WWE.COM: What do you think are the lasting effects of The Attitude Era on WWE today?
BRET HART: Well, just about everybody I know talks about that being the last great era of wrestling. For me as a fan, I loved all the stuff Austin did with me and with Vince McMahon. Austin has such a great character that I really enjoyed following his career even after mine was over. I enjoyed all the stuff he did after I left the company.
Even when I was with him in 1997, I thought the stuff I did with Austin was as good as it gets — the match we had at WrestleMania 13, all the promos we did, the Street Fight Match. There was this conviction we both had to make it real, to make everyone really feel that these were real — kind of like what the UFC projects today. We were doing a better job of doing it back then.
WWE.COM: Is there an Attitude Era Superstar you didn't have a match with who you would want to face in the ring?
BRET HART: If I could go back in time, I would have loved to have done more with Triple H. He blossomed into a bigger star after I left.
I regret, looking back now, that we didn't have more matches, or better matches or at least one pay-per-view match where we could have really showed our best stuff — or at least, I did. He's a guy that he and I had some situation together, and I think it worked well on Monday Night Raw, but we never really had the chance to show what we could really do.
WWE.COM: Since The Attitude Era is such a huge part of "WWE '13," is there anything specific you feel THQ does to capture the essence of that time?
BRET HART: I think they capture the whole emotion [of the time]. There was a lot of energy in The Attitude Era, where a lot of the great wrestlers that are in "WWE '13" were in their prime. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and even myself. I know for a fact I had the best matches of my career in 1997, so I think that's what you look for in the game — to bring back that whole nostalgia of what that era was and how we were all firm believers in our own directions and destiny.
It was uncharted waters back then, and we were all really stepping up. I think you look at all of us, from Shawn, Triple H, Undertaker — we all progressed starting from that period.
Something happened in 1997 that changed the whole industry at least for the next five, six or seven years. It wasn't about the 24-inch arms and the cartoon characters anymore. It was about the wrestling and what we were doing in the ring, physically.
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