Wrestling with Truth: Did Bret Hart “Con” WWF Out of ’96 Contract?

Former WCW president Eric Bischoff essentially says Bret Hart conned Vince McMahon and WWF out of the $10 million deal Hart got in 1996.  Bischoff unloaded on Hart during the latest episode of the “83 Weeks” podcast saying WCW never offered “The Hitman” a contract prior to 1997.

The long-running narrative had always been that Hart chose WWF over WCW when he made his triumphant return to McMahon’s company from a long layoff after Wrestlemania 12.  The story that played out during the Wrestling with Shadows documentary has always been that Hart turned down more money from Atlanta to stay in New York.

Bischoff flat out called that narrative “bulls**t” saying “it’s just not true.”

The man who created the nWo told his podcast tag team partner Conrad Thompson no offers were ever made until long after Survivor Series ’96 where Hart had his memorable showdown with Steve Austin.

Bischoff admitted to meeting with Hart that year but said it was purely social.  He says contracts were never discussed.  Bischoff implied Hart used the meeting as leverage to score a new WWF deal.

“Barry Bloom (Hart’s agent) sets up a meeting with Eric Bischoff and Bret Hart knowing that it’s going to get back to Vince McMahon…knowing that Bret is trying to negotiate a deal with Vince McMahon…knowing that we’re head-to-head…knowing that we’re kicking Vince McMahon’s ass.  Who benefits from that?” Bischoff asked Thompson.  “You tell me what really happened.”

So basically, everything we ever believed about this Bret Hart situation wasn’t true? One of wrestling’s foremost journalists says not so fast. Dave Meltzer labeled Bischoff’s story “a level of dishonesty I’d never expect.”

If you choose to listen to the podcast, let me know what you believe.  Clearly, there are two very different sides to this story.

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