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Interview Highlights: Bret Hart talks about behind the scenes at WWE Hall of Fame

Jul 27, 2006, 17:26

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Between The Ropes
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Central Florida's Sports Radio 740 The Team
Simulcast online at www.BetweenTheRopes.com


On Wednesday night, July 26, the one and only Bret "The Hitman" Hart chatted with hosts Brian Fritz, Dickerman, and Vito DeNucci on Between The Ropes on Central Florida's Sports Radio 740 The Team. The guys discussed the latest in his storied career with his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, potentially getting back into wrestling, his acting and literary career, his appearance at the Capitol Wrestling Legends FanFest in Rockville, Maryland from August 11-13, and more. The interview was taped on Thursday, July 20.

Don't forget that you can now pick up your copy of the critically acclaimed Between The Ropes: Wrestling's Greatest Triumphs and Failures book at retailers, both online and in your neighborhood. Order through the www.BetweenTheRopes.com website and receive a free 'Best of BTR' CD of classic interviews with every book purchase.

Bret said he's been taking it easy lately, spending about half of the year in Italy and half in Calgary.

The talk quickly transitioned into Bret's work with WWE earlier in the year on the DVD and the Hall of Fame induction. On his relationship now with Vince McMahon, Hart said, "We're kind of at a 'live and let live.' I think we're kind of, at least in my case anyway, I think I've moved on. I think they're kind of the same. You can't change what history gave us. For me, I'm happy that I could do the DVD the way I wanted and I'm really happy with how it came off and I'm happy that I did it. The Hall of Fame thing they did with me this past year was a nice gesture. I think they're trying to make amends in their own way and move on. I suffered a stroke in 2002 and I think after that I just really got sick of carrying it around. I'm kind of happier being free of worrying about it and making such a big deal of it. I won't ever forget it, but I won't drudge it up and carry it with me everywhere I go."

Bret said he will never allow himself to be involved any exploitation of what happened to him at Survivor Series '97. He joked that WWE has done it so many times, that it's probably been milked dry already.

Regarding the Hall of Fame induction, Bret said he was happy to be inducted and felt it was something he earned and good for his fans to have the moment with him. He left Chicago the next day glad that he did it. He said WWE has been okay with him on everything since the two sides mended their fences. Bret said that there's no role for him in wrestling anymore. His only role was in the ring and he can't do that anymore. He has no interest in being a referee, commissioner, or anything of the sort.

Bret said he never even spoke with Hulk Hogan or Shawn Michaels at the Hall of the Fame. He didn't run into either of them or Ric Flair. He said the last time he spoke to Ric Flair, they were on pretty decent terms. Up until Flair's book came out, he thought the two had a pretty good relationship. He considers Flair a bit of a two-face. On Bret's end, he does have respect for Flair and wishes no ill will toward him. Bret said he respected Flair's career, but would put his own matches up against any of Flair's matches.

Hart said he doesn't begrudge any of the older guys, like Hogan or Flair, for staying in the business for so long. Bret said he decided years ago that he planned to step away as soon as he couldn't contribute at a certain level. He also wanted to step away and have a normal life. For some guys, the only life they have is in wrestling. Had the concussion and stroke happened, hypothetically speaking, Bret thinks he would have been retired by now. He might have stayed on until last year, but his career would have been over by today.

Asked about all of the speculation of making an appearance at WrestleMania 22, Bret said, "I never had any intention of ever going. All I sort of obliged myself to agree to was the actual Hall of Fame itself and then the WrestleMania was sort of thrown in at the same time. But once it was a main event of Vince and Shawn spoofing what they did to me at Survivor Series in the main event, it was never going to be a case of me showing up to wave at the crowd or anything. I don't think anyone, including Vince, actually expected me to."

Bret said WWE left it open to speculation among fans to create interest that he would do some sort of run in during the Vince vs. Shawn match at Mania. He said he thinks most of his fans know by now that he won't be involved in any sort of storylines stemming from Survivor Series '97.

Hart said his autobiography is "all done" and it should be out sometime in 2007. WWE will not have any involvement with the publishing for obvious reasons. He's not sure of the final length, but it's going to be a "fat book."

The guys discussed the next generation of the Hart family in the wrestling business. Bret said he tries to give his nephew, Harry Smith, all of the advice he can. He said Harry has a good head on shoulders and is going to get wherever he wants to go. He has no doubt that Harry will be a superstar in WWE. Bret said Nattie Neidhart is not only one of the top female wrestlers out there now, but possibly one of the best of the last 30 years. Bret said he's tried giving Teddy Hart some advice, but Teddy is his own man. He said "it takes a lot of balls to be Teddy." He said Teddy makes a lasting impression on people and he does have respect for him for that.

Asked if he has had any thoughts or discussions about working for TNA Wrestling, Bret said, "I certainly would like to help them and I think they know that. But the truth is, I'm happy with my time off. If I was going to do that, I would have to leave one day before to get there and then you have whatever you do that day for the show and then it takes a whole day to get home. That's three days of my week. And obviously, I don't need it that bad. I don't have three days a week for anybody."

Bret finished up saying he's looking forward to seeing a lot of the older wrestling legends and even some of his old fans at the various conventions he appears at. He's looking forward to seeing Superstar Billy Graham this year, last year he got to see Bruno Sammaratino. The fan inside him gets to come out at these types of events.

Bret "The Hitman" Hart will be appearing at the Capitol Wrestling Legends FanFest from August 11-13 in Rockville, Maryland. Other stars appearing at the convention include Superstar Billy Graham, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Jim Cornette, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Stan Hansen, and dozens more. For more information, visit www.capitollegends.com.

To listen to the Bret "The Hitman" Hart interview and the entire July 26 edition of Between The Ropes in streaming audio or to download the full show in MP3 format to listen to on your iPod or MP3 player, visit the show online at www.BetweenTheRopes.com. Don't forget that Between The Ropes: Wrestling's Greatest Triumphs and Failures is now available in book stores, online retailers, and also at www.BetweenTheRopes.com exclusively with a free 'Best of BTR' CD. Join us for Between The Ropes for two hours every Wednesday night at 10:00pm ET on Central Florida's Sports Radio 740 The Team and worldwide on www.BetweenTheRopes.com.


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