I wrote this review a while ago, once I finished the book.
I literally just finished this monstrosity of a book. I took me about 6 days to finish the book, and I'm actually a pretty fast reader.
The book itself was very good. Bret gave detailed accounts of his matches and some of the storylines, which was a huge strength of the book. He had chilling accounts of just how bad the drugs and steroid use was backstage, especially with guys like Dynamite Kid, Jim "The Anvil", and the British Bulldog.
I was appreciative of the fact that Bret didn't try to paint himself as a saint. He actually admitted to using steroids, and numerous incidents where he cheated on his wife. It helped me sympathize with Bret, the flawed person, for a while. I was also appreciative of the fact that Bret has no ties to the WWE anymore, so he could give honest opinions about everyone without any kind of repercussions, and he did do that, whether it was him praising guys like Roddy, Savage, Austin, and Taker or him lambasting Hunter and Shawn.
One of Bret's best matches in the WWE. The Hitman and the Rattlesnake went out at Wrestlemania 13, and told a story that will last wrestling generations.
To this day, I still don't get how Triple H got on the booking committee of Vince. Michaels, I can understand, since he was the top guy, but what the fuck had Paul Levesque accomplished (at that time) to get on the booking committee. My theory is he caught Vince and Steph fucking, and he blackmailed them. That's my theory, since I really see no other way.
Reading this book, I also realized that the Harts are a fucked up bunch, and that might be an understatement. Whether it was Smith and Bruce who constantly leached off their parents or whether it was the two cunts Diana and Elaine, especially the latter, with her role after Owen's death. Reading about their internal fighting after Owen's death was a huge disappointment, and this is without these fuckers trying to take advantage of his death. Bret wasn't absolved of this shit either, he actually tried to get his video library back from Vince by using Owen's death. If I was Martha Hart, I wouldn't want anything to do with these cocksuckers either.
I enjoyed Bret's rise and his time at the top. I felt those were the best parts of the book, because Bret came off as a flawed, but like able individual. The third part, Bret's fall, was where I stopped sympathizing with Bret due to his bitterness. I have read Bischoff's book (Controversy Creates Cash), and he said Bret Hart wasn't the same after the Montreal Screwjob. At the time, I dismissed it as Eric just covering his ass. Now I'm about 95% sure that Bret really wasn't the same after the MSJ. His entire mental state changes, and you can even see it in the book. WCW didn't exactly use him the right way, but Bret wasn't the same either. I guess I could see all his resentment towards Vince and Shawn, because the Screwjob really did seem to change him.
Then again, if I had to put up with the inane booking (which must have switched Bret hart between a face and a heel about a dozen times) in WCW, I would lose my passion for wrestling too.
I found Bret's relationship with Vince to be truly interesting. it's astounding to me that Hart was as loyal to Vince even after knowing what he had done to guys such as Hogan or Savage. Hart, himself, was bullshitted numerous times by Vince, yet Hart continued to be loyal to the ruthless asshole by turning down the $2.8 million offer from WCW. Once again I can somewhat see Hart's resentment towards Vince after Montreal, since he had been so loyal to him. I would have liked to read more about some of their meetings when they eventually did bury the hatchet.
This book also definitely proved the fact that Bret is probably one of the biggest marks for his gimmick. I mean people accuse Taker and Vince being marks for their gimmick, but Hart actually thought he was the Hitman with the way he acted outside the ring . I think this book also verifies the claim that Bret did take wrestling a little too seriously. Maybe, growing up around wrestling just gave him a greater passion for it than anyone else, but I think that was part of his downfall.
Bret Hart really did a good job chronicling another wrestling tragedy; his. I was more than happy for him when he did come out as a normal person after his stroke. He might be wrestling tragedy, but at least he got to turn his life around and live a normal life and be rich.
There have been a lot of wrestling books over the years, some have been good, some have been mediocre, others have been great, but Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling is the the best of them. Then again, we shouldn't have expected any less from the man known as the "Excellence of Execution" or "The Best there Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Wil Be". If you can afford the $18, then go buy the book off Amazon , you won't regret it. If not, then head over to your Local Library and ask for it, since this is a must read for wrestling and Bret hart fans.