People ask me wrestling questions a lot, and most of the time I like to think I’m pretty decent at either answering them myself or finding somebody who can/has. But one of the ones that stumps me every time is when people ask what the deal was when the Rockers beat the Hart Foundation for the WWF tag titles but didn’t get to keep them.
Answering the did this actually happen part has always been easy. Yes, it did. It happened back in 1990 at a TV taping. I think the Rockers may have even defended the things once or twice after they won them.
But the match never aired, and that’s where things get complicated. Things get complicated because everybody seems to have their own reason for why this happened. Depending on where you look or who you ask, you’ll hear everything from Jim Neidhart was about to get fired so they had to take the belts off of the Foundation to backstage politics having a part in it or even simply that the broken top rope was the problem because the match would have come off badly on television. Whatever the reason was, the WWF decided to act like the switch never happened. The Anvil wasn’t fired, the Harts got the belts back and life went on. The Rockers never ended up winning the titles for real and eventually split up during that awesome Barber Shop segment where Marty Jannetty got thrown through the window.
Meanwhile, the phantom title match became one of those mysterious things that could probably never happen today thanks to everybody having a video camera and the ability to post things to the internet…ahh, the internet. Everything winds up on the internet. and as I just discovered, everything now includes video of the Rockers winning the titles at that TV taping in 1990.
Now if only the internet could explain why all of this unhappened within days, I’d have one less thing to think about and one less question I can’t answer.