Bret Hart proved once again that the biggest Bret Hart mark is Bret Hart.
I know full well that fans of the "Hitman" will be offended by that statement, but the following story, as reported on wrestlingobserver.com, speaks for itself.
According to the report, Hart was giving the induction speech for his late father Stu at the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame last night in Waterloo, Iowa, when he went off on wrestling journalist Greg Oliver. Hart said that "either he goes or I go."
Steven Johnson, Oliver's writing partner, left in an attempt to diffuse the situation, but Oliver stayed. Since Oliver wouldn't leave, Hart made good on his threat and stormed out along with several other wrestlers.
So, what is Hart's beef with Oliver, who is so respected in the industry that he was there to be presented the Jim Melby Memorial Award for wrestling journalism along with Johnson?
According to wrestlingobserver.com, Hart hasn't like Oliver since he wrote a book called Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Candadians, in which he ranked Hart at No. 14 on the list of the greatest Canadian wrestlers ever. Apparently, Hart was offended at not being higher on the list.
Unfortunately, this latest incident is consistent with Hart's reputation among his peers for taking himself too seriously. When Hart and Shawn Michaels were shooting on each other on Raw during the height of their feud, Michaels called Bret "Mark Man," and basically said that Hart really believes he is the greatest of all time and doesn't quite comprehend that winners and losers are predetermined, and who is and isn't pushed to the top is often decided by politics as much as wrestling ability.
The fact is that Hart's wrestling skills are indisputable. When I listed the top 10 all-around performers that I have ever personally seen, Hart was No. 7 (I guess that puts me on his "bad list," too, since he wasn't No. 1 and archrival Michaels was). Anyone who knows anything about this business knows that Hart has had an outstanding career, so he should be above such nonsense and not be so insecure. Hart's actions were inappropriate and petty, especially on a night when he was there to accept an honor for his father.