One of the biggest missed opportunities in WWE history came following the calamitous ending at WrestleMania 9.
This looked to have been leading to a bout between Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan, but despite Hulkamania running wild, the Hitman never got his chance to face Hogan in the WWE.
In this article, we’ll talk you through the disaster that was Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 9, what he said about Bret Hart following the event, and the planned main event for Summerslam 1993.
Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 9
WrestleMania 9 may have one of the worst endings in WrestleMania history.
The stage had been set for Bret Hart to finally cement himself at the top of the WWE, defending his WWF Championship against Yokozuna in the main event of WrestleMania.
This was supposed to be the Canadian’s defining moment, but as always “that’s doesn’t work for me, brother”.
Hulk Hogan was lower down on the card for this WrestleMania. His star was fading, and the steroid scandal had taken some of the wind out of his sails.
He tagged with long-time friend Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake on the lower end of the card, which was supposed to be it for his matches at WrestleMania.
However, after Bret Hart surprisingly lost to Yokozuna, thanks to a handful of sand by Mr Fuji, Hogan interrupted the celebrations to challenge the champion to a match.
For some reason, Yokozuna accepted.
A few minutes an one leg drop later, Hulk Hogan walked out of WrestleMania 9 as WWF Champion, in a match he had not even been scheduled to be in.
Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan
The shocking ending of WrestleMania 9 did originally make some modicum of sense.
Hulk Hogan winning the title off Yokozuna was meant to set the wheels in motion for a huge clash with Bret Hart at Summerslam 1993.
Hart was earmarked as the next world champion, having won the Royal Rumble that year, but Hogan’s Grandstanding and Hotdogging had taken him out of the main event and moved him to the sidelines.
The angle between Hogan and Hart had started being pushed in the WWF Magazine, with a poster already being mocked up the WWE in preperation for this.
However, as always, Hogan went back on this deal, instead dropping the belt back to Yokozuna before feuding with him for the remainder of his contract, before moving to WCW.
There was big heat between Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan for this, mainly from Hart’s side.
The Canadian was one of the most popular stars in the company, but had been screwed out of a world title run by a past it Hogan, on the way out of the door.
Hulk Hogan admitted that he said some less than kind things about Bret backstage, leading to Vince McMahon making the change at WrestleMania 9.
Speaking with Diamond Joe during the Wrestling Shooting Interview, Hogan admitted that he spoke backstage about Hart not being a main event talent yet, reducing him to a simply a tag team, lower card star.
This got back to Bret Hart, who was not happy with The Hulkster.
“That’s where the heat started I may have said something really stupid behind closed doors about Bret that you know what he’s not, he’s not that main event guy yet, you know because my perception was of him was tag team, an intercontinental level he hadn’t got to that perception at that time.”
“So at the end of the day, I may have said something like that got relayed to him, and I actually think it did. It was no disrespect, but that’s how I saw that if we were going to put the belt on somebody, we had to get him ready for that run and I thought he needed a little more time.”Hulk Hogan on Bret Hart in 1993
The match between Hulk Hogan vs Bret Hart was turned down by Hogan, who didn’t think that Hart was as big a star as he was.
This would be one of the biggest missed opportunities of all time. Shortly after losing the belt back to Yokozuna, Hulk Hogan would move to WCW, where he became a multi-time world champion and formed the legendary NWO faction.
Hart would join him there in 1996, following the Montreal Screwjob, but Hogan still did not want to book the coveted Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan match.
The pair wrestled once, on WCW Monday Nitro, but the match was full of outside interference and had a screwy finish.
Hopefully building to a rematch of Pay Per View, the second bout in the series never came. Bret Hart retired in 2000 after being kicked in the head by Goldberg, while Hogan politicked his way to the top, all the way until his final match in TNA decades later.
Would you have liked to see Hulk Hogan take on Bret Hart for the WWE Championship? Let us know what you think, down in the comments section below.