The Living Legend. Photo by Getty Images
"I am the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be!"
It doesn't get bolder than that.
Bret Hart, the living legend, lived by those words and managed to enchant the WWE Universe for decades.
His recent return to Montreal was met with cheers and adoration as things came full circle once again.
One may continuously claim to be the best, but in reality, words mean nothing unless you back it up where it matters.
Bret Hart has done so every time. Come to think of it, he may very well be the greatest Superstar of all time.
Let see why that could be so.
Still looks like a champ! Photo courtesy of Getty Images
The Hitman's alive and well.
Despite strokes, concussions, motorcycle accidents, family affairs and tragedy, he stands tall and proud.
Whether it be in Canada or the United States, when his music hits, the crowd jumps to its feet with utmost joy and pride.
All his accomplishments and hard work have made him the legend that he is. He may no longer be able to compete, but were it possible, he would continue to take on all comers whether named Punk, Cena or any other.
Not only would he take them on, but he would also beat them. That's why he is the master.
If you think a guy like Edge is awesome, then realize that Edge himself idolizes "the Excellence of Execution."
Bret Hart has met and defeated the most decorated and adulated Superstars of his time.
Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Stone Cold, HBK, Triple H, Undertaker...he's beaten them all!!
The one that failed to meet the challenge was Hulk Hogan.
For many reasons, political ones mostly, the Hulkster never met the Hitman one-on-one in the ring, and that can be considered one of the most regrettable moves in pro wrestling history.
That would have made headlines around the world for sure.
His first WWE Championship victory came in 1992, when he defeated the Nature Boy of all people in front of his Canadian fans. Who would have expected that back then?
He didn't quite stand out next to the Hogans and Warriors of the time, but he had natural ability and was always ready to fight. He did his job as requested every night and never seemed to complain about it, either.
Bret Hart never asked for the "Diva" treatment and for that reason, his rise to the top is even more admirable.
The list goes as such:
- World Champion seven times
- Intercontinental Champion two times
- United States Champion five times
- Tag Team Champion three times
- King of the Ring
- Royal Rumble Winner
- Triple Crown Champion
- WWE Hall of Fame
- Various PWI awards, and then some.
Despite all the accolades, all the victories over other legends, Bret Hart is the best there ever will be because he managed to do something that so few can do when the time comes: forgive.
All the pain and anguish of Montreal 1997 is dead and buried. Not forgotten but forgiven. His forgiveness of and reconciliation with Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels makes his spirit as pure as can be and a hero in this writer's eyes.
So many walk the path of bitterness and vengeance only to find out it is all an illusion, but it is those great men, like Bret Hart, who stand out and shine like no others.
Though he may come and go as he pleases, Bret Hart knows he and the WWE Universe are tied hand in hand.
He has earned the respect of his peers and fans all over the world.
Since it was Canadian Thanksgiving this week, how about taking the time to say thank you to Bret for all the contributions he made to this business.
In many ways, professional wrestling would not be as it is today if it weren't for him—that alone is worth its weight in gold.
You earned it.