite, not delayed, gratification is preferable to disappointment. Nothing could ever match the legendary match in our minds.

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.