In an interview with Asif Zulfiqar Ali on The 81 Podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart talked about Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock. While they never wrestled together, Hart was instrumental in getting Shamrock into the WWE in 1997 and was really hoping to work with The World’s Most Dangerous Man.
“Right from the start I wanted to wrestle Ken. I would’ve loved to have worked with him,” Hart said. “I got Ken in and trained him. I put Vader and Ken, Vader and Ken trained in my house. I had a gym in my house. But I trained Ken in there. I had a lot to do, I was the guy that brought him in and kind of got him to do wrestling. H told me he broke his hand in UFC and said ‘I can’t fight for awhile.’ I said ‘well why don’t you wrestle? Make some money doing wrestling. You’d be a big star in wrestling.’
“Ken used to be a pro wrestler before he did the UFC stuff. It wasn’t that hard to go ‘okay I’ll go back to the pro wrestling stuff.’ I said ‘let your hand mend up and heal and we’ll do wrestling stuff.’
So why didn’t the two get to work together? As Hart speculates, it was a combination of management and backstage politics at work.
“I’d have loved to work with Ken; it just never happened,” Hart stated. “I don’t know why, probably more to do with the office. In fact, I remember that Vince was going to fire him. And he (Vince) called me up and basically said ‘I’m just getting ready to call Ken Shamrock. I’m gonna fire him.’ And I said ‘why would you fire him?’ Vince was like ‘lot of guys didn’t like him in management.’ And I said ‘I don’t think you should fire him. We really need a guy like Ken Shamrock. We can use a guy like that, he can be a star and we can make money with him.’ And I changed his mind. He goes ‘okay I’ll keep him.’ And they kept him.
“He (Shamrock) did pretty good. That was all in the early going when he first showed up and did the match where he refereed me and Stone Cold. That was before he got signed so that was a few weeks before WrestleMania. But I always thought he was someone who could’ve been a way better pro wrestling star than what they allowed him to be.
“To be honest, I think Triple H didn’t like him, mostly because he was connected to me. But Triple H I remember didn’t like him and I remember Triple H was working with him a lot, was always criticizing him and talking about him. I think that was one of the guys that stabbed him in the back a lot.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The 81 Podcast and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.