The Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels Match From 1997 You Haven't Seen

WWE has been into releasing rare footage of late. A few weeks back, they released an 'Unseen: [...]

WWE has been into releasing rare footage of late. A few weeks back, they released an "Unseen: 1986-1995" DVD set that featured rare house show and television tapings matches. That set received rave reviews from fans, which may have helped prompt their latest release.

Courtesy of WWE's YouTube page, we now have a few minutes of a previously unreleased triple threat match between Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker. The bout took place after RAW went off the air on September 22, 1997 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

This match is interesting for several reasons. First and foremost, this is less than two months before the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" bout between Hart and Michaels at the 1997 Survivor Series. Though the two rivals had a ton of on-screen interactions in 1996 and 1997 (following their Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII), their Survivor Series match was the only time wrestling fans saw them wrestle in a match on television during that 19 month period. They were very briefly supposed to wrestle at King of the Ring in June 1997, but that match was ultimately cancelled due to knee surgery that Hart had to undergo.

Never the less, Hart and Michaels were involved in a handful of multi-person matches like this previously unseen match at MSG during this time period, though only the fans live in attendance (and those lucky enough to get fan made handheld recordings) were blessed with seeing the in-ring action.

Another thing that makes this bout so interesting is that the WWE show that night at MSG was an absolutely huge event for the company. It was the first time that WWE had held regular television tapings at MSG in many years (PPVs not withstanding). They typically decided to rent the cheaper Nassau Coliseum in Long Island for television. In the fall of 1997, the return to MSG was promoted heavily on television as one of the biggest RAWs of all time.

An extremely memorable RAW moment took place at this show, when Steve Austin (still suffering from his SummerSlam neck injury) had an in-ring promo with Vince McMahon that ultimately resulted in Austin giving McMahon the Stone Cold Stunner for the very first time.

It's great for longtime wrestling fans to be exposed to unseen footage like this from years ago. Here's to hoping this is a trend that WWE continues with.

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