[Deconstructing the Moveset] Deconstructing IP’s coverage and opnion of Bret Hart

It all started with one unassuming news post on wwe.com August 3rd 2005 that we picked up:

Bret “Hit Man” Hart is scheduled to arrive at WWE Headquarters at 4:00 p.m. ET today to meet with WWE officials.

WWE.com will continue to have updates on this throughout the afternoon.

No warning, no rumors, nothing. Just two sentences of news.

Everyone knew about the DVD tentatively titled “Screwed: The Bret Hart Story” the WWE was planning on releasing, but no one could have guessed that they’d actually get the Hitman involved. And as soon as his name was brought up by the WWE, the internet went wild with their opinions about the subject. Little did we know what the WWE had planned.

Whenever Hart’s name is brought up, almost within the same thought should be the name of Shawn Michaels. They’re just bound by history. My friends were divided as a child over who was a Hart fan and who was a Michaels fan. there was just no getting along if you were a fan of a different guy. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise (but it was) when, of all people, SHAWN MICHAELS brought up the Montreal screw job IN MONTREAL. yeah, it’s been brought up before in Montreal, but never like this. The E even went as far as to create a video package for his entrance and plan it all out like he was going to come out. Maybe it was a way of showing Bret how much love he’s still got, or maybe it was just a way of selling Summerslam. who knows.

If it indeed does happen, the roof will blow and that will take over the buzz away from anything Matt Hardy has been doing and that’s putting it in perspective. -Bambi Weavil, “In Perspective”, 8/10/05

But this is for sure: ever since the Matt Hardy incident evolved from work to shoot, Bret Hart’s possible involvement with the WWE has become the hottest thing to talk about on the internet, with Inside Pulse being no exception.

To say I’m a huge Bret “The Hitman” Hart fan is putting things lightly. He is my favorite wrestler of all time, bar none. During the Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII, I was SO angry when then-WWF President Gorilla Monsoon announced the bogus “sudden death overtime” after the 60 minutes had expired. You could read Bret’s lips from the aisle as he shouted, “why?” and I shouted it right along with him. -Vinny Truncellito, “Alternate Reality by Vin Tastic”, 8/16/05

Everyone’s got an opinion of Bret Hart’s body of work, I’m no different than Vinny, or Scott Keith for that matter.

They break into a huge “We Want Bret” chant, and we all know what happened the last time the crowd wanted someone that badly. Shawn is all “If he was here I’d look him in the eye and tell him I screwed him again!” and then Bret’s music hits and I shit myself a little. Because really, there’s just enough truth behind that joke that you never know if he MIGHT walk out and kick Shawn’s ass all over the arena one more time for old time’s sake -Scott Keith, “The Smark RAW Rant”, 8/15/05

But that brings me to a bigger point here.

You need to get Shawn over as a heel, so the best thing to do in the world is to play to the weakness of the crowd. These people WANT to jeer Shawn – they WANT him to be destroyed. That translates to the TV audience who might not think it through as him being completely evil and over as a heel, thus making Hogan look like that much stronger as a face. It’s main intention was to promote Hogan/HBK -James Hatton, “Staff vs. Forums”, 8/17/05

What can Bret Hart do IF he comes back besides play a part in the Hogan/HBK angle?

The guy had a STROKE. The guy couldn’t wrestle BEFORE the stroke because he caught the flying Star of David boot to the head. He’s not coming back to wrestle. He is making money off a DVD. He isn’t going to be GM of Smackdown, so shut up with that too you racist jizz moppers. He’s going into the Hall of Fame and then the “Legends” thing. Please, do yourself a favor and shut up. – Dan Hevia, “The Crucifix”, 8/08/05

Bret can’t wrestle anymore regularly, I doubt anyone that had as many health issues as he had actually could. Do you want Bret back in the ring if it means “one more match” that’s terrible? Or perhaps just to get a last dig in on Michaels before riding into the sunset aka WWE Hall of fame? And what about the people who aren’t so hot on Hart?

Bret Hart is also the most overrated wrestler in history. Period. The amount of fan LUV that’s thrown his way is inexplicable. He doesn’t deserve that much affection, admiration, or worship. He fails in every category in which he’s pumped up. And yet the rabid fanboy base refuses to see those particular failures. You want me to break it down to brass tacks? Well, here it is. The measure of a champion is how much he’s able to draw. Bret couldn’t draw shit. Kevin Nash gets a big black mark on his career for the same fact pertaining to his reign as WWE champion, but Bret gets a free pass. You hypocrites. – Eric Szulczewski, “Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc.”, 8/09/05

Or perhaps those who are passive on the subject?

FLEA: BRET HART WILL COME HOME

Hey, when I typed that, it was on a lark. That was about 3 years ago, too…I figured with Vince owning the rights, et Al, the day would have to come, eventually. Not very many are too proud for money…or legacy. All it took was a stroke and nowhere else to go -Flea, “Saturday Evening Post”, 8/08/05

It’s clear that those people who don’t like Bret Hart, don’t think he still has a spot with the company. But then again, I hated Hulk Hogan back in the late 90’s/early 2k’s before he started appearing only every few months for a program or a special appearance and now it’s like I’m a kid again. But not everyone shares Eric’s opinion of Hart.

I think that the most compelling counter-argument to Eric’s column is the simple fact that Bret wrestled genuinely great matches against a wide variety of opponents. I wrote about his match with Piper at WrestleMania VIII last week. Over the last few months, I’ve watched several awesome Bret matches against such wrestlers as Mr. Perfect, Steve Austin, Ricky Steamboat, Bad News Allen, Ted DiBiase, and especially The Dynamite Kid. -Gordi Whitelaw, “The Beautiful Thing”, 8/11/05

So what’s the next step? Well, I guess we’ll have to see what Vince and Co. have up their sleeves for Summerslam and beyond.

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