10 Quick facts about: Bret Hart

1.The eighth child of wrestling patriarch Stu Hart

2.Hart reflected on his father’s discipline, describing how Stu inflicted excruciating submission holds while uttering morbid words to his teenage son. The suffering endured in these sessions even left broken blood vessels in his eyes. Hart also cited his father’s otherwise pleasant demeanor and growing up in the professional wrestling atmosphere.

3.By 1977, Hart was collegiate champion at Mount Royal College, where he was studying filmmaking his coaches and other people around him felt that he had shown sufficient promise to compete at the following year’s Commonwealth Games, and encouraged him to begin training for the event. Hart, however, was beginning to find amateur wrestling unrewarding amid injuries and fluctuating weight, and wanted to “get off this train”.

4.WWE chairman Vince McMahon has described him as the greatest technical wrestler and storyteller in the history of the business, and as having given the best match of the night every time he wrestled.

5.When Hart began the controversial “Canada versus America” angle, he was criticized in public, accused of being anti-American and often told by angry American fans “go back where you came from”. Hart responded in an interview with the Calgary Sun, stating that “there is a difference between a show and reality”. Hart holds dual citizenship with Canada and the U.S. as his mother is originally from Long Island, New York

6.Hart lent his nickname to the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League; he was a founder and part-owner.

7.His 7 brothers were either wrestlers or involved backstage with the wrestling business; his 4 sisters all married professional wrestlers. 3 of his brothers-in-law, The Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, and Jim Neidhart had successful careers in the business. His youngest brother Owen Hart had become a decorated wrestler in his own right before his death in 1999, caused in a real-life accident at the WWF pay-per-view Over the Edge. Hart’s daughter Alexandra “Beans” Hart is currently training to become a wrestler, hoping to eventually join her cousin and Hart’s niece Natalya as a WWE Diva.

8.On June 24, 2002, Bret Hart suffered a stroke after hitting his head in a bicycle accident. The Calgary Herald reported that Hart hit a pothole, flew over the handlebars of the bike, and landed on the back of his head. Hart suffered total paralysis on his left side, which required months of physical therapy. Hart has since recovered much of his mobility and is in good health, although he suffers from an emotional imbalance and other lasting effects common to stroke survivors.

9.In December 2010, WWE released the “50 Greatest Superstars of All-Time” DVD in which Bret was ranked No. 4 behind Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, and Steve Austin.

10. Hart made an offhand comment about his ring attire; “I am perhaps one of a small handful of professional wrestlers that wore pink into the ring, and never got my ass kicked for it”.