Eric Bischoff Lifts The Lid On Why Bret Hart Failed In WCW

Ric Flair & Bret Hart

When Bret Hart left WWE for WCW in late 1997, hopes were high that the star could capitalize on his popularity and make waves in his new promotion.

Hart did achieve championship success in the promotion, winning the World heavyweight Championship twice, United States Title four times, and Tag Team Championship once. However, despite his accolades, Hart’s time in the company is widely seen as a failure. He joined the company while it was still riding high in popularity, but by the time his career was cut short, WCW was in a steep decline.

Bret Hart’s wrestling career came crashing to a halt when he received a stiff kick to the head from Goldberg at Starrcade in 1999. Despite suffering a severe concussion as a result, Hart finished the match, and it has been suggested that he sustained even more damage in the process.

Speaking on a recent episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff opened up about why Hart’s WCW run isn’t seen as successful, and he admits that he didn’t have a solid plan when Hart made the jump from WWE after the infamous Montreal Screwjob.

“It was a combination of a lot of things, the least of which is I didn’t have a great plan. I’m going to put myself at the head of the list of things that went wrong, and not kind of blame anybody else. Because that was my job, that was my responsibility.

“But I think that there were other things going on that affected it and made it worse frankly. I’m not going to blame anybody, you know. It was just bad timing, lack of a good plan, lack of a great plan, and just a lot of other things that were taking place in Bret’s life that just made it worse. It just is what it is.”

Bret Hart Wishes He’d Never Left WCW For WWE

Hart himself opened up on the situation during a November 2022 interview with The Ringer, expressing that he wished things had turned out differently for him.

“Me and Shawn making up in the ring (in 2010) and shaking hands and all that, that was all very real and very moving for me. And was not something that was orchestrated. Shawn wanted that off his back and I was in a position to take it off his back and that was the best resolution for both of us. We’ve been friends ever since. And I’m grateful that he’s in a better place today.

“I wish that none of the bad history that we had-had ever happened. I wished I’d never left for WCW because I probably wouldn’t have had a stroke and I probably wouldn’t have had to wrestle Bill Goldberg.”

If you use any quotes from the Eric Bischoff transcription, please credit 83 Weeks and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.