MLW Owner and President, Court Bauer, has revealed the original plan for Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon was supposed to happen four years earlier than it actually did.
In 2005, relations between Bret Hart and World Wrestling Entertainment were healing. ‘The Hitman’ had decided to bury the hatchet with the men and women involved in the Montreal Screwjob and move on with his life.
Of course, the planned ‘Self Destruction of Bret Hart’ DVD helped him to come to a decision to make peace also.
Returning on good terms, Bret did a deal with Vince McMahon which included several media releases based around his career which he would contribute to – these ended up being the thoroughly excellent DVD biographies – as well as his deserved induction into the WWE Hall of Fame which occurred in 2006.
However, according to former WWE writer, Court Bauer, there was originally going to be another piece to the jigsaw of Bret Hart’s return. In order to bury the past, ‘The Excellence of Execution’ and McMahon were going to step into the ring at WrestleMania 22.
Joining AEW Superstar Chris Jericho on the Talk is Jericho Podcast, the MLW President explained what the company were going to do, the repercussions for all in the fallout and why Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon was delayed by four whole years.
“By the time you arrived, I was heading out. I think you left in the summer of 2005. I was just starting, so we didn’t have much of a window together. But when I was there, there was a time where we had just closed a deal with Bret to do the DVD Anthology series. And it was big deal, and Bret was, at that moment in time, very small window of time, very much into the idea of doing a match with Vince at WrestleMania in Chicago, WrestleMania 22.
And so that was then going to turn to other things because Bret wasn’t going to wrestle regularly. It was just a special attraction. So they’re trying to find ways to take us to the house shows, how to take this on TV, and also, at the time, USA wanted more McMahon. They wanted to do a fresh take on the McMahon Family, and so the idea was you would have Bret, and the Hart Foundation, and the New Generation, which would have been Harry Smith, Tyson Kidd, Nattie, and so on.”
Noting that the fallout of the one-off bout was going to involve WWE’s version of The Hart Dynasty, Bauer then made another shocking revelation. Not only were the promotion’s new generation going to be involved, but Jim Neidhart, Triple H and Shawn Michaels were also due to be pulled into the story:
“I think Jim Neidhart was even going to come in for it, and they would take on Vince, Shane, Hunter, and Shawn, and his students, which were Brian Kendrick, Paul London, and – he wasn’t at the time – Daniel Bryan. This really cool multi-generational thing – we needed new talent. We were starving for young, talented guys. We’re gonna bring all these guys and bring them into the system, and it was a really interesting idea.”
The thought of a new generation of Hart Family lead by the patriarch of the original taking on the McMahon Family would have opened up all sorts of possibilities. Bret could have gotten his revenge on Vince, Shawn and Triple H, while the tag team division would have easily been built around Smith, Kidd, London and Kendrick.
However, some things are not meant to be. Bret Hart would eventually get his payback on the boss at WrestleMania XXVI in 2010, in a match which did involve the Hart family but in a very different scenario.
Credit for the interview: Talk is Jericho
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.