Bret Hart-Hulk Hogan photoshoot (lost professional wrestling promotional photos; 1993)

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Bret Hart facing off against Hulk Hogan

Status: Lost

The 1993 SummerSlam was a professional wrestling pay-per-view show held by the promotion World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The main event featured WWF champion Yokozuna defending his title against Lex Luger.[1] However, during the months leading up to the event, the main event plans were very different. Originally, Hulk Hogan was to have been the WWF champion, defending against Bret Hart, as evidenced by a promotional photoshoot both wrestlers were involved in.

Background[edit | edit source]

By 1992, Hulk Hogan had long established himself as the top star in professional wrestling. However, with a steroid scandal involving Hogan and the WWF looming,[2] Hogan attempting to succeed in a film acting career, and WWF owner Vince McMahon looking to appeal to a new generation of fans, younger wrestlers were being pushed into the main event scene. Among them was Bret Hart, who won his first WWF Championship on 12th October 1992 by defeating Ric Flair.[3] Hart was originally set to face and successfully defend his belt against Yokozuna at Wrestlemania IX. However, plans changed, with some claiming that Hogan, who competed at the event alongside Brutus Beefcake against defending World Tag Team champions Money Inc., convinced McMahon that he should be world champion. Therefore, Hart was then booked to lose to Yokozuna, only for Hogan to then face and beat the latter soon afterwards to claim the title once more.[4]

Nevertheless, the WWF was still interested in having Hart be champion. It was claimed in Wrestlecrap and The Death of WCW that McMahon decided on the title switch providing Hogan agreed to lose to Hart at SummerSlam and essentially "pass the torch" to the younger wrestler.[5] According to Hart's autobiography Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, on 24th May that year, he was summoned to Halifax in order to promote the match. There, a photoshoot was conducted, featuring Hart and Hogan having a mock tug of war with the WWF belt in-between.[6] This account was supported by WWF executive Bruce Pritchard in his podcast Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard.[7] Hart also claimed he was to win the encounter via submitting Hogan with his signature move, the Sharpshooter. He stated that McMahon called him on 29th May to inform Hart he was winning the title back, and that Hogan would be used as a special attraction for future shows.

Cancellation of feud[edit | edit source]

Ultimately, the match never materialised. The reasoning behind the feud's cancellation is disputed. In 2018, Hogan claimed that he was still drawing huge money for the WWF and that Hart's era was yet to begin.[8] However, Hart wrote in his autobiography that McMahon had called him ten days after the 29th May call to inform Hart that Hogan did not believe Hart was in his league, and thus was refusing to drop the title to him. Meanwhile, Pritchard stated Hogan felt there was more money to be made in a re-match against heel (bad guy) Yokozuna, a 500lb "monster" wrestler, while also disliking the concept of a babyface (good guy) vs babyface encounter.

Ultimately, Hogan would go on to face and lose to Yokozuna at 1993's King of the Ring pay-per-view, and would depart the WWF soon afterwards. Yokozuna would instead defend the belt against Lex Luger at the SummerSlam pay-per-view, while Hart would begin a long-term feud with Jerry Lawler at the event.[9] Hart would eventually reclaim the WWF Championship by beating Yokozuna at Wrestlemaia X.[10] Ultimately, Hart and Hogan would never face each other in the WWF, but they would later feud together in rival company World Championship Wrestling.

Availability[edit | edit source]

Because the feud never materialised, the promotional photos featuring Hogan and Hart were not publicly released. It is possible they still remain within the vaults of the renamed World Wrestling Entertainment, but ultimately they have yet to have been showcased by the company.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Bruce Prichard's account of the photoshoot and SummerSlam plans.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wrestling Recaps discussing the main event between Yokozuna and Lex Luger. Retrieved 1 May '21
  2. New York Times issue reporting on Hogan and other WWF stars being involved in a steroid trial. Retrieved 1 May '21
  3. Wrestling Recaps discussing Hart's win over Ric Flair for the WWF Championship. Retrieved 1 May '21
  4. Wrestlecrap, discussing the changed Wrestlemania IX finish and the subsequent SummerSlam plans. Retrieved 1 May '21
  5. The Death of WCW, discussing the plans for Hogan to drop the belt to Hart at SummerSlam. Retrieved 1 May '21
  6. Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, where Hart discusses the photoshoot, and the changing SummerSlam plans. Retrieved 1 May '21
  7. Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard clip where Pritchard supports Hart's claims about the photoshoot and changed SummerSlam plans. Retrieved 1 May '21
  8. The Sports Daily article containing Hogan's explanation for why the feud did not occur, as well as mentioning Hogan and Hart facing each other in World Championship Wrestling. Retrieved 1 May '21
  9. Cultaholic article summarising Hart's feud with Jerry Lawler. Retrieved 1 May '21
  10. Pro Wrestling History, listing the Wrestlemania X results. Retrieved 1 May '21