Bret Hart On WWE’s lack of African American World Heavyweight Champions

bret hart 2016

Bret Hart spoke with WrestleZone Radio for a new interview. Some highlights are below:

On WWE’s lack of African American World Heavyweight Champions: “I can’t argue that The Rock’s not an African American. He’s half and I think that qualifies him. At least enough to dispel any kind of prejudices behind it. Booker T has been World Champion. Ron Simmons was a great World Champion in WCW. It happens. I think it could happen more. I believe there are a lot of things that it takes to be a great wrestler. You’ve got to have a great body. A great look. You have to have a great ability to sell yourself and you have to have a great ability to actually wrestle. If you look at The Rock, Booker T and Ron Simmons as just three examples. They fit all of those categories. Rock had a great look. Was one of the greatest promo guys that’s ever been in the business. Maybe he still is. He’s an exceptionally good worker. Ron Simmons is another guy that was very much feared and respected in the business and was a very good talker. A good character. Had a good look. Had a good history. He had all of these qualities that made him a potential champion. Booker T is another guy who had a good look and could talk. His work stands out as spectacular.”

On African American wrestlers that could have become WWE World Heavyweight Champion: “I know it was years ago there was talk about Tony Atlas becoming World Champion. Back years and years ago. They were giving him a big push in New York. I think he ended up having a serious cocaine problem and they passed on him. There’s maybe wrestlers that could have been or were on the verge of happening. For whatever reason it didn’t happen. Junkyard Dog, I don’t know that you’d look at him work wise. He had a great talk and schtick and everything. He was not the worker that a World Champion should be. I don’t think he was capable of it. I think you can just look at a lot of wrestling characters over the years and the ones that are bypassed you go, “Oh, he could have been!” I don’t know. You have to look really closely and see what flaws they had. I think today it’s different. There’s a lot of really good wrestlers that could potentially be World Champions for sure. I would say there might have been some hesitation back in the 70’s. Maybe racial profiling or the thinking back then was that black guys weren’t good enough to be World Champion. Maybe the politics of it all. There might have been a lot of that going on. It’s hard to say. The guys who were champion were Hogan in those days. You look at Warrior and you look at Macho Man. I don’t look back and go, “There’s a lot of guys who could have been World Champion instead of those guys.” Hogan stood out so much that you could argue Tony Atlas couldn’t have gotten his chance. He had his chance just before Hogan and he may have flubbed it for himself. Butch Reed, those guys, they had a good run and they did well but I don’t know that they were World Champion caliber.”