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Bret Hart The highs & lows of a legend


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WWE fans often wonder if Bret Hart will ever again set foot in McMahon land

& with the New DVD coming I think A Bret Hart tribute would work well about now so with that in mind I presents a tribute to the ‘Hitman’ Bret Hart.

 

Bret as a kid had no interest in wrestling indeed he had aspirations about being a film star & even movie Director. Of course as we all know that never happened & Bret entered the pro Wrestling world. Trained by his father the late Stu Hart Bret was already an accomplished Amateur wrestler. So it did not take much to train Bret in the legendary dungeon. Naturally Bret debuted in his father’s organisation Stampede pro wrestling in Canada. He made his debut way back in 1975 & formed a tag team with his brother Keith. They were a popular team & had a successful run in stampede & WWC in Mexico. Bret also had a successful solo feud with Dynamite Kid, which is still talked about today.

 

Bret however did not like the feud as he thought their styles clashed. According to Dynamite’s autobiography he went as far as to complain to Stu about the situation. However with his father’s wishes, Stu knew Dynamite could teach him a thing or two, Bret continued the feud. Indeed Bret started adapting to Dynamite’s hard-hitting style & has admitted he got to really enjoy the feud.

 

This learning process took up a several years of Bret’s life & by the time the singles & tag feuds ended it was late 1979.

 

Bret went international in the early eighties accepting bookings in England, Germany & Japan, indeed for that matter anybody that would have him. He had his eyes set on one thing though working in America but that did not happen yet. Meanwhile he returned to Canada & stampede & by this point was something of a hometown hero. Bret & Dynamite wanted to feud one last time but wanted to do it in style so they invented a new & radical type of match, the ladder match. History has lost the reason exactly how a ladder & wrestling came together. Both men have stories that differ to each other; both however say Bret was the one who had the idea. According to Dynamite’s story they were discussing how to end the feud & Bret almost walked under a ladder, the superstitious DK felt it was bad luck. This supposedly inspired the Hitman & he suggested the next day the concept of a ladder match. Hart on the other hand claims DK was not present when the idea came to him, he claims it was when he fell a couple of feet from a ladder in his house that he was inspired to create the ladder match. Either was Stu Hart quickly warmed to the idea but had reservations that the fans would buy a match like this. He need not have worried the fans loved the series of ladder matches, something that was not lost on one Vince McMahon he filed the idea away for future use but he would forget about it & not use the idea for another decade.

 

Bret Hart was now the top man in Stampede & was the North American champion on & off for the next few years. (NAHC) Vince McMahon however that perennial thorn in Bret’s side was still keeping one eye on stampede. Vince wanted to dominate the American (& Canadian) scene & felt Stampede was one group (of man) that stood in his way, so he did what he did best he took out his chequebook.

 

Although they had doubts about the decision Stu & Bret accepted a $1 million payoff & closed down Stampede wrestling much to the chagrin of Canadian fans. Bret & Dynamite also accepted big time WWE contracts. Dynamite was to be paired up The British Bulldog & Bret was pared with Jim Neidhart. The team of Neidhart & Hart was giving the name The Hart Foundation & caught on quickly with WWE fans. Still Vince made Bret start at the bottom & work his way up he jobbed for nearly a year. Then Vince decided The Bulldogs as Davey & Dynamite had become needed somebody as good a team for a feud & step up Bret & Jim. They fought for almost the whole year in 1986 in matches much loved & still talked about today. During the feud The Bulldogs became WWE champions when the won tag gold & the feud stepped up another notch. The date when Bret won WWE gold for the first time was January 26th 1987. Dynamite suffered a serious back injury not long before the title switch & knew he did not have much left in him, foolishly though he decided to stick around & we all know the rest. At WM III the feud picked up another notch, WWE Ref Danny Davis, much like Nick Patrick would years later, sided with the heels & aided them whenever he could. The three man the heart’s & Danny upset The Bulldogs & Tito Santana at WM when the won their tag match. For the next ten months the foundation saw off title challenges from all of WWE’s top tag teams (& the Killer Bees ahem). WWE however had a new team in town & they went straight to the top. The team was Strike Force Tito Santana & Rick Martel who won the belts sometime around October 1987 when Neidhart submitted.

 

Still a heel Bret entered a stunning performance en route to being eliminated in the first Rumble match in 1988. Then in a battle royal at WM IV Bret turned face when he attacked Bad News Brown. The hart foundation then had a series of forgettable matches with Heel tag champions Demolition but did not win the gold back yet. In 1990 the finally beat the champions in a best of three falls at Summerslam 1990. Vince knew something we did not though, Vince knew Bret was ready for the big one The World Title. However Vince was not one to rush things back then so he wanted to test him as IC champ first. In Early 1991 the foundation parted ways & Bret was staring at the glass ceiling alone. For the next five months Bret warmed up for his IC title feud with champion Curt Henning & at Summerslam of that year they had their match. Entering stunning performances both men turned it up a notch & sure enough Curt submitted to the Sharpshooter & as he had being promised Bret was now IC champion. His reign sadly was not as memorable as he faced no hopers like Mike Rotunda, The Warlord & Skinner & The Mountie. Indeed it was the Later The Mountie who pinned Bret for his title & on a house show as well. Quickly switching the title to Roddy Piper at the Rumble 1992 WWE planned a dream match between Bret & Roddy. As dream matches go it turned out pretty well & the two had a very good match at WM VIII with Bret once again winning the title. His reign was to be a short one however as WWE had already decided that he was indeed to be a world champion. So he dropped the IC title to Davey Boy in another stunning match at Summerslam 1992. It seemed Bret could do no wrong at this point in his career & that did not change anytime soon. Hart had to wait another Two months to win the title but in Canada of all places Hart pinned Ric Flair & became WWE’s number one man for the first time.

 

Something went wrong though attendances were dropping & Vince choose Hart as a scapegoat so he re hired Hulk Hogan & at WM IX after Hart dumped the title to Yokozuna our friend Hulk pinned Yoko. Hulk being Hulk of course quickly fell out with Vince & quit only 4 months later giving the title back to Yoko in the process. Actually Vince requested that Bret be the one that pin Hulk but Hogan told Vince that no way in hell was that going to happen. (Bret still refuses to talk to Hogan because of this BTW.)

 

WWE instead threw Hart a KOTR bone shaped nugget. He rolled Over Razor Ramon in a very good match, Curt Henning in a 5 star classic & Bam Bam Bigelow in a fairly good match & was crowned first ever (on screen) KOTR champion. The next feud also started the same night that other King Jerry Lawler took exception to Bret’s ‘king’ name & attacked him. The feud was very well received & indeed was the best feud of 1993 by a country mile. It never ended though as Lawler was fired in late 1993. (He was accused of raping a young girl who later admitted she had made the whole thing up.)

 

WWE needed a new feud & quickly so they choose Bret’s brother Owen. In a perfectly worked feud Bret & Owen slowly fell apart & that led to a Brother VS Brother WM match. In a shocking turn Owen pinned his brother Bret in a classic mat wrestling show off match. Bret however was not leaving WM X empty handed Vince had big plans for him. Bret & Lex Luger had jointly won the Rumble match so both got shots at Yokozunas title. Lex lost his match but Bret pinned blubber boy to win his second World title. Bret then entered a feud with WWE’s new star heel Kevin Nash. First at Summerslam in a title Vs title match IC champ Nash beat Bret by DQ & then at Survivor Series Bob Backlund made Bret submit & we ha a new champion. That new champion was not Backlund he lost his title 1 day later to Nash. For reasons unknown WWE decided Nash would not pin Bret.

 

Nash bombed as a champ but a desperate Vince (this was WWE’s slowest period ever to date) kept him as a champ regardless. At least until Vince saw the light & decided Nash sucked as a Champ so Shawn Michaels was groomed as the next champion. Vince did not want a Nash Michaels feud however so Bret won the title back from Nash & then dropped it to Shawn at WM XII in as iron man match, the match itself was Bret’s worst in years & he decided to take some time off. He took a whole Six months off partly to rest & party to act. (He stared in several films.) WCW offered him a large contract in late 1996 & Hart turned it down but told them he might reconsider, he of course would. Before that though came a Feud with Steve Austin & what a feud. Starting at Survivor Series 1996 in a good match & taking in WM with their classic blood soaked match this was Bret’s best feud of his singles career so far. At WM Hart also turned Heel again & so started the Canadian VS American feud. With Jim, Bulldog & Owen they formed The New Hart foundation & fought the American superstars such as Undertaker & Steve Austin.

 

The Ten-man match at IYH Canadian stampede was the highlight of this feud. The foundation & Brian Pillman were the firm fan fav’s (It was Canada) & they beat Austin, Goldust & LOD (& somebody else I forget who for now.) Shortly after that in August Bret pinned World champ Undertaker to win another world title. Then it started to go downhill, Vince demanded Bret take a $10 thousand per week pay cut. Bret obviously said hell no & with Vince’s blessing (It was Vince’s suggestion) Bret talked with WCW. Three months later Bret agreed to a WCW deal but before he left he still had a title to dump.

 

We all know what happened next but just to remind you here goes. Bret refuses to lose the title in Canada at Survivor Series but said he would lose in America instead. Vince along with Earl Hebner & Shawn Michaels of course saw to it that Bret would, & did lose the title at SS. Bret then went ballistic & among other things spat at Jerry Lawler & Vince & then backstage attacked Vince. Bret would never to date step into a WWE ring again.

 

Bret joined WCW as a face& feuded with Ric Flair & Randy Savage at first. Turning Heel he joined the NOW but seemed to get lost in the mix. He did manage to win Three US titles but that was just a stopgap everybody knew the world title was what he really wanted. It was strange though Bret was not the Bret of past his matches generally were boring partly due to the way he was booked & partly because he seemed to be losing interest. He was put into a feud with Goldberg but a Goldberg groin injury scuppered that plan. Two weeks later Bret got the worst news of his life, His Brother Owen had died. Bret seriously considered retiring in the wake of this news & that’s understandable. However in September five months later he returned to WCW. In October he captured the world title from Chris Benoit in a stunning match, here at last was the Bret Hart of old. But in December he suffered a serious head injury in a match with Goldberg & that was it he never did wrestle again.

 

He suffered several further setbacks since. For one he strongly dislikes today’s stunt wrestling he wants story wrestling to be at the forefront of any wrestling company. Both of his parents have passed away in the last (few) years. Then of course there was the second concussion & temporary paralysis in a bike accident. Still the Hitman has overcome these bumps in the road of live & has even talked to Vince several times. Neither he nor Vince have completely forgiven each other for SS 1997 (Both feel they were right) but have at least opened negotiations. Then of course there's the upcoming Bret DVD which they (WWE & BRET) say includes new interviews with the Hitman.

 

Will Bret Hart appear at the next WM? I have my doubts but a farewell speech would be more than welcome. Well I hope you have enjoyed this brief transaction of Bret’s carer as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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WWE needed a new feud & quickly so they choose Bret’s brother Owen. In a perfectly worked feud Bret & Owen slowly fell apart & that led to a Brother VS Brother WM match. In a shocking turn Owen pinned his brother Bret in a classic mat wrestling show off match. Bret however was not leaving WM X empty handed Vince had big plans for him. Bret & Lex Luger had jointly won the Rumble match so both got shots at Yokozunas title. Lex lost his match but Bret pinned blubber boy to win his second World title. Bret then entered a feud with WWE’s new star heel Kevin Nash. First at Summerslam in a title Vs title match IC champ Nash beat Bret by DQ & then at Survivor Series Bob Backlund made Bret submit & we ha a new champion. That new champion was not Backlund he lost his title 1 day later to Nash. For reasons unknown WWE decided Nash would not pin Bret.

 

 

Nice piece Kurtmark but you've got your knickers in a twist here. Summerslam 1994 was Hart vs Hart in a Blue Steel Cage for the gold. Bret then dropped to Backlund at Survivor Series when Owen (bare in mind I was 12 at the time) did the most convincing face turn over the course of a match after Davey Boy had been "kncoked out" only to heel turn by the end of the match. SWERVE!

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Happening a lot recently. Thread Drift is OK as long as the conversation is kept civil' date=' just as long as it stays sort-of on track.[/quote']

 

 

well this is kinda on track...

 

you talk about Bret Hart.. he will always be remembered for the Montreal incident not his wrestling.... HBK was involved in the montreal incident... the montreal incident was basedalot on Bret's HUGE ego..

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well this is kinda on track...

 

you talk about Bret Hart.. he will always be remembered for the Montreal incident not his wrestling.... HBK was involved in the montreal incident... the montreal incident was basedalot on Bret's HUGE ego..

 

Bret will be remembered for a lot more than Montreal, we're rowing about Montreal over here, if you'ld care to join us :) http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25168&page=3

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