Originally Posted by The Eternal Champion
Calling a spade a spade, Bret was a tremendous wrestler and a decent interview. (Basically William Regal if he didn't look 40 years older than he was.) That said, the whining got old after a while, and there was little anyone could do with that in WCW by the time he got there. He may have been the hottest name in the business when he got there but how do you keep a 'hard done by' guy over? You can't because it gets old fast.
I still don't believe for a second that McMahon ever promised Bret that Hogan would put him over for the title. There was nothing there storyline wise that would have led to that at that point and Bret just wasn't going to mesh well for a well booked title match. Yoko was a draw at that point and Hogan and Yoko worked and was a draw when Hogan put him over. (And he put Yoko over better than he put Brock over and that's saying something.)
There was little from the WWF's New Generation era that drew after Hogan. Lex, HBK, Diesel, Bret, none of them were a draw. Razor and Taker were the ONLY ones in the company that were serious draws at that point, and to a lesser extent Hennig. The only time Bret was truly over was in Europe and the Canada vs USA angle. I respect that Bret wanted to be the man but he handled the fact that he couldn't be very badly, knowing full well that Bret Hart can never truly be the man in a winning wrestling company for the Monday Night Wars. He is only the man when he's in a wrestling company devoid of true top stars to the point that Bret would get his fill by default. In a good wrestling company, Bret being the guy would never have happened.
There were posters leaked advertising HOgan vs. Hart for Summerslam. Also I'm from Detroit(where Summerslam 93 took place) and it was advertised on the radio and TV as late as June to "come watch Hulk Hogan take on Bret the Hitman Hart". I'm sure Vince's plans were to have Hogan win but I don't doubt for a second that he told Hart that he was going over.
Also where does this not a draw come from? Bret's live gates always outdrew the other show that he wasn't on, PPV's headlined by Bret were always higher than the years without him, when Bret became a focal point of Raw regularly in 97(before that he would only be featured here and there) Raw put up their highest ratings ever to that point. Hell in 95 he was headlining house shows with Jean Pierre Lafit and they were outdrawing shows with the WWE title on them.
Even as bad as he was booked in WCW he was still drawing ratings for them. Meltzer breaks down quarter hour ratings and ratings for individual wrestlers. And in 98-99 Bret brought a plus 2.42 when he was on TV. Only Goldberg, Flair and Hogan were higher.
Also Meltzer breaks down all the gate receipts and merch sales and for the decade of the 90s the only wrestlers from WCW and WWE to draw more money than Hart were Flair and Hogan.