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Article: Bret Hart
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{{About|the professional wrestler|the 19th century western author|Bret Harte}}
{{Use mdy dates|date=October 2012}}
{{Infobox professional wrestler
|image = Bretsigning.JPGm
|caption = Hart in 2010
|alt =
|names = '''Bret Hart'''<ref name=OWOW>{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-07-30|title=Bret Hart profile|publisher=Online World of Wrestling}}</ref><br />Buddy Hart<ref name=OWOW/>
|height = {{height|ft=6|in=0}}
|weight = {{convert|234|lb|kg|abbr=on}}
|birth_date = {{Birth date and age|1957|7|2}}<ref name=OWOW/>
|birth_place = [[Calgary|Calgary, Alberta]], [[Canada]]<ref name=OWOW/>
|billed = Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|trainer = [[Stu Hart]]<ref name=OWOW/><br />[[Mr. Hito|Katsuji Adachi]]<ref name=OWOW/><br />[[Kazuo Sakurada]]<br />[[Harley Race]]<ref name=OWOW/><br />The [[Iron Sheik]]{{Citation needed|date=November 2010}}
|debut = <!--HART'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY DETAILS HIS 1978 IN-RING DEBUT. CITES SUPPORTING 1976 REFER TO NON-WRESTLING DUTIES.-->1978<ref name="debut">{{Harv|Hart|2007|pp=35–41}}</ref>
|retired = 2010<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=526}}</ref>
'''Bret Hart''' (born July 2, 1957) is a [[Canadians|Canadian]] [[writer]], [[actor]], and retired [[professional wrestling|professional wrestler]], currently signed with [[WWE]] under a Legends contract. A member of the [[Hart wrestling family]] and a second-generation wrestler, he has an [[amateur wrestling]] background, wrestling at [[Ernest Manning High School]] and [[Mount Royal University|Mount Royal College]]. Along with his "Hitman" nickname, Hart was known by the monikers "The Excellence of Execution", "The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be" and "The Pink and Black Attack".
Hart joined his father [[Stu Hart|Stu Hart's]] [[Professional wrestling promotion|promotion]] [[Stampede Wrestling]] in 1976, and made his in-ring debut in 1978.<ref name="debut"/> He gained popularity and championship success throughout the 1980s and 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), where he helmed [[The Hart Foundation]] faction. He left for [[World Championship Wrestling]] (WCW) following the controversial "[[Montreal Screwjob]]" in November 1997, where he remained until October 2000, achieving much success despite his creative handling being widely criticized.<ref name="eric"/> Having been inactive from in-ring competition since January 2000, owing to a December 1999 [[concussion]], he officially retired in October 2000, shortly after his departure from the company. In a publication that year, WCW described Hart as "universally respected by other wrestlers", and "perhaps the greatest pure wrestler ever to lace up a pair of boots."<ref name="wcw"/>
He returned to sporadic in-ring competition in <!--HART COMPETED IN WRESTLING MATCHES IN STAGE PRODUCTIONS IN 2004 AND 2006, WHICH ARE COVERED LATER IN ARTICLE.-->2004 and 2006, and in 2010 with WWE, where he won his final championship, headlined that year's [[SummerSlam (2010)|SummerSlam]] event, and served as the [[Professional wrestling authority figures#Raw brand authorities|General Manager]] of ''[[WWE Raw|Raw]]''. He makes occasional appearances for WWE, who has described him as both an "innovator of offense" and "arguably the greatest technical wrestler in WWE history."<ref name="wwebio"/> The promotion has also described Hart as one of the biggest names in the history of the business,<ref name="wwetitle"/><ref name="mountieic"/> and perhaps the most popular in the world by the mid-1990s.<ref name="darkdays"/> He headlined [[WrestleMania]]s [[WrestleMania IX|IX]], [[WrestleMania X|X]] and [[WrestleMania XII|XII]], and participated in the headlining matches of the [[Starrcade (1997)|1997]] and [[Starrcade (1999)|1999]] editions of WCW [[Starrcade]] - as a [[Professional wrestling match types#Special referee|special enforcer]] in the former.
Hart has held championships in five decades from the 1970s to the 2010s, with a total of 32 held throughout his career, and 17 held between the WWF/WWE and WCW. He is a seven-time [[World Heavyweight Championship (professional wrestling)|world champion]], having held the [[WWE Championship|WWF Championship]] [[List of WWE Champions|five times]] and the [[WCW World Heavyweight Championship]] [[List of WCW World Heavyweight Champions|twice]]. He spent more [[List of WWE Champions#Reigns|time]] as WWF Champion than any other wrestler during the 1990s, with a total of 654 days as champion, and was the [[List of WCW World Heavyweight Champions#Title history|first]] WCW World Heavyweight Champion born outside the United States. He is also a record-tying [[List of WWE United States Champions|five-time]] [[WWE United States Championship|WCW/WWE United States Champion]], and the second [[List of wwe triple crown champions|WWF Triple Crown Champion]] and fifth (with Goldberg) [[Triple Crown Championship#List of WCW Triple Crown Champions|WCW Triple Crown Champion]].
Hart was the first man to win both the WWF and WCW Triple Crown Championships. He is also the [[Royal Rumble (1994)|1994 Royal Rumble]] winner (with [[Lex Luger]]), and the only two-time [[King of the Ring]] in WWE history, having won the [[King of the Ring 1991|1991 tournament]] and the first [[King of the Ring (1993)|King of the Ring pay-per-view in 1993]]. [[Stone Cold Steve Austin]], with whom Hart headlined multiple [[pay-per-view]] events<ref>See: [[In Your House 13: Final Four]], [[In Your House 14: Revenge of the 'Taker]] and [[In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede]].</ref> as part of [[#Championships and accomplishments|a critically acclaimed rivalry]] from 1996-1997, inducted him into the [[WWE Hall of Fame]] in 2006.<!--ALL MATERIAL IN LEDE CITED WITHIN ARTICLE.-->
==Early life==
The eighth child of wrestling patriarch [[Stu Hart]], Bret Hart was born in [[Calgary|Calgary, Alberta]] into the [[Hart wrestling family]]. His introduction to professional wrestling came at an early age. As a child, he witnessed his father training future wrestling stars like [[Billy Graham (wrestler)|Billy Graham]] in the [[Hart House (Alberta)#The Dungeon|Dungeon]], his household basement which served as possibly the most notorious training room in the world of wrestling. Before school, Hart's father, also a wrestling promoter, had him hand out fliers to local wrestling shows. In the 1998 documentary, ''[[Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows]]'', Hart reflected on his father's discipline, describing how Stu inflicted excruciating [[Grappling hold|submission holds]] while uttering morbid words to his teenage son. The suffering endured in these sessions even left broken blood vessels in his eyes. Hart also cited his father's otherwise pleasant demeanor and growing up in the professional wrestling atmosphere. Hart also repeated these statements in his 2007 autobiography.<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=4}}</ref>
==Amateur wrestling==
[[File:Hartamateur.jpg|thumb|upright|Hart as a [[collegiate wrestling|collegiate wrestler]].]]
At [[Ernest Manning High School]], Hart became a standout student in the [[scholastic wrestling|amateur wrestling]] division. Hart has stated that he joined the wrestling team "for the sole reason that my dad expected me to... no-one asked me to."<ref name="DVD"/> He would go on to win significant championships in tournaments throughout [[Alberta]], including the 1974 city championships in Calgary. He would score a victory over competitor Bob Eklund – who would go on to become a [[Canadian Interuniversity Sport|CIS]] national champion, winning Outstanding Wrestler of the Year 1980-1981<ref>[ Championship History]. [[Canadian Interuniversity Sport]]. Retrieved August 7, 2010.</ref> – en route to the championship.<ref name="Hart, Bret 2007 p. 32">{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=32}}</ref> Hart describes the moment where he displayed the medal to his father, Stu, as a "powerful moment", and that the relationship with his father "took a different direction from that point on."<ref name="DVD"/> To this day, Hart considers his scholastic medal as one of his most prized possessions, "The fact is, even after winning all the big pro wrestling championships in both organizations, including seven world heavyweight titles that took me around the world, I still hold in high regard the city championship medal I won back in '74. It did so much to bolster my confidence and self esteem that it proved to be one of the biggest turning points in my entire life." After reading a ''[[Calgary Sun]]'' column by Hart, Canadian [[Olympic Games|Olympic]] amateur wrestling gold medalist [[Daniel Igali]] told Hart that it means a lot to him to know how much that medal means to Hart.<ref name="slam">Hart, Bret. [ "Special Memories"]. ''[[Calgary Sun]]''. 2001-01-27. Retrieved 2010-08-07. Archived at ''[[|SLAM! Sports]]''.</ref>
By 1977, Hart was [[collegiate wrestling|collegiate]] champion at [[Mount Royal University|Mount Royal College]], where he was studying filmmaking;<ref name="DVD"/><ref name="Hart, Bret 2007 p. 36">{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=36}}</ref> his coaches and other people around him felt that he had shown sufficient promise to compete at the following year's [[Commonwealth Games]], and encouraged him to begin training for the event. Hart, however, was beginning to find amateur wrestling unrewarding amid injuries and [[Scholastic wrestling#Unhealthy weight loss|fluctuating weight]], and wanted to "get off this train".<ref name="DVD"/><ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=33}}</ref> Hart has told how Stu still believed that his son, whom he described as being able to "turn around in his own skin", was capable of making it to the Olympic or Commonwealth Games if he put forth the effort. When asked by his father, "Don't you want to walk down the street and hear people say, there goes Bret Hart; he won a gold medal in wrestling?", Hart replied, "I'd rather drive by those very same people in a brand-new car", alluding to his dream of becoming a successful film director.<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=38}}</ref> Hart felt that the only way to give up amateur wrestling, without disappointing his father, was to become a professional wrestler. His college grades became poorer as his interest in filmmaking waned; he dedicated himself to professional wrestling, and began training with his father's [[Stampede Wrestling]] promotion.<ref name="DVD"/> Hart has often spoken of how helpful his amateur background was in his professional wrestling career, and also of what a positive effect amateur wrestling has on junior high school and high school-aged boys in terms of building self-confidence.<ref name="slam"/>
==Professional wrestling career==
===Stampede Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling (1976–1984)===
In 1976, Hart began working for his father's [[Stampede Wrestling]] promotion in Calgary. Hart first began helping the promotion by refereeing matches, but at one fateful event, a wrestler was unable to perform his match.<ref name="debut"/> This forced Stu to ask his son to stand in as a replacement, paving the way for Hart's very first match in [[Saskatoon]], [[Saskatchewan]]. Before long, he became a regular contender, eventually partnering with brother [[Keith Hart (wrestler)|Keith]] to win the Tag Team Championship four times. Earlier on, however, he was still unsure he wanted to make a career of professional wrestling and continually contemplated the idea.
Hart gained some of his most prominent experience with [[Japan]]ese combatants and real-life trainers [[Mr. Hito]] and [[Kazuo Sakurada|Mr. Sakurada]], later praising them as his most significant teachers. Before long, Hart was amazing crowds with his high-impact matches against the [[Dynamite Kid]]. In the midst of wrestling alongside his brothers and even his aging father, Hart made a point not to [[nepotism|ride on the shoulders of his elders]] as other sons of promoters have. Hart faithfully [[Job (professional wrestling)|jobbed]] as requested of him, taking pride in the believability of his performances. As he said himself, "no one could take a shit kicking like Bret Hart."<ref name="DVD"/> Although he dreaded partaking in interviews and speaking in front of a crowd, Hart went on to win the promotion's top titles, including two British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championships, five International Tag Team Championships, and six North American Heavyweight Championships. Hart also wrestled the famous [[Satoru Sayama|Tiger Mask]] in [[New Japan Pro Wrestling]], a promotion for whom he often wrestled during the early to mid-1980s. He remained one of Stampede's most successful performers until the promotion, along with several wrestlers, was acquired by the World Wrestling Federation in August 1984.
===World Wrestling Federation===
====Debut and Hart Foundation (1984–1991)====
{{Main|The Hart Foundation}}
[[File:The Hart Foundation Tag Team.jpg|thumb|right|Hart (left) with [[Jim Neidhart]] behind him as [[The Hart Foundation]].]]
Hart was asked to start out in the World Wrestling Federation as a singles wrestler with a [[cowboy]] [[Glossary of professional wrestling terms#G|gimmick]] but refused, citing that where he comes from "if you called yourself a cowboy, you'd better be one".<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=170}}</ref> He instead requested to join [[Jimmy Hart]]'s [[Over (professional wrestling)|heel]] stable, the Hart Foundation, which included brother-in-law [[Jim Neidhart|Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart]]. He made his televised World Wrestling Federation debut on August 29, 1984, in a tag team match where he teamed with the [[Dynamite Kid]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWF @ Brantford, Ontario - August 29, 1984|publisher=The History of WWE|accessdate=2011-02-21}}</ref> On September 11, in [[Poughkeepsie, New York]], Hart defeated [[Aldo Ortiz|Aldo Marino]] in his televised debut singles match, which aired on the September 29 edition of ''Superstars''. By 1985, he was billed as Bret "Hit Man" Hart<ref name="wwebio">{{cite web|url=|title=biography|publisher=[[WWE]]|accessdate=2011-03-29}}</ref> and began to increasingly team with Neidhart in order to build the promotion's tag team division. The "Hart Foundation" name then became exclusive to Hart, Neidhart and manager Jimmy Hart, due to the similar family names of both team members and their manager.<ref name=autogenerated1>{{cite web|url=|title=Hart Foundation Profile|accessdate=2008-10-29|publisher=Online World Of Wrestling}}</ref> Hart's agile, technical style—which earned him the moniker "The Excellence of Execution" (coined by [[Gorilla Monsoon]])<ref name="wwebio"/><ref>''WWE Byte This'' interview (2005)</ref>—created an intriguing contrast with his partner Neidhart's strength and brawling skills. During this time, Hart began wearing his signature<ref name="glasses">Zeigler, Zack. [ "Hats off to Trevor Murdoch"]. [[WWE]]. August 21, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2011</ref> [[mirrored sunglasses]], initially to conceal his nervousness during [[Promos (professional wrestling)|promos]].<ref name="DVD"/> Hart considers his microphone work throughout his career to have been a weakness in his repertoire: he instead relied on his in-ring performances to win over the fans.<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=3}}</ref>
In 1986, Hart began his first singles program, with [[Ricky Steamboat|Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat]]. In a match originally planned for [[WrestleMania 2]],<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=191}}</ref> he lost to Steamboat at the [[Boston Garden]] on March 8, 1986, which would be included on Hart's 2005 DVD as one of his all-time favorite matches.<ref name="DVD"/> At WrestleMania 2, Hart would instead participate in a 20-man battle royal which was eventually won by [[André the Giant]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania 2 Official Results|accessdate=2008-10-29|publisher=WWE|archiveurl=|archivedate=December 10, 2007|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Hart was the last man to be eliminated by André, however.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania 2 review|publisher=pWwew - Everything Wrestling|accessdate=2008-05-25}}</ref> He lost to Steamboat again on the July 28, 1986 edition of ''[[WWF Prime Time Wrestling|Prime Time Wrestling]]''.<ref name="prime">{{cite web|url=|title=''WWF Prime Time Wrestling'' results|work=Wrestling Information Archive|accessdate=2012-09-03|archiveurl=|archivedate=January 4, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Hart headlined his first televised WWF card when he beat [[Raymond Rougeau|Ray Rougeau]], of [[The Fabulous Rougeaus]], in the main event of the November 3, 1986 edition of ''Prime Time Wrestling''.<ref name="prime"/> The Hart Foundation won their first of two [[World Tag Team Championship (WWE)|World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championships]] on the February 7, 1987 edition of ''[[WWF Superstars of Wrestling|Superstars]]'' when they defeated the British Bulldogs. They would then team with [[Daniel Briley|Danny Davis]] to face The British Bulldogs and [[Tito Santana]] at [[WrestleMania III]]. They would win the match when Davis pinned [[Davey Boy Smith]] after hitting him with Jimmy Hart's megaphone.<ref name="superstars"/><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the World Tag Team Championship - Hart Foundation(1)|accessdate=2007-12-20|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
The Hart Foundation would adopt the nickname, "The Pink and Black Attack", which would continue to be used by Bret after the team's disbandment. This was in reference to the team's ring attire, as well as Hart's signature mirrored sunglasses, which he would routinely give away to a young audience member before matches, following his [[Glossary of professional wrestling terms#Face|face]] turn in 1988.<ref name="glasses"/><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=''Raw'' results, December 28, 2009|work=[[WWE]]|first=Greg|last=Adkins|accessdate=2010-02-01}}</ref><ref>[ "''Raw'': A special look at Bret Hart's WWE history"]. [[WWE]]. 0:25 minutes in. [[Vince McMahon]]: "The Pink and Black Attack, here it comes."</ref> As Hart's WWF career progressed, he would also increasingly describe himself as "The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be" (derived from the 1984 film ''[[The Natural (film)|The Natural]]''), which he would later justify through three claims: he never injured an opponent through any fault of his own, through the entire course of his career, he missed only one show (as a result of flight difficulties), and that he only once refused to lose a match—his final WWF match with long-time adversary Shawn Michaels at the [[Survivor Series (1997)|Survivor Series]] event in 1997, which culminated in the now infamous [[Montreal Screwjob]].<ref name="Best">Hart, B. "[ When I boast about being the best there is, it is because of three reasons...]," Bret Hart Calgary Sun column.</ref>
[[File:Bret Hart entrance.jpg|thumb|left|For his entrances, Hart often wore a leather jacket with shoulder tassels (epaulets), Mylar wrap-around (originally silver, later pink) sunglasses and bright pink attire.]]
The Hart Foundation lost the WWF Tag Team Championship to [[Strike Force (professional wrestling)|Strike Force]] on the October 27 edition of ''Superstars''. The Hart Foundation then led a team against another team led by Strike Force at [[Survivor Series (1987)|Survivor Series 1987]]. Although Neidhart pinned [[Tito Santana]] and eliminated Strike Force from the match, The Hart Foundation was eliminated when Bret Hart was pinned by [[Jim Brunzell]] of [[The Killer Bees (professional wrestling)|The Killer Bees]]. Hart's team lost when the last remaining members, [[The Islanders (professional wrestling)|The Islanders]] were also eliminated by The Killer Bees.<ref name="superstars"/> Hart subsequently competed in his most high-profile singles contest to date on the November 28, 1987 edition of ''[[Saturday Night's Main Event]]'', when he faced "Macho Man" [[Randy Savage]] in a losing effort.<ref>''The Best of Saturday Night's Main Event''. [[WWE Home Video]]. 2009.</ref> He began 1988 with a decisive victory over [[Paul Roma]] of [[The Young Stallions]] (who had scored an upset victory over the Hart Foundation the previous year<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWF Show Results 1987|accessdate=April 7, 2007|author=Graham Cawthon|quote=Roma & Jim Powers defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart (w/ Jimmy Hart) via disqualification when the champions illegally double teamed the challengers}}</ref>) on January 11 edition of ''Prime Time Wrestling'',<ref name="prime"/> and, at [[Royal Rumble (1988)|Royal Rumble 1988]], was the first man to enter the Royal Rumble match. He lasted 25 minutes and 42 seconds before being eliminated by [[Don Muraco]]. At [[WrestleMania IV]], The Hart Foundation were in the [[battle royal (professional wrestling)|battle royal]]. Neidhart was eliminated [[George Steele]] while Bret Hart assisted [[Allen Coage|Bad News Brown]] in eliminating the [[Junkyard Dog]]. He was then attacked by Bad News and eliminated last. However, Bret Hart reentered the ring and attacked Bad News Brown after the match.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania IV official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2009-04-12|archiveurl=|archivedate=May 25, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Due to Hart's increasing popularity, Vince McMahon approached him with the idea of splitting up The Hart Foundation and turning him face, telling Hart that he received the most fan mail of any of his wrestlers.<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=223}}</ref> Ultimately, McMahon decided that the Hart Foundation were too [[Over (professional wrestling)|over]] to split up, but would turn the team face, and have them sack Jimmy Hart as their manager. This led to a feud with [[The Fabulous Rougeaus]] that lasted from the fall 1988 to early 1989, who had turned heel and taken Jimmy Hart as their manager. In storyline, Jimmy Hart still had a contract with The Hart Foundation and was giving his percentage of the Foundation's earnings to the Rougeau's as a bonus.They also challenged [[Demolition (professional wrestling)|Demolition]] for the [[World Tag Team Championship (WWE)|WWF Tag Team Championship]] at [[SummerSlam (1988)|SummerSlam 1988]]. They lost the match by pinfall due to interference from Jimmy Hart. As a face, Hart enjoyed significant popularity in singles wrestling. In his first singles championship opportunity, he challenged [[The Honky Tonk Man]] for the [[WWE Intercontinental Championship|WWF Intercontinental Championship]] in the main event of the July 18 edition of ''Prime Time Wrestling'', with the match ending in a double count-out.<ref name="prime"/> At [[Survivor Series (1988)|Survivor Series 1988]], The Hart Foundation participated in a Survivor Series elimination match on a team captained by The [[Powers of Pain]] against a team captained by Demolition. They were eliminated when Bret Hart was pinned by [[Tully Blanchard]] of The [[Brain Busters]].
At [[Royal Rumble (1989)|Royal Rumble 1989]], The Hart Foundation teamed with [[Jim Duggan]] to defeat The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and Dino Bravo. They would also defeat [[Greg Valentine]] and [[The Honky Tonk Man]], who were also managed by Jimmy Hart, at [[WrestleMania V]]. At an event in [[Milan]] on April 8, 1989, broadcast live on [[Tele2|Tele+2]], André the Giant requested to work a singles match with Hart. Hart lost the match, which was later released on his 2013 DVD set, ''The Dungeon Collection'', but considered André's praise and encouragement after the match to be of key importance in his singles career.<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|pp=232–233}}</ref> He wrestled his first pay-per-view singles match on October 10, losing to [[Dino Bravo]] in the first British WWF pay-per-view, which was held at the [[London Arena]] and broadcast on [[Sky (UK and Ireland)|Sky Television]]<ref>[ WWF UK PPV (London Arena)]. Retrieved June 18, 2011.</ref> (Hart was in fact booked to win the match, but incurred a broken [[sternum]], causing an unplanned count-out loss<ref name="DVD"/>). Hart would score victories over the likes of [[Barry Horowitz]] (who had previously wrestled as "Brett Hart"<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Barry Horowitz|accessdate=2009-08-03}}</ref>),<ref name="challenge">{{cite web|url=|title=''WWF Wrestling Challenge'' results|work=Wrestling Information Archive|accessdate=2012-09-03|archiveurl=|archivedate=January 4, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref> [[Steve Lombardi]]<ref name="superstars">{{cite web|url=|title=''WWF Superstars'' results archives|work=Wrestling Information Archive|accessdate=2012-09-03|archiveurl=|archivedate=May 12, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref> (whom Hart had wrestled in his first WWF match<ref name="DVD"/>) and defecting Hart Foundation member [[Dan Marsh|"Dangerous" Danny Davis]]<ref name="superstars"/> throughout 1989. At [[SummerSlam (1989)|SummerSlam 1989]], The Hart Foundation lost a non-title match against the tag team champions The [[Brain Busters]]. In the first televised contest of a rivalry that would span Hart's WWF and WCW careers, he lost to [[Curt Hennig|Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig]] on the November 6, 1989 edition of ''Prime Time Wrestling'', when Perfect pulled Hart's tights during a roll-up.<ref>''[[WWF Prime Time Wrestling|Prime Time Wrestling]]''. [[USA Network]]. November 6, 1989. At [[Survivor Series (1989)|Survivor Series 1989]], Bret Hart teamed with Jim Duggan, [[Ray Fernandez|Hercules]], and [[Ron Garvin|Ronnie Garvin]] as The 4x4s to take on The King's Court ("Macho King" Randy Savage, Dino Bravo, Greg Valentine, and [[John Tenta|Canadian Earthquake]]. Bret Hart was eliminated by Randy Savage as The 4x4s lost the match.</ref> In their first ever singles meeting, [[Shawn Michaels]] and Hart wrestled to a double count-out on the February 11, 1990 edition of the ''Wrestling Challenge''.<ref name="wweclassics">{{cite web|url=|title=Bret Hart|work=WWE Classics|publisher=WWE|archivedate=February 8, 2010|archiveurl=|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
After participating at the [[Royal Rumble (1990)|1990 Royal Rumble]], The Hart Foundation defeated [[The Bolsheviks]] in 19 seconds at [[WrestleMania VI]] and began feuding with Demolition, who had just won the tag team titles against The [[Colossal Connection]] at WrestleMania VI. At [[SummerSlam (1990)|SummerSlam]] in 1990, The Hart Foundation began their second, and final, WWF Tag Team Championship reign by defeating [[Demolition (professional wrestling)|Demolition]] members [[Brian Adams (wrestler)|Crush]] and [[Barry Darsow|Smash]] in a [[Professional wrestling match types|two out of three falls match]] with some help from the [[Road Warriors|Legion of Doom]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=SummerSlam 1990 official results|accessdate=2008-10-29|publisher=WWE|archiveurl=|archivedate=September 8, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the World Tag Team Championship - Hart Foundation(2)|date=December 30, 2007|publisher=WWE}}</ref> On October 30, the Hart Foundation lost the title to [[The Rockers]] ([[Marty Jannetty]] and Shawn Michaels), but a few days later, President [[Jack Tunney]] returned the title to the Hart Foundation because the decision had been reversed due to a rope coming off of the turnbuckle during the match and the win was never acknowledged on television. The Hart Foundation would then team with [[Dusty Rhodes (wrestler)|Dusty Rhodes]] and [[Koko B. Ware]] as the Dream Team to take on The Million $ Team of [[Ted DiBiase]], [[The Undertaker]], and [[Rhythm and Blues (professional wrestling)|Rhythm & Blues]]. Bret Hart was the last person to be eliminated when he was pinned by DiBiase. Bret Hart was once again the first entrant in the Royal Rumble match at [[Royal Rumble (1991)|Royal Rumble 1991]] and lasted over 20 minutes before being eliminated by Undertaker. The Hart Foundation's reign lasted until [[WrestleMania VII]], where they lost to [[The Nasty Boys]], after which the team split.<ref name="worldtagteam">{{cite web|url=|title=WWE World Tag Team Championship history}}</ref>
====Intercontinental Champion (1991–1992)====
Hart won his first [[WWE Intercontinental Championship|WWF Intercontinental Championship]] by defeating Mr. Perfect with the [[Sharpshooter (professional wrestling)|Sharpshooter]] at [[SummerSlam (1991)|SummerSlam]] in 1991,<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=SummerSlam 1991 official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the Intercontinental Championship(1)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref> and subsequently won the [[King of the Ring 1991|1991 King of the Ring]] tournament on September 7, 1991 at the [[Dunkin' Donuts Center|Providence Civic Center]] in [[Providence, Rhode Island]]. At [[Survivor Series (1991)|Survivor Series 1991]], Bret Hart teamed with The British Bulldog, [[Mike Jones (wrestler)|Virgil]], and [[Roddy Piper]] against Ted DiBiase, [[Jacques Rougeau|The Mountie]], [[Ric Flair]], and [[Terry Szopinski|The Warlord]]. Hart was counted out alongside with The Mountie, DiBiase, Piper, and Virgil to make Flair the sole survivor. Hart's first pay-per-view title defense occurred at [[This Tuesday in Texas]], where he beat the undefeated [[Steve Keirn|Skinner]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWF This Tuesday in Texas results/info|publisher=Pro Wrestling History|accessdate=2009-10-18}}</ref>
In January 1992, Hart placed in a feud with The Mountie. This feud came about when the Mountie's manager, Jimmy Hart, threw water on Hart. Then, The Mountie proceeded to shock Hart with a [[cattle prod]]. On January 17, 1992, Bret Hart dropped the Intercontinental Championship to The Mountie. Following the loss, [[Roddy Piper]] (his real life cousin) defeated Mountie with a sleeper hold two days later at the [[Royal Rumble (1992)|1992 Royal Rumble]],<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Official 1992 Royal Rumble results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> and Bret would later pin Piper for his second Intercontinental Championship at [[WrestleMania VIII]] later that year,<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania VIII official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the Intercontinental Championship - Bret Hart(2)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref> making him the first, and one of few wrestlers to ever pin Piper's shoulders to the mat.<ref name="DVD"/> At a ''[[WWF Wrestling Challenge|Wrestling Challenge]]'' taping on July 21, 1992, Hart defeated [[Shawn Michaels]], with the Intercontinental Championship suspended above the ring, in the WWF's first ever [[Ladder match]], which would subsequently be made available on multiple [[WWE Home Video|Coliseum/WWE Home Video]] releases.<ref>[ WWF @ Portland, ME - Civic Center - July 21, 1992]. The History of WWE. Retrieved May 30, 2011.</ref> Hart dropped the Intercontinental Championship to his brother-in-law, [[Davey Boy Smith]], in Hart's first WWF pay-per-view main event at [[SummerSlam (1992)|SummerSlam]] 1992 held before over 80,000 fans at [[Wembley Stadium (1923)|Wembley Stadium]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=SummerSlam 1992 results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> ''[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated]]'' readers voted it the "Match of the Year";<ref name=MOTY/> WWE has named the match as the greatest in the history of SummerSlam.<ref>{{cite web|title=Brother, can you spare some gold?|last=Dee|first=Louie|date=September 1, 2007|accessdate=2008-08-01|publisher=WWE|url=}}</ref> Upon induction into the [[WWE Hall of Fame]] in 2006, Hart would cite the contest as his favorite match of his career.<ref>Bret Hart's induction speech. [[WWE Hall of Fame]]. 2006. "That was my favorite match that I ever had, and I'm happy to tell you that."</ref>
====WWF Champion and hiatus (1992–1996)====
[[File:WWF Champion Bret Hart in jacket.jpg|thumb|Hart with his [[WWE Championship|WWF Championship]] belt underneath his jacket.]]
Hart won the [[WWE Championship|WWF Championship]] from [[Ric Flair]] at a ''[[WWF Superstars of Wrestling|Superstars]]'' taping at [[Credit Union Centre|Saskatchewan Place]] in [[Saskatoon]], [[Saskatchewan]] on October 12 of that year, in a match not originally broadcast on WWF television<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the WWE Championship: Bret Hart(1)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref>—the match was instead made available on a series of Coliseum/WWE Home Video releases.<ref>[ WWF @ Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Center - October 12, 1992]. The History of WWE. Retrieved May 30, 2011.</ref> Hart dislocated one of the fingers on his right hand during the match and popped it back in himself so it would not affect the rest of the match.<ref name="DVD"/> He would headline his first pay-per-view as champion with a successful title defense against Shawn Michaels at the [[Survivor Series (1992)|1992 Survivor Series]],<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Survivor Series 1992 main event|publisher=WWE}}</ref> and defeated [[Scott Hall (wrestler)|Razor Ramon]] at the [[Royal Rumble (1993)|1993 Royal Rumble]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Royal Rumble 1993 official results|publisher=WWE}}</ref> He would also defend the title against contenders such as [[Charles Wright (wrestler)|Papa Shango]]<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Saturday Night's Main Event XXXI official results|publisher=WWE}}</ref> and former champion Ric Flair<ref name="wwebio"/> before losing the title to [[Yokozuna (wrestler)|Yokozuna]] in his first WrestleMania main event at [[WrestleMania IX]], after interference from [[Mr. Fuji]]. Fuji then challenged [[Hulk Hogan]], who had come out to help Hart, to compete for the title; Hogan then won his fifth WWF Championship from Yokozuna.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania 9 results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> Shortly after, however, Hart won the first [[pay-per-view]] [[King of the Ring#1993|King of the Ring]] tournament in 1993 (prior King of the Ring tournaments were non-televised live events), defeating Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and [[Bam Bam Bigelow]], thus becoming the only two-time King of the Ring in WWE history.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Bret Hart's Title History|publisher=WWE}}</ref> After being crowned as the King of the Ring, Hart was attacked by [[Jerry Lawler|Jerry "The King" Lawler]]. Lawler claimed he was the rightful King and began a barrage against Hart and his family. The two met at [[SummerSlam (1993)|SummerSlam]] in 1993, to determine the "Undisputed King of the World Wrestling Federation",<ref>{{cite video|title=SummerSlam 1993|medium=VHS|publisher=[[WWE Home Video|Coliseum Video]]|year=1993}}</ref> where Hart originally won the match by submission, via the Sharpshooter. Hart, however, would not let go of the hold and the decision was reversed to a Lawler victory by disqualification<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=SummerSlam 1993 official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> (according to Hart, he was scheduled to defeat WWF Champion Hulk Hogan at the event, but Hogan elected to drop the belt to Yokozuna instead in his last televised WWF appearance until 2002 at the 1993 King of the Ring).<ref>{{cite episode|title=Off The Record|network=[[The Sports Network|TSN]]|airdate=2003}}</ref> Hart and his younger brother, [[Owen Hart]], would also feud with Lawler during 1993 in the [[United States Wrestling Association]] (USWA), with Lawler notably defeating Owen for Owen's [[USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Online World of Wrestling|publisher=Online World of Wrestling|accessdate=2011-01-15}}</ref> Hart's feud with Lawler was named "[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Feud of the Year]]" by ''[[Wrestling Observer Newsletter]]'', and voted "[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|Feud of the Year]]" by readers of ''[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated]]''.<ref name=PWIfeud/>
After months of dealing with Lawler, Hart invoked his rematch clause from his match with WWF Champion Yokozuna at [[WrestleMania IX]] on the November 20 edition of ''[[WWF Superstars of Wrestling|WWF Superstars]]''. When Bret appeared to have the match won, with Yokozuna locked in the sharpshooter, Owen came to ringside to congratulate his brother. The referee began questioning Owen's motives, which allowed Fuji to assault Bret. Owen then involved himself in the match, resulting in a victory for Yokozuna via disqualification. On the [[House show|non-televised]] but now-[[Canon (fiction)|canon]] 22 November edition of ''Monday Night Raw'', Hart again challenged Yokozuna for the WWF Championship, and again failed to regain the championship due to similar involvement from Owen.<ref>[ The Lost Episode of Raw: November 22, 1993]. [[WWE]]. Retrieved January 24, 2013.</ref> The brothers' disagreements set the wheels in motion for a family feud that would span the entirety of 1994.<ref>''[[WWF Superstars of Wrestling|WWF Superstars]]''. [[USA Network]]. November 20, 1993.</ref> At [[Survivor Series (1993)|Survivor Series]], the Harts (Bret, Owen, [[Bruce Hart (wrestler)|Bruce]], and [[Keith Hart (wrestler)|Keith]]) took on Shawn Michaels (a substitution for Lawler, who was facing legal troubles<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=SLAM Bio: Jerry Lawler|publisher=SLAM! Sports|accessdate=2007-10-08|date=February 5, 2005}}</ref>) and his knights. The Harts won the match, with all of the brothers surviving except for Owen, the only Hart family member eliminated.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Survivor Series 1993 official results|publisher=WWE}}</ref> Bitter about his elimination, Owen blamed Bret for this and in the weeks ahead, blamed Bret for holding him back. Owen demanded a one-on-one match with Bret, which Bret refused to accept. In the storyline, Bret, along with his parents, worked over the [[Christmas]] holidays to reunite the family and to settle their rivalry. Bret was voted "WWF Superstar of the Year" 1993 by fans,<ref name="soty">{{cite episode|title=[[WWE Raw|WWF Monday Night Raw]]|network=[[USA Network]]|airdate=1993-11-29}}</ref> as well as the [[PWI 500|greatest wrestler]] of the year by ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated'' readers.<ref name="pwi#1"/>
[[File:Bret & Owen Hart Wrestling.jpg|thumb|left|Bret's rivalry with his brother [[Owen Hart|Owen]] won them ''[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated]]'''s Feud of the Year award and featured a highly rated steel cage match at [[SummerSlam (1994)|SummerSlam]].]]
At the [[Royal Rumble (1994)|Royal Rumble]] in January, Bret and Owen took on [[The Quebecers]] for the WWF Tag Team Championship. [[Referee (professional wrestling)|Referee]] [[Tim White (wrestling)|Tim White]] stopped the match after he considered Bret unable to continue after he sustained a [[kayfabe]] knee injury during the match. After the match, Owen berated his brother for costing him a title opportunity and attacked the injured knee, setting the feud between the two.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Royal Rumble 1994 results|}}</ref> Later on, Hart managed to participate and win the 1994 Royal Rumble match amid controversy. Hart and [[Lex Luger]] were the final two participants and the two were eliminated over the top rope at the same time. Therefore, both men were named co-winners of the 1994 Royal Rumble match and received title shots at [[WrestleMania X]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Royal Rumble 1994 main event|publisher=WWE}}</ref> Luger won the chance to face Yokozuna first, with Hart having to wrestle his brother Owen, before receiving his title shot. Hart lost his match against Owen<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Most Rugged Roads To WrestleMania (1994)|accessdate=2007-10-12|publisher=WWE}}</ref> but went on to defeat Yokozuna for his second WWF Championship.<ref name="wmx">{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania X results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the WWE Championship: Bret Hart(2)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
Hart continued to feud with his brother Owen while he also started feuding with [[Kevin Nash|Diesel]]. Hart's friend and former tag team partner Jim Neidhart returned to the WWF and reunited with Hart. At [[King of the Ring (1994)|King of the Ring]], Hart defended the WWF Championship against Diesel. When Hart was winning the match, Shawn Michaels interfered on Diesel's behalf. Diesel appeared close to victory after he delivered a [[Powerbomb#Release powerbomb|Jackknife Powerbomb]] yet before he could pin Hart, Neidhart interfered. Diesel won by disqualification but Hart retained his title. Neidhart left when Diesel and Michaels attacked Hart following the match. Neidhart's motivation was made clear when he helped Owen win the tournament that night, so that he could receive a title shot against his brother.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=King of the Ring 1994 results|}}</ref> At [[SummerSlam (1994)|SummerSlam]], Hart successfully retained the WWF Championship against Owen in a [[steel cage match]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=SummerSlam 1994 results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> This match received a five-star rating from [[Dave Meltzer]] of ''[[Wrestling Observer Newsletter]]'', and the brothers' feud was voted "[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|Feud of the Year]]" by readers of ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated''.<ref name=PWIfeud/>
Hart eventually lost his WWF Championship at [[Survivor Series (1994)|Survivor Series]] in a submission match against [[Bob Backlund]] where the manager of either competitor (Davey Boy Smith for Hart, Owen for Backlund) would have to 'throw in the towel' for the wrestler they were representing. When Hart was in Backlund's [[Professional wrestling holds#Crossface chickenwing|Crossface Chickenwing]] and Davey Boy was kayfabe knocked out, Owen persuaded his mother Helen to throw in the towel for Hart, giving Backlund the championship victory.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the WWE Championship - Bob Backlund(2)|publisher=WWE}}</ref> Bret's feud with Backlund would continue into the following year. He was voted the greatest wrestler of 1994 by ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated'' readers, winning the vote for the second straight year.<ref name="pwi94"/>
[[File:Bret Hart in 1995.jpg|thumb|upright|right|Hart in 1995.]]
Three days after Hart's title loss, Diesel would swiftly defeat Backlund with a jackknife powerbomb to become the new WWF Champion. By 1995, Hart was focusing on projects outwith the business, such as acting, and shifted to the number two face in the company, behind Diesel.<ref>''Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart''. [[WWE Home Video]]. 2011.</ref> Hart challenged for Diesel's WWF Championship at the 1995 [[Royal Rumble (1995)|Royal Rumble]], in a match that was continually marred by outside interference and ruled a draw. Both men embraced in a display of sportsmanship after the match. In a rematch from Survivor Series, Hart defeated [[Bob Backlund]] in an [["I Quit" Match]] at [[WrestleMania XI]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania XI results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> Hart would be the focal point of the first event in the [[In Your House]] pay-per-view series, competing in two matches at [[In Your House 1]]. He defeated [[Jinsei Shinzaki|Hakushi]] in the very first match of the In Your House series. Hart's acclaimed feud with [[Jerry Lawler]] was reignited at the event, losing to him in the penultimate match of the card due to Hakushi's (now Lawler's protégé) interference. Hart beat Lawler in a "Kiss My Foot" match at [[King of the Ring (1995)|King of the Ring]], and defeated his private dentist, the seven-foot, 320 pound [[Kane (wrestler)|Isaac Yankem]], by disqualification at [[SummerSlam (1995)|SummerSlam 1995]]. Their King of the Ring match would end with one of the most iconic images in WWF history, with Hart shoving his foot into Lawler's mouth, then forcing Lawler to kiss his own foot.<ref>[ King of the Ring 1995]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved May 17, 2011.</ref> Although Hart was victorious in their in-ring feud, Lawler remained strongly opposed to Hart as a commentator, however, and would routinely encourage Hart's opponents during matches; it would not be until [[Over the Limit (2011)|Over the Limit 2011]], some sixteen years later, that both men would finally bury the hatchet. After disposing of Lawler, Hart shifted his focus back to the WWF Championship, defeating Diesel in a [[No Disqualification match]] at [[Survivor Series (1995)|Survivor Series]] to commence his third reign.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Survivor Series 1995 main event|publisher=WWE}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the WWE Championship - Bret Hart(3)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
In a rematch from their SummerSlam 1992 encounter, Hart successfully defended his title against the now [[Heel (professional wrestling)|heel]] Davey Boy Smith at [[In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings]]. He lost to [[The Undertaker]] by disqualification at the [[Royal Rumble (1996)|1996 Royal Rumble]] when Diesel interfered, ultimately retaining the WWF Championship, and defeated The Undertaker by disqualification in a rematch on the February 5 edition of ''[[WWE Raw|Raw]]'', again due to Diesel's interference.<ref>[ ''Raw'' results: February 5, 1996.]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 9, 2011.</ref> Hart retained his WWF Championship against Diesel in a steel cage match at [[In Your House 6]], and defeated [[Triple H|Hunter Hearst Helmsley]], who was undefeated on ''Raw'', on the March 4 edition of the show.<ref>[ ''Raw'' results: March 4, 1996.]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 9, 2011.</ref> WWF Commissioner Roddy Piper ruled that Hart would face Shawn Michaels, who had earned a WWF Championship match at [[WrestleMania XII]] by winning the Royal Rumble,<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=1996 Royal Rumble match|publisher=WWE}}</ref> in a 60-minute [[Iron Man match]] at the event. The wrestler with the most decisions during the 60 minutes would win the match and the WWF Championship.
At WrestleMania, with less than a minute left on the clock and the score still 0–0, Michaels jumped from the middle rope; his legs were caught by Hart, and Hart locked in his Sharpshooter. However, Michaels did not submit in the last 30 seconds so the match ended in a tie. President [[Gorilla Monsoon]] ruled that the match would continue in [[Sudden death (sport)|sudden death]] overtime. Michaels hit a superkick to win the championship.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania XII main event|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated'' readers voted it the "Match of the Year";<ref name=MOTY/> in 2004, WWE fans voted the match as the greatest in the history of WrestleMania.<ref>{{cite episode|title=WrestleMania's 10 Greatest Matches|credits=[[WWE]][[Spike (TV channel)|Spike TV]]|airdate=2004-03-09}}</ref> After WrestleMania, Hart took his hiatus from television. Towards the end of the year, he would consider offers of employment from both WCW and the WWF, but would ultimately re-sign with the WWF.<ref>''Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows'' (1998)</ref> He was inducted into the [[Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame|''Wrestling Observer Newsletter'' Hall of Fame]] [[Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame#1996 inductees|Class of 1996]].
====Hart Foundation reunion and Montreal Screwjob (1996–1997)====
{{Main|The_Hart_Foundation#The_.28New.29_Hart_Foundation|l1=Hart Foundation reunion|Montreal Screwjob}}
[[File:WWE - Birmingham 210695 (24).jpeg|thumb|left|Hart would pose for the crowd with his arms open.]]
Over the summer, [[Stone Cold Steve Austin|Steve Austin]], who was fresh from winning the [[King of the Ring 1996|1996 King of the Ring]],<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=King of the Ring 1996|}}</ref> continually taunted Hart and challenged him to come back and have a match. After an eight-month hiatus from television, Hart returned and defeated Austin at [[Survivor Series (1996)|Survivor Series]] in a match for the number one contender spot to the WWF Championship.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Survivor Series 1996 official results|publisher=WWE}}</ref> Hart challenged champion [[Sid Vicious (wrestler)|Sycho Sid]] at the following month's [[In Your House 12: It's Time]]; Shawn Michaels, who was serving as a guest commentator at ringside, accidentally cost Hart the victory when he attempted to become involved in the match after being assaulted by Sid. The building tension between Hart and Michaels climaxed after the match, when Hart assaulted Michaels. Hart's feud with Austin escalated at the [[Royal Rumble (1997)|Royal Rumble]], when Hart tossed Austin out of the ring, only for Austin (unbeknownst to the referees) to climb back into the ring and win the Rumble.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=1997 Royal Rumble results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> Hart quit the WWF the next night on ''Raw'' in protest. In order to deal with this controversy, a [[Three Way Dance|Fatal Four-Way]] between Austin and the participants he eliminated after re-entering the ring ([[Big Van Vader|Vader]], [[The Undertaker]] and Hart) was set up for [[In Your House 13: Final Four]], with the winner becoming the number one contender. After current champion Shawn Michaels relinquished the belt, though, the match officially became one for the WWF Championship. Hart defeated Austin, Vader, and The Undertaker in the Fatal Four-Way.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=In Your House XIII|}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the WWE Championship - Bret Hart(4)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref> However, Austin made sure Hart's fourth reign was short-lived, costing him a title match against Sid the next night on ''Raw'', and making it the only reign of Hart's to last [[List of WWE Champions#Reigns|less than three months]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWF Raw: February 17, 1997|date=February 17, 1997|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=June 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Hart challenged for Sid's WWF Championship in a [[steel cage match]] shortly before [[WrestleMania 13]] (Hart's twelfth consecutive and final WrestleMania until WrestleMania XXVI), which saw Austin actually attempt to help Hart win, in order to make their scheduled match at WrestleMania 13 a title match. Concurrently, The Undertaker, who had a scheduled title match with Sid at WrestleMania, attempted to help Sid win. Sid ultimately retained, leading to a pure grudge match for Hart and Austin.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWF Raw: March 17, 1997|date=March 17, 1997|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=June 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Following his loss to Sid, Hart shoved "announcer" [[Vince McMahon]] to the ground when he attempted to conduct a post-match interview, and engaged in an [[worked shoot]], [[Profanity|expletive]]-laden rant against McMahon and WWF management. This incident has been cited as one which helped lay the foundations of the WWF's [[The Attitude Era|Attitude Era]], as well as the starting point of McMahon's on-air character, the tyrannical WWF owner [[Mr. McMahon]].<ref>{{cite video|year=2006|title=McMahon|medium=DVD|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
{| class="toccolours" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 2em; font-size: 85%; background:#b0c4de; width:20em;" cellspacing="5"
| style="text-align: left;" |[To Vince McMahon] ''Frustrated isn't the goddamn word for it! This is BULLSHIT! You screwed me, everybody screwed me and nobody does a goddamn thing about it! Nobody in the building cares, nobody in the dressing room cares, so much goddamn injustice around here, I've had it up to here! Everybody knows it! I know it! EVERYBODY knows it, I should be the World Wrestling Federation Champion! Everybody just keeps turning a blind eye, you keep turning a blind eye to it, I've got that Gorilla Monsoon, he turns a blind eye to it, everybody in that goddamn dressing room knows that I'm the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be!'' [turns to fans] ''And if you don't like it, tough SHIT!''<ref>[ "WWF Raw Is War" (1997) - Memorable quotes<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>
| style="text-align: right;" | - Bret Hart's [[Profanity|expletive]]-laden rant on the March 17, 1997 ''[[WWE Raw|WWF Raw is War]]''.
At WrestleMania 13, Hart and Austin had their rematch in a [[Professional wrestling match types#Variations of singles matches|Submission match]] that would later get a 5-star rating from [[Dave Meltzer]]. In the end, Hart locked the Sharpshooter on a bloody Austin, who refused to give up. In fact, Austin never quit, but passed out from the blood loss and pain. [[Ken Shamrock]], the special guest referee, awarded Hart the match, after which he continued to assault Austin.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania 13 official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref> This turned Austin face, and Hart became a heel. It was named "[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Match of the Year]]" by ''Wrestling Observer Newsletter'', and voted "Match of the Year by" ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated'' readers.<ref name=MOTY/> Hart challenged [[Dwayne Johnson|The Rock]] for the [[WWE Intercontinental Championship|WWF Intercontinental Championship]] in the main event of the March 31 edition of ''Raw''. The Rock won by disqualification when Hart refused to release a figure-four leglock applied around the ringpost. He would face Austin again in the main event of [[In Your House 14: Revenge of the 'Taker]], to determine who would challenge the WWF Champion in a title match at the following month's [[In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell]]. Austin had Hart locked in his own finishing move, the [[Sharpshooter (professional wrestling)|Sharpshooter]], in the middle of the ring when [[Davey Boy Smith|The British Bulldog]] interfered on Hart's behalf, resulting in disqualification and giving Austin the victory and title match. They would meet once again in a street fight on the April 21 edition of ''Raw'', in which Austin injured the now-heel Hart's ankle with a steel chair. The match was ultimately awarded to Austin when Hart refused to tap out of the sharpshooter. Austin continued to beat Hart while on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance.
[[File:Bret Canada t-shirt.jpg|thumb|upright|In 1997, Hart became a tweener: generally cheered for by Canadian and international fans, and booed by American fans, while remaining largely consistent in character.]]
Hart's feud with Austin saw Hart shift to the top heel in the company. In the ensuing weeks, Hart denounced American fans, because of their negative reaction to him in the recent weeks in contrast to his continued popularity through the rest of the world, and reunited with brother Owen and brothers-in-law Davey Boy Smith and [[Jim Neidhart]]. The family members formed a [[The Hart Foundation#The (New) Hart Foundation|''new'' Hart Foundation]] with [[Brian Pillman]]; this incarnation was an [[anti-Americanism|anti-American]] [[Smark|stable]] which was popular within [[Canada]] and [[Europe]]. As the leader of this stable, Hart would routinely carry a [[Flag of Canada|Canadian flag]] to the ring and engage in promos where he declared the superiority of his home nation; he became so despised by U.S. audiences that they would often throw debris during his ring entrances, interviews and matches.<ref name="DVD"/> He would go on to be voted by ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated'' readers as the "[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|Most Hated Wrestler of the Year]]" 1997.<ref name="pwihated"/> At [[In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede]], in Hart's home town of Calgary, the Hart Foundation would defeat the team of Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, [[Dustin Rhodes|Goldust]] and [[Road Warriors|The Legion of Doom]], representing the U.S., in a ten-man tag team match main event.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWF In Your House 16: "Canadian Stampede"|accessdate=2011-02-09|}}</ref> The Canada vs U.S. rivalry escalated on the July 21 edition of ''Raw'' in [[Halifax Regional Municipality|Halifax, Nova Scotia]], where Bret, Owen and Davey Boy Smith, representing Canada and the Hart Foundation, defeated the team of [[Mick Foley|Dude Love]], Austin and The Undertaker, representing the U.S., in a [[Professional wrestling match types#Flag match|Flag Match]].<ref>[ ''Raw'' results: July 21, 1997]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 9, 2011.</ref> The Hart Foundation's feud with Austin was named "[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Feud of the Year]]" by ''[[Wrestling Observer Newsletter]]'', and voted "[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|Feud of the Year]]" by readers of ''[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated]]''.<ref name=PWIfeud/> Hart vowed that if he could not defeat The Undertaker for the WWF Championship at [[SummerSlam (1997)|SummerSlam]], he would never wrestle in the United States again. The Undertaker agreed to the match, and Hart won his fifth WWF Championship after spitting in [[Special guest referee|guest referee]] Shawn Michaels' face; Michaels swung a steel chair in retaliation, which accidentally struck the Undertaker. Michaels, who, as part of another pre-match stipulation, would be banned from wrestling in the United States if he did not remain impartial as referee, had no option but to count the pinfall, giving his bitter rival Hart the victory and the WWF Championship.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=SummerSlam 1997 main event|publisher=WWE|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the WWE Championship: Bret Hart(5)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
After SummerSlam, Michaels was pushed as the top heel in the company and negative fan reactions towards Hart in the U.S. softened somewhat, as he declared, "I'm not so much anti-American as I am just very, very pro-Canadian".<ref name="DVD"/> Hart successfully defended his title against [[Del Wilkes|The Patriot]], with whom Hart had become involved in a feud as part of the Canada vs U.S. storyline, at [[Ground Zero: In Your House]],<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWF Ground Zero: In Your House info/results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History|accessdate=2011-02-09}}</ref> avenging a loss to him weeks earlier on ''Raw'',<ref>[ ''Raw'' results: July 28, 1997]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 9, 2011.</ref> and the Canada vs U.S. feud would conclude at [[Badd Blood: In Your House]], where Hart and Davey Boy Smith, representing Canada and The Hart Foundation, defeated The Patriot and Vader, representing the U.S., in a Flag Match.<ref>[ WWF Badd Blood Results]. Retrieved February 9, 2011.</ref> Erstwhile, in a rematch from SummerSlam, The Undertaker challenged Hart for the WWF Championship at [[WWF One Night Only|One Night Only]]; after reversing a Tombstone Piledriver attempt from Hart, The Undertaker dumped Hart on the apron when he would not let go of the ropes. As a result, Hart's neck was caught in the ropes, and The Undertaker was disqualified.<ref>{{cite web|title=One Night Only|url=|publisher=Pro Wrestling History|accessdate=2011-02-09}}</ref> Hart would cite this as his favorite of all his matches with The Undertaker,<ref name="DVD"/> and his last great match in the WWF.<ref name="slam97"/> During the Hart Foundation's feud with the Shawn Michaels-led [[D-Generation X]], DX framed the Hart Foundation in vandalizing the locker room of the [[African American]] stable, [[Nation of Domination]] with racist motifs. In retaliation, during a promo with D-Generation X, Hart called members Triple H (previously billed as "Hunter Hearst Helmsley") and Shawn Michaels "[[homosexuality|homos]]". Hart later apologized for his participation in the storyline and said that he had been pressured into it, saying, "I am not in any shape or form a racist. And I don't believe it is anything to kid around about. I also want to apologize for any remarks I made about gay people. It was a stupid mistake on my part."<ref name="slam97">{{cite web|url=|title=SLAM! Wrestling: The Bret Hart Interview|publisher=SLAM! Sports}}</ref> Hart successfully defended the WWF Championship against Nation of Domination leader, [[Ron Simmons|Faarooq]], on the October 20 edition of ''Raw'',<ref>[ ''Raw'' results: October 20, 1997.]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 9, 2011.</ref> and, in his penultimate WWF Championship match, wrestled Ken Shamrock to a no-contest on the October 27 edition of the show when both men were assaulted by Shawn Michaels.<ref>[ ''Raw'' results: October 27, 1997.]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 9, 2011.</ref>
[[File:WWF Champion Bret Hart.jpg|thumb|left|Hart (along with [[Hulk Hogan]]) held the record for most [[WWE Championship|WWF Championship]] reigns until [[Dwayne Johnson|The Rock]]'s sixth reign in 2001.]]
Around this time, Hart's on-air rivalry with Vince McMahon also escalated. A heated ringside altercation between the two led many fans to dislike McMahon, who at the time was being exposed as owner of the WWF more and more frequently on-air. Although Hart was signed to a 20-year contract back in 1996, the WWF was in a rough financial position by late 1997 and could not afford the contract. Although Hart was arguably the biggest wrestler in the world during the mid-1990s,<ref name="darkdays"/> McMahon also felt that the value of his character was beginning to wane,<ref>''Off The Record'' with Vince McMahon, [[The Sports Network|TSN]], 2-24-98: "...his value was beginning to wane..." (archived [ video] at</ref> but wished for Hart to remain with the WWF and discuss the contract and the character's future. Nonetheless, McMahon gave Hart his blessing to talk to [[World Championship Wrestling]] (WCW) about possibly taking a second look at their original offer to him.<ref name="dvd"/> Hart subsequently signed a three-year contract with WCW. His final match with the WWF would be a title match against his real life rival Shawn Michaels at [[Survivor Series (1997)|Survivor Series]] in [[Montreal]]. Hart did not want to end his WWF career with a loss to Michaels in his home country; McMahon agreed to Hart's idea of forfeiting the championship the next night on ''Raw'' or losing it a few weeks later.
Although Hart stated to McMahon he would not take the WWF Championship with him to WCW TV (and despite insistence from then-WCW President [[Eric Bischoff]], according to Hart's DVD biography,<ref name="dvd">{{cite web|url=|title=''Bret "Hitman" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Every Will Be''}}</ref> that Hart would join WCW with a "clean slate"), McMahon was still concerned; this led to him breaking his word in what eventually came to be known as the [[Montreal Screwjob]]. Even though Hart did not submit to the Sharpshooter, referee [[Earl Hebner]] called for the bell as if he had, on McMahon's orders. This resulted in Hart "losing" the WWF Championship to Michaels.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Survivor Series 1997 main event (Montreal Screwjob)|publisher=WWE}}</ref> The night ended with an irate Hart spitting in McMahon's face, destroying television equipment, and punching McMahon backstage in front of [[Gerald Brisco]], [[Pat Patterson (wrestler)|Pat Patterson]], and McMahon's son [[Shane McMahon|Shane]]. Hart also confronted Michaels backstage about the match finish. Many behind-the-scenes events leading up to the Montreal Screwjob were filmed for the documentary ''[[Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows]]'', released in 1998. WWE has described the Montreal Screwjob as "arguably the most controversial, most jarring moment in the annals of sports entertainment."<ref>Tello, Craig. [ The Hit Man: Ten years later - Part One]. [[WWE]]. November 8, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2010.</ref>
===World Championship Wrestling===
====Various feuds (1997–1999)====
Hart signed a three-year contract with [[World Championship Wrestling]] (WCW) in November 1997, the perks of which included a salary of $2.5 million per year (a $1 million increase from his WWF contract) as well as a greatly reduced live schedule and complete [[artistic control|creative control]] over his television character.<ref>''Off The Record''. [[The Sports Network|TSN]]. December 3, 1997.</ref> A day after the Survivor Series pay-per-view, [[Eric Bischoff]], while with the [[New World Order (professional wrestling)|New World Order]] (nWo), announced that Hart was going to be coming to WCW, and joining the nWo. Hart made his debut on ''[[WCW Monday Nitro]]'' on December 15, 1997,<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WCW Nitro: December 15, 1997|date=December 15, 1997|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> and was heavily involved in that month's [[Starrcade (1997)|Starrcade]] pay-per-view. Due to a 60-day no-compete clause from the WWF, he served as the special guest referee for the match between Bischoff and [[Larry Zbyszko]]; during the [[Sting (wrestler)|Sting]] versus [[Hulk Hogan]] main event for the [[WCW World Heavyweight Championship]], he used his referee's license to step in toward the conclusion of the match as impromptu referee. He attacked referee [[Nick Hamilton|Nick Patrick]], accusing him of making a fast count and shouting he would not let "it happen again" (a reference to the Montreal Screwjob), and declaring Sting the winner and new champion by submission.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Starrcade 1997 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref> During Bischoff's period in control of the company, the goodwill towards Hart generated by the Montreal Screwjob resulted in his being pushed as a face. In January, his no-compete clause expired, and his first feud in WCW was against Ric Flair: both Flair and Hart considered themself the greatest professional wrestler of all time. Hart defeated Flair at [[Souled Out#1998|Souled Out 1998]] in his first WCW match.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Souled Out 1998 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref> Hart bested Flair again at [[Boston Brawl]]. After this, Hart would elect to defend the honor of WCW against the nWo, defeating members [[Brian Adams (wrestler)|Brian Adams]] in his debut ''Nitro'' match on March 2, and old WWF rival [[Curt Hennig]] (formerly known as "Mr. Perfect") at [[Uncensored 1998|Uncensored]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Uncensored 1998 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref>
In April 1998, Hart turned heel by interfering in a ''Nitro'' main event between Hogan and Randy Savage, helping Hogan recapture the [[WCW World Heavyweight Championship]]. He became an associate of the nWo, but did not officially join the group. Hart defeated Savage in singles action at [[Slamboree#1998|Slamboree]], thanks to assistance from Hogan. The following night on ''Nitro'', however, guest referee Roddy Piper changed his decision and declared Savage as the winner by disqualification.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Slamboree 1998 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref> In a tag team match at [[The Great American Bash]], Hart and Hogan defeated Savage and Piper.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=The Great American Bash 1998 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref>
[[File:Bret Hart in 1994.jpg|thumb|right|200px|A [[List of WCW World Heavyweight Champions|two-time]] [[WCW World Heavyweight Championship|WCW World Heavyweight Champion]] and the first born outside the United States, Hart is also a record-tying [[List of WWE United States Champions|five-time]] [[WWE United States Championship|WCW/WWE United States Champion]], with his four WCW reigns being the most in the history of the organization.]]
Hart competed in his second ''Nitro'' match on June 22, defeating [[Chris Benoit]] with assistance from nWo members: Hart had attempted to recruit his long-time friend into the nWo, but the offer was rejected.<ref>[ ''Nitro'' results: June 22, 1998]. OWOW. Retrieved March 27, 2011.</ref> At [[Bash at the Beach]], Hart competed in his first championship match in WCW when he faced [[Booker T (wrestler)|Booker T]] for Booker's [[WCW World Television Championship]]. He was disqualified after hitting Booker with a steel chair.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Bash at the Beach 1998 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref> He would headline his first ''Nitro'' card on July 20, defeating [[Diamond Dallas Page]] for the vacant [[WWE United States Championship|WCW United States Heavyweight Championship]], with assistance from nWo member, [[Big Show|The Giant]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the United States Championship - Bret Hart(1)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref> WWE would later write, "Hart added to the significance of the already prestigious championship as many major WCW events were headlined by a U.S. Title bout rather than a WCW World Title contest."<ref>[ The 50 Greatest Stars in WCW History: Bret Hart]. WWE. Retrieved May 24, 2012.</ref> On the August 10 edition of ''Nitro'', Hart lost the United States Heavyweight Championship to fellow WWF alumnus Lex Luger.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - August 10, 1998|date=August 10, 1998|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Hart regained the title from Luger, the next night on ''[[WCW Thunder|Thunder]]''.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the United States Championship - Bret Hart(2)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref> In the main event of [[Fall Brawl]], Hart would compete for the No. 1 contender spot to the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, losing to [[Diamond Dallas Page]] in a [[WarGames match]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Online World of Wrestling|publisher=Online World of Wrestling|date=September 13, 1998|accessdate=2011-02-21}}</ref> Hart subsequently asked the fans for forgiveness, turning his back on Hogan and the nWo and ostensibly turning face again. A match between Hart and Hogan was booked for the September 28 edition of ''Nitro''. During the match, Hart sustained a knee injury, with [[Sting (wrestler)|Sting]] taking his place. Hart's rift with Hogan had been a [[Smark|swerve]]: Hart turned on Sting, delivering a DDT, and the match was officially ruled a no-contest. Sting, a member of the rival [[New World Order (professional wrestling)|nWo Wolfpac]], was assaulted after the match; this betrayal began an intense feud between Hart and Sting. On the October 11 edition of ''Nitro'', Sting and the [[Warrior (wrestler)|Warrior]] beat Hart and Hogan. Hart's feud with Sting ended at [[Halloween Havoc]] with Hart controversially defending the United States Heavyweight Championship and ([[kayfabe]]) injuring Sting. On the October 26 edition of ''Nitro'', Hart lost the title to Diamond Dallas Page.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - October 26, 1998|date=October 26, 1998|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> The two would headline the following month's [[World War 3 1998|World War 3]] pay-per-view in a title match which Hart lost.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=World War 3 1998 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref> Hart regained the title from Page on the November 30 edition of ''Nitro'' in a [[No Disqualification match]] with help from The Giant.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the United States Championship: Bret Hart(3)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
On the February 8 edition of ''Nitro'', Hart lost the United States Heavyweight Championship to family friend Roddy Piper.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - February 8, 1999|date=February 8, 1999|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> In subsequent weeks, Hart declared that he was shifting his focus back to the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. On the March 29, 1999 edition of ''Nitro'' held at [[Toronto]]'s [[Air Canada Centre]], Hart appeared in street clothes and derided champion Ric Flair, as well as Hogan, for avoiding a match with him. Finally, he called out "franchise player" [[Bill Goldberg]], claiming he could beat him in five minutes and verbally coercing Goldberg into tackling him. Hart was wearing a metal [[breastplate]] under his [[Toronto Maple Leafs]] sweater, which resulted in Goldberg being knocked out. Hart then counted his own [[Pin (professional wrestling)|pinfall]] over Goldberg's unconscious body, announced over the mic "Hey WCW, Bischoff, I quit!", to close the show, arising speculation on whether Hart was actually leaving the company. In reality, Hart had suffered a [[groin]] injury at the hands of [[Dean Malenko]] in November, and needed time off for surgery, removing him from the WCW World Heavyweight Championship picture.<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|pp=478–479}}</ref> On May 23, 1999, the night before Hart was scheduled to make an appearance on ''[[The Tonight Show with Jay Leno]]'' to hype his imminent WCW return, his brother [[Owen Hart]] died in an accident during a [[Over the Edge (1999)|WWF pay-per-view]]. Hart took a further four months off from WCW to be with his family.
====WCW Champion and Retirement (1999–2000)====
Hart returned to wrestling as a face on the September 13, 1999 edition of ''Nitro'' in a match with [[Hulk Hogan]] against [[Sting (wrestler)|Sting]] and Lex Luger. On the October 4, 1999 edition of ''Nitro'' he defeated [[Chris Benoit]] in a tribute match for Owen – this match took place in [[Kemper Arena]] in [[Kansas City, Missouri|Kansas City]], where Owen had died months earlier.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - October 4, 1999|publisher=Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Hart challenged for Sting's [[WCW World Heavyweight Championship]] on the October 18 edition of ''Nitro'', but lost the match when he was attacked by Lex Luger.<ref>[ ''Nitro'' results: October 18, 1999.]. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 23, 2011.</ref> Due to controversy over a series of WCW World Heavyweight Championship matches between Sting, Hogan, and Goldberg at [[Halloween Havoc 1999|Halloween Havoc]], the title was declared vacant. A tournament then took place over several episodes of ''Nitro''. Hart's first round match came against Goldberg the night after Halloween Havoc, with the match being a tournament match for a berth in the next round, as well as being a match for the United States Heavyweight Championship that Goldberg had won the night before. Thanks to outside interference, Hart was able to defeat Goldberg, handing him his second official WCW loss, and winning the United States Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the United States Championship - Bret Hart(4)|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2007-12-30}}</ref><ref name="ustitle"/>
On the November 8 edition of ''Nitro'', Hart lost the United States Heavyweight Championship to Scott Hall in a [[ladder match]] which also involved Sid Vicious and Goldberg.<ref name="08NOV99">{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - November 8, 1999|date=November 8, 1999|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Hart went on to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship tournament by defeating [[Perry Saturn]],<ref name="08NOV99"/> [[Billy Kidman]],<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - November 15, 1999|date=November 15, 1999|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> Sting, and Chris Benoit at [[Mayhem 1999|Mayhem]], held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, giving him his first of two reigns in WCW and his sixth [[World Heavyweight Championship (professional wrestling)|world title]] overall.
On December 7, Hart and Goldberg won the [[WCW World Tag Team Championship]] from Creative Control, thus not only making Hart a double champion (as he was still World Champion at that point) but also the first wrestler to win both the WWF and WCW version of the [[Triple Crown Championship]]. Also, he and Goldberg won the Triple Crown at exactly the same time, as both have been United States and World Champion leading to this win.
Hart and Goldberg would lose the tag team titles to [[The Outsiders (professional wrestling)|The Outsiders]] on the December 13 edition of ''Nitro''.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - December 13, 1999|date=December 13, 1999|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref> At [[Starrcade (1999)|Starrcade]], Hart defended his WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Goldberg. During the match, Hart was struck with a [[Professional wrestling attacks#super kick|thrust kick]] to the head, resulting in a severe [[concussion]]. Hart later speculated that he may have suffered up to three additional concussions within matches over the course of that day along with the days immediately following Starrcade, having been unaware of the severity of his injuries.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Starrcade 1999 results|publisher=Pro Wrestling History}}</ref> As a part of this, Hart placed Goldberg on the post in a [[Professional wrestling holds#Figure four leglock|figure-four leg lock]] which ended with Hart hitting his head on the concrete floor when Goldberg failed to receive the move correctly.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WCW Starrcade Sunday, December 19, 1999|date=December 19, 1999|publisher=DDTDigest}}</ref> The sum total of those injuries left Hart with [[post-concussion syndrome]] and ultimately forced his [[retirement]] from professional wrestling. Hart wrote a ''Calgary Sun'' column in which he said that Goldberg "had a tendency to injure everyone he worked with."<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Story about Goldberg & Jericho|date=May 9, 2003|}}</ref> As part of his [[DVD documentary]], Hart expressed regret that "someone as good-hearted as Bill Goldberg" was responsible for hurting him.<ref name="dvd" /> As with the Montreal Screwjob, referee Roddy Piper simply rung the bell when Hart held Goldberg in the Sharpshooter, although Goldberg did not submit. Piper simply walked away, leaving both Goldberg and Hart bewildered.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Goldberg screwed at Starrcade|first=John|last=Powell|date=December 20, 1999|publisher=SLAM! Sports|accessdate=2008-06-14}}</ref> This would be Hart's last WCW pay-per-view.
Out of respect for Goldberg, Hart vacated the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the December 20 edition of ''Nitro'' and suggested that he, without the championship advantage, face Goldberg that night to determine the true champion. During the match, [[Scott Hall (wrestler)|Scott Hall]] and [[Kevin Nash]] came to the ring looking to attack Goldberg with baseball bats. Hart convinced them to stop, then in a swerve hit Goldberg with one of the bats. The three continued to beat down Goldberg and were eventually joined by [[Jeff Jarrett]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WCW Monday Nitro 1999|publisher=The History of WWE|accessdate=2011-01-15}}</ref> As a result, not only did Hart regain the championship, the [[New World Order (professional wrestling)|nWo]] was reformed (now billed as "nWo 2000"), and Hart turned heel once again.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Monday Nitro - December 20, 1999|date=December 20, 1999|publisher=The Other Arena|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 1, 2008|deadurl=yes}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=History of the WCW Championship: Bret Hart(2)|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref> Hart wrestled [[Terry Funk]] to a no-contest in a non-title, hardcore rules match on the January 6 edition of ''Thunder''. In his final match in WCW, he defended the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Kevin Nash on the January 10 edition of ''Nitro'', which also ended in a no-contest. Hart vacated the title in late January 2000 when he was forced to withdraw from the main event of WCW's [[Souled Out 2000|Souled Out]] due to his injuries. Hart continued to make appearances on WCW television, generally cutting promos. He was an unofficial participant in a battle royal on the May 3, 2000 edition of ''Thunder'' to determine the number one contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: the extent of his involvement in the match—ultimately won by Ric Flair—was to hit Hulk Hogan with a chair. His final WCW appearance occurred on the September 6, 2000 edition of ''Thunder'', in a promo where he confronted Bill Goldberg on the injury he sustained nine months prior. WCW released Hart from his contract in October 2000, due to his ongoing incapacity, and he announced his retirement from professional wrestling soon afterward.
Hart and several critics considered his storylines during his tenure to be lackluster. Nonetheless he had, upon departing, held seven titles, including the WCW Triple Crown, and headlined multiple pay-per-views for WCW.<ref name="eric">Bischoff, Eric: ''Controversy Creates Cash'', [[WWE Books]], 2006 (p.265)</ref><ref name="DVD"/> Hart has cited his WCW World Heavyweight Championship victory at Mayhem 1999, the "steel plate" segment with Goldberg and his tribute match to Owen, against Chris Benoit, as his greatest moments with the company.<ref name="DVD"/>
===Retirement appearances===
====World Wrestling All-Stars (2001; 2003)====
In 2001, Hart became the on-screen commissioner of [[World Wrestling All-Stars]] (WWA), a role that ended prematurely due to a 2002 [[stroke]], which temporarily rendered him a [[wheelchair]] user.<ref>Gray, Richard. [ Bret Hart Says He's Careful About What He Does, Says Vince Is Focused As Ever & Wants To Remain King, More]. ''Wrestling News World''. Feb 10, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2011.</ref> In his first major appearance since recovering, Hart traveled to [[Australia]] to appear at another WWA event in May 2003.
====Theater and return to the ring (2004; 2006)====
Hart donned his famed "Hit Man" singlet, along with additional costume, and wrestled in-ring matches against [[Job (professional wrestling)#Jobbers|jobbers]] (playing minor villain characters) as part of his performance as the Genie in a 2004 stage production of ''[[Aladdin]]'', which capitalized on his past as a professional wrestler.<ref>"Bret Hart's stroke and his battle to survive". [[The Sports Network]]. December 6, 2004.</ref> He reprised the role in 2006.
====World Wrestling Entertainment (2005–2006)====
In mid-2005, Hart worked with the renamed World Wrestling Entertainment for the first time since 1997, contributing hours of interview footage and selecting matches for his [[WWE Home Video]] release, ''[[Bret "Hit Man" Hart: The Best There Is, the Best There Was, the Best There Ever Will Be]]''. He was interviewed by [[Todd Grisham]] on the November 16, 2005 edition of ''Byte This!'', marking his first appearance on WWE programming since his departure.<ref>Clark, Ryan. [ Bret Hart On Byte This Recap]. Wrestling Inc. November 19, 2005. Retrieved April 27, 2011.</ref> In April 2006, he was inducted into the [[WWE Hall of Fame]] by former on-screen rival, [[Stone Cold Steve Austin]].
====Independent promotions (2007–2009)====
On May 9, 2007, it was announced that Hart would make his first appearance for a professional wrestling event since the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame. Hart signed autographs at "The Legends of Wrestling" show at the [[Tropicana Field]] in [[St. Petersburg, Florida]].<ref name="Legends of Wrestling">{{cite web|url=|title=Bret Hart returns to Pro Wrestling}}</ref> On June 11, 2007, Hart made his first appearance on ''[[WWE Raw|Raw]]'' since October 27, 1997 when he appeared in a pre-taped interview voicing his opinions on Vince McMahon as part of "Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night." During the months of October and November 2008, Hart went on tour with American Wrestling Rampage promotions, touring many places throughout the UK and Ireland, posing for photographs and signing autographs before the show. On the weekend of July 11, 2009, he made an appearance at [[One Pro Wrestling]] in [[Doncaster]], [[England]], where he held a Q&A, and then entered the ring to address the fans at the show. On September 27, 2009, Hart appeared in New York City's Manhattan Center to sign autographs during a [[Ring of Honor]] event. He spoke to the crowd, reminiscing about some of his more memorable matches in New York.
===Return to WWE (2009–present)===
====Return and feuding with Vince McMahon (2009–2010)====
[[File:Bret vs HBK Jan 4 2010.jpg|right|thumb|Hart confronts Michaels on January 4, 2010.]]
Hart re-signed with WWE in late December 2009. On December 28, after weeks of controversy surrounding Hart and his presence in World Wrestling Entertainment, Chairman [[Vince McMahon]] announced that Hart would be special guest host on the January 4 ''[[WWE Raw|Raw]]''.<ref>{{cite web|last=Tello|first=Craig|url=|title=TV Shows > Raw > Special Guest Stars > Pink and black is back|publisher=WWE|date=December 28, 2009|accessdate=2011-01-15}}</ref> Hart made his first live appearance on Raw in over 12 years by hosting the program. There, he thanked the fans for their continued support, jokingly teased announcer [[Jerry Lawler]] about their long running 1990s feud, and confronted [[Shawn Michaels]] and Vince McMahon regarding the [[Montreal Screwjob]] at [[Survivor Series (1997)|Survivor Series]] in 1997. Hart and Michaels were able to agree on a truce, shaking hands and hugging. While many cast doubts on the sincerity of their reconciliation, both men have confirmed that it was indeed genuine and [[Legit (professional wrestling)|not part of storyline]].<ref name="calgary">{{cite web|url=|title=Back in the Ring: Hart seeks closure in comeback|work=[[Calgary Sun]]|first=Heath|last=McCoy|accessdate=2010-01-11|archiveurl=|archivedate=April 8, 2010|deadurl=yes}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Q&A with Shawn Michaels|work=[[The Baltimore Sun]]|first=Kevin|last=Eck|accessdate= 2010-04-04}}</ref> It also appeared that he had buried the hatchet with Vince later in the night, until Vince subsequently kicked Bret in the crotch (this was in fact part of a storyline, as Bret and Vince have been on speaking terms since 2005).<ref name="calgary"/>
During different encounters the following month, Hart and McMahon would reproduce similar events that occurred in the Montreal Screwjob: McMahon spitting in Hart's face (as Hart did to McMahon), and Hart destroying parts of the technical equipment that goes into producing ''Raw'' (as he did to the Survivor Series equipment).<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Caldwell's WWE RAW Report 2/8: Complete coverage of Unified tag title match, WWE champ vs. ECW champ, Hart-McMahon|last=Caldwell|first=James|date=February 8, 2010|publisher=Pro Wrestling Torch|accessdate=2010-02-11}}</ref> On the February 15 ''Raw'', Hart made a farewell from WWE, but as he left to go inside his limousine, another vehicle reversed into the door of his limo and injured his left leg. On the March 1 ''Raw'', Mr. McMahon, who would take advantage of Hart's condition, challenged Hart to a match at [[WrestleMania XXVI]]; Hart accepted.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=A long, strange trip to WrestleMania|last=Adkins|first=Greg|date=March 1, 2010|publisher=[[WWE]]|accessdate=2011-02-21}}</ref> The match was later changed to a [[Hardcore wrestling|No Holds Barred Match]] as Hart revealed (with help from [["Stone Cold" Steve Austin]], the special guest host that night) the [[screenplay|staging]] of his injury. Hart, along with his [[Hart wrestling family|family]], inducted his father [[Stu Hart]] into the [[WWE Hall of Fame]], a controversial decision that aggravated Hart and McMahon's rivalry in 2010. At WrestleMania, McMahon attempted to buy Hart's family into turning against him; however, they turned against McMahon instead and helped Hart defeat McMahon.<ref name="wm26">{{cite web|url=|title=Bret Hart def. Mr. McMahon in a No Holds Barred Match|date=March 28, 2010|publisher=[[WWE]]|accessdate=December 23, 2012}}</ref>
====United States Champion and Raw General Manager (2010)====
[[File:Bret.jpg|thumb|upright|right|Hart with WWE in 2010.]]
On the ''Raw'' episode after WrestleMania, Hart was about to announce his farewell from WWE until Unified [[WWE Tag Team Championship|WWE Tag Team Champions]] [[ShoMiz]] taunted Hart. This led Hart to request a match between the champions and [[The Hart Dynasty]] ([[David Hart Smith]] and [[Tyson Kidd]]), a stable stemmed from the Hart family. Ultimately, the Dynasty would win a championship match that culminated in them winning the championship on April 26. Hart would manage in the Dynasty's corners while they battled with the Miz and Show in various matches, which eventually led to The Miz losing a match that guaranteed a [[WWE United States Championship]] match to a Hart family member against him. Instead of choosing a member of the Dynasty, The Miz chose Bret; with the help of the Dynasty, Hart would defeat The Miz to win his record-tying fifth United States Championship on May 17 in [[Toronto, Ontario, Canada]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Without limits|last=Adkins|first=Greg|date=May 17, 2010|accessdate=February 21, 2011}}</ref>
On the May 24 edition of ''Raw'', Hart was named the new [[Professional wrestling authority figures|General Manager]] of Raw. He set up qualifying matches for Fatal 4-Way Pay-per-view, but one of which involving the injured [[Dave Batista|Batista]] and [[Randy Orton]]. Batista refused to take part and quit the WWE. He vacated the United States title, which was later won by [[Ron Killings|R-Truth]], and once again retired from the ring to fulfill his duties as General Manager.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Raw Results - May 24, 2010|date=May 24, 2010|last=Martin|first=Adam|accessdate=2010-06-22|work=WrestleView}}</ref> The next week, he was confronted by Vince McMahon who congratulated Hart on becoming General Manager but warned him that he would have to make tough decisions in the future. Hart retaliated by declaring a Viewer's Choice episode of ''Raw''.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Raw Results - May 31, 2010|date=May 31, 2010|last=Martin|first=Adam|accessdate=2010-06-22|work=WrestleView}}</ref> The week after the Viewer's Choice episode, he confronted the NXT rookies who demanded WWE contracts. Hart denied their requests and fired NXT Season 1 winner [[Wade Barrett]]. At the end of the night, the NXT rookies attacked Hart and demanded for contracts giving Hart until the [[WWE Fatal 4-Way|Fatal 4-Way]] pay per view for his answer.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Raw Results - June 14, 2010|date=June 14, 2010|last=Stephens|first=David|accessdate=2010-06-22|work=WrestleView}}</ref> Hart legitimately did not appear at the pay-per-view or the following night's ''Raw'' as advertised. On ''Raw'', Vince McMahon scolded Hart for failing to appear at the pay-per-view, and to hire extra security to prevent the "chaos" caused by the NXT rookies, relieving him of his duties as General Manager.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWE Raw results 6/21: Keller's report on the fallout from the Fatal 4-Way PPV event, Jericho puts his career on the line|date=June 21, 2010|last=Keller|first=Wade|accessdate=2010-06-22|work=Pro Wrestling Torch}}</ref> Hart's profile was subsequently removed from the ''Raw'' roster on Some speculated that Hart had left the company, with the most commonly reported explanation being that [[Lloyd's of London]], with whom he has an insurance settlement following his career-ending injury in WCW, were unhappy with the level of physicality involved in his WWE appearances.<ref>[ "WWE suffer Hart problems"]. McNichol, Rob. ''[[The Sun (United Kingdom)|The Sun]]''. Retrieved June 23, 2010.</ref><ref>[ "Bret Hart Done With WWE?"]. Headline Planet. Retrieved June 22, 2010.</ref>
After a five-week absence from WWE programming, Hart returned to ''Raw'' on July 19, where it was announced by [[John Cena]] that he, [[The Great Khali]], [[Ron Killings|R-Truth]], [[Edge (wrestler)|Edge]], [[Chris Jericho]], [[John Morrison (wrestler)|John Morrison]], and Hart would face the NXT rookies, now known as [[Nexus (professional wrestling)|The Nexus]], at [[SummerSlam (2010)|SummerSlam]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Raw Results - July 19, 2010|work=WrestleView|last=Stephens|first=David|date=July 19, 2010|accessdate=2010-07-21}}</ref> The following week, Hart teamed with [[John Cena]] to wrestle SummerSlam teammates [[Edge (wrestler)|Edge]] and [[Chris Jericho]] to a no contest.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=RAW: Team WWE makes a stand|date=August 10, 2010|last=Plummer|first=Dale|accessdate=December 23, 2012|work=Slam! Sports|publisher=[[Canadian Online Explorer]]}}</ref> In the SummerSlam main event, Hart's first pay-per-view headlining match since [[Starrcade (1999)|Starrcade 1999]], he was disqualified for using a steel chair on [[Ryback (wrestler)|Skip Sheffield]]. However, his team went on to win the match.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Rumored return helps Team WWE fend off Nexus at SummerSlam|date=August 15, 2010|last=Plummer|first=Dale|coauthors=Tylwalk, Nick|accessdate=2010-08-16|work=Slam! Sports|publisher=[[|Canadian Online Explorer]]}}</ref> On the August 16 edition of ''Raw'', Bret Hart introduced the new tag team title belts to the champions, The Hart Dynasty. Later on in the night during the Nexus vs. Raw challenge, Hart was scheduled to face [[Justin Gabriel]], but was unable to compete after the anonymous GM, citing his disdain for Hart, removed him from the match and replaced him with [[Randy Orton]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Raw Results - August 16, 2010|date=August 16, 2010|last=Stephens|first=David|accessdate=2010-08-18|work=WrestleView}}</ref> On August 30 Hart appeared on the 900th episode of ''Raw'' and was booked in a match against The Undertaker by the anonymous GM. The match, however, would never take place as The Undertaker was assaulted by the Nexus and [[Kane (wrestler)|Kane]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Caldwell's WWE Raw results 8/30: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live Raw No. 900 - Nexus vs. Team WWE|date=August 30, 2010|last=Caldwell|first=James|accessdate=2010-08-31|work=Pro Wrestling Torch}}</ref> On September 25, 2010, WWE hosted a tribute event to Hart in [[Madison Square Garden]], where he and the Hart Dynasty defeated Nexus members [[Heath Slater]], Justin Gabriel and [[Michael Tarver]] in a six-man tag team match, when Gabriel submitted to Hart's Sharpshooter.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=9/25 WWE results in New York City at MSG: Bret Hart tribute night, Nexus vs. Harts - Raw announcer special referee, Street Fight main event|date=September 26, 2010|last=Omansky|first=Mike|accessdate=2010-09-26|work=Pro Wrestling Torch}}</ref> At ''Raw'' on October 18, 2010, Hart made an appearance in his hometown of Calgary, working as the special enforcer in the main event [[dark match]] between Randy Orton, [[Sheamus]] and Wade Barrett and, after the match, saved Orton from a Nexus beatdown and locked Heath Slater in a Sharpshooter.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Hart-felt return makes lackluster RAW memorable|date=October 19, 2010|last=Clevett|first=Jason|accessdate=2010-10-20|work=Slam! Sports|publisher=[[|Canadian Online Explorer]]}}</ref> In November 2010, Hart's WWE contract had expired.<ref>Middleton, Mark [ Bret Hart’s WWE Status, Survivor Series DVD News, More] November 26, 2010.</ref><ref>[ Update On Bret Hart’s WWE Contract Status & Future]. November 25, 2010.</ref><ref>Windham, Jack. [ Bret Hart Should Come Back to WWE and Help His Relatives Out]. [[Bleacher Report]]. November 24, 2010.</ref>
====Sporadic appearances (2011–present)====
[[File:Bret Hart face à Wade Barrett.jpg|thumb|Hart with [[Wade Barrett]] on ''Raw'' in November 2011.]]
Hart appeared on's ''Legends of Wrestling: Rivalries'' on March 23, 2011, discussing the greatest professional wrestling rivalries of all time with other prominent industry figures. On the April 25, 2011 edition of ''[[WWE Tough Enough|Tough Enough]]'', the contestants focused on developing their agility. Hart, who was described in his introduction by host Steve Austin as the personification of "courage, technique and agility", motivated the contestants by giving a talk on the attributes required to be successful in WWE.<ref>[ Tonight On WWE Tough Enough - Bret Hart Visits The Contestants<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref> On May 22 at [[Over the Limit (2011)|Over the Limit]], Hart's long-running 1990s rival, [[Jerry Lawler]], defeated [[Michael Cole]] in a Kiss My Foot match. Harking back to Hart's victory over Lawler in a [[professional wrestling match types#Kiss My Foot match|Kiss My Foot Match]] at the [[King of the Ring (1995)|1995]] [[King of the Ring]], Hart came to the ring after the match and, along with [[Jim Ross]] and [[Eve Torres]], forced Michael Cole back into the ring so he could kiss Lawler's foot, as agreed in the pre-match stipulation; Hart placed Cole in the Sharpshooter to accomplish this. Hart and Lawler then embraced, laying past animosities to rest. The following night on ''Raw'', Hart refereed the main event, which saw [[John Cena]] and [[Rey Mysterio]] defeat [[Ron Killings|R-Truth]] and [[CM Punk]] with Hart's assistance. On the August 23, 2011 tapings of the August 26, 2011 edition of ''SmackDown'', Hart served as guest General Manager. Hart announced that [[Mark Henry]] would get a shot at [[Randy Orton]]'s [[World Heavyweight Championship (WWE)|World Heavyweight Championship]] the following week, but he was forced to give [[Christian (wrestler)|Christian]] a title shot instead, after Christian invoked his rematch clause. Hart, however, used his authority to add a steel cage stipulation to the match. Hart also [[Special guest referee|guest refereed]] a [[hardcore wrestling|Street Fight]] between Randy Orton and Christian in a Dark Match. After the match, Christian squared off with Bret, who applied the [[sharpshooter (professional wrestling)|sharpshooter]] on Christian.
On September 12, 2011 Hart appeared on ''[[WWE Raw|Raw]]'' and was placed in a tag team match with [[John Cena]] against [[Alberto Del Rio]] and [[Ricardo Rodriguez (wrestler)|Ricardo Rodriguez]] which he won after putting Rodriguez into a [[sharpshooter (professional wrestling)|sharpshooter]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Detailed 9/12 Raw Super show}}</ref> Later that week on Smackdown, which was filmed in Toronto, he took part in a post-show tribute for one of his biggest fans (who also was forced to retire early, due to injuries), [[Edge (wrestler)|Edge]].
Hart appeared on ''[[WWE Raw|Raw 1000]]'' on July 23, 2012 as the guest ring announcer for the Intercontinental Championship match between then champion [[Christian (wrestler)|Christian]] and [[The Miz]].
On the September 10 ''Raw'', Hart interviewed [[John Cena]] during which [[CM Punk]] interrupted. When Punk tried to punch him, Hart countered the attack and punched him right on the face, forcing him to roll out of the ring. He closed the show celebrating with Cena. Bret Hart then made an appearance at the 2013 Royal Rumble, in a segment with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Hart appeared on the March 25 ''Raw'' alongside other legends, as they interviewed The Rock and John Cena. He also encouraged Daniel Bryan the next week to be tough, but [[Team Hell No]] would lose to [[The Shield (professional wrestling)|The Shield]] later on anyway.
On the post show of May 27, 2013 ''Raw'', Bret was honored by the city of [[Calgary]] and the [[WWE]] with a ''Bret Hart Appreciation Night'' which honored the work that Hart had done over his career. [[Pat Patterson (wrestler)|Pat Patterson]], [[Chris Jericho]], [[Shawn Michaels]] and [[Vince McMahon]] were inside the ring to pay their own tributes to Bret.
[[File:Bretplaque.jpg|right|upright|thumb|Bret Hart accepts his induction into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.]]
Hart has been credited by WWE and prominent industry figures as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.<ref name="wwebio"/><ref name="DVD">''[[Bret "Hit Man" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be]]'' (aka "''The Bret Hart Story''"), [[WWE Home Video]] (2005)</ref> WWE has also described him as one of the biggest names in the history of the business,<ref name="wwetitle"/><ref name="mountieic">[ History of the Intercontinental Championship: "The Mountie"]. WWE. Retrieved August 5, 2010.</ref> and said of his popularity, "In the mid ’90s, there were very few, if any, Superstars as popular as Bret “Hit Man” Hart."<ref name="darkdays">{{cite web|url=|title=Their Dark Days: How can you be so Hart-less?|work=[[WWE]]|first=James|last=Vermillion|accessdate=2009-12-07}}</ref> WCW said, "Bret "Hit Man" Hart [is] perhaps the greatest pure wrestler ever to lace up a pair of boots. Universally respected by other wrestlers, Hart is almost as controversial as he is technically adept." The organization also called Hart "an incredible international draw, attracting standing room only crowds in every corner of the globe."<ref name="wcw">''WCW: The Ultimate Guide''. [[Dorling Kindersley|DK Books]]. 2000. (p.104-105)</ref> Since Hart's retirement, WWE chairman [[Vince McMahon]] has described him as the greatest technical wrestler and storyteller in the history of the business, and as having given the best match of the night every time he wrestled.<ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Vince McMahon]]: "His technical skills and knack for storytelling are basically unparalleled... [an] extraordinary star who you know is going to give you the best match of the night every time he goes out there".</ref> [[Stone Cold Steve Austin]],<ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Stone Cold Steve Austin]]: (On their WrestleMania 13 submission match): "Anyone who's been in the ring with Bret knows how talented he is"... "that was the match of the year, that was awesome".</ref> [[The Undertaker]],<ref>[[The Undertaker]] interview. ''[[The Score Television Network|The Score]]''. 2003. "Some of my favorite matches are with [Bret Hart]... to this day I think my matches with Bret were some of the best."</ref> [[Shawn Michaels]],<ref>{{cite episode|title=Off The Record|network=[[The Sports Network|TSN]]|airdate=2003|minutes=20}} [[Shawn Michaels]] discussing his matches at [[WrestleMania]]. ''The [[WrestleMania XII|hour with Bret]], is that number one?'' "If it's not number one it's one and a half for sure"... "I loved wrestling him, I really did. You could go out there and just have a wrestling match with him - it was a sheer joy to be in the ring with him." ''You used to watch him backstage and think, 'that guy is unbelievable', didn't you?'' "I did, yeah. I used to think: 'I'd like to be out there with him'."</ref> [[Chris Benoit]],<ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Chris Benoit]]: "The times that I was in the ring with Bret, those matches are up on a pedestal".</ref> [[Roddy Piper]],<ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Roddy Piper]]: (On their WrestleMania VIII match) "One of the few guys who has a 'total package'"... "I think he's one great man".</ref> [[Bam Bam Bigelow]],<ref>[[Bam Bam Bigelow]] shoot interview. ''RF Video''. 1998. On his [[King of the Ring (1993)|1993 King of the Ring]] final match with Hart: "One of the best matches in my career... Bret's just such a talent."</ref> [[Arn Anderson]],<ref>''Top 50 Superstars of All Time'' (2010). [[Arn Anderson]]: "Bret Hart is the vehicle that you've always dreamed of and it turned out you put 300,000 miles on it, and it cranked every single day."..."He was very consistent during periods of time when there wasn't a lot of consistency."</ref> and other wrestlers<ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Road Warrior Animal]]: (speaking on in-ring opponents): "I put Bret number two or three best of all time, technician-wise".</ref><ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Steve Lombardi]]: "One of the soundest"... "I've ever worked with in the ring".</ref> have named Hart as one of their favorite opponents. Veteran AWA, WWF/E and WCW announcer [[Gene Okerlund]] has asserted that Hart should appear in anyone's list of the top ten greatest wrestlers of all time.<ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Gene Okerlund]]: "Got to be in anyone's book... as one of the top ten greatest wrestlers of all time".</ref> WWE officials including [[Bruce Prichard]],<ref>''Top 50 Superstars of All Time'' (2010). [[Bruce Prichard]]: "To watch Bret a lot of times was like watching a wrestling clinic."</ref> [[Matt Striker]],<ref>''Top 50 Superstars of All Time'' (2010). [[Matt Striker]]: "Everyone knows that the Excellence of Execution belongs to Bret "The Hitman" Hart."</ref> and [[Jim Ross]],<ref>''Bret Hart Story'' (2005). [[Jim Ross]]: "You always, always knew what you were going to get from Bret Hart, and that was quality, and you were going to get a story told."</ref> have all praised Hart's wrestling ability and dedication to the business. Olympic [[wrestling]] [[gold medalist]] and former [[WWE Champion]] [[Kurt Angle]] said of Hart: "I consider of the absolute best ever. I used to watch matches of him so I could learn the psychology of wrestling and the way he went about it... in that ring, as a technician, there wasn't anybody better."<ref>"Orlando Quinones Interviews Kurt Angle Part 2," link:</ref>
Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) readers voted Hart the greatest wrestler of 1993 and 1994 in the "[[PWI 500]]",<ref name="pwi#1"/> as well as the "[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated#PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year|Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year]]" 1994.<ref name="pwiinsp"/> He was voted "WWF Superstar of the Year" 1993 by fans.<ref name="soty"/> PWI ranked him No. 4 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated#All-Time Top Fives|PWI Years]]" in 2003, after Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and André the Giant.<ref name="pwiyears"/> WWE has also credited Hart as the top "Submission Specialist" in professional wrestling history,<ref name="">[ Countdown: Top 10 Submission Specialists]. WWE. December 22, 2010.</ref> and for popularizing the [[Sharpshooter (professional wrestling)|Sharpshooter]], named by the organization as the most devastating submission hold in professional wrestling history.<ref>[ "The Top 25 Most Devastating Submission Maneuvers"]. WWE. Retrieved August 6, 2010.</ref>
In 2004, Hart was chosen as one of [[the Greatest Canadian]]s, coming in at number thirty-nine. He was also the advocate for [[Don Cherry]] during the televised portion of the competition. Hart said he would be done with professional wrestling following his U.S. book tour. He believed his wrestling career would be complete after saying good-bye to his American fans on various book signing tours to promote its release in the States. Hart was content saying good-bye to wrestling through his book and not working for a promotion after spending seven years on the project. "I'd be happy being remembered for really brilliant storytelling in my matches, not for some last chance to snap up some money," Hart said. "I respectfully understand my light in wrestling is fading. I can live with that." Hart said he nearly gave up on the project while trying to fight with the illnesses he faced after suffering a stroke in 2002. However, Hart wanted to bring closure on his wrestling career. "A lot of times, I thought about giving up because it was hard reliving some of these events. But I couldn't say goodbye to my wrestling character until I finished."
On the February 16, 2006 ''[[WWE Raw|Raw]]'', it was announced that Hart would be a 2006 inductee into the [[WWE Hall of Fame]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=McMahons 2, Michaels 0|date=March 6, 2006|accessdate=2008-01-16|publisher=WWE|quote=Stone Cold will induct Bret “Hit Man” Hart}}</ref> Hart had also been approached by Vince McMahon for a potential match between the two at [[WrestleMania 22]] but declined the offer.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=McMahon-Hart|accessdate=2007-11-28}}</ref> On April 1, 2006, Hart was inducted by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He thanked every wrestler he worked with (even thanking Vince McMahon) and said he's "in a good place in life."<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Hall of Fame inductions sincere and entertaining|author=Oliver, Greg|work=Slam! Wrestling|publisher=[[|Canadian Online Explorer]]|date=April 2, 2006|accessdate=2009-09-01}}</ref> Despite Hart's claims around the time of WrestleMania 22, the idea of a match between Hart and McMahon was revived in 2010 following Bret's guest appearance on the January 4 edition of Raw. On March 1, 2010, it was confirmed that Hart and McMahon would have their match at [[WrestleMania XXVI]].
On July 15, 2006, Bret Hart was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, at the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in [[Newton, Iowa]]. The induction took place in an immensely crowded and humid display room showcasing one of Hart's ring entrance jackets. The honor is only awarded to those with both a professional and amateur wrestling background, making Hart one of the youngest inductees. During his acceptance, Hart compared this induction to his place in the WWE Hall of Fame, saying "This is a much bigger honor for me."<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Complete report from Hall of Fame ceremonies July 15 in IA|last=Droste|first=Ryan|publisher=WrestleView}}</ref>
In June 2008, Hart returned to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony, this time to induct his father [[Stu Hart]]. At the induction ceremony in [[Waterloo, Iowa]], he ridiculed Slam Wrestling editor Greg Oliver, calling him a "[[charlatan]]" and his books on wrestling "fiction" to the standing ovation of some wrestlers in attendance. At the end of the speech, Hart said ''"Either you go or I go."'' After Oliver refused to leave, Hart walked out of the ceremony with other wrestlers to scattered applause.<ref name="O#%">{{cite web|url=|title=Ring Posts: Transcript of Bret Hart's Hall of Fame speech|last=Eck|first=Kevin|publisher=Baltimore Sun}}</ref>
On October 16, 2010, Bret Hart was honored at MainStream Wrestling Entertainment's Maritime Wrestling Expo event in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Mayor of Halifax, Peter Kelly, declared the date as Bret "Hit Man" Hart Day and delivered a proclamation in honor of Bret's lifetime contributions to wrestling and for naming the City of Halifax as a favorite place in which to perform. Bret was also given a special custom-made plaque by MainStream Wrestling Entertainment, which was designed by Custom Design Cycle in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
In December 2010, WWE released the "50 Greatest Superstars of All-Time" DVD in which Bret was ranked No. 4 behind Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, and Steve Austin. One point after he retired from wrestling, Hart made an offhand comment about his ring attire; "''I am perhaps one of a small handful of professional wrestlers that wore pink into the ring, and never got my ass kicked for it''".
==Outside the ring==
Hart wrote a weekly column for the ''[[Calgary Sun]]'' from June 1991 until October 2004.
On October 16, 2007, Hart's autobiography titled ''Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling'', was released in Canada by Random House Canada, and released in fall 2008 in the United States by Grand Central Publishing, with a U.S. book signing tour. Hart began writing the book in July 1999 with Marcy Engelstein, his longtime close friend and business associate. They did not complete the book until eight years later in September 2007 due to Hart suffering his stroke in 2002, among numerous other tragedies that occurred during the writing. Hart's chronicle is based on an audio diary that he kept for all of his years on the road in professional wrestling.
<!-- Deleted image removed: [[File:BretHartTheSimpsons.jpg|right|thumb|An [[Animated cartoon|animated]] version of Hart in the ''[[The Simpsons]]'' episode "[[The Old Man and the Lisa]]", which first aired in April 1997. Hart also [[Voice acting|voiced]] the character.]] -->
In 1994, Hart played a prison inmate in [[Oliver Stone]]'s ''[[Natural Born Killers]]''; however, the scene he appeared in was deleted.
From 1994 to 1995 Hart appeared in the ''[[Lonesome Dove (TV miniseries)|Lonesome Dove]]'' television series playing "Luther Root". He has made numerous televised appearances since, including a guest spot on ''[[The Simpsons]]'' in 1997 (as himself, in "[[The Old Man and the Lisa]]") and episodes of the ''[[Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show|Honey I Shrunk The Kids TV series]]'' (along with his brother Owen), ''[[The Adventures of Sinbad]]'', ''[[Big Sound]]'', and ''The Immortal''. Hart provides the voice of pro wrestler character "The Hooded Fang" in ''[[Jacob Two-Two (TV series)|Jacob Two-Two]]''.
Hart also guest starred on the [[sketch comedy]] series ''[[MADtv]]'' in 1997 where he acted as [[Enforcer (professional wrestling)|enforcer]] at a fan's house, appearing with his WWF Championship belt. Hart later appeared again on ''MADtv'' in 1999 and 2000 in an angle with actor [[Will Sasso]] in which the two feuded on the set of ''MADtv'' and in World Championship Wrestling; this culminated in a grudge match on ''WCW Monday Nitro'', where Hart decisively defeated Sasso.
Hart had a stint playing [[The Genie]] in a theatrical production of ''Aladdin'' in 2004, a role which he reprised in the Canadian Touring production of ''Aladdin'' in late 2006.
Hart was the subject of 1998 documentary, ''[[Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows]]'', which chronicles the events leading up to his transition from WWF to WCW.
In mid-2005, WWE announced the release of a three-disc [[DVD]] originally named ''Screwed: The Bret Hart Story'', with the title a reference to the [[Montreal Screwjob]]. After he was approached about appearing in the DVD, Hart visited WWE Headquarters on August 3, 2005 and met with Vince McMahon. Hart filmed over seven hours of interview footage for the DVD, which was renamed ''[[Bret "Hit Man" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be]]''. The DVD includes a compendium of Hart's favorite matches, including a match against his brother Owen held in [[White Plains, New York]] and his first match with [[Ricky Steamboat]]. Before the DVD's release, WWE released a special magazine covering Hart's career. The collection was released on November 15, 2005.
On April 6, 2010, WWE released ''[[Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology]]'', which is a 3 DVD set featuring a documentary on the Hart wrestling family as well as 12 matches. It is unique in that it also features previously unseen home movies from the Harts as well as candid interviews from surviving family members.
Hart appeared on many talk shows (''[[Larry King Live]]'', ''[[Nancy Grace#Chris Benoit murder/suicide case|Nancy Grace]]'', ''[[Hannity & Colmes]]'', ''[[On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren]]'', etc.) discussing the [[Chris Benoit double murder and suicide]]. Hart is shown putting his finishing hold, the Sharpshooter, on [[Chris Benoit]] in the opening credits of ''[[Malcolm in the Middle]]'' which was footage from WCW Mayhem 1999 .
In 2010, the [[Fight Network]] produced a documentary titled 'Bret Hart - Survival of the Hitman' produced by John Pollock, Jorge Barbosa and Wai Ting chronicling the rise of Hart, his split with WWE in 1997 and his road back to the company in January 2010. The documentary features interviews with Bret, members of the family, Carl DeMarco, former sports agent Gord Kirke, producer of 'Wrestling with Shadows' Paul Jay and more.
In June 2011, [[Twitter|tweets]] from [[Jim Ross]], Shawn Michaels and Hart announced that the three were working on a DVD chronicling the careers of Hart and Michaels that the WWE was planning to release in October 2011. The subject of the DVD would be their on-screen rivalry and real-life conflicts, with a particular focus on the Montreal screwjob. In his tweet, Hart described working on the DVD as a "cathartic" experience, and Ross asserted that both Hart and Michaels had been very honest and emotional in their interviews.
==Personal life==
Hart married Julie Smadu (born March 25, 1960) on July 8, 1982<!--Wasn't her sister married to Tom Billington? I would think that to be relevant if that were the case.-->. Bret and Julie have 4 children:<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=224,255}}</ref> Jade Michelle Hart (born March 31, 1983); Dallas Jeffery Hart (born August 11, 1984); Alexandra Sabina Hart (born May 17, 1988), nicknamed "Beans"; and Blade Colton Hart (born June 5, 1990).<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=255}}</ref> The 4 hearts located on the right thigh of his tights symbolize his 4 children, as do the 4 dots following his signature.<ref>{{Harv|Hart|2007|p=254}}</ref> Bret and Julie separated in May 1998 and they eventually got divorced on June 24, 2002 just hours before Bret suffered his stroke.<ref name="ReferenceA">Hitman: My life in the cartoon world of wrestling</ref> Hart married an [[Italy|Italian]] woman named Cinzia Rota in 2004, but they got divorced in 2007 after failing to agree on where they should live.<ref name="ReferenceA"/><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Bret Hart ties the knot over the weekend|last=Gerweck|first=Steve|work=WrestleView|date=July 26, 2010|accessdate=2010-07-27}}</ref> In 2010, he married Stephanie Washington, originally from [[San Francisco]].<ref>{{cite web|last=Bluth|first=Michael|title=Bret Hart Marries Over The Weekend|url=|work=SEScoops|accessdate=26 July 2010}}</ref> Through his daughter Jade, Hart has a granddaughter, Kyra Beans (born June 2010).<ref>{{cite web|last=Andrews|first=Kenai|title=MMA Crossfire Friday File – Jade Hart wrestles with the art of the kimono|url=||publisher=[[Postmedia News]]|accessdate=January 19, 2012|date=January 13, 2012}}</ref>
His 7 brothers were either wrestlers or involved backstage with the wrestling business; his 4 sisters all married professional wrestlers. 3 of his brothers-in-law, the [[Dynamite Kid]], [[Davey Boy Smith]], and [[Jim Neidhart]] had successful careers in the business. His youngest brother [[Owen Hart]] had become a decorated wrestler in his own right before his death in 1999, caused in a real-life accident at the WWF pay-per-view [[Over the Edge (1999)|Over the Edge]]. Hart's daughter Alexandra "Beans" Hart is currently training to become a wrestler, hoping to eventually join her cousin and Hart's niece [[Natalya (wrestler)|Natalya]] as a [[WWE Diva]].<ref></ref>
===Health problems===
On June 24, 2002, Bret Hart suffered a stroke after hitting his head in a bicycle accident. ''The Calgary Herald'' reported that Hart hit a pothole, flew over the handlebars of the bike, and landed on the back of his head. Hart suffered total paralysis on his left side, which required months of physical therapy. Hart has since recovered much of his mobility and is in good health, although he suffers from an emotional imbalance and other lasting effects common to stroke survivors. Hart wrote in detail about his stroke in his autobiography, ''Hitman: My Real Life In The Cartoon World of Wrestling''.<ref name="IGN">{{cite web|url=|title=Bret Hart: The Hitman Returns|last=Robinson|first=J.|publisher=IGN}}</ref> Hart later became a spokesperson for [[March of Dimes Canada]]'s Stroke Recovery Canada program.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=The Bret Hart Story|publisher=[[March of Dimes Canada]]|archiveurl=|archivedate=November 13, 2008}}</ref>
===Feud with Ric Flair===
In 2004, Hart engaged in an off-screen rivalry with [[Ric Flair]]. In his autobiography, Flair criticizes Hart for exploiting the death of his brother, [[Owen Hart]], and the controversy surrounding the [[Montreal Screwjob]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Flair Pulls No Punches In Book|author=Mike Mooneyham|date=July 4, 2004|accessdate=2007-05-14|archiveurl= <!-- Bot retrieved archive -->|archivedate=September 27, 2007}}</ref> Flair also claimed in his autobiography that, despite Hart's popularity in Canada, he was not a formidable money-making [[Glossary of professional wrestling terms#D|draw]] in the United States, a claim which Hart dismissed as "plain ridiculous" in a column written for the ''[[Calgary Sun]]''.<ref name="brethartonflair">[ Bret Hart on Ric Flair]. ''[[Calgary Sun]]''. July 13, 2004. Archived at</ref> Hart claimed that he drew greater revenue than Flair, citing his headlining performances on consistently sold-out tours throughout his WWF career, while Flair wrestled to allegedly near-empty arenas. He also criticized Flair on what he perceived as insults to fellow wrestlers [[Mick Foley]] and [[Randy Savage]]. Hart did acknowledge a decline in the WWF's popularity during the mid-1990s, but he, and others, felt that this was largely attributed to the WWF's well-publicised sex and steroid scandals, as well as WCW's acquisition of former top WWE stars.<ref name="brethartonflair"/><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Wwf Aims Low, Shoots High Wrestling Comes to the Garden on a Roll||date=December 27, 1998|accessdate=July 18, 2013}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=|title=World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. - Company History||accessdate=2011-02-21}}</ref> In contrast to Flair's claims, prominent industry historian [[Dave Meltzer]], of the ''[[Wrestling Observer Newsletter|Wrestling Observer]]'', said of Hart, "there is no denying he was a major draw in the United States";<ref>[[Dave Meltzer|Meltzer, Dave]]. ''[[Wrestling Observer Newsletter|Wrestling Observer]]''. November 17, 1997. [ Archived version].</ref> WWE owner [[Vince McMahon]] has asserted that whichever company hired Hart could "have built the entire [[Franchise player|franchise]] around [him]," describing him as an "extraordinary star who you know is going to give you the best match of the night every time he goes out there." McMahon added that it was "fortunate for me, in terms of my company," that his chief competitor, WCW, did not utilize Hart to his full potential.<ref name="DVD"/> WCW described Hart as "an incredible international draw, attracting standing room only crowds in every corner of the globe."<ref name="wcw"/> Professional wrestling magazine ''[[Power Slam]]'' has asserted Hart's drawing power, placing him number 7 in "The 10 Best U.S.-Style All-Rounders", a list that considered drawing ability, along with workrate and promo skills.<ref>Martin, Fin. The 10 Best U.S.-Style All-Rounders; 7. Bret Hart. ''[[Power Slam]]''. Issue 226/July 2013. p.26. "A wrestler who can work, draw money and talk is a U.S.-style all-rounder by the definition of this article."</ref>
When Hart began the controversial "Canada versus America" angle, he was criticized in public, accused of being [[Anti-Americanism|anti-American]] and often told by angry American fans "go back where you came from". Hart responded in an interview with the ''[[Calgary Sun]]'', stating that "there is a difference between a show and reality". Hart holds dual citizenship with Canada and the U.S. as his mother is originally from [[Long Island]], [[New York]].<ref name="Dual">{{cite web|url=|title=An open letter to Shawn Michaels|last=Hart|first=Bret|publisher=[[|Canadian Online Explorer]]}}</ref>
Hart lent his nickname to the [[Calgary Hitmen]] of the [[Western Hockey League]]; he was a founder and part-owner.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Team Has Come a Long Way in a Short Time|publisher=Calgary for|date=May 7, 1999|accessdate=2011-01-15}}</ref>
==In wrestling==
*'''Finishing moves'''
<!--Do ''not'' change the order of the moves, as they comply with Wikipedia's Manual of Style-->
**[[Sharpshooter (professional wrestling)|Sharpshooter]]<ref name="wwebio"/><ref name=Souled/>
**[[Piledriver (professional wrestling)#Jumping piledriver|Spike piledriver]]<ref name="OWOW" /><ref name="Slamboree" />
*'''Signature moves'''
** [[Professional wrestling throws#Bulldog|Bulldog]],<ref name="HallHav98">{{cite episode|title=Sting Vs. Bret Hart|series=WCW Halloween Havoc|credits=World Championship Wrestling|airdate=1998-10-25}}</ref> sometimes from the [[Professional wrestling aerial techniques#Diving bulldog|second rope]]
** [[Professional wrestling attacks#Clothesline|Clothesline]], sometimes from the [[Professional wrestling aerial techniques#Diving clothesline|second rope]]
**[[DDT (professional wrestling)|DDT]]<ref name=Slamboree/><ref name=HallHav98/>
**[[Professional wrestling aerial techniques#Axe handle elbow drop|Diving axe handle elbow drop]] from the second rope, often preceded by a [[Backbreaker#Pendulum backbreaker|pendulum backbreaker]]
**[[Professional wrestling holds#Figure four leglock|Figure four leglock]],<ref name=Souled>{{cite web|url=|title=Souled Out report on January 24, 1998}}</ref> sometimes while using the [[Professional wrestling holds#Ringpost figure four leglock|ringpost]]<ref name=OWOW/>
**[[Professional wrestling attacks#Headbutt|Headbutt]],<ref name=Slamboree>{{cite web|url=|title=Slamboree report on May 17, 1998}}</ref><ref name=HallHav98/> sometimes to [[Professional wrestling attacks#Headbutt drop|the opponent's lower abdomen]]<ref name=OWOW/><ref name=HallHav98/>
**[[Professional wrestling throws#Inverted atomic drop|Inverted atomic drop]]<ref name=OWOW/><ref name=HallHav98/>
** Multiple [[Suplex]] variations
***[[Suplex#German suplex|Bridging German]]
***[[Suplex#Snap suplex|Snap]]<ref name="OWOW" />
***[[Suplex#Superplex|Super]]<ref name="OWOW" />
***[[Suplex#Vertical suplex|Vertical]]
**[[Backbreaker#Pendulum backbreaker|Pendulum backbreaker]]<ref name=OWOW/><ref name=Souled/><ref name=Slamboree/><ref name=HallHav98/>
**[[Professional wrestling aerial techniques#Plancha|Plancha]]
**[[Professional wrestling attacks#Crossbody|Running crossbody]]
**[[Professional wrestling throws#Russian legsweep|Russian legsweep]]
**[[Seated senton]] to an opponent's leg draped over the first rope
**[[Professional wrestling holds#Sleeper hold|Sleeper hold]]<ref name="OWOW" />
**[[Professional wrestling attacks#Stomp|Stomp]] to opponent's lower abdomen<ref name=OWOW/>
**[[Professional wrestling aerial techniques#Suicide|Suicide dive]]
**[[Neckbreaker#Swinging neckbreaker|Swinging neckbreaker]]
*'''With [[Jim Neidhart]]'''
**''[[Professional wrestling double-team maneuvers#Hart Attack|Hart Attack]]''<ref name=OWOW/>
*'''[[Manager (professional wrestling)|Managers]]'''
**[[Jimmy Hart]]<ref name="hartfoundation">{{cite web|url=|title=Hart Foundation Profile|publisher=Online World of Wrestling|accessdate=2008-04-06}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Bret Hart|publisher=SLAM! Wrestling|url=|accessdate=2009-01-03}}</ref>
*'''Wrestlers Managed'''
**[[The Hart Dynasty]]
**Buddy "The Hearthrob" Hart<ref name=OWOW/>
**'''Bret "The Hitman" Hart'''<ref name=OWOW/>
**'''"The Excellence of Execution"'''<ref name=OWOW/>
**'''"The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be"'''<ref name="Best"/>
**"The Pink and Black Attack" (while teaming with Jim Neidhart)
*'''[[Music in professional wrestling|Entrance themes]]'''
**"Eris" by [[Tony Williams (drummer)|Tony Williams]] (NJPW; 1980–1984)
**"Hart Beat" by [[Jimmy Hart]] and J.J. Maguire (WWF; 1988–1994)
**"Hart Attack" by [[Jim Johnston (composer)|Jim Johnston]], Jimmy Hart, and J.J Maguire (WWF; 1994–1997)
**"Hitman in the House" (WCW; 1997–1999)
**"Hitman Theme" by Keith Scott (WCW; 1999–2000)
**"Rockhouse" by [[Jimmy Hart]] and H. Helm (WCW; used while a part of the [[nWo 2000]]; 1999–2000)
**'''"Return of the Hitman"''' by Jim Johnston (WWE; 2010–present)
*'''Wrestlers trained by Bret Hart'''
**[[Achim Albrecht|Brakkus]]<ref name="Hart2011" />
**[[Mark Henry]]<ref name="Hart2011">{{cite book|author=Bruce Hart|title=Straight from the Hart|url=|accessdate=September 23, 2012|date=January 14, 2011|publisher=ECW Press|isbn=978-1-55022-939-4|pages=243–}}</ref>
==Championships and accomplishments==
*[[Scholastic wrestling|City championships]], [[Calgary]] (1974)<ref name="DVD"/><ref name="Hart, Bret 2007 p. 32"/>
*[[Mount Royal University|Mount Royal]] [[Collegiate wrestling|Collegiate Champion]] (1977)<ref name="DVD"/><ref name="Hart, Bret 2007 p. 36"/>
===Professional wrestling===
*'''[[Cauliflower Alley Club]]'''
**Iron Mike Award (2008)
*'''[[Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum]]'''
**[[Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum#Modern Era (1985-1996)|Class of 2008]]
*'''[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated]]'''
**[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|PWI Comeback of the Year]] (1997)<ref>{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-06-30|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Comeback of the Year|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=May 15, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
**[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|PWI Feud of the Year]] (1993)<ref name=PWIfeud>{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-06-30|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Feud of the Year|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 7, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref> <small>vs. [[Jerry Lawler]]</small>
**PWI Feud of the Year (1994)<ref name=PWIfeud/> <small>vs. [[Owen Hart]]</small>
**[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|PWI Match of the Year]] (1992)<ref name=MOTY>{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2009-03-26|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Match of the Year|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 7, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref> <small>vs. [[Davey Boy Smith|British Bulldog]] at [[SummerSlam (1992)|SummerSlam]]</small>
**PWI Match of the Year (1996)<ref name=MOTY/> <small>vs. [[Shawn Michaels]] in an [[Iron Man match]] at [[WrestleMania XII]]</small>
**PWI Match of the Year (1997)<ref name=MOTY/> <small>vs. [[Stone Cold Steve Austin|Steve Austin]] in a [[Professional wrestling match types#Submission match|Submission match]] at [[WrestleMania 13]]</small>
**[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year]] (1997)<ref name="pwihated">{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-06-30|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Most Hated Wrestler of the Year|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 7, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
**[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year]] (1994)<ref name="pwiinsp">{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-06-30|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Inspirational Wrestler of the Year|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=May 22, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
**[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards|PWI Stanley Weston Award]] (2003)<ref>{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-06-30|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Editor's Award|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=January 3, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
**PWI ranked him #'''1''' of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the [[PWI 500]] in 1993 and 1994<ref name="pwi#1">{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-06-30|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 1993|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=May 22, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref><ref name="pwi94">{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2008-06-30|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 1994|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=May 22, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
**PWI ranked him #'''4''' of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "[[Pro Wrestling Illustrated#All-Time Top Fives|PWI Years]]" in 2003<ref name="pwiyears">{{cite web|url=|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years|accessdate=2009-03-22|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 7, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
**PWI ranked him #'''37''' of the top 100 tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Jim Neidhart in 2003<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Tag Teams of the PWI Years|accessdate=2009-06-06|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive|archiveurl=|archivedate=July 7, 2011|deadurl=yes}}</ref>
*'''[[Stampede Wrestling]]'''
**[[Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship|NWA International Tag Team Championship ''(Calgary version)'']] ([[Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship#Title history|5 times]]) – with [[Keith Hart (wrestler)|Keith Hart]] (4) and [[Leo Burke]] (1)<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Stampede International Tag Team Championship history|}}</ref>
**[[Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship]] ([[Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship#Title history|3 times]])<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship history|}}</ref>
**[[Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship]] ([[Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship#Title history|6 times]])<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Championship history|}}</ref>
**[[Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame]]<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)|year=2003|publisher=Puroresu Dojo}}</ref>
*'''[[World Championship Wrestling]]'''
**[[WCW World Heavyweight Championship]] ([[List of WCW World Heavyweight Champions|2 times]])<ref name="wcwtitle">{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2007-12-30|title=WCW World Heavyweight Championship title history|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
**[[WWE United States Championship|WCW United States Championship]] ([[List of WWE United States Champions|4 times]])<ref name="ustitle">{{cite web|url=|accessdate=2007-12-30|title=WWE United States Championship history|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
**[[WCW World Tag Team Championship]] ([[List of WCW World Tag Team Champions#Title history|1 time]]) – with [[Bill Goldberg|Goldberg]]<ref name="wcwtagtitle">{{cite web|url=|title=WCW World Tag Team Championship history|}}</ref>
**[[Triple Crown Championship#World Championship Wrestling|Fifth]] [[Triple Crown Championship|Triple Crown Champion]] (with [[Bill Goldberg|Goldberg]]) ([[Triple Crown Championship|1 time]])<ref name="titlehistory">{{cite web|url=|title=Bret Hart's title history at}}</ref><ref name="triplecrown">{{cite web|url=|title=Triple Crown Club|publisher=WWE|date=October 18, 2010|accessdate=2011-02-21}}</ref>
*'''[[World Wrestling Council]]'''
**[[WWC Caribbean Tag Team Championship]] ([[WWC Caribbean Tag Team Championship#Title history|1 time]]) – with [[Smith Hart]]<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=WWC Caribbean Tag Team Championship history|}}</ref>
*'''[[WWE|World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment]]'''
**[[WWE United States Championship]] ([[List of WWE United States Champions|1 time]])<ref name="ustitle"/>
**[[WWE Championship|WWF Championship]] ([[List of WWE Champions|5 times]])<ref name="wwetitle">{{cite web|url=|title=WWE Championship history|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
**[[WWE Intercontinental Championship|WWF Intercontinental Championship]] ([[List of WWE Intercontinental Champions|2 times]])<ref name="ictitle">{{cite web|url=|title=WWE Intercontinental Championship history|accessdate=2007-12-30|publisher=WWE}}</ref>
**[[World Tag Team Championship (WWE)]] ([[List of World Tag Team Champions (WWE)|2 times]]) – with Jim Neidhart<ref name="worldtagteam"/>
**[[King of the Ring]] ([[King of the Ring 1991|1991]], [[King of the Ring (1993)|1993]])
**WWF Superstar of the Year (1993)<ref name="soty"/>
**[[Royal Rumble]] ([[Royal Rumble (1994)|1994]])<sup>2</sup><ref name="titlehistory"/>
**[[Triple Crown Championship#World Wrestling Entertainment|Second]] [[Triple Crown Championship|Triple Crown Champion]]
**[[WWE Hall of Fame]] ([[WWE Hall of Fame|Class of 2006]])
**[[Slammy Award]] for Put a Fork in Him, He's Done ([[Slammy Award|1996]]) {{small|[[Sharpshooter (professional wrestling)|The Sharpshooter]]}}<ref name="slammy">{{cite web|url=|title=And the winner is|publisher=WWE|date=February 23, 2008|accessdate=2011-02-21}}</ref>
**Slammy Award for Best Music Video (1996)<ref name="slammy"/>
**Slammy Award for Which WWF champion, past or present, in attendance, is Hall of Fame bound? (1996)<ref name="slammy"/>
**Slammy Award for Match of the Year (vs. [[Shawn Michaels]] at [[WrestleMania XII]]) (1996)<ref name="slammy"/>
*'''[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards]]'''
**[[5-star match|5 Star Match]] (1994) {{small|vs. Owen Hart in a [[cage match]] at [[SummerSlam (1994)|SummerSlam]]}}
**5 Star Match (1997) {{small|vs. Steve Austin in a Submission match at WrestleMania 13}}
**[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Best Pro Wrestling Book]] (2007) {{small|Hitman}}
**[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Best Pro Wrestling DVD]] (2006) {{small|[[Bret "Hit Man" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be]]}}
**[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Best Pro Wrestling DVD]] (2011) {{small|WWE Greatast Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart}}
**[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Feud of the Year]] (1993) {{small|vs. Jerry Lawler}}
**Feud of the Year (1997) {{small|with Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, British Bulldog, and [[Brian Pillman]] vs. Steve Austin}}
**[[List of Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards|Match of the Year]] (1997) {{small|vs. Steve Austin in a Submission match at WrestleMania 13}}
**[[Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame]] ([[Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame#1996 inductees|Class of 1996]])
<sup>1</sup><small>Hart became the fifth man to win the Triple Crown along with Goldberg because they defeated Creative Control to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship, with both already holding all other required titles. Therefore, they both achieved Triple Crown status at exactly the same time.</small>
<sup>2</sup><small>Hart and [[Lex Luger]] are recognized as co-winners after both simultaneously eliminated each other.</small>
==Further information==
* {{Cite book | ref={{harvid|Hart|2007}}
| last1=Hart| first1=Bret
| title=Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling
| url =
| publisher=[[Random House Canada]] (Canada), [[Grand Central Publishing]] (US)
| year=2007 (Canada), 2008 (US)
| pages=592pp
| nopp=y
| lastauthoramp=n}} ISBN 978-0-307-35567-6 (Canada) ISBN 978-0-446-53972-2 (US)
* {{Cite book | ref={{harvid|Hart|2000}}
| last1=Hart |first1=Bret
| last2=Lefko |first2=Perry
| title=Bret "Hitman" Hart: The Best There Is, the Best There Was, the Best There Ever Will Be
| year=2000 |month=March
| publisher=Balmur/Stoddart
| location=
| isbn=0-7737-6095-4}}
* {{Cite video
|people = Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Vince McMahon
|date = December 8, 2009
|title = [[Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows]]
|medium = Documentary film
|id = {{ASIN|B001NG9GZ0}}
==External links==
{{Portal|Professional wrestling}}
{{Commons category}}
*{{Official website|}}
* {{twitter|BretHart}}
* {{Facebook User|hitmanbrethart}}
*[ WWE Hall of Fame profile]
{{WWE Hall of Fame}}
{{Grand Slam-Triple Crown Champions}}
{{WWE Championship}}
{{WWE Intercontinental Championship}}
{{WWE United States Championship}}
{{World Tag Team Championship (WWE)}}
{{Royal Rumble winners}}
{{King of the Ring winners}}
{{WCW World Heavywieght Championship}}
{{WCW World Tag Team Championship}}
{{Hart family}}
{{DEFAULTSORT:Hart, Bret}}
[[Category:1957 births]]
[[Category:Living people]]
[[Category:Canadian columnists]]
[[Category:Canadian expatriate professional wrestling people in the United States]]
[[Category:Canadian male professional wrestlers]]
[[Category:Canadian people of American descent]]
[[Category:Canadian people of Greek descent]]
[[Category:Canadian male stage actors]]
[[Category:Canadian male television actors]]
[[Category:Fictional kings]]
[[Category:The New World Order (professional wrestling) members]]
[[Category:Professional wrestlers from Calgary]]
[[Category:Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum]]
[[Category:Professional wrestling trainers]]
[[Category:Stroke survivors]]
[[Category:The Hart Foundation members]]
[[Category:WWE Hall of Fame]]
Reason: ANN scored at 0.966164
Reporter Information
Reporter: Anonymous (anonymous)
Date: Monday, the 26th of October 2015 at 08:02:01 AM
Status: Reported
Monday, the 26th of October 2015 at 08:02:01 AM #101992
Anonymous (anonymous)