WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart recently sat down with ESPN.com to discuss WWE’s new “Legends of WrestleMania” video game. During the interview, the Hitman discusses a number of topics, including the rocky atmosphere in the WWE during early 1990′s, his favorite WrestleMania match, his beef with Shawn Michaels and more.
Bret said things changed drastically in WWE when WWE started drug testing in 1992 and made the transition from muscle heads (Hogan, Warrior, Legion of Doom) to the workers (Bret, Shawn Michaels, Marty Janetty). When asked whether he was upset that Hulk Hogan never gave him a match at WrestleMania, he replied:
Bret Hart: I just thought that somebody preempted my run. For somebody like Hulk Hogan, when he was on his run, nobody preempted it. Everyone was happy to make him. But when I needed some of the bigger guys to make me, especially some of the bigger names like Jake Roberts or Ultimate Warrior or Hogan, when it came to passing the torch down and doing me a favor&I had always been loyal, working my ass off on their undercards and I was always respectful of those guys and paid my dues, but I always felt short changed by some of those guys who didn’t do anything to help me. And that was a critical time in the business. The wrestling business back then was kind of like the stock market right now. There were some tough times business-wise, and everyone was fearful of the future, especially after they implemented the drug testing. But they handed me the ball, and back then I was only six feet tall, I wasn’t a giant, I didn’t have 24-inch arms, and I wasn’t a good interview. Then all of a sudden I found myself carrying the torch at a tough time and trying my hardest.
Hart continued, “If you look at wrestling when I started to get my big break back in 1992, I changed wrestling from the cartoons of Hulk Hogan and Iron Sheik and the matches with the leg drop and the hand behind the ear and the playing to the crowd. They were just cartoon characters if you ask me. Hogan had the same match every night for years and so did Warrior. They didn’t tell great stories, to be honest. I went out there and had those matches with Piper and Perfect and the match with Davey at Wembley. I went out there and tried to have great matches all the time, and it wasn’t about Bret Hart, it was about these matches. I think I changed the style of wrestling, and even today, there’s not another Hulk Hogan out there, it’s guys like Edge, and it’s all about work rate. When you see Bret Hart versus Steve Austin, it just seemed so much more real than Hulk Hogan versus Sgt. Slaughter. All of the storylines started to be more realistic and the belt started to mean more. I made the belt seem like the world to me and to my fans. I kind of pat myself on the back today and think that I did more good for professional wrestling than people realize.”