The unthinkable has happened. Bret Hart has reportedly signed a short-term contract to return to the WWE. Reports indicate his contract begins on January 1 and runs through WrestleMania. There are even some reports that speculate Hart may actually wrestle one more match. Yes, hell has frozen over in pro wrestling!
This could turn out to be the biggest pro wrestling story of the year. This goes well beyond Hulk Hogan’s deal with TNA Wrestling and almost makes the deal futile. As big of a surprise as this is, it was just a few days ago on WWE RAW when Bret Hart’s name was brought up as a WWE Guest Host. The terms of the contract would indicate to me that Bret Hart will be guest hosting WWE RAW when WWE and TNA Wrestling go head-to-head on January 4. It was nice knowing you TNA!
[adinserter name=”366 left”]I don’t know what is more surprising about this situation, the fact that a contract is involved or the fact that Bret Hart may actually wrestle again? Hart is 52-years old and hasn’t wrestled in almost a decade. Bret retired shortly after suffering a concussion against Bill Goldberg in 1999. The final death blow to Bret’s career came in 2002 when he suffered a stroke. Bret has made a miraculous recovery since suffering the stroke, yet has never talked about wrestling again. The only times a possible match comes up is when Bret has said that he would like to wrestle Kurt Angle. Other than that, nobody has ever expected Hart to wrestle again.
Hart hasn’t appeared in a WWE ring since the infamous night in Montreal at Survivor Series 97. Hart signed a 20-year contract with the WWE a year prior to the match. Vince McMahon informed Bret that he was releasing him from his deal at the time and Bret was free to go to WCW. Bret signed a WCW deal while holding the WWE belt. In a match with Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series, Vince McMahon, Michaels, and several others corroborated an effort to falsely lure Bret into doing a job for Michaels. Bret’s brother Owen died in a WWE ring a couple of years later in a tragic accident, which almost surely closed the door for any potential WWE return for Hart.
Hart started doing business with the WWE a few years back. Hart first returned to work with the WWE on producing a DVD documentary about his career. Hart participated in interviews and helped pick matches for the DVD. Hart was later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. Unlike most Hall of Fame recipients, Hart did not appear the following day at WrestleMania. Hart has recently talked about a potential return, but nothing seemed concrete until now.
There are many possibilities here for Bret Hart and the WWE. At a time when older fans are losing interest in pro wrestling, this is exactly the kind of move that can give WWE a noticeable boost in ratings and business. The obvious questions surround Bret’s relationships with Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Bret has softened a bit on HBK over the years, although he did request that Michaels not appear at his Hall of Fame induction. Hart has never softened on Triple H and has repeatedly bashed Triple H over the years in interviews. I would imagine that all parties sat down at some point to clear the air before signing a deal with Bret Hart.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]It also looks like there is a very strong possibility that Bret Hart could be wrestling at WrestleMania. There are really only two choices in my mind that make any sense. Vince McMahon or Shawn Michaels are the obvious opponents for Bret Hart. I can’t see them bringing him back and going any other way than one of those two men. The history and back story will be enough on top of any new angles to put the WWE in a position to shatter records with either match. Michaels challenge to the Undertaker at the Slammys could have been a diversion now that the news about Hart has gone public.
I don’t know if TNA’s shot had anything to do with this, but if so…thank you!
Thanks to Prowrestling.net for the tip!
Order the WWE DVD WWE – Bret “Hitman” Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be by clicking here.
Read more about Bret Hart’s side of the story in his autobiography – Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by clicking here.
Read more about Shawn Michaels’ side of the story and his confession in his autobiography – Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story by clicking here.