Bret Hart On How His In-Ring Work Changed the Direction Of Pro Wrestling, Winning WWE Title In 1992
In a recent interview on CBC Radio’s Q Podcast, Bret Hart discussed changing the direction of wrestling with his in-ring performances, WWE’s decision to make him champion in 1992, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Bret Hart on earning his induction into the Canada Walk of Fame: “It really made me feel proud. It’s very special. It’s one thing to be recognized in the WWE Hall Of Fame and recognized by your peers and your fellow wrestlers and stuff like that. It’s one thing. But it’s another thing to be recognized by your country and your fans across the country and how much of an impact you had on their lives and how you – I think it’s over 20 years later now that my career’s been over. You always say once you’re off TV in wrestling, they forget about you. It’s always amazed me that I’ve never been forgotten at all. People still remember me.”
On how fans look back at his career compared to other wrestling legends and changing the direction of wrestling with his in-ring work: “I think in a lot of ways, if you look back at my career, these other wrestlers that have faded like Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan, they’ve faded more from people’s minds, whereas I still stand out and people still remember my performances and matches and the way I wrestled with that much realism and how much I put into my matches. That set me apart from maybe every wrestler. I believe I was a very special one of a kind wrestler that changed the direction of wrestling and made wrestling about wrestling and made wrestling about wrestling and not about how big my arms were or how tall I was or what kind of physique I have. I was a wrestler’s wrestler. Fans loved me for being the wrestler that I was. It’s all very Cinderella-like.”
On WWE’s decision to make him champion in 1992: “The company was really sinking fast. And they tried [Ultimate] Warrior and they end up with Macho Man. They ended up with Ric Flair. But nobody was really turning things around and things were getting worse. They were losing all these toy deals and there were things within the promotion that I really was unaware of. And I was kinda the guy who pulled the sword out of the stone. Vince McMahon, I think, worried that he might actually go to jail over all that stuff. He decided that he needed to put the title on somebody that was a safe, secure bet, that wouldn’t drop the ball. Wouldn’t mess up. Would have no scandals – impaired driving or anything that could set the company back huge if they’re the wrong guy. And he chose me and I turned out to be a good hero for him and a good hero for the wrestling industry. I took wrestling in a different direction, I think. When you look back today, they don’t wrestle like Hulk Hogan anymore. They wrestle like Bret Hart. Wrestling’s all about action and speed and telling a story and I think that’s where I came in.”