Today, we will take you on a little bit of a pro wrestling journey. This dive into a little bit of wrestling history and Bret Hart.
Bret “The Hitman” Hart is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. He is also considered to be one of the top technicians the business has ever seen.
But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Hitman. Through many trials and tribulations, Hart was able to come out and see the better side of most situations. Let’s take a look at three traumatic events in wrestling for Bret Hart. These are three situations Hart was able to make peace with and welcome the WWE into his life with open arms again.
Bret Hart: The Most Forgiving Man in Wrestling
Rise to Stardom
Bret Hart comes from the famous Hart family. He broke into the scene in the ’90s as the then WWF’s top star. He would have classic matches with the likes of the British Bulldog, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Shawn Michaels (we will get to that).
What made him special is that he wasn’t this bulldozer of a man. In his prime, he was just six feet tall and weighed around 230 pounds. That is nothing compared to the likes of Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, who were the stars before Hart.
Hart is a five-time WWF Champion, King of the Ring Winner, and there are many more accomplishments to name, but we would be here all day.
The events we will list will be in chronological order as they happened in real time. So there is no ranking of these events.
The Montreal Screwjob
Perhaps the most infamous backstage drama brought to television in wrestling history, the infamous Montreal Screwjob took place on November 9th, 1997 at that year’s Survivor Series pay per view.
Bret Hart was on his way out of the WWF, as he was jumping over to WCW at the time. There was one problem. Bret was the WWF Champion and had to drop the belt before leaving.
Vince McMahon wanted Shawn Michaels to be the next champion. Bret Hart, however, wanted nothing to do with that. He and Michaels had heat for quite some time. He actually wanted the match to end in disqualification and to forfeit the next night on Raw. As we all know, that never happened.
During the match, McMahon was at ringside. Michaels put Hart’s finishing submission, the Sharpshooter, on Hart. McMahon immediately told the referee, Earl Hebner, to call for the bell despite Hart never tapping out.
This sent shockwaves throughout the crowd. Nobody knew what had just happened. The only person more shocked was Bret Hart himself.
This left a bitter taste in his mouth of Bret. He wanted nothing to do with the WWF after that. It took him over a decade to appear on WWE television again after that.
But in 2010, Hart came on to Monday Night Raw to call out Shawn Michaels and “bury the hatchet”. Hart has also since then had ties with Vince McMahon again and has been working with the company from time to time in storylines.
The Death of Owen Hart
Now this one is the one that Bret never got over. On May 23rd, 1999, Owen Hart was set to take on The Godfather for the Intercontinental Championship at Over the Edge.
At the time, Owen was playing the role of his character, the Blue Blazer, a goofy, superhero character. He was going to make a spectacular superhero entrance from the rafters. As we all know, it went terribly wrong.
Hart’s harness would give away and he fell 78 feet to his death. Bret found out as he was working for WCW. And once again, this left a sour taste in Bret’s mouth. Owen was 34 years old.
Owen’s wife, Martha Hart, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWF. The family has since had a sour taste of the company in their mouth. Through all of this, Bret was still able to forgive the wrestling business and still contribute.
Retired by Goldberg
Bret was feuding with Goldberg at one point in WCW over the world title. In a match at Starrcade 1999, Goldberg hit Hart with a mule kick.
This wasn’t a normal mule kick, it is the stiffest one you will ever see. Goldberg was notorious for being reckless and unsafe to work within the ring. This kick gave Hart a severe concussion and ruined his career.
Hart retired from the ring in 2000. A man that has given so much to the business was taken out of it in the flip of a switch.
He has expressed his frustration with Goldberg for the botch. Though the two have sat down and talked about it in the past.
Bret’s Still Here
Though he isn’t working with WWE as much, Bret still works very closely with the wrestling business. Even though you may argue that it has taken more from him than it has given.
Bret has appeared in AEW and Impact wrestling over the last few years. He could have easily left wrestling for good and have wanted nothing to do with it, but his love for the sport and the business kept bringing him back.