Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart has spoken out about the legendary 1993 King of the Ring Tournament which spawned three different bouts and the three men he fought to be crowned King.
‘The Excellence of Execution’ has been a source of much controversy over the last few months, giving his outspoken opinion the day Bill Goldberg ended his career and his honest opinion of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts who criticised both Hart and Shawn Michaels for being the worst world champions in history.
Now, ‘The Pink and Black Attack’ is at it again. During the latest edition of his Confessions Of The Hitman Podcast, Bret Hart delved into the historic 1993 King of the Ring Tournament which he won and taking the only day off he ever had twenty four hours later.
At the inaugural King of the Ring pay-per-view on June 13, 1993, Hart astounded the watching audience with a performance of the year nomination. Not only did he manage three excellent matches, but each were uniquely different to the one that went before.
His Quarter Final Match against Razor Ramon was a technical slugfest in which both men shone and improved on their Royal Rumble WWF Championship Match five months prior. Against Mr. Perfect in the Semi-Finals, Hart put on a technical masterclass which came close to matching their epic from SummerSlam 1991. And the Final was classic David vs. Goliath outing against Bam Bam Bigelow which holds up as one of the best bouts Bigelow ever had in the company.
Hart’s feat on this night had never been done before and arguably has never been accomplished since.
When questioned about King of the Ring and his level of pride at being the first victor on pay-per-view, Bret Hart had this to say:
“I loved the concept of The King Of The Ring. I always thought it was a really good concept for a pay-per-view. And I’ve always been very proud of the fact that I won the very first one that they did. I will say that when I had The King Of The Ring, I had three very good opponents: Razor Ramon was my first opponent, and then I had Curt Hennig, and then I had Bam Bam [Bigelow].
Wrestling three guys back to back, three quality wrestlers, it takes three different guys with three different kinds of stories. Everyone has their own style, and what I loved about that time period was that [King Of The Ring] was an example, or it was a situation, for me to prove maybe even to myself, but to any skeptics I had, like, how to have three great matches with three different guys back to back. Like, one after another. That’s over a full hour of wrestling. I’m sure I did over an hour, an hour-and-a-half of wrestling that night, which is pretty tough to do. I mean, an hour-long match is already as grueling as it is.”
When forced to pick which of the three bouts was his favourite, ‘The Best There Is, The Best There Was, And The Best There Ever Will Be’ didn’t hesitate in picking the technical masterpiece against Curt ‘Mr. Perfect’ Hennig:
“So I beat Razor and went in against Mr. Perfect, which was so much fun to work with Perfect again because we always had such great chemistry and great matches. And I think that is arguably one of our greatest matches we ever had at King Of The Ring. And, again, it was guys who had a lot of respect for me going out of their way to help me get over because I just think they were guys in my camp that were behind me, and so, Curt went out of his way to give me a great match.”
Hennig may have given Hart his personal favourite match of the entire event, but his final opponent was the man who garnered the most respect from the technical assassin. Talking about the late Bam Bam Bigelow, ‘The Hitman’ described him simply as the best big man in history:
“[Bigelow] was such a great wrestler for his size. He was. I always thought Bam Bam Bigelow was the best big man in wrestling. Like, he could do everything. He could do cartwheels. He could jump off the top rope and drop an elbow on you and never hurt you. He was always safe and such a pro, such a born wrestler. I’m sure when Bam Bam Bigelow was three or four years old, he could wrestle then. He was just born to be a wrestler, and I loved working with him. I loved the match he gave me.”
Winding down the interview, Bret Hart detailed what occurred following the exhaustive event and after he’d been attacked by Jerry Lawler upon receipt of his crown and cape:
“After that match [versus Bigelow], I remember after I won that match, they gave me the day off the next day. I remember I could hardly get out of bed. That was the only time, to my memory, that they said, ‘You worked so hard last night you can take today off.’ And I accepted that. I was like, ‘Thank you. I will take the day off and I’ll enjoy every bit of it!'”
The victory helped to assert Hart as a beloved fan favourite and propel him into a rivalry with Lawler which would further enhance his babyface image and set him on a path to infamy at WrestleMania X the next year.
Credit for the interview: Confessions Of The Hitman
h/t for the interview: Wrestling Inc.