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WWF History: Bret "Hitman" Hart as the WWF Intercontinental Champion [Videos]

Bret Hart in 1991

Bret "Hitman" Hart should be noted as one of the best World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Champions in professional wrestling history. Hart was a two-time Intercontinental Champion during a very unique period in the World Wrestling Federation, 1991 and 1992. 

In the summer of 1988, Hart received his first shot at the Intercontinental Championship when facing the then-champion The Honky Tonk Man. The match can be seen on the WWE Network on the July 18, 1988, edition of PRIMETIME WRESTLING.

Hart would find himself in other Intercontinental Championship matches throughout 1989 facing opponents "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Mr. Perfect. Hart would later reunite with Jim Neidhart to re-form The Hart Foundation and hold the WWF World Tag Team Championship from August 1990 to March 1991.

After leaving the WWF Tag Team ranks in 1991, Hart scored some count-out victories over Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect in April 1991, that led to Hart's win of the title at SummerSlam in New York City on August 26. This Intercontinental Championship match is regarded as one of the best and is must viewing for all professional wrestling fans.

During Hart's 144 day reign as Intercontinental Champion in 1991, he defended his title over 70 times against opponents such as "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, and Hercules. Hart defended his title the most against The Warlord (25 matches) and The Mountie (28 matches). Hart eventually lost the title to The Mountie on January 17, 1992. After the title loss, Hart spent the next few months winning matches against Enhancement Talent (B.A. Dalton, Ed Robinson, Jimmy James, and Dusty Dale Wolf).

On April 5, 1992, in what many consider "Rowdy" Roddy Piper's best match, Hart beat Piper and won the Intercontinental Championship Belt for the second time at WrestleMania VIII. Like many Bret Hart matches, this title match is one of the best Intercontinental Championship matches in professional wrestling history. 

Piper and Hart at WrestleMania VIII in 1992

Roddy Piper has a conversation with Bret Hart
March 1992

Bret "Hitman" Hart vs "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
April 1992

In Hart's second title reign as WWF Intercontinental Champion, he began a feud with one of the most talented professional wrestlers of all time, Shawn Michaels.

Bret Hart vs Barry Horowitz
June 1992

During 1992, Bret Hart faced Shawn Michaels in 50 matches where the Intercontinental Championship title was up for grabs. In one such match, Hart and Michaels participated in the first televised Ladder Match in July 1992. The match can be seen below or in HD quality on the WWE Network under the Collections section: Ladder Match.

Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels
July 1992

In 1992, Hart held the title for a total of 146 days facing numerous opponents such as Rick Martel, Kamala, "British Bulldog" Davy Boy Smith, and of course Shawn Michaels. Hart defended the Intercontinental Championship at least 65 times during 1992, finally losing the title to "British Bulldog" Davy Boy Smith in London, England on August 29, at the annual SummerSlam event in front of a crowd of 80,355 fans in attendance. The match between Hart and Smith was the last match of the evening and held added drama by pitting Hart against his English-born brother-in-law.

Promotion Poster for SummerSlam 1992

WWF SummerSlam Report with Gene Okerlund
Diana Hart Smith, Davy Boy Smith, Bret Hart
August 1992

Bret Hart vs British Bulldog
August 1992

Although Bret had previously held the WWF Tag Team Championship and would later hold multiple World Titles, his two reigns as WWF Intercontinental Championship will always hold up as a highlight in pro wrestling history.