Last July 2, the legendary Bret “The Hitman” Hart turned 60, although the celebration was marred by the death of his brother Smith, who happened the same day . Hart, one of the best fighters of his generation and master in the art of professional struggle, remains one of the most authoritative voices to speak on the subject.
On the occasion of his six decades, Justin Barrasso interviewed Hitman for the Extra Mustard section of Sports Illustrated . Here a selection of the talk:
“I had a good birthday, with close friends and family. We had just heard of Smith’s death, so it was a bit solemn, but we all knew how much Smith had suffered, so the party was a kind of liberation, and everyone set about partying almost on purpose just to think of something positive.
“Every year, you earn the right to eat cake on your birthday. Everything was simple, but I wanted it to be relaxing, so I asked everyone to bring their children. The guests swam and we had a roast with hamburgers and malts. “
Hart talked about what many consider his career’s best fight against ” The British Bulldog ” Davey Boy Smith at Wembley Stadium for SummerSlam ’92.
“I’ve always been biased towards Wembley. It was one of the greatest fights of my career, and it was special that it was in a stadium. Everyone feared that the event would rain and ruin, and the forecasts announced rains, but we crossed our fingers and it did not rain. There were 82,000 people present, and something that made the fight something special was that no one knew who was going to win. I was able to do that with Bulldog: until the last touch of back nobody knew who was going to win.
“It’s hard to explain, but it’s a beautiful thing to see when someone loses in the right moment and perfect, and that’s why the backstroke was so dramatic. There was no escape, no shame, but I made a mistake and Davey capitalized. It was a beautiful story that we had, and I think that was the fight that catapulted me to the World Championship. “
About his followers:
“I am very grateful to every follower I have ever had. I just got back from Odessa, Texas, and we were remembering a great fight I had with Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase in 1990 that really helped me show off my talent as a fighter. It’s nice to return to cities that for years supported me in the ring. I love going back to cities where I had a strong fan base, like San Antonio, Minneapolis, Iowa and Chicago. Some places, like Fort Wayne, Indiana and Pennsylvania, have not been able to visit them in years. “
Bret Hart at present:
“I’ve always prided myself on people seeing me as a hero. I try not to ever fail them and try to lead a healthy life. I now have three grandchildren and I am very happy.
“However, I still mend my soul for the last family tragedy, which was to lose my brother. Smith died of prostate cancer, which is the cancer I did not die for. I live my life as if every day was the last, and I feel very grateful. Another good thing I have in my life are fans from all over the world. I appreciate each one of them and I will always do my best to show them the respect they have shown me. “