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Bret Hart vs. Tom Magee 'Holy Grail' results and recap

After years of speculation and myth, tonight we finally got to look at the match that people have been talking about for decades.

Holy Grail: The Search for WWE’s Most Infamous Lost Match aired tonight following Raw. It was a 30-minute documentary looking at the story behind the match between Tom Magee and Bret Hart, featuring interviews from the likes of Hart, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Tyson Kidd, Kassius Ohno, Sam Roberts, X-Pac and the man himself, Tom Magee. And of course, the match itself was aired as well.

It was all based on a match that took place on October 7, 1986 before a Wrestling Challenge taping in Rochester, New York. In the documentary, they put over Magee’s gymnastic and powerlifting accolades and also noted his impressive 6’5 size. He was absolutely green, however, and thus couldn’t be put on television.

Bret in the documentary said he told Magee that he wanted to hear his three moves, and that as long as he paid attention to him, he’d get signed to WWE. After the match, Bret said that Vince McMahon said that his was our next world champion. In 1986, at the peak of Hulkamania, he could potentially be the next Hogan.

But of course, that didn’t happen. Magee worked for WWE for several years after that, but never caught on or progressed enough to WWE’s liking. X-Pac mentioned that he also worked a match with Ted DiBiase, and stated that there weren’t a lot of DiBiases or Harts in the WWE at the time and if he worked with those two more, he could have been something. Magee left the company in 1989 and did a few other dates before retiring the next year.

Talk of Magee and the match continued long after his career ended. Both Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Tyson Kidd recalled that was it was brought up one day at a barbecue at Bret’s house, and Bret said the next time they came over, they could watch it. But every time they came over, Bret said he needed to find it, dashing their hopes of ever watching it.

Kidd also added that while those under developmental contract could watch whatever they wanted from the WWE tape library, the company didn’t have this match readily available. Sam Roberts, who I guess represented tape traders in the documentary, also said he was never able to find it.

Eventually, the match was discovered last month by Mary Kate Anthony, a longtime fan and photographer. Bret Hart’s assistant gave her tapes to convert digitally. When she obliged, the assistant said that sending the tapes back would be tough, and that she could keep them. One of the tapes (erroneously labeled 9/19/89, which brought initial skepticism) did in fact contain the fabled match, and thus was the beginning of the end to the mystery,

After a segment where people openly brought up whatever happened to Tom Magee, the man himself was in fact brought in for an interview. He said that those in the company never let him hear that he could potentially be the next Hulk Hogan. He was happy with how the match went, and everything was in sync that night. He thanked Bret for having a great match and his father for the opportunity to train with him.

Then, we finally get the match, joined in progress. Jimmy Hart was in Bret’s corner.

Magee does a cartwheel and arm drags Hart, holding him in a armlock. Bret escaped, but Magee did a leapfrog then arm dragged him back to the floor. Bret got up and whipped him into the corner but Magree hopped to the top rope and leaped over him then followed up with a dropkick, sending Bret out of the ring.

Bret gained control back inside and worked him over, including choking him on the ropes. Magee came alive with a leapfrog and rolled him up, but Bret raked the eyes and followed with the backbreaker and the fist off the ropes. 

Magee came back, whipping Bret into the ropes, with Bret taking a hard bump into the corner. Magee connected with a silly-looking elbow and hit a small package for a nearfall. Another attempt at a cover has Bret grabbing the ropes. Bret blocked a dropkick and sent Magee to the floor. Bret grabbed Magee off the apron and went for a suplex, but Magee floated over and rolled him up for the pin.

So after being lost for 32 years, I can finally say this: Bret Hart did an excellent job carrying Magee and they had a pretty good match, especially for that era in the WWE. Magee had three moves and he looked great doing those moves, and Bret Hart did a great job of carrying that match to the best of his ability. It’s a true testament to how great Hart was as a worker, not so much about how much potential Magee had.

This was a good documentary that did a great job of explaining the story behind the match and the myth of not only Magee, but the match itself. It also summed up the story nicely: Vince McMahon thought that Magee would be the future of the WWE after that match, but in the end it was Bret Hart who became one of the biggest stars in WWE’s history.