Bret “Hitman” Hart talks about his greatest rival in the ring

So many wrestlers with whom you shared a ring died young in controversial circumstances. Who do miss the most?
I miss my brother Owen more than anybody but I shake my head in anger that so many of them are not around when they should be. Ravishing Rick Rude was a good friend and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t still be alive. Mr Perfect is another I wish I could call up. You could name one after another who have gone and I’ve missed them all.

Who was your greatest rival?
There was a happy rivalry with ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in that he was a lot of fun to wrestle with, and I think I helped launch his career. But on the not so happy, the brilliant work I did with Shawn Michaels. You can never underestimate what we did at WrestleMania XII, even though it was the last match we had and part of the infamous Montreal Screwjob, it was still a fine match. I could have wrestled the Undertaker a few more hundred times as well.

The Montreal Screwjob was extremely controversial because of the outcome. How do you look back on it?
I’ve calmed down a lot. There were a lot of things I did to escalate that whole thing with [opponent] Shawn Michaels and [now WWE owner] Vince McMahon. I wouldn’t change anything I did in terms of my own conduct but I regret all of it. I wish I had never left the WWE but I’ve moved on. I went back and shook Shawn’s hand and it was good for everyone to bury the hatchet.

Will we ever see a British WWE world champion?
Oh I think so, there are a lot of good wrestlers coming out of the UK. Also, Swiss wrestler Antonio Cesaro is one of the best wrestlers going, if you ask me.

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