The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.
Those words rang true when it came to describing Bret "The Hitman" Hart back in the early and mid '90s. To today's fans he is most famous for the Montreal Screwjob but the legacy he left is much greater than that.
His in-ring ability was matched by only a handful. He put on some of the greatest matches in World Wrestling Federation history. From his early classics against Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam '91 and his Cage Match against his brother Owen Hart at SummerSlam '94 to two of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history.
The first when he faced off against Shawn Micheals in my hometown of Anaheim, California in the first "iron Man Match" at WrestleMania XII in 1996 and the other one of my personal favorites against Stone Cold at WrestleMania 13 the following year.
While in WCW although not in his prime he still was a top guy and put on decent matches until his career ended at the hands of an ill-fated kick to the head by Goldberg.
That was more than a decade ago.
This past Monday night marked the death of the "Hitman" character.
I can overlook his gray hair and physical shape but what I can't is his loss of what made the character great. Pride.
Bret came out and gave a pitiful promo and essentially gave up. With his head low he marched up and waved one last time and headed towards the exit.
We are led to believe a prideful man such as the "Hitman" would just cut his losses and simply leave. The only thing worse than this image was the debacle that would happen backstage.
Hart would have his "leg" pinned between cars while John Cena plead for the paramedics to pry the leg free. Hart screaming in pain, WWE Superstars watched in horror. We last see Bret getting driven off by an ambulance to a hospital.
First of all the car that ran into him had the reverse lights on at all times. You mean to tell me the woman didn't see the limo or Bret Hart behind her. She was blocked off by the limo after all. The cameras angles were nowhere near the actual injury and Cena's horrible acting did nothing but to further drag this angle down.
Add to that last week's struggle to destroy pyro equipment by Hart where he stumbled at moments and seemed drained by the end and you got the demise of the character once described as "The Excellence of Execution."
What started as a promising angle by an emotional and electric promo between Bret Hart and Shawn Micheals has turned into a Cena infested blunder.
I don't know what the WWE can do to save this angle but they need to do something drastic. At this point I rather see Hart and McMahon represented by Batista and Cena rather than Bret get in the ring and tarnish his legacy further.
Do you and all of us who saw you in your prime Bret. When WrestleMania 26 comes leave the botch moves and limited wrestling skills to Cena and Batista. You are still the best there was and the best there ever will be. But the best there is sadly is not you.