Earlier this week it was reported multiple documentaries featuring WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart were quietly taken off the WWE Network.
The ones removed were: Bret Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be (2005), Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology (2010), WWE’s Top 50 Superstars (2010), Greatest Rivalries: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (2011), Bret Hart: The Dungeon Collection (2013), and The Most Powerful Families In Wrestling (2019).
The reason for pulling these docs was due to Bret Hart owning his matches and promos from Stampede Wrestling, according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Going back to 2005, Hart gave WWE the rights to use his Stampede footage for the one documentary ? Bret Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, but any future usage would have to be negotiated through Hart.
WWE outbid The Fight Network for the Stampede Wrestling footage, but Hart had already purchased the rights to his matches and promos years earlier. WWE ended up using some of his footage for the Hart Dynasty DVD, which Bret let slide due to not wanting to make a big deal out of it with Natalya and Harry Smith working for WWE at the time. Plus, it was a nice spotlight on the family.
WWE used his footage again in another doc, so this time Hart spoke with WWE Senior Director of Talent Relations Mark Carrano, who in turn said WWE owned the footage and take it up with legal. Bret instead texted Vince McMahon about the issue. McMahon looked into it and realized Bret did indeed own his footage, apologized, and removed his matches.
This past week, Hart was informed one of his matches against Kid Dynamite from Stampede Wrestling was on the WWE Network. He texted Vince McMahon and Triple H, and they had it taken off immediately, along with the other docs mentioned above. In reference to the 2005 doc ? the one Bret gave permissions to use his footage ? it’s possible they had agreed to allow it for the original documentary, but not to be used on the WWE Network.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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