Bret Hart Appreciation Night Report
From The Saddledome in Calgary, AB
May 27, 2013
By Steve Khan
Jerry Lawler said today was declared Bret Hart day in Calgary and they aired a video package of his career. Bret came out to a standing ovation and Thank You Bret chants. Lawler read a proclamation from Calgary city council announcing May 27, 2013 as Bret Hart Day, signed by the mayor.
Bret said he could feel Stu, Bulldog and Owen watching and the crowd chanted Owen’s name. He was proud of this accomplishment because it came from the people of Calgary and he thanked his kids for putting up with him being gone all those years. He talked about wrestling in Calgary which prepared him for the 14-year career in WWE. Bret put over his matches with Mr. Perfect and British Bulldog and said there were too many others to name. He also thanked his wife Stephanie. He then thanked Lawler and brought up the old jokes Lawler used to say about the Hart parents. Owen once told Bret they should talk to Jerry about it but it turns out their mom loved it and it turned her into a wrestling fan. He called Lawler one of the greatest villains ever. Bret wished WWE could’ve come to Calgary more often and regrets not being able to show what the Calgary guys could do.
Jerry introduced Pat Patterson who put Bret over as the best Canadian wrestler ever. He got to one knee to thank Bret. Bret said he got nervous whenever Pat got to his knees.
Chris Jericho came out next. Jericho said it was very cool finally being in the ring with Bret. He never got to wrestle Bret but did wrestle him a thousand times in his mind. He dreamt of having matches with Bret and Owen Hart. Jericho told a story from 1995 when he saw Bret at a Stu Hart birthday show where he suggested a finish to Bret for a match with Bulldog on PPV, and he was amazed when Bret actually used it.
Shawn Michaels was next. Some very light boos and You Screwed Bret chants. Shawn said he expected much worse. Shawn said every great hero needed a great villain and he was honoured to be Bret’s Lex Luthor. He congratulated Bret and hugged him to cheers.
Vince McMahon came out. He called Stampede Wrestling one of the greatest promotions ever and said Bret Hart brought in his own era to WWE, defined by great wrestling and said Bret won the WWE Championship the old fashioned way -- by earning it. He said Bret was called the Excellence of Execution for a reason and called him the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Vince asked when Bret would leave this cow-dung smelling city. He assured the crowd he was kidding. Vince finished by telling Bret thank you.
Bret said nobody would know who he was if not for what WWE did for him. He enjoys being a Calgarian hero and being recognized all over the world. He put over Vince and Shawn and said it means a lot that Shawn came out today. He also thanked Lawler, Jericho and Patterson for coming. He joked that this was the perfect moment for he and the crowd to ambush Vince and Shawn. Lastly, Bret thanked the crowd.
All the wrestlers from the back, including Lance Storm, came on the stage to applaud. Natalya and Tyson Kidd went to the ring to hug Bret.