- Paperback: 592 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (November 4, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446545287
- ISBN-13: 978-0446545280
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 358 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling Paperback – November 4, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Hart's account of his professional wrestling career is almost literally blow-by-blow, with detailed descriptions of the choreography of many of his most prominent matches in the former World Wrestling Foundation and the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling. (And, yes, he freely admits that the outcomes are determined in advance, while the wrestlers work out the actual moves for themselves.) To hear him tell it, everybody hailed him as the best damn worker in the business, a storyteller with the comparative artistry of a De Niro. But the manipulative schemes of WWF head Vince McMahon (and several of his colleagues) kept Hart from reaching his full potential as a champion until injuries sidelined him for good. The memoir goes deep into Hart's family history—his father was one of the pioneers of the Canadian pro wrestling circuit, and his brothers and brothers-in-law followed him into the business. Wrestling fans will eat up all the backstage drama, but even those who don't care for the shows should be impressed by Hart's meticulous eye for telling detail—the bittersweet story that results is simultaneously a celebration and an exposé. 32 pages of photos. (Oct. 8)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Bret Hart is the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.”
“Bret Hart still makes me believe that wrestling is good.”
—The Rock --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Seemingly everyone mentioned in the book had their "best match ever" against Hart -- from Yokozuna to Tom McGee. Bret also points out in the book that he carried Ric Flair to great matches and repeatedly mentions that he never injured any wrestler during his career to the point that they were unable to work the following night. Hart also pointed out that when he injured his ribs during a match with Dino Bravo, horror washed over Bret when he realized that his selling was so realistic that no one would be able to tell he had been legitimately injured by a dive into the ringside railing. After a while, the self-congratulations just became too much,.
But there is no doubt the book is one of the best wrestling books out there. As expected, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Vince McMahon all come off looking very bad in the book. Another guy who Bret crushes in the book is the Ultimate Warrior. Hart tells the story of Warrior blowing off a dying child from the Make A Wish Foundation, and says it was one of the worst things he ever saw during his wrestling career.
To me, the funniest story in the entire book was Bret talking about pranking Dick Murdoch while in Dubai. Hart notcied a pair of soiled underwear on the floor under a bench in the dressing room and switched the soiled underwear with the clean pair Murdoch had hanging on a hook. Upon seeing the dirty underwear where his once clean pair had been, an exasperated Murdoch blurted out, "All I know is there must be a **** freak running around here, because somebody **** in my underwear, and I'm dang sure it wasn't me." LOL
Hart also writes extensively about the Dynamite Kid, calling him the best wrestler he ever saw while also repeatedly stating that Tom Billington suffered from "Small Man's Syndrome". Hart openly wonders if Billington ending up in a wheelchair wasn't karma for his repeated cruelty during his career. When Bret talks about his own adultery while on the road, he seems to give himself a pass by writing that his many adulterous relationships may have saved his life because he was not into drugs and steroids nearly to the degree of his contemporaries in the sport.
The many self-congratulations aside, it is hard not to feel sad for Hart when he talks about the death of his brother and how it ripped his family to pieces over money and how culpable Vince McMahon was in the death of Owen Hart. Bret recounts conversations he had with Owen in which they agreed that the wrestling business was not worth dying over, and the vivid dreams Bret had about Owen after his brother's death.
This is one of the best wrestling autobiographies you can read, but just be aware that the book comes with lots of self-congratulations mixed in with plenty of great stories (both positive and negative) about nearly every big name wrestler of the 1980s and 1990s.
It's refreshing to read a wrestler biography that's not dumbed down piece of wwe's "official" history.
Bret's legacy, in my opinion, has been tarnished and largely forgotten due to what happened in Montreal, and the subsequent debacle that was his WCW run, and then his being a non entity in WWE due to what happened.
People forget that following the steroid trial in 92 until the dawning of the attitude era in 97, there was the Bret Hart era. He wasn't just a top guy, he was THE guy, holding a business that had taken a huge black eye afloat.
Really great to read his detailed history, from his days driving the plains of western Canada, to tours of Japan, to headlining Mania.
He has a tendency to put himself over pretty hard, but all these guys do. A must read for any "mark" of the 80s and 90s