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Guest The Man in Blak

IGN Interviews Bret Hart

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Guest The Man in Blak

IGN has posted an interview with Bret Hart, presumably to go along with the Bret Hart DVD that was recently released. Here's a couple of snippets of it worth mention:

 

http://sports.ign.com/articles/667/667878p1.html

 

I remember I told him: 'If we do this right, we're going to switch places today. I'm going to make you.' And as a credit to Steve, he did everything I asked him to do and we created a masterpiece.

GN Sports: It's funny how you mention being real, because when my dad would sit down and watch your matches, that's the first thing he'd say every time.

 

Bret Hart: He must have had an eye for the business. If you grow up watching the business like I did, you have an eye for what looks real and what doesn't. I always hated this one spot Shawn Michaels does, they call it Skin the Cat. It's where you throw the guy over the top rope, but he holds on to the top rope and curls his way back in the ring. He insisted to have it in the Iron Man match, and it's just so phony. Why would I not look at the guy I just threw over the rope? I hate stuff like that. It's so phony and illogical.

 

IGN Sports: Skin the Cat is like a James Bond villain leaving the room before Bond dies.

 

Bret Hart: Exactly, and if you've seen it once, you never want to see it again. I know I've seen it a thousand times, so the fans must be thinking, why would Bret Hart throw Shawn Michaels over the top rope and forget that he's there. I hate to go about it, but I used to take front turnbuckles because it used to look so real. It gave a sense of reality to the match because it was so high impact. When I see guys like Flair and Shawn Michaels and they take that upside down turnbuckle, it always made no sense. It looked great and it's spectacular, but why would anyone take an upside down turnbuckle. It's so stupid. At least with mine, with a front turnbuckle, you're being thrown so fast, you're so out of control, at least it makes sense. I'm not going to stop and do a nice little flip, a little summersault into the corner. Things like that drive me crazy, especially when people say they're as great as they are. Sometimes, they're just phonies.

 

When I came to WCW, I didn't really gravitate to the superstars like Hogan. Eric always had a lot of guys sniffing around him pretty good, but I always gravitated to the workhorses of the company. Guys like Benoit and Guerrero. Eddie and his nephew both, every time I'd see them, they always had smiles on their faces. They were always so upbeat about a company that was so disorganized and confused. Eddie was a really genuine person. He always had a warm smile, a warm heart, and was an easy to like guy. I don't know anyone who didn't like Eddie. He was a hard worker, a good guy, and he could brighten up the dressing room. He could brighten up wherever he was.

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Guest godthedog

"I remember I told him: 'If we do this right, we're going to switch places today. I'm going to make you.' And as a credit to Steve, he did everything I asked him to do and we created a masterpiece."

 

wow, way to give austin credit for letting bret hold his hand through the whole match. even though you can pretty clearly see austin calling a spot to bret while he's choking him with a mic cord.

 

that's just a retarded thing for him to say, as if austin had no ideas, couldn't be trusted to control the match like bret could, and didn't have a grasp on what direction needed to be taken. of all the people bret's worked with, austin is the LEAST plausible to make those claims about.

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I don't think he's downplaying Austin's talent so much as he is saying that his ideas were implemented that day and that because they were successful, Austin became a star. Bret has said many times in the past that he wasn't a crucial ingredient in Austin becoming a star, that he would have anyway. Facts are that Bret did play an important role in helping Austin take off.

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This is the complete interview:

 

Bret Hart: The Hitman Returns

The legend talks DVD, HBK, Vince McMahon, and the passing of Eddie Guerrero.

by Jon Robinson

 

November 17, 2005 - Imagine punching out your boss, then getting a DVD retrospective celebrating your career. That's what happened to Bret Hart, one of the greatest (if not the single best) pure wrestler to ever walk that aisle, as he returned to the promotion that made him a legend to handpick 18 matches for a 3-disc DVD set. You'll find Bret against Mr. Perfect, The British Bulldog, Owen Hart, and Steve Austin in some of the matches that defined Hart's era in wrestling.

 

IGN Sports caught up with "The Hitman" to get his thoughts on the new DVD, reuniting with WWE, and whether or not a Hall of Fame induction is in the process.

 

Here's what "The Excellence of Execution" had to say?

 

IGN Sports: You handpicked the 18 matches for your DVD. What was the criteria you used to select the bouts?

 

Bret Hart: A long memory. [laughs] I can remember matches when I came back to the dressing room and other wrestlers or fans would come up to me afterwards to compliment me on the match. I remember when I wrestled the 1-2-3 Kid and Paul Orndorff stopped me in an airport. He was working for WCW at the time, but he was so excited about that match. He kept telling me how exciting it was and how that was what wrestling is all about. He told me: 'That is one of the greatest matches I've ever watched.' It was real. It was like a real match there was so much intensity. And the way it played off with the young kid against the wiley old veteran, it was such a beautiful story to him. That's why I wanted to recognize, not just the big pay matches, but the little trinkets, the little treasure matches that people have forgotten about like that match and the one against Hakushi. There were certain guys who I really enjoyed working with, and I wanted to make sure they were remembered. There were also a lot of veterans like DiBiase and Steamboat who I enjoyed getting in the ring with. The match against Ricky Steamboat, that was the first time we ever stepped foot in the ring together, the first time we ever worked together, and to be able to put together that type of match, it's a beautiful thing. And in the match against DiBiase, it was a similar thing. We went out there with no preparation, no thought, and did it like they say old school, back to the old style of wrestling. We did it the old fashioned way, and we pulled off an amazing match.

 

 

 

IGN Sports: When you step in the ring, do you have a sense something great is about to happen, or do you not know a match is a classic until you're already in the midst of the fight?

 

Bret Hart: I usually knew it was going to be a great match before I went out. If I have a few days to think about it, situations like Wrestlemania and big events like that, it's like I can't turn the movie off in my head. I can visualize the match before it happens, every situation of what I wanted to do. It's not like an actor who is getting a script and has to remember what somebody else wrote, in my mind I could add in and take out any moves I want. I would dream about the matches at night. What's funny is it works both ways, because sometimes you draw a blank. Maybe you've worked with the guy before or it's a rematch, and you can't think of anything else new to do. You don't want to just go out and do the same match. There's a match on the DVD with The British Bulldog. This is our second big match and I really love it because it's such a contrast to that first match we had at Wembley. We didn't know what we were even going to do in that match until maybe an hour or two before. Same with Steve Austin. That was a match where we really didn't know what we were going to do. We weren't scheduled to be the main event that year, but we were slotted in after Shawn Michaels went home with a fake injury. So we kind of stuck at the last minute as a filler. Here save the show now because the main event just walked off on us. The two of us sat in the ring and we were staring at each other, twiddling our thumbs. It was really awkward because we had just worked at the Survivor Series right before. I just remember putting our heads together, and the more we painted the match out in broad strokes, the more it became a masterpiece.

 

IGN Sports: That match launched an entire era.

 

Bret Hart: I remember I told him: 'If we do this right, we're going to switch places today. I'm going to make you.' And as a credit to Steve, he did everything I asked him to do and we created a masterpiece

 

IGN Sports: How difficult was it to pick just 18 matches? Did you have a lot of favorites that didn't quite make the cut?

 

Bret Hart: I had another 30 more I wanted to put on there. I had a lot of really good matches from places like Japan where I couldn't get the footage. It was always really important for me to pick the right matches, and I used to think about it all the time. I think the DVD is a nice cross section, and they said they wanted to do a fitting tribute to the Hart Foundation, and I think we did that.

 

IGN Sports: What did you like better, competing in singles or tag matches?

 

Bret Hart: I actually like tag team better. Those were the good old days. [laughs] When you're in a tag team, especially when your sidekick is Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, you can't beat that. I had to hang around with Jim and keep him out of trouble. It was up to me to get him back to the hotel at night?he acted kind of crazy at times. I'm lucky I'm not an alcoholic today for hanging around with Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. In those days, we had a lot of energy. We used to describe ourselves as a Porsche and a tank, and I think that was a fair comparison. Because of Jim's size and power, we were able to work with big guys or little guys. We could wrestle The Rockers, Demolition, even The One Man Gang and The Big Bossman. We were really adaptable and versatile.

 

IGN Sports: Did your feud with Shawn Michaels start back when you guys were both in tag teams? Was the hatred already brewing?

 

Bret Hart: No, it started after the Survivor Series when I won the title. Back then, he was just a boy toy. He was kind of a lazy kid back then, but compared to how he became later on, he was much more likable when I first started to work with him. He eventually moved into the top tier, and he was always a good athlete. He seemed to have everything he needed to in order to make it to the top. I believe that I was the first guy, I was only about 230-pounds for real my whole career. I was never any more, never any less. Randy Savage really helped open the door for guys my size, guys like Shawn to make it to the top. Back with Hogan, you had a lot of big bodies who moved in a lumbering sort of way. I was one of the first guys to really take the World title as a little guy, and that opened the doors for Shawn.

 

 

IGN Sports: Were you surprised WWE asked you back to help with the project considering all of the beef that went on?

 

Bret Hart: Yeah, I was. I never lost hope in the sense that before I knocked Vince out in Montreal, in the weeks even leading into that whole mess, I had brought up how important it was for me not to be forgot. That I wanted my legacy to be remembered. We were talking then about an anthology, a video collection of my greatest matches, but it didn't happen. So when I knocked him out in Montreal, I realized my career might never again see the light of day. I thought 30 years from now or 50 years from now I wouldn't even be remembered as much of a wrestler because the people who remember would pass away, and Bret Hart's legacy would pass away with them. When my brother Owen passed away, Vince McMahon met with me the day before the funeral, and I told him how really heart sick I was over the fact that I thought I'd be forgotten. We talked about it then, but for whatever reason, I guess on account of the law suit, they conveniently forgot that the conversation took place even though Vince told me that I'd always be remembered for what I contributed. And that led to a lot of hard feelings between me and Vince and the company. But I remember when I had my stroke, I was so devastated by the whole thing, and within hours of my stroke Vince called me. That was the first real step we made toward mending fences. We talked about upcoming projects, about my career, and he realized how important it was to me. I only brought it up ever time I talked to him, and he wanted to keep the promise that he made to me. We talked about it there, and I had a few conversations with Shane McMahon about it, but the big problem we had was how to address the Survivor Series. For me, with my stroke, I have a lot of trouble with emotional issues in the sense that if something is pulling at my heat strings, I can't control my emotions. I can have these heartfelt moments and the tears can come, and for me, it's very draining, very uncomfortable to find yourself fighting back tears all the time. We started talking about the sensitive issues like Owen's death and Survivor Series, and I told Vince that I had a great career before either one of those two instances happened. The more we talked, the more he understood that there was a way around it. I really didn't think there would be a way around it and that that would end up being the logjam of this whole thing. They have their version of events, I have mine, and I am never going to change my mind. So the way they did it, they took the high road.

 

One of the most important things that happened right before this DVD came into play is when I went to the dentist. There was this little boy in there, he was only about five years old, and he was a big fan of mine. He even had my action figure. I met him and shook his hand and we were talking and I was curious, because he was only five, so I asked him 'What's your favorite match of mine?' And he looked up at me and told me 'Oh, I've never seen you wrestle, but I play as you in the videogames.' My heart kind of broke. I wanted little kids like this to be able to watch me. The more I talked to Vince, the more the hard feelings began to just move off. I still have a lot of hard feelings over everything that has happened, but I'm glad they were able to overlook those things. When Vince McMahon says at the beginning of this DVD that we did this for the fans, it's true. I did this for my fans, and I've wanted to do this DVD for my fans for a long time. I'm very grateful that we found a way to do it and that Vince McMahon gave me enough creative control to do something that will be good for him, good for the company, and it's something that gives us both some closure.

 

IGN Sports: Can we expect to see you inducted in the Hall of Fame for your fans as well?

 

Bret Hart: I'm not expecting to do the Hall of Fame. Maybe some time or some day, but I just feel, maybe it's because of my stroke, but I don't feel like I'm ready for that yet.

 

IGN Sports: WWE released your DVD and they also released all of the Wrestlemania's on DVD as well. Do you have a favorite Wrestlemania moment?

 

Bret Hart: My two standards are my match with Stone Cold, the match that was voted the greatest Wrestlemania match of all time. It's a beautiful dogfight. My other one is the match against Shawn Michaels, and the only reason that match isn't on my DVD is because it's too long. Besides, it's already on the Wrestlemania disc, so I know it's out there and I know people can see it.

 

IGN Sports: What about as a fan?do you have a favorite Wrestlemania match that you weren't involved in?

 

Bret Hart: I always loved the match with Hogan and Andre. There was something endearing about watching Andre put Hogan over. I never forgot it.

 

IGN Sports: Over the weekend, the wrestling world lost Eddie Guerrero. What are some of your memories about Eddie?

 

Bret Hart: When I came to WCW, I didn't really gravitate to the superstars like Hogan. Eric always had a lot of guys sniffing around him pretty good, but I always gravitated to the workhorses of the company. Guys like Benoit and Guerrero. Eddie and his nephew both, every time I'd see them, they always had smiles on their faces. They were always so upbeat about a company that was so disorganized and confused. Eddie was a really genuine person. He always had a warm smile, a warm heart, and was an easy to like guy. I don't know anyone who didn't like Eddie. He was a hard worker, a good guy, and he could brighten up the dressing room. He could brighten up wherever he was.

 

IGN Sports: When someone watches your DVD, what's the lasting impression you want to leave? What do you want people to know about Bret Hart?

 

Bret Hart: That I was as good as I said I was. When you watch the beginning, there is even some of my early Stampede wrestling in there. I started wrestling in September, and these matches took place in December, 1979. I know WWE magazine said my career started in 1976, but I was still in high school in 1976. But I remember when I first saw that footage, I was skinny, white, and my hair was all fuzzy. I was a little embarrassed about how I looked back then and I didn't necessarily want to have those on there. But thinking about it, guys like Hogan or Flair wouldn't be caught dead putting their first three months on tape because they were probably so horrible. I think there is a certain beauty to these early matches, my first days in the business. I was a great wrestler, not necessarily a great performer. I was a real pro wrestler that gave 100% every night and made it seemed real. The beauty of watching all of those matches is that not one animal got hurt in the making of these movies. They were all very controlled where every wrestler got up the next day and went home to their families. They could tell their kids, 'Man, I wrestled Bret Hart last night and it seemed so real.'

 

IGN Sports: It's funny how you mention being real, because when my dad would sit down and watch your matches, that's the first thing he'd say every time.

 

Bret Hart: He must have had an eye for the business. If you grow up watching the business like I did, you have an eye for what looks real and what doesn't. I always hated this one spot Shawn Michaels does, they call it Skin the Cat. It's where you throw the guy over the top rope, but he holds on to the top rope and curls his way back in the ring. He insisted to have it in the Iron Man match, and it's just so phony. Why would I not look at the guy I just threw over the rope? I hate stuff like that. It's so phony and illogical.

 

IGN Sports: Skin the Cat is like a James Bond villain leaving the room before Bond dies.

 

Bret Hart: Exactly, and if you've seen it once, you never want to see it again. I know I've seen it a thousand times, so the fans must be thinking, why would Bret Hart throw Shawn Michaels over the top rope and forget that he's there. I hate to go about it, but I used to take front turnbuckles because it used to look so real. It gave a sense of reality to the match because it was so high impact. When I see guys like Flair and Shawn Michaels and they take that upside down turnbuckle, it always made no sense. It looked great and it's spectacular, but why would anyone take an upside down turnbuckle. It's so stupid. At least with mine, with a front turnbuckle, you're being thrown so fast, you're so out of control, at least it makes sense. I'm not going to stop and do a nice little flip, a little summersault into the corner. Things like that drive me crazy, especially when people say they're as great as they are. Sometimes, they're just phonies.

 

IGN Sports: Didn't it hurt like hell to run chest-first into the turnbuckle?

 

Bret Hart: There is a trick to it. As a matter of fact, if you watch the DVD, you can see my very first front turnbuckle. In Stampede, it shows this guy throwing me and it looks like I damn near kill myself. The turnbuckles in my dad's territory were like cement. They were very, very hard, stiff turnbuckles. What I learned, though, is that I can use my biceps to push off when I hit the turnbuckle. The key to the front turnbuckle, look at me, I'm telling you all my secrets, but the key is to relax your body. You need to relax every muscle and fall into the turnbuckle. Just give yourself to it. Then just as your body has gone as far as you can, you use your momentum and arms to bounce out. It's hard to explain, but I don't think anyone has ever done a front turnbuckle like I did. Those were the days.

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