Wrestling legend Bret "The Hitman" Hart was assaulted by a fan Saturday night during his Hall of Fame induction speech. During the live broadcast of the ceremony on the WWE Network, a man can be seen rushing the ring to attack Bret, but the television cameras cut away from the attack. Video taken by fans in the arena show that the man tackled Bret to the mat before being pinned down by a barrage of security guards and removed from the building. Charges are now pending against the 26-year-old assailant.
Bret Hart was in the ring to accept his second induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. For his accomplishments in the wrestling business, Hart had previously been inducted in 2006. For the 2019 ceremony, Hart accepted a new induction as part of the tag team The Hart Foundation with former partner Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. During the late '80s and early '90s, The Hart Foundation was one of the most popular tag teams in WWE (then WWF), leading to Bret's breakout as a solo star soon after. Because Neidhart passed away in August of last year, his daughter Natalya Neidhart stood in his place to accept the induction on his behalf.
Considered by fans to be among the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, Hart has had a legendary career in the business. While wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior appealed to fans because of their size and mic work, Hart was known for being very technically sound in the ring. He formally retired in 2000 due to health problems sustained in a match against Bill Goldberg in WCW. In 2002, Hart suffered a stroke which temporarily placed him in a wheelchair. The former wrestler was later diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, and although surgery to remove the cancer was successful, Hart continues to be monitored by doctors to ensure the disease does not return.
The attacker himself did not escape unscathed. After he was removed from the ring and being escorted out of the arena by security, WWE wrestler Dash Wilder reared back and punched the man in the face. The moment was captured on video taken by fans in attendance, and people are praising Wilder for taking the shot all across social media. Natalya Neidhart also chimed in on Twitter to address the situation. "Bret is a cancer survivor, a stroke survivor and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time," Neidhart says in the tweet. "He didn't deserve to be attacked or have his moment or my dad's diminished."
Rushing the ring at a WWE event is never okay, but to attack someone like Hart is especially despicable. He hasn't been making regular appearances on WWE television, and the motivation for attacking him remains unclear. The assailant will soon be facing legal repercussions for the assault, and he will have to explain the situation to a judge. It's safe to assume fans of WWE and the legendary wrestler are going to want the book to be thrown at him. You can watch footage of the attack and Dash Wilder punching the man involved below.
I’m so proud of my uncle @BretHart tonight during our HOF ceremony. Bret is a cancer survivor, a stroke survivor and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He didn’t deserve to be attacked or have his moment or my dad’s diminished. We got it back on track. Thank you, guys🙏— Nattie (@NatbyNature) April 7, 2019