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Week in Wrestling: Bret Hart’s favorite WrestleMania memories; Rampage Jackson

From facing his brother, to his match with Stone Cold, Bret Hart shares his favorite WrestleMania memories.’s Week in Wrestling is published every Wednesday and provides beneath the surface coverage of the business of pro wrestling. This edition includes The Shoot with Bret Hart; an interview with Chuck Taylor before his PWG world title match against Zack Sabre Jr.; the Nitro Files with Eric Bischoff; the MMA Corner with Rampage Jackson and Five Questions with Dave Lagana.

The Shoot: Bret Hart


With WrestleMania 33 less than two months away, Bret “The Hitman” Hart shared his favorite moments and memories from WWE’s signature event, as well as working with Sharpshooter Funding.

WrestleMania Memories with The Hitman

I am proud to have a lot of great WrestleMania memories.

As far as WrestleManias go, when I got to work with Roddy Piper, I knew that was going to be the biggest moment up to that point of my career. Thanks to Roddy, that was my first WrestleMania classic. A lot of people thought we stole the show, and I thought we were one of the better matches on the card. It was a different kind of match than Roddy had ever had, and it was a different kind of match for me at that point, too. Having good guy versus good guy, old pro versus young pro, it worked really well. That buildup and match was a big turning point for me, and wet my lips to do better.

Headlining my first WrestleMania a year later with Yokozuna is also memorable. I was really looking forward to working with Yoko at WrestleMania IX, but I had no idea that my title reign was going to end so abruptly. I was caught off-guard by that, to be honest. I was told when I won the belt that I was going to be champion for a long time, but at the same time, Vince is always very clear when you win the belt and he tells you, ‘Anything can happen.’ I felt I didn’t have my chance to prove I was as good as I thought I was.

A WrestleMania moment I will forever cherish is wrestling my brother Owen at WrestleMania X.

WrestleMania X will always be my most special one because of the memory of being with my brother Owen. There was a lot of pressure on Owen to fill those shoes as a top heel. The storyline was the bitter hatred between two brothers, but Owen was really grateful to work with me. I went to bat a lot for Owen for that chance, and he really shined that night. I thought that was one of his finest hours. There were two reverse sharpshooters in that match, which had never been done before. Those are the tiny little things that no one really remembers or notices, but made that match a real treat. And what I really love about the match is how it launched my brother’s career.

As for my finest WrestleMania moment, that happened at WrestleMania XII with Shawn Michaels. I think it stands as the best pro wrestling match. Kudos to Shawn, too. We both made that a classic match that will never, ever lose its shine. There were no wasted moves, and the precision in every move, right down to Tony Chimmel getting kicked off his chair—I’ve watched it maybe 10 times in the last 10 years—and the beauty of that match was that Shawn and I had put a lot of thought into different aspects of the match. I remember there was a certain point when I had to be setting up a move with exactly five minutes left in the match. I remember setting up on the second rope and looking at the score clock, and there were exactly four minutes and fifty-nine seconds left in the match. It was those little details where we were exactly on cue, on the second, that made the “Iron Man” match unlike any other live drama. The amazing stuff I did with Shawn that day eclipses anything I ever did in terms of timing and thinking on my feet. The drama of me staggering back up to my feet, still fighting, then taking the big boot for Shawn’s finish, and the drama, frustration, and emotion my fans must have felt was huge. It still stands as one of the most dramatic matches in WrestleMania history.

There was supposed to be a rematch at WrestleMania with me and Shawn. If you remember, he had to go home and retire to find his smile and all that. They ended up throwing me and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin together about three weeks before the pay per view. It was kind of an ice-cold story line. That was a big disappointment, at first, for Steve and me. We’d just fought at the Survivor Series, and even though we loved working together, he was looking for someone new to work with and I was looking for Shawn… yet it ended up as one of the greatest nights I ever had.

The WrestleMania XIII match with Austin was pro wrestling’s version of the best MMA fight. It looked like a real toe-to-toe brawl. Steve even calls me once in a while and goes, ‘I got our match on.’ He always tells me it’s his favorite he’s ever had, and it’s the same for me. That match with Austin and the Iron Man with Shawn are my two favorite matches of all time. It’s just so beautiful to watch that story unfold between Steve and me. Watching how I went in the hero and he entered as the bad guy, then 35 minutes later, we switched places and he was the good guy and I was the bad guy. It’s a really fascinating time period. I’ve always felt that Steve was good enough to make it on his own anyway, but I do like to think I played a role in helping him.

If I could wrestle somebody at a WrestleMania, I would have really loved to wrestle with John Cena. It would have been nice to have a great WrestleMania match with The Rock and Edge, but my history would have lined up perfectly with John. I know I could have a great match with John from the way he wrestles, the way he moves, and his style. He’s just a total pro. I’ve seen the thought and concentration he gives into putting together his matches. He’s also very athletic, and we could have put together a great match, and we could put together some incredible storylines.

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I am also grateful to be connected with Sharpshooter Funding. Pairing up and working with my son Dallas has been great. Dallas works so hard and he is grateful for the opportunity he’s been given. Their owner, Paul Pitcher, has an incredible company that genuinely helps people, and Dallas is a great fit there. It’s a special thing to work with Dallas, and I’m very proud of him.

Paul Pitcher and NFL kick returner Jacoby Jones.

Paul Pitcher and NFL kick returner Jacoby Jones.

My relationship with fans is based off the love of my work and my work ethic. I worked hard, and I was always frustrated when wrestlers didn’t want to work as hard. When I think of my greatest WrestleMania matches, I also think of Andre the Giant and the battle royal, as well as wrestling the Nasty Boys in Los Angeles with Jim Neidhart. I loved that match at WrestleMania VII. My heart was always dedicated to giving fans around the world the best match possible, and the fans grew with me. It reminds me a lot of Bayley in the WWE now.

People saw that my heart was so into the job and they got behind me, and there was a true love there. Every fan counts to me. I’ve been there, earlier in my life, as a fan and I watched different wrestlers who I loved. That connection is so real, and I will always be devoted to my fans. I will always be thankful for my WrestleMania moments. Most of all, I will be forever grateful that I was able to share these memories with you.

Bret Hart

News of the Week

Bray Wyatt_courtesy WWE.jpg

Bray Wyatt is WWE champion.

Yet, somehow, Wyatt’s ascension to the top of the WWE is not the prevailing storyline this week.

Talking Smack, the post-SmackDowntalk show featuring Renee Young and Daniel Bryan, is a light, fun look at the WWE and its talent. Young kicked off the post-Elimination Chamber edition of Talking Smack on Sunday by stating that Bray Wyatt is set to face Randy Orton in the main event of WrestleMania 33, and Bryan quickly interrupted to let her know that anything can happen between now and WrestleMania. Bryan actually delivered a terrific rant about how his vision of SmackDown—and he was clearly mocking Vince McMahon—changes by the minute and on a moment’s notice depending on how he feels.

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