Bruce Hart (wrestler)

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Bruce Hart
BrucehartchrischavisUCW.jpg
Bruce Hart (right) in 1997
Birth name Bruce Ambrose Edwardious Hart[1]
Born (1950-01-13) January 13, 1950 (age 66)[2]
Great Falls, Cascade County, Montana, United States[3][4]
Spouse(s) Andrea Hart (divorced)
Children 5
Family Hart
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Bruce Hart
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Billed weight 212 lb (96 kg)[2]
Billed from Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Trained by Stu Hart[2]
Debut 1972[5]
Retired 2003

Bruce Ambrose Edwardious Hart Sr.,[1] possibly Bruce Dennis Luis Hart Sr.[6] (born January 13, 1950)[7] is a Canadian-American retired professional wrestler, promoter, booker, trainer and school teacher. He is a member of the Hart wrestling family and is best known for his time in Stampede Wrestling and several appearances for WWE, often with his brothers Bret and Owen.

As a wrestler Hart carried a number of championships, including the Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship and participate in WWF's Survivor Series.

Early life[edit]

While his mother was pregnant with Hart she and her husband Stu suffered an automobile accident. This resulted in his older brother Smith being taken cared of by their maternal grandparents for almost two years while Helen recovered in the hospital.[8]

He is of Greek descent through his maternal grandmother and Irish through his maternal grandfather.[9][10][11][12] His father was mainly of Scots-Irish descent but also had Scottish and English ancestry.[13][14] Hart is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.[15][16]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Bruce Hart began his wrestling training in 1971, at the age of 21, in his father's training school "The Dungeon". Trained by Stu Hart, Bruce, like the rest of his family, was trained in and focused on a technically sound, amateur wrestling style.

Stampede wrestling[edit]

Headlining and injury (1972-1977)[edit]

He debuted in 1972, in his fathers 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 as performer in Western Canada. Hart kept wrestling on and off but had relatively few matches untill after 1977.[17]

Time in England and Germany (1977-1978)[edit]

In 1977 he traveled to the United Kingdom, where he wrestled under the name "Bronco" Bruce Hart for the London based Joint Promotions.[18]

While there, he met a young Tom Billington and offered him an opportunity to wrestle for Stampede, which Billington declined.[19] After a falling out with Joint Promotions, Billington, using the ring name Dynamite Kid, traveled to Canada and joined Stampede.[20] 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, later became known as Davey Boy Smith (after British lightweight boxing champion - Dave Boy Green) after Hart decided that it was a better ring name.[21]

In 1978 Hart and Billington worked together as a tag team in the german promotion Catch Wrestling Association, they wrestled against Angel Grey and Michael Seitz. Hart also worked in singles matches against Seitz.[22]

Booking and work in Japan (1979-1984)[edit]

From 1979 until 1984, Hart was in large part in charge of matchmaking and talent development, selling out regularly and producing a myriad of successful wrestlers, including: Jake Roberts, the Junkyard Dog, Jim Neidhart, "Dr. D." Dave Shultz, Honky Tonk Man, Bad News Allen (aka Bad News Brown) and Bret "the Hitman" Hart, the period was one where the company was generally breaking even.

In 1979 Hart won his first championship, the Stampede World Mid-Heavyweight Title from Dick Steinborn.[23] In 1980 Hart won two championships, the World Mid-Heavyweight Title for a second time and the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title. By the end of 1982 Hart won the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship two times and then a third time by the beginning of 1983.[24]

In 1983 Hart worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling in their NJPW Bloody Fight Series. There he worked in singles matches against wrestlers such as Kengo Kimura, Kantaro Hoshino, Ryuma Go, Kuniaki Kobayashi and in tag team matches with wrestlers such as Bad News Allen and Tony St. Clair against Akira Maeda and Kengo Kimura with the former and against Isamu Teranishi and Rusher Kimura with the later as well as partisipating in three man tag matches with Dick Murdoch and Tony St. Clair against Antonio Inoki, Osamu Kido and Seiji Sakaguchi. Hart later in the year returned to Stampede.[25] In March 1984 while back in Stampede Hart became Stampede International Tag Team Champion together with Davey Boy Smith.[26]

Hart returned to New Japan in early April 1984 for the NJPW Big Fight Series where he primarily wrestled in singles matches, several of which were with Norio Honaga but also against other wrestlers such as Nobuhiko Takada, Tatsutoshi Goto, Masanobu Kurisu, Makoto Arakawa, Fumihiro Niikura, Isamu Teranishi. He also took part in one known tag match, partnering with Hercules Ayala against Haruka Eigen and Kantaro Hoshino.[27]

Near the end of 1984, Bruce's father, Stu, accepted an offer from WWF president, Vince McMahon, to sell the promotion for $1,000,000, plus 10% of all subsequent WWF gates in Western Canada to the WWF. As part of the deal, several Stampede superstars, including Bret Hart, Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy and Neidhart also joined the WWF. However, several months later, Bruce violated the terms of the agreement by assisting a rival promotion in the territory, leading McMahon to renegade on the deal.[28]

Promoting (1985-1989)[edit]

As a result, near the end of 1985, Stu Hart decided to re-open the promotion with Bruce running most of it. Initially the promotion, which had been hurt by the loss of most of its well known wrestlers, 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 younger and coming babyfaces, such as Owen Hart, Ben Bassarab, Chris Benoit, Jushin Thunder Liger and the tag team Badd Company (Bruce Hart and Brian Pillman). In short order, the promotion would survive for the next several years, drawing reasonable gates and turning out a number of performers who would go on to have decent careers in other companies after the promotions end. Despite this the promotion suffered backstage due to Bruce and his father Stu having grave disagreements about how to handle storylines.[29] The promotion shut down in 1989 when Stu's promoter's license expired and they could not afford to pay for a new one.[30]

During this period Hart won five titles, the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship for the fifth time, the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship for the sith time, the Stampede International Tag Team Championship for the third time with Brian Pillman as Badd Company, the Stampede International Tag Team Championship for the fourth time, again with Brian Pillman and the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship for the seventh time.[31]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1993-1994)[edit]

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). The Knights theme was used as the team was supposed to be led by Jerry "The King" Lawler, who was having legal troubles at the same time as his feud with Bret Hart and was replaced by Michaels. The Hart Brothers won the match, with Owen being the only team member eliminated.[32]

Owens failure ignited a lengthy feud between Bret and Owen that would last for several years. The Owen and Bret feud was originally conceived as a feud between Bret and Bruce but Bret proposed to make it between him and Owen instead as he believed the dynamic for them would be superior.[33] At the 1994 SummerSlam, the two brothers competed in a Steel Cage match for the WWF Championship.[34] Bruce and several Hart brothers interfered in the match by climing the cage. Bruce also appeared on an episode of Monday Night Raw in the summer of 1994.[35]

Independent circuit (1996-1997)[edit]

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, and Marty Jannetty and feuding with wrestlers such as Tiger Khan.[36]

In UCW Hart was involved in and developed a nWo type storyline in which he and former WWE wrestlers portrayed greedy lazy fat-cat type villains who looked down on and used the younger rookie talent at the shows to make money and gain power in the promotion.[37]

Hart was instrumental in the development of the young talent of the UCW.[38][39][40]

Return to World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1996-2010)[edit]

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.[41][42]

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.[43]

Promoting Stampede Wrestling (1999-2005)[edit]

Hart has attempted to revive Stampede Wrestling numerous times. In the late 90s Hart collaborated with his brother Ross Hart as promoters and bookers, this incarnation of Stampede Wrestling featured many third generation members of the Hart family, including Natalya Neidhart, Teddy Hart and David Hart Smith.[44]

In 2001 Hart won the Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship for the first time. In 2002 he won four titles, the Stampede International Tag Team Titles a fifth time with his nephew Teddy Hart, the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship for the eight and last time, the Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship as well as the Stampede International Tag Team Championships for the last time with TJ Wilson.[45]

One of Hart's last match for his and Ross's incarnation of Stampede Wrestling was in June 2003 in a match for the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title against Duke Durrango which Hart lost, leaving over the title to Durrango.[46]

Teaching and miscellaneous work (1990-present)[edit]

In 2011 Hart wrestled in a Four-On-Three-Handicap-Match for Stampede Next Generation Stampede Wrestling together with his nephew Teddy Hart and Hal Eagletail against Big Jess, DerRic Super Starlight, The Inuit Warrior and Wyatt Beaver.[47]

In 2012 Hart wrestled his last match for Real Canadian Wrestlings 9th Anniversary Show in a Six-Man-Tag-Team-No-Disqualiication where he wrestled against Andrew Hawks, Kid Kash and nephew Teddy Hart together with Heavy Metal and Tommy Lee Curtis.[48]

He has also been a trainer at the original Hart Brothers University wrestling school in the 90s and in June 2013, Hart resurrected the wrestling school. Hart continues to train wrestlers at the school together with his sons Torrin and Bruce Jr. in his hometown of Calgary, AB.

Since 2015 Hart has a weekly column and runs a podcast for the multimedia website PWP Nation.[49]

Other media[edit]

Hart has appeared on several wrestling documentaries, including the 2010 documentary Survival of the Hitman which is about his younger brother Bret Hart and the WWE released Hart and Soul: The Hart Family Anthology in which he has a segemnt dedicated to his career.[50][51]

He was also present on the stage when his father Stu Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Hart lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Hart spent many years as a school teacher on the side of his wrestling work and Hart remains a on the Calgary Board of Education as a retired wrestler.

Family[edit]

Main article: Hart wrestling family

He has five children with his ex-wife, Andrea Hart: daughters Brit and Lara as well as sons Torrin, Bruce Jr. and Rhettger Hart. Rhett was born three months premature and suffers from cerebral palsy.[53]

Hart and his wife Andrea separated for a period from 2000 and Andrea started a relationship with Hart's former brother in law Davey Boy Smith until Smith's death in 2002. Andrea and Hart later reconciled but separated again after a time.[54][55]

Two of Bruce Hart's sons Bruce Jr and Torrin have been involved in pro wrestling.[56]

In wrestling[edit]

Wrestlers trained[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Bruce Hart (mask) Ted Allen (mask) Calgary, Alberta Stampede Calgary March 4, 1983 [71][72]
Bruce Hart (hair) Dynamite Kid (hair) Calgary, Alberta Stampede 1988 [b]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ TJ Wilson replaced Teddy Hart after Hart suffered an injury.
  2. ^ The loss resulted in Dynamite Kid's manager JR Foley having his head shaved since Dynamite's hair was already so short cut.[73]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hart, Diana; McLellan, Kirstie (2001). Under the Mat: Inside Wrestling's Greatest Family. Fenn. p. 22 pp. ISBN 1-55168-256-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bruce Hart Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  3. ^ Surviving The Dungeon Extra: Ross Hart on The Hart Siblings (1 of 2)
  4. ^ "Smith Hart on The Hart Family's ties to Long Island, the city of Long Beach, and more". noplacelikelongisland.com. No Place Likelong Island. May 19, 2016. Retrieved 2015-05-31. 
  5. ^ Vance Nevada's Canadian Wrestling Results Archive (Stampede, December 2, 1972)
  6. ^ Historical Dictionary of Wrestling. Scarecrow Press, inc. 2014. p. 367 pp. ISBN 978-0-8108-7926-3. 
  7. ^ McCoy, Heath (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  8. ^ Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 37 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  9. ^ Hart, Bret (2007). Hitman: My real life in the cartoon world of wrestling. Ebury Press. p. 8 pp. ISBN 9780091932862. 
  10. ^ Letawsky, Craig (2002-05-07). "Ask 411 - 5.07.02". 411wrestling.com. 
  11. ^ Hart, Diana; McLellan, Kirstie (2001). Under the Mat: Inside Wrestling's Greatest Family. Fenn. p. 16 pp. ISBN 1-55168-256-7. 
  12. ^ Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 30 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  13. ^ Slamthology: Collected Wrestling Writings 1991-2004. jnlister. 2005. p. 252 pp. ISBN 1-4116-5329-7. 
  14. ^ Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 16 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  15. ^ Martha Hart; Eric Francis (2004). Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 84 pp. ISBN 978-1-59077-036-8. 
  16. ^ "An open letter to Shawn Michaels". http: canoe. May 17, 1997. 
  17. ^ "Bruce Hart: Years". WrestlingData.com. 
  18. ^ McCoy, Heath (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  19. ^ Billington, Tom (2001). Pure Dynamite: The Price You Pay for Wrestling Stardom. Winding Stair Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-55366-084-2. 
  20. ^ Billington, Tom (2001). Pure Dynamite: The Price You Pay for Wrestling Stardom. Winding Stair Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-55366-084-2. 
  21. ^ Hart, Bruce (2011). Straight From the Hart. ECW Press. p. ?. ISBN 978-1-55022-939-4. 
  22. ^ "Bruce Hart: Matches, 9". CageMatch.net. 
  23. ^ "Stampede Wrestling World Mid-Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. 
  24. ^ "Bruce Hart: Titles". CageMatch.net. 
  25. ^ "Bruce Hart: Matches, 6". CageMatch.net. 
  26. ^ "Bruce Hart: Titles". CageMatch.net. 
  27. ^ "Bruce Hart: Matches, 6". CageMatch.net. 
  28. ^ Hart, Bret (2007). Hitman: My real life in the cartoon world of wrestling. Ebury Press. p. 170 pp. ISBN 9780091932862. 
  29. ^ Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 220 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  30. ^ Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 233 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  31. ^ "Bruce Hart: Titles". CageMatch.net. 
  32. ^ Giri, Raj (March 27, 2014). "Bret Hart On Who Was Supposed To Be In Owen Hart's Place For Their Feud". Wrestlinginc.com. Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  33. ^ Giri, Raj (March 27, 2014). "Bret Hart On Who Was Supposed To Be In Owen Hart's Place For Their Feud". Wrestlinginc.com. Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  34. ^ Droste, Ryan (July 3, 2015). "WWE news: ex-wife of British Bulldog petitioning for his induction into WWE Hall Of Fame". Inquisitr. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  35. ^ Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 2: WWF 1990 - 1999. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ASIN B00RWUNSRS. 
  36. ^ Archer, Jeff (1998). Theater in a Squared Circle: The Mystique of Professional Wrestling. White-Boucke Pub. p. 98. ISBN 978-1888580068. 
  37. ^ Hart, Bruce (2011). Straight From the Hart. ECW Press. p. ?. ISBN 978-1-55022-939-4. 
  38. ^ Hart, Bruce (2011). Straight From the Hart. ECW Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-55022-939-4. 
  39. ^ "WRESTLER CHARLES "GUILLOTINE" LeGRANDE ON TIGER KHAN". smashedmedia.us. Retrieved 2013. 
  40. ^ Oliver, Greg (June 29, 2006). "Stampede stars remember Tiger Khan". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  41. ^ Hart, Bret (2008). Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Grand Central Publishing. p. 432. ISBN 978-0-446-53972-2. 
  42. ^ Hart, Bruce (2011). Straight From the Hart. ECW Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-55022-939-4. 
  43. ^ "Bret Hart def. Mr. McMahon in a No Holds Barred Match". WWE. March 28, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  44. ^ Heath McCoy (2005). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. CanWest Books. p. 283 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  45. ^ "Bruce Hart: Titles". CageMatch.net. 
  46. ^ "Bruce Hart: Matches, 1". CageMatch.net. 
  47. ^ "Bruce Hart: Matches, 1". CageMatch.net. 
  48. ^ "RCW 9th Anniversary Show". CageMatch.net. 
  49. ^ "DAILY UPDATE: AAA MEGA TITLE TOURNAMENT, WWE STAR TO APPEAR ON ESPN". f4wonline.com. Wrestling Observer Newsletter. November 10, 2015. 
  50. ^ "Bret Hart Documentary To Air For Free, $5 Wrestling, Atlas". wrestlinginc.com. 
  51. ^ ""Survival of the Hitman" documentary answers the "why?" on Bret Hart's return after 12 years". pwtorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. 
  52. ^ Bret Hart and the Hart family speak on behalf of Stu Hart
  53. ^ Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 273 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  54. ^ Heath McCoy (2007). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. ECWPress. p. 293 pp. ISBN 978-1-55022-787-1. 
  55. ^ Martha Hart; Eric Francis (2004). Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 37 pp. ISBN 978-1-59077-036-8. 
  56. ^ "hartbrosuniversity: our trainers". Hartbros university. Retrieved 2015. 
  57. ^ a b "The PWI 500". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.) 17 (13): 52. 1997. 
  58. ^ "Bruce Hart: Entourage". WrestlingData.com. 
  59. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi "Bruce Hart: Entourage". Cagematch. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  60. ^ "NWA Polynesian Pacific Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  61. ^ "Bruce Hart: Awards". CageMatch.net. 
  62. ^ "PWI Ratings for Bruce Hart". profightdb.com. The Internet Wrestling Database. 
  63. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years, 2003". willywrestlefest.fr. Pro Wrestling Illustrated. 
  64. ^ "Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  65. ^ "Stampede Wrestling British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  66. ^ "Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  67. ^ "Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  68. ^ "Stampede Wrestling World Mid-Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. 
  69. ^ "Stampede World Mid-Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. 
  70. ^ "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948–1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. 
  71. ^ "Bruce Hart". WrestlingData.com. 
  72. ^ "Stampede Calgary". WrestlingData.com. 
  73. ^ Keith, Scott (March 9, 2002). "The SmarK Retro Rant For Stampede Classics Vol. 4: Bizarre & Unusual!". Insidepulse.com. 

Further reading[edit]

Book
  • Billington, Tom; Coleman, Alison (2001). Pure Dynamite: The Price you Pay for Wrestling Stardom. Winding Stair Press. ISBN 1-55366-084-6. 
  • Marsha Erb (2002). Stu Hart: Lord of the ring. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-508-1. 
  • Hart, Julie (2013). Hart Strings. Tightrope Books. ISBN 978-1926639635. 

External links[edit]