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Jimmy Hart on Bret Hart's induction into the WWE Hall of Fame
Hugely influential in the career of Bret Hart was longtime manager Jimmy Hart. Together with Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, they formed the legendary Hart Foundation. "The Mouth of the South" was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and he hoped one day he'd see Bret enshrined beside him. WWE.com caught up with Jimmy Hart to get his feelings on Hart's upcoming induction into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 1:
WWE.com: How do you feel about Bret Hart being named to the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame induction class?
Jimmy Hart: When I heard the news about Bret going into the WWE Hall of Fame, it was probably one of the happiest days of my life because the Hart Foundation meant so much to me. I remember when I was managing Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, and Vince McMahon and them came in and told me, "This is your newest member." And it was Bret Hart. It was such a thrill. I knew from Day One that Bret was going to be a megastar because the girls loved him so much and the fans loved him so much. In wrestling, when you're a good-looking guy like Bret, a lot of the time the boys seem to be jealous of you. But this was once case where the guys liked him because they knew he was the real deal in the ring. And the girls loved him because he was that "boys next door" type thing. He wasn't really flashy or flamboyant; he didn't boast or brag about himself. I think that's what made him so unique.
When we put the Hart Foundation together, it was like building a house, you've got to have a good foundation with anything you do. Bret was definitely our foundation. We did a Hart Foundation reunion about six months ago in Windsor, Ontario, and Bret and myself were together. And Bret said, "You know, Jimmy, we never argued." The whole time we were together for that four or five year run with the championship — we were like a little family, Anvil, myself and Bret. We never argued. We never complained. We didn't care what part of the card they put us on. They always featured us, and we used the megaphone with everything we did, it seemed like. But we just had a great time. So, we did this Hart Foundation reunion and we were signing autographs for almost three hours that night and people brought so much memorabilia from the action figures to pictures from WWE, and it made us realize what a strong force the Hart Foundation was. I tell you truthfully, I wish at WrestleMania they would have a Hart Foundation reunion because I think the fans would really love it.
But getting back to Bret's induction, I am just so happy about him going in. With Hulk, whom I managed, going in last year and myself being in — anytime someone I managed is being inducted I'm just so excited about it.
WWE.com: Did you ever think this day would come considering how bitter Bret's departure from WWE was?
Jimmy Hart: Well, I did. I knew it would when I was talking to Bret when he was working on the DVD. My whole thing is that I like to do everything positive. And I said, "Bret, the fans love you." I just think this is the top to a great career. I mean, think about it, if Vince McMahon wasn't doing all this WWE Legends stuff and televising everything, nobody would really even know what we did in the '80s. I'm just so grateful that I managed Ted DiBiase and I.R.S. and Hulk Hogan and Earthquake and Typhoon and of course Bret Hart and Neidhart and Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine and Adrian Adonis and Terry Funk and Dory Funk. I feel like I'm 18 again. I tell everybody, "My God, whenever they show a clip on TV or put a feature in the magazines or on WWE.com, it just lets the fans know about us and see us once again." So, I'm just happy to go out there and talk about the past and talk about the future of WWE.
But going back to Bret, it just made me so happy. I was kidding around last year when I got the call about being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. I said, "In all respect, are you sure you're not calling Bret Hart and got me by mistake?" I talked then about hopefully Bret going into the Hall one day. I just think this is a great thing for him and a great thing for the fans. I think it's the greatest thing in the world, and if I'm in that audience, I'll be the first one to give him a standing ovation. Bret made me a lot of money with all the hard work he did in the ring, and hopefully the feelings are mutual. I love Bret. He was the real deal, brother.