Bret Hart Says Triple H Wanted Him To Defeat The Rock For The Intercontinental Title In 1997
"Triple H was sick about it because he had a thing for Dwayne and wanted to ruin him. He hated him."
During his time with WWE, then WWF, Bret Hart only faced The Rock once. The Brahma Bull was Rocky Maivia and Intercontinental Champion at the time and he went one on one with The Hitman for the gold on the March 31, 1997, episode of Monday Night Raw.
Hart reflected on the match during a recent interview with the 81 Podcast and Bret revealed that Triple H pushed for him to beat Rocky. The Excellence Of Execution ultimately refused, though, and the match had a DQ finish instead.
"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,'" Hart said.
"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 saying, '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,'" Bret continued.
"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."
While Hart may have wanted to face The Rock again, he wouldn't get the chance and The Hitman departed WWE in November 1997.
H/T to Fightful