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Bret Hart on Newsportalk

Here's a transcript of an interview with Bret Hart on Newsportalk.

CHET: I don't care what kind of dough you've got, I don't care what kind of connections you might you have you're not going to get a piece of hardware like this [pointing to the WWF Championship Belt] like this if you stopped at Guccis, if you stopped at Barneys, if you stopped at...the belt emblematic of WWF supremacy. We welcome the Hitman Bret Hart. a man who will main event as we mentioned Wrestlemania 12 coming up a week from Sunday out in Anaheim, California. An event that is already sold out and available on a PPV basis. Bret "the Hitman" Hart vs "The Boy Toy" Shawn Michaels. When you talk about Bret Hart, despite the rather youthful look you are talking about a man who has been wrestling 17 years. Twelve of those under the auspices of one Vince McMahon. Ah the aches, the pains, the bumps, the bruises, the grunts, the groans. You do get hurt from timt to time. Are you allowed to call in sick?

BRET: Ah...no you're not. You're not. I think...you know it's funny I've been wrestling 12 years... Ah well actually if I added all my whole career up, I missed one match working six years for my father, and I missed two years, I think I've missed...er...two matches in seven...12 years in the WWF. I've missed two actual matches where I...something happened and I didn't get there. Other than injuries which are different...but ah...I'm pretty steady. I'm the Lou Gehrig I think... of wrestling. [Chet chuckling]

CHET:Complete this sentence for me. The single most challenging aspect of working for a man as driven as Vince McMahon is...

BRET:...Ah..I don't know. I think that ah...the hardest part for me... throughout my career I think has always been the pressure put on my homelife. The family life. Being a...just the price you pay as far a your family goes has always been the hardest thing, and I think when you consider things in the WWF you have to look at the ah...incredible schedule and the travelling. There's a lotta, there's a lotta real positives aspects to it, going all...you know we just did a big tour of India...and you go around the world...and to...to have had this...this place of being the celebrated hero in all these place is really really wonderful, but at the same time it's...you pay a tremendous sacrifice at home when you..when you don't get to be that same hero just for your own kids.

CHET: You ah mentioned the fact that right now you are a hero, or in the vernacular of the trade, Bret Hart is a babyface. A babyface or a heel. I have seen you when you have been booed out of an arena. What is the fine line between a babyface and a heel? Or have we reached a point in time in your profession where there really is no fine line?

BRET: Well I think what it is-is there's an extra added dimension I think to it now. You know I think you have the white hats, you have the black hats...

CHET: Uh huh...

BRET: ...and then you got the grey hats. [Both men smiling] Which I'm not quite sure if I'm wearing the grey hat anymore or not. But ah...I think that ah...you know again it's-it's a little bit of variety for everybody. I think it's...it's seems it's harder and harder nowadays in wrestling to establish yourself as a villain, and sometimes it's hard to make people really like you... and sometimes when you cross over and you mix the two of them together you come up with the best ah blend of the two of them..ah I don't know.

CHET: Let me ask you this. Upon completion of a wrestling match, ah...and you had the opportunity to cool down, whether it's MSG, or it's a 5000 seat venue in ah... San Antonio Texas. How long does it take before Bret Hart says to himself-Did I get my message across to the crowd tonight? Did the crowd respond to me in the way I wanted them to respond? Because ultimately you are a wrestler, yo are an athlete, but you are also an entertainer.

BRET: Ah...I don't think I really have ever had a problem with that because I think in contrast to almost all the other wrestlers that I can think of...when I go out to the ring I go out to the ring as me. I'm not this persona or somebody else's character. I'm Bret Hart and I go out...and I don't have any problem being Bret Hart...and I don't have any problem being accepted by the audience. If they don't like me, I think that ah...you know...I would find it kind of confusing maybe, but it wouldn't bother me.

CHET:We just saw a video of course of ah...Bret Hart vs Sean Michaels. A match that took place as part of a tag team bout at MSG this past Sunday, which by the way did record business, record dollars for Vince McMahon and the WWF which would appear to lend a rest ah... talk that the House Show business is down when one equates ah.. House Shows with the WWF. Comes WM you're gonna break the mold. A babyface vs a babyface. Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart. How do you put that match over? How do you get your fan to buy into a match where there is no legitimate heat being generated by either party up top?

BRET: Well I think that the most ah...interesting part about this kind of a matchup is that people always look at it and they go... ah like he's gonna have his core of fans and I'm gonna have my core of fans, and I think people when they see him go through you know the curtain and he goes to the ring they're gonna go, "He's really really good. This guy never ever loses." ... and then all of a sudden they're gonna hit my music, and I'm gonna walk out and they're gonna say, "This guy is REALLY REALLY good, and he never loses."...and the second that bell rings, they're gonna have...you're gonna have a captive audience, 'cause they don't know what's gonna happen... and I think that its always the best element. It's not so much good guys and bad guys. You know you'll always love that element of ah..that mystery..of ah..you don't know what could happen. I think you are also looking at a very close fight. I think which makes it very interesting.

CHET:Be objective if you possible can be. Ted Turner. WCW. What has Turner brought to your party ever since he connected himself with WCW?

BRET:Ah...Well I don't know. I'll be the first to say that competition is always healthy ,you know I don't think that that is ah ... there's anything wrong with that. Ah...

CHET:Have you been approached by Turner, to shift gears and join his company?

BRET:Ah...No. There's actually a rumor of it. It's news to me. But ah..ah the biggest reason I wouldn't go to the WCW, I mean loyalty is always something I take a lot of pride in and ah...I think that ah...what really...what it amounts to for me is when I look at the WCW... I don't even really consider Ted Turner... I don't know anything about Ted Turner...you know he seems...you know I don't involve myself so much with that aspect of it...I think ah...for me, the thing that I consider aout the WCW in contrast to the WWF is you have to look at...and you know it's not a matter of money...I'm not in this...profession necessarily for the money...I mean the money is very nice, but I'm in it more for the artform I think...and just the business itself, and the way I look at it is ahm...the WWF is continually always making strides in., to me...the forward direction for this business, and ah...I personally think that the WCW is ah...is and always has been second rate. You know just as a small example- I really don't even like their...I don't like their rings. Their rings are smaller and they're bouncier like trampolines...and I would hate to see myself ever have to...lower myself to that, and find myself in a situation where as an artist I am restricted, and I have to work in a ring that's bouncier and is harder on my knees, and it's smaller which makes it look faster, but it's not necesarrily faster.

CHET: Are there wrestlers, before we break, who have departed Vince McMahon,Titan Sports, and the WWF to jump to Ted Turner, who, you are resentful towards because you feel they were disloyal to Vince McMahon?

BRET: Ah...not really. I think that ah...I think it's a personal thing. You know I think that also that ah...everyone has a right to take care of themselves as best they can. You know, I think ...sometimes I think some of them made the decision because maybe they were forced into it. Like I think Randy Savage was the guy that was kinda getting left on the back burner, and he finally jumped and left...and I look at Randy and feel that that is the guy that shouldn't have had to do that, but ah...at the same time there's other guys that have left, that I think...even in the case of Diesel- again I think he did it maybe for money if that's...if that's the reason. But I don't...I don't think that ah...that his career is gonna go forward anymore. I thinks it's gonna digress...and I think that ah...he'll miss where he was, and I think he'll...he'll have a longing. I think even this past week, I think he'll sense that you know it was wonderful and something more important to wrestle in front of huge audiences...and I think when it comes down to the little... you know, the money difference...I don't think the money will be that much different....if ...if at all. Maybe worse.

Chet:...you mentioned Diesel aka Kevin Nash. A guy who played basketball over in Europe. Ah Vince McMahon spends a significant amount of time building this guy up, Razor Ramon is also departing the WWF...you mentioned the fact that you think Diesel will regret the move... In the case of a guy like Razor Ramon aka Scott Hall, once again, very much a creation of Vince McMahon... is he going to regret this move to Turner?

BRET:...If they're artists. I mean...unless they're... unless maybe from the onset that they're interested in this business strictly from the money aspect, which is...maybe some people are...ah I didn't get that impression from either one of them. I got the impression that they're both very ahm..you know...interested in where this business goes, and they took a lot of pride in their product...and again, if that's the case, then I think they'll be miserable about two years from now 'cause they're gonna realize that they...they went to a second rate organization...that ah is never gonna take them to the heights that they were at before.

CHET: Over the years you've had some characters, who in the ah...vernacular of Vince McMahon are off the charts. I mean you and I have both joked about the personality of the Undertaker. Let me ask you about a guy that you've got right now. Ah Dustin Rhodes. The son of Dusty Rhodes. Legendary Southern based wresler, affiliated with Ted Turner and WCW. Dustin Rhodes departs WCW, signs with Vince Mcmahon and the WWF. He is now billed as Goldust. His character ah...has rudiments, very strong rudiments of transvestism. Does that make you uncomfortable at all?

BRET:Hmm...I will say that a couple of times it's...you know...maybe crossed the line just a pinch, but it's not...I don't think... it hasn't done anything yet that has made me go-Jeez I think they gotta nix that or...you know I kinda think that, you know back in the 50's I'm sure there was people talking about Gorgeous George the same way...

CHET: That's true.

BRET:...saying this is un...you know get get this guy off the air, and you know...it's the '90s now. so maybe this is the answer to Gorgeous George for the '90s. I don't know. All I know it's very tough to...seems like it anyway...to find somebody that you can really hate, and ah.., he's accomplished that, so all the power to him. I'd hate...I'd kinda hate to see him go.

CHET:Well it's interesting from the standpoint, that as Dustin Rhodes, he was a stiff. As Dustin Rhodes he was basically ineffective when it came to ah...ah...taking the hands off the lap of a live audience...but as Goldust, as was seen in the Garden on Sunday. I mean this guy generates legitimate heat. I mean this guy can turn a crowd upside down.

BRET:Yeah it's...it's amazing what a difference it is. It's two totally different care...it's a career change for him.

CHET:That's putting it mildly.

CALLER:...I read a rumor in one of the newsletters that says that after WM and the tour of Germany, you're gonna pursue acting full time . Like the Lonesome Dove type thing, and wanted to make sure if the rumors were true or not true, and ask you phone to face so to speak. What's the deal?

Bret:Well ahm...Lonesome Dove got cancelled. So ah..which incidentally broke my heart [smiles] ...but ah...

CHET: That was the No.1 ranked television show in Canada at one time. Correct?

BRET: Yeah...I don't really know what happened...they tell me it got bad time slots, and it killed their ratings. It's all above my head. It got cancelled and it kinda broke my heart. As far as...you know acting...I would...I would take any chance I could get...any opportunity I could get at acting. I wait for that opportunity. Mostly because again I would like to explore that. Ahm...my wrestling career . I'd tell ya...I think after WM, depending on what happens in my match with Shawn Michaels...ahm, I'd just have to evaluate it from that point. If ah...I don't...I don't what could happen. If I...If I was to lose to Shawn Michaels. I would seriuosly consider ah...you know... maybe hanging up my tights. You know again...I don't know. I would have to think about it. At the same time, ahm...I don't have any doubts in my mind that ah at WM Shawn Michaels will see, as will the rest of the world-that I'm the best ever...and that in a sixty minute iron man match with Shawn Michaels...I think that the one real thing that is going to come out in that match is that Shawn Michaels is... you know is very good again...but he will never ever will be as good as I am.

CHET: Well let's mention by the way on that card that ah Goldust will face Rowdy Roddy Piper... and the Ultimate Warrior in the ultimate return match vs Henter Hearst Helmsley, who by the way happens to be a very nice guy...A big six-man tag match..................Ahmed Johnson who is affectionatley referred to by my little seven year old boy Tyler as old man Johnson....... Your ring personality-don't you capitalize on being an almost James Dean, Sean Penn type of anti-hero. The dark glasses, the srut, the very stoic expression. You don't often grin when you're in the ring. Isn't your persona one of being kind of ah...establishment, yet there is a defiance about you, that the audience buys into?

BRET: I don't know...you know I've never...you know I just wake up everyday, and what you see is what you get........I look at role models...I look at people out there. I really never really took it into account what a role model was until the last...until I guess I became the WWF champion maybe for the first time. 'Cause I always thought that jeez my heroes were Hulk Hogan...or this guy or these are the guys who were the best. Then all of a sudden, I was up on the same level as them... and ah all of a sudden I realized that I was this hero to...millions of people around the world... an I mean like...you know it's amazing how ah..how really big it is. I've been mobbed.....in Israel. I got mobbed at the Taj Mahal a few weeks ago in India. It's just amazing...and it's always small children...and you realize that these children...they not only look up to you as an athlete or an entertainer...they look up to you as ah...superhero...and I've taken a tremendous amount pride in that ah I don't ever want to let those fans down, that really really truly believe in me, and I think that ah...some people don't take it serious enough...being a role model, or a hero