May 22, 2010
WWE return heals Hitman's soul
By JAN MURPHY - Kingston Whig-Standard

Bret Hart is congratulated by his niece Natalya after his U.S. title win over The Miz on Monday at Raw in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

It appears the old adage "time apart is time for the heart" is true. In this case, call it time for the Hart, though.

After an at-times bitter 12-year feud with WWE owner Vince McMahon, former WWE champion and Calgary native Bret "The Hitman" Hart returned to the company in December, leading to a win over McMahon at WrestleMania 26. And leading to a U.S. title win over The Miz Monday on RAW in Toronto. Returning to WWE was a move The Excellence of Execution felt he needed to execute.

"I felt that people might have taken me as someone who is bitter about how everything ended up and not a happy person ... this thing that happened in a wrestling match in Montreal so many years caused all of these different things to happen," Hart told QMI Agency.

"Eventually, you get to a point in time -- after I had my stroke and everything -- where you just really started looking at everything," Hart said, referring to his June 2002 bicycle accident that caused him to have a stroke.

"I certainly had far more better memories," he said when asked why he chose to return to WWE following his bitter and controversial departure in November 1997. "In the end, I was more grateful for everything I got than the bad problems that we had at the end. I never really could ever forgive those things, and I still don't. I just thought it was time to kind of chop the chains off and set myself free of that, set Shawn Michaels free of it, forgive it and move on."

Hart's 1997 departure, following what was widely referred to as the Montreal Screwjob, saw the then-WWF champion double-crossed by McMahon and Michaels at Survivor Series.


Hart says that all these years later, he has come to terms with everything.

"I think in the end, it's better for my soul, I think, to say goodbye to it and make peace with it," he said. "For everything I am, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and the whole character that I've been able to live the life of all these years ... I owe all of that to Vince McMahon giving me the chance to be that person."

While he'll never return to the ring full-time due to lingering health issues, namely the concussions that ended his career, Hart isn't ruling out infrequent appearances in the WWE.

"On account of my stroke and concussion issues, I can't really consider physically going back to wrestling like I did, but I certainly can go back and have some fun and maybe heal up some wounds and do something good for my niece and nephew," Hart said, referring to his niece, Nattie Neidhart, the daughter of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Harry Smith, the son of the late British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. Neidhart and Smith are rising stars with the company.

"Getting to be Bret (The Hitman) Hart every Monday for a couple of months was good for me," Hart said. "It was a lot of fun."

RELATED LINKS

  • Bret Hart bio and story archive


  • CANOE.CA SLAM!