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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Bret Hart: A Long Lasting Champion
July 4, 2005 by Jesse Lee


Hello everyone, Jesse Lee here and I'm ready to give you yet another article featuring one of my favorite wrestlers. My last article was all about Chris Masters; while he's not a true favorite of mine, something in the back of my head tells me that he isn't far from getting in my top twenty-five. My last article that featured one of my all-time favorites was entitled "Shawn Michaels: By a True Fan." The reason why I mention that is because that put me in a target for Bret Hart supporters. My friends, this article is all about one of my top ten favorite wrestlers, Bret "The Hitman" Hart.

I'm not going to write about Bret Hart's history and biography. Rather, I am going to write out all the qualities I think Bret had that made him a top competitor in the wrestling world. I'm not one of those to claim that I'm a great fan, because to tell the truth, there are maybe hundreds of people out there who know more about the Hitman than me.

Bret Hart had many great qualities of a champion. He had athletic ability, in-ring knowledge, great voice for people to listen to, intelligence of a champion, and perhaps one of the best qualities every great champion is supposed to have, paid dues.

In a time era where the ring had been ruled by either out-of-shape wrestlers (Yokozuna, Big John Studd, Hulk Hogan, etc.) Bret Hart was the "small guy." He was the man who always had the disadvantage because of his size. By today's comparison, his size would mean nothing, which is perhaps why many people do not recognize why he is such a great worker. Bret didn't let his size get to him; he used it to his advantage. If he were told to do the job, he'd use his body to accept the punishment of bumps and would allow himself to get thrown around by bigger opponents. When he was scheduled as the winner of the outcome, he used his speed and technical knowledge to outwrestle his opponents into submission.

Unfortunately, I began watching WWF in September of 1997, so I did not get much time to truly absorb Bret Hart's presence and knowledge. I cannot say much about his promos and interviews mainly due to the fact that I've heard so few of them. I can say this, however, that judging from the few promos I heard, Bret Hart didn't need too many catch phrases like the Rock or swear the whole nine yards like Stone Cold Steve Austin. Instead, he spoke plainly and bluntly with an honest-to-God opinion. I'm not saying no one else spoke like Bret, nor that Bret didn't have catch phrases or swore every now and then, I'm saying that Bret Hart was someone who had the ability to make himself sound like a top competitor while respecting his opponents in nearly every feud. There were few opponents the Bret Hart character did not respect one bit. Austin was probably the most-known wrestler that the character of Bret Hart's (not the real-life Hart) didn't like.

Although most praise Bret Hart for his in-ring technique and plain honesty, I praise Bret Hart for raising above and making himself out to be a larger-than-life figure without really doing too much. He spent practically his entire life with Vince and was wrongly somewhat abused. He had been deceived and I do admit that Shawn and Vince (among others) should be ashamed of themselves, but life really does have to go on. Bret Hart broke out into the scene with all pink tights as a team partner with fellow pink-tight-wearer Jim Neidhart in a heel tag team. Since then he's been at the top of everyone's memories for one event or another.

He rose to the top and became the main eventer of the 90s. During a time when WWF had been sued so many times, Michael Jackson got jealous (cheap shot.) While the steroid rumor was at large in the wrestling world, Vince decided to wait to get into an attitude era and needed champions whom will teach children to look up to a good role model. Sid Vicious (Psycho Sid) had been champion quite a few times, however he was a heel and a fill-in for those such as Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, and Bret Hart. Bret Hart was the top-chosen qualifier for Vince to be champion or the top face superstar throughout the 90's, all because Bret had mic skills, in-ring technique with great technical ability, great respect for all wrestlers (even Shawn-as a performer,) and had been known to never legitimately injure another wrestler. Vince McMahon took Bret Hart and gave him the role, Bret took the role and molded himself into an amazing star that children and adults alike could look up to. However, when the Attitude era arrived (I believe it started when Austin began getting cheered at WM13) Bret disliked it, mainly because he truly disliked the outrageous storylines the WWF had in mind.

To conclude, Bret Hart wasn't a great wrestler due to his size. He wasn't remembered because he was a great bump-taker. He isn't remembered for being a beer-swilling rattlesnake. Bret "The Hitman" Hart is remembered for being a great in-ring technical wrestler who set a great example for the fans during a time when WWF began losing its innocence. Bret Hart's words would ring true to everyone who enjoyed his run, he would go on to become "the best there is... the best there was... and the best there ever will be."

(Author inspired to write this article after watching the Bret Hart "desire" music video found on Ares on 6-19-2005.)

by Jesse Lee ..


Ai2392 wrote:
Bret hart is my all time favorite wrestler. I have collected a bunch of memorabilia of him and wish he would in some way get back in the business. What I believe made Bret the wrestler he was, was the intelligence of wrestling. He didn't have the best body, the right size, the best voice skills, but still was able to become a legend. His submission skills were unbelievable and rare at the time. He has ways of making what might look like a boring match, into an amazing show of excellence. That's what really set the bar high for him. He created so many moves that many people have never seen. I was shocked when he did the Figure-4 on the ring post. Bret is still the excellence of execution that will never die.
SAMEER KAUSHAL wrote:
Great column it was a journey through Harts carrier .I started watching wrestling in 95 but i have some of those tapes from early 90 s .Those were the days when WWE was going through ups and downs the Steroid trail and every now and then the f$#ster (Hogan) threatned to quit or was making fake torch passing and all.At that time Vince needed a True champion to whom not only kids but grown ups look up to and taking a very big risk of giving 'THE EXCELLENCE OF EXECUTION 'a WWE then WWF title run, vince did that .Bret didn t have those characters of then WWF champions , he was niether 6'5 tall nor 320 Lbs ,but what he had was great wrestling ability that he got from his father The great Stu Hart,and he developed his mic skills day by day .In those times charisma was all fans wanted but Bret gave them some thing else the wrestling skills and mic skills as well as charisma which very few wrestlers had , look at hogan the dinosaur he just had charisma not skills .Bret could hold thousands spellbound during his matches.his match with The Late Davey Boy at Wembley was awesome and one of the all time greats i have seen it more than quite a few times , .he could carry guys like Yokozuna and made it worth watching .He made his matches with Sid and Nash were not that bad in fact good knowing the fact how worse these two guys are Given a good wrestler he could do wonders look at wm 12 .i was a great wrestling fan and i used to watch taped RAW coz it was aired during my college hours in our area but now i have stopped watching coz It is disheartning to see guys like cena , jbl lesnar batista winning those title that At one point of time THE BEST THERE IS , THE BEST THERE WAS AND THE BEST THERE WILL BE had around his waist .i was a great micheals fan but after the screw job i dont think he is worth watching though he is a great wrestler .the screw job is a black mark on the face of this great business .i wish hart s carrier had ended in a good way .he is the only man that can singlehandidly take WWE to heights .i hope that we can watch a classic confrontation between hogan and hanrt at W Mania 22 and hart pinning hogan ,who at one time refused to work with hart and felt hart was not in his class .
Mark Cooper wrote:
Bret was a real first favourite for me as a kid. He was a role model as he wasnt the biggest or toughest, but was the hardest working guy, and it paid off. even when stuck in dead end fueds with people like Jean pierre Lafitte and Isaac Yankam, he was still entertaining. Even in the feud with Austin about USA V Canada (As a UK fan) i actually leant toward the Hitman more still, its just sad to think of now, bridges burnt and bitter. But We will always remember Bret, hard to forget an exellence of execution!
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