While not everyone can be a professional wrestler in real life, everyone can at least play the role in video games. THQ is about to release its latest wrestling game "WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011," which will be available October 26 at stores everywhere with more scenarios and control for gamers than ever before.
Not only can you use your favorite WWE superstars, but the game has plenty of goodies, too. The "WWE Universe Mode" is similar to a career mode but the scenarios change based on player decisions that then changes up rivalries and matches. Plus the "Road to WrestleMania" mode will include new storylines and let you roam freely in and out of the ring.
"SmackDown vs. Raw 2011" has more creative tools than before so you can create your own character along with unique look, finishing moves and much more so you feel like your standing in the ring against the likes of John Cena or The Undertaker.
But one of the special downloads of the game includes the legendary Bret "The Hitman" Hart once again donning the pink and black tights and showing why he is the Excellence of Execution.
Recently, FanHouse spoke with Hart about the video game as well as his recent comeback to the WWE including his match at WrestleMania earlier in the year, if he got the closure he was looking for, if he plans to do more work with the company and more.
Brian Fritz: What's it like seeing yourself in a video game? Do you ever it get used to it or does it seem strange?
Bret Hart: No, it's always kind of a rush. I used to always getting a kick out of seeing myself in action figures but the video games are even more ... They're just so visual and so well done these days. They're better than action toys, let me put it that way. But it's always a big thing to see yourself. I've always been pretty lucky that most of the artists and designers have made me look more muscular than I ever was.
It's almost surreal to see the games now and how realistic and fluid the games are now using the different characters.
Actually now the way they are designed, they're getting better all the time. There's actually the potential for wrestling fans, kids, or aficionados to apply psychology to wrestling moves themselves which has always been to me something that I thought would take years and years to get to do that. But now, the holds and the psychology of how wrestlers actually build their matches is applicable to the kids playing.
Do your kids play a lot of video games? Do they play a lot of wrestling games?
Yeah, they do. All the time. My youngest son is ... I wish he would spend as much time with his books as he does with his video games. Both my boys are pretty serious video games players. They're into the football and the hockey but the wrestling is right up there, too.
Do they use your character or do they fight over using someone else?
A little of both but I know they can create wrestling characters. My youngest son is big on that, creating sort of alter egos and gimmicks for himself.
Have they ever created you but had some weird twist to your character?
Not in front of me anyway! (laughs) I imagine they could blend together Bret Hart and Yokozuna into an interesting character.
How about how detailed the storylines have become because in the past, it was just one guy facing another guy but now you have modes like "Road to WrestleMania" and the "WWE Universe" mode and now people can play it out and make it like what you really see in the WWE.
Yeah, that can make it so real life like the wrestlers can walk through the dressing room or down the hallway. There's a lot of detail that goes into it. If you're a kid, your imagination can just run wild. In a lot of ways, you can transplant yourself in to the video game and to a certain degree walk the walk of the wrestlers.
I mention the "Road to WrestleMania." Obviously, you were a part of WrestleMania this past year where you came back for a match against Vince McMahon. What was the experience like?
It was a real, surreal time for me to have let go of all the sort of bad blood that happened between me and the WWE, the company itself and Vince McMahon. To walk out in Phoenix in front of that huge crowd and have one more moment under the limelight was like a dream. When I say dream it was kind of like all the while I did it as I walked through and got to the ring ... the whole thing was like a fantasy in my head. I kept thinking I was dreaming or it wasn't real. As you're doing it, you're going this is real, this is really happening. It was actually quite a rush. Maybe one of the biggest rushes I've had in my career and I've had a lot of them.
Were you happy with the way that match turned out and your family being involved?
Yeah, I thought it tied everything up with a nice ribbon. I think it was fun for the whole family to be down at WrestleMania and I think the fact that they were part of the storyline and the match I think made it that much better for the whole family.
Do you feel like you got the closure you were looking for?
Yeah, I think so. I think 18 times with a chair on Vince McMahon when it's all said and done and the dust has settled, that's maybe the most fitting punishment for him. I don't know if anything will compare to knocking him out cold in the locker room in Montreal when we had our big fallout at Survivor Series back in '97. Beating Vince McMahon with a chair at WrestleMania certainly helps.
Take me through that ... you're on that big stage, you have the chair and at that point you can do whatever you want. People are expecting Bret Hart to get revenge against the maniacal Vince McMahon. What's going through your mind at that time?
Well, like I said, I was kind of floating through the whole thing. You're worrying about how you do and how you look. You want to be entertaining and you want to give people their money's worth. I wish in a lot of ways I could have been more technically ... even with my limitations with wrestling, I can still do a little bit more than I did. I can do more than just hit somebody with a chair. But at the same time, I was happy with what I got out of the whole thing. For me, it was the whole ... it wasn't just the actual match but the whole day, the whole event itself, going through all the things to promote WrestleMania and seeing all the fans. Every day was a surreal kind of wave where you keep pinching yourself and ask yourself if any of this is even real and whether you're even there. But the match itself, I think the only thing I was disappointed in the end maybe looking back in retrospect is that I didn't get to do a bit more than what I did. A few more moves, a few more things to give people their money's worth. But I thought I got to do a bit more at Summerslam so you pick and choose. In the end, I'm real happy with what I got out of WrestleMania. I think it was good for me, it was good for WWE and it was good for the fans.
Are you surprised you have been involved in as many matches as you were? Obviously, the set-up was you coming back for WrestleMania but then you were involved in a couple of other matches including the one at Summerslam.
Yeah. Like for me winning the U.S. Title in Toronto was like a dream, a fuzzy little dream that I can barely remember. It was a beautiful moment for me. I really love that moment and having that moment. For me, a lot of what I take from all of this is that I remember when I had my stroke and I was in a wheelchair and I never thought I 'd get out of the wheelchair let along walk out to a huge crowd like I did at WrestleMania. I never thought I would ever enjoy those kind of things ever again, mostly out of my own spite with the company and, at the same time, my physical limitations from my stroke. It really made those things seem impossible. The more I got closer to doing them and when I was actually them it was quite magical. It did a lot for my soul. It did a lot for me to put everything behind me and come back and take something that was quite negative and turn it into something positive. And I think the burying the hatchet with Shawn Michaels was really good for me and for him and I think it was good for the company and good for fans. The match with Vince was good. Winning the title in Toronto was a magical moment. I thought that my niece (Natalya) and nephew (Harry Smith) and Tyson Kidd getting the tag titles was a big thing for me. I think even Summerslam was ... I had so much fun at Summerslam. Again, it was like some sort of a dream just being in there and working with the Nexus guys and (John) Cena was quite a special time for me.
You mentioned working with Nexus and you got to be around some of the younger guys when you came back. Who are some of the younger guys that have impressed you?
I've been really impressed with (John) Morrison who is amazing to me. Kofi (Kingston) is another guy who has some amazing stuff. Some of these guys today can really move like Evan Bourne who really impresses me with his wrestling style. Even Jack Swagger and some of these other bigger guys are quite impressive. I've always been a big fan of Rey Mysterio, he's one of my favorites. I love how he seems to give 100 percent every night and pull off these five-star matches all the time. He's an innovator that comes up with moves and does things that people have never seen before which is so hard to do in wrestling. Everything has been done or seems like everything has been done before so when somebody comes up with something that is totally new it always impresses me. The girls in wrestling are also quite impressive. The lady wrestlers of today are a billion miles ahead of the lady wrestlers of 20, 30 years ago. They've really taken it up a notch. Melina and so many of these young girls are such fantastic performers and hard workers.
When it comes to Rey Mysterio, how good could a series of matches been between you and him when you were at 100%?
They would have been great. Even at 100 percent I probably did have the perfect style for Rey. Probably someone like my brother Owen could have had better matches but at the same time I could have gotten some great matches with Rey. It's a shame when I did get to WCW, after all those years of waiting to get there, that not only did I never get to wrestle Rey Mysterio but I never wrestled Hulk Hogan or so many of the guys I could have drawn money with. I would have loved to have wrestled Rey Mysterio. That's one you can get out of these video games. You can actually put Bret Hart in there with Rey Mysterio and create a match that never happened anywhere else.
Do you expect to continue in a role on WWE TV going forward or is that up in the air right now?
I have every intention of working with them for the next couple of years. They've been pretty good to me and I've been pretty happy with how they're treating me. We're kind of just waiting for the next step in the steady progression of Bret "The Hitman" Hart returning to the WWE. I'm not quite sure where they go from here but I still expect to be part of things for quite a while.
What was the Bret Hart Appreciation Night like for you recently in Madison Square Garden?
It's the biggest thing I've done since my comeback. I always wanted to wrestle in Madison Square Garden one more time. I used to tell Vince McMahon long before I ever worked with him again, before I came back to the company and buried the hatchet, but I always told him ... He wanted me to do WrestleMania in Toronto for example and I think they wanted me to do something else at one of the other WrestleManias after that, it might have been the one in LA and he called me up to be a part of it and I said nah. I'm really just waiting for you to have something at the Garden. If you ever have anything in New York. I always felt that my strongest U.S., American fan base was in New York and that's where they kind of loved me the most and I almost felt that I owed it to them to come back one time. When they brought it up to me a few months ago that they were going to do something with me in New York, I thought that's going to be a magical moment for me that I'll never forget. And it was great. I loved every bit of it. Even now, I still sort of pinch myself and ask myself if it really happened, did I wrestle in New York. I thought I had pretty good match there too. I thought the whole thing was a very special night for me.
You were a part of WCW when Vince Russo, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff were there. Could you have imagined a time when those three guys would be the people leading another promotion like they are right now with TNA?
Well, I'll be honest. After being in WCW and being around them, you start to realize that these guys -- Bischoff in particular -- never understood or knew anything about wrestling. They just struck me as guys that didn't understand wrestling. To see them working with another company now, to me, I think you'll eventually see that they don't know anything. They didn't know anything then and they don't know anything now. They're not going to make a difference anywhere they go.
That being said, do you worry about the long-term of that company being able to make it? People always say that WWE is king but for the health of wrestling overall we'd like to see another company do well, too.
Yeah, competition is always good. I have a lot of respect for the young wrestlers there like AJ Styles and Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe, Abyss, different guys. I know they've got a lot of talent there and guys that I consider good friends of mine including RVD (Rob Van Dam). I wish them all the best and I hope the younger stars get a chance to show what they've got rather than coming back to the old dinosaurs like Hulk Hogan or Eric Bischoff with the same old certain babble that he's been doing for 10 years when he'll babble about nothing. He somehow positions himself to be a star on the show and I think there's real stars that need to get that light and not him.
When it comes to the video game, how good are you at playing video games? Do you play?
I try but I'm pretty lousy. (laughs) Ever since I had my stroke, my general weakness on my left side makes my left side a little slower to react. So when I play video games, unless you're really, really lousy, you're going to beat me. I think my pug could beat me. But it's good therapy for me even to play badly and I play as much as I can.