Bret Hart Says Triple H Wanted to Ruin the Rock
During a recent appearance on the 81 Podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart shared an anecdote noting how apparently in 1997, Triple H “wanted to ruin” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson following WrestleMania 13. This was still early in The Rock’s career, and he was in his babyface run as Intercontinental champion. According to Hart, Triple H thought Hart should beat The Rock for the IC title and got “sick about it.”
He’s referring to a match where Hart faced Rocky Maivia during a March 31, 1997 episode of Raw. Ultimately, Owen Hart would take the title off of The Rock the following month. The Rock would later turn heel and joined The Nation of Domination. Below are some highlights (via Fightful).
Bret Hart on an incident with The Rock and Triple H: “Triple H and maybe even Shawn [Michaels], were pretty ruthless. If someone was tied to me or connected to me, they would try to ruin them. Even Dwayne Johnson [The Rock]. They really tried to crack him and bust his chops. I remember telling Dwayne all the time, ‘Don’t listen to these guys. You’re a really good talent and you don’t need these guys.’ When I did the big interview about America, the next week’s taping, I wrestled The Rock and they wanted me to beat him. Triple H did. He wanted me to beat Dwayne and win the Intercontinental Title. I refused. ‘What do I need the Intercontinental Title for?’ We did the figure four on the post, Steve Austin came out, Owen [Hart] and Davey [Boy Smith] came out, a bunch of interference. I remember Triple H was sick about it because he had a thing for Dwayne and wanted to ruin him. He hated him.”
Hart on why he didn’t need to win the title at that point: “I remember saying, ‘I like Dwayne. He just got the Intercontinental Title and doesn’t need me to take it from him.’ I didn’t want to be Intercontinental Champion. It was all politics, Triple H was trying to steer me into the Intercontinental Title instead of the World Title. It didn’t make any sense. I told Vince, ‘I don’t get heat from beating Dwayne for the title, it doesn’t do anything for me. Let him keep it.’ I think Dwayne always appreciated that I went to bat for him. I didn’t want to beat him, I wanted to wrestle him down the road as a future guy to draw money with. It’s a shame I didn’t get to work with him other than that one night.”