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Why Did Bret Hart Leave WWF in 1997?

Published 01/03/2022, 7:00 AM EST

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There have been a few incidents in the pro-wrestling industry that have been immortalized just because of the sheer magnitude of the incident. Some that come to mind include, Hulk Hogan, slamming Andre the Giant, Brock Lesnar beating the legendary WrestleMania streak of The Undertaker. However, none of them can top the infamous ‘Montreal Screwjob’ incident between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon.

Now, for over two decades, the wrestling world is still talking about the night when Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart infamously drew ‘WCW’ in the air standing in the WWE ring.


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When did Bret Hart decide to leave WWF?

Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels faced each other at the Survivor Series PPV ’97 in Montreal. However, the catch was that The Hitman was moving to WCW, but he was still the WWE champion. Afraid that Bret would not drop the belt to Michaels, Vince ordered the referee to ring the bell even though Bret didn’t tap out.

So this marked the last day for Bret to compete inside the WWE ring as he left the company in 1997. After all these years, different WWE wrestlers have shared their perspectives about the incident and all of them confessed that tensions were high that night.


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What ended Bret Hart’s career?

Putting all of this in the rear-view mirror, The Hitman moved to WCW to explore greener pastures. However, for whatever reasons, Bret just couldn’t do his best in Ted Turner’s company.

Yes, the storylines are to be blamed. He found brief success in the company when he won the Tag team gold with Goldberg. Eventually, down the line, Goldberg was the one who ended Hart’s in-ring career.

Hart and Goldberg faced off against each other at Starrcade ’99 from the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. The main event was for the WCW World Heavyweight title.

During the match, Goldberg hit Hart with a sidekick which legitmately gave him a concussion. After the match, Hart revealed that his doctors told him that his concussions have made it impossible for him to wrestle.

Eventually, the legendary Hart’s in-ring career came to a halt as he took retirement from the sport.

Did Bret Hart ever go back to WWE?

For years, the Hart family was disappointed with how Vince treated Bret back in ’97.

However, as time passed, the former WWE champion buried the hatchet with Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon himself. Eventually, Bret Hart’s return to WWE television in 2010 was one of the more shocking moments in the sport’s history.


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Bret Hart revealed in his Confessions Of The Hitman, where he revealed that it was former US President Donald Trump who inspired him to come back to WWE in 2010.

“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.'”[h/t: Comic Book]


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Finally, Bret Hart is now a WWE Hall of Famer. Indicating that Vince and he are on the same page.



Prithvi Mishra

985 articles

Prithvi Mishra is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports. He graduated from Raj Kumar Goel Institute of Technology in Ghaziabad. Having started his career as a UFC writer, Prithvi has nearly 2 years worth of experience in covering combat sports.