Legendary wrestler and WWE Hall-of-Famer Bret Hart appeared on WWE's The Bump podcast to talk about some of his favorite SummerSlam moments, and one of the matches he discussed was his match with The Undertaker at SummerSlam 1997. The match was great not only on its own but also because it helped prove to the world that The Undertaker could be a good wrestler. In fact, Hart liked the match so much that he even had nice things to say about his rival, Shawn Michaels.
"I loved all of it," Hart said. "I will say, this match that it wouldn't have been the great match without Shawn. Shawn was a big part of this match. The way he referees, his personality, the way he, no matter what, because I think there was some condition that if he didn't referee straight down the middle that he would never wrestle again. I loved the concept and all the things that were built into the match. And I especially loved working with Undertaker."
While Hart always enjoyed working with the Undertaker, there was just something special about that SummerSlam showdown. According to Hart, the timing and chemistry between all three men led to a magic formula that's hard to replicate through skill alone.
"At that time, we'd had a few matches in our career, and so we were kind of conditioned to each other's styles a little bit," Hart said. "But for sure, that SummerSlam match was the best match we ever had, and I loved that match. I love the timing of it. There's a certain timing. It's really hard to have that perfect timing. When I spit on Shawn's shirt, and he swings that chair and hits Undertaker, the timing of that is so incredible and so hard to like, when you talk about these things and plan them out and how natural it was. Me telling Shawn, swearing at him and getting mad and then spitting on him and him getting so mad that he swings the chair. It was as genius as wrestling can get. It was one of my favorite matches. I put it in my top five for sure. And I love watching it back. There's so many little fun and interesting things that are so special about the match. There's one time where I was running into the ropes, and I thought I was running past Undertaker, but I guess he thought I wasn't, and he just kinda snatched me out of the air by the throat. Just how we worked together."
Hart says he was able to pull off such a great match with The Undertaker because he understood how The Undertaker worked. He also says The Undertaker needed the match with Bret to prove that he could actually go in the ring. Prior to that, according to Hart, The Undertaker had been stuck in matches with lumbering oafs like Giant Gonzales, but for to wrestler Bret, a wrestler's wrestler could elevate Undertaker's career.
"There was a certain understanding that you had to understand about Undertaker, what he did and how his style worked and the pace that he worked," Hart said. "And at the same time, what he needed. I remember he said he needed to work with me. He wanted to show everyone that he could really wrestle. That he wasn't just a guy that could wrestle Giant Gonzalez and these kind of big Frankenstein kind of… He wanted to show that he could really dance when he wanted to. And I think that was one of my favorite dances that I ever had. I love that match. I f I could go back and relive that match. And like I said, Shawn was incredible through that. his timing with that chair and the way that he refereed through that whole match was so good. That's what I loved about working with Undertaker. He was as serious and dedicated professional that I ever worked with."
Thanks to Bret Hart, The Undertaker did, in fact, prove he could wrestle and went on to a pretty illustrious career in WWE. Like many in the wrestling business, he owes it all to The Hitman.