Bret “Hitman” Hart is without a doubt one of my top three favorite wrestlers of all-time. And as much as I admire him, and am proud to say that I’ve had the privilege of working with him on numerous occasions, I can’t help but be disappointed in what he’s become over the recent years. I understand the pain, the loss, and the disappointments that cut his career short, but his harsh bitterness towards the business is rotting his reputation to the core…and, I’m disappointed in my hero.
derek3

On a recent episode of his Sharpshooter podcast, the Hitman took aim at Triple H while talking about the WWE 2K16 video game rankings, where his character’s game attributes were significantly lower that Triple H’s.

Bret said:
“I like the new one. I have some discrepancies with the game a little bit. I went to a thing last Fall when the latest 2K game was coming out. They were telling me how I’m an 85 or something like that and Triple H is a 98. I remember I was like, “Why would he be a 98?” And they go, “Well, because he’s the boss and we have to suck up to the boss.” I dunno, he was laughing about it. It kind of pissed me off. I thought, “I don’t care how many titles Triple H wins. He could never lace my f***ing boots. Period.”

Bret continued:
“He was a very good, medium, mediocre wrestler. He never blew me away with anything that he’s ever done. He’s never come up with much. He’s always been a very decent wrestler that could give you a good match. As far as being like mind blowing…I never saw it. I’ve still never seen it.”

His first statement could have easily been taken out of context. There you are, a legendary Hall of Famer, consider by many to be the greatest ring technician in the business, and you get ribbed in a video game with an 85 attribute. In Brooklyn, the first reaction would have been, “What?… F*** outta hea!… Triple H is higher than me?… Fuhgeddaboudit!!!” And at the end of the day, it’s just a video game. The kids at 2K probably weren’t even born during Bret’s prime. They were raised on the Attitude Era and naturally, Triple H is more iconic to their history and memory of the business. By the way, did I mention…IT’S A F***ING VIDEO GAME!!!

Again, that first statement could have been done with a wink. We’re boys, and our natural instinct is to be competitive with one another by poking the inner child and bragging about how much better mine is than yours. Ever play baseball as a kid and put yourself over like you’re the next Mickey Mantle? Your friend strikes out and you call him a “scrub” and that he should be “riding the pine” for the rest of the game. You flap your lips to anyone who will listen that no one can hit your fastball, and blah blah blah. Saying you can’t lace my boots is like saying you can’t wash my jock-strap. It’s sportsman trash talk! Zingers and bragging rights with no harm intended.

But, when it doesn’t stop – now you’re talking sh*t, and you better be ready to back it up. Had he left it alone after the first statement, then it’s all fun and (video) games…but, he had to push it further and validate his point. That’s when the line gets crossed, and the topic goes from playful to personal.

As much as I love Bret Hart as a performer, I’m starting to see him differently as a person. His bitterness has tarnished his image, and he comes off as if he thinks he is better than the business itself. By attempting to slander Triple H’s body of work, Bret has clearly proven that he is either insecure about his place in history or never took the time to appreciate Paul Levesque’s maturity and growth from Hunter Hearst Helmsley into Triple H.
dEREK2

The last time Bret Hart competed in a WWE ring, Triple H was portraying a character that was designed for him by WWE creative. He was in the process of discovering himself while being fed to the veteran sharks of the WWE locker room. Not only did he survive, but he helped change the game during the attitude era and was an essential part in winning the war. Before there was a John Cena to proclaim the honor as the face of the company, Triple H carried the weight for numerous years on his shoulders. If you take a deep look into the Attitude Era, the WWE was forced to change their landscape from the cartoonish circus that Bret felt most comfortable in. As a matter of fact, where was Bret Hart when the war was over? Outside of the Montreal Screwjob, he really wasn’t an effective part of the changing of the guard. Actually, he WAS the guard that needed to be changed.

Bret’s statements may not have stirred as much controversy had he offered it based on his real life experience of working against Triple H as a rookie in the WWE. Pound for pound, Bret Hart was arguably the best pro wrestler in the business during the early 90’s. When he shared the ring with Triple H, he absolutely was much more seasoned, experienced and flat out better. There is no denying that. But Bret never stepped into the ring with “The Game” or “The Cerebral Assassin”. I’m not saying Triple H grew to be better than Bret ever was, but the truth is, we’ll never know. It’s all a matter of opinion. Bret’s remarks attempting to discredit Triple H after his epic matches against opponents like John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, The Undertaker, Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, etc. are completely irresponsible and offending. It’s like Bruno Sammartino saying that Hulk Hogan or John Cena could never draw, be a real champion, or be the face of the company like he was in his day. What kind of world do you live in where you invent your own truths?
DEREK1

What’s even sadder, is that Bret Hart was welcomed back into the WWE after nearly 20 years in exile. He was enshrined into the Hall of Fame, returned to Monday Night Raw, participated in a WrestleMania and buried the hatchet with both Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. Why is he still so bitter? It’s time to let it go. It’s been 20 years and there is a new generation watching the product who not only have no clue what he’s so pissed about, but they barely even know who he is.

Even more so, if he feels that harshly about Triple H, why has he never confronted him face to face about his quarrels? He was just at the WWE Payback PPV a few months ago – why not discuss the problems there? Instead, he kayfabed Triple H, shook his hand, accepted a check and waited a few weeks to bash him on his podcast. I don’t get it. I don’t even think he does. Bret Hart’s primary objective was always to protect the integrity of his character – but what integrity does he have left? There was a time the wrestling world felt bad for what he had been through, now they just feel bad for him. Bret Hart claims to be a goodwill ambassador, and his character motto is that he is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Well it’s time to start proving it again.

It bothers me that I have to call out one of my heroes. My opinion is my own and means nothing to Bret Hart. Just as his opinion of Triple H is his own, and he is entitled to it.  We all talk sh*t. We all have opinions. Like the old saying goes – Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and they all stink!

Follow DieHard Derek on Twitter: @DieHardDerekG
And subscribe to his podcast, The Hard Way with DieHard Derek Gordon on BlogTalk Radio.