When his career began in the late 1970's first a referee for his father's Stampede Wrestling Promotion nobody expected him to have the career that he did. But Bret Hart would pave out a legacy for himself in the wrestling world having his part in some of the biggest moments and feuds in the history of this great sport. It all started with one match and that was in 1978 when Hart had to stand in for a wrestler who didn't show up and that was his first taste of in ring competition. From there Bret would start as a jobber for the company before working his way up using his in ring skills to get ahead. Before leaving Stampede Bret would win every title possible in the promotion more than once including the International Tag Titles five time, British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight title twice, and North American Heavyweight title on six occasions.
In 1984, Bret along with the "Anvil" would make the jump to the WWF and the rest as they would be history. At first the WWE wanted Bret as a singles wrestler and would make him a cowboy, but Bret said no. This would be a blessing as the Hart Foundation would become one of the top teams in WWF history during the golden age of tag wrestling. However, in 1991 after years of showing what he can do in the ring the company finally chose to let Bret go singles and it would be a great decision. At the time the company was having problems with Steroid allegations and the ascension of Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels began the start of the New Generation. Before long Bret would become WWF Intercontinental and would defeat Ric Flair for the World Title in September 1992.
Though it seems like Bret's ascension up the card didn't have any bumps in the road that couldn't be more wrong as it really took until late 1994 or early 1995 for Bret to really find sure footing. It was actually in 1995 when Bret would take place in the first and to this point only Ironman match in Wrestlemania history against Shawn Michaels for the WWF Title. In my opinion this cemented both men as the future of the company and stable main eventers for years to come.
Over the next few years Hart would share the ring with some of the best to ever step foot in the WWE including future hall of famers like Steve Austin, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and many more. But I think the best part of Hart's career would come in 1996 when his legendary feud with Steve Austin would begin and it would be unlike anything we have seen before. Hart would turn heel during this feud for the first time since the early days of his career following his classic with Austin at Wrestlemania 13. The latter half of Bret's WWE career is clouded by one event and that is Survivor Series 1997 and Montreal. The events of this show have been discussed so many times over the years and would be what caused Bret to not only leave WWE but not acknowledge or have anything to do with the company until 2005.
Overall I think Bret will go down as one of the best pure wrestlers the company has had but not one of the greatest ever. However, his feuds with Austin and Michaels are a different story and the part he played in the early days of the Attitude Era is still a part of wrestling lure. Bret would find his way back to the WWE in 2010 to sign a legends contract with the company and the rest as they say is history. Happy Birthday "Hitman"
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