Kurt Angle has revealed the professional wrestler he wishes he could have faced during his career, pointing at the Excellence of Execution, Bret Hart – hailing the Hitman as the greatest ever.
Angle took part in an ‘Ask Kurt Anything’ segment in a recent episode of ‘The Kurt Angle Show’. During the course of the conversation, the Olympic gold medalist was asked about dream opponents and performers he would have liked to work with during his Hall of Fame career. Angle would quickly mention Bret Hart as an opponent he would have stepped between the ropes for:
“Bret Hart without a doubt. I would love to go one go with Bret Hart. It would have to be a 60 minute Iron Man Match, the longer the better. I want it with Bret, book it.”
Though the pair would be in the world of professional wrestling at the same time, the duo would never step inside the squared circle together. Hart famously left WWF in 1997 following the infamous Montreal Screwjob, whilst Angle, who had turned down a contract with WWF in 1996 would not make his debut for the company until 1999. Notably, Kurt Angle would face Bret’s brother Owen Hart in a dark match early in the olympians career.
Kurt Angle has often named Bret Hart as one of his personal all time greats. In an earlier instalment of ‘The Kurt Angle Show’, Angle would not only name Bret as his number one WrestleMania opponent pick, but credit him as the greatest professional wrestler of all time:
“It is Bret Hart because I believe that he is the greatest wrestler of all time. I believe that his in-ring performance, there is nobody better. I would say Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit are close, even myself, but I still put Bret up there.”
In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Kurt Angle would also reveal that not only did he wish to wrestle Hart, he in fact pitched the idea to the ‘Hitman’. However, retirement and health concerns would lead Hart to reject the proposition:
“I was trying to get it done. I understand why Bret didn’t want to do it now me being 51 and looking back and if a young Bret Hart went to me right now and said ‘Let’s do our dream match’ I’d say ‘it’s not gonna be the dream match I’d like it to be. I probably don’t wanna get in that ring.’”
I understand why Bret didn’t want to do it. He had that stroke. He had a lot of bad luck so things that were medically, you know difficult for him to come back and be at his very best. I understand that he wanted to be the Bret Hart and everyone adored. I told him you don’t have to bump at all I’ll do all the bumping. He said ‘Naw it won’t be the Bret Hart match that I wanted it to be.”
Although the pair never faced off against one another inside the squared circle, Kurt Angle vs Bret Hart remains one of the illustrious dream matches talked about amongst fans to this day, and remains one of the great ‘what if’s’ in professional wrestling.
h/t for select quotes: Wrestling Inc
Credit for Interviews: The Kurt Angle Show and Chris Van Vliet