WWE Hall of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart has prostate cancer. The wrestling legend revealed the health issue in an emotional post to Facebook this morning. “With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer,” Hart wrote. “In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all.”
Best known for his signature “sharpshooter” submission hold, Hart is a seven time World Champion and a member of the famed Hart wrestling family. He rose to fame as a member of the “Hart Foundation” faction and had a notable feud with Shawn Michaels that culminated in the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” during the 1997 Survivor Series that resulted in him losing the WWF World Heavyweight Title via submission despite him not tapping out. After leaving the WWF following the Montreal Screwjob, Hart joined the WCW until his retirement due to a severe concussion in 2000. Hart later reconciled with the WWE and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2006. Hart’s family legacy lives on via his niece Natalie Neidhart, who wrestles for the WWE under the ring name Natalya.
Hart’s 23 years in professional wrestling has taken a major toll on his body. In his Facebook post, Hart listed some of the many surgeries he has underwent and referenced his 2002 stroke, which he suffered after a biking accident. Hart suffered total paralysis on his left side from the stroke, but recovered much of his mobility.
Despite his diagnosis, Hart vowed to fight the disease. “I refuse to lose, I will never give in or give up, and I will win this battle or die trying,” he wrote. Most important of all, I hope I can take the fight to prostate cancer. To be a leader in awareness and to set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten.”