The relationship between Bret Hart and the WWE has not always been idyllic, also thanks to the well-known changes that involved the Hart family during the 90s. The famous 'Screwjob of Montreal' and the tragic death of Owen Hart represented two real watershed moments not only in the relationship between the parties but also for the modern history of the Stamford-based federation.
During the latest edition of 'The 81 Podcast', 'The Hitman' said he convinced Vince McMahon not to fire his close friend Ken Shamrock. Over time, the WWE boss managed to partially recover Bret's esteem, but he never missed the opportunity to throw a few digs at his former company.
Bret Hart on Ken Shamrock
"I don't know exactly why Ken Shamrock had such a bad reputation behind the scenes, it was probably more of a management issue," said Bret Hart. “I remember Vince McMahon phoned me to let me know he was going to fire him.
He just told me he was going to call him, his decision was made now. I asked him why he should be fired and Vince replied that there had been some management problems with him. I explained to him that we absolutely needed an athlete like Ken Shamrock.
I pointed out that he had all the credentials to become a star. He would have allowed us to make a lot of money. Eventually, Vince ended up changing his mind and kept him on the roster. I always thought he was a superstar who didn't fully express his potential.
He could have been much better than they allowed him to be. His passion for wrestling was born after breaking a hand in the UFC. I suggested that he could make some money by devoting himself to wrestling. He accepted and the rest is history," he added.
In a recent appearance on The 81 Podcast, The Hitman recalled how he helped train Shamrock at his house in Canada, before the MMA fighter eventually debuted with WWE. "Right from the start I wanted to wrestle Ken."
said Hart. "I would have loved to have worked with him. I got Ken in and trained him. I got Vader, Vader and Ken trained at my house, I had a gym set up at my house. You might remember it from Wrestling with Shadows? But I trained Ken there, I was the guy that brought him in and tried to get him to do the wrestling."
Bret Hart continued: "He told me he broke his hand in the UFC, and he goes, “I can’t fight for a while”. So I said, “Why don’t you wrestle? Make some money doing wrestling? You’d be a big star if you did the wrestling”.