On a recent episode of Something to Wrestle with, host Bruce Prichard spoke about Bret Hart’s run in 1993 and his WWF Championship match with Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX.
During that match, Hart lost the match after Yoko’s manager, Mr. Fuji, interfered and cost the Canadian superstar the belt, which led to Hulk Hogan coming down and pinning Yoko and leaving with the WWF Championship. Prichard spoke about Bret’s reaction to finding out Hogan was going to go over and steal his moment, saying he wasn’t very happy about it and the match going shorter.
“Bret was upset, no doubt about it Bret was upset,” Prichard said. “I don’t remember when Vince had the talk with Bret, it was probably the night before because we hadn’t made the decision till the day before. There was a lot going back and forth, is this the right thing to do? What should we do? I think Vince going with his gut, we did what we eventually did.
“As far as the match going shorter, that was a timing issue. Nothing more, nothing less, the show had gone long and we were at a point where to make sure that we got everything in that some of the time was cut off on that. That was a Vince call at the time. It was communicated while they were in the ring. Probably debate as to where that time should have gone but at the same time, hindsight being 20-20 you have got to be careful and make sure you get everything on the air back in those days.”
Prichard continued to talk about the issues Hart had and what he thought about the entire situation. He also mentioned how Hart’s entire family was live in attendance and how the situation felt like aan insult to Hart.
“Bret was definitely upset,” Prichard said. “Bret looked at it as a lack of confidence. Here I am, I’m going and there going in a completely different direction and an older direction at that not realizing it was temporary. I think that would be a kick in the gut to anybody. This is the biggest deal that he could possibly imagine and bah boom, somebody else is walking out. That was a kick in the nuts to him.”
Prichard also mentioned Hart’s reaction to Hogan coming back to WWF in 1993, saying he was both excited and upset. The director of both SmackDown and RAW said that Vince McMahon and the company never had plans for Hogan’s return in the early 90s to be long term.
“Bret was excited and looking forward to the opportunity to work with Hulk but then also, I think there’s a little bit we didn’t really know,” Prichard said. “Okay great, Hulk’s back, Hulk’s back for WrestleMania and at the time, at the very beginning there wasn’t a lot of, we know Hulks going to be here for the long run. I think Hulk was always looked at as a short term deal.”
Prichard discussed Hart being chosen as the next top star in WWE following Hogan. He also spoke about how the company had to realize that they weren’t using Hulk Hogan and to stop treating Bret like he was Hogan in the mid 90s.
“How Bret was picked was looking at the reaction he received on the last few international tours, his dependability and the length of time he had been there and to be something different,” Prichard said. “Not to be the next Hogan. That’s where we made the mistake in saying ‘Would we have done this with Hulk?’ Bret wasn’t Hulk, he was different. That was also the beginning of it, we had to present different and that was on us. Bret was the guy because he was a dependable guy, solid, you knew exactly what you were getting and there was a ground swell, when you look at the international audience that felt this guy was a mega star.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with: Bruce Prichard with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.