For years, wrestling completists, have clamored to see a borderline-mythical match from an October 1986 TV taping in Rochester, NY, that had never previously been made available for public viewing.
Among a recent wave of interest in the long-lost match between Bret Hart and WWE prospect Tom Magee, WWE announced that they will be broadcasting the match this Monday night on WWE Network, to go along with a documentary. The special is entitled, “The Holy Grail: The Search for WWE’s Most Infamous Lost Match.”
The story behind the match is that WWE was enamored with the impressive-looking Magee, a Canadian power-lifter who wrestled throughout the late-eighties. Vince McMahon had him wrestle “The Hitman” in a dark match at the Rochester tapings in order to size him up as a performer. Generally, Magee struggled as a wrestler, but Hart reportedly carried him so well in that encounter that McMahon believed he’d found his next Hulk Hogan in the muscular heavyweight.
Unfortunately, Magee couldn’t have the same kind of strong performance with anyone else, and after a few more tryouts over the coming years (including with Ted Dibiase and Arn Anderson, among others), Magee fizzled out of WWE, and wrestling, by early-1990.
Footage of the match had apparently been lost for years, until Mary-Kate Anthony discovered it earlier this spring, among a collection of tapes that Hart’s assistant, Marcy Engelstein, had given her for converting purposes.
Hart and Magee are set to appear at Starrcast II later this month to discuss the match.