Re: How come we never saw Hogan vs Bret Hart?
A couple key things I want to point out.
After Wrestlemania 8, Hogan took a hiatus from the company. There was a post Wrestlemania press conference that he supposedly refused to attend. Furthermore, the buyrate was down 25% from the previous Wrestlemania, which Hogan felt might have hurt his image and portrayed him as not being as big of a draw as he once was.
Because it was known before Mania that Hogan was taking the summer off (which turned out to be nearly an entire year), as well as Piper, Ultimate Warrior was brought back, as he was WWF's second top drawing babyface for the prior several years. The plan from there was to go towards a Warrior/Flair program, taking place after Flair regained the title in September.
So, the early runs of Warrior/Flair drew rather weak houses and it was said that Warrior was unhappy with his program with Flair. And Vince needed the title on a top babyface. Bret Hart, on a European tour, received a bigger reaction than anyone else, so the last minute decision was made to push him.
During all of this, house show attendance and TV ratings were down. Furthermore, the allegations made regarding Hogan's steroid & cocaine use, drug dealing accusations and the like, became more present due to Dr. D David Shultz and "Superstar" Billy Graham. Hogan chose not to speak on the matter and hid from the spotlight, until arranging a meeting with Vince in late 1992.
In November of 1992, Warrior quit the WWF, about 17 days before the Survivor Series match with Savage vs. Flair and Razor, with no explanation given. It was said that Warrior was supposed to be the focal point of Wrestlemania (possibly winning the title). With Bret as champion, business didn't totally increase and things were really starting to look bad. In a span of 8 months, WWF lost Hogan, Piper, Bulldog, The Legion Of Doom and Jake Roberts, as well has Ric Flair being injured and Undertaker missing a nice amount of time with a shoulder injury. It also needs to be said that guys like Legion Of Doom, Hogan, Sid, Warrior, Bulldog, Warlord and Barbarian, among others, left when the steroid accusations became more prevalent.
So, in January 1993, it was revealed Hogan was returning to WWF for a match at Wrestlemania 9 with Beefcake against Money, Inc. Partly, the reason for his return was to re-solidify himself as a big deal in wrestling, before the release of Mr. Nanny in June. Not to mention, Hogan had shot a pilot that he hoped to be picked up.
It's also said that Hogan only agreed to come back if he worked even less dates and received a run with the title. Furthermore, the low buyrate of Royal Rumble 1993 was proof that life without Hogan wasn't working well for WWF, not to mention, Bret wasn't the big draw like they had with Hogan & Warrior. So, the decision was made to give Hogan the title.
In April, shortly after Mania, Bret Hart cut a promo, saying his hit list consisted of Lex Luger, Yokozuna and Hulk Hogan. Word going around was that Hogan had no interest in putting Bret over.
In May, Hogan worked a match with Great Muta in IWGP. Afterwards at a press conference, he compared the WWF Title to a Honda and the IWGP Title to a Rolls Royce. He further bragged that the WWF Title was easy to win and the IWGP Title was hard to win (he was the first ever IWGP champion), basically burying WWF in the process. Furthermore, as of May, the idea was certainly presented for Bret/Hogan at Summerslam.
Instead, Hogan dropped the belt to Yokozuna at KOTR. It was said when Hogan cut the interview in Japan, he know then he would be dropping the belt to Yokozuna, so tried to downplay it, as if the title meant nothing to him.
Hogan pulls himself from all future events and a few weeks after KOTR, officially leaves WWF. But the thing people don't understand is, at that time, Hogan had a movie just released in theatres, as well as a television pilot he was hoping to get picked up (which eventually did). Business was down in WWF, as no show headlined by Hogan did as expected, which in turn could have affected his potential in Hollywood, as it would make him seem like he was not a draw.
Furthermore, as good as Bret Hart was all the way back in 1993, he wasn't a successful draw stateside, nor was he ever, between 1992-1993, WWF's choice as the top guy. Hogan bailed twice, Warrior quit/got fired, Piper disappeared, Savage was phased out. They really lacked any main event babyface presence but needed 1 to carry the title and he was the only choice. When revenue didn't increase, Hogan was brought back in. When revenue still didn't increase, there was no point in going directly back to Bret, so they went with Lex Luger, who they thought would be the next incarnation of Hogan but he wasn't.
My personal opinion is that Hogan didn't deem Bret as a big draw but Hogan wasn't necessarily selling out shows in 1993 either. The match would have been big from a fans standpoint but unless it would have resulted in Hogan going over, Hogan felt it would just lessen his status in wrestling and affect his Hollywood potential.
I doubt Vince was even fully behind Hogan/Bret, simply because Hogan's drawing power wasn't what it used to be and Bret was far from being a proven draw. In this case, I place equal blame on both guys. I blame Hogan for having such a huge ego and I blame Bret for getting uptight about not getting a match with a guy who rightfully shouldn't have been expected to job. And even more so, likely neither man would have been in the main event if Warrior didn't leave in November, as he was planned to be the focal point, was the second biggest draw and was possibly going to win the belt (although Flair leaving probably would have prevented that from happening).