Ryan Rider interviewed Wrestling Legend Bret “the Hitman” Hart earlier this week. The interview can be downloaded at www.WebSportsMedia.com. Here are some of the highlights:
The 1997 Screwjob:
In hindsight, I really wish the whole thing had never happened. It was a lousy way for me to leave the company after being so lucky to be the champion and to have such a great history there. It never was the same after that day. If I could go back I don’t know what I can change to make it go differently. I know that I followed my heart through that whole process. I still believe that I was on the side of the right and did the right things that day. But I do wish that it never had happened and that I could have worked something out beforehand that could have been more productive for everybody.
Coming back to WWE:
I have way more great memories than I do bad. We had a great 14 years. We had that bad fall-out at the end, which I’m still sensitive about to this day. I suffered a stroke in 2002 that made everything else in my life that happened to that point pale in comparison. It was in the first few hours after I had a stroke that Vince [McMahon] gave me a call. Things were not good between us when that happened. He gave me a big pep talk in the hospital when I suffered my stroke. He talked about improving our relationship and doing things together down the road. I always wanted to be recognized and remembered for what I contributed to the company. He assured me that that would always be the case; to protect my reputation as far as what I accomplished there. Within the first few minutes we cleared so much off of the table. His words were that I was a fighter and that I would get back and get better. As I’ve got better over the years and recovered, I remember those dark hours and I’m greatful for that call. That softened things up for Vince and I and eventually I thumped him at Wrestlemania to write a better ending for us.
The Iron Man match with Shawn Michaels:
I am eager to raise the bar. I still think that for an hour match of any kind, no wrestlers have upstaged that match. Probably the hardest pro wrestling match any two wrestlers have ever had. Shawn was a great wrestler and a great athlete. That day when we had that match we were hell-bent on showing that you didn’t have to be a 300-pound steroid freak to make wrestling popular again. I take a lot of pride in the direction that wrestling went.
Burying the hatchet with HBK:
I found a great relief from forgiveness. Forgiving the whole thing and making peace with it and moving on. What a therapy for me, I felt a million pounds come off my back when that was over. I think Shawn Michaels was carrying a lot of grief and he felt really lousy for his role in everything. How he screwed me over and how he looked that day, it bothered Shawn for a long time. When we made that truce and hugged on Raw, I can see that grief that he carried for so long was all lifted. I realized a few months later what a good thing that was for us. I recommend that to anybody out there who has issues where they can’t forgive someone, try to forgive; it’s really good for your soul.
Check out the complete interview with Bret Hart for more.