During a recent interview with The Ringer, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart looked back on the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997, his issues with Shawn Michaels at the time, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On his issues with Shawn Michaels: “We had our issues over the years, but I watched Undertaker and Shawn Michaels wrestle at one of the WrestleManias. Even then, I had such a bitterness towards Shawn, but I had to admit it was one of the greatest matches I ever watched. That’s where I ended up deciding to make friends with Shawn and bury the hatchet and all that. It was very truthful, that little story line with me and Vince and Shawn.”
On burying the hatchet with Michaels and regretting going to WCW: Me and Shawn making up in the ring (in 2010) and shaking hands and all that, that was all very real and very moving for me. And was not something that was orchestrated. Shawn wanted that off his back and I was in a position to take it off his back and that was the best resolution for both of us. We’ve been friends ever since. And I’m grateful that he’s in a better place today. I wish that none of the bad history that we had had ever happened. I wished I’d never left for WCW because I probably wouldn’t have had a stroke and I probably wouldn’t have had to wrestle Bill Goldberg.”
On becoming WWE champion: “When I became champion, Vince gave me a lecture on it one time, saying, ‘You’re the champion. You call the shots. No one tells you how to wrestle. You’re the guy that tells everyone else how to wrestle.’ And I made that my new rule. For a long time up until that, I always had to incorporate some other wrestler’s ideas into my match to make him happy. Now I could tell people, ‘No, we’re not going to do that idea. We’re going to cancel that because it doesn’t make any sense, but we’re going to do this instead.’ And nobody would argue with me anymore. I became a very detailed guy and I think just the passion and the workrate that I brought to wrestling is finally being appreciated today.”
On his work ethic in the ring: “When you go back and you watch these old matches over and over again like people do today, I think my matches hold up better than any wrestlers that I can think of. I was a perfectionist in the ring and I was an innovator. I was not a thief. There’s a lot of thieves out there that steal ideas from other wrestlers. … If you watch my matches back, I think you see a psychology and a logic that’s always there. The matches just seem real. You don’t have to see me wiggle to move into the right place, or if I get knocked over the top rope, I’m always in the right spot at the right time. The timing and the ability to be a great wrestler has often been misunderstood or underappreciated. We don’t get credit for being great athletes and we don’t get credit for being great actors when in fact we’re probably a combination of them both in full motion.”