Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart recently got inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and sat down with Q on CBC to discuss his legendary professional wrestling career. When asked about his rise to the top of WWE, Hart attributed it to the scandals that Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan were suffering from at the time.
“It was the trouble the company had run into a bunch of varying scandals,” Bret Hart began. “One was that Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan had been shipping steroids to each other at their home and flying steroids in the air which I guess is illegal from state to state. It became a big black eye with steroids and wrestling, and Vince McMahon supposedly selling steroids and things like that to the wrestlers, which never happened. But there was a scandal, and the company took a huge hit. There was also a sex scandal with the ring crew with one of the management guys in WWE, which is another big headline.
“There was just a series of bad headlines for wrestling, and Hulk Hogan, I think because he was a little bit embarrassed about how much of a fallout came from him sort of in his steroids, like you know, eat your vitamins and say your prayers and all that stuff. Bit him right on the ass, so he disappeared, and the company was really sinking fast, and they tried Warrior. They end up with Macho Man and Ric Flair, but nobody was really turning things around, and things were getting worse.
“They’re losing all these toy deals and big things within the promotion that I was really unaware of. And I was like the guy that pulled the sword out of the stone. It was like, try Bret Hart. The fans love [him]. He had this great match at Wembley with Bulldog a few weeks ago. See if he can do the trick. And Vince McMahon, I think, worried that he might end up actually going to jail over all that stuff decided that he needed to put the title on somebody that was a safe, secure bet that wouldn’t drop the ball wouldn’t mess up would have no scandals, impaired driving or anything could set the company back huge if there’s the wrong guy.
“He chose me, and I turned out to be a good hero for him and a good hero for the wrestling industry, and I took wrestling in a different direction. I think when you look back today, they don’t wrestle like Hulk Hogan anymore. They wrestle like Bret Hart, wrestling’s all about action and speed and telling the story, and I think that’s where I came in.”
What do you make of Bret Hart’s comments? Do you think The Excellence of Execution’s influence on the business is still being felt today? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Q on CBC with a link back to this article for the transcription.