QUICK QUOTES: Bret Hart remembers Road Warrior Hawk

Killing the Town with Storm and Cyrus dedicated this week’s episode to Michael Hegstrand, AKA Road Warrior Hawk on the fourteenth anniversary of his passing. Several guests were interviewed, including Bret Hart:

Regarding the only times they wrestled each other:

“We actually had one match with Hawk and Animal. I remember Hawk kind of got a little messed up and was out of it through the match and it was the only time we’d worked with each other, ever. I knew at the time it was probably going to be our last match; they were going to split us up and put me in singles. We were excited about having one match for Coliseum Video against Hawk and Animal, but we didn’t have the best match. I know he felt bad, he felt really bad about it later and always apologized about that one match because it was the only one we ever had.

I remember by the time it came to the Stampede PPV, he came up to me and says ‘This ones for what we missed last time, this one’s for your dad,’ and all that. He was totally focused and so primed up for that match… Then we walked out and had this really good match, really tight match. Hawk kind of did everything he could to make up for the match we’d had once before and have a better run at it. I have nothing but great memories about Hawk and Animal.”

On the inspiration for the Hart Attack finisher:

“Going back to the Hart Foundation in the early days, I can remember watching Hawk and Animal on AWA when I was just starting in WWF. I think right around the time me and Neidhart just got stuck together as a team. I was trying to come up with a finishing move, and lo and behold, I’m watching some AWA wrestling on one of the other channels in the hotel room and they pick up the guy from behind, almost like piggyback style. Animal climbs up or Hawk climbs up and they clotheslined him off the shoulders. That was their finishing move. I was watching it going ‘Wow. Very impressive looking finishing move.’ So I remember thinking, I said ‘You know what we should do is borrow from that idea, except for make it the Hart Attack finish,’ which was Jim would take the guy and put him in a bear hug and I would take off and hit the ropes and do a running clothesline like my brother Bruce’s finish. We started doing that, it became our move.

“We would see Hawk and Animal sometimes before they got to WWF. I remember meeting them and having a good talk with them and hanging out with them on the road somewhere. They would cross paths with us from an AWA show the same time there was a WWE show. I always sort of tipped my hat to them and said ‘We got that move from you guys. We’ve always appreciated really appreciate everything you guys have accomplished,’ and we really looked forward to working with them. That was before they ever got to WWF. And when they did come in, they were a team that was just so impressive. When I think of the greatest tag teams of the last fifty years, you can’t not think of the Road Warriors being near the very top of it anyway.”

Bret’s thoughts on Hawk’s character:

“Animal was such a great guy and you had to know both of them, they were both totally different kind of people. Hawk was a little bit more of a renegade and a little bit more wild. I think Joe was a bit of a babysitter, kind of like I was with Jim the Anvil, where you kind of have to look out for your partner in the sense that sometimes you have to go out with them to make sure they get back to the hotel on time and stuff like that. I have nothing but the best memories and great respect for both of them.

“I was thinking about it and it brings a pang to my heart, but when my father passed away I had gotten different calls from different wrestlers. I remember I got a call from I think it was Crush that called to tell me that Hawk was taking it really bad, that he was really upset about my dad’s passing. He was going to call me or something like that. So I called Hawk. I never did get him. I left a message, I think. He died within a few hours after my father did, like the same day. I’m not sure how much that had an effect on him, but I know that it really meant a lot to me that my dad’s passing affected him as much as it did and really upset him. Made me realize what kind of a guy he was and how much respect he had for guys like my father and the guys that paved the way for him to make a living in pro wrestling.”

The episode featured interviews with Paul Ellering, Mick Foley, Jim Cornette and others. Lance Storm also spoke a great deal about being a fan of the Road Warriors before becoming a wrestler. To check out the episode, visit Killing the Town with Storm and Cyrus at PodcastOne.

Please credit PWPodcasts when using any part of this transcription.

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