WWE Raw: Bret Hart's Best Matches and Moments on the Show
Bret Hart will return to Montreal 15 years after being on the receiving end of a Shawn Michaels sharpshooter and a Vince McMahon deception.
It's surreal to have WWE not only acknowledge the 1997 incident, but to attempt to exploit it. We’ll have to wait and see what WWE's plans are for The Hitman for his Montreal return.
As one of its founding fathers, Bret will always be welcome back on Raw.
Over the years, Bret has provided the show with a wealth of classic matches and moving moments. He was one of Raw's biggest stars in its early years.
His in-ring excellence was a constant. His transformation into the anti-American heel was fascinating television.
Read on to see Bret Hart's best matches and moments on Raw.
1-2-3 Kid (1994)
Bret Hart often brought out the best from his opponents.
Early in Sean Waltman's career, he played the upset specialist, 1-2-3 Kid, and had his career highlight in a clash with The Hitman. The match was a masterfully told story of respect and showmanship.
After Waltman had beaten Razor Ramon, fans wondered if he could do the impossible and pull of the ultimate upset against the WWE champion.
Bret took Waltman to a level he'd never experience again, flirting with a five-star rating.
Every move had the crowd in Waltman and Bret's hands; every near-fall sent shivers down fans' backs.
Despite his talent, Hakushi's WWE resume is rather unimpressive, but the highlight of it is surely his 1995 match on Raw with Bret Hart. The two men put on a show beyond the fans' expectations.
Hakushi wowed fans with his cartwheels and flips.
The Hitman sold Hakushi's moves well, making standard moves look like they were devastating him.
This match is one of many that prove that WWE could consistently count on Bret to provide the best match of the night. Any episode of Raw that featured a Hitman match was going to be something special.
Owen Hart (1995)
One of Raw's best matches ever was this No Holds Barred fight between two brothers.
Of Owen and Bret Hart's many classic matches, this one is the most brutal and intense. They smacked each other into the concrete outside the ring, made the ropes rattle and had our undivided attention throughout.
Bret was so talented in the ring that he could turn a match with Jean-Pierre Lafitte into high-quality entertainment. Given a chance to work with his brother, he not surprisingly created a masterwork with him.
Bret Quits (1997)
To begin his slow descent into heeldom, Bret Hart delivered a powerful speech brimming with frustration. He came off as so genuine that even today fans wonder how much of this was scripted and how much of it was off the cuff.
It's odd now to hear Bret talk about getting screwed several months before the infamous Montreal Screwjob in November of '97.
Not generally known as the best talker in the business, The Hitman did have a number of enthralling moments on the mic, this being one of the best.
Bret Loses It (1997)
After a match against Sycho Sid in 1997, Bret Hart's frustrations erupted on live television.
It's this electric, emotional speech that some credit for kickstarting the Attitude Era and for playing a major role in creating the Mr. McMahon character.
The non-PG language that Bret uses was shocking at the time, especially coming from such a heroic character. There’s more pre-Montreal talk of being screwed and plenty of things for Jim Ross to apologize to the fans for.
Bret's delivery is visceral.
He helped create a chaotic energy that night, amplified his feud with Steve Austin and created one of the most unforgettable moments in Raw history.
You can skip the Ninja Fighter commercial and get straight to the promo here.
Post-WrestleMania 13 (1997)
Bret Hart cemented his villain status for anyone who wasn't convinced by his overly aggressive nature against Steve Austin in their submissions match.
He recaps his frustrating history with Shawn Michaels and Austin, slowly turning the crowd against him. It's the honesty in this speech that makes it compelling television.
When he finally attacks Michaels, wrapping his bad leg around the ring post, some of the crowd is still unsure of how to feel about him, in spite of him running from Sycho Sid and giving a very unheroic middle finger.
Watch Part 2 here.
Anti-America Promos (1997)
Turning one of WWE's heroes into one of its most despised heels was a stunning achievement.
Bret Hart's heel turn was not the standard switching of allegiances, though. The Hitman turned on just the American fans, citing a lack of respect from them.
He went on to spout about what he hated about the country, endearing himself further to Canadian fans and becoming public enemy No. 1 in the U.S. WWE exploited an all but nonexistent tension between Canada and America in building Bret into a compelling villain.
His best work on the mic was during this period, and it spawned some of Raw's best moments.
Return to Raw (2010)
It's hard to imagine a more emotional handshake.
After the controversy of Montreal, it seemed likely that Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart would have bad blood for the rest of their lives.
As much as Bret despised Vince McMahon, it seemed impossible that he would ever even appear on WWE TV again.
Bret softened his stance over the years, eventually accepting an invite to the WWE Hall of Fame and stepping into the ring with Michaels to offer a truce between them.
WWE wisely showcased Michaels and Hart's surprising reconciliation on Raw, providing closure for those two men and the fans.