Bret Hart Recalls Stone Cold Steve Austin Joining WWE Soon After He Spoke To Vince McMahon About Him

Bret Hart saw potential in Steve Austin before he ever stepped foot in the WWE.

After getting fired by WCW in 1995, Steve Austin joined Paul Heyman's ECW where he was allowed to heal his injuries, develop his mic skills, and vent about his former employer. A few months later, the WWF came calling and Steve Austin became The Ringmaster, working alongside Ted DiBiase. By the spring of 1996, Austin's Stone Cold moniker had taken over and the man once deemed expendable by WCW was well on his way to superstardom.

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Appearing on the most recent episode of WWE's The Bump, Bret Hart recalled a conversation with Vince McMahon where he asked WWE's Chairman why the company hadn't signed Austin, allowing him to go to ECW, instead. Sure enough, as Hart remembers it, Steve was in the WWE locker room no more than a week later.

"Well, the truth of it is, and I've said this a few times, is that I thought Steve was somebody to be reckoned with before he ever got to WWE. I saw him -- He was in WCW and I think he even went to ECW for a time, and I remember when he jumped from WCW and he ended up in ECW, I actually remember going into Vince's office and going, 'Why didn't they get this guy? Why didn't somebody grab him and bring him in here? He's too good a guy to end up in -- He's working ECW. Why don't we look into getting him.' I remember having this conversation with Vince about how I thought he'd be really good for me to wrestle and work with and a week later he was sitting in the dressing room. They went out and got him and I don't know what they did to get him from ECW or get him out of that contract or if he was free to go, but that's when he started," Bret said.

Bret and Steve would go on to have a number of classic encounters, including Survivor Series 1996 and WrestleMania 13, just to name a couple.

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