Grudge Match #1: Bret Hart vs. The Honky Tonk Man



Bret Hart is synonymous with quality in professional wrestling. He is a highly decorated competitor that has a truly great body of work. We are more than happy to showcase Bret's amazing work. However, it isn't just the Hitman that we are focusing on. We are also going to be taking a look at the Rogues Gallery that he had faced over the years. 

A lot of us are well aware of the real life animosity that The Honky Tonk Man. Wayne Ferris has for Bret Hart. He can bee seen in a recent shoot video mocking the Hitman and even poking fun of him being a stroke victim. Ferris is notorious for burning bridges. However, even though he is a world-class jerk. Honky Tonk is a vivacious and extremely talented performer. So maybe it comes easy. But man, that guy can play a heel. He would submit the audience to his one man concerts weather they wanted to hear it or not. As someone on Reddit put it, Honky is someone that you would pay to watch get his ass kicked. He played the bad guy and he played it well.

Bret Hart and The Honky Tonk Man have met over a hundred times in the 1980's. They had originally teamed together a few times early in Stampede, a former promotion out of Canada. But when Honky was a villain, Bret played the perfect person to pit him against. When the Intercontinental Belt was in play, that just added to the amazingness that much more!

Bret Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart had teamed as the legendary Hart Foundation during the eighties in the WWF. They were initially heels in a stable of sorts that was managed by the Mouth of the South, Jimmy Hart. The Honky Tonk Man was also a member of this group. They had actually fought in some big six-man tag matches leading into Honky's feud with the "Macho Man" Randy Savage. You can watch the group's match-up against Omar Atlas, Jerry Allen, & Lanny Poffo on Dailymotion.

During a match between The Honky Tonk Man and Randy "Macho Man" Savage, The Hart Foundation began interfering and helping Honky out. 

It eventually led to a steel cage six man tag team match at Boston Gardens. This was between Honky Tonk Man & The Hart Foundation vs. Macho Man Randy Savage & Strike Force. 


Honky Tonk Man & The Hart Foundation vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage & Strike Force
Six Man Tag Team Cage Match
House Show - Boston Gardens, Boston, MA

After the loss to Strike Force & The Macho Man, Honky and Bret had turned into rivals. They started facing off in tag team matches. The Hart Foundation would take on Rhythm & Blues, Honky Tonk Man and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. Rhythm & Blues wasn't very popular, but the WWF would push them really hard in the late 80's and early 90's. 


The Hart Foundation vs. Rhythm & Blues
Tag Match
WWF Superstars - Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL

The Hart Foundation vs. The Honky Tonk Man & Dino Bravo
Tag Match
WWF Prime TIme Wrestling - East Rutherford, New Jersey

Eventually, things boiled over from tag matches to singles competition. They would battle on the house show circuit and put on some really good matches. Here we have a classic match-up between Hart and Honky from Madison Square Garden. This one isn't for the belt, but it is a quality match all the way. One of our favorites! 

Honky Tonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Bret "The Hitman" Hart (w/ Jim Neidhart)
Singles Match
House Show - Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

They had continued off of this match-up back into Tag Team competition. That rat, "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, had double-crossed the Hart Foundation siding with Rhythm and Blues at the end of '88. The Hart Foundation couldn't let this go and would challenge Rhythm And Blues for a match at Wrestlemania V. You can see that match on Dailymotion or on the WWE Network. 

The WWF would really step up their Tag Team division in late '89 and into the early '90's. The Hart Foundation would move on from their feud with Rhythm and Blues and into various little feuds with The Brain Busters, The Rockers, The Bolsheviks and Demolition. Plus many more. Some amazing matchups ensured that Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart would hold WWF Tag Team Gold It wouldn't be long until The Hart Foundation would cross paths with Honky and his crew. 


The Hart Foundation vs. Rhythm And Blues (w/Jimmy Hart)
WWF Tag Team Titles
Tag Team Match
WWF Superstars - Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN

The two faced off in singles competition again at the WWF Survivor Series Showdown on Prime Time Wrestling. This was nearing the end of the Honky Tonk Man's serious in-ring career with the company. Bret was just being pushed to the moon. The two pumped out a fantastic match went about ten minuets. Complete with commentary from Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon. 

Bret Hart vs. The Honky Tonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Singles Match
WWF Survivor Series Showdown - Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN

This match would serve as the lead into their feud that would bubble over at the 1990 Survivor Series. The Million Dollar Team (Greg Valentine, Ted DiBiase, The Honky Tonk Man & The Undertaker) (w/Brother Love, Jimmy Hart & Virgil) would take on The Dream Team (Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Jim Neidhart & Koko B. Ware). This match is famous for being the debut of the Undertaker. However, Rhythm And Blues have a blow off with The Hart Foundation too. You can watch that on Dailymotion or the WWE Network. 

The Million Dollar Team ("Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, The Undertaker, Rhythm and Blues) vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware and The Hart Foundation)
Survivor Series Match
WWF Survivor Series 1990 - Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT

Apparently, in the end, Bret Hart didn't like working with Wayne Ferris. According to the same shoot video where Ferris mocks Hart, Ferris claims that Bret had made comments about Honky being too soft in the ring. Weather or not that is true, these two could put on some really great matches. Honky may be a huge ass outside of the ring, but for fifteen minuets in the ring, he is a natural. These two make for some great competition and we will focus on that when talking about this rivalry. 


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Bonus Video: 


Here is a match between The Honky Tonk Man & Bret Hart from France in 1989. It appears to be the WWF and the commentator sounds like a French Gorilla Monsoon.



Bret Hart vs. The Honky Tonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Paris France