Bret Hart Discusses His Decision To Return To WWE In 2010
On episode 31 of Confessions Of The Hitman, two-time WWE Hall Of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart talked about his return to WWE in 2010. Specifically, Hart discussed what inspired him to challenge WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to a match at WrestleMania 26, how his return to WWE came together, and why he wanted to re-enter the WWE Universe. Also, Hart shared the various ideas he had for his onscreen return to WWE programming.
On the subject of Hart’s WWE return, ‘The Hitman’ said he was inspired to step back into the squared circle after seeing current United States President Donald Trump fumbling through a match versus McMahon. Despite Hart’s poor health at the time, he was confident that he could pull off what ‘Mango Mussolini’ was doing in and around the ring.
“It’s kind of funny because I watched Vince wrestle Donald Trump – I’m pretty sure it was Vince – and I remember going, ‘s**t, I could do that! I could wrestle Vince. I could do something, at least as much as Trump’s pulling off here.’ I remember, I thought about it, and I had my knee replaced, and I remember running up the stairs in the house in Hawaii, and the phone was ringing, and I remember when I ran up the stairs, I thought, ‘I just ran up the stairs!’ Like, that’s amazing. That’s a miracle all by itself.”
Hart indicated that he called up WWE Vice President Kevin Dunn and said he wanted to do an angle with McMahon, and ultimately, make peace with the company.
“I remember somewhere in that, I watched WrestleMania that week or that day, and I ended up calling WWE,” Hart recalled. “And I ended up talking to a guy named Kevin Dunn, who’s like one of Vince’s right hand guys. And I said, ‘I’d like to come back. I’d like to come back and do a storyline with Vince. I’d like to bury the hatchet.'”
Hart, who recently named the people who he thinks are responsible for The Montreal Screwjob, claimed that he felt worn down from The Montreal Screwjob and his brother Owen’s tragic passing, and that he was ready to move on.
“I said, ‘I’m tired. Everywhere I go, all I hear about is The Screwjob, what happened with my brother, Owen. All of that starts to weigh you down. I mean, it really starts to weigh you down. Like, it was really starting to wear on me all the time. It’s like, it’s all I ever hear about: Vince McMahon, and The Screwjob, and ‘what are you going to do now?’ Anyway, it just got to the point where it’s like– I think it was the solution to all my problems at the time. It was like, the best way for me to get over this, get it out of my way so it’s not in my way anymore is to go back and make peace with it, make real peace with it.” Hart added, “and I pretty much laid it out on the table to Kevin Dunn that I’d like to go back and do a storyline.”
Hart also said he wanted to make amends with fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Shawn Michaels, as the two used to be very good friends.
“I said, ‘it would be fine with me if I could bury the hatchet with Shawn.’ I had watched Shawn wrestle a match. He might have wrestled The Undertaker. I don’t know if it was on that WrestleMania with Trump or not, but it was a match that I had watched with Shawn and The Undertaker. I was so proud of them. I really loved the match; I thought it was a fantastic, five-star match, and I was proud of Shawn. And I remember thinking, ‘Shawn and me used to be such good friends’, and I felt bad that whatever happened between us. And Shawn had his drug problems, and I had my– I certainly poked him in the eye enough times to know that I wasn’t totally innocent of all [matters]. I brought on some of that myself. I don’t know that I was the biggest instigator, but I can reason that we can be friends.” Hart noted, “I mean, I’d like to make friends, if Shawn would be up for it.”
While Dunn seemed excited about the pitch, Hart did not hear back from WWE for several months. Accordingly, Hart assumed WWE was not interested in his return to the company.
“So anyway, I kind of threw all things out there for Kevin Dunn from WWE,” Hart remembered. “He said he was pretty excited and he said he would talk to Vince and get back to me in a day or so. Anyway, I never heard from him for four or five months. That was in March, I think, roughly. I didn’t hear from him again until August, and by then, I thought, ‘okay, that idea didn’t fly very high,’ and it was kind of like, ‘at least I tried.’ I was kind of setting myself free from all that stuff anyways.”
According to Hart, he met with McMahon in August or September and laid out everything he was willing and able to do, such as work tag matches, be a manager, or wrestle a limited match. Hart pointed out that while he could not do a full match as per his Lloyd’s Of London insurance settlement, ‘The Excellence Of Execution’ could do a feud with McMahon and would be able to do more than ‘Orange Julius’ Donald Trump.
“They called me in August,” Hart remembered. “Vince called me and he wanted to meet me in San Jose, [California]. Like, I was flying through San Francisco and he had Monday Night RAW in San Jose that week, sometime in August, as I remember. And we met, and he was very upfront, and we had a very positive meeting. We talked, and I’ll be honest – I laid out every conceivable possible storyline or, ‘here’s an idea, maybe I can tag up with somebody and we win the tag belts, or how about we do this? Or I can manage Natalya, or manage Tyson Kidd and Harry Smith.’ They were wrestling there. How about I do something with them? Maybe I’m just their mouthpiece, or their manager, or whatever.
“I could tag up with somebody, five on a side, at Survivor Series or SummerSlam.’ And we talked about me coming back and wrestling Vince. I remember saying, ‘I can’t because of my concussion issues and my lawsuit that I won with Lloyd’s Of London. The way my contract was worded, it said I could do wrestling skits and wrestling sketches, but no full contact wrestling. That was the way it was worded, and I said, ‘I can hype it up. I can do stuff, but I can’t take any falls. I can’t get knocked down, I can’t have someone hit me across the back with a chair. I can’t be bodyslammed. I can’t even do a move to you that jeopardizes my– like, a blow to the head or my neck.’ I said, ‘I would come with my sort of limitations because I have limits as to what I can do, but if you want to come up with a storyline, I mean, I can do as much as Donald Trump did, or more, and we could figure out something.'”
Hart divulged that he is proud of his WrestleMania 26 grudge match with McMahon, not because he was at his physical peak or because it was a great match, but just for the fact that it was a way to make peace with WWE and move on.
“I’ve always been really proud of that,” Hart shared. “I know it wasn’t my greatest wrestling match, and I didn’t look that great, but I was a much older man, and I had at least one knee replacement, and I was on my way to having another one. And for me, it was all a way to make peace and say ‘goodbye’ to all the bad feelings and all that. I could be part of the WWE family again, and I’m so glad I did it. It was the best thing I could do. It set me free from all the issues that we had sort of gone through and wore me down.”
Hart closed the video with an important message to fans – we are happier when we forgive.
“And I think for anybody in life, I think I could say and give a message – it’s important to forgive,” Hart professed. “And it sets yourself free in a lot of the time by showing forgiveness. And I’ve forgiven and moved on, and I’m a much happier man for it.”
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