Source: 680 News

Bret Hart recently sat down with Rudy Blair of 680 News in Toronto. Here are some highlights from the interview.

How was the recent Bret Hart Appreciation Day after RAW in Calgary: "That was really special, actually much more special than people might realize because I really didn't know any of that was going to happen, any of it. I just landed form Hawaii the day before. Pretty much got up and went to the building. Seeing everybody and talking to different wrestlers and stuff, I kind of got taken away from why I was there. And then they came up to me at the end of the night. I knew I was going to go out and I thought I was going to say a couple words. I knew there was some kind of Bret Hart night there, but I didn't think it was any kind of big deal.

"When I went out there in the ring I thought I was only going to talk for about 30 seconds and thank the crowd and that was about it. But no, it was big. It was on TV. The fact that Shawn Michaels came out for the special just to do that, and Vince. I thought that what Vince said to me was really nice to finally hear him sort of give me some credit on a real level. It was like, face to face and in front of all the fans. Some of the things he said to me I'll probably carry with me forever. I really appreciated all that. It was really nice."

Does he miss wrestling: "Sometimes. I miss being useful in the business. I feel like with certain wrestlers I can give a lot of them advice and tell them things that can help them. I think there's a lot of wrestlers that are out there today that, I don't think they got their wrestling skills from say, Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior. You watch these young wrestlers today and the way they're wrestling and say, these guys are from the Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels era. There really was a change. We changed. I think I was an intricate part of this change in wrestling that took wrestling from the cartoon story lines that Hulk Hogan and people were presenting and I made it more about the wrestling. It's not about the characters. It's not about how big your arms are. It's not about how big your traps and your neck is. It's about how good you're wrestling."

What does he think of wrestlers today: "When I watch the wrestlers today like Daniel Bryan and Punk, you know there's actually quite a few of them that are just really good, they come up with great stuff. I remember, I've talked about it a few times, when I was at the end of my career I used to come up with a new move, or some kind of new idea, something I never did before like Goldberg with the steel plate here in Toronto. Just come up with something that had never been done before. It might just be something small, sometimes it didn't even work. The Figure Four around the ring post was another one. You just try it and it's like, let's see what I can do here. You come up with new stuff that nobody's done before, like I was the first wrestler ever to take out those stairs.

"You come up with new stuff that nobody's ever seen from what wrestlers were doing back in my day when I was watching them. It creates new stuff and when I watch the wrestlers today there's so many good innovators that come up with stuff. I shake my head, I go I don't know where they come up with this stuff because I ran dry, right near the end of my career. I'm going I don't have anything new. I got no new ideas. I reached a sort of a point where I was empty. When I watch the wrestlers today I see all kinds of imagination that takes it even a few steps further and I really love that. I love the innovators and the guys that come up with new stuff."

How did his stroke change his life: "It completely devastated me and humbled me a lot. I think there's an inner drive that came out in that, like a different kind of drive that I needed to sort of fight back and conquer that thing. When you're in that situation you're on the bottom looking up and you feel like you never get better fast enough. I had a lot of fears that I had to deal with and it's made you more appreciative and understanding of other people's ailments. [It] just gives you a different attitude about life and makes you appreciate the good things you do have and your family and relationships and things like that.

"I've always thought if I was going to describe how I felt when I had my stroke, I always try and tell people that it was kind of like that movie Shawshank Redemption. If you remember that movie, at the very end of the movie he's sanding the boat and he's all happy, happy ending. I was like that with the end of my wrestling career. I worked really hard and I got home. I was like sanding the boat and all of a sudden I have a stroke and that's like the end of the movie. That's such a lousy ending. I never forget how I felt at the time and I never forget how many people, like the whole stroke ward at the hospital and the doctors and all the physio people, just the people that all kind of, one by one, helped build me back together.

"I'm really lucky. I had a good recovery. I got most, I'd say 90% or 95% back. I'm grateful for all of it. I know I got a limp sometimes but I got a limp because I got my knee replaced. A lot of people think oh, he's really messed up now but I'm actually getting better now, as far as my limp goes. God sometimes gives you things that you can handle. I didn't think it at the time, that I was going to handle my stroke so well, but looking back on it I think I dug deeper inside myself and did survive a real tough thing."

You can check out the whole interview here.

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