Legendary wrestler Bret Hart was recently a guest on WWE's podcast, The Bump, where he spent some time talking about his favorite SummerSlam matches. One of those most memorable matches was against Curt Hennig, otherwise known as Mr. Perfect, at SummerSlam 1991. According to Hart, he feels he and Hennig blew away every other match on the card that night.
"I'll be honest; I think it didn't matter who was on the card that day. We were gonna steal the show," Hart said. "Curt and I had had so many great matches in the years before SummerSlam. I would dare say that probably a lot of our other matches were better than anything we did at SummerSlam. When SummerSlam came, Curt, he had a lot of back problems that were ailing him pretty good. He really wanted to have that match. When he heard he was gonna wrestle me, no matter what happened, he was gonna be there for me. But he couldn't really train really hard for that match. His cardio might not have been what he wanted it to be. But he still showed up, and even with whatever hindrances we might have had, we were still gonna have the best match on the card. I don't think there was anybody in the business who could have topped us that day."
It's no surprise that Hennig would have gone out of his way to wrestle Bret Hart even while working through injuries. According to Hart, the pairing of him and Hennig was one that all of the other wrestlers were waiting to see, given Hart's reputation as a wrestler's wrestler.
"When we heard we were gonna wrestle each other, all the wrestlers got excited," Hart said. "It was one of those kind of matches, the very first time we ever stepped in the ring, all the wrestlers came out to watch. We were talking about it for months and months. They couldn't wait to see me wrestle Curt."
Unfortunately, things didn't go exactly according to plan at first. "The first match that we had, I'm thinking it might have been Philadelphia. I'm not really sure. It might have been Toronto," Hart said. "I remember we had one match, and it just wasn't what we wanted it to be. I don't know what was wrong with it and why it didn't come off, we didn't get the reactions, we didn't have the timing. We were both really disappointed with the first match. I do remember talking to Curt in the dressing room, and we didn't really say much to each other. We just knew it was kinda flat. Maybe it was because it was the first day back on the tour, the first day back of the tour after WrestleMania. We had a few weeks off, and something wasn't quite right with the first match."
But after that initial misstep, Hart and Hennig were able to get things back on track and meet the lofty expectations of the rest of the locker room, who were dying to see Hart show off his skills with the similarly-talented Hennig.
"But then we wrestled the next night again in a similar situation and the next night and the next night. That first match was the only one that didn't come off very well," said Hart. "The next day, I remember, we didn't change anything. We just kinda said, let's try the same thing again and see what happens. And we never have a bad match after that. We always had a great chemistry, and I know Curt, I think he always felt that I was his best opponent and vice versa. We had a very special relationship all the years that we worked, and I know, for SummerSlam, when he was hurt, and he wasn't sure he could even make it, he was like, I'll be there for sure. I'll be there. I want to wrestle. He wanted to wrestle me so bad on that big stage at SummerSlam. And that was the turning point for me. It was my first big, well, next to Roddy [Piper], it was my next big, my biggest, um… well, it was before Roddy so that would have been the biggest match of my career."
It's a good thing that Hart and Hennig were able to figure things out and deliver to their fullest potential. Not only did the fans appreciate it, but all of the wrestlers did as well. Presumably, Hennig, since wrestling Bret Hart was pretty much the dream job of anyone working in the business during Bret's illustrious career.