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Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels - Who Was Better?

Rating: 2 votes, 1.00 average.
Hey guys Knox here hope all is well. Today I want to blog on the ever popular debate on Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels. Personally I call it the greatest feud in professional wrestling, UFC & boxing of all time. Sure wrestling is scripted but the way they were booked to work with one another night in and night out with their legit bad blood was awesome.

Its a huge debate on who was the better professional wrestler. I'm going to offer my take on the situation as well as a in depth analysis on both these guys.

Qualifications of a great PROFESSIONAL wrestler:
1. In Ring Ability
2. Connection with fans
3. Marketability
4. Big Draw (Putting asses in seats)
5. Mic Skills
6. Charisma
7. Gimmick/Character
8. Ability to play heel & face

***Remember these qualifications because later on I'm going to touch back on these and tell which wrestler was the best at each of the 8 qualifications.***

Bret Hart:
Great talent and one of the most surprising pushes ever. He started off in a tag team much like HBK. He wasn't asked to do much talking on the mic back in the 80s. He was pushed purely on his in ring ability and that's what made him so great.

He was nothing flashy, couldn't talk but was a pure wrestler and fans got behind him big time based on that simple fact. What made his career and what I consider his first major push was his feud with Curt Hennig for the Intercontinental Championship. One of the better feuds this business has seen and I feel that elevated him to that level.

There was a time period around 94' when WWE was looking for someone to take the ball and run with it as Hogan's tenure was coming to an end. Vince though many people could be that guy including Kevin Nash.

Instead, Bret Hart came and took the ball and ran miles with it. He's elevated this business in becoming one of the first smaller guys to capture the WWF Championship. Credit him for opening the door for guys like Rey Mysterio, Cm Punk and ironically Shawn Michaels.

Shawn Michaels:
HBK one of the pure bad asses but nice guys of this business. One of the very few that survived life on the road as a druggie and lived to tell his story. Gave his life to Jesus Christ and broke a very sad habit and I commend him for that.

You can't talk wrestling without bringing up this guy's name. He innovated this business as well in his own rights. I don't have much to say, I just don't think it gets any better than HBK.

Qualifications of a great professional wrestler: Who shines?
Ok so below I'm going to tell you who won for each major categories for these wrestlers. Tell me what you think.

1. In Ring Ability - Shawn Michaels
2. Connection with fans - Bret Hart
3. Marketability - Shawn Michaels
4. Big Draw (Putting asses in seats) - Shawn Michaels
5. Mic Skills - Shawn Michaels
6. Charisma - Shawn Michaels
7. Gimmick/Character - Shawn Michaels
8. Ability to play heel & face - Shawn Michaels

In ring Ability: HBK gets my vote because he shined in more than one category. Bret Hart is the greatest technical wrestler ever. But HBK is the greatest all around wrestler ever. HBK was very technical and knows how to execute just about every move and reversal but not only that. What made HBK special was his abilities as a high flyer and his moonsault is what did it for me. Not only that but his ability to sell.

Connection with the fans: Bret truly had a special bond with the fans that you can't really put into words. He didn't say much but these people gave him rock star like ovations based on the man this person was.

Mic Skills: The biggest advantage HBK had over Bret was mic skills and the ability to talk a crowd into a building and deliver a promo. HBK could make you love him or make you wanna rip his throat out and that's why he succeeded.

Bret wasn't the worst on the mic but he wasn't too good. He had a no bull crap promo style that he couldn't pull off. Arn Anderson is a guy that pulled this off to perfection. Arn Anderson didn't have a big mouth but when he talked on that mic, he got to his point and people listened. Bret wasn't so good at doing this.

***The Big Question***Who's The BEST:
HBK was a horrible guy backstage and outside the ring. A political pansy one might say and stepped on the toes of everyone to get ahead. Not taking that into consideration. The better wrestler and overall WWE superstar was...SHAWN MICHAELS.

Its hard to put into words why this man excelled so much. Perfect gimmick, amazing heel & face. Beautiful promo's and one of the best in ring talents ever. HBK is the greatest of all time because he was the best in almost every category you could possibly categorize a wrestler as.

***But does it really matter whose the best?***
No it doesn't matter who was the best. Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels changed this business together and I think they both are the best and they had eachother to make one another great. HBK or Bret Hart wouldn't be as highly marked if it weren't for each other and that's why I love these two.

They had that first real major legit feud that had the world buzzing. They made national after the "Screwjob" together. They added all these non kayfabe factors into wrestling that was unheard of at that time. They did that.

They gave little guys a chance to succeed. They did this together. Two guys with the most bad blood and hate for eachother accidentally made the most money for this business together without even knowing the impact they would have on the future of this business.

It doesn't matter who was the better man because they both mean as much to wrestling as Michael Jordan & Brett Favre mean to basketball & football.

Thanks guys for reading and I hope you enjoyed this. I never blogged on a more touchy topic because these two guys really set the foundation of what wrestling is today.

Today we see a variety of different guys. Not just the huge steroid monkey's that dominated the 80s. I love Stone Cold, Cena, Orton, Punk but too many people forget that HBK & Bret opened the door for them. You ask every guy in a WWE, TNA or ROH lockeroom who they idolized growing up and I guarantee Bret or HBK will be the first name out most of their mouths. Thanks guys for reading and be safe. Until then.

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Updated 11-28-2011 at 02:46 PM by knox



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  1. Irish Nature boy's Avatar
    Great blog, well written and easy to read and i think your criteria for picking the best of the two was just about right, the only change i'd have would be for the hitman in the "in ring ability" category. There was one thing however that i just thought id share having watched the sport for 16 of my 23 years is that in boxing there are no "feuds" imo, sure there is a lot of talking shit before the fight but after you can tell that both fighters respect each other and the smac talk was just to boost buyrates of the fight, idk anything about MMA maybe it is different ive only seen 1 fight, hendo vs shotgun or something, it was vicious but im sure as with boxing both fighters probably dont consider themselves in a feud
  2. Irish Nature boy's Avatar
    However after seeing Pacmans latest boxing match, the biggest similarity with boxing and wrestling is that boxing is decided beforehand who will win, watch manny vs marquez and youll see what i mean, 38 yr old fighters last shot at the big time and he is robbed by the judges because pacquiao draws more dollar...... disgrace
  3. LM_StraightEdge's Avatar
    I have to say that i always enjoy reading your blogs, and i actually completely agree with your decision here as i think HBK is the greatest performer of all time. But although these two had an epic feud, apart from Montreal, wrestling is pre determined. You can't say that this was a better feud than say Ali v Frazier, Tyson v Lewis or as the poster above said Marquez v Pacquiao, completely different.
  4. Theicon's Avatar
    HBK mark!................ lol
  5. jonod's Avatar
    Always enjoy your blogs Knox. Agree that Shawn Michaels the better all rounder, he's better than most (strangely he never quite seemed the figurehead in the same way though). Having said that, Bret Hart will always be my all time fave! Pink and Black Attack!
  6. pld459666's Avatar
    Tyson-Lewis? they had one fight. A past his prime Post jail tyson was a bum. Lewis would have had no chance with Tyson is he was still managed and trained by the guys that got him to the top. Once Don King and those other cronies took over, Buster Douglas happened. I think you meant the Tyson-Common Sense fued that Tyson lost more often than not.
  7. urbanRedneck's Avatar
    good blog amigo,but i disagree with you.IMO Hart was the best,HBK had a tendency to over sell,much like Flair.he also had to be told on several occasions to do what was right for the company because he was all about shawn,not the buisness.i know this is not what your blog was about,just adding my 2 cents.
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