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Bret Hart Story From The Boston Herald  Rate Topic 
 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2014 05:55 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 2nd, 2007
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
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Hart talks about about a lot of things including WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.

" Hitman " the Hart and soul of WrestleMania

WrestleMania would not be WrestleMania without The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be.

Not only is Bret “Hitman” Hart one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, he is also a WrestleMania staple, having wrestled in 14 matches at 13 different WrestleMania events.

Now 56, Hart wrestled at WrestleMania II through XIII, then returned 13 years later to defeat WWE CEO Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XXVI. His first singles bout took place at WrestleMania VIII against the legendary “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

“When I got to work with Piper, that was the biggest moment — up to that point — of my career,” said Hart. “That was my first WrestleMania classic. It was a different kind of match than Roddy had ever had, and it was a different kind of match for me at that point, too. Having good guy versus good guy, old pro vs. young pro, it worked really well. That buildup and match was a big turning point for me, and wet my lips to do better.”

Just a year later, the Hitman’s road to WrestleMania led him all the way to the main event in Caesars Palace before stumbling upon a couple road blocks in the nearly-600 pound Yokozuna and wrestling icon Hulk Hogan.

“I was really looking forward to working with Yoko at WrestleMania IX,” recalled Hart. “When I won the belt in October of ’92, it wasn’t like I had the stack of guys that Hogan had to work with when the talent roster was so deep. When I was champion, the roster had thinned out because of drug testing and a lot of the big names were gone. Jake Roberts was gone, and that was somebody I was supposed to wrestle but never happened. I was supposed to wrestle the (Ultimate) Warrior at The Royal Rumble, and that never happened either.

“Then Hogan came back, I was told by Vince that Hogan had nothing to do with what I was doing,” continued Hart. “You can imagine how shocked I was when Hogan ended up with the belt at WrestleMania IX. I had every intention of going over in that match with Yoko, so I had no idea that my title reign was going to be so abruptly ended. I was caught off-guard by that, to be honest. I was told when I won the belt that I was going to be champion for a long time, but at the same time, Vince is always very clear when you win the belt and tells you, ‘Anything can happen.’ I felt I didn’t have my chance to prove I was good as I thought I was.”

Hart fought for another opportunity, and made the most of his second chance when he reclaimed the championship the following year at WrestleMania X in Madison Square Garden.

“WrestleMania X, XII, and XIII are three of the greatest nights I ever had,” said Hart.

Hart battled his brother Owen in the opening match of WrestleMania X, then finished the night by defeating Yokozuna to win the WWE championship.

“WrestleMania X will always be my most special one because of the memory of being with my brother Owen,” said Hart. “There was a lot of pressure on Owen to fill those shoes as a top heel. The storyline was the bitter hatred between two brothers, but Owen was really grateful to work with me. I went to bat a lot for Owen for that chance, and he really shined that night. I thought that was one of his finest hours. There were two reverse sharpshooters in that match, which had never been done before. Those are the tiny little things that no one really remembers or notices, but made that match a real treat. And what I really love about the match is how it launched my brother’s career.”

Two years later, Hart passed the torch to “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels in a 60-minute Iron Man match. The two wrestled for over an hour until Michaels finally defeated Hart with his “Sweet Chin Music” finisher.

“We both made that a classic match that will never, ever lose its shine,” said Hart. “I remember there was a certain point when I had to be setting up a move with exactly five minutes left in the match. I remember setting up on the second rope and looking at the score clock, and there was exactly four minutes and 59 seconds left in the match. There’s no wasted moves, and there was precision in every move.”

Hart and Michaels never met again at a WrestleMania. A rematch was scheduled for the following year at WrestleMania XIII, but Michaels, contemplating retirement due to a knee injury, forfeited his championship a month before ’Mania and did not participate in that year’s event.

“It’s a shame,” remarked Hart. “If you remember, Shawn had to go home and retire to find his smile and all that. I don’t know even to this day whether he had a bad knee or not, but he bowed out of WrestleMania because I don’t think he wanted to work with me.”

Instead of the rematch with Michaels, Hart was given three weeks to prepare for his new opponent, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

“They ended up throwing me and Steve together and it was kind of an ice-cold story line,” said Hart. “That was a big disappointment, at first, for Steve and me. We’d just fought months earlier at the Survivor Series, and even though we loved working together, he was looking for someone new to work with and I was looking for Shawn.”

The 22-minute brawl between Hart and Austin turned out to be a classic. The match began with Hart as the fan favorite and Austin as the cheating heel, but by the end of the night, the two, so skilled at their craft, had swapped roles.

“The match with Austin was pro wrestling’s version of the best MMA fight,” said Hart. “Steve even calls me once in a while and goes, ‘I got our match on.’ He always tells me it’s his favorite he’s ever had, and it’s the same for me.”

Austin ultimately became the face of the WWE, and Hart was happy to play a role in the burgeoning popularity of Austin 3:16.

“I’ve always felt that Steve was good enough to make it on his own anyway,” said Hart, “but I do like to think I played a role in helping him.”

The WWE is showcasing its talent in an “Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal” at WrestleMania XXX. The Excellence of Execution battled with Andre the Giant in the WrestleMania II battle royal, which featured multiple stars, including William “Refrigerator” Perry from the NFL.

“Andre was in a grumpy mood that day,” remembered Hart. “He didn’t want anything to do with those football players, but he was good to me. I was just lucky that Andre had his eyes set on the football players.”

The Hitman and the Giant were the final two in the ring, but Hart finished his night as the runner-up after the mighty Andre hurled him over the top rope.

“Being picked up over Andre’s head and tossed out into the crowd,” said Hart, “that was a long ways down. Even when I watch it now, it doesn’t seem like that big of a drop, but it felt like I was falling off the top of the Empire State Building.”

Eight years after suffering a stroke in 2002, Hart returned for WrestleMania XXVI in 2010 to settle an old score with Vince McMahon. There were never any plans to reignite the feud between Hart and Michaels.

“Shawn had made up his mind that he was going to retire,” said Hart. “I would have loved to have done something with Shawn, but I don’t know what we could have done. I squeezed enough water out of the stone in my match with Vince, and was really limited in what I could do. After my stroke, I feared I would be in a wheelchair. I never thought I’d be out in front of a wrestling crowd again, so just walking out was a victory.”

With 14 WrestleMania matches under his belt, Hart’s body can still feel all of them. That is the price, he admits, for all the collisions and clotheslines. Hart has spent the past year limping from a broken foot and knee replacement. While he is on the mend physically, the Hitman still harbors a few regrets about how his time ended with the WWE and his missed WrestleMania opportunities.

“I would have loved a WrestleMania with The Undertaker,” said Hart. “I would have loved to have had some rematches with Austin, and how many matches could I have had with Shawn Michaels? We could have kept that story going, we could still be wrestling now at WrestleMania XXX.”

If the 56-year-old could turn back the clock and wrestle again, he knows exactly who he would challenge.

“If I could have wrestled somebody at a WrestleMania, I would really have loved to wrestle with John Cena,” said Hart. “Especially during my Canadian, anti-American character circa 1997, and John Cena being that red-white-and blue American hero, that would have been a great story line. We would have had some great matches together.”

As for the upcoming WrestleMania XXX, The Hitman will be present on Sunday, April 6 at the Superdome in New Orleans. He knows exactly how he would like to envision the show ending.

“I hope they give Daniel Bryan his chance to win the belt at WrestleMania,” said Hart. “He earned it a long time ago, but it wouldn’t surprise me — like Charlie Brown with the football — if they pull it away from him one last time. I really hope they give him his proper run, as he hasn’t had the opportunity yet to be the champion he deserves to be. Hopefully this year at WrestleMania, it will be a crowning achievement for Daniel Bryan.”

As someone who dedicated his professional life to wrestling, Hart can also relate to CM Punk, who has been on sabbatical from the WWE ever since January’s Royal Rumble.

“When you look at it closely, Punk’s burned out,” said Hart. “He’s always given 100 percent in all his matches, and delivered some of the best pay-per-view matches in the past 10 years. And it’s not easy when there are legends who only work part-time, and guys like Punk and Bryan do all the work, and watch someone like Brock Lesnar walk in and take those big matches and big paydays without having to be on the road all the time. I think that had a lot to do with his decision, and rightfully so.

"One of Vince McMahon’s favorite sayings is, ‘Life’s not fair.’ I don’t see Punk being a factor at WrestleMania, but he still has a lot of greatness left in him. As a fan, I hope he comes back, and as a wrestler, I have a lot of respect for him, too.”

Hart also wished he had the opportunity to wrestle at WrestleMania XIV in Boston, one of his favorite cities.

“Boston, for me, was always the real, best diehard fans,” said Hart. “There’s some of the best fans in the world there in Boston, and I remember from day one having great matches at the Boston Garden and respecting the history of the great wrestlers who’d worked there years before. Even my father worked there. The city has wrestling roots and the fans understood wrestling psychology, and I remember being accepted by Boston wrestling fans when I was just ‘Bret Hart,’ even before the Neidhart days.”

The Hitman’s road to WrestleMania may be in his rear view mirror, but he is forever thankful for his time in the ring.

“There’s a lot of guys that can throw that ‘Mr. WrestleMania’ name around,” said Hart. “Who had better matches at WrestleMania than I did? The fans and I have a lot of great WrestleMania memories.”

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 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2014 06:13 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
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Always nice to hear from 'the excellence of persecution'

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 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2014 01:14 am
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Joined: Thu Oct 18th, 2007
Location: Fresno, California USA
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Was that an interview or was Bret just mumbling that stuff to himself at a donut shop and a reporter overheard him?

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 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2014 02:54 am
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Joined: Sat Jun 28th, 2008
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
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He's a delusional old fool. At least Stu, when he was delusional, was entertaining.

Trying to find my way back....
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 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2014 05:38 am
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Brett - Grow the f up. It is wrestling. It is scripted. This asshole needs to go and stay away.

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