Bret Hart

From Academic Kids

This article refers to the professional wrestler. If you are interested in the American author, see Bret Harte.


Bret Sergeant Hart (born July 2, 1957) was a Canadian professional wrestler spawned from the famous Hart family of wrestling. He had several monikers: Bret "The Hitman" Hart, (adopted from boxer Thomas Hearns), the "Excellence of Execution," and perhaps the most resounding, "The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be."


Early life

He was born in Calgary, Alberta as the eighth of the twelves children of wrestling promoter Stu Hart. His seven brothers were either wrestlers or involved backstage with the wrestling business; his four sisters all married professional wrestlers. Two of his brothers-in-law, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart, had very successful careers in the business. His youngest brother, Owen Hart, became a prominent wrestler in his own right before his death in 1999 when a wrestling stunt went fatally wrong.

Wrestling career

Hart's appearance was highlighted by his wrap-around mirrored sunglasses and leather jacket. He is still regarded by many as one of the most technically sound professional wrestlers ever to grace a ring. He was once labeled by Vince McMahon as the 'greatest storyteller in the business' and was adept at creating tense and entertaining matches.

Hart rose to fame in the World Wrestling Federation in the early 1990s, winning the WWF World Tag Team Championships twice as one half of The Hart Foundation. Hart's technical style created a intriguing clash with his partner Jim Neidhart's strength and brawling skills. The duo were originally a heel team managed by "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, and actually wore blue and black (as opposed to the more recognisable pink and black colour scheme which they later adopted). Eventually, they turned face, adopting the nickname "The Pink and Black Attack." Their most notable feuds were with the British Bulldogs and Demolition.

Missing image
Bret Hart as a member of the original Hart Foundation

Following a loss to the Nasty Boyz at WrestleMania VII, the Foundation split and Hart went on to pursue a singles career. He won the WWF Intercontinental Championship twice, defeating Mr. Perfect at Summerslam 1991 and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper at WrestleMania VIII. After dropping the belt to his brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith in a legendary match at Summerslam 1992, he was elevated to main-event status and won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair. He lost the title to Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX, but shortly after won the original televised "King of the Ring" tournament in 1993. He reclaimed the World belt one year later from Yokozuna at WrestleMania X.

It was at this time that Bret Hart entered into his memorable fued with his younger brother, the late Owen Hart. For the family-friendly WWF of the early 1990s, a brother vs. brother feud was edgy, and the fans responded well. The storyline involved Owen becoming jealous of Bret. The younger Hart actually defeated his brother in the opening match of WrestleMania X. The two put on highly technical matches and would feud in some way or form for about three years.

Hart dropped the title to Bob Backlund at the 1994 Survivor Series. In 1995, he feuded with various WWF undercarders such as Hakushi, Jean-Paul Lafiette, and Issac Yankem, DDS. He finally reclaimed the World title with a victory over Diesel at the 1995 Survivor Series. He held the title until dropping it to Shawn Michaels in a 60-minute Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII. The match was not without controversy (Michaels actually won it in a sudden death overtime), and would mark the beginning of a seven-month hiatus from the WWF for Bret. He entertained a lucrative offer from World Championship Wrestling, but eventually signed a "lifetime" contract with the WWF.

Hart returned to face off against Stone Cold Steve Austin at Survivor Series 1996. Austin was the new face of a changing WWF product: a loud-mouthed antihero who drank beer after matches, ignored rules, and frequently lashed out at Hart, mocking his pink trunks and old-school attitute. Although Hart defeated Austin at Survivor Series, the fans did something the WWF and Hart would have never predicted: they began to turn on Hart and support Austin. Hart defeated Austin, Vader, and the Undertaker in a Four-Way Match for the WWF title belt at an In Your House PPV in February 1997. But Austin made sure Hart's fourth reign was short-lived, costing him a match against "Sycho" Sid Vicious the next night on RAW.

Hart's frustration got the best of him. He lowered himself to Austin's level at WrestleMania 13. After defeating him in what some consider the greatest match in Wrestlemania history, a submission match, Hart continued to attack his opponent. This, combined with a bloody Austin's refusal to submit, turned Austin into a new breed of face, and Hart into a new breed of heel.

Missing image
Bret Hart as a member of nWo Silver & Black

In the ensuing weeks, Hart denounced all American fans and reunited with brother Owen and brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith. The trio formed the new Hart Foundation with Brian Pillman and Jim Neidhart, an anti-American stable which was popular within Canada. Hart captured his fifth World title at Summerslam 1997 after guest-referee Shawn Michaels struck The Undertaker with a steel chair, allowing Hart to get the pin.

Frustrated with the WWF and his character's direction, Hart left the WWF following a controversial match (known to fans as the Montreal Screwjob) with Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 1997. Michaels beat Hart, in Canada, with a Sharpshooter, even though Hart never tapped. Both sides have their stories and to this day Michaels is disliked by many wrestling fans in Canada, particularly in Montreal. Hart reportedly punched Vince McMahon in a dressing room after the affair, and McMahon had a visible black eye in the days immediately after the event.

Immediately after Survivor Series, Hart left the WWF and joined WCW. In WCW, he wasn't given the same push he was given in the WWF, although he had four United States Heavyweight Championship reigns and won the World Heavyweight Championship twice in 1999. He also participated in an nWo reformation with Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and the Harris Brothers. Hart suffered from misdirection in the WCW; he was never used effectively and often fans couldn't figure out whether to root for or against him. He left the company full-time following a career-ending concussion he suffered from a stiff kick in a match with Bill Goldberg.

In Wrestling

Famous Quotes

  • "The Excellence of Execution" (originally dubbed as such by the late Gorilla Monsoon)
  • "I'm the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be."

Previous Managers

Signature and Finishing maneuvers

The "Moves of Doom"

Outside wrestling

From 1995 to 1996 Hart appeared in the Lonesome Dove television series as Luther Root. He has made numerous televised appearances since, including a guest spot on The Simpsons in 1997 and a stint playing the genie in a theatrical production of Aladdin in 2004.

In 2002, Hart suffered a stroke after falling off his bicycle. He has made a remarkable recovery from the stroke. He currently writes a column for the Calgary Sun newspaper and is working on his three-volume autobiography.

In 2004, Hart was chosen as one of the Greatest Canadians, coming in at number thirty-nine. He was also the advocate for Don Cherry during the televised portion of the competition.

The Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League take their nickname and colours from Hart, who was a part-owner.

Personal life

Hart has four children - Jade, Dallas, Alexandra and Blade - with his ex-wife, Julie. On September 15, 2004 he married an Italian woman, Cinzia.


World Wrestling Federation

World Championship Wrestling

World Wrestling Council

  • 1-Time WWC Caribbean Tag Team Champion (with Smith Hart)

Stampede Wrestling

  • 6-Time Stampede Wrestling North American Champion
  • 2-Time Stampede Wrestling British Commonwealth Champion
  • 5-Time Stampede Wrestling Tag Team Champion (3-time with Keith Hart, 1-time with Jim Neidhart, 1-time with Leo Burke)

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

  • PWI ranked him # 4 of the best 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
  • PWI ranked him # 37 of the best Tag Teams of the "PWI Years" (with Jim Neidhart)
  • Most Inspirational Award (1994)
  • Comeback of the Year Award (1997)
  • Most Hated Award (1997)
  • Feud of the Year Award (1993) versus Jerry Lawler
  • Feud of the Year Award (1994) versus Owen Hart
  • Match of the Year Award (1992) versus Davey Boy Smith
  • Match of the Year Award (1996) versus Shawn Michaels
  • Match of the Year Award (1997) versus Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Editor's Award (2003)

WWE Championship
Preceded by:
Ric Flair
First reign Followed by:
Preceded by:
Second reign Followed by:
Bob Backlund
Preceded by:
Third reign Followed by:
Shawn Michaels
Preceded by:
Fourth reign Followed by:
Sycho Sid
Preceded by:
The Undertaker
Fifth reign Followed by:
Shawn Michaels


External links

Template:WWEchampions Template:WCWchampions Template:WWEUSchampions Template:WWEICchampions de:Bret Hart


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