Bret Hart is one of the best technical wrestlers of all time. To make a top 7 list of Bret Hart’s greatest matches is almost impossible. Every time he entered the ring, he made it his goal to steal the show. And he was very successful at it. Bret never really had a bad match. But these matches are Bret Hart’s 7 greatest matches of all time.
7. Bret Hart (w/ Owen Hart) vs The Steiner Brothers
One of Bret Hart’s greatest matches of all-time, is also one of his least noted. Before Bret feuded with his brother Owen Hart, the two were partners in a tag team. And it was during this time that the two wrestled another brother tag team, Rick and Scott Steiner. The Steiner Brothers are one of the most successful and heralded tag teams of all time. The two were incredible during their prime. This 1994 tag team encounter took place during a TV taping, but never aired on TV. Luckily for fans, it was taped. All four combatants are well versed in pro and amateur wrestling. This match featured tons of amateur wrestling holds. Some may even claim the two teams were trying to outdo the other to prove their dominance. The bout featured plenty of pretty moves that WWF fans weren’t used to seeing at the time. This included German suplexes, frankensteiners and tiger drivers. In addition, the pure novelty of two babyface tag teams wrestling each other was very exciting. This tag team encounter is a rare gem in the catalog of Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Look it up, you will not be disappointed.
6. Bret Hart vs Owen Hart
At the 10Th anniversary of Wrestlemania, in Madison Square Garden, Bret Hart squared off one on one, for the first time ever, against his younger brother Owen Hart. At this point in time, Bret was a former Heavyweight Champion. Owen, on the other hand, wasn’t really viewed as a threat to Bret. He was certainly a capable wrestler, but the fans never took him seriously. The match was a brilliant display of drama and maneuvers. It showcased the technical side of wrestling, as well as playing up the storyline of the brotherly feud. Owen went on to win this bout, which shocked everybody in the building. Earlier, Bret insisted his younger brother win. He felt it would give Owen some much needed credit. That a win over his older brother would propel Owen onto the next level of stardom. And Bret was right. Due to Owen’s win over Bret that night, he went on to feud with Bret for the next few months. And he was viewed as a major contender for Bret Hart’s heavyweight championship. Bret Hart unselfishly made his brother a superstar that day at Wrestlemania 10.
5. Bret Hart vs Ricky Steamboat
In 1986, Bret Hart was wrestling in the tag team known as the Hart Foundation, managed by “The Mouth Of The South” Jimmy Hart (no relation). In a rare singles bout on a house show, Bret Hart took on the ultimate good guy, Ricky Steamboat. This match featured an incredible amount of athletic display, which wasn’t the norm for 1986 WWF wrestling. The two nimble competitors traded sleep arm drags and other mat wrestling maneuvers to the delight of the Boston Garden crowd. Although this match was meant to build Steamboat as a tough mid card competitor, it did just as much for Hart. This bout proved to McMahon and his cronies that, despite the smaller stature, Bret Hart could put on a good show and keep the crowd in the palm of his hand. If this match with Steamboat hadn’t been as successful as it was, Hart may not have gone on to his wildly famous singles career from 1991 – 1999, which featured many heavyweight title reigns.
4. Bret Hart vs British Bulldog
One year after winning the Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam 91 from Mr. Perfect, Bret was defending that very same title against his brother-in-law The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. This match had a huge back story. In real life, Bret and Davey are related. It wasn’t just a storyline. Davey Boy Smith was the legitimate brother-in-law of Bret, having married Bret’s sister Diana. The WWF used this fact to create interest in the match. The match took place in front of over 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in England. It was the first pay per view the WWF held in another country. It also marked the first time an Intercontinental Title Match headlined a major pay per view. The match went 30 minutes, with both wrestlers getting an equal amount of offense. Although The British Bulldog was a good wrestler, he must have been very nervous that night in England. He botched quite a few spots in the match, including one slam that almost dropped Bret on his head. But Bret was able to keep the match under control, and the bout ended up being one of Bret Hart’s greatest matches of all-time. As for The British Bulldog, he went on to win the match and the title in front of his home crowd. It was arguably his greatest moment in pro wrestling.
3. Bret Hart vs Steve Austin
Bret Hart has been a part of many memorable Wrestlemania moments. One of his greatest matches took place at Wrestlemania 13 when he took on Stone Cold Steve Austin in a submission match. Austin’s “stone cold” character was just starting to gain some steam among the fans. On the other hand, Bret Hart’s fan favorite character was starting to wane. At least here in America. This match turned the tables for both participants. Bret hart entered the fan favorite, but left as the bad guy. From the start the match was an intense free for all. The two quickly fought around the ringside area, using the steel ring post and barricades. At one point, Austin suplexed Hart, crotch first, onto the guardrail. The men in attendance were most certainly groaning in sympathy. After almost 25 straight minutes of mayhem, Bret Hart was able to hook in his Sharpshooter. As Bret leaned back with all his strength, Austin remained a victim of his wrath. But he refused to give up. With blood flowing down his face, Austin passed out from the agony of Bret Hart’s submission maneuver. Special referee Ken Shamrock told the timekeeper to ring the bell. Although Bret Hart won the match, his greater contribution was turning Stone Cold Steve Austin into a mega babyface.
2. Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels
Although Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have had better matches than the one at Survivor Series 1997, none of those matches will go down in history. This one will. It was the night Vince McMahon and the WWF “screwed” Bret Hart out of the WWF title. Apparently, champion Bret Hart was set to go to rival company WCW after his match at Survivor Series. However, the Survivor Series took place in Canada, where Hart was revered. Hart refused to drop the championship to Shawn Michaels in Canada because he felt it would ruin his steam going into his WCW deal. McMahon, fearful that Hart would leave with the title and throw it in the trash on national TV, was against a rock. So, Vince McMahon, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels all agreed on a disqualification finish to their match. However, when Bret was out of the room, an alternate plan was made. The match was to end prematurely without Bret’s knowledge, and Michaels was to be declared the winner. And that’s basically how it went down. After Shawn put Bret Hart into the famous Sharpshooter finishing maneuver, referee Earl Hebner immediately called for the bell. Bret Hart looked like a deer caught in headlights. He knew at that moment, he had been screwed. He had been lied to by Vince McMahon. Hart took his anger out on McMahon’s entire set up. The crowd in Montreal was furious, and started a near riot. It was one of the most historically significant events in the pro wrestling.
1. Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect
After a successful run in the tag team The Hart Foundation, with Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Bret was moved into a singles career and groomed to be a top mid card superstar. So at the 1991 Summerslam pay per view, Bret was given his chance to prove his excellence, when he face Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig for the Intercontinental Championship. Mr. Perfect was no slouch in the ring. For the last several years, Hennig had successfully carried the belt and was a proud champion. In fact, some would argue that Mr. Perfect was the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. Bret Hart and Curt Hennig came from similar background. Both were around the same age, of similar size and ability and came from a famous wrestling family. Curt was the son of the legendary Larry “The Axe” Hennig and Bret was the son of the great Stu Hart. The match took place at the worlds greatest venue, Madison Square Garden. With over 20,000 fans in attendance, there was a lot of pressure on Bret Hart to perform. In addition, Perfect had hurt his back really bad and was on his way out of the WWF at the time. The two ring generals took each other to the edge and back that night. For almost 20 minutes, the two battled back and forth. In a true testament of ability, the fans couldn’t tell who was going to come out on top. The competitors were far too equal. No clear winner could be determined. The ending saw Curt dropping a leg drop on Bret’s abdomen. After trying a third time, Bret grabbed Curt’s leg and twisted him into a Sharpshooter leg lock. The Sharpshooter was Bret Hart’s special finishing submission maneuver. And with Mr. Perfect’s back already in distress, he had no choice but to quit. At Summerslam 1991, Bret earned his first major singles title. It was the first of many to come.
Bret Hart’s career in wrestling helped shape the business into what it is today,. A hugely successful and massive entertainment entity. Bret helped take wrestling from the dirty smoke filled bingo halls, into the the large outdoor stadiums it inhabits today. Bret Hart had a catchphrase that said “I’m the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.” Judging on this list of 7 greatest matches of all time, Bret Hart can rest assure that he is one of the the greatest.