Starrcast & The Holy Grail: Bret Hart & Tom Magee to Reunite

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Photos: WWE

Conrad Thompson, the man behind the successfully Starrcast event that returns for its second incarnation over All Elite Wrestling (AEW)‘s Double or Nothing weekend, announced today that WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart and former WWF Superstar Tom Magee were heading to Starrcast II to discuss their infamous WWF dark match from October 7, 1986, long considered by many wrestling historians, purists and fans as “The Holy Grail” of lost matches from the WWE archive.

In the mid-80s, Vince McMahon was looking ahead for his next star to eventually replace Hulk Hogan as the company’s top star, and based on appearances and resume (he was a gymnast and bodybuilder), McMahon thought he’d found it in the athletic, shaggy haired grappler from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, who had started training with Stu Hart in Calgary in 1985.

Photo: WWE

Tom Magee was brought in by the WWF in 1986 for a dark match/tryout match in Rochester, New York on October 7, 1986 and was paired against someone who he was somewhat familiar with, in Stu’s son Bret Hart, who was already emerging as a new star for Vince’s WWF. Bret’s match with Tom Magee was so impressive, that Vince signed Tom Magee and had high hopes for the man that was soon dubbed “The Megaman”. But in subsequent matches – that didn’t feature Bret Hart as his dance partner – it became painfully apparent that Magee simply wasn’t that good. It proved to be the ultimate testament to Bret Hart’s ability to call a match, navigate the psychology of a match, and work with as little as possible, that his performance made an extremely green specimen fool Vince McMahon into thinking he’d found the Next Big Thing.

Magee would continue to work house shows for the WWF for years, but his superstar push never materialized, and finally the WWF gave up on the project altogether and he was released from the company in 1990. As mentioned by Colt Cabana in the video above, the match was on WWE’s blacklist that was simply unavailable for anyone to watch, even to those who worked for the company.

The match made news again in recent weeks, when a fan named Mary-Kate Anthony from Florida produced a copy of the match, after she revealed that she had been given boxes of tapes from Bret Hart himself to transfer to DVD years ago, and had stumbled across the match in Bret’s collection. While some have reported that Mary-Kate had sold the VHS to Starrcast for viewing at the event, we reached out to Ms. Anthony who denied the reports. “Nowhere in the announcement was it stated that the tape would be aired,” she told us. “There are many rumors out there, but I did not sell it to Conrad/Starrcast.”

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