Bret Hart talks Attitude Era, "WWE '13"

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November 13, 2012

With the release of THQ’s “WWE ’13,” it seems as though the entire WWE Universe is feeling a bit nostalgic these days. First and foremost on everyone’s mind? The Attitude Era! In this exclusive interview, WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hit Man” Hart opens up about his thoughts on that historic time in WWE and how “WWE ’13” captures the essence of The Attitude Era.

WWE.COM: What was the moment that told you a new era was dawning in WWE?

BRET HART: I’ve always thought the course WWE was taking started really to change drastically in the ’92-’93-’94 period. It changed from being wrestling cartoon characters to it being about the wrestling itself. It was about the wrestling now. It was about guys like Shawn Michaels, myself and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin — the guys that were on their way, and all of us had a different sort of vision as to what it was about. It wasn’t about having 24-inch arms — it wasn’t so much about being real-life cartoon characters as it was about being great wrestlers.

I felt there was a real surge in that time period and The Attitude Era is really a product of that. The rest of us started to become more confident in our roles as great wrestlers rather than cartoon characters. When I look at Austin in particular, he and I had such a great intensity to our matches and to the interviews — the same goes for Shawn Michaels and, for that matter, Undertaker. We all did real interviews, and we really amped it up. It wasn’t just talk: We backed it up with great matches and I think that’s what I remember about The Attitude Era. It was the final layer to that whole transformation — wrestling as the centerpiece of the show, as opposed to cartoon characters.

WWE.COM: What do you think are the lasting effects of The Attitude Era on WWE today?

BRET HART: Well, just about everybody I know talks about that being the last great era of wrestling. For me as a fan, I loved all the stuff Austin did with me and with Vince McMahon. Austin has such a great character that I really enjoyed following his career even after mine was over. I enjoyed all the stuff he did after I left the company.

Even when I was with him in 1997, I thought the stuff I did with Austin was as good as it gets — the match we had at WrestleMania 13, all the promos we did, the Street Fight Match. There was this conviction we both had to make it real, to make everyone really feel that these were real — kind of like what the UFC projects today. We were doing a better job of doing it back then.

WWE.COM: Speaking of “Stone Cold,” is he the definitive Attitude Era Superstar in your opinion?

BRET HART: I can’t think of anyone more fitting than Steve.

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