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The 5 biggest insults to the WWE

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Vince McMahon in the midst of a heated argument with Bret Hart

When you’re the largest and most recognizable professional wrestling promotion on the planet Earth, you are inevitably going to burn some bridges. With the huge influx of talent constantly flowing in and out of the WWE, there are bound to be relationships that end on a sour note. Many times, the last fans will hear of such relationships is the now infamous “WWE wishes _____ well in all their future endeavors.” 

Sometimes, however, that’s not the case. There have been several noteworthy cases throughout WWE history where a talent took their grievances to the next level, going out of their way to not only burn their bridge with WWE but slap the company in the face afterwards. 

Not surprisingly, multiple entries on this list involve WCW, WWE’s chief competition in the late 90’s and, to date, the only real organization to ever seriously threaten the WWE’s place atop the wrestling world. 

1. Bret Hart leaves for WCW

Bret “The Hitman” Hart, as WCW US Champion

Probably the most justifiable entry on the list, Bret “The Hitman” Hart’s journey to WCW wasn’t initially intended to be an insult to the WWE. Rather, a longstanding series of backstage issues between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels led to an ill-fated WWF Championship match at Survivor Series 1997.

This match would take place shortly after Vince McMahon himself would encourage Bret to sign with WCW after Hart allegedly began pushing for a very long term contract with an enormous price tag that would have cost the WWF far more than Hart would have brought back in.

The match would end with the infamous “Montreal Screwjob”, which saw Vince McMahon run to the ring and legitimately swerve the ending of the match without telling Bret beforehand, in fear that Hart would take the WWF’s prize possession to the competition to make a statement. 

Bret’s camp has always argued that he was pushed out of the company against his will, and simply wanted his last match to be a win in front of his fellow countrymen, who considered Bret a “hero”. 

People on the side of Shawn Michaels and the WWE counter that Bret’s refusal to drop the title, especially on his way out the door, was disrespectful and harmful to the company. 

Both sides have valid points and thankfully, many years later, were able to bury the hatchet and resume a friendly, professional relationship. But the way Bret made his way from WWE to WCW will always carry a certain air of disrespect with it, to all parties involved.

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