Originally Posted by cablegeddon
Two questions on Bret Hart. He strikes me as a very japanese style wrestlers in the early 90s.
1. Is it known that he was a big fan of NJPW and AJPW in the late 80s/early 90s or is this just speculation?
2. When he sold submission holds did he ever sell more because he liked the guy he wrestled with?
I know from reading Bret's autobiography he had some training with Japanese workers just as he was breaking into the business. Add that with his amateur wrestling background in high school and his father Stu Hart who was an infamous "shooter" or submission specialist, and I can see how a fan would find similarities in the way Bret crafted his style and some of the wrestling you would find in Japan. I'm sure Bret respects and admires NJPW and AJPW, especially the athletic and technical aspects which are the primary focus. Bret's at heart (no pun) a wrestling purist after all.
As for your second question, I don't buy that at all. Bret worked with various levels of talent from limited big men like Diesel to fine in-ring workers like Mr. Perfect, and I believe Bret gave his best effort to produce the best matches possible. Bret sold for as much as it made sense to the story of the match. I believe his professionalism and craftsmanship in the ring is what led to him having great matches with guys like Bam Bam Bigelow, The Kid, Jean Pierre Lafitte, Hakushi, Roddy Piper, British Bulldog, Undertaker, and so many others. Just look at that variety of talent in that list of opponents!