Eric Bischoff has admitted there were no winners when Bret Hart joined WCW.
Bret Hart was the backbone of the WWE throughout the mid-nineties helping make stars such as his brother Owen Hart, Yokozuna, Diesel, Shawn Michaels, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hart’s time in the company infamously came to an end following Survivor Series 1997 and the Montreal Screwjob and The Hitman moved on to WCW.
However, unlike Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, or Hulk Hogan, Hart never found the success of those fellow former WWE stars when he went to work for the Atlanta-based company. Ultimately Bret Hart’s wrestling career ended prematurely in a WCW ring due to an errant kick from Goldberg that caused serious concussion issues for Hart.
Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff – who brought Hart to WCW – reflected on that decision and admits ultimately nobody won out of the situation:
“It’s no reflection on him, but Bret Hart. I mean, nothing good came out of it. Not for him. Not for us. Not for the fans. Everybody lost.”
When pushed on where Bret Hart could have gone if he hadn’t signed with WCW, Bischoff noted the most likely destination would have been back in WWE for significantly less money:
“Either he would have [gone to ECW or Japan] or he would have gone back and worked for Vince for a significantly less amount of money than he had been promised. I’m sure Bret would say the same thing. It may be the one time we’ll agree on something. That was just a bad situation.
“I strive for, embrace, and I’m grateful for opportunities where everybody wins. If there’s three parties involved, and it’s a win-win-win situation, that’s optimal, right? You hope for these types of opportunities throughout your career or your life. With Bret, it was a lose-lose-lose, and for that reason alone, I wish I wouldn’t have done it.”
What did Bret Hart do in WCW?
Hart made his WCW debut in December 1997 on Nitro and soon found himself acting as a special referee – due to a non-compete clause from WWE – at that year’s Starrcade. Hart was part of the ill-fated finish between Sting and Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Championship that made The Hitman and The Stinger look less than ideal.
Although Bret Hart never hit the heights with WCW as he did with WWE, he did find success in the ring winning the WCW World Championship on two occasions and the US Title four times. Hart even held the WCW Tag Team Championship with Goldberg but that reign only lasted six days.