Who Was Better: Bret Hart Or Edge?
Posted by Justin Watry on 05.27.2014
Both Edge and Bret Hart are WWE Hall of Fame inductees, but that begs the question! Who had the better matches? Who was a better tag team wrestler? Who had more success? Bottom line: Who was better?
A few days ago marked the 15 year anniversary of Owen Hart tragically passing away. While we all still wait for his much deserved WWE Hall of Fame induction, I felt it was a good chance to look back on the greatest Canadian born wrestlers of all-time (which you can read by clicking here). Feel free to check out that. In writing that, two names stuck out more than any others: Edge and Bret Hart.
Since I live in a spoiler-free world, I will not reveal who my top pick was. You can click on the link for the big reveal. To get there though, many different categorizes were weighted. How about we take a look at who was better?
Tag Team Career: Edge - Yikes. Where do I begin? Edge and Christian were great in any kind of gimmick. Goofy ball characters? Sure. Dark, scary dudes giving blood baths with Gangrel by their side? Sure. Comedy, 'haha' kind of cool guys? Sure. Dastardly heels attacking anybody in their way? Sure. Technical battles inside the squared circle? Sure. over the top hardcore, gimmick stuntfests? Sure. Add on the many classic television and pay-per-view moments, as well as the reigns as tag team champions, you can see why they are still one of my favorite tandems of all time.
That was not all for Edge though in the tag team scene. Paired up with Rey Mysterio for some gold. Paired up with Randy Orton for some gold. Paired up with the immortal Hulk Hogan for some gold. Bottom line: He will be remembered in the tag ranks for his long-time partnership with Christian, but with any kind of wrestler, Edge fit right in.
Tag Team Career: Bret Hart - Not much to be said about the Hart Foundation with Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart. In many ways, WWE is still searching for a tag team just like them. You allow one man to handle most of the wrestling, then the other to come in and crush everybody without as much grace. Big brawler. Smaller technician. Collecting the gold is one thing, but Bret Hart always was about his in-ring matches. With the Hart Foundation, he was in good hands. Promos, characters, titles, matches, whatever - Bret was more than worthy as a solo wrestler but deserves recognition as a tag team star as well. Just maybe not as much as Edge...
Mid-card Career: Edge - True definition of somebody who worked their way up the card. I have often written about guys who go through the 'journey' of being a top star in wrestling. It is one thing to arrive, get pushed to the moon, make a lot of money, and leave. It is another to scratch, claw and fight their way to the top. When looking at the countless mid-card titles and countless breakthrough moments Edge had before FINALLY grabbing the brass ring, it is quite amazing. Glad I was there to watch it all.
Mid-card Career: Bret Hart - Same thing here. In the Bret Hart DVD put out many years ago by WWE, it is quite something to see how important the Intercontinental Championship meant to Bret and the other stars. Sad that can not be said today, very sad. Either way, where Bret may have the slight edge (yeah, you like that?) here is just his specific era. Coming off the steroid scandal and getting past the monster bodies in the main event scene, just having Bret hold the IC Title was deemed enough. As history tells us, he would go on to do much, much bigger things. While most would have been satisfied being the second top champion in WWE back then, the ceiling had yet to be broken by The Hitman.
Main Event Career: Edge - Do I mention the King of the Ring crown? Do I mention the Royal Rumble victory? Do I mention closing WRESTLE FREAKIN' MANIA against The Undertaker for the World Title? Do I mention the numerous reigns as WWE/World Champion during 2006-2011? Do I mention running Raw AND Smackdown? Do I mention his roles as a good or bad guy being just as entertaining as the other? Or...oops. I just did. Just go through the checklist: KOTR winner, Rumble winner, WM main eventer, WWE Champ, World Champ, and a top player for many years during a successful (profitable) period for the company. Yeah, no wonder he was in the WWE Hall of Fame right after retiring...
Main Event Career: Bret Hart - Well, more of the same really. Has won King of the Ring. Has won the Royal Rumble (kind of). Has closed a WrestleMania event with the top prize on the line. Has been the top star for numerous events. Has been WWE Champion multiple times during his career. Has been an entertaining good and bad guy on the top of the card. I would call this section a tie, but Edge does have MANY more reigns as WWE/World Champ even though many of them were short lived. Could go either way here. So close as to who excelled more as a main eventer.
Match Quality: Edge - Wow. I wish I could name them all. His tag matches with Christian. Every ladder he ever participated in. The stuff with Rey Mysterio, Kurt Angle, and the Guerreros on Smackdown in 2002 was great. All of his clashes versus John Cena are worth rewatching any day of the week. The Undertaker brought out the best in him throughout 2008. He had a few hidden gems against Randy Orton. Then you add in his wonderful 2005 and 2006 run where he seemed determined to prove he was worthy of a top spot. I still will list Edge vs. Mick Foley at WrestleMania 22 as under rated and one of the best that entire year. Really, the list is endless. Regardless of the match type or opponent, Edge delivered inside the squared circle.
Match Quality: Bret Hart - Good tag bouts night in and night out with Neidhart. Classics with Shawn Michaels, Mr. Perfect, Diesel, British Bulldog, Owen Hart, and The Miz. Okay, just joking. Remember though, Bret Hart did defeat The Miz for the United States Championship in 2010. Long story short, WWE still includes Bret Hart matches on best of lists, DVD releases, specials, etc. There is a reason for that folks. When wrestling fans call Bret Hart "The Best There Is, The Best There Was, & The Best There Ever Will Be," it is not just a tag line. He was simply that good inside the ring.
Business Success: Edge - Hard to judge with so much that goes into WWE being a powerhouse these days. Edge is responsible for 'popping' massive television ratings during his first three week run as WWE Champion. Outside of that, it is just a crapshoot. Does he get credit for maintaining pay-per-view buys and attendance during his run? How about viewership numbers for Smackdown? How much falls on ONE MAN other than other outside circumstances? Edge kept thing stable and had his fair share of merchandise sold, so there is no negative that comes with Edge as a 'draw.' Outside of wrestling, he has found a couple cushy acting gigs and is doing well for himself.
Business Success: Bret Hart - I think Bret Hart (and Shawn Michaels for that matter) get a bad rap sometimes when discussing them as a 'draw' during the 1990's. The truth is nothing was really going to top the Hulk Hogan/Ultimate Warrior Era in terms of business. No matter who followed that, it would see a decline in numbers. Add on the steroid scandal and the ever growing WCW brand, Bret was never going to judged fairly with everything else going on. Now, he did hold his own (like Edge) and definitely crossed over to the mainstream in Canada. He may be more popular outside of the US, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. With WWE being such a global brand, that can only help. Bret has appeared in a few television roles and also wrestled for WCW, but we can all forgive him for that.
*Edge vs. Bret Hart kinda-sorta-maybe- happened on Raw a few years ago. Such an awesome ending this was...*
Bottom line: My Top 5 Canadian Born Wrestlers ranking can be found at this link. It is a great read, and with my opinion already stated through this column in a full break down, now the tide turns to all of YOU reading! Let me have it. Judge on whatever scale you want: In-ring action, wrestling memories, characters, titles won, classic bouts, etc. Whatever you choose. Let me know!
Who was better - Bret Hart or Edge?
Finally, here are some "ME!" plugs for all of you from my archives...