Maybe we missed it, but when did Bret Hart turn from wrestling icon into bitter old ax grinder? Everyone arched their eyebrows several weeks back when the Hitman launched an attack on Triple H during an interview, calling him, among other things, “overrated.”
As if that were not enough, Hart conducted another interview days later where he questioned if Triple H would be able to be the same type of creative leader that his father-in-law, Vince McMahon, is. Now comes word that Hart has set his sights on even more targets.
After an outtake from a recent interview with Wrestle Talk TV went viral, WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart received criticism from wrestling fans for his comments questioning the legacy of former World Champion and current WWE Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, Triple H. These comments have made many fans choose sides, with some even taking personal shots at Hart. However, I fail to see exactly where Bret Hart’s evaluation of Triple H’s career was incorrect.
One thing people fail to realize is, the interviewer brought up Triple H, not Bret. Hart was just simply answering the question asked.
It’s not as if Hart is simply attacking Triple H out of spite and jealousy. This is Bret Hart. He’s already been elected to the WWE Hall of Fame, is on good terms with the company and is without a doubt one of the greatest technical wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling.
Triple H is well aware of the fact that there are plenty of superstars that envy his status, and the argument is valid that those looking up from the bottom may attempt to strike him down to reach his stature. But, once again, Bret Hart does not fall into this category like many others.
The reason the Hitman was asked to criticize a certain superstar is due to his legacy. On the debut episode of Monday Night Raw, Bret Hart was the WWF Champion. Bret Hart was THE guy in the World Wrestling Federation for a majority of the ’90s. So, as far as credentials go, Bret Hart has the right to criticize any superstar, let alone a superstar he has worked with.
His evaluation of Triple H’s career is, to me, very accurate. I won’t agree that The Game is not one of the top-1000 pro wrestlers of all time—as Hart stated in a separate interview with The Score—or even say that Triple H wasn’t a “great” superstar.
I will, however, agree with Hart’s analysis that Triple H’s legacy was secured with a ridiculous amount of title reigns that are due, in large part, to his creative stroke. Much of the criticism fans have for Triple H is his ability to latch on to those with power.
In the ’90s, many argue that Triple H rode Shawn Michaels’ coattails to success as a member of the backstage faction known as the Kliq. In the 2000s, he married his way into the McMahon family.
For every anti-John Cena fan who complains about the amount of title reigns Cena has compared to the likes of a Bret Hart or Steve Austin, consider this: Imagine how many reigns Cena would have if he were to take part in WWE creative meetings. And honestly, if you were to argue that in Triple H’s position you wouldn’t do the same, you’re kidding yourself.
The Hitman also questioned Triple H as an innovator to the professional wrestling industy. Someone please tell me where Bret is wrong in this regard?
What are the most important factors to Triple H’s legacy? Triple H is a legend in the sense that he was a great heel in the right era.
However, he is also very fortunate to be the bad guy in an era where he faced the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho and many other top babyfaces that made his 20-minute promos much more interesting. Once again, Triple H relies heavily on those around him to succeed.
Other than the obscene amount of title reigns, another argument to his legacy would be his involvement in major factions during his run in WWE. However, that once again raises some eyebrows over just how innovative Triple H really was.
Triple H was the leader of D-Generation X after serving as Shawn Michaels’ sidekick in a group that many believe was a WWE takeoff of WCW’s New World Order. He was also the leader of WWE Evolution, but that was basically just another reincarnation of the Four Horsemen—but with creative control to put every single title on Raw around their waists.
The fact of the matter is this, Bret Hart is an innovative superstar and one of the greatest of all time by his own merit. Triple H may be considered a legend, but his exact legacy is questioned by many.
Whenever WWE decides to rank the all time greats, he is one of the most debated amongst fans based on his ranking. Should he be considered? Probably.
Did his own stroke backstage add to his success? Definitely. Does his power in WWE always rank him higher than more deserving superstars? Definitely.
However, Triple H has replied Bret Hart and in his remarks, he commended the Hitman for his submissions especially his comments his match, Triple H and The Undertaker’s WrestleMania match which was an instant classic.
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