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June 29, 2008

Bret Hart embarrassed himself with rant

Bret Hart proved once again that the biggest Bret Hart mark is Bret Hart.

I know full well that fans of the “Hitman” will be offended by that statement, but the following story, as reported on wrestlingobserver.com, speaks for itself.

According to the report, Hart was giving the induction speech for his late father Stu at the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame last night in Waterloo, Iowa, when he went off on wrestling journalist Greg Oliver. Hart said that “either he goes or I go.”

Steven Johnson, Oliver’s writing partner, left in an attempt to diffuse the situation, but Oliver stayed. Since Oliver wouldn’t leave, Hart made good on his threat and stormed out along with several other wrestlers.

So, what is Hart’s beef with Oliver, who is so respected in the industry that he was there to be presented the Jim Melby Memorial Award for wrestling journalism along with Johnson?

According to wrestlingobserver.com, Hart hasn’t like Oliver since he wrote a book called Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Candadians, in which he ranked Hart at No. 14 on the list of the greatest Canadian wrestlers ever. Apparently, Hart was offended at not being higher on the list.

Unfortunately, this latest incident is consistent with Hart’s reputation among his peers for taking himself too seriously. When Hart and Shawn Michaels were shooting on each other on Raw during the height of their feud, Michaels called Bret “Mark Man,” and basically said that Hart really believes he is the greatest of all time and doesn’t quite comprehend that winners and losers are predetermined, and who is and isn’t pushed to the top is often decided by politics as much as wrestling ability.

The fact is that Hart’s wrestling skills are indisputable. When I listed the top 10 all-around performers that I have ever personally seen, Hart was No. 7 (I guess that puts me on his “bad list,” too, since he wasn’t No. 1 and archrival Michaels was). Anyone who knows anything about this business knows that Hart has had an outstanding career, so he should be above such nonsense and not be so insecure. Hart’s actions were inappropriate and petty, especially on a night when he was there to accept an honor for his father.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 5:11 PM | | Comments (36)
        

Comments

If that is what happened, I am dissapointed in Bret. I purchased his autobiography, and I still intend to read all of it, but news like this will taint my reading enjoyment.

A No.14 ranking among Canadians is a bit mystifying, but that is no reason to do what Bret reportedly did.

Of course, this blog was written by an HBK mark. Just to keep it in context, Kev....

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Yes, I am a Shawn Michaels mark and have always been open about that. However, if Michaels had done the same thing as Hart or conducted himself in what I thought was an unprofessional manner in any situation, I would criticize him as well. If I was writing this blog during 1996-98, there would have been a lot of entries that were critical of Michaels.

No doubt what Bret Hart did was petty , I'll choose him in my top five though .
Now speaking of being petty , Kevin , I know I should just drop this but since you took the time to once again immortalize HBK , you took issue with my comments in another post about his extreme cockiness . Yet in this post containing a link to your top - 10 performers within the first couple of sentences you say he "exudes cockiness " .
I guess if you don't like him that cockiness is a arrogance . If you do like him it's "confidence " .
Just havin' fun with you Kevin , but I got you on that quote ;)

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Come on now, Jack. In the list of top 10 performers, I wrote that "as a heel ,Michaels exuded cockiness." I thought in our exchange that we were talking aboiut the real person not the character.

Im sorry. Who are you? And what credentials do you have to assess the situation? There is more than just the book so please think before speaking. DT

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Who am I? I'm the guy who writes a blog that you just left a comment on. Who are you, "Don Tony?" BTW, is that a real name or a gimmick name?

Kevin,

You said he left with several other wrestlers. That raises a red flag to me. Surely there is more to this story than a ranking.

I wouldn't want to open up the "Michaels vs Hart" can of worms. Yes, I'm a fan or Hart's. YES. He could have handled that situation VERY differently. If that's actually what transpired (But a ranking of 14th? And from a "wrestling journalist" as well? Are you serious?). Michaels, however, has always been his own biggest mark. In and out of the ring. If I had a dime every time I saw or read something regarding his out of control ego (One FAR, WORSE than Bret's. So he should be the last to say anything.), I could have retired by now in wealth. You know what they say about people who live in glass houses!

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Let's agree that both Michaels and Hart at certain points in their careers had out of control egos and/or were marks for themselves. In the past few years, however, one of them seems to have matured and has admitted to behaving badly in the past, while the other comes off as angry and bitter.

OK Kevin , let's call it a "draw ". I'm going to bed now wearing my Scott Steiner pajamas and you can continue wear your Shaun Cassidy 'er , sorry Shawn Michaels t-shirts . ( from your photo , you don't look like you'd wear kid's size though ) .

I respect Bret for standing up for what he believes in. And he doesn't take crap from anyone...You are a HBK Mark, a guy who helped make wrestling what is it today. HORRIBLE! Wrestling was great, until he took over and started showing his butt, talking about sex, disrespecting everyone and tons tons more. He is "born again" now, but yet still had plenty of lies in his book....And its so funny listening to his shoot interviews, and seeing how many lies he told during them too.

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Bret Hart is turning 51 in a couple days. Perhaps it's time he let go of some of the anger and bitterness.

also your title is just stupid, he didn't embarrassed himself. He got a standing ovation after his speech and most of the wrestlers agreed with him.

Hey "Don Tony " - he's Kevin E-C-K . And if you don't like what he writes , don't read it . You know just like I don't read your column .

In a business dominated by egos, nobody has a larger one then the Hitman.

Stay classy, Brett.

Wow. Bret Hart was my first favorite wrestler and it is a shame that his legacy will be forever tarnished by acts such as this. I have to say, if I had to endure the screwjob, the pointless and public death of my brother, and a career ending injury at the hands of a meat-head who couldn't wrestle, I may be a little bitter myself. But good character is demonstrated when we act rationally and professionally in spite of all of these hardships. The No. 14 ranking is definitely questionable, but Bret needs to be above this. Bret v. Bulldog is my favorite match of all-time and Bret proved to be effective as both a heel and a face, the mark of a truly great performer. He will always be my all-time favorite, but there's no need to go Sammartino on the business that made you a star and be an idiot in public at the same time. Sometimes I wonder if Michaels was the man he is now back in the day, would things have turned out differently in this saga? I'd like to give Bret the benefit of the doubt and say it would have been different but maybe he was just too jealous and insecure.
The No. 14 ranking sounds a bit fishy. Doesn't Bret at least have to be in the top 10 of that list? I'd be curious to find out who was ranked ahead of him. Sometimes rankings such as this are released just to bring heat and sell. Maybe that was the case in this ranking.

Still, that is no excuse for Bret's actions. What ever happened to a man-to-man talk? Calling someone out when they are supposed to be winning an award and on the night your father is being honored no less?

Enter Ron Simmons
.........DAMN!

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: I agree with you on your point about settling it man-to-man. If you really have a beef with the guy, pull him aside and tell him exactly how you feel. Believe me, it happens all the time between writers and perfomers in all genres. But to pull the guy's pants down at what should have been a classy affair in front of his peers and family is low class and childish.

How can anyone defend Bret after reading that? He acted like a complete ass there, get over it.

Wah!!!! He ranked me 14th!!! Wah!!! Maybe someone SHOULD tell Hart that the winners are predetermined... jeez.

Kevin, all I know is that Bret screwed Bret. So this doesn't surprise me that Bret went OFF on a journalist in the crowd. And when I watch old episodes of the Monday Night War On Demand. And I think the real person was coming through the "Hitman." He should go back to Canada where he belongs. I mean what was the journalist doing wrong to Bret . Um maybe, he was doing his job, and journalizing Bret. "DDD!!!!!!!" Bret, no offense, has finally flipped his cap.

"his legacy will be forever tarnished by acts such as this."

wow ur a moron whoever wrote that

My name is Dan Goff and I've been attending the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for three years now. First met Bret Hart when he was inducted in 2006. I was sitting at the table with Greg Oliver, his father, and writing partner Steven at Saturday night's induction ceremony and even filmed it.

Saturday afternoon's public induction Bret's acceptance speech on behalf of Stu Hart was respectful and well maintained. Usually there isn't much difference between the public vs. private hall of fame induction (except for the meal), but this year Bret Hart turned our table into Saturday Night's Main Event.

I sat next to Greg and Steven because I too am a writer. My goal as a writer is to break into the wrestling business as a storyline writer and merchandise designer.

I talked with them both and Steven wasn't quite as conversational as Greg was. I was wearing a Roddy Piper Reality Check t-shirt...so I didn't exactly come off professional. (Especially considering I got drunk with Piper that night. I asked him how could I get onto Piper's Pit. Piper said, "You have to earn it.")

Anyway, Hart accused Greg Oliver of lying in his writing. That Oliver was never backstage, in the dressing room and has no real true knowledge of the business. Paraphrasing, Bret Hart speaks the truth whereas Greg Oliver writes lies.

The wrestlers stood up to applaud Bret but there was no riot of any sort. After the banquet some people came up to Greg Oliver and said that what Bret did was inappropriate and badly timed.

I had spoken with Oliver's father for an extensive amount before the induction ceremony started. I even signed his program. Oliver's father is a stamp collector and slot machine enthusiast.

Greg Oliver let out a sigh after Hart's rant and said, "Well, this has turned into an interesting trip." Yes, Steven did leave the banquet. I assumed he bailed because of Bret and don't know anything beyond that. Greg Oliver didn't appear scared and actually was told by Mike Chapman to just "shake it off."

Greg Oliver explained placing Bret 14th on the list and that Bret never approached him personally about the matter.

Bret eventually did cool down as him and Piper along with most of the people from the banquet gathered in the bar at the Ramada Inn where I proceeded to drink Long Islands while Roddy Piper poked me in the belly because of my Reality Check t-shirt.

On Sunday morning, the museum was opened and we all came by to see the extent of the flood damage.

Mike Chapman brought up the Bret situation as it was spread on the internet faster than any porn site.

Chapman said that Bret Hart is a "black and white thinker" and that Bret Hart is one of the greatest professional wrestlers EVER and Greg Oliver is nowhere near Bret's status.

Chapman wasn't upset by the incident and furthermore said the Greg Oliver is a nice guy, but Oliver kept pushing at Bret Hart. Supposedly trying to give Bret an autographed copy of his (Greg Oliver) book. Chapman explained that he has written 19 books, but it would be arrogant to give somebody an autographed copy without them asking.

Like I said, Saturday afternoon public induction was NOTHING compared to Saturday night...but then again, I was buzzing for autographs and pictures.

I can now plan my retirement via Bret Hart's and Roddy Piper's autographs.


-Dan Goff

(pictures of the event can be seen on my MySpace. www.myspace.com/theonenightslam_sdc)

Amazing the passions that any criticism of the Hitman brings out in fans. He'll always have a hard core fan base (I'm one of them) who won't hear a bad word said about him. I'd like a bit more context as well. If everything that happened has already been said then he behaved badly. However, there's context to the behaviour as someone else has already mentioned. No excuse but definitely a reason.

I'm going to read Bret's book as soon as it arrive from amazon.com, and as a Canadian Wrestling fan, I always enjoyed his career. I never watched WCW, so that stopped when he left.

I've heard that he goes on a rant over Shawn micheals in his book,,, I'll just wait and see for sure. I was always a fan of both of them in the ring, though admitedly I thought Micheals is a better wrestler.

I just don't get how someone can still be bitter and hold grudges after all this time has passed. Not knowing anything about the reporter in question, I find it hard to believe that a grown man could get upset over being ranked number 14. If that's all the beef is about between them, Bret has some serious issues to resolve.

There is no doubt the guy has been through a lot and I feel sorry for him on a lot of levels. But I still think, judging from some of his comments in his DVD, what I've heard about his book and some of his interviews that I've seen, Bret is a lost and troubled soul. This best example of this is how he talks about Vince McMahon (who I agree is no saint) and how he doesn't remember how people served him in the past, more of a "What have you done for me lately?"
What company routinely pays former employees? Or families of deceased employees? My understanding is that Vince has offered to pay for drug rehab for any former talent, he gave Vicki Guerrero a job (though I wish he'd drop that manager angle now and put her backstage) and he paid for William Regal's rehab. Sure, Vince is a ruthless corporate boss, but he still is a human being who does try to help some people out.

I hope Bret works through his issues. I still like his matches.

What alleged lies did Michaels tell in his autobiography and/or shoot interviews? And how does someone who does not know Shawn Michaels, nor was in personal contact during that time know what is a lie and what is truth?

I read his book and have seen many shoot interviews with Michaels. Everything he says is consistent across the board, without having the cookie cutter, rehearsed feel of a lie.

If this article is accurate I really don't get how some of you can defend Bret. The guy couldn't keep his emotions in check long enough to respectfully accept an award for his father.

Unless there's something more to the beef between Oliver and Bret than just the ranking, it is a stupid thing to do on Bret's part. Honestly, why get so worked up over ONE guy's ranking? Like you said Kevin, it only makes him look insecure seeing as how the ceremony should have been about his father.

dude..u just embarassed yourself by sucking up to shawn michaels again..i would like to think there is more to that than just the fact that he was ranked 14th in the list..

I've always wanted to look at Bret Hart as wrestling's version of Cal Ripken: a solid professional who isn't flashy, but deserves respect for his hard work and committment to excellence.

It's natural that a yhuman being would have their feelings hurt at some point in their life, but to do what Bret did at an event that wasn't all about him was childish and laughable.

Hart and Michaels are two fascinating human beings to observe....both talented in different ways, and both have very publicly displayed their imperfections...it's pretty incredible to note that Michaels appears to have matured more than Bret has.

Kevin, you are a treasure, and we are lucky to have you at the Sun! Keep up the great work.

Let's give this story a little bit of room. This is all 2nd and 3rd hand info the wrestling observer has received. No media from the event has commented on it. And in the grand scheme of things what Bret may have done is nothing compared to what Hulk Hogan has done in the past month.

Bret hart isn't a #7 wrestler either. If he isn't a top three guy i don't know who is.

I think the problem with professional wrestling is the lines between script and reality are still horribly and unnecessarily blurred. At this stage in the game, everyone knows that wrestling is scripted. And yet the vocabulary of the past, when deception was the rule, is still in existence.

There are still "bookers" instead of writers. There are "smarts' instead of aficionados. The fact that "marks" still exist is ridiculous. Nobody watches "Law and Order" and is a "mark" for Ice T or Sam Watterson -- you watch it understanding its written and acted; you are a fan who is capable of determining fact from fiction. Why should you watch wrestling any differently.

Wrestling should have credits on its TV shows, saying so and so as Awesome Kong and so and so as Kaz and Scott Steiner as himself (if the wrestler uses his real name). There should be directing credits and production credits and writing credits.

There should be more serious wrestling news outlets, like this one, that separates the character from the actor. Because in the end, that's what wrestlers ultimately are, actors.

I have been enjoying the quasi-biographical segments on TNA where they do "shoot" interviews about their past, but as soon as they get to the present, its back on script, though presented as reality. Lying to your fans and making them have a hard time distinguishing fact from fiction is not a good thing. You don't find that in books or movies or television or sports or news. Things are clearly labeled as one or the other, real or not, scripted or reality. Professional wrestling needs to wake up to that fact.

Bret Hart has the right to think he's the best there ever will be because he was world champion for many years, he was a solid wrestler from a major wrestling family in two major wrestling promotions, he was a decent actor and he was very popular. That doesn't mean he believes that the television series he starred in was real. It just means he has a big ego. And that comes from being rich and famous, not delusional.

I normally think that Bret Hart gets a lot of slack that he doesn't deserve. The Montreal Screwjob was an example of hypocrisy and he was right to be angry at the blatant negligence of his former employer towards Owen. Bret's side of this story hasn't come out yet but if what is being reported is true, Bret screwed up. Bringing up grudges at a formal event meant to honor his father is really unnecessary and rude. Even better, he should remember this phrase: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.

It's funny that Bret did this because his older brother Bruce did the same thing in 2004, though he used his time at the mic to bitch about Vince and the terrible state of pro wrestling instead of talking about his father. Worse, he did this while his father was in the audience.

Bret Hart said over and over "Excellence of Execution." Hart is excellent at behaving like a child. His execution is flawless. He whines and he takes exception to things that in the grand scheme of things are irrelevant. What amazes me more is these fans that see him acting like a baby and act like the guy can do no wrong. Most of these are Canadian honks that bought into this myth of the Stu Hart dungeon producing the finest wrestlers ever. Bret acts like he is really something special...and he forgets that you only look as good in the ring as the one that sells your moves. Hart owes everything he is to the guys he now punks. Its real easy to talk that mess when he no longer puts his livelihood in another man's hands. You would figure if any family would appreciate how fragile life is, it would be the Harts. Bret is nothing more than what Vince McMahon made him...and since Vince cut him loose, he hasn't been much except a little whiny baby.

"his legacy will be forever tarnished by acts such as this."

"wow ur a moron whoever wrote that"

No, Bret will be known as a bitter old man unless he makes a surprising 180.

Still, if someone tracks down who was ranked ahead of Bret, please post it. This could be funny. I predict Dino Bravo will come in at No. 4. Trying to track it down but not having any luck.

I know you like kissing Shawn Michael's butt (& he still doesn't give you inteviews), but lets real about it, he has always been a duplicator, never an innovator. How you can rank him as the greatest pro-wrestler in history is beyond most legit wrestling historians. Randy Savage's elbow, Chris Adam's superkick, and does the same routine raw after raw after raw after raw. Plus he has never been a shooter like Bret Hart. Kurt Angle can attest to that; he doesn't like wrestling stiff. And don't you remember Kevin, he get beaten up by 9 cheerleaders in New Jersey.

So you can continue to be a mark and butt kisser of Shawn Michaels, without anyone giving any legitimacy towards to what you write.

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: I know this is hard for some people to understand, but when you praise someone because you admire their skills, it doesn't make you a butt-kisser. Just like criticizing someone doesn't make you biased or a "hater." It's called having an opinion.

Your other points: Sure, Michaels has some signature moves, but Hart is the one who did the same set of moves in every match. Michaels not an innovator? That's a rib, right? And who cares whether or not someone is a shooter? The business is a WORK.

FYI -- I've interviewed Michaels several times over the years, including twice for this blog. Here are the links. Enjoy.

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/wrestling/blog/2008/03/qa_with_shawn_michaels_2.html

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/wrestling/blog/2007/11/qa_with_shawn_michaels.html

Okay , I understand now ... anytime Kev wants to inject some more spice to a story = "place HBK reference here" ________ . Nice ploy Kevin . Very cunning . Did you inherit that trait from your dad (vince) ?

I think that a subtle issue has been overlooked here. Oliver ranked Hart no. 14 on the list of the greatest CANADIAN wrestlers. You, Kevin, actually ranked him as the greatest Canadian wrestler in your list given that the six performers that you placed above Bret Hart are all Americans. According to some online report of the incident, Hart's beef stems not so much from the placement on the list but moreso from the rather condescending statement from Oliver that "Hart can hardly claim to be the best ever." That statement does seem rather unnecessary and spiteful in something as wholly subjective and personal as a list of the greatest wrestlers.

You're right Kevin, Shawn Michaels is an innovator. He's the first and only pro-wrestler to bear it all on Playgirl (since you're such a mark for him, I'm sure you're one of the few whose still got a copy of that edition), the first to strip his clothes in the ring, one of the few world champions who politicked his way to the title along with Triple H, and his peers do not like him as a person (Kurt Angle is one). He's never wrestled anywhere apart from the US - even Hogan wrestled in Japan. You say legends don't need to have a shooting ability, what a load of crap. Have you heard of Antonio Inoki?, Lou Thesz?, Verne Gange?, Nick Bockwinkel?, and Jack Brisco? I could name a few more, but you probably wouldn't have heard of them. You just have to look at your list of you're top 10 wrestling greats. Too WWE centred, it’s like no other wrestling organisation existed, and it only includes wrestlers from the 1984 (Hogan era) onwards. I understand you only became a wrestling fan in the 80s, but surely someone whose profession is wrestling journalism, should have done his research (such as old wrestling tapes) so he can include old school wrestlers in his list of his favourite wrestlers. Its just poor journalism on you're part.

Is probable one of the reasons why someone of the statute of Bret Hart, doesn't like wrestling journalist like yourself and Greg Oliver. Look at his list of his favourite wrestlers - http://www.brethart.com/bio/columns/kurt-angle-and-best-wrestlers-20th-century. You tell yourself, which lists looks more impressive - someone who writes about the business for a living, or someone who has spent his entire life in the business.

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Yes, the old-school thinking was that champions needed to be shooters so there would be less chance of a doublecross. In the modern era, though, it's irrelevant. Ric Flair wasn't a shooter. Neither was Hulk Hogan. You've heard of them, right?

As for my top10, obviously, you didn't read it carefully. It was not intended to be the definitive list of all-time greats. It's the top 10 all-around performers (best combination of in-ring, charisma, promos) that I have seen on a consistent basis (not based on watching a few tapes).

FYI - I didn't become a fan in the 80s; I went to my first show in 1973. I never saw NWA or AWA wrestlers until cable came along in the 80s. I also never saw Jim Londos (ever heard of him?), so he didn't make the list.

Since WWE went national 24 years ago, virtually every-big name wrestler has worked for the company at some point, so of course WWE wrestlers would dominate the list. Why not point out that Flair, Savage, Austin, Hart, Jericho, Steamboat and Hennig all worked for WCW as well?

On Hart's list: I don't agree with some of the names on there, but it's his opinion. You can make the point that his list has more validity because he was a wrestler, but you should also consider that his judgment could be clouded by personal biases. Speaking of which, what does Shawn Michaels' DX antics/magazine appearances have to do with his wrestling ability? Seems like you have an unusual fixation of Michaels' sexuality -- not that there's anything wrong with that as Seinfeld would say.

Final point: In 2002, I wrote an article for Wrestling Digest in which I listed the top 50 wrestlers of the past 50 years. It is a much different type of list than the one you are taking issue with. Just do me a favor: If you're going to read it, please read the intro paragraphs where I discuss the criteria for the list. And just so you know, Lou Thesz is ranked No. 2 (guess I have heard of him after all, huh?), and I did make mention of his shooting ability, which was revelant in his era.

You can read it here:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCO/is_6_3/ai_83760467/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1

I was also at the George Tragos/Lou thesz banquet, First of All anyone who was not there stop acting like he didn't do a great job of accepting the award for Stu, because he did. It was a very heartfelt speech about what Stu had done in his career, and how he had helped Bret with his, and so forth. He then proceeded to go into a speech about guys who dont know anything about the business, when he begins talking about Greg Oliver he doesn't actually mention anything about where he was ranked, he talks about some guy who was ranked 30-something,(I cant remember the guys name) and about how that guy should be either just above or just below him. I was very upset that Bret chose this time to bring something like this up, and found his actions innapropriate, but as someone who has been a huge wrestling fan for over 20 years I would definately rank Bret in my top 3. There were a couple of video cameras at the banquet, and I am waiting patiently to be able to watch as this was one of the most unforgettable moments of my life.

How does one know what is and isn’t a lie? Lies are statements of facts not supported by credible evidence. Opinions become lies when they are stated as facts not supported by credible evidence. Wrestling writers with no personal first hand knowledge of their subject present their unsupported opinions (or rumors or gossip or speculation) as FACT all the time. Nice to see Hart calling them out for it. The way they’re reacting says he hit a nerve. BIG time. Good!

So don’t try to rationalize the angry internet reaction by saying its about Hart publicly embarrassing his deceased father who was being honored. Based on Bret’s observation about Stu, after he had cold cocked Vince McMahon in “Wrestling with Shadows,” Stu Hart would no doubt have loved every minute of it!

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: You said: "Opinions become lies when they are stated as facts not supported by credible evidence." OK, but when Greg Oliver, or Dave Meltzer or even myself compliles a list of the top wrestlers (in whatever category), it is understood that any type of list is subjective. When Oliver ranked Hart as the 14th best Canadian wrestler, that is not a lie -- it is his opinion based on his research. It is up to you to agree or disagree with the rankings.

I love bret and hes a great wrestler this doesn't make me dislike him or like him anyless

“…Nobody watches "Law and Order" and is a "mark" for Ice T or Sam Watterson -- you watch it understanding its written and acted; you are a fan who is capable of determining fact from fiction. Why should you watch wrestling any differently.

Bret Hart has the right to think he's the best there ever will be because he was world champion for many years, he was a solid wrestler from a major wrestling family in two major wrestling promotions, he was a decent actor and he was very popular. That doesn't mean he believes that the television series he starred in was real. It just means he has a big ego. And that comes from being rich and famous, not delusional.

Posted by: Leonard Crist”

Leonard, there are people who “mark” for Ice T or Sam Watterson’s characters because people argue as if their characters are REAL PEOPLE. Just like Star Trek fans argue if Jean Luc Picard or James T. Kirk was the better Captain. They argue as if they were REAL PEOPLE even though they were played by actors Patrick Stewart and William Shatner.

Leonard, you must not know what the definition of a MARK is because your last paragraph shows how much of a MARK you are. So what if he was World Champion for many years? It’s a WORK, not a SHOOT. You act like being a Wrestling World Champion actually MEANS something even though the results are predetermined.

In the end he was the PROMOTER’s champ, the PROMOTER picked him to hold the belt. He didn’t actually beat people up, it was predetermined by the promoter IE. Stu Hart in Stampede Wrestling, Vince McMahon in WWE, and Eric Bischoff in WCW.

“…Plus he has never been a shooter like Bret Hart…

Posted by: Ismail”

Ismail, Bret has never been a shooter. He never was and never will be even though he can work stiff, it doesn’t make him a shooter. The late Bad News Brown/Allen or Allen Coage never mentions Bret as a shooter, but as a non-shooter who believed in his own hype that he can actually beat up people. In being a mark into his own hype as a predetermined Wrestling Champion, Bret THOUGHT he was a shooter. Bad News Brown has authority on the shooter subject because he himself is a shooter, (he won the bronze medal in judo in the 76 Olympics).

I still like Bret as a wrestler. Been a fan of his since his championship runs with the IC and World Championships. He put on entertaining matches as a wrestler, even though he lacked the charisma to do interesting interviews.

Nevertheless, seeing interviews on him past and present that are were on tv and in print where he is out of character, you can tell he is a mark. When he was being interviewed in the Dungeon in Calgary, he acted like being World Champion ACTUALLY MEANT SOMETHING, even though he was picked by Vince McMahon to be World Champion.

"he ranked Hart at No. 14 on the list of the greatest Canadian wrestlers"
-- What you fail to point out is that #13 was a midget. That's like calling the Undertaker an inferior wrestler to Hornswaggle. It is quite insulting.

Additionally, while Brett Hart was getting an award... Oliver was getting an award at the same time for this book that puts Bret Hart in the midget category. Why should this book to be taken seriously and get an award?

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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