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

Bret Hart in 1991

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

In the summer of 1988, Bret 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.

Bret would find himself in other Intercontinental Championship matches throughout 1989 facing opponents Ravishing Rick Rude and Mr. Perfect. Bret would later reunite with Jim Neidhart to reform 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, Bret scored some count out victories over Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect in April 1991, that led to Bret'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 pro wrestling fans.

During Bret'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. Bret defended his title the most against The Warlord (25 matches) and The Mountie (28 matches). Bret eventually lost the title to The Mountie on January 17, 1992. After the title loss, Bret 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, Bret 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 pro wrestling history. 

Piper and Hart at WrestleMania VIII in 1992

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

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

Promotion Poster for SummerSlam 1992

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