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Bret Hart discusses his role as SmackDown General Manager
He's a WWE Hall of Famer, a five-time WWE Champion and, Friday night on Syfy, Bret "Hit Man" Hart will add SmackDown General Manager to that list of accomplishments when he fills in for Teddy Long in his birthplace of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As Hart prepared to take control of Friday night's most unpredictable two hours, WWE.com talked with "The Excellence of Execution" about his hometown, his favorite Superstars and the competitors that are carrying on his legacy today.
WWE.COM: You’re stepping into the role of SmackDown General Manager this week in your hometown of Calgary. Are you looking forward to giving Teddy Long a break for the night?
BRET HART: It’ll be fun. [The Saddledome] can be the loudest arena in the world when it comes to wrestling. They have some great fans here. They’re an audience that’s riveted to wrestling. The cheering is sometimes a little quiet, but you get the “big pops” here in Calgary. They really get into it so much.
WWE.COM: The Saddledome was the location of one of your career highlights, when you teamed with Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog and Brian Pillman to defeat Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and The Legion of Doom at In Your House: Canadian Stampede.
HART: It’s probably the greatest moment this building ever had as far as wrestling goes. I think it was a real special time not just for me, but for the whole family. Owen capped off the win on Steve Austin, which was no small undertaking. We had my father and my mother in the audience, about a couple of hundred Hart grandkids running around — some of which are in the ring wrestling now. It's a great memory for a lot of us.
WWE.COM: Natalya was one of the Hart children in the crowd that night. What’s it like watching her today?
HART: Natalya is a very capable and technical type of wrestler that can dish it out and take it. I think that her teamed up with Beth Phoenix makes them quite a powerful force in the Divas division. It’s in her genetics to be a tag-team wrestler — her father was a legend in a tag team with myself. I expect great things.
WWE.COM: Sheamus is colliding with Mark Henry in a SummerSlam rematch this week. Are you worried about trying to control those monsters?
HART: I've got a lot of respect for both of them. I was instrumental in teaching Mark Henry and training him a little bit up here in Calgary when he first started in WWE. He spent time in my Dungeon. I consider him a serious contender.
WWE.COM: Does The Celtic Warrior stand a chance against The World’s Strongest Man?
HART: I think that if anybody can dish it out to Mark Henry, it’s going to be Sheamus. For the last two years or so, Sheamus has been one of my favorites. I don’t know that there are too many wrestlers that work harder than he does. He’s a big man, but he’s also a very good athlete that can jump and move, and he’s pretty quick in the ring. I have a lot of respect for him.
WWE.COM: Any other SmackDown Superstars you’re particularly excited about working with this week?
HART: Randy Orton is another one of my favorites. Randy doesn’t necessarily get credit for being a great technician, but he is. People always use that term for me, “The Excellence of Execution” — and that’s what Randy is. I expect that he’s going to get better and better and better.
To watch The "Hit Man" talk more about In Your House: Canadian Stampede and his Mattel "Defining Moment" figure at Comic-Con, click here.