A former WWE writer has detailed how plans were in place for Bret Hart to return to WWE and compete at WrestleMania 22.
Bret Hart infamously split with WWE following the Montreal Screwjob that took place at Survivor Series 1997. The Hitman moved on to WWE before having to step away from the ring due to concussion issues following a stray kick from Goldberg in a match.
Hart’s relationship with WWE and Vince McMahon remained acrimonious for years afterwards due to the events in Montreal and the death of Owen Hart in a WWE ring at the Over The Edge event in 1999.
But as time moved on, relations thawed and Bret Hart agreed to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 ahead of WrestleMania 22 – but it seems bigger plans were in place.
Speaking on The Insiders podcast – available at AdFreeShows.com – former WWE writer and MLW boss Court Bauer explained that Bret Hart was originally slated for a match with Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 22 that could have involved other generations of wrestling stars:
“Well, the original version was supposed to kind of, sort of, got off the ground in WWE in 2006, or seven. Bret was back in the orbit of WWE after coming to terms with Vince and doing the DVD and at one point was going to be Bret versus Vince at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, and then Bret was a little uneasy about doing that. They eventually did it much differently a few years later.”
“But the original idea was gonna be the Harts and the Hart Foundation versus the WWE, Vince, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Shane, Shawn’s students at the time. The idea would be you know, you have Paul London. You had Brian Kendrick, and then they were gonna sign Bryan Danielson. So you had like all these interesting ways against the Hart Foundation, which would have been Bret, Neidhart, and a new generation, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Nattie, Teddy, and so on.”
“So we started the process and I got Harry Smith, Davey Boy Smith Jr. signed, Nattie and TJ, Tyson Kid and Teddy. I remember Vince looking at me saying. ‘You know, self-masturbatory gimmick.’ It was like a warning like this is on you when this goes south.”
Bret Hart did not appear in the usual Hall of Fame line-up at WrestleMania 22 but he returned to the company proper in 2010 and faced McMahon in an infamous bout at WrestleMania 26.