Bruce Hart (wrestler)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
Bruce Hart (right) in 1997
January 13, 1950 |
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Bruce Hart|
|Billed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Billed weight||212 lb (96 kg)|
|Trained by||Stu Hart|
|Debut||December 2, 1972|
Bruce Edward Hart (born January 13, 1950) is a Canadian retired professional wrestler, promoter, booker, trainer and school teacher. He is a member of the Hart wrestling family and is best known for his several appearances in WWE, often with his brothers Bret and Owen.
In June 2013, Hart resurrected his famous wrestling school, Hart Brothers University, and continues to train wrestlers in his hometown of Calgary, AB. Hart remains a school teacher for the Calgary Board of Education, and is currently pursuing a relaunch of his father's legendary promotion, Stampede Wrestling.
Professional wrestling career
Bruce Hart began his wrestling training in 1971, at the age of 21, in his father's legendary basement, the dungeon. Trained by Stu Hart, Bruce, like the rest of his family, were internationally renowned in the wrestling world for their technically sound, amateur wrestling style matches.
He debuted in 1972, in his fathers famous Calgary promotion, Stampede Wrestling, tag teaming with Dan Kroffat in the main event, against North American Champion Kendo Nagasaki and Lord Sloan. For the next six months he remained a headline performer for the promotion, working against the likes of John Quinn, Benny Ramirez, Frank Butcher, Tor Kamata, Chatti Yokuchi and Yasu Fuji.
In June 1973, he suffered a serious shoulder injury which sidelined him for 9 months and nearly finished his career. He returned in the summer of 1974, and continued to be a feature performer in Western Canada.
In 1977 he traveled to the United Kingdom, where he wrestled under the name "Bronco" Bruce Hart for the London based Joint Promotions. During his tenure in England, he made the acquaintance of two young, up and coming British wrestlers: Tom Billington and David Smith, who were cousins from a small town near Manchester, called Warrington.
After he returned to Calgary in 1979, to resume wrestling in Stampede Wrestling and to take over the position of booker (matchmaker),he convinced his father to book Billington - who wrestled under the ring name of the Dynamite Kid. Dynamite quickly became a huge star in Western Canada and, as a result, Hart invited his younger cousin, Smith to also come to Western Canada. Smith, who originally wrestled as Young David, became known as Davey Boy Smith (after British lightweight boxing champion - Davey Boy Green) would also go on to become a major star in the Stampede Wrestling promotion. Although the two British stars primarily wrestled against each other in Stampede Wrestling, with Billington as a heel and Smith as a face, they would later go on to fame and acclaim in the WWF as the legendary British Bulldogs.
From 1979 until 1984, with Bruce in charge of matchmaking and talent development, the Stampede promotion enjoyed its greatest success, selling out consistently and producing a myriad of legendary superstars, including: Jake Roberts, the Junkyard Dog, Jim Neidhart, David "Dr. D." Shults, Honky Tonk Wayne, Bad News Allan (aka Bad News Brown) and the iconic Bret "the Hitman" Hart. Near the end of 1984, Bruce's father, Stu, accepted an offer from WWF president, Vince McMahon, t sell the promotion for $1,000,000, plus 10% of all subsequent WWF gates in Western Canada.to WWF president Vincent K. McMahon. As part of the deal, several Stampede superstars, including Bret Hart, Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy and Neidhart also joined the WWF. Unfortunately, McMahon essentially screwed the Harts on the deal, failing to pay the Harts the million dollars and percentage of the gates and heisting most of the top talent from the promotion.
As a result, near the end of 1985, Stu Hart - frustrated with McMahon's double cross, decided to re-open the promotion. Initially the promotion, which had been decimated by the loss of most of its superstars, struggled to remain afloat. As a consequence, Bruce chose to feature a new, edgier and more hard core style of wrestling - featuring villains: the Karachi Vice (Makhan and Vokhan Singh and the Great Gama, the Viet Cong Express (Hiroshi Hase and Nubohiko Niikura) Jason the Terrible, the masked Zodiak (Barry Orton) and dynamic up and coming babyfaces, such as Owen Hart, Ben Bassarab, Chris Benoit, Jushin Liger and the dynamic tag team combo of Bad Kompany (Bruce Hart and Brian Pillman). In short order, the promotion would thrive and for the next several years, it would remain a viable alternative to the WWF, drawing great gates and turning out a myriad of cutting edge superstar performers.
It was revealed in Bret Hart's Bret "Hit Man" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be DVD that Bret realized that he wanted to become a professional wrestler full-time after visiting Puerto Rico with his brother Smith. Originally, it had been Bruce that was to travel to Puerto Rico with Smith, but Bruce backed out of the trip at the last minute. Bret said that because the ticket bought for Bruce was for a "B. Hart", he was forced into going by his family. Bret also said that Bruce helped make his decision to go to Puerto Rico final after telling him that he would enjoy it. After coming home to Calgary, Bret realized that he wanted to join the Stampede Wrestling promotion owned by his father full-time.
In 1996 Bruce Hart made a comeback to the ring with the independent New York based promotion Ultimate Championship Wrestling (UCW), where he wrestled with the likes of Chris Chavis, his brother-in-law Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Falcon Coperis Louis Velazquez, and Marty Jannetty. Bruce Hart was instrumental in the development of the young talent of the UCW.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
Hart has made several appearances with his brothers Bret and Owen in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Bruce made his first appearance at the 1993 Survivor Series pay-per-view, teaming with his brothers Bret, Owen and Keith to take on Shawn Michaels and his "Knights" (The Red Knight, The Blue Knight and The Black Knight). Hart Brothers won the match, with Owen being the only team member eliminated. This ignited a lengthy feud between Bret and Owen that would last for several years. At the 1994 SummerSlam, the two brothers competed in a Steel Cage match for the WWF Championship. Bruce and several Hart brothers interfered in the match. Bruce also appeared on an episode of Monday Night Raw in the summer of 1994.
Bruce's next WWF appearance was at In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede when he interfered in the main event which pitted The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Brian Pillman and Jim Neidhart) against Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal). Bruce played a key role in the finish of the match as he scuffled with Austin, allowing Owen to score the pinfall victory over Austin.
Bruce's next and most recent appearance in the renamed WWE was at WrestleMania XXVI, where he was the surprise Special Guest Referee for his brother Bret's first WWE match in 13 years, a No Holds Barred Lumberjack match against the WWE chairman Vince McMahon. McMahon thought that Bruce and the rest of Hart family were at his side, but they all turned on him and helped Bret win the match.
Hart lives in Calgary, AB, where he continues to train aspiring wrestlers in Hart Brothers University (HBU). He has five children with his ex-wife, Andrea Hart: Brit, Bruce JR, Torrin, Rhettger and Lara.
Championships and accomplishments
- Polynesian Pacific Wrestling
- PPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Keith Hart
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Stampede Wrestling
- NWA International Tag Team Championship (Calgary version) (2 times) – with Davey Boy Smith
- Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship (8 times)
- Stampede International Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Brian Pillman (2) and Teddy Hart (1)1
- Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Stampede World Mid-Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame
1TJ Wilson replaced Teddy Hart after Hart suffered an injury.
- "Bruce Hart Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
- Vance Nevada's Canadian Wrestling Results Archive (Stampede, December 2, 1972)
- McCoy, Heath (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1.
- McCoy, Heath (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1.
- Hart, Bret (2008). Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Grand Central Publishing. p. 432. ISBN 978-0-446-53972-2.
- Hart, Bruce (2011). Straight From the Hart. ECW Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-55022-939-4.
- "The PWI 500". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.) 17 (13): 52. Holiday 1997.
- "Stampede World Mid-Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948–1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.