Written by one of the greatest and most respected Professional Wrestlers of All-Time, “Hitman” chronicles the life and career of the legendary Bret ‘The Hitman” Hart, and his life-altering, and at times, heart-breaking journey through the sport of Pro-Wrestling.
The book is not only EASILY the best Auto-Biography of an athlete that I’ve read, but overall it’s one of the finest pieces of Literature I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Hart has a very well-crafted writing style. It’s easy to tell that he’s been writing his whole life, and it’s another of the phenomenal repertoire of skills he possesses.
There’s a lot to digest for a non-wrestling fan, but Hart explains every thing with such a mastery of language that I can imagine that a non-fan wouldn’t have any trouble ingesting the wrestling terminology. He excellently executes each story.
Hart’s journey is like none other. He’s literally been around the world many times over, and seen a side of a business he once loved, and can now barely stand to be associated with. Along his journey was one loss after another, friends, brothers, his first wife, and his profession.
Bret goes through each portion of his illustrious career with amazing care, similar to the care he showed his fellow wrestlers in the ring. (Hart says himself that he never seriously injured a fellow performer, a point of great pride for The Hitman.)
He starts in the small Canadian arenas wrestling for his father, Stampede Wrestling owner and his father, Stu. His career evolves overseas and above the border, and he eventually breaks into the big-time of the WWF (now, WWE). And, being a Canadian, he’s bound to be the best at what he does, and to succeed like no other before him.
Viewed as too-small or non-descript, he’s paired in a Tag Team called The Hart Foundation with his future brother-in-law, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. The team goes on to succeed far beyond anyone’s expectations, and soon Hart is split from his partner and set into Single’s competition, where his career would flourish for close to a decade. He became the first Triple Crown Winner in the history of the organization, something that is an amazing accomplishment.
It’s fun to hear The Hitman joke and tell stories from the road. Stories involving his dear friends like Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect), his brother Owen Hart, the Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith (The British Bulldog), and many others. He’s a sharp shooter, one with a lot of intelligence.
In the years since he was forced to retire after a Goldberg kick to the head, Hart had seemed to become bitter and jaded about the business, and to me, rightfully so. His career was not only drastically altered by a promoter who feared for his company, but he was also robbed of his younger brother Owen, who died in a tragic wrestling accident in 1999.
Bret’s writing flows marvelously from page to page, and his story is told in such a way that you trust The Hitman, and thank him for telling the truth. He tells stories of himself and his friends that might not paint them in the best light at times, but what shines through is the truth.
I would never accuse Bret Hart of lying about anything. I was a fan of his as a kid, and reading his story through his own eyes has actually made me an even bigger fan of his.
Thank you, Bret.
I’m an obsessed wrestling fan, so the book obviously appeals to me on a different level than it would for most. If you have ever been even a little interested in the world of pro-wrestling, THIS is the book to read. Not to say there aren’t others of quality out there, because there surely are. But this is the cream of the crop. It’s the best there is, the best there was, and probably, the best there ever will be.
(Bonus points to any old wrestling fans who got the references in this review)
Score: 9.5/10 (Amazing)