Bret Hart has taken the opportunity to remind everyone why he is The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be as he contemplates his influence on modern wrestling.
Hart is best remembered as the face of the New Generation in the mid-nineties WWF where he held the WWF Championship five times and feuded memorably with the likes of Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The Hitman however had been in the company long before that and speaking on CBC Radio’s Q podcast discussed the days immediately following the end of Hulkamania in the company and how the WWF was in a fight for its life:
“The company was really sinking fast and they tried [Ultimate] Warrior and they end up with ‘Macho Man’ [Randy Savage]. They end up with Ric Flair. But nobody was really turning things around and things were getting worse. They were losing all these toy deals and…things within the promotion that I really was unaware of. And I was kinda the guy who pulled the sword out of the stone.”
In the early nineties, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon found himself fighting to stay out of jail after being indicted by the US Government on charges relating to steroid distribution. Bret Hart says he thinks the worry in the company at the time led to them putting their title on him as a safe pair of hands – and that decision still has an influence on today’s product:
“Vince McMahon, I think, [was] worried that he might actually go to jail over all that stuff. [He] decided that he needed to put the title on somebody that was a safe, secure bet, that wouldn’t drop the ball. Wouldn’t mess up. Would have no scandals – impaired driving or anything that could set the company back huge if they’re the wrong guy. And he chose me and I turned out to be a good hero for him and a good hero for the wrestling industry.
“I took wrestling in a different direction, I think. When you look back today, they don’t wrestle like Hulk Hogan anymore. They wrestle like Bret Hart. Wrestling’s all about action and speed and telling a story and I think that’s where I came in.”
Bret Hart was recently given the honour of being inducted onto Canada’s Walk Of Fame.