Bret Hart is among the several new inductees for Canada’s Walk of Fame, who are set to be honored later this year at a ceremony in Toronto.
The former WWE Champion is set to be inducted and honored with such luminaries as Nobel-prize winning scientists Charles Best, Frederick Banting, John Macleod, and James Collip, actors Keanu Reeves and Graham Greene, human rights advocate Romeo Dallaire, philanthropist Ajay Virmani, singers Jully Black, Serena Ryder, Bruce Cockburn, and Salome Bey, and athletes Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Damian Warner.
Hart, 64, is known worldwide for his professional wrestling career that began in May 1978 wrestling for his father’s Stampede Wrestling promotion. In his early days, he traveled to New Japan Pro Wrestling and had a brief stint in Georgia Championship Wrestling before the move to the WWF in 1984 after a deal was struck between Stu and Vince McMahon.
Hart would struggle as a singles star but found his identity teaming with brother-in-law Jim Neidhart as The Hart Foundation and paired with mouthpiece Jimmy Hart. As a unit, they won the WWF tag titles twice before their split in 1991 as Hart was pushed as a singles star.
He won his first of five WWF Championships in October 1992 defeating Ric Flair in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and became the company’s top babyface star. Throughout the ’90s, Hart was always positioned at or near the top alongside Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash as the key babyfaces of that era before Hart’s departure from the company in 1997.
After a bitter divorce with McMahon that culminated in the Survivor Series exit, Hart and McMahon eventually mended fences over the year and agreed to work on a DVD project in 2005. The company was prepared to produce a hit-piece on Hart similar to the treatment provided to the Ultimate Warrior before Hart came on board and it became a DVD project that heavily praised and served as a tribute to his career.
Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March 2006 but opted not to attend WrestleMania the next night in Chicago.
He eventually returned for an on-camera role in January 2010 and kicked off an angle that would climax with a match with Vince McMahon at that year’s WrestleMania in Glendale, Arizona.
Hart was severely limited after being forced to retire in 2000 because of several concussions and compounded by a stroke he suffered in June 2002.
He wrestled in a very limited way in 2010 including winning the United States Championship and teaming with The Hart Dynasty on a European tour that spring.
In 2004, CBC named Hart the 39th greatest Canadian of all time.
Within pro wrestling, he would rank as one of the most influential of his generation with countless performers citing Hart as an inspiration for his match construction and creativity he brought to his performances.