Yes, the very man who makes all the accusations is the sole individual who has been caught on video using such leverage to benefit himself. It is all clearly caught on tape on the Bret Hart biography "Wrestling With shadows". So how can his word - especially on this subject - be taken over anyone else's? But I'll take it a step further. Even without said video evidence, all of the other available evidence points to the facts that Vince McMahon had no faith in Hart and had no plans to promote a Hogan vs Hart match let alone having Bret go over.
To start off let's simply look at Bret's time on top of the WWF. Hogan was gone, having left after WrestleMania VIII, The Ultimate Warrior (who had returned to that same day) was proving to be unprofessional, no showing matches and would soon leave himself. Ric Flair (the reigning champion) suffered an ear injury and had to quickly drop the belt so to take time off to heal. Enter Bret. Hart was given this opportunity based on his years with the company, his recent reign as Intercontinental champion and - most importantly - because the WWF didn't have any stars working for them at the time (other names such as Roddy Piper and Sid Justice/Vicious had also left by this time). So this was Hart's time to shine. Not only was he going to win the WWF World Heavyweight title, but he was going to beat one of the greatest and most legendary champions of all time to get it. Getting off to such a great start Hart vowed to be a fighting champion and someone to bring "respect" to the WWF title. And he did just that. Bret conducted himself as a proper champion. He fought hard in the ring beating the bad guys and tried to be a good roll model for the kids. The problem is... nobody cared.
During the Hulk Hogan years the WWF saw unprecedented popularity. It expanded from a regional promotion to a national then world wide promotion that dominated the pro wrestling world. Before the explosion of HULKAMANIA the WWF title was no longer even recognized as a World title. But under Hogan would soon become THE biggest and most prestigious championship in the world. Hogan's popularity brought the WWF to network TV for the first time with Saturday Night's Main Event; a show that would regularly pull 10+ in the ratings. Hogan made pro wrestling (and the WWF in particular) so popular that 93,173 fans (a world indoor attendance record) packed the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan to see the Hulkster take on Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III. Less then one year later Hogan set yet another record by drawing a 15.2 (33 million viewers) rating for NBC on February 5, 1988. This is the highest rating ever for a professional wrestling event.
Bret was never able to achieve any of this. During his time on top the WWF saw a dramatic drop in popularity. Not because of anything bad from Hart who continued to work as hard as he could, but he simply didn't have the charisma, the likability or the drawing power of Hulk Hogan and fans just didn't relate to Hart in the same way. So as WrestleMania IX approached Vince decided to go in a new direction. The 500+ lbs Samoan wrestler Yokozuna (billed as being from Japan) who was built up to be this unstoppable monster was being prepped to take the WWF World title from Hart and thus help to build new heroes as wrestlers would try to defeat him for it. But Vince had another problem. Tickets were not selling well for WrestleMania IX (more evidence that Bret was just not a draw) so Hulk Hogan (who was busy filming his new TV series "Thunder in Paradise") was asked to return for this event to help boost ticket sales.
The original plan was to have Hogan team with Brutus Beefcake to win the tag team title from Money Inc and then go on a brief tour as champions before dropping the belts back to Money Inc. where he would then return in time for his TV show. According to Hogan, he came up with the idea of beating Yokozuna in an impromptu challenge at the end of the event and then drop the title back to Yokozuna at a later date in order to A) assure that WrestleMania ended on a high note and B) to help get the big Samoan over further as an unstoppable monster by having him win the title by defeating Hogan (which is certainly a lot more impressive than beating Hart who was still mainly looked at by many at the time as just half of a tag team). As it played out, Hart lost to Yokozuna after Yoko's manager Mr. Fuji threw salt into Hart's eyes. Hogan came down to protest and was challenged by Fuji to a match. with Hart's encouragement Hogan agreed but was immediately stopped by the new champion. As Fuji attempted to throw more salt, Hogan ducked causing Yokozuna to be hit with it. This allowed Hogan to get a quick victory and become the new champion. Despite what Hater's claim, this did not make anyone look bad. Hart was on the verge of winning and only lost because of outside interference. In turn Yokozuna, a man over 500 lbs wrestled for over 20 minutes to win the title showing incredible stamina for a big man. And Hogan's quick victory was the result of not only the salt but also the fact that Yoko had just wrestled. A series of circumstances that left the fans happy and wanting more.
As promised Hogan dropped the title in the rematch at the very next PPV (King of the Ring). Not only was Hogan defeated for the title, but he had to be carried out and looked for all intensive purposes like a beaten man. To add further heat (no pun intended) a fireball was used on Hogan before Yoko defeated the Hulkster with his own finisher, the legdrop. Yokozuna (now billed as closer to 600lbs) now seemed unbeatable AND was hated more than ever. Hart meanwhile was not cast to the side and in fact won the King of the Ring that night (although like everything else Bret whines about this saying that he had to "settle" for a King of the Ring victory - way to trash the sport you supposedly "respect").
Hart points to this PPV as evidence that Hogan refused to drop the title to him at SummerSlam, but if you look closely at this PPV you can see the true evidence that Hart was never scheduled to face Hogan in the first place. After winning the King of the Ring, Hart was engaged in a lengthy feud with Jerry "The King" Lawler over who was the real "King" of the Ring and was not seen in the title picture for a full year. Hogan would not being seen on WWF TV again after this PPV (well, not for 9 years anyway) giving the impression that Yoko really took him out. In addition, during the Lex Luger/Tatanka match we see that Luger was being primed for a face turn which was the start of the push for the man who Vince was TRULY wanting to strap. Luger had battled the then undefeated Tatanka to a time limit draw showing that he was tougher than most. But then played to the crowd and asked for an additional 5 minutes which is an old school trick that crowds love and they cheered for it. Furthermore during the Hogan/Yokozuna match, more seeds were being planted for Luger's push as Hogan tried and failed several times to bodyslam Yokozuna. This was the first time Hogan failed to slam anyone. Leaving the fans to wonder, "If Hogan can't do it, who can?".
July 4, 1993, Independence Day. On the aircraft carrier the USS Intrepid Yokozuna had issued a special challenge to any American who could bodyslam him (known as the "Stars and Stripes Challenge"). After many tried and failed Luger, dressed in the colors of the American flag made a dramatic entrance via helicopter and bodyslammed (some say it looked more like a hiptoss but what they hell) the nearly 600lbs champion to make his face turn complete and set himself up as the greatest challenger to the seemingly unbeatable champion. For weeks the WWF promoted Luger's "Lex Express" bus tour as they built Luger as the new American hero who would face Yoko at SummerSlam.
But the long term plan was to have Yokozuna reign until next WrestleMania where Luger would win the title. To accomplish this, a clause was put in the SummerSlam match that Luger would only get one shot at the champion. Luger would then win the match via count out and thus fail in his bid for the title.
The plan was for Luger to lead the "New Generation" as they called the new stars they were trying to build, for the next six months hoping that fans would demand a rematch. Luger would then find a loophole in the clause, win the Royal Rumble in January thus being guaranteed a shot at the title at WrestleMania and having the big payoff at the WWF's biggest PPV of the year. The problem was... no body cared for Luger either. Despite his new "All American" image, Luger was still just Luger in the eyes of the fans. He still had all of the flaws that he always carried with him throughout his career. His appeal was limited and he was unable to keep the fans interest for more than a short period at a time. As a result the WWF began rethinking what direction they wanted to go with this. Clearly Lugar was not going to become the star they had hoped. So one day someone suggested that Bret feud with his brother Owen. Vince liked that idea. Brother against brother. That might work. They tried it out at that year's Survivor Series. While Luger lead his team to victory over Yokozuna's, Bret teamed with three of his brothers against Shawn Michaels (who replaced Jerry Lawler) and his masked knights. Owen was the only Hart eliminated and he began to scuffle with Bret. The crowd responded well to it and Vince decided that would make a great feud for the WWF title.
The problem was how to get the title on Bret. Vince still didn't see Bret capable of defeated the 600lbs monster of a champion that he had created in Yokozuna. The solution was to have Hart and Luger BOTH win the Royal Rumble (one of the lamest RR finishes of all time) and therefore Yokozuna would have to face them both. Vince found it more acceptable that Bret could defeat Yokozuna after Yoko had just faced and defeated Luger. After all when Hogan beat him at last year's WrestleMania it was right after Yoko had just wrestled (Hmmm). So Hart went on to win the title and feud with his brother Owen.
When one looks at all of the evidence and looks back on how the story line played out it becomes incredibly obvious to even the most naive of fans that there were no plans for Bret to face Hogan at SummerSlam. A) Hogan was filming a TV show and wasn't going to be around for SummerSlam. B) If the plan was to put the belt on Hart at SummerSlam he would have beaten Yoko there, but Hart wasn't even in the title picture for a full year. C) Vince clearly wanted the title to stay on Yoko to build his "New Generation" of stars from. D) From King of the Ring you can see the build up of Lex Luger to be not only the real challenger at SummerSlam but also to be the next big star. And E) Vince needed to shoehorn Hart back into the title picture because he didn't feel Bret was a big enough star to just come in and win the title.
All this in ADDITION to the video footage of Hart refusing to drop the title (even tough he was leaving the company - over money no less) shows that Bret Hart is a liar on top of being a whiner. Hart was mad because he never achieved the level of success and fame that Hulk Hogan has. Don't feel so bad Bret, NOBODY has been able to achieve that. And while we watch your WWE DVDs where you whine about how you were being ignored - even though you were World champion (explain that one to me) we see that you are not the image of "respect" that you claim but just an confident individual who, rather than be proud of his accomplishments, would rather whine about what he DIDN'T achieve. BOO f'n HOO.
Less than a week after I posted this blog, new evidence appeared that supports this blog. Lex Luger appeared on the "Inside the Ropes" radio show and said the following regarding his WWE push; "Vince had a very special relationship with MSG, Vince thought everyone expected me to win the belt at SummerSlam but he said 'if we do decide to put the belt on you, lets do it at WrestleMania in Madison Square Garden instead, that's where I'd like to do it' I was never promised but that was the thinking."
So just as I said Bret WAS NOT the man Vince was looking to push at the time but Luger was. Further evidence that Bret Hart's whining is just that and is not based in truth what so ever.