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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Wrestling's Dream Match
April 3, 2006 by Steven Matthews


The one match that every wrestling fan at the time, whether you watched WCW or the WWF, never really happened. These two fought each other in the late stages of WCW, but they never faced each other in their prime as WWF Superstars. Who are these two athletes" What was this match" Hulk Hogan vs. Bret "The Hit Man" Hart.

In the 1980s, professional wrestling belonged to Hulk Hogan (WWF) and Ric Flair (NWA/WCW). Let's focus on Hulk Hogan for now. Hogan was extremely popular as the "Real American". He stuck up for everyone and always defeated the evil heels such as The Million Dollar Man, Andre The Giant, Macho Man Randy Savage, (even Zeus,). Some of the most memorable matches that took place involved Hulk Hogan in some way, shape or form. WrestleMania III vs. Andre The Giant, the most memorable of all in my opinion. Hogan's popularity also grew into the early 90's, defending his WWF Championship against The Ultimate Warrior, defending his Intercontinental Championship. Both titles were on the line at WrestleMania VI, which saw Hogan do the job to the Warrior. Hogan continued to Main Event and win the WWF Championship as well. He won the WWF Championship at WrestleMania VII against the Iraqi sympathizer, Sgt. Slaughter. He was the main event of WrestleMania VIII against Sid Vicious with no belt on the line. He won the WWF Championship in an impromptu main event match at WrestleMania IX, where he stole the WWF Championship from Champion, Yokozuna and former Champion Bret Hart, ironically enough. That's my opinion and only my opinion (maybe Bret Hart's also).

Now Bret Hart was totally different from Hulk Hogan. He was a Canadian hero, loved by all. He brought a different style to the wrestling ring. Bret Hart wasn't an instant success like the Hulkster. You could add water and mix with Hogan being ready for you in five easy minutes. Bret Hart rose up. He trained in the Hart Family Dungeon and began to wrestle for his father's Stampede Wrestling Promotion. His tenure there was so similar to his WWF tenure. He started to team up with his brother, Bruce to win the Tag Team Championship. He started to wrestle on his own following that, winning numerous championships along the way.

In the WWF, his first chance came as one half of The Hart Foundation, one of many great tag teams that Vince McMahon was blessed with. The Hart Foundation had many classic battles with The British Bulldogs, The Killer Bees, The Nasty Boys and Demolition among others. After winning the Tag Titles twice, Bret Hart received a singles run, where in a short span he defeated Mr. Perfect and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Championship. After a loss to The British Bulldog, Hart defeated Ric Flair to win the WWF Championship. He won the belt in 1992 and dropped it in 1993 to Yokozuna, where somehow Hogan won it back.

When WrestleMania IX concluded, Hulk Hogan was a five time WWF Champion, where he defeated The Iron Sheik, Randy Savage, Sgt. Slaughter, The Undertaker and Yokozuna. Bret Hart was only a 1 time WWF Champion defeating Ric Flair. To compare the two would probably be unfair to Hogan, although Hart was a real wrestler compared to the Hulkster who was a fighter. Hulk Hogan left the WWF and professional wrestling later in 1993 at the King of The Ring Pay Per View.

Hulk Hogan lost the WWF Championship in the main event to Yokozuna in a show that also featured Bret Hart defeating Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect and Bam Bam Bigelow in three separate matches to be King of The Ring.

Hogan would resurface, becoming a major superstar again, this time in the WCW, forming the n.W.o. Bret Hart won his second WWF Championship from Yokozuna again at WrestleMania X. This led to an unbelievable Cage Match at Summerslam against Hart's brother, Owen for the strap. Bret also had some great matches against Steve Austin and of course Shawn Michaels. At WrestleMania XII, Hart wrestled with Michaels in a 60 minute Iron Man Match for the WWF Championship. The two men were so well conditioned that they were able to go over 60 minutes which saw Michaels win 1-0 and become the WWF Champion. The second the match ended is where many people feel the animosity between the two started but that's another story for another time.

Hogan quickly became WCW's top star whereas Bret Hart was the WWF's top star. Still the match of the millennium seemed impossible, until the autumn of 1997. Bret Hart wanted to stay with Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation forever. McMahon didn't have the money to keep him, so Hart agreed to a deal with WCW. However, Bret Hart was still the WWF Champion. WCW gave Hart as much time as he wanted to deal with the Championship situation. Bret Hart then sat down with Vince McMahon to discuss how this would go down. The two then agreed that Hart would keep the Championship and give a farewell speech the following night on Raw and vacate the WWF Championship. So at the infamous 1997 Survivor Series, Bret Hart defended the WWF Championship for the last time against Shawn Michaels, his real life nemesis. Not to mention that this match took place in Montreal, Canada, Hart's home country. Late in the match, Michaels locked Hart in the Sharpshooter and Earl Hebner, the referee at the time asked Hart if he wanted to give and then rang the bell. Hart looked on in disbelief as everyone from the fans to the announcers had no idea what was going on. Hart stared down McMahon from the ring and proceeded to spit in his face. After more conflict took place after the show went off the air, Hart made his way to WCW, where Hulk Hogan was still the top dog.

As previously stated, Hart and Hogan wrestled each other in WCW, but it didn't seem to grab the fan's interest. However, if Vince McMahon booked the match while both were part of the WWF, the impact of the match would have been awesome. It would still be remembered today as one of the WWF's greatest matches, if not one of the greatest matches in wrestling period. It would have been Bret Hart, one of the greatest technical wrestlers ever, against Hulk Hogan, one of the most powerful wrestlers of all time. Would Hogan have broken the Sharpshooter" Would Hart have kicked out of the Leg Drop" That's a brief history of both wrestlers and now I want to know who would win. In my opinion, if both were in their prime, Bret Hart would have defeated Hulk Hogan. Hart wrestled a select group of wrestlers who were taller, shorter, fat and skinny. Hulk Hogan always seemed to wrestle the bigger athletes.

Wrestling promoters always miss out on a match or two that they really wanted. One that I remember was Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero in ECW. Paul Heyman always wanted to see these two wrestle in ECW, when Eric Bischoff lured them over to WCW. Eventually the match happened under ECW rules at One Night Stand.

Second chances don't happen very often, and with the condition of Bret Hart and other obvious factors, Vince McMahon probably won't get that second chance. I know that there are many Hulk Hogan fans and Bret Hart fans who have their own opinions, but, in my opinion, Bret's skills overwhelmingly exceed Hulk's and for that reason I would have to give him the edge.

by Steven Matthews..


Aaron Stone wrote:
Bret was NOT a 1 time champion. He won it off of Diesel at Survivor Series 1995 and again at Summerslam 97 from the Undertaker. You got to look up your facts buster!
Larry wrote:
If i'm remebering the timelines correctly Bret and Hogan did hookup at a show at a house show at the San Francisco, CA at the Cow Palace back in the WcW days. As i recall it was right when Hogan had just finished his black nWo days circa 1999 and was making a Red and Yellow run again. It wasn't advertised and came as a surpirse to everyone. As i recall it was a "Dusty Finish", not totally sure on it. But i think ended via a run-in. Hope this helps you out....keep up the great work
Bobby314 wrote:
If you question how that match would go, all you have to do is go back and watch Hogan v Savage from WM V or Hogan v Micheals from SS '05 to see what Hogan v Hart would look like. I don't think that Hulk Hogan v Bret Hart would have been as great as most imagine...their styles do not compliment each other and I imagine that Bret would have had to bump his ass off, a'la Shawn Micheals to make the match worth watching. The match would have to depend on the story that they tell BEFORE the actual match to make it worthwhile. Plus, I don't believe either mans ego would have allowed them to lie down for the other...and I believe we are better off for it. Bret carved out his niche without the help of Hogan, which says alot about Bret. Imagine if the proposed match between Hart and Hogan took place in '93, and Hart went over...we would have to hear Hogan take credit for ALL of Brets future success, or even worse, tell us how he knew Hart was no good and never should have let him take the spotlight. Lets thank goodness that this match will forever remain a Dream Match, never to be soiled by reality.
Lance Fenske wrote:
Bret Hart id is a 5 time WWF Champion. He beat Flair, Yokozuna, Diesel, Undertaker, and he won the Final Four match against Undertaker, Vader, and Stone Cold. He was a 2 time IC Champion. He beat Curt Henning and Roddy Piper. He was a 2 time tag Champion. He was a 2 time WCW champion, tag champion, and US champion. Hogan was more of an entertainer than Hart but Hart sure was a better "wrestler". The 2 were supposed to wrestle in 1993 but Hogan didn't want to job to Bret. Hogan always had a knack for wanting to keep his spot at the top. He never wanted to usher in the new era. Hart made other wrestlers look much better in the ring than they actually were. They were 2 totally different breed of wrestlers. I love both these guys but Bret is the Best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.
Steve Matthews (ORIGINAL AUTHOR) wrote:
To Aaron Stone, you read the article wrong, when I said Bret was a 1 time champion, that was when Hogan's time at the WWF was coming to a close. By the way, you got your facts wrong. Bret was a five time WWF Champion, beating Ric Flair (1992), Yokozuna (1994), Diesel (1995), Steve Austin, Vader & The Undertaker (1997) and The Undertaker (1997). And to Larry, Hogan and Hart did wrestle each other in WCW, but this article talks about them wrestling in the old days of the World Wrestling Federation. They were in their prime when they were in the WWF, not WCW. Thanks.
Joe Poulten wrote:
Bret Hart against Hulk Hogan would be dead boring at any stages of there career
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