Wrestlers like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, the Rock, and Stone Cold will always have the general public’s perception of the greatest wrestlers of all time. There is no debating their drawing power, but other than Flair and a young Stunning Steve, in the ring these legends were not the best as far as technical prowess. That attribute has men like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.
Before Goldberg kicked Bret’s head into the 83rd row, ending his career, the Hitman was consistently one of the greatest in-ring performers the industry ever saw. For most of his career, if you name the date and the card, there’s a good chance the Excellence Of Execution had the match of the night. Here are 10 Best Matches Of Bret Hart's Career.
10 Vs. The British Bulldog - SummerSlam 1992
According to Bret Hart’s story over the years, he convinced Vince McMahon to put his showdown with Davey Boy for the Intercontinental title up last. Besides the fact that the Bulldog was wrestling in the cavernous Wembley Stadium in his home country, it was the first time that the IC Title closed a big show. The match was everything Bret promised Vince it would be.
A show stealer that showcased both Bret and Davey, and Davey wasn’t exactly lucid for the match, either. In the end, it was Bulldog’s best match hands down and the reason Bret went from ruling the mid-card to being the top guy.
9 Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - WrestleMania 13
Some matches in the industry have grown to have mythic reputations. Hulk and Andre, Macho Man and Steamboat, Flair and Steamboat. The match between Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 wasn’t supposed to change the course of the entire industry like those other matches, but the Submission Match did that and more.
It made instant legends out of both men; featured and completed the most successful double-turn in history; and left us with the indelible image of Austin languishing in pain from the Sharpshooter with blood pouring down his face.
8 Vs. Roddy Piper - WrestleMania VIII
Supposedly Vince isn’t a fan of Babyface vs. Babyface matches, which makes the match between Roddy Piper and Bret at WrestleMania VIII that much more special. Piper came in defending the Intercontinental title and gave Bret a technical match that few thought the brawler had in him.
Bret delivered the fight like few thought the technician could. The contrast in styles made for the match of the night and netted the Hitman his second IC title reign.
7 Vs. Demolition - SummerSlam 1990
The Hart Foundation was one of the most beloved tag teams ever, as were the champions, Demolition. The two teams were given a huge Two-Out-Of-Three Falls match for the belts at the 1990 SummerSlam.The match was the apex of tag team wrestling in the WWE during the Expansion Era.
The Harts even had to contend with the ol’ switcheroo when Ax came down during the third fall. The Road Warriors helped to figure out the ruse, allowing the Anvil and the Hitman to take out the Demos and win their second title.
6 Vs. Mr. Perfect - SummerSlam 1991
While the main event of the 1991 SummerSlam was “The Match Made In Heaven And The Match Made In Hell,” the real match made in heaven was Bret Hart challenging for the IC Title against Curt Hennig.
The Excellence Of Execution versus Mr. Perfect. The two most evenly matched wrestlers of their time going at in one or the most anticipated bouts at that time and an instant classic.
5 Vs. The Steiner Brothers - House Show January 1994
For a brief time before they were warring with one another, Bret and Owen were trying to be a tag team. En route to their date with the Quebecers at the Royal Rumble, the Harts did battle with probably the best brother tag team ever, the Steiners.
The brothers vs. brothers match took place a few weeks before Owen turns on his brother at a House Show in North Carolina. Tempers flared up, leading to a double DQ. But it’s still the only time these four have fought.
4 Vs. Diesel - Survivor Series 1995
The longest WWE title reign of the nineties ended when Bret challenged Diesel for the belt in a No DQ match. The Spanish Announce Table also made its infamous debut here when Diesel lobbed the Hitman into it.
One of Bret’s greatest attributes was how he made fans believe that he could pull off victories against bigger and stronger men, which he did here against Big Daddy Cool, winning his third title and getting power bombed twice after the bell for his troubles.
3 Vs. 1-2-3 Kid - Monday Night Raw 07/11/1994
Over the years, Sean Waltman has referred to this match as the best of his career. As the 1-2-3 Kid, his championship match with Bret on Raw was a perfect showing of just how good Bret is in the ring.
Not only was he able to put himself over, again proving he can have a great match with anyone. But he also was able to help Kid show that he was a believable and credible threat to anyone and their title.
2 Vs. Owen Hart - WrestleMania X
For months, Bret didn’t want to face his brother at the Show Of Shows. But he wasn’t given an option not to when then President Jack Tunney forced the issue. On his way to defeating Yokozuna for his second world title to close the show, the Hitman and the Rocket opened it.
The brothers pulled out all of their Dungeon training and pulled out all of the stops and to this day their match is still one of the best ‘Mania matches of all time.
1 Vs. Shawn Michaels - Survivor Series 1997
While the ending marred the proceedings, it took a couple of bum knees and one lost smile to finally get to the then biggest rematch in WWE history. Bret and Shawn always has great matches together. Only this one had the added hype of a lot of people knowing it was Bret’s last WWE match. A lot of fans knew of the heat between the two guys, and they obliged those fans by brawling all over the building.
Once they got in the ring, Bret and Shawn worked a pitch-perfect match. Until the ending, it is a beautifully put together match, exactly what you’d expect from HBK and the Hitman.