Speaking on the 81 Podcast, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart has revealed that Triple H pushed for him to beat The Rock for the Intercontinental Championship while the trio were still wrestling.
The Rock defended the Intercontinental Championship against Bret Hart on the March 31 episode of Raw in 1997. Hart explained that Triple H and Shawn Michaels wanted him to win the belt:
“Triple H and maybe even Shawn [Michaels], were pretty ruthless. If someone was tied to me or connected to me, they would try to ruin them. Even Dwayne Johnson [The Rock]. They really tried to crack him and bust his chops. I remember telling Dwayne all the time, ‘Don’t listen to these guys. You’re a really good talent and you don’t need these guys.’ When I did the big interview about America, the next week’s taping, I wrestled The Rock and they wanted me to beat him. Triple H did. He wanted me to beat Dwayne and win the Intercontinental Title. I refused. ‘What do I need the Intercontinental Title for?’ We did the figure four on the post, Steve Austin came out, Owen [Hart] and Davey [Boy Smith] came out, a bunch of interference. I remember Triple H was sick about it because he had a thing for Dwayne and wanted to ruin him. He hated him. I remember say, ‘I like Dwayne, he just got the Intercontinental Title and doesn’t need me to take it from him.’ I didn’t want to be Intercontinental Champion. It was all politics, Triple H was trying to steer me into the Intercontinental Title instead of the World Title. It didn’t make any sense. I told Vince, ‘I don’t get heat from beating Dwayne for the title, it doesn’t do anything for me. Let him keep it.’ I think Dwayne always appreciated that I went to bat for him. I didn’t want to beat him, I wanted to wrestle him down the road as a future guy to draw money with. It’s a shame I didn’t get to work with him other than that one night.”
The Rock retained the Intercontinental Championship that night via DQ, and would hold the title until April 28 that year, where he dropped the belt to Owen Hart.
On the other hand, Bret Hart would end up leaving WWE (then WWF) a few months later following the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series in November 1997.
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Thanks to Fightful for the transcription.
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