On Monday, May 13th, WWE aired what has been called for over thirty ‘the Holy Grail,’ as it pitted a promising young talent by the name of Tom Magee against ‘The Excellence of Execution’ Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart.
During the mini-documentary that preceded the airing of the match, Kassius Ohno spoke about how this was a match that tape traders back then often spoke about, much like collectors seeking a hockey or baseball card in mint condition that is so rare that no one can lay claim to it. This is the Holy Grail, WWEs Most Infamous Lost Match,
In 1986, at the height of Hulkamania, Vince McMahon began to look at the future and who might be the next face of WWE. McMahon turned to Stu Hart to mold the man who was to become, the future of his company.
The Holy Grail – WWE’s Most Infamous Lost Match
Bret Hart spoke about how Magee looked. He was muscular and even referred to him as an ‘Adonis’. He stood 6’3 or 6’4 and took number two in the world’s strongest man contest. The fact that WWE was contemplating someone replacing Hulk Hogan as the face of the company is hard to conceive.
On October 7th, 1986, Tom Magee had a WWE tryout match against Bret Hart.
The tryout match was intended to be an opportunity to see if Magee was worth committing time and energy in. Bret told Magee to follow his instructions in the ring and not question anything he was told.
Tom Magee later signed with WWE, where he remained under contract until 1990. Footage from Magee’s match against Hart was never seen again.
Despite WWE’s hopes for Magee, he was never seen on television, and to a large extent was forgotten until now. Tyson Kidd and Harry Smith spoke of Bret Hart playing this match back in 1996 when there was a get-together at his home in Calgary. The match was one that wrestlers often asked about.
This was out of a desire to watch and learn from it. The match wasn’t readily available at all. Bret Hart would actually have all of his matches on videocassette and cataloged. In fact, he had tasked someone to convert them from VHS to DVD. Bret also said she could hold on to the tapes because they served no purpose after the conversion. This was because VHS tapes were being phased out.
Attention Paid To ‘Other’ Person
Those that spoke about this match noted that at the time the company was focused on the wrong person. Since it wasn’t, in fact, Tom Magee, but Bret Hart that became the face of the company. Magee was actually interviewed on camera and spoke of the match as an experience that went well.
He doesn’t resemble the specimen that competed against Hart any longer, but his friendly and cordial nature was evident and he seemed appreciative of the opportunity that was presented to him decades ago. He said he wasn’t sure if anyone would be impressed when they actually see the match.
The match took place in Rochester, New York on October 7th, 1986. However, it was a dark match preceding a television taping, Gorilla Monsoon, and Bobby Heenan were on commentary. The match is joined in progress as Hart has Magee in a side headlock, but the man called ‘Megaman’ breaks from it.
He catches Hart attempting to drop a boot, does a cartwheel and backflip, and locks in an armbar after an arm drag. Both men are on their feet and Magee showcases his agility once again, catching The Hitman with a fine-looking arm drag. Hart pushes him back into the corner turnbuckle and begins to drop punches, but Magee leaps to the top rope and hits a standing somersault off the top. Hart retreats to the floor after a pair of dropkicks.
Once back to live-action, Hart continues to work on Magee with an atomic drop along with elbows and then suspending him throat first along the top rope. He picks him up and slams him, and then drops a leg. He whips Magee head first into the corner turnbuckle and follows up with boots and punches.
After an Irish whip, Magee catches Hart with a sunset flip, but only for a count of two. The Hitman picks him up and hits a backbreaker, followed by an elbow off the second rope. Bret returns Magee to the corner turnbuckle, but he reverses another Irish whip and Bret goes in chest first.
Magee then hits an elbow and tries a small package, but only gets a count of two. He misses a dropkick and Hart throws him outside. Magee slowly makes his way back into the ring, reverses a suplex attempt and rolls Hart up for a pinfall win. The commentary really showcased how much they thought of Magee. This was the Holy Grail WWEs Most Infamous Lost Match with Tom Magee and Bret Hart.