Bret Hart has discussed his career-ending injury at the hands of Goldberg in WCW and the sums of money it cost him in a candid conversation with Inside The Ropes.
At WCW’s Starrcade event in December 1999, Hart defended his WCW World Championship against Goldberg. In an infamous moment in wrestling history, Goldberg caught Hart in the head with a thrust kick that caused The Hitman a severe concussion.
Speaking at an Inside The Ropes Live show [back in October 2019], Bret Hart detailed the aftermath of the injury that ultimately ended his in-ring career:
“And then like when Bill Goldberg kicked me in the head and ended my career. It was such a lousy way to go because I didn’t know… I didn’t know my career was over. And when I did go home and it took me a year to find out that my career was over. And right around the time, I found out that I couldn’t… My doctors told me that I could never wrestle again and then the WCW fired me. From the day I got hurt, my million-dollar salary got cut. Every week, it got cut in half and got cut in half and got cut in half and kept getting cut in half till there was nothing left. And then they just fired me, which was such a lousy deal I had.”
“You know, when I was in WWE, I had like an insurance policy through Vince that I mean, I slipped in the shower, I was totally covered. My contract was paid in full. But when I signed with WCW, they gave me an insurance policy with Lloyd’s of London, and if you know anything about Lloyd’s of London, they don’t like to pay anybody. They like those premiums. They like you to keep paying those. But when it comes time to settle up and pay when they’re supposed to, they are total bullsh*t and they would not pay me and I had to sue them and I had to go through court.”
Bret Hart then discussed the physical effects of his injury:
“I think looking back in those times, I was concussed so badly that I really couldn’t really digest that my career was over and sort of get my head around it. A part of me was like, “Finally, I’m free. I don’t have to go anywhere this weekend. And I get to be home.” And you like being home, but when you have a concussion like the one I had. You know, I remember I couldn’t watch TV, I could listen to music. I couldn’t, you know, had even food I can remember, like my whole diet, like everything that I would eat, I had no… Like you could have the best steak in the world and it tasted like liver. And nothing really mattered.”
“I remember my doctor described to me is kind of like all the places that make you happy in your brain. That’s the part that got whacked. That’s the part that got kicked really hard. And, you know, I didn’t really understand it or take it all in so much at the time.”
Hart finished by speculating on the amount of money his career-ending injury had cost him and noted that Goldberg had earned a few big paydays in WWE:
“But, you know, I got hurt by Goldberg and he called me eight months after it happened and told me that he was sorry which, you know, really was irrelevant at that point. He never once called me after it happened or I don’t think he ever understood or I don’t know that he even does now or even cares that he cost me honestly cost me 16 million dollars in, like two seconds, and ended my career. And when I hear about Bill Goldberg going to Saudi Arabia and making three million dollars for a ten-minute match in Saudi Arabia, I go… You know, you think he would have called me up and said, here, I’m going to send you something for it.”