When it comes to opinion on the very worst wrestlers to ever step into a ring, you need go no further than Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart. While others may sugar the pill in order to save the feelings of those they’ve worked with, Hart will tell it straight and include just why someone was rotten between the ropes.
This has been proved already with his already famous dressing down of Bill Goldberg when Hart took the former WWE Universal Champion to task for prematurely ending his career in 2000.
Further to this, Hart recently placed Jake Roberts under the spotlight and took apart a man many consider one of the greatest wrestling minds of all time. This of course came in response to Roberts naming Bret and Shawn Michaels the very worst world champions in history.
Even his friends and those Bret Hart likes haven’t been spared his criticism. Yesterday, Inside the Ropes reported that Hart named ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin as the man with the worst Sharpshooter.
Now though, Bret has taken a lighter stance. Gone is the bashing – in some cases warranted – of stars who he’s stood across the ring from because ‘The Excellence of Execution’ had spoken out about those he considers the best to work with.
Speaking to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, ‘The Best There Is, The Best There Was, And The Best There Ever Will Be’ listed those wrestlers he thought were most convincing between the ropes. The men that could sell well, talk better and walk that proverbial walk.
“Curt Hennig was one. Sting was one. My brother Owen was one of them. Macho Man was another one where you didn’t need to even talk. Someone just said, ‘Quick, run out there you’ve got to go twenty minutes with Macho Man and we don’t know what you’re doing. Just figure it out on the fly.’ I’ve done that with Macho Man. Some guys you can just work. They’re total pros that way. Really it’s important for all wrestlers to try to be like that. I do remember wrestling Macho Man one time where something happened with someone’s flight. I was in Detroit, but they were running another show in South Bend, Indiana.”
After talking about Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage in nothing but glowing terms, Hart recalled the tale he mentioned above which involved his rival, Jake ‘The Snake Roberts:
“It might’ve been Jake Roberts who had been working against Macho Man, but he had gotten delayed somewhere or he couldn’t make his plane or something like that. They told me I was on the first match in Detroit, they put me on first and said, ‘You gotta get on an airplane, fly all the way to South Bend, Indiana and wrestle Macho Man. That’s a sell-out crowd and the main event’s not going to be there.’ Literally by the time I’d wrestled, and got on a charter plane to South Bend from Detroit, and the time zone change, I landed and had no time. I actually pulled up and Macho Man was in the ring cutting an interview. He’d been on the mic cutting an interview for about thirty minutes waiting for me to show up. They were just about ready to cancel the main event and I pulled up.”
Unsurprisingly, ‘The Pink and Black Attack’ wasn’t done there. He recalled the exact match in question and talked at length about working the bout with Savage and his standing in the company at that time:
“I remember they told me as I was running in, ‘You just go straight to the ring. Figure it out in the ring.’ I didn’t have a finish, I didn’t have an ending. Most of all it was at a time when I wasn’t necessarily sure that I could be the main event. It was always questionable whether I had reached that level, you know, ‘Send Bret Hart out, is that going to get a reaction?’ Like, ‘Oh, he’s not a big enough star to replace Jake Roberts.’ I just remember running out, and the place popped and went crazy. It was like, ‘I guess I’m over enough to replace Jake Roberts to be the main event.’ That was the first sort of start of me being a bigger star than just being Bret Hart, the singles wrestler.”
While the tale centered on Randy Savage and his particular skills between the ropes, it would be fascinating to hear Bret’s opinions on Curt Hennig, his brother Owen and Sting’s – who he named as the best executor of the Sharpshooter – technical abilities in the squared circle.
You can listen to the full interview with Bret Hart here.
Credit for the interview: Sean Ross Sapp and Fightful
h/t for the transcription: Fightful