And Another Thing: Hart Pounding Commentary
Posted by Hyatte on 01.01.2000
All Bret does is whine about everything, like a baby.
This column is regarded as one of my best. It sparked more praising e-mails than anything else, and quite a few flames.
Bob Ryder personally told me he loved it, on that radio show I did for about a month.
Funny story, one guy sent it to Dave Scherer without any mention of my name. Dave wrote back, “This is one of the best things I’ve ever read!” and asked if he wanted it posted at 1wrestling. So, the reader told him who wrote it.
Dave never responded back.
(originally presented September, 2000: 411 Wrestling)
Bret Hart can't be satisfied.
Time after time, he finds something to complain about. No matter what WCW does... or tries to do, it's not enough. He'll always find something to cry about. "Waah waah waaah... my head hurts. Waah waah waaah... I was screwed. Waah waah waaah... WCW won't pay me after Goldberg stiffed me in the head. Waah waa waaah... my Brother died."
Luckily, Internet Writers have almost universally banded together and said, "Enough, Bret! Stop being such a crybaby! Suck it up and try to adjust to today's brand of wrestling. If you can't, then just go away. Quit whining and be a professional. We are all sick and tired of this!" You know something? After some thought, I've decided that I'm sick of this crap too.
All of you Internet Writers can go straight to Hell.
How dare you criticize Bret Hart for being bitter. How dare you act so incredulous that someone so well-known would publicly speak his mind about the sport that he spent his ENTIRE life involved in. From day one, Bret has lived, breathed, drank, and ate professional wrestling. This was his life. Maybe you people need a reminder of what Bret is all about?
Professional wrestling defined who he was... and in return, he tried to define wrestling in a respectable manner. He spent ten years in the WWF before winning the world title. Ten years honing his craft as a member of the Hart Foundation. Ten years slaving away on the road, quietly working under the shadow of Hulk-A-Mania and larger than life characters. His was an emphasized substance against a world of exaggerated styles. He never complained. He simply bided his time.
He got his chance and became the company's number one man. The World Champion. Was it his fault that Wrestling fell out of favor with the mainstream right around the time Hulk Hogan ended his relationship with the WWF? Maybe and maybe not. All I know is that he tried to present a different and unique image of a World Champion that was missing for many years. Bret actually worked. Bret actually worked hard. Wow, here's a scary concept... the World Champion actually worked house shows? He actually defended his title off-camera to a roomful of grateful fans who maybe saw Hogan work their town once every two years, maybe? Oh, and Bret actually had moves. Sure, the running gag was that Bret just used the "five same moves" over and over; well guess what, they were three more moves than what Hogan did, and none of them involved a boot to the face and a leg drop. Oh, and Bret never posed either. Hang the bastard.
The recipe for achieving the "American dream" is simple: work, toil, and labor as hard as you possibly can, and you can achieve whatever you want. Well, Bret did just that... and he got exactly what he worked for. Then things took a bad turn... a horrible turn. In the last three years, everything that Bret dedicated his life to, went sour. Let's recall what Bret's has had to go through in three short years, shall we? Or would you just prefer to call him a baby some more?
Well, Bret was told by the man he trusted more than anyone, save his Father, that he was no longer "financially viable" for the company he gave his entire life to. This was just a few months after the man gave him a 20 year contract because Bret was "just that valuable".
Then, he was betrayed, in front of millions, and stripped of his dignity by the man he trusted, and the one worker who he could never get along with. To make matter worse, that night started the great WWF comeback, which they are still enjoying today. Instead of becoming one of the Greats, Bret Hart is now one of the greatest scapegoats. He wasn't just humiliated in front of his home country, his humiliation is now considered the smartest move Vince McMahon has ever made. Try dealing with that, just once.
Shawn Michaels, a petty little diva who firmly ruled the locker room with his Clique of friends, refused to put over anyone; yet he was given periodic work even after he couldn't wrestle anymore. Shawn is welcomed into the WWF whenever he likes. Bret built a reputation on making people look as good as he could, putting people over for the sake of the story, and never, ever hurting people... now he's a pariah up North. What's wrong with this picture?
He moved to WCW, and was thwarted by Hulk Hogan right from the get-go. The whole plan was to milk the "Screwed Over" factor for some worth by making Bret a "Wrestling Cop" of sorts, preventing fast counts from shady Referees to keep the title around the Heel's waist. Unfortunately, the Heel was Hulk Hogan, who did not want people thinking that he needed a fast count in order to beat Sting, so he made the Referee count normal. There was no fast count. Bret knew this, but he tried to sell the story anyway. Because of Hogan, Bret's first WCW angle fizzled. He was put in a program with Flair for a while, turned Heel, turned Face, flip-flopped like that constantly... even right up to today. Oh look, Bret's a face! Oh, wait... he's a Heel. Nobody popped, either way. How could they? He's turned Heel so many times it's become obligatory.
A year later, Bret's younger brother Owen died. Violently, abruptly, and pointlessly. He died getting ready to drop from the ceiling in an exhibition of flash that went against everything Bret stood for. Everyone agreed, it was an accident. Should that make Bret feel better? Should he forgive and forget? There is a lawsuit, but it doesn't look too promising. Does that mean Bret should stop being upset over it?
The funeral even helped insult the man. The WWF promised that they would show no footage of the Funeral, but they did. Vince McMahon told the world of a private conversation they shared, where he painted Bret as a whiner who blamed Vince for everything that went wrong with his life. Nice.
Then, finally... WCW, under Vince Russo, finally gave Bret a good, solid angle to work through. He was put in a program with Goldberg and given the WCW title. He was getting over as a solid heel, and even became the leader of the re-formed NWO. Then, Goldberg, the WCW Golden Boy, closed his eyes and blindly drove his foot in Bret's head. The resulting concussion was so bad that Bret still gets migraines, nauseating dizziness, and memory loss. The man who was famous for taking great care in never harming his opponent may never work again thanks to a selfish monster who the company is resting their entire future on. Goldberg got a raise, Bret got a cut in salary because he's can't work. Much like the WWF did with Shawn Michaels, WCW used Bret as a way to put over someone else. He has some nerve bitching about it. Some nerve, indeed.
In three years, Bret Hart has had his entire life turned into a punchline. The man gave everything he had to help build this business, only to have it fall on him like a house of cards. Sure, you can argue that he has made it hard to feel sympathetic. He compared his (ex) Brother-in-law, The British Bulldog to a "dog rolling around in his own crap" and threatened to run him down with his car after Davey re-joined the WWF. He routinely criticizes the new direction wrestling has taken in this new Era. He even publicly denounced WCW for "making him shoot" on Goldberg on a very recent "Thunder"... embarrassing the company, and himself in the process. Bret didn't care for the way his injury was turned into part of the storyline. Yes, he can get whiny. He calls himself an "advocate", and plans on keeping it up.
He has every damn right to do so and NOBODY has any damn right to call him on it. He's a human being expressing his hurt and his pain in the best way he knows how. I know, he should shut up and adjust. He should shut up, keep smiling, and not DARE criticize the sport that's been so good to him. Oh, the little, ungrateful, scum. Crucify him for the unforgivable crime of being human. The audacity of it all.
I'd like to say to those Bret bashers, who have the gall to snipe at him for expressing his rage, to shut your ignorant mouths. I hope that you guys get humiliated out of a job that you spent your life working at, be forced into a different job that can't seem to use you to the best of your abilities, see your younger sibling die working at the same place that threw you out, then having the death joked about by talent-less recappers who go for the cheap joke. I hope you can't do your job anymore, much less do much of any physical activity, because of a lazy co-worker who could not care less about anyone but himself.. I'd like to see you go through this hell and not feel bitter. There is not a doubt in my mind that you can't. All you can do is bash Bret Hart for the intolerable sin of becoming disillusioned. Let's lynch him.
I'm not saying you have to like Bret Hart and what he's become. I'm not even saying you have to respect him. I'm just saying that he's earned the right to say anything he damn well pleases. He's earned that right. Nobody on the Internet has earned the right to complain about it. None of you have any idea what it's like to go through what Hart has gone through. So until you do, keep your mouths shut. Wrestling is not the perfect business where everything is good and just and nothing goes bad. There is a dark side to professional wrestling. The "magic" is a little tainted. No one knows this better than Bret Hart, and if he wants to spout off about it, he has every right to. He's earned the privilege. Just keep your fat asses in your cushy chairs and keep your opinions to yourselves on this, or explain why you feel you have the right to criticize him. Try trading hardships with Bret Hart. I doubt you can even come close.
No, you don't have to respect Bret Hart. Although he's earned it through years of hard work, it's your business whether you want to respect him.
But, you had damn well better respect his right to be bitter. He has earned it.
Paid for with his very dignity. And his Brother's blood.
Just remember that next time you feel like bashing the man.
This is Hyatte too.