On episode 35 of Confessions Of The Hitman, two-time WWE Hall Of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart told a few funny stories from his life on the road as a professional wrestler. Specifically, Hart talked about fighting side-by-side with ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey ‘Boy’ Smith in a roadside brawl. Also, Hart weighed in on who he thinks is the toughest professional wrestler in real life.
As an up-and-coming professional wrestler for Stampede Wrestling, Hart had the rare opportunity to face off against the legendary Nick Bockwinkel in back-to-back matches in both Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, Canada with all time great Lou Thesz as special guest referee. When the first match was in the books, Hart had to make the drive back to Calgary.
“I remember I just put a new stereo in my car, a brand new sound system, and I was wanting to check it out on the way back [to Calgary, Alberta, Canada]. And I remember Lou Thesz came up to me. He goes, ‘hey guys, I can’t ride in the van. It’s not my thing. It’s too many guys, too many stops, too many beers.’ He was not a party guy. So anyways, I said to Lou, ‘I’m going to have the music cranked up pretty loud and you’re not going to want to ride back with me.’
“He goes, ‘no, trust me, the music won’t bother me. Just let me sit [in the back of your car].’ Finally, I was like, ‘okay, Lou, you can ride with me.’ He’s the six-time world champion! And so, me, Lou Thesz, and Davey ‘Boy’ were driving back. And Davey was still just a kid in those days.” Hart recalled, “we were driving back and I was so tired.”
On the drive, Hart and Smith got into a fistfight with six drunkards when Hart & Co. were nearly t-boned.
“We were driving but before we got to Memorial Drive, at the light before that, six guys in a car, they just about hit us broadside and they swerved,” Hart remembered. “They ran through a red light and came right at us, and we screeched on the brakes. And it was summertime, about 100º in Calgary, or 89 or 90º – it was a really hot night. And we pull up to the traffic light right on Memorial Drive and Edmonton Trail, and I remember I was just so tired and I had my arm out the window on my side. Davey had his arm out his window on the other side. Lou’s in the backseat, six-time world champion and one of the toughest guys there ever was in [pro] wrestling. He was about 80-something years old then.
“And we pull up to the light and the guy over in the car driving looks over at Davey, and he says, ‘where did you learn to f–king drive?’ And then the guy who was on the passenger side in that guy’s car jumped out of the car and ran around, and Davey opened up his car door and he jumped out of the car. And now Davey’s going toe to toe with the guy who had run around from the other side, so I slid over on my side of the car. And the doors were kind of–the way the doors opened, I was sort of boxed in. And there are five other guys in the car. They were so drunk they didn’t even know we stopped. They didn’t even know what happened. And so, at this traffic light in about 20 or 30 seconds, we knocked out all six of these guys.”
The two members of The Hart Foundation laid out the six aggressors in short order.
“I just remember when I went to go help Davey, he had one guy on his back,” Hart said. “He had the other guy in a bodyslam position. And I’m thinking, ‘that’s pretty impressive to me, to bodyslam somebody right on the pavement on Edmonton Trail.’ I pulled the guy off Davey. I pulled him off by the hair, and Davey, I remember watching it out of the corner of my eye, Davey bodyslammed this guy right on the pavement for real,. Just splatted him on the pavement. And then, I remember I had the guy I peeled off Davey, and I remember I didn’t know what to do with him so I had his head, I took it… banged his head on the trunk of the car. But I remember, he never did [put his hands up to block].
“He kept his hands by his side, and I banged his head on the trunk of the car and I knocked him out cold. And it was all in about 30 or 40 seconds. We jumped back in the car, and I remember, when we drove off, I accidentally drove over somebody’s leg. I could see it in the rearview mirror. I didn’t know he was lying there out cold with his leg underneath the tire, but I could feel the bump as I went passed. I remember looking in the mirror and I go, ‘oh, God.'”
Apparently, Thesz watched the fight from the car and kept apologizing for not helping.
“And I remember Lou Thesz. He was watching the whole thing from the window with his glasses on. He was so [apologetic]. He kept apologizing to me for not getting out and helping us. I was like, ‘Lou, you’re 80 years old. No one expected you to get out. I didn’t even know we were going to get into a rumble.’ And it was just a funny memory, especially when I think back at how Davey was so tough in those days for his age. He bodyslammed that kid right on the pavement.” Hart added, “I think it was a bad night for those guys.”
Hart, who recently put over the legendary Bam Bam Bigelow as the best big man in the history of the genre, said that the last person anyone would want to mess with in a bar situation was Earthquake.
“I don’t know of anybody that would disagree with me. I think the last guy you’d ever want to mess with in a bar would’ve been Earthquake. A) he was a great guy, but he had a temper. And if you happen to pick him on the wrong day–my dad would always say, ‘there’s nobody that can take Earthquake off his feet.’ He would always say to me that he thought Earthquake was the toughest guy around. And he was quick and really agile, and he was undefeated in amateur wrestling.
“He should’ve gone to the Olympics for Canada. He would’ve won a gold medal for sure. I don’t think anybody could’ve beat him from anywhere from any country. He was undefeated in amateur wrestling and sumo wrestling, which is a completely different thing. He was undefeated. Nobody ever took him off his feet. And like I said, he had a short fuse. He was a great guy, a very decent guy by all accounts, but, I mean, I always imagined him in situations if you got on his wrong side, he could probably pull your arms off your body. He was about 6’5″, 300 lbs. He was built like an Easter egg, but his legs were huge. A lot of guys talk about the tough guys of [pro] wrestling, but I don’t think anybody could’ve compared to Earthquake.”
With that said, Hart told a story of a young fan who messed with Earthquake and lived to tell about it. As the story goes, the child asked for Hart’s autograph on a flight. ‘The Hitman’ made his way to the bathroom, where Earthquake and WWE Hall Of Famer Jimmy Hart were seated nearby. The kid wanted to know whether Earthquake would sign his autograph too, but the big man was asleep. At the encouragement of ‘The Mouth Of The South’, the boy woke the slumbering giant. Comedy ensued.
“I’m waiting for the guy to come out [of the bathroom], so I’m just standing there and Jimmy Hart’s talking to me. And I see some little black kid in about the middle of the airplane a couple of rows behind me, but he’s on his knees looking at me because I must have walked passed him and he recognized me. And he’s waving at me, and he [has] got a piece of paper and a pen, and he wants to know if I’ll sign his autograph. I’m like, ‘sure, come on down.’ Man, I was always pretty good about autographs and stuff, but he seemed like a really cute little kid. He was about five years old.” Hart continued, “[the boy] came over and he asked me to sign, so I signed his little piece of paper for him. And then, Jimmy Hart goes, ‘I’ll sign it,’ so he signs it. So then [the boy] goes, ‘what about him?’ and Earthquake is snoring away in a deep sleep. And I’m like, ‘I wouldn’t wake that elephant up right now,’ but Jimmy Hart goes, ‘naw, he’s a p—ycat! Go ahead and ask him!’
“So this little kid starts pulling on Earthquake’s shirt, trying to wake him up, and I just remember Earthquake is in like this deep sleep because he hasn’t slept much and it’s not a comfortable flight. He can’t recline or anything. Just picture Earthquake in a coach seat in the back of the airplane. And he’s pulling on his shirt, and Earthquake just looks up and goes, ‘f**k off!’ And the little kid, you could see it scared the s–t out of him. And I remember just trying to hope that whoever is in the bathroom will come out, and I’m pretending I had nothing to do with it, but I didn’t really. Jimmy Hart is conveniently looking out the window, like looking at the clouds and stuff.
“But I just remember that little kid turning around like this (looking over his shoulder). He wound up and slapped Earthquake right on the head with an open hand slap. He went back and it was just like [slap]. You could hear the slap sound. And then, he tore off and ran all the way up the airplane, jumped up between the seats, and he sat up with his mom and his dad, and he stared at Earthquake like this [arms crossed]. I remember Earthquake when that kid slapped him, he just erupted, like, exploded. He’s got the seatbelt on, probably double seatbelt because he sat in two seats, but he exploded out of that chair and his head almost hit the ceiling, and he was so mad. And that little kid was already up, sitting by his parents. And I remember, [Earthquake] just went back to sleep.”
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