In 1986, Hart began his first singles program, with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. In a match originally planned for WrestleMania 2, he lost to Steamboat at the Boston Garden on March 8, 1986. At WrestleMania 2, Hart would instead participate in a 20-man battle royal which was eventually won by André the Giant. Hart was the last man to be eliminated by André, however. He lost to Steamboat again on the July 28, 1986 edition of Prime Time Wrestling. Hart headlined his first televised WWF card when he beat Ray Rougeau, of The Fabulous Rougeaus, in the main event of the November 3, 1986 edition of Prime Time Wrestling. The Hart Foundation won their first of two World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championships on the February 7, 1987 edition of Superstars when they defeated the British Bulldogs. They would then team with Danny Davis to face The British Bulldogs and Tito Santana at WrestleMania III. They would win the match when Davis pinned Davey Boy Smith after hitting him with Jimmy Hart's megaphone.
The Hart Foundation would adopt the nickname, "The Pink and Black Attack", which would continue to be used by Bret after the team's disbandment. This was in reference to the team's ring attire, as well as Hart's signature mirrored sunglasses, which he would routinely give away to a young audience member before matches, following his face turn in 1988. As Hart's WWF career progressed, he would also increasingly describe himself as "The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be", which he would later justify through three claims: he never injured an opponent through any fault of his own, through the entire course of his career, he missed only one show (as a result of flight difficulties), and that he only once refused to lose a match—his final WWF match with long-time adversary Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series event in 1997, which culminated in the now infamous Montreal Screwjob.
The Hart Foundation lost the WWF Tag Team Championship to Strike Force on the October 27 edition of Superstars. The Hart Foundation then led a team against another team led by Strike Force at Survivor Series 1987. Although Neidhart pinned Tito Santana and eliminated Strike Force from the match, The Hart Foundation was eliminated when Bret Hart was pinned by Jim Brunzell of The Killer Bees. Hart's team lost when the last remaining members, The Islanders were also eliminated by The Killer Bees. Hart subsequently competed in his most high-profile singles contest to date on the November 28, 1987 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, when he faced "Macho Man" Randy Savage in a losing effort. He began 1988 with a decisive victory over Paul Roma of The Young Stallions (who had scored an upset victory over the Hart Foundation the previous year) on January 11 edition of Prime Time Wrestling, and, at Royal Rumble 1988, was the first man to enter the Royal Rumble match. He lasted 25 minutes and 42 seconds before being eliminated by Don Muraco. At WrestleMania IV, The Hart Foundation were in the battle royal. Neidhart eliminated Georges Steele while Bret Hart assisted Bad News Brown in eliminating the Junkyard Dog. He was then attacked by Bad News and eliminated last. However, Bret Hart reentered the ring and attacked Bad News Brown after the match. Due to Hart's increasing popularity, Vince McMahon approached him with the idea of splitting up The Hart Foundation and turning him face, telling Hart that he received the most fan mail of any of his wrestlers. Ultimately, McMahon decided that the Hart Foundation were too over to split up, but would turn the team face, and have them sack Jimmy Hart as their manager. This led to a feud with The Fabulous Rougeaus that lasted from the fall 1988 to early 1989, who had turned heel and taken Jimmy Hart as their manager. In storyline, Jimmy Hart still had a contract with The Hart Foundation and was giving his percentage of the Foundation's earnings to the Rougeau's as a bonus.They also challenged Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam 1988. They lost the match by pinfall due to interference from Jimmy Hart. As a face, Hart enjoyed significant popularity in singles wrestling. In his first singles championship opportunity, he challenged The Honky Tonk Man for the WWF Intercontinental Championship in the main event of the July 18 edition of Prime Time Wrestling, with the match ending in a double count-out. At Survivor Series 1988, The Hart Foundation participated in a Survivor Series elimination match on a team captained by The Powers of Pain against a team captained by Demolition. They were eliminated when Bret Hart was pinned by Tully Blanchard of The Brain Busters.
At Royal Rumble 1989, The Hart Foundation teamed with Jim Duggan to defeat The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and Dino Bravo. They would also defeat Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man, who were also managed by Jimmy Hart, at WrestleMania V. He wrestled his first pay-per-view singles match on October 10, losing to Dino Bravo in the first British WWF pay-per-view, which was held at the London Arena and broadcast on Sky Television (Hart was in fact booked to win the match, but incurred a broken sternum, causing an unplanned count-out loss). Hart would score victories over the likes of Barry Horowitz,Steve Lombardi (whom Hart had wrestled in his first WWF match) and defecting Hart Foundation member "Dangerous" Danny Davis throughout 1989. At SummerSlam 1989, The Hart Foundation lost a non-title match against the tag team champions The Brain Busters. He lost to Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig on the November 6, 1989 edition of Prime Time Wrestling, when Perfect pulled Hart's tights during a roll-up. In their first ever singles meeting, Shawn Michaels and Hart wrestled to a double count-out on the February 11, 1990 edition of the Wrestling Challenge.
After participating at the 1990 Royal Rumble, The Hart Foundation defeated The Bolsheviks in 19 seconds at WrestleMania VI and began feuding with Demolition, who had just won the tag team titles against The Colossal Connection at WrestleMania VI. At SummerSlam in 1990, The Hart Foundation began their second, and final, WWF Tag Team Championship reign by defeating Demolition members Crush and Smash in a two out of three falls match with some help from the Legion of Doom. On October 30, the Hart Foundation lost the title to The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels), but a few days later, President Jack Tunney returned the title to the Hart Foundation because the decision had been reversed due to a rope coming off of the turnbuckle during the match and the win was never acknowledged on television. The Hart Foundation would then team with Dusty Rhodes and Koko B. Ware as the Dream Team to take on The Million $ Team of Ted DiBiase, The Undertaker, and Rhythm & Blues. Bret Hart was the last person to be eliminated when he was pinned by DiBiase. Bret Hart was once again the first entrant in the Royal Rumble match at Royal Rumble 1991 and lasted over 20 minutes before being eliminated by Undertaker. The Hart Foundation's reign lasted until WrestleMania VII, where they lost to The Nasty Boys, after which the team split.
Hart won his first WWF Intercontinental Championship by defeating Mr. Perfect with the Sharpshooter at SummerSlam in 1991, and subsequently won the 1991 King of the Ring tournament on September 7, 1991 at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island. At Survivor Series 1991, Bret Hart teamed with The British Bulldog, Virgil, and Roddy Piper against Ted DiBiase, The Mountie, Ric Flair, and The Warlord. Hart was counted out alongside with The Mountie, DiBiase, Piper, and Virgil to make Flair the sole survivor. Hart's first pay-per-view title defense occurred at This Tuesday in Texas, where he beat the undefeated Skinner.
In January 1992, Hart placed in a feud with The Mountie. This feud came about when the Mountie's manager, Jimmy Hart, threw water on Hart. Then, The Mountie proceeded to shock Hart with a cattle prod. On January 17, 1992, Bret Hart dropped the Intercontinental Championship to The Mountie. Following the loss, Roddy Piper defeated Mountie with a sleeper hold two days later at the 1992 Royal Rumble, and Bret would later pin Piper for his second Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania VIII later that year, making him the first, and one of few wrestlers to ever pin Piper's shoulders to the mat. At a Wrestling Challenge taping on July 21, 1992, Hart defeated Shawn Michaels, with the Intercontinental Championship suspended above the ring, in the WWF's first ever Ladder match. Hart dropped the Intercontinental Championship to his brother-in-law, Davey Boy Smith, in Hart's first WWF pay-per-view main event at SummerSlam 1992 held before over 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
Hart won the WWF Championship from Ric Flair at a Superstars taping at Saskatchewan Place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on October 12 of that year, in a match not originally broadcast on WWF television. Hart dislocated one of the fingers on his right hand during the match and popped it back in himself so it would not affect the rest of the match. He would headline his first pay-per-view as champion with a successful title defense against Shawn Michaels (a replacement for the departing Jake Roberts) at the 1992 Survivor Series, and defeated Razor Ramon (also a replacement, this time for The Ultimate Warrior at the 1993 Royal Rumble. He would also defend the title against contenders such as Papa Shango and former champion Ric Flair before losing the title to Yokozuna in his first WrestleMania main event at WrestleMania IX, after interference from Mr. Fuji. Fuji then challenged Hulk Hogan, who had come out to help Hart, to compete for the title; Hogan then won his fifth WWF Championship from Yokozuna. Shortly after, however, Hart won the first pay-per-view King of the Ring tournament in 1993 (prior King of the Ring tournaments were non-televised live events), defeating Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and Bam Bam Bigelow, thus becoming the only two-time King of the Ring in WWE history. After being crowned as the King of the Ring, Hart was attacked by Jerry "The King" Lawler. Lawler claimed he was the rightful King and began a barrage against Hart and his family. This began an intense two-year feud which would go on to be the greatest in professional wrestling history. The two met at SummerSlam in 1993, to determine the "Undisputed King of the World Wrestling Federation", where Hart originally won the match by submission, via the Sharpshooter. Hart, however, would not let go of the hold and the decision was reversed to a Lawler victory by disqualification.
After months of dealing with Lawler, Hart invoked his rematch clause from his match with WWF Champion Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX on the November 20 edition of WWF Superstars. When Bret appeared to have the match won, with Yokozuna locked in the sharpshooter, Owen came to ringside to congratulate his brother. The referee began questioning Owen's motives, which allowed Fuji to assault Bret. Owen then involved himself in the match, resulting in a victory for Yokozuna via disqualification. On the non-televised but now-canon 22 November edition of Monday Night Raw, Hart again challenged Yokozuna for the WWF Championship, and again failed to regain the championship due to similar involvement from Owen. The brothers' disagreements set the wheels in motion for a family feud that would span the entirety of 1994. At Survivor Series, the Harts (Bret, Owen, Bruce, and Keith) took on Shawn Michaels (a substitution for Lawler, who was facing legal troubles) and his knights. The Harts won the match, with all of the brothers surviving except for Owen, the only Hart family member eliminated. Bitter about his elimination, Owen blamed Bret for this and in the weeks ahead, blamed Bret for holding him back. Owen demanded a one-on-one match with Bret, which Bret refused to accept. In the storyline, Bret, along with his parents, worked over the Christmas holidays to reunite the family and to settle their rivalry. Bret was voted "WWF Superstar of the Year" 1993 by fans.
At the Royal Rumble in January, Bret and Owen took on The Quebecers for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Referee Tim White stopped the match after he considered Bret unable to continue after he sustained a kayfabe knee injury during the match. After the match, Owen berated his brother for costing him a title opportunity and attacked the injured knee, setting the feud between the two. Later on, Hart managed to participate and win the 1994 Royal Rumble match amid controversy. Hart and Lex Luger were the final two participants and the two were eliminated over the top rope at the same time. Therefore, both men were named co-winners of the 1994 Royal Rumble match and received title shots at WrestleMania X. Luger won the chance to face Yokozuna first, with Hart having to wrestle his brother Owen, before receiving his title shot. Hart lost his match against Owen but went on to defeat Yokozuna for his second WWF Championship.
Hart continued to feud with his brother Owen while he also started feuding with Diesel. Hart's friend and former tag team partner Jim Neidhart returned to the WWF and reunited with Hart. At King of the Ring, Hart defended the WWF Championship against Diesel. When Hart was winning the match, Shawn Michaels interfered on Diesel's behalf. Diesel appeared close to victory after he delivered a Jackknife Powerbomb yet before he could pin Hart, Neidhart interfered. Diesel won by disqualification but Hart retained his title. Neidhart left when Diesel and Michaels attacked Hart following the match. Neidhart's motivation was made clear when he helped Owen win the tournament that night, so that he could receive a title shot against his brother. At SummerSlam, Hart successfully retained the WWF Championship against Owen in a steel cage match.
Hart eventually lost his WWF Championship at Survivor Series in a submission match against Bob Backlund where the manager of either competitor (Davey Boy Smith for Hart, Owen for Backlund) would have to 'throw in the towel' for the wrestler they were representing. When Hart was in Backlund's Crossface Chickenwing and Davey Boy was kayfabe knocked out, Owen persuaded his mother Helen to throw in the towel for Hart, giving Backlund the championship victory. Bret's feud with Backlund would continue into the following year.
Three days after Hart's title loss, Diesel would swiftly defeat Backlund with a jackknife powerbomb to become the new WWF Champion. Hart challenged for Diesel's WWF Championship at the 1995 Royal Rumble, in a match that was continually marred by outside interference and ruled a draw. Both men embraced in a display of sportsmanship after the match. In a rematch from Survivor Series, Hart defeated Bob Backlund in an "I Quit" Match at WrestleMania XI. Hart would be the focal point of the first event in the In Your House pay-per-view series, competing in two matches at In Your House 1. He defeated Hakushi in the very first match of the In Your House series. Hart's acclaimed feud with Jerry Lawler was reignited at the event, losing to him in the penultimate match of the card due to Hakushi's (now Lawler's protégé) interference. Hart beat Lawler in a "Kiss My Foot" match at King of the Ring, and defeated his private dentist, the seven-foot, 320 pound Isaac Yankem, by disqualification at SummerSlam 1995. Their King of the Ring match would end with one of the most iconic images in WWF history, with Hart shoving his foot into Lawler's mouth, then forcing Lawler to kiss his own foot. After disposing of Lawler, Hart shifted his focus back to the WWF Championship, defeating Diesel in a No Disqualification match at Survivor Series to commence his third reign.
In a rematch from their SummerSlam 1992 encounter, Hart successfully defended his title against the now heel Davey Boy Smith at In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings. He lost to The Undertaker by disqualification at the 1996 Royal Rumble when Diesel interfered, ultimately retaining the WWF Championship, and defeated The Undertaker by disqualification in a rematch on the February 5 edition of Raw, again due to Diesel's interference. Hart retained his WWF Championship against Diesel in a steel cage match at In Your House 6, and defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley, who was undefeated on Raw, on the March 4 edition of the show. WWF Commissioner Roddy Piper ruled that Hart would face Shawn Michaels, who had earned a WWF Championship match at WrestleMania XII by winning the Royal Rumble, in a 60-minute Iron Man match at the event. The wrestler with the most decisions during the 60 minutes would win the match and the WWF Championship.
At WrestleMania, with less than a minute left on the clock and the score still 0–0, Michaels jumped from the middle rope; his legs were caught by Hart, and Hart locked in his Sharpshooter. However, Michaels did not submit in the last 30 seconds so the match ended in a tie. President Gorilla Monsoon ruled that the match would continue in sudden death overtime. Michaels hit a superkick to win the championship. After WrestleMania, Hart took his hiatus from television.
Over the summer, Steve Austin, who was fresh from winning the 1996 King of the Ring, continually taunted Hart and challenged him to come back and have a match. After an eight-month hiatus from television, Hart returned and defeated Austin at Survivor Series in a match for the number one contender spot to the WWF Championship. Hart challenged champion Sycho Sid at the following month's In Your House 12: It's Time; Shawn Michaels, who was serving as a guest commentator at ringside, accidentally cost Hart the victory when he attempted to become involved in the match after being assaulted by Sid. The building tension between Hart and Michaels climaxed after the match, when Hart assaulted Michaels. Hart's feud with Austin escalated at the Royal Rumble, when Hart tossed Austin out of the ring, only for Austin (unbeknownst to the referees) to climb back into the ring and win the Rumble. Hart quit the WWF the next night on Raw in protest. In order to deal with this controversy, a Fatal Four-Way between Austin and the participants he eliminated after re-entering the ring (Vader, The Undertaker and Hart) was set up for In Your House 13: Final Four, with the winner becoming the number one contender. After current champion Shawn Michaels relinquished the belt, though, the match officially became one for the WWF Championship. Hart defeated Austin, Vader, and The Undertaker in the Fatal Four-Way. However, Austin made sure Hart's fourth reign was short-lived, costing him a title match against Sid the next night on Raw, and making it the only reign of Hart's to last less than three months. Hart challenged for Sid's WWF Championship in a steel cage match shortly before WrestleMania 13 (Hart's twelfth consecutive and final WrestleMania until WrestleMania XXVI), which saw Austin actually attempt to help Hart win, in order to make their scheduled match at WrestleMania 13 a title match. Concurrently, The Undertaker, who had a scheduled title match with Sid at WrestleMania, attempted to help Sid win. Sid ultimately retained, leading to a pure grudge match for Hart and Austin. Following his loss to Sid, Hart shoved "announcer" Vince McMahon to the ground when he attempted to conduct a post-match interview.
At WrestleMania 13, Hart and Austin had their rematch in a Submission match. In the end, Hart locked the Sharpshooter on a bloody Austin, who refused to give up. In fact, Austin never quit, but passed out from the blood loss and pain. Ken Shamrock, the special guest referee, awarded Hart the match, after which he continued to assault Austin. This turned Austin face, and Hart became a heel. Hart challenged The Rock for the WWF Intercontinental Championship in the main event of the March 31 edition of Raw. The Rock won by disqualification when Hart refused to release a figure-four leglock applied around the ringpost. He would face Austin again in the main event of In Your House 14: Revenge of the 'Taker, to determine who would challenge the WWF Champion in a title match at the following month's In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell. Austin had Hart locked in his own finishing move, the Sharpshooter, in the middle of the ring when The British Bulldog interfered on Hart's behalf, resulting in disqualification and giving Austin the victory and title match. They would meet once again in a street fight on the April 21 edition of Raw, in which Austin injured the now-heel Hart's ankle with a steel chair. The match was ultimately awarded to Austin when Hart refused to tap out of the sharpshooter. Austin continued to beat Hart while on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance.
Hart's feud with Austin saw Hart shift to the top heel in the company. In the ensuing weeks, Hart denounced American fans, because of their negative reaction to him in the recent weeks in contrast to his continued popularity through the rest of the world, and reunited with brother Owen and brothers-in-law Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart. The family members formed a new Hart Foundation with Brian Pillman; this incarnation was an anti-American stable which was popular within Canada and Europe. As the leader of this stable, Hart would routinely carry a Canadian flag to the ring and engage in promos where he declared the superiority of his home nation; he became so despised by U.S. audiences that they would often throw debris during his ring entrances, interviews and matches.
At In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede, in Hart's home town of Calgary, the Hart Foundation would defeat the team of Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and The Legion of Doom, representing the U.S., in a ten-man tag team match main event. The Canada vs U.S. rivalry escalated on the July 21 edition of Raw in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Bret, Owen and Davey Boy Smith, representing Canada and the Hart Foundation, defeated the team of Dude Love, Austin and The Undertaker, representing the U.S., in a Flag Match. Hart vowed that if he could not defeat The Undertaker for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam, he would never wrestle in the United States again. The Undertaker agreed to the match, and Hart won his fifth WWF Championship after spitting in guest referee Shawn Michaels' face; Michaels swung a steel chair in retaliation, which accidentally struck the Undertaker. Michaels, who, as part of another pre-match stipulation, would be banned from wrestling in the United States if he did not remain impartial as referee, had no option but to count the pinfall, giving his bitter rival Hart the victory and the WWF Championship.
After SummerSlam, Michaels was pushed as the top heel in the company and negative fan reactions towards Hart softened somewhat, as he adopted a tweener role and declared, "I'm not so much anti-American as I am just very, very pro-Canadian". Hart successfully defended his title against The Patriot, with whom Hart had become involved in a feud as part of the Canada vs U.S. storyline, at Ground Zero: In Your House, avenging a loss to him weeks earlier on Raw, and the Canada vs U.S. feud would conclude at Badd Blood: In Your House, where Hart and Davey Boy Smith, representing Canada and The Hart Foundation, defeated The Patriot and Vader, representing the U.S., in a Flag Match. Erstwhile, in a rematch from SummerSlam, The Undertaker challenged Hart for the WWF Championship at One Night Only; after reversing a Tombstone Piledriver attempt from Hart, The Undertaker dumped Hart on the apron when he would not let go of the ropes. As a result, Hart's neck was caught in the ropes, and The Undertaker was disqualified. Hart would cite this as his favorite of all his matches with The Undertaker, and his last great match in the WWF. Hart successfully defended the WWF Championship against Nation of Domination leader, Faarooq, on the October 20 edition of Raw, and, in his penultimate WWF Championship match, wrestled Ken Shamrock to a no-contest on the October 27 edition of the show when both men were assaulted by Shawn Michaels. In November, at the 1997 Survivor Series, Shawn Michaels controversially defeated Hart for the WWF title. After Bret was locked into his own finishing maneuver, the Sharpshooter, the referee called for the bell although Hart never tapped. This infuriated Hart and he left the organization thereafter.
In April 2006, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by former on-screen rival, Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Hart re-signed with WWE in late December 2009. On December 28, after weeks of controversy surrounding Hart and his presence in World Wrestling Entertainment, Chairman Vince McMahon announced that Hart would be special guest host on the January 4 episode of Raw. Hart made his first live appearance on Raw in over 12 years by hosting the program. There, he thanked the fans for their continued support, jokingly teased announcer Jerry Lawler about their long running 1990s feud, and confronted Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon regarding the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series in 1997. Hart and Michaels were able to agree on a truce, shaking hands and hugging. While many cast doubts on the sincerity of their reconciliation, both men have confirmed that it was indeed genuine and not part of storyline. It also appeared that he had buried the hatchet with Vince later in the night, until Vince subsequently kicked Bret in the crotch (this was in fact part of a storyline.
During different encounters the following month, Hart and McMahon would reproduce similar events that occurred in the Montreal Screwjob: McMahon spitting in Hart's face (as Hart did to McMahon), and Hart destroying parts of the technical equipment that goes into producing Raw (as he did to the Survivor Series equipment). On the February 15 episode of Raw, Hart made a farewell from WWE, but as he left to go inside his limousine, another vehicle reversed into the door of his limo and injured his left leg. On the March 1 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon, who would take advantage of Hart's condition, challenged Hart to a match at WrestleMania XXVI; Hart accepted. The match was later changed to a No Holds Barred Match as Hart revealed (with help from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the special guest host that night) the staging of his injury. Hart, along with his family, inducted his father Stu Hart into the WWE Hall of Fame, a controversial decision that aggravated Hart and McMahon's rivalry in 2010. At WrestleMania, McMahon attempted to buy Hart's family into turning against him; however, they turned against McMahon instead and helped Hart defeat McMahon.
On the Raw episode after WrestleMania, Hart was about to announce his farewell from WWE until Unified WWE Tag Team Champions ShoMiz taunted Hart. This led Hart to request a match between the champions and The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd), a stable stemmed from the Hart family. Ultimately, the Dynasty would win a championship match that culminated in them winning the championship on April 26. Hart would manage in the Dynasty's corners while they battled with the Miz and Show in various matches, which eventually led to The Miz losing a match that guaranteed a WWE United States Championship match to a Hart family member against him. Instead of choosing a member of the Dynasty, The Miz chose Bret; with the help of the Dynasty, Hart would defeat The Miz to win his first United States Championship on May 17 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
On the May 24 edition of Raw, Hart was named the new General Manager of Raw. He set up qualifying matches for Fatal 4-Way Pay-per-view, but one of which involving the injured Batista and Randy Orton. Batista refused to take part and quit the WWE. He vacated the United States title, which was later won by R-Truth, and once again retired from the ring to fulfill his duties as General Manager. The next week, he was confronted by Vince McMahon who congratulated Hart on becoming General Manager but warned him that he would have to make tough decisions in the future. Hart retaliated by declaring a Viewer's Choice episode of Raw. The week after the Viewer's Choice episode, he confronted the NXT rookies who demanded WWE contracts. Hart denied their requests and fired NXT Season 1 winner Wade Barrett. At the end of the night, the NXT rookies attacked Hart and demanded for contracts giving Hart until the Fatal 4-Way pay per view for his answer. Hart legitimately did not appear at the pay-per-view or the following night's Raw as advertised. On Raw, Vince McMahon scolded Hart for failing to appear at the pay-per-view, and to hire extra security to prevent the "chaos" caused by the NXT rookies, relieving him of his duties as General Manager. Hart's profile was subsequently removed from the Raw roster on WWE.com.
After a five-week absence from WWE programming, Hart returned to Raw on July 19, where it was announced by John Cena that he, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, and Hart would face the NXT rookies, now known as The Nexus, at SummerSlam. The following week, Hart teamed with John Cena to wrestle SummerSlam teammates Edge and Chris Jericho to a no contest. In the SummerSlam main event, Hart's first pay-per-view headlining match since Starrcade 1999, he was disqualified for using a steel chair on Skip Sheffield. However, his team went on to win the match. On the August 16 edition of Raw, Bret Hart introduced the new tag team title belts to the champions, The Hart Dynasty. Later on in the night during the Nexus vs. Raw challenge, Hart was scheduled to face Justin Gabriel, but was unable to compete after the anonymous GM, citing his disdain for Hart, removed him from the match and replaced him with Randy Orton. On August 30 Hart appeared on the 900th episode of Raw and was booked in a match against The Undertaker by the anonymous GM. The match, however, would never take place as The Undertaker was assaulted by the Nexus and Kane. On September 25, 2010, WWE hosted a tribute event to Hart in Madison Square Garden, where he and the Hart Dynasty defeated Nexus members Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel and Michael Tarver in a six-man tag team match, when Gabriel submitted to Hart's Sharpshooter. At Raw on October 18, 2010, Hart made an appearance in his hometown of Calgary, working as the special enforcer in the main event dark match between Randy Orton, Sheamus and Wade Barrett and, after the match, saved Orton from a Nexus beatdown and locked Heath Slater in a Sharpshooter. In November 2010, Hart's WWE contract had expired.
Hart appeared on WWE.com's Legends of Wrestling: Rivalries on March 23, 2011, discussing the greatest professional wrestling rivalries of all time with other prominent industry figures. On the April 25, 2011 edition of Tough Enough, the contestants focused on developing their agility. Hart, who was described in his introduction by host Steve Austin as the personification of "courage, technique and agility", motivated the contestants by giving a talk on the attributes required to be successful in WWE. On May 22 at Over the Limit, Hart's long-running 1990s rival, Jerry Lawler, defeated Michael Cole in a Kiss My Foot match. Harking back to Hart's victory over Lawler in a Kiss My Foot Match at the 1995 King of the Ring, Hart came to the ring after the match and, along with Jim Ross and Eve Torres, forced Michael Cole back into the ring so he could kiss Lawler's foot, as agreed in the pre-match stipulation; Hart placed Cole in the Sharpshooter to accomplish this. Hart and Lawler then embraced, laying past animosities to rest. The following night on Raw, Hart refereed the main event, which saw John Cena and Rey Mysterio defeat R-Truth and CM Punk with Hart's assistance. On the August 23, 2011 tapings of the August 26, 2011 edition of SmackDown, Hart served as guest General Manager. Hart announced that Mark Henry would get a shot at Randy Orton's World Heavyweight Championship the following week, but he was forced to give Christian a title shot instead, after Christian invoked his rematch clause. Hart, however, used his authority to add a steel cage stipulation to the match. Hart also guest refereed a Street Fight between Randy Orton and Christian in a Dark Match. After the match, Christian squared off with Bret, who applied the sharpshooter on Christian.
On September 12, 2011 Hart appeared on Raw and was placed in a tag team match with John Cena against Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez which he won after putting Rodriguez into a sharpshooter. Later that week on Smackdown, which was filmed in Toronto, he took part in a post-show tribute for one of his biggest fans (who also was forced to retire early, due to injuries), Edge.
Hart appeared on Raw 1000 on July 23, 2012 as the guest ring announcer for the Intercontinental Championship match between then champion Christian and The Miz.
On the September 10 episode of Raw, Hart interviewed John Cena during which CM Punk interrupted. When Punk tried to punch him, Hart countered the attack and punched him right on the face, forcing him to roll out of the ring. He closed the show celebrating with Cena. However, the closing was overshadowed by Jerry Lawler's (legitimate) on-air heart attack, from which he would eventually recover. Bret Hart then made an appearance at the 2013 Royal Rumble, in a segment with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. His latest appearance was on the March 25 edition of Raw alongside other Legends, as they interviewed The Rock and John Cena. He also made an appearance on the next week's episode in a backstage segment with Daniel Bryan.
On the post show of the May 27, 2013 episode of WWE Raw, Bret was honored by the city of Calgary and the WWE with a Bret Hart Appreciation Night which honored the work that Hart had done over his career. Pat Patterson, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon were inside the ring to pay their own tributes to Bret.
Bret was on the Pre-show of the first ever NXT Special Event Arrival as part of an expert panel including Kevin Nash and Paul Heyman. He appeared on the March 27, 2014 episode of NXT being in the corner of his niece Natalya.
Bret was present backstage at WrestleMania 31 on March 30, 2015, congratulating Daniel Bryan on his Intercontinental Championship win in a ladder match, along with fellow legends Ricky Steamboat, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ric Flair and Ron Simmons.
On the May 4, 2015 episode of Raw, Hart appeared to introduce Sami Zayn as a surprise challenger for John Cena's United States Championship. On the April 18, 2016 episode of Raw, Natalya announced that Hart would be in her corner supporting her during a WWE Women's Championship rematch against Charlotte at Payback. At Payback 2016 after Natalya controversially lost her match the segment ended with Bret Hart and Natalya locking Ric Flair and Charlotte in Sharpshooters, respectively.