The Scouting Reports are an idea I’ve had to take baseball scouting ideas and use them on professional wrestlers, to really try to break down just what makes a great pro wrestler.
If you missed the first Scouting Report, covering Randy Savage, 1987-1988, be sure to check it out right here!
To explain the numbers used, I’ll again quote the Astros Director of Pro Scouting, Kevin Goldstein.
A score of 50 is major-league average, 60 is above-average (also referred to as “plus”), and 70 is among the best (“plus-plus”). 80 is top of the charts, and not a score that gets thrown around liberally. 80s in any category are rare, and the scoring system is definitely a strong curve that regresses to around 50 at the major league level, but lower as you move down. Very few players have a 50 score or higher for every tool. Just being average across the board is quite an accomplishment.
For my second installment, I am selecting the Hitman, Bret Hart!
Bret Hart 1993-1994
TIMELINE: Bret Hart entered 1993 as WWF Champion. After losing the title to Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX, he won the 1993 King of the Ring Tournament. Doing so upset the WWF’s established royalty, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and he feuded with Lawler throughout the summer and fall of 1993. At Survivor Series, the Hart Family defeated Shawn Michael and the Knights. Michaels was a last minute replacement, as Lawler was taken off TV due to statutory rape charges. Owen Hart was the only member of his team eliminated, and this planted the seed to a heel turn. The night Owen turned on Bret, Bret also co-won the 1994 Royal Rumble. At WrestleMania X, Hart opened the show by losing via pinfall to his brother Owen, but by the close of the event, had defeated Yokozuna to regain the WWF Title. Hart retained the title over Owen in a Steel Cage match at SummerSlam, but lost it to Bob Backlund at Survivor Series ’94.
PROS: A master technician, among the finest in the game. Someone who could make anybody else look good via his selling and psychology. Out of all of the categories, the Technician was the category I felt it would be hardest to quantify an 80 for, but for the Hitman, an 80 was pretty automatic. Great storyteller in the ring, and could work a variety of different matches. Although not a top level flyer, he was very good when he took that route.
CONS: Not great at getting his persona over to fans. Less than great promos. An adequate striker. Has a very unconventional look and is small, although it might have helped him as more of an “everyman” to the 1993 fans. There are definitely issues here, but I think the Pros more than overcompensate for them.
Matches Watched: Hart vs. Fatu, 3/1/1993, Hart vs. Lex Luger, 5/23/1993, Hart vs. Crush, 2/21/1994, Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid, 7/11/1994