02/17/16 by Matthew S. Vandriak
It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter how strong you are or were. It doesn't matter if you're a regular guy or a former superstar who seemed to be larger than life. Cancer doesn't discriminate who it strikes, and that's the case here. Earlier this month, former WWE world champion Bret "The Hitman" Hart announced that he was battling prostrate cancer.
The 58 year old Hart underwent successful surgery this week in the first step on his road to recovery. Hart said that things are looking up and that he should be home to continue his recovery sometime in the next week. That's great news to hear that things are starting off solid for Hart, in what he has called the toughest battle of his life.
This isn't Hart's first fight in regards to his health following his 23 year professional wrestling career. Hart suffered a stroke in 2002 but battled back from that to make a return to the WWE and be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well. Now he faces an even tougher battle, but has vowed to beat cancer saying he "will never give up or give in, and will win this battle." Hart has also said that he hopes by opening up about being diagnosed with cancer that he can inspire others who are facing the same fight that he is. Hart discussed his diagnosis and the battle ahead of him in a heart felt Facebook post a few weeks ago.
As a lifelong wrestling fan, I was kind of stunned to hear this news. I remember watching Bret Hart as a member of the Hart Foundation back in the '80's when I was a kid. I watched him launch his stellar singles career in the 1990's, first as an Intercontinental Champion then on to his 5 WWE championships. One thing I always respected and admired about Hart was his dedication to being what his monicker said, that he was "the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be". Hart was a student of the sport, born into professional wrestling in Calgary and trained by his legendary father Stu Hart. But he never used that to give him an advantage in his career. Hart earned his way by working hard and carving out his own career path throughout his time in both the WWE and WCW. But no matter where he was working or whether he was portraying a heel or face character, Hart let his work in the ring speak for him. The flashiest things about Hart were his ring attire, pink tights, sunglasses, and a leather jacket. But his character was never over the top. He was a technically sound wrestler, probably the best I remember, and that was what made him who he was as a performer.
Bret Hart was also one of the good guys of professional wrestling too. He's a family man and talked about the importance of his family in his Facebook message. He was loyal to the WWE and Vince McMahon during his career up until the "swerve" at the 1997 Survivor Series. And even after the bad blood that came with that, Hart was able to put that behind him and reconcile with McMahon and the WWE to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 and make a brief in ring return as well.
Here's hoping Bret Hart has one more win in him. Fight hard Hitman and beat this cancer.
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