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Bret "The Hitman" Hart

By

Bret

Bret Hart

Gallo Images/Getty Images

The Hart Family:


Bret Hart was born on July 2, 1957 in Calgary, Alberta Canada. He is the son of Stu Hart and grandson of U.S. Olympic runner Harry Smith (on his mother's side). He had 11 other brothers and sisters growing up. His most famous relatives are the late Owen Hart and his brother-in-laws the late Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart. He was trained in the famed Stu Hart Dungeon by Mr. Hito and Mr. Sukurada. He made his pro debut in 1976.

The Hart Foundation version 1:


Bret went to the WWF in 1985 when his father Stu sold his Stampede Wrestling promotion to Vince McMahon. Bret was very bad at interviews and was teamed up with Jim Neidhart and manager Jimmy Hart (no relation) to form the Hart Foundation. They went on to become one of the most legendary tag teams of all time. They won the tag team titles twice and their matches against the British Bulldogs are still talked about to this day.

Intercontinental Champion:


Bret had a brief run as a singles wrestler in 1988 before re-teaming with Jim Neidhart. When the Hart Foundation broke up after WrestleMania 7, it only took Bret a few months before winning the Intercontinental Title from Curt Hennig. He lost the title at a house show to the Mountie but regained it from Roddy Piper a few months later. He lost the title a few months later to the British Bulldog in the main event of a card that sold out Wembley Stadium.

World Champion:


In an un-televised match, Bret Hart won the WWF title from Ric Flair. The WWF went in a new direction due to the steroid scandal of the era and left the era of the muscle bound wrestler. Bret lost the title at WrestleMania IX to Yokozuna and regained it the following year. That title reign is highlighted by an incredible series of matches with his brother Owen. He lost the title to Bob Backlund and regained it a year later from Diesel.

Shawn Michaels and WCW Calls:


Bret lost the WWF Title to Shawn Michaels in an Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XI. After the match, Bret took several months off and during that time was approached by WCW. He turned down their offer and was given a 20 year deal to stay with the WWF. He returned at Survivor Series 96 and started an incredible feud with Steve Austin. It appeared Bret would fight Michaels for the WWF title but Michaels gave up the title claiming he "lost his smile".

Hart Foundation Version 2 :


On the screen, Bret's feud with Austin took a strange turn. The fans took a liking to the foul mouth red neck and hated Bret's clean cut image. Bret then reformed the Hart Foundation with Neidhart and added his brother Owen, Davey Boy Smith, and Brian Pillman. When they fought in the U.S. they were booed but they were treated like national heroes in Canada. Brian Pillman died in September of 1997 and Bret's WWF career was about to end in the most unusual way.

Survivor Series 97 - The Montreal Screwjob:


Vince McMahon informed Bret that he would not honor his contract. Bret signed with WCW. Bret had a clause in his WWF contract that gave him reasonable creative control for the last 60 days of his WWF tenure. Bret hated Shawn Michaels in real life and refused to lose to him in Canada. The match ended with Vince calling for the bell when Bret was in the Sharpshooter. After the match, Bret went on a rampage and gave Vince a black eye in a locker room fight.

WCW and Owen:


Bret's tenure in WCW was marked by wasting his talent. He was a victim of the politics that would eventually destroy the company. On May 23, 1999, Bret's brother Owen died during a PPV broadcast when he fell from the ceiling of the arena in a stunt gone horribly wrong. Bret's career ended soon after when he was kicked in the head by Goldberg at Starrcade 99 and suffered a career ending concussion.

Life After Wrestling:


On June 24, 2002, Bret suffered a stroke while riding his bike. Thankfully, he has made a recovery from that. He is now on friendly terms with Vince McMahon and has worked with the WWE on a three-disc DVD collection that honors his legendary career. In 2006, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. In 2010, he made a brief return to the ring where he "settled" his score with Vince McMahon and made amends with Shawn Michaels.

WWF/E & WCW Title Victory History:


WWF
WWF World Title
10/12/92 – Ric Flair
3/20/94 WrestleMania X – Yokozuna
11/19/95 Survivor Series – Diesel
2/16/97 IYH Final Four – won vacant title in a match against Vader, Steve Austin, & The Undertaker
8/3/97 SummerSlam – Undertaker
Intercontinental Title
8/26/91 SummerSlam – Curt Hennig
4/5/92 WrestleMania 8 – Roddy Piper
US Championship
5/17/10 RAW – The Miz in a No DQ/No Count Out Match
Tag Team Title
1/26/87 – The Hart Foundation beat The British Bulldogs
8/27/90 SummerSlam – The Hart Foundation beat Demolition

WCW
WCW World Title
11/21/99 Mayhem – beat Chris Benoit in the tournament final for the vacant title
12/20/99 – beat Bill Goldberg
US Title
7/20/98 – Dallas Page
8/13/98 – Lex Luger
11/30/98 – Dallas Page
10/25/99 – Bill Goldberg
WCW Tag Team Title
12/9/99 – with Bill Goldberg beat Creative Control

(Sources: Bret Hart DVD, PWI Almanac, Onlineworldofwrestling.com)

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