WWE Classic Superstars - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008 by Shaun in Labels: ,

Via Wiki,

Bret Sergeant Hart (born July 2, 1957) is a retired Canadian professional wrestler and part of the Hart wrestling family. In the course of his career, he is best known by his ring name Bret "The Hitman" Hart. He also used the monikers "The Excellence of Execution" (originally dubbed as such by Gorilla Monsoon), "The Hart Foundation" (primarily while teamed with Jim Neidhart) and perhaps the most resounding, "The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be" (derived from the 1984 film The Natural, which starred Robert Redford). Hart justifies the last moniker through three claims: He never injured an opponent through any fault of his own; through the entire course of his career he only missed two shows (both as a result of traffic and flight difficulties); and he rarely refused to job (lose a scripted match). Hart was widely regarded as one of the most popular and gifted technical professional wrestlers of his generation.

Hart was a seven-time world champion through his career in World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Federation: a two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and a five-time WWF Champion. Additionally in WWF, he was the 1991 and 1993 King of the Ring, and the 1994 Royal Rumble co-winner. Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Although Hart had signed a 20 year contract, Vince McMahon had asked him to talk to WCW about possibly taking a second look at their original offer to him, as the WWF was in a rough financial position at the time and could not afford the contract. Hart's final match with the WWF would come in Montreal at Survivor Series 1997. Hart did not want to end his career with a loss to Shawn Michaels in his home country; Vince agreed to Bret's idea of forfeiting the championship the next night on RAW or losing it a few weeks later. Although Hart stated to Vince McMahon he would not take the WWF Championship with him to WCW TV (and despite insistence from then-WCW President Eric Bischoff (according to Hart's DVD biography) that Hart would join WCW with a "clean slate"), McMahon was still concerned; this led to him breaking his word in what eventually came to be known as the Montreal Screwjob, one of the most controversial moments in recent wrestling history. Even though he did not submit to the Sharpshooter, referee Earl Hebner called for the bell as if he had, on orders of Vince McMahon. This resulted in Hart "losing" the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels. The night ended with Hart spitting in Vince's face, destroying television equipment, and punching Vince in the eye backstage.

Bret also stated on a recent shoot interview that after the Montreal incident, Vince Russo called Bret Hart about Bret trying to get Owen out of his contract with WWF and come join Bret in WCW. Bret listened to Russo and explained that he was still going to try to get Owen out of his contract to come to WCW with him; a few minutes afterwards, Vince McMahon called Bret and told him he would sue him if he tried to get Owen out and continued to talk to Owen about his contract. Hart believed McMahon was on the phone the whole time with Russo/Bret and Bret says Vince Russo denies that claim to this day, and that it was just a coincidence that McMahon called a couple minutes after.

On the February 16, 2006, episode of RAW, it was announced that Hart would be a 2006 inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hart had also been approached by Vince McMahon for a potential match between the two at WrestleMania 22, but "politely declined" the offer. Coincidentally, Hart's last WrestleMania appearance was also in Chicago (WrestleMania 13).

On April 1, 2006, Hart was inducted by his old in-ring rival, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He thanked every wrestler he worked with (even thanking Vince McMahon) and said he's "in a good place in life." He also told some humorous stories he had with other wrestlers during his career in the WWF - most notably with his late brother, Owen, and brother-in-law Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. Vince McMahon and his son Shane did not attend the ceremony. Hart did not appear the next day at WrestleMania 22 with the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame Inductees at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, saying that he did not feel "comfortable with the situation."

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