Nobody Did It Better
The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be – truer words have never been spoken when describing “The Hitman” Bret Hart. Graced with the talent and lineage many wrestlers would dream of, he coupled that with an incredible worth ethic and understanding of psychology that made his matches some of the best in wrestling history.
Few can be considered better. But even the best have bad matches, and even Bret Hart Worst Matches are a thing.
From his start working in his father’s Stampede Wrestling, to working his way up the card in the WWF to become WWE Champion, and all the way to the Montreal Screwjob and a stint in WCW, Bret Hart’s career showed he could do it all. Classic matches with Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and his brother Owen Hart showed he could have the best match on the card with anyone.
Well. Not anyone.
Here I have compiled a list of 5 of “The Hitman’s” duds. Matches he’d have liked to forget about. Some that had huge consequences in his career and his life. And some that were just plain bad! This is the top 5 worst Bret Hart matches of all time!
5. Bret Hart vs Yokozuna – Wrestlemania X
First on the list of Bret Hart worst matches is his bout with Yokozuna.
Wrestlemania X was a funny one. Bret Hart won the 1994 Royal Rumble. Lex Luger ALSO won the 1994 Royal Rumble. It was a first, and both men staked a claim for the title match at that years Wrestlemania.
In this match, Bret Hart challenged the mighty
Samoan ‘Japanese’ sumo star Yokozuna for the WWF Championship. Yokozuna had beaten Lex Luger earlier in the night to retain the championship before facing ‘The Hitman’, while Bret defeated his brother Owen in absolute Wrestlemania classic. Hart limped into the ring selling his earlier match, but Yokozuna seemed as fresh as a daisy. Roddy Piper was also the referee in the main event match, and Burt Reynolds the guest announcer.
The match was not a classic Hart match. Yokozuna’s on top for most of the match, and Hart attempts a number of comebacks but failing to capitalize. Roddy Piper gets involved with the outside managers, attacking Jim Cornette on the outside and taking focus away from the men in the ring. Bret gets some offence in near the end, but his comeback is squashed.
The ending of the match is dreadful. Yokozuna drags Hart to the corner to perform his finisher, the Banzai Drop. He climbs to the top rope, to do a flying “sit-on-Bret’s-chest” and pin him. However, Yokozuna loses balance and comically flails around, falling off the top rope onto the mat. Bret crawls over the big man, pins him and wins. The roster come out to celebrate with Bret, but the quality of the match did not deserve any adulation. Bret was on the defence all match and lost simply to the big man falling over.
VERDICT: 2 out of 5 – I would never watch this match again.
4. Bret Hart vs Doink the Clown – Summerslam 1993
The match was set to have Bret facing off with Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler. The pair feuded from 1993 to 1995, with Lawler antagonizing Hart and the whole Hart family for months leading up to the pairs scheduled match at Summerslam 1993.
Before the match however, Lawler is hobbling on crutches as Bret stands in the ring, waiting for the match to start. He then spends way, WAY too long shitting on the crowd and the people of Detroit, and the cars of Detroit, then Bret Hart, then Bret Hart’s family. It is exhausting to watch and the longer it goes on, you don’t want to see Lawler get beaten up. You just want to stop watching.
Eventually, Lawler announces who his replacement is. Doink the Clown. Of all the people in the world, he had to pick Matt Bourne’s clown character. Fine for TV. Not fine for a big surprise guest on one of the biggest Pay Per Views of the year. Bret pushed the security holding him back, trying desperately to stop Lawler talking.
As a result, the match is already off to a bad start because of Lawler’s constant complaining. Immediately I don’t care who this clown is, I just want Bret Hart to fight Lawler. Also, if I had paid $50 for this PPV to watch Bret Hart, I’d be miffed to say the least. The crowd don’t seem too thrilled to see ‘The Court Jester’ Doink the Clown either.
“This is the biggest rip off of all time”Vince McMahon
The match is mainly Doink getting offence in on Bret. It’s a fairly standard, boring match. No real notable spots, fairly plodding match. Some matches are so bad you need to watch them again and again (Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34 being one of those) but this one is just…there.
Bret Hart wins by disqualification, after he locks Doink in the Sharpshooter and Lawler hits him in the back with his crutch. He has to fight Lawler after this match, due to WWF President Jack Tunney coming out and making Lawler. Hart wins via the Sharpershooter, but the match with Doink was ultimately pointless, and just plain boring.
VERDICT: 1.5 out of 5 – Dull, boring. Technically better than Hart vs Yokozuna but ultimately pointless.
3. Bret Hart vs The Miz – Raw, May 17, 2010
On Monday Night Raw, live from Toronto Canada, saw something WWE fans never thought they’d see every again. ‘The Hitman’ competing for a Championship in WWE.
The Miz faced off against Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart in a match that was made after Tyson Kidd defeated The Miz, thus earning a member of the Hart family a shot at his US Title. However, to the shock of many, The Miz chose Bret as the Hart family member he would face off with. This was a huge shock, given that Bret was in his 50s, and had wrestled one match since he retired in 2000 (which was against Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 26, which he didn’t take a bump. It was barely wrestling.
The crowd was hot for Hart. The Miz ran down Canada, the Hart Family, Bret and his legacy. He said he would spit on the Hart family Legacy and beat him using the Sharpshooter. He also told Bret that he hired William Regal and Vladmir Koslov for protection. This was for when The Hart Dynasty, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd, would inevitably show up.
Bret entered to a huge pop, as expected in Canada. He was in a hockey jersey and jean shorts, not the wrestling attire we were used to. He still moved well in the ring, but due to concussion issues was not allowed to take any bumps at all, which made wrestling a match very difficult.
The resulting match was a clusterfuck. The Hart Dynasty immediately attacked Koslov and Regal, before Chris Jericho ran into the ring and attacked Hart. He was then taken out by David Hart Smith, the son of the famous British Bulldog, before The Miz locked on Hart’s Sharpshooter finisher.
After a while, Tyson Kidd hit a springboard dropkick, and the duo hit The Miz with a Hart attack, their finisher which was used by Bret’s own “The Hart Foundation”. Bret then locked in the Sharpshooter and the Miz tapped out, giving him his last ever title reign.
The match was not a wrestling classic. But as interesting clusterfucks? It was fine. It wasn’t great but it gave the fans a feel good moment in Canada? Would it have been better having Bret help DH Smith or Tyson Kidd win the title? Probably not they were not great here. But at least this happened.
VERDICT: 1 out of 5 – This happened.
2. Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon – Wrestlemania 26
Bret vs Vince is the damp squib 13 years in the making. The Montreal Screwjob was 13 years ago and had been generally forgotten by all parties and all was forgiven.
But that doesn’t make any money.
Bret Hart is in absolutely no condition to wrestle. Like in the previous match, he could not take any bumps and could really do nothing physical at all. The Sharpshooter and the odd punch is basically his limit, which is really sad considering the amazing athlete the Hitman was in his prime.
Vince McMahon isn’t quite as spritely as he once was, either. He came into this match at 65 years and not having had a match in over 2 years, since he faced ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair in a Extreme Rules match. He was never the best technical wrestler, relying on big spots and chair shots to make his matches entertaining, and always needed a competent wrestler to carry the match. A concussed Bret Hart is not that wrestler.
The match starts on shaky ground already, as Vince McMahon announces he’s paid off the entire Hart Family to surround the ring during the match. I’m not really sure he’s done that or why the Hart’s would take money over supporting their uncle, but apparently Vince is an idiot.
He even pays Bruce Hart, Stu Hart’s son, to be the special guest referee in the match. Bruce takes off his suit to reveal his referee shirt, before Bret Hart reveals his own sneaky sneak.
The Hitman then reveals that he and the Hart Family had talked and agreed that they’d take Vince’s money, cash the checks then turn on him when the match started. He said it was always be the night remembered as the night that “Bret Screwed Vince” (based on the interview after the Montreal Screwjob where Vince McMahon said that “Bret Screwed Bret”).
The match then proceeds with Bret using punches and kicks to knock down Vince. Then the Hart Family beat up Vince on the outside. Then Bret attacks him in the ring with a multitude of weapons, including a pipe, a crowbar and a steel chair. Vince gets no offence in at all, and taps out after Bret locks in the Sharpshooter, the same submission that was the cause of controversy during the Montreal Screwjob.
Verdict: 0.5 out of 5 – This is barely a match. It’s Bret Hart lightly punching an old man, then his whole family attack the old men, then he attacks the old man with weapons. It’s also slow and boring.
1. Bret Hart vs Goldberg
Yes, it’s this match.
Well all knew it was coming. If you know anything about Bret Hart, then you’ve heard about this match. You’ve heard about THAT kick.
The match itself was a huge main event, to WCW’s biggest event, Starrcade. Bret came in to the match as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and faced off against Bill Goldberg, who he once held the WCW Tag team gold with. Both men were two of the biggest stars in wrestling, and it was a huge match that many were licking there lips at getting to see.
In ring, the match was actually really, really good. Goldberg hits all his big power spots and looks like an absolute beast. Bret, however, takes advantage of his spots and works the leg of Goldberg. He takes the leg away, taking away his power, and setting up to win the match with Sharpshooter.
However, there are TWO reasons why this on the number one spot. The first is the ending. Bret Hart, after working the leg all match, has the sharpshooter locked in. Goldberg is in agony, and the fans are willing him to tap out. But, the referee was knocked out earlier, so there is no-one to call for the bell.
However, for the second time on this list, Roddy Piper comes out in a referee shirt. This time, he runs in, tells them to ring the bell and awards Bret the title. But Goldberg never tapped out. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY OTHER IDEAS OTHER THAN REHASH THE MONTREAL SCREWJOB? What even was the point? If it’s not real, which the screwjob was, the it’s just bullshit. A clean finish and this match goes down as a great main event.
Except, that is, for my second point, and the real reason this tops the list.
Around 4 minutes before the end of this match, Goldberg throws Bret into the ropes and attempts to hit him with a superkick. And by attempt, I mean kicks him right in the head and concussing him so hard he has to retire a year later. It’s a kick Bret has talked about for the 22 years since, about how Goldberg is lazy and unsafe and never respected the business.
It was also a kick that cost Bret his WCW Contract due to injury. A contract worth a staggering $16 Million!
And it was all gone. In a kick. Heartbreaking.
VERDICT: 4 out of 5 Before the kick/ 0 out of 5 after the kick.
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.