Saturday, October 7, 2000
SLAM! Wrestling: Bret 'The Hit Man' Hart's Column

 
SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
  October 7, 2000



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

Raw in Miami


Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame inductions


WWE Battleground


ROH in Detroit


Smackdown & Main Event in Ottawa


Raw in Montreal


WWE in Kingston







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT




READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

NOTE: SLAM! Sports has the exclusive rights to publish this column on the Internet. You may link to this column, but a copy cannot exist on any other Web site. It also CANNOT be posted on newsgroups or newsboards.
Feel free to use the this button on your site to link to Bret's column.
Link to:
http://www.canoe.ca/SlamWrestling/hitman_home.html.
Check out our Bret Hart photo gallery!.

Tickled pink

Hart Foundation 'lovely' and lethal



By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun

In San Diego, back in November 1986. Anvil and I walked into the lunchroom, backstage at a WWF show. Vince McMahon suddenly sprung up from his meal, pointed at us and instructed, "Don't move!"

We stood, motionless, not having any idea what this was about, as McMahon circled around us with a very strange look on his face.

HART FOUNDATION ... Jim (The Anvil) Neidhart and Bret (The Hitman) Hart.
"PINK, you're wearing, PINK!"

Vince stared, mouth agape and circled us yet again. Oh-oh, we thought, looks like Vince doesn't like our new gear.

Well, we could explain it easy enough. It was all Judy's fault, the sewing lady. She'd been making our gear for years and had been trying to convince us to change colours. "I have this lovely shade of hot pink. Just lovely."

Well, Anvil and I just couldn't see ourselves -- two big bad guys -- wearing anything that could be described as lovely. We kept telling Judy thanks, but no thanks. We were getting a bit tired of the old black and blue but at the very least, our colours provided a convenient euphemism for what we'd do to our opponents. It wasn't long before we wore out our gear and realized we needed some new stuff in a hurry. We gave Judy a rush order and she was obliging, as usual, but the problem was the only material she had at such short notice was, "this lovely shade of pink." We didn't have any choice but to try it. Who knows? Maybe it would be good for a laugh.

But Vince wasn't laughing. He was staring at us. Fearing the worst, we were shocked when he enthusiastically said, "That is what you guys have been missing all along. You had no colour! That is your colour. From now on, don't wear anything else!"

A few weeks later, we were tag-team champions.

A couple of years later, Vince called me at home and said, "I don't know what the fans see in you. I have more fan letters for you than for anyone else in the company. I've decided to turn you baby face"

Which meant that Jimmy Hart had to go. He was just so annoying with that megaphone and so devious on the outside of the ring that there was no way he could manage a couple of good guys. We unceremoniously dumped Jimmy on May 11, 1988, and thereafter he was cast in the role of our nemesis ex- manager who told our deepest secrets to all of our opponents to try and help them win.

We ended up having the best matches since The Bulldogs had gone home with Demolition, one of the most powerful tag teams then or since. (The original incarnation of Demolition was Ax and Smash, Bill Eadie and Barry Darsow). One of the most enjoyable highlights of my career was when I talked the big Anvil into letting me sling-shot him out of the ring at Madison Square Garden and he crashed down with a thud right on top of Ax and Smash!

Jimmy Hart cost us the match at SummerSlam '88 and Demolition retained the championship. By then, The Hart Foundation had established a reputation with fans and wrestlers for toughness and tenacity. We were confident we would rise to the top again.

Then we had a series of classic bouts with the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) who, in terms of physiques, were as opposite to Demolition as you could get. It showed how versatile the Hart Foundation was -- having great matches with both big guys and small guys.

At SummerSlam '90, we reclaimed the tag straps from Demolition in a match where I physically spent myself like never before or since. It was 103F in Philadelphia that day, the Spectrum was sold out and in the ring we were roasting under the hot lights. Much to Jim's amusement, I worked 30 minutes of a 34-minute match, which he found funny -- until he realized that I was becoming dangerously dehydrated. In typical Anvil fashion, he suggested a good remedy would be to throw back a few "frothy glasses of milk" at the hotel bar which turned out to be good medicine and quite the victory celebration.

Who would have thought that seven months later we'd be dethroned by two crazy nuts from Nashville -- The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Saggs).

Honing their wrestling skilles with the legendary Ox Baker, they were zany, unpredictable, crafty -- and they were very good.

Not a day goes by when someone doesn't ask me why me and Jim broke up.

The truth is, we never really did. Jim sort of self-destructed. Actually, it had all been predicted by a mystic, a year and a half earlier, when I had my palm read in New Orleans. Jim debunked the whole thing and was laughing as he crossed the street to wait for me in a bar. Meanwhile, a Cajun priestess of I don't know what, clothed in full island-gypsy regalia, studied the lines in my flesh. I wondered if she could tell the ones I was born with from the ones etched there by years of weights and ropes. She looked up with great concern. In the mysterious, intense voice you'd expect, between long, deep insightful breaths, she simply stated, "There is a man ... a big man ... with red hair ... he is is a bad influence. A baaaad influence." I was thinking, red hair, that's Jim. A bad influence -- on me? In answer to my unspoken question, she said, "No, a bad influence ... on ... himself."

It came as no surprise when Jim picked up a big TV monitor and hurled it at one of McMahon's top people. The target ducked but a guy on the TV production crew got nailed. Jim got fired.

I was sorry to see him go. A lot of tag teams end up hating each other. You spend so much time together day after day that a lot of partners end up physically brawling it out or at least hating each other's guts. But I can honestly say that Jim and I never had an argument. He made me laugh every single day and was a true friend through the darkest times. Jim and I did reform The Hart Foundation, this time with The British Bulldog, Brian Pillman and even Owen. But that's a story for another time ...

More on Bret Hart