Bret Hart returned to his soapbox recently to talk about the state of modern wrestling. In the past, The Hitman, arguably the best in-ring performer in the genre’s history, has been right and wrong regarding the matter. In a recent interview with Fox Sports Australia, Hart seemed to be on the money regarding the physical state of the product’s ring work.
“I find a lot of the wrestlers today are like, when they land where they land, they realize 30 seconds later that they’re in the wrong spot, and they start wiggling all the way across the ring to get in the right position. That’s a fail. You get an F in my wrestling academy when you do stuff like that,” said Hart.
While acknowledging that the industry still has great wrestlers capable of delivering an excellent match, the two-time WWE Hall of Famer was critical of the rest of the field, saying so many are subpar and accusing them of lacking proficiency in the ring. He said spots such as a wrestler taking a dive over the top rope onto multiple wrestlers were unrealistic and called for it to cease. Hart also has a big issue with chops.
“What a bunch of baloney,” said The Hitman. “Nobody ever won a match with a chop. All the wooing. It’s really taking away from the beauty and the art of great wrestling.”
Regarding chops, Hart’s issue is twofold. First, Hart sees it as a form of cheap heat, something that wrestlers do because it will get an easy reaction from the crowd. But perhaps more important is that, unlike dives, chops are too real, as they legitimately hurt the person receiving the blow, which goes against the art of pro wrestling in Hart’s eyes.
“In my understanding of pro wrestling, anytime anyone does anything to you that hurts, for real — chopping, putting blisters on your chest when you go to your room or bed, anytime anyone does things to you for real, they’re in the wrong business. They’re doing it wrong,” Hart said.
Of course, no discussion of pro wrestling, or anything for that matter, with Bret Hart would be complete without a shot at Goldberg, whose errant kick to Hart’s head during a match in 1999 led to Bret’s retirement. In the past, Hart has stated that it’s natural for wrestlers to feel sore after a night in the ring. But returning to a hotel room afterward with a lump on the head, a black eye, and your teeth knocked out is a bad sign.
“That’s Bill Goldberg wrestling. That’s not how it’s done.”