The Baltimore Sun has released the following transcript of Bret Hart’s controversial speech that took place at the Wrestling Museum and Institute Hall of Fame ceremony this past Saturday night. Hart lashed out at Slam! Wrestling’s Greg Oliver, who he talks about not being a credible journalist.
Dave Meltzer reports that the heat between Hart and Oliver has been brewing for the past five years. Another interesting note is that Hart had a problem with his placement in Oliver’s book about the best Canadian wrestlers of all time.
Oliver was there at the HOF ceremony to be honored as well with Steve Johnson for the James Melby Award for wrestling journalism. Oliver and Johnson co-authored three books together. At one point, as you can see in the following transcript, Hart gave a “you go or I go” ultimatum. Oliver didn’t leave and Hart, true to his word, left to an “awkward” standing ovation as one source put it.
NOTE: The following is not the full transcript. It only has the part where he starts attacking Greg Oliver. If you would like to read the rest of Bret Hart’s speech, you can visit HERE.
“I know this isnâ<80><99>t my place to gripe about stuff, but I have a serious issue with people who write books about wrestling who donâ<80><99>t honor the truth.
â<80><9c>And you, sir, you do not honor the truth of wrestling. Greg Oliver writes these books on wrestling and itâ<80><99>s all made up. Itâ<80><99>s not the truth. Itâ<80><99>s just baloney, you know. I wrote a book that took seven years, I gave everything I had to write about some of the deepest tragedies, the truth about my life as a wrestler. For someone like this that sits in the room with me to say that on his Web site that my truth is not the truth, itâ<80><99>s just wrong for me to be in the same room as these people. They donâ<80><99>t honor the truth of wrestling.
â<80><9c>When you buy their books, I think you have to look at that and say these people are not telling the truth. They donâ<80><99>t know anything about wrestling. Iâ<80><99>ve never seen them in the back. Iâ<80><99>ve never seen them in the dressing room. Iâ<80><99>ve never seen them at anything to do with wrestling. They donâ<80><99>t know anything at all about my business. They donâ<80><99>t know anything about me. They donâ<80><99>t have any respect for what I do or for anyone else. So Iâ<80><99>m going to step aside now, and I just want to say that itâ<80><99>s not right for me to be in the same room as people who donâ<80><99>t do honor and justice to my profession. You either have a choice of leaving, or I will. [Silence. Someone says â<80><9c>get upâ<80> or â<80><9c>get out.â<80>]
â<80><9c>I speak the truth about wrestling and I take pride in what I do. [Applause starts slowly but picks up. Sound covers part of the speech.] … How it was and how it was done, how it should be done. These guys over here, it makes me laugh that Greg Oliver here rated me behind Sky Low Low, as, I think the 13th-greatest Canadian wrestler. I have news for him â<80>” heâ<80><99>s wrong. Sky Low Low was a much better wrestler than me, but he was only half the man that I was. But anyway, my point is, you know, I take a lot of pride in what I do. It means a lot to me that people would come here and be part of this, because wrestling was important to me, and I hope it was important for you. But itâ<80><99>s important that people tell the truth.
â<80><9c>When you write about wrestling, you talk about wrestling, especially when youâ<80><99>re among these kind of people, you owe it to tell the truth. If you want to come here and be a charlatan, well, youâ<80><99>re in the wrong place because this is a room filled with legends, and people that paid their dues in wrestling. We want the truth to be told about wrestling. Take your sorry-ass lies about wrestling and how you make it up, and save your books, because theyâ<80><99>re not the truth. This is a room filled with truth. Thank you.
[Applause] Iâ<80><99>m talking to you, Greg Oliver. Either you go or I go. [Greg Oliver waves goodbye to Hart] Greg Oliverâ<80><99>s going to stay. Iâ<80><99>m going to go to my room. [A few fans yell â<80><9c>We want Bret,â<80> smattering of applause, then silence for 20 seconds. Someone says, â<80><9c>Thanks, Bretâ<80> and applause starts again.]â<80>