The search for Canadian wrestling’s next Bret Hart

August 13, 2019

As the sun sets on four straight days of WWE action in Toronto, let’s examine something.

For the last 20 years or so, professional wrestling has been looking for the next transcendent superstar to bridge the gap between devout and casual fan.

In that regard, pro wrestling is really no different from other major professional sports. Hockey is looking for the next Wayne Gretzky. Basketball is looking for the next Michael Jordan. Golf is looking for the next Tiger Woods.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair will always be linked by way of their stardom that propelled the wrestling world into the mainstream media. They made the world of pro wrestling, so often cast aside by a turned-up nose, cool.

Canadian wrestling fans aren’t much different in that regard, as we also strive to find that “next” one. However, that “next” one isn’t in the same vein as what our American friends are looking for. Canada is searching for that next superstar that will resonate with our own. We’re looking for the next great hero to come out of the Great White North. We’re looking for the next Bret Hart.

But should we be?

Hart is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time and, if you were to poll fans, would be at the top of the list as the greatest Canadian to ever step in the squared circle.

Hart’s Canadian-ness was explained on television by way of the fabled Hart Family Dungeon in Calgary. The Dungeon was mentioned so often, and then worked into storylines, that it became a symbol of Canada, therefore making Hart the poster boy of the country.

Hart was accepted by fans around the world as the excellence of execution. To wrestling fans, Hart represented Canada, in the same way, Wayne Gretzky did around …read more


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