Bret Hart's return to WWE television in 2010 was one of the more shocking moments in the history of the sport. While Bret returned to working with the company in 2005 to do a DVD project, and subsequently appeared at the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, he always maintained a distance from the wrestling shows. In fact, when he was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2006, he refused to appear at WrestleMania 22 the follow night.
So his return to host Raw in 2010 and storyline and match with Vince McMahon at WrestleMania that year was not expected. Hart opened up about that return recently during an episode of his Confessions Of The Hitman series. Surprisingly, Hart was inspired by current U.S. president Donald Trump's appearances with WWE in the prior years, of which Hart was not much of a fan.
Of course, Hart was several years removed from his wrestling career by 2010 and over 50 years old.
"It's kind of funny because I watched Vince wrestle Donald Trump - I'm pretty sure it was Vince - and I remember going, 's**t, I could do that! I could wrestle Vince. I could do something, at least as much as Trump's pulling off here.' I remember, I thought about it, and I had my knee replaced, and I remember running up the stairs in the house in Hawaii, and the phone was ringing, and I remember when I ran up the stairs, I thought, 'I just ran up the stairs!' Like, that's amazing. That's a miracle all by itself," Hart said.
Hart went on to describe calling WWE's Kevin Dunn to set up the storyline
"I remember somewhere in that, I watched WrestleMania that week or that day, and I ended up calling WWE," Hart recalled. "And I ended up talking to a guy named Kevin Dunn, who's like one of Vince's right hand guys. And I said, 'I'd like to come back. I'd like to come back and do a storyline with Vince. I'd like to bury the hatchet.'"
He continued, "I said, 'I'm tired. Everywhere I go, all I hear about is The Screwjob, what happened with my brother, Owen. All of that starts to weigh you down. I mean, it really starts to weigh you down. Like, it was really starting to wear on me all the time. It's like, it's all I ever hear about: Vince McMahon, and The Screwjob, and 'what are you going to do now?' Anyway, it just got to the point where it's like-- I think it was the solution to all my problems at the time. It was like, the best way for me to get over this, get it out of my way so it's not in my way anymore is to go back and make peace with it, make real peace with it. And I pretty much laid it out on the table to Kevin Dunn that I'd like to go back and do a storyline."
Bret also spoke about how he wanted to make peace with Shawn Michaels, and the two shared a hug during the Raw that Hart returned to host.
"I said, 'it would be fine with me if I could bury the hatchet with Shawn.' I had watched Shawn wrestle a match. He might have wrestled The Undertaker. I don't know if it was on that WrestleMania with Trump or not, but it was a match that I had watched with Shawn and The Undertaker. I was so proud of them. I really loved the match; I thought it was a fantastic, five-star match, and I was proud of Shawn. And I remember thinking, 'Shawn and me used to be such good friends', and I felt bad that whatever happened between us. And Shawn had his drug problems, and I had my-- I certainly poked him in the eye enough times to know that I wasn't totally innocent of all [matters]. I brought on some of that myself. I don't know that I was the biggest instigator, but I can reason that we can be friends." Hart noted, "I mean, I'd like to make friends, if Shawn would be up for it."
Apparently, WWE wasn't interested in the return at first.
"So anyway, I kind of threw all things out there for Kevin Dunn from WWE," Hart said. "He said he was pretty excited and he said he would talk to Vince and get back to me in a day or so. Anyway, I never heard from him for four or five months. That was in March, I think, roughly. I didn't hear from him again until August, and by then, I thought, 'okay, that idea didn't fly very high,' and it was kind of like, 'at least I tried.' I was kind of setting myself free from all that stuff anyways."
Then, the plan came.
"They called me in August," Hart remembered. "Vince called me and he wanted to meet me in San Jose, [California]. Like, I was flying through San Francisco and he had Monday Night RAW in San Jose that week, sometime in August, as I remember. And we met, and he was very upfront, and we had a very positive meeting. We talked, and I'll be honest - I laid out every conceivable possible storyline or, 'here's an idea, maybe I can tag up with somebody and we win the tag belts, or how about we do this? Or I can manage Natalya, or manage Tyson Kidd and Harry Smith.' They were wrestling there. How about I do something with them? Maybe I'm just their mouthpiece, or their manager, or whatever.
"I could tag up with somebody, five on a side, at Survivor Series or SummerSlam.' And we talked about me coming back and wrestling Vince. I remember saying, 'I can't because of my concussion issues and my lawsuit that I won with Lloyd's Of London. The way my contract was worded, it said I could do wrestling skits and wrestling sketches, but no full contact wrestling. That was the way it was worded, and I said, 'I can hype it up. I can do stuff, but I can't take any falls. I can't get knocked down, I can't have someone hit me across the back with a chair. I can't be bodyslammed. I can't even do a move to you that jeopardizes my-- like, a blow to the head or my neck.' I said, 'I would come with my sort of limitations because I have limits as to what I can do, but if you want to come up with a storyline, I mean, I can do as much as Donald Trump did, or more, and we could figure out something.'"
In the end, Hart was proud of what he did with McMahon at WrestleMania 26 in 2010 because it showed that the two sides could make peace.0comments
"I've always been really proud of that," Hart shared. "I know it wasn't my greatest wrestling match, and I didn't look that great, but I was a much older man, and I had at least one knee replacement, and I was on my way to having another one. And for me, it was all a way to make peace and say 'goodbye' to all the bad feelings and all that. I could be part of the WWE family again, and I'm so glad I did it. It was the best thing I could do. It set me free from all the issues that we had sort of gone through and wore me down."