WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart says he knew US wrestling would sweep the UK because the British wrestling people knew was “lousy” compared to American wrestling.
British wrestling had been a popular reserve of the working classes of the United Kingdom for decades with stars like Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, and Mick McManus among those that had a certain generation glued to their TV screens every Saturday on World of Sport.
However, by the late eighties, British wrestling of this era was on the wane, and in 1988 it was removed from TV screens. It wasn’t long before wrestling fans in the UK were soon engrossed in the goings-on across the pond as they began to see the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling on their screens.
Speaking to Inside The Ropes’ own Kenny McIntosh at the 30 Years Later event as part of Starrcast, Bret Hart explained why he knew British wrestling was doomed once viewers caught sight of the glitz and glam of its US counterpart:
“I knew right away. I knew before anyone, once American wrestling hit Britain, then British wrestling would be out of business because British wrestling is just lousy compared to American.”
“I mean there is a lot of great wrestling in countries like Japan, England or the United States. There’s great wrestlers, and there is a lot of sh*t wrestlers. Unfortunately in England, a lot of them were tiny, skinny guys that were not very big. And then there were guys like Big Daddy, who was the opposite of Hulk Hogan on steroids, like Hulk Hogan on pure fat.”
Bret Hart does however concede that the loss of British wrestling in its dominance was a shame but now the country produces some of the best wrestling talent on the planet:
“But anyway, you get great wrestlers in different styles and stuff. But I knew from the get-go when the WWF went there, that’s the kind of wrestling that would totally grip English wrestling fans and completely push that British wrestling off to the side.”
“Which was kind of a shame, because British wrestling had an art to itself and had a lot of great, great wrestlers, and they still do. It is fair to say now that they are turning out some of the best wrestlers in the world.”
During the discussion, Bret Hart also named the best match of his legendary wrestling career, and it’s one many fans will agree with.
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