Shawn Michaels’ name will always be synonymous with that of Bret Hart as the two had one of the most storied rivalries in wrestling history, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. The debate over which performer is better has raged for nearly three decades, and in a recent interview, Michaels himself weighed in with his opinion.
Speaking to Jonathan Snowden for The Ringer as part of a profile on the Montreal Screwjob, Shawn Michaels admitted that while he believes Bret Hart was a better in-ring wrestler, he was the better performer of the two.
“It’s the age-old question: ‘Who’s better? Shawn or Bret?’ At some point it dawned on me ‘Oh my goodness, yeah, Bret was easily a better wrestler than I am. But I think I was a better performer.’ When we came into the age of the sports entertainer, I think that was my space, that was my area. It had to do with more than just the technical wrestling of a match. It had a lot to do with emotion and story. And also, look, the charisma, the entrance, all of it sort of combined.
“At the end of the day, there’s no defining the best and the greatest and all that kind of stuff in this line of work. Every bit of it is personal preference. And I try to remind everybody like ‘Hey, just the fact that I’m even in the conversation is fricking fantastic with me.'”
Bret Hart Says He And Shawn Michaels Have Been “Best Friends” Since Resolving Their Differences
As part of the same article by The Ringer, Bret Hart addressed his past animosity with Michaels, explaining what led up to them making up publicly during an in-ring segment on WWE Raw in 2010. He also indicated that had the two not had such bad blood between them, he might not have suffered a career-ending injury at the hands of Goldberg.
“We had our issues over the years. But I watched Undertaker and Shawn Michaels wrestle at one of the WrestleManias. Even then, I had such a bitterness towards Shawn, but I had to admit it was one of the greatest matches I ever watched. That’s where I ended up deciding to make friends with Shawn and bury the hatchet and all that.
“It was very truthful, that little storyline with me and Vince and Shawn. 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.”