Coming off a 1993 in which he was underutilized and played second fiddle to the likes of Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger, 1994 came off as a massive “we’re sorry” from WWF officials to fans of Bret Hart. Beginning the year by becoming the first co-winner of the Royal Rumble, the Hitman also officially kicked off one of the great feuds of the decade when his jealous brother, the underrated Owen, betrayed him after a World Tag Team Championship bout.
From there, Hitman fans got to sit back and enjoy as Bret became the face of the promotion once again, culminating in two special moments at WrestleMania X in Madison Square Garden: a five-star classic match against Owen and a decisive win over long-reigning champ Yokozuna, who had ended his first title reign the year before. The aftermath, with the entire roster lifting Hart onto their shoulders, stands as perhaps the most enduring image of his WWF career (notwithstanding a certain blood-stained Sharpshooter a few years later).
Hart followed with compelling title defenses against numerous wrestlers of varying sizes and skillsets, including future champion Diesel. The two had instant chemistry in the ring, and it was yet another example of Bret getting the best out of his opposition.
While the reign, in typical Hitman fashion, didn’t last as long as it could’ve, Bret was the top dog for the remainder of ’94, working good matches with everyone from Owen to Davey Boy Smith to Diesel to Bob Backlund. In case anyone had forgotten in the previous year, 1994 proved Bret was still the most consistently great in-ring performer in North America.
Bret Hart vs. The Quebecers – Royal Rumble 1994
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – WrestleMania X
Bret Hart vs. Diesel – King of the Ring 1994
Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund – Superstars 7/30/94
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – SummerSlam 1994
Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund – Survivor Series 1994
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart – Monday Night Raw 11/7/94
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