Even though the list of WWE Legends returning for Raw 25 on Monday is stacked, and there’s likely no effective way to fit so many people onto one three-hour episode of television, a few names are noticeably going to be absent from the proceedings.
Among names like Hulk Hogan, Batista, Edge and others, Bret Hart is not going to be part of the 25th Anniversary show despite being arguably one of the top-five most influential people to be a part of the program’s history.
When Raw first aired in 1993, Bret Hart was the king of the castle in WWE. He spent years headlining Raws up until the moment he left for WCW and even then, he was a focal point of some of the show’s storylines. He was instrumental in creating the iconic Mr. McMahon character that would go onto to dominate Raw for years with battles against Stone Cold Steve Austin. If not for Bret Hart, Raw perhaps doesn’t celebrate its 25th Anniversary.
So, why is Hart not going to be at a show he was instrumental in helping build? The official explanation hasn’t been given by WWE but Dave Meltzer reported on Monday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that Hart’s absence is due to him meeting with a surgeon from France around that date to go over another wrist surgery.
Details are that the surgeon is flying to Calgary to meet Hart and the timing just isn’t good. Some have gone so far as to say Hart text McMahon to explain the situation.
We’re not here to argue that this explanation is or isn’t true, but considering Hart’s fondness for being recognized as one of the industry’s best-ever in-ring technicians, it seems strange that a doctor’s appointment is keeping him away from a show he’s likely aching to be included in. Especially when you consider that the surgeon could have potentially flown to New York instead of Calgary.
But, in saying that, we’re first to admit, there are things about this situation we don’t know. What we do know, is that it wasn’t long ago Hart openly admitted he’d offered up his expertise to the WWE in helping write ideas for the company. An idea that was shot down and an offer WWE declined to accept. What seems more likely is that his appointment, mixed with a bit of sour grapes is keeping Hart away.
While near the top of the list in terms of fantastic wrestlers, “The best there is, was and ever will be” has been seen by many as a bitter ex-wrestler who’s still not completely come to grips with the fact his in-ring career ended well before he’d have liked it to. While he found common ground and was able to work with WWE after leaving in one of the most controversial exits in wrestling history, he’s quick to judge wrestlers and the WWE for their storyline ideas, safety issues and lack of perceived talent versus when he was traveling the road and representing WWE as their champion.
If WWE has turned down someone like Bret Hart, especially considering his vast knowledge on in-ring psychology and thinks that perhaps he’s better left away from the current roster, the relationship between the two sides might be more volatile than either party is willing to admit or insiders know.
Perhaps it has something to do with how he’s endeared himself to the current roster. And, to say that he’s endeared himself to it means he’s been able to upset an entire generation of wrestlers by calling them lazy and unsafe. Wrestlers like Seth Rollins have been on the end of some of Hart’s rants and it has left many of the current stars feeling uneasy.
Or, it could have to do with his constant willingness to trash the current product. Hart has shown no bones about sharing his displeasure for the show, the storylines and the wrestlers WWE chooses to promote. In many cases, he’s admitted he’s not a fan.
— RSN – WWE News (@myringsidenews) January 18, 2018
But, that can’t be all is it? There are so many names coming for the Raw 25 show, many of whom have been openly critical of things the WWE has done in the past few years, there has to be more to it.
What that other thing is we don’t know. But, when former stars like The Boogeyman, The Godfather, Kelly Kelly and talents who weren’t nearly as instrumental as Hart has been are being promoted for the show, and WWE and Hart can’t find a way to make these two schedules work, one thing is clear. Neither side must have worked that hard to make Hart’s appearance a reality.
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