Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan could have been a great match, despite Hogan’s “limited ability. But WWE and WCW ruined the chance and we missed out on a dream match between the Hall of Famers.
WWE Hall of Famer and Wrestling legend Bret Hart has never been shy about his disdain for Hulk Hogan. In multiple interviews, he has run down the former WWE and WCW Champion, claiming he could not wrestle and that he held Bret Hart down in his runs in WCW and in the WWF. Being one of the best technical wrestlers of all time, Hart knew what he was talking about.
Well, that certainly has not slowed down into either men’s old age. Bret Hart received a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in December 2021, and as such did a lot of press for his upcoming honours. Speaking to the Calgary Sun, Hart talked about his wrestling career, starting from his time in Calgary, then his move to Puerto Rico, the WWF and WCW.
Hart pointed out that he tried to be the best wrestler he could, and also be a role model for those watching at home and for other workers in the locker room. He has never been shy talking about his career, which was ended by Bill Goldberg when he was kicked in the head in a match in WCW in 2000.
Hart also talked about how Hulk Hogan was on top whilst Hart was trying to break through. Whilst Hart was a master of in-ring storytelling and storytelling, he claims Hogan was “limited” in the ring and that he “didn’t know a headlock from a headlamp”.
Bret Hart on Hulk Hogan
“I was really well taught the art of wrestling by two Japanese guys (Mr. Hito and Mr. Sakurada). I was taught how to protect myself and my opponent so he doesn’t get hurt. More important than that, it was all about what I represented. I have an incredible body of work with so many different wrestlers. I was so proud of those matches.
“And all the Canadian wrestlers like Natalya or Edge were influenced by me. I think if you look back at wrestling when it was the Hulk Hogan show. He was six-foot-eight and a one-out-of-three wrestler. He didn’t know a headlock from a headlamp. He didn’t know very much. He knew how to do a clothesline and maybe a body slam. He was very limited.
“Vince McMahon took a chance with me and made me that champion. It meant so much to me that I think I tried to live up to be that champion. It was about being the best wrestler. I gave so much as that wrestler. I was a good role model in the dressing room. All that means a lot.”
Bret Hart was honoured with his Canadian Walk of Fame induction and remains one of the most beloved wrestlers to come out of Canada. Multiple current wrestling stars are known to be huge childhood fans of Bret Hart, such as Jon Moxley and Dax Harwood.
Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan
When Bret Hart left WWE in 1997 (after the infamous Montreal Screwjob), the biggest match in WCW was clear – Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan. All logic pointed toward it. Bret Hart was the WWE Champion when he left WWE, whilst the WCW Champion for the last several months was Hulk Hogan.
To put the two world champions of wrestling against each other seemed like a no-brainer, although it makes sense why they were no immediately thrust together. Hulk Hogan was part of a year long storyline to lose the championship to Sting, so holding off on the huge matchup was a case of restrained and thoughtful booking by Eric Bischoff at the time.
The timeline seemed obvious. Have Bret Hart take on the NWO at Starrcade 1996 (maybe defeating Randy Savage or Kevin Nash in singles competition), before later teaming up with new-WCW Champion Sting to take down the NWO once and for all.
This could lead to the dream Hulk Hogan vs Bret Hart match the world had been clamouring for since their time in WWE. Hogan famously refused to work with Hart inside the ring during that time, while he also stole the Canadian’s spotlight at the end of Wrestlemania IX.
However, WCW never booked the main event Bret vs Hogan match that everybody wanted. They kept them apart for the most of it, with not even Sting taking down the NWO (which lasted for several more years before eventually petering out).
The duo did have one singles match together in WCW, although it was not at all what anybody expected, nor wanted. Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan took place on a random WCW Nitro in 1998. It was an okay, filled with run ins and typical NWO rubbish, before Bret Hart inexplicably turned on Sting for the finish.
It was nothing at all like anybody wanted to see. They wanted a wrestling match between Hogan and Hart, WCW Championship on the line in the main event. They wanted it in the WWF in the 1990s and they wanted it now. However, WCW were too blind to Hogan’s politics and the match would not take place again.
Hart would retire in 2000 and would never get his big match. Bret Hart vs Hulk Hogan in a REAL match is one of the biggest what ifs in wrestling and one that may never truly be answered.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.