Bret Hart – End of an Era
The wrestling world held its collective breath as the career of Bret “The Hitman” Hart came to an end in November of 2000. This legendary Canadian wrestler left an indelible mark on the world of sports entertainment and forever altered the WWE landscape. Here’s the tale of how it all ended for Bret Hart, and a look back at his legacy.
The Montreal Screwjob
The story of Bret Hart’s career ending began with the infamous Montreal Screwjob. In 1997, the WWE were in an awkward position. Hart was signed to the rival WCW and leaving the WWE after a series of contract disputes. Hart had just won the WWE World Championship and was unwilling to lose the belt in Canada before his departure.
The WWE saw the situation as Hart being unwilling to comply with the official finish, and thus a controversial match was arranged with Shawn Michaels. With interference from the referee and a quick bell ring, the WWE forced the victory for Michaels and took the belt away from Hart in a disrespectful manner. The fans were not happy and a stunned Hart made his way to WCW for the remainder of his career.
The Beyond The Mat Match
The anger and frustration from the Montreal Screwjob festered within Hart for many years, and eventually he decided to confront Michaels one last time in a special match. This would be a match that would not only close out their rivalry but also end Bret Hart’s career.
The match was highly publicised with the Beyond The Mat documentary being created to show the personal story of both fighters. After a hard-fought battle, and despite pre-existing back issues, Hart emerged victorious and helped close their feud with a bang.
Legacy and Honours
The career of Bret Hart ultimately ended in a favourable way, and his legacy will live on forever. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame three years after his retirement, and since then has been a popular on-air personality for WWE events and commentary.
Hart has received numerous honours for his incredible career, including 5-star ratings from wrestling media outlets, multiple in-ring awards from WWE, and a spot on many “greatest of all time” lists. Bret Hart will always be remembered as one of the all-time greatest wrestlers, and his career ending in a celebratory fashion was a fitting end to the story of the Hit Man.
In the end, Bret Hart achieved the following incredible:
- 5-star ratings from wrestling outlets
- Multiple in-ring awards
- WWE Hall of Fame Inductee
- 50+ televised matches
- One of the Greatest of All Time