Bret Hart is my favorite wrestler. Period.
I will forever defend Bret as on of the Greatest of All-time. Bret really needs to step back and adjust his reality.
Bret has recently started being a weekly guest on Wrestlezone Radio. I was very excited to finally be able to hear from my childhood hero on a regular basis. I was always pro-Bret in his backstage feud with HBK. I was pro-Bret and despised Vince for a long time after the Montreal Screwjob. I named my only son Owen after his late great brother. My love for Bret Hart the WWE performer is what my childhood was about.
I was always disappointed that Bret seemed to be the “forgotten star” in the WWE. Sure his image was in all the “Then.Now.Forever” intros and such. However, I felt like the WWE has only used him because they felt obligated to the fans.
Over there years there has been a who’s who of wrestlers who have stated not so kind words about Bret. The consensus with most other legends is that Bret “believed he was the Hitman character”. While that may be true, it doesn’t make him a bad guy.
Bret has steadfastly stated over and over that he always looked out for the other guy in the ring with him. He is proud of the fact that he never injured anyone in his career. He also prided himself on being able to use storytelling and selling to put his opponent over even if he wasn’t a big name.
Now, unfortunately, Bret has fallen into 1 of 2 categories. A. he is a bitter old man who still holds anger towards the WWE and its main executives (Vince and HHH) or B. he simply can’t accept that wrestling has moved on, whether good or bad, from the Kayfabe/territory days.
Bret has made it almost uncomfortable for this Bret Hart mark to listen to his podcast. When we listen to legend’s podcasts, we listen to hear old stories. We listen to hear insights to their greatest feuds and matches. We listen to be able to peek behind the curtain of what was going on with our favorite wrestlers prior to the internet.
Bret just buries, just about everyone.
Bret obviously has a hard time ending old grudges, whether uncalled for or worthy. I understand how much Bret has lost due to the business, and by extension, WWE in his personal life. Is this how Bret Hart’s public persona is going to be until he takes his last breath?
In his podcast this week (4/5/16) he buries the following(not a full list by far):
HHH (with every other breath about)
The Wrestlemania Card/Booking
HHH Wrestlemania entrance
The appearance of Foley/Austin/HBK at Wrestlemania (not them but their appearance)
The Rock’s payday at Wrestlemania
Shaq’s payday at Wrestlemania
The list goes on…….
As a fan, I don’t want to hear this. If I wanted to attend a wrestling funeral I’d listen to Wrestling INC with Vince Russo dumping dirt on everything every show. This is not what I thought being a legend is about. To me, at this point, I assumed that being a WWE Legend was being part of a mutual admiration society. Sure you might have a beef with a certain guy but you throw bouquets at each other as legends.
Rarely in sports do you hear one former athlete burying another. Sure it does happen but the norm is to just respond by saying you think so and so is great too.
When I hear Bret bury the League of Nations, it makes me feel bad as a fan of his. Does he not know what the rest of us know? That all
four three members of the LON are doing the best they can with the scripts and ideas written for them. Does he think they want people to chant boring when they appear at ringside?
Burying guys who haven’t said a derogatory word about him is uncomfortable for me. This very weekend at a fan Q&A both Sheamus and Rusev stated that Bret was their inspiration and that they wish they could have wrestled him.
Bret needs to understand that fans like me will always see him as the best there is best there was and best there ever will be. He doesn’t need to make himself look better tearing down current talent or other legends at this point. His career stands for itself.
My biggest fear, is that Bret Hart will be erased from the WWE once Vince is finally gone. Bret can not mention the name HHH without attaching a burial to it. HHH has been all about mending fences with Sammartino and Warrior and such over the years but if HHH wants to be done with Bret, I wouldn’t blame him.
Some things about the current day product are actually true. However, I think that Bret still struggles with the notion that wrestling (in WWE’s eyes) is dead and that this is strictly sports, and more importantly to them, entertainment. Most matches today don’t tell a story in the ring. I haven’t seen a match I thought told a good story since CM Punk vs Cena at Money In the Bank 2011.
No one will ever be able to erase Wrestlemania 8 or Wembley Stadium. His feud with Owen will live forever. Austin v Hart will live on as the launching point of Steve Austin’s career in Steve’s own words.
But please don’t push yourself away again Bret. We love you and we want you to keep your place as a welcomed living legend in WWE.
Next time someone mentions another legend, put him over. It’s what you always did best.