wrestling / News

Bret Hart Recalls Failing His First WWE Audition, Teaming With Jim Neidhart

July 12, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Bret Hart WWE

Bret Hart discussed his first WWE audition, his team with Jim Neidhart and more on his latest Confessions Of The Hitman. Highlights are below (h/t to Wrestling Inc) and you can subscribe to the series here.

On shooting past his brothers in terms of skill: “I was technically and physically able to do really great wrestling right from the very beginning. I think I was better than both of my brothers. Ultimately, for sure, later on, I got more of a stock of moves I could sort of go to that surpassed my brothers. I was really good at putting together the matches, the twists and turns at the end of the match, and putting drama into my wrestling matches. And that happened in Stampede Wrestling and I took that to [WWE]. In 1984, I started there.”

On his audition for WWE: “Vince McMahon saw me one time after I had my knee surgery. And I was told not to wrestle for six months, but six weeks later, I’m wrestling. I told them, ‘I just had knee surgery. I can’t do anything.’ They said, ‘Don’t worry about it – all you’ve got to do is stand on the apron and do a couple of moves.’ They put me in a tag team match with Dynamite Kid and I had been off for six months before my knee got operated on. And then, they told me not to worry too much. Just go out there and get my face on TV.

“We’re two new guys from Calgary [Alberta], Dynamite and me, and we had the match and I didn’t do very well at all. My timing was all off and I kind of messed up something in the ending of the match, but nobody really noticed, but I know when I came back to the dressing room, Vince McMahon couldn’t wait to shake Dynamite Kid’s hand, and praise, and slap him on the back, and tell him how great the match was, ‘Beautiful stuff’. And I remember when I walked by, he didn’t even look at me. I think I failed my audition!”

On the Hart Foundation: “Six months later, I was wrestling really [well], and I couldn’t get very many wrestlers to give me a match. They never heard of me. I was from Canada. I was a promoter’s kid, which is generally a mark against you. So I had to fight harder and work harder. I was going nowhere and I think somebody said, ‘Do you know what? Tag him up with Neidhart. Call them The Hart Foundation. They want to be called The Hart Foundation. We’ll put them with The [British] Bulldogs, and at least [Bret] won’t be a problem for a little while. That solves that problem for a while.’ I don’t think they expected The Hart Foundation to be a formidable team that would last for a long time. We were probably a short term idea, but we just clicked so well. We were such a good team. We really were. We worked really well together and we highlighted each other, we complemented each other.”

On Jim Neidhart: “Jim was really quick. He was a big guy. He was about 270 lbs back then, but he was a super strong guy and a really strong sprinter. He could sprint. I think he almost made the Calgary Stampeders [Canadian Football League team] because he could run so fast. They talked about making Jim a fullback or a running back because he could run so fast. And he was third in the world – legitimately third in the world – shot putter. Jim was a really skilled athlete, a really good athlete, and his style… he is one of the only guys who can legitimately say that he came out of the Stu Hart Dungeon. My dad taught Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart how to wrestle and he did a pretty good job. He was really the last guy my dad actually took the time to go down there with.”