Bret The Hitman Hart talks all things Wrestling, Drug Testing, and his Health

Posted: March 5, 2015 in Uncategorized
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VANCOUVER, B.C – Wrestling fans all over the world will tell you that Bret The Hitman Hart as the greatest wrestler that has ever stepped into a ring. The Calgary, Alberta native, has had an illustrious wrestling career that has taken him all over the world to the delight of his millions of fans.

The retired 57 year-old still calls Calgary home as reflects on his career and his future endeavours. Bret was in Vancouver, B.C. recently to show his support for the March of Dimes, Rock for Dimes event which helps raise money and awareness for people with disabilities as well as stroke recovery Canada.

Bret The Hitman Hart was gracious enough to sit down for an interview on a variety of topics.

Bret Hart at the March for Dimes, Rock of Dimes event in Vancouver, B.C.  on February 26, 2015.

Bret Hart at the March of Dimes, Rock for Dimes event in Vancouver, B.C. on February 26, 2015.

Why is it important for you to support March of Dimes Canada and Rock for Dimes events?

I think it’s really important to give back. I suffered a stroke in 2002 that left me paralysed for about three months. I lost everything on my left side and I was very despondent, I feared the worst. I had a lot of people around me in the stroke ward at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary that kept my spirits up and kept me believing in myself. A lot of stroke victims that were sort of in the same boat as me, they all cheered me on and I felt that I had a lot of people praying for me, cheering me on, and giving me all their support. They all really helped. It took me three months to get out of the wheelchair and probably about six months to get through the worst of the stroke. As with anybody that has a stroke, the first six months are always the toughest.

How is your day-to-day health right now?

Pretty good. I have a lot of injuries from all that wrestling that I did. I’ve had my knees replaced and I’ve got a lot of lower back issues and stuff like that, but for the most part, I’m pretty good. I’m happy and healthy just feeling the bumps and bruises of a tough job.

Do you have any post career symptoms of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy)?

As far as I know, I’m okay on that issue. Believe it or not I never had a lot of concussions in wrestling. The only concussion that I ever got was the one that ended my career. I suffered one devastating concussion that ended my career, but I didn’t suffer a lot of them. If I did, I suffered concussions in the last couple of weeks that I wrestled from the one concussion that I got. It’s a concern of mine and I’ll certainly have to keep a rein on it in the next few years to make sure that it doesn’t come back to bite me on the ass.

What are some of your fondest memories of being a professional wrestler?

My fondest memories of being a wrestler are mostly of seeing the wrestlers, the cities, and seeing the fans. I had a lot of great fans in a lot of great cities that I never forget. Going back to New York, Montreal, Toronto, or even Vancouver, you have a lot of fans from a lot of different generations that watched me from the time I was a young guy until the end of my career. It all was meaningful for me.

What do you think when you hear your name as a Canadian icon that has helped pave the way for some of the Canadian wrestler that we see today?

I take a lot of pride. I don’t like to think of myself as the greatest Canadian wrestler, I like to think of myself as the greatest wrestler, period. I’m very proud of my wrestling career. I worked really hard to leave a foot print in wrestling so that nobody would ever forget how good I was.

I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve still got fans that still remember me and watch my matches back. Already tonight I’ve had a lot of discussions with different fans that grew up with me who all have different memories from different time periods. Every year was important to me and I appreciate all that.

Do you keep in touch with some of the current WWE talent and offer any advice?

I talk to a lot of wrestlers. Especially younger wrestlers (who) talk to me on a pretty regular basis. Cody Rhodes, TJ, Natalya’s husband, Tyson Kidd, Daniel Bryan, and The Bella Twins. There’s a lot of them that call me up and ask me about a move. I’ll even have some of them call and ask me if it’s okay if they do the sharpshooter. It’s a big honour when they ask me if they have my permission. They don’t have to ask me permission, but I appreciate it. It’s a nice sign of respect.

If you were Vince McMahon and in charge of WWE, what three changes would you make?

I would go back to 1995 and watch how I use to wrestle and then I would try to get every wrestler that he’s got to wrestle more like I did. I like the wrestling in the 90’s better than I do the wrestling today. Even though I have a lot of respect for a lot of the young wrestlers today, and a lot of them are really really good like (CM) Punk, and Daniel Bryan are two phenomenal wrestlers, that to me show lots of new stuff, new moves, and new psychology. They brought out the future of wrestling a little bit more, where as a lot of wrestlers I think that came after I left like, Triple H and guys like that. They’re just the same old thing over and over, and I think wrestling could have done a better job over the last few years. It’s the young guys that are picking up the torch and carrying it today.

Any other changes?

I would have less talking and more wrestling. I think that would make a big difference and improve things a lot.

If I was in charge of wrestling today I would try to make the titles a little more meaningful, that they didn’t change hands every five minutes. It seems like somebody’s a champion for about ten minutes, and then there’s another champion and another champion. They should just leave it on somebody for a while and let them become.

In terms of drug testing, do you think enough is being done nowadays to make sure wrestlers are clean and they’re not taking a substance to gain an upper hand?

The truth about the drug testing is that it’s very easy for people to assume or to say that the drug testing is very lax like nobody was really watching, but that’s not true.  When I was drug tested in the 90’s there was two people watching, it was Olympic drug testing and there was no cheating. I always hear stories about wrestlers that cheated, but let me say this. If they cheated that was not an easy thing to do.

They had to be pretty careful and like I said, two guys watching you. I would say it was almost impossible to cheat. I never cheated because I never needed to. I’m glad that they implemented it, I think it cleaned up wrestling. I think the only time that pro wrestling was never really legitimately clean was in 1997 when I was there.

Now that the Macho Man Randy Savage is going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, who do you think should be in the Hall of Fame that isn’t there right now?

I think Jim Neidhart should be in there, I think my brother Owen should be in there. I’d like to see Davey Boy The British Bulldog in there, I’d like to see The Nasty Boys and certain great tag-teams like The Killer Bees, The Rougeau Brothers. There’s a lot of wrestlers from the mid 80’s and early 90’s that are not represented well in the Hall of Fame and I think they could do a better job on that.

Will you be making any television appearances and a possible return to WWE? 

You never know. They call me up once and a while and ask me to come on. It’s kind of wait and see how it goes. If it’s something I can do, have fun, and it’s not a long trip, sometimes they call me. They wanted me to go to the Slammys in December and they wanted me to fly to South Carolina from Calgary on December 15 or so and I said, nah, I can’t do that. I pick and choose. If they call me up and want me to fly to Los Angeles and do a Monday Night Raw, okay. Flying to Florida would be to far, I want to go somewhere nice and easy, I like being home.

Who came up with your famous catch phrase: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be?

I got that from a movie called The Natural with Robert Redford. It’s a baseball movie and one of my favourite movies of all-time. I somehow came up with that line when I was tag up with Jim The Anvil’, we were the Hart Foundation. I came up with it during an interview that I did and it’s just stuck right from then.

How special was it to be named The 39th Greatest Canadian of all-time?

It was a big honour. Especially in light of how many scientists, doctors, and politicians that got passed over so that I could be number thirty-nine. The important thing to always understand is that I beat Avril Lavigne (No. 40). That’s all that matters.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to read a lot, I like to write, and I like to draw. I’m much more artistic than people think.

 

Thank You for your time and good luck in the future.

Thank You.

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Comments
  1. deb says:

    Bret said everything right they should be his brother in the hall of fame but they must not think he was all the important it is so sad that when wrestlers work there butts off and get nothing in return I seen Bret and owen wrestle and they just pass Owen by. Not good they can do better job. peopLe lie chris b. or even scott hall come on man there some good wrestlers that need to be honor

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