Bret Hart Has Nothing But Respect For This WWE Hall Of Famer

Bret Hart has high praise for his onetime former rival and longtime friend Ricky Steamboat, calling him "one of the greatest" to ever perform inside the squared circle. Steamboat, 69, will make his highly anticipated in-ring return this Sunday, November 27, in a six-man tag match for Big Time Wrestling's Return of The Dragon event. WWE Hall of Famer and former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Steamboat will team up with AEW's FTR tag team and face-off against Jay Lethal, Arn Anderson's son Brock Anderson, and a mystery partner yet to be announced. The elder Anderson, another Steamboat rival from the early 1990s, will be in his son's corner.

In 1986, Hart was pitted against Steamboat for his first rivalry in WWE and has said his loss that year to Steamboat at Boston Garden is one of his favorite matches of all time. Speaking this week with Sports Illustrated, Hart extended his praise for Steamboat ahead of his return, saying that "very few ever did it as well as Ricky.""I have always had nothing but respect for him," Hart told the outlet. "Inside the ring and outside the ring, he was always a class act and a gentleman. He was a straight shooter, never a guy with an ego or a troublemaker. I'm a big fan of his. He's just such a great guy. I'm glad that he's going to have another moment. I think it's great for anybody that was a big fan of his."

Hart said he doesn't have expectations Sunday's return will be Steamboat's "greatest match," but that "it takes a lot of guts and a lot of courage to go in there and do what Ricky's going to do." "I'll be happy if Ricky's happy," Hart said.