Bob Backlund and Bret Hart were part of a heated feud that culminated in an “I Quit” match at WrestleMania 11. The Hart Family got involved, and Backlund’s mental state was in question throughout.
While the idea of their final match at WrestleMania 11 may have sounded good in theory, according to Bret, this match with Backlund was his least favorite pay-per-view match of all time. Here’s what these two legends have to say about their 8-month feud.
The Feud Between Bret Hart and Bob Backlund
In a question and answer session with WrestleNewz.com, Bret Hart opened up about his feud with Bob Backlund and why his “I Quit match with him at WrestleMania 11 was his least favorite pay-per-view match of all time.
“The [match] that I really hated the most was at WrestleMania 11. That was in Hartford, where I fought Bob Backlund in the ‘I Quit’ match.
“Roddy Piper was the guest referee, and he kept asking on the live microphone, ‘What do you say!?’ while Bob and I were wrestling. It turned into a real farce of a match. And I knew it would be a terrible match because they took the pinfalls out of the match — it was all submissions, so it made it even harder to have a good match. I really thought it was a disrespect to Bob to put him in that match. Me and Bob had been wrestling each other for about a year up to that point already, and it was a stretch to put us together again at WrestleMania. It wasn’t very entertaining.
“I never thought that match was Bob’s fault. I told Vince before we ever had it that it was going to be terrible. He said, ‘No, no, it’ll be great.’
“I was right. It was terrible.
“The Survivor Series match we had was really good — the one where he got the title. I loved Bob in that match. He was really good. Bob was really intense in those days!
“That was actually quite a humorous match when I look at it now. Davey had tripped and bonked himself on the stairs and was out cold. My mom — all she knew is that she had to come to the ringside in a certain spot and throw in the towel after much pleading from Owen. I remember when my mom came up on the apron, she had to step right over Davey. This is her son-in-law, out cold and hurt, and she stepped right over him as if he never mattered! (Laughs). I always thought it was so funny. We had planned the whole thing out and perfected the story, but nobody thought at the end, ‘Hey, what about when Davey’s down, mom’s gotta step right over him to get there.’ When you see it, my poor mom just does it because she’s following the little script she’s got. It was hilarious.”
Bret Hart had further to say about his “I Quit” match against Bob Backlund in his autobiography, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling:
“When I marched out to face Bob, I got a huge pop, but from the moment the bell rang, the match went downhill. Roddy Piper was the guest referee and kept sticking a live mic in our faces, asking, ‘What do ya say?’ which only sounded comical and made the crowd laugh. I cringed, thinking nobody laughs during my matches unless I want them to!
“As hard as Bob and I tried, the match deteriorated into a farce. Finally, Bob went for his chicken wing, and I slipped under and reversed it, hooking his hold on him, falling backward to the mat.
“Bob was finding out, as I had, that the hold hurt like hell, so bad that as Roddy stuck the mic in Bob’s face and asked, ‘Do you give?’ Bob could only manage to scream, ‘Yes!’ Bob was specifically supposed to say, ‘I quit,’ but with the painful hold cutting off his air, Roddy finally had no choice but to ring the bell and declare me the winner. This was, without a doubt, my worst pay-per-view match ever.”
By the time WrestleMania 11 rolled around, the feud had lost its momentum. The two had a good showing at Survivor Series the year before, and adding the “I Quit” stipulation could have made the match even better. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, things didn’t click.
Bob Backlund Shares His Thoughts About Feuding with Bret Hart
Despite it all, Bob Backlund had favorable things to say about Bret Hart and their feud in an interview with CultOfWhatever.com.
“It was a great pleasure to work with Bret. When I first tried getting into the wrestling business, I called lots of promoters, and Bret’s father Stu was the first promoter I rang. Bret and I had some great matches together.
“That’s when I turned into a bad guy, and I didn’t ever think I would do that during my career, but there were a lot of changes with society, and a lot of the good guys in the WWF at the time were lying, cheating and swearing. So I thought, let me be the bad guy by being good…”
Watch Bret Hart and Bob Backlund Face-Off in an “I Quit” Match at WrestleMania 11:
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