April 19, 2003
Happy EasterWrestling event in Jerusalem brought tensions to standstill
By BRET HART
It seems like every year at Easter, I was on the road somewhere, instead of being home with my kids hunting down Easter eggs.
When I was a kid, Easter was a hoot. I remember my mom and dad went to great lengths hiding little Easter baskets throughout the Hart house before the younger kids woke up.
And then there were times when my older brothers \"helped out\" with hiding them and they were hidden so well, they were sometimes never found. All I know is the Hart kids would go foraging like an army of ants.
During Easter 1994, I was WWF world champion and I was in Jerusalem for a main event tag team match, teamed with Razor Ramon against none other than Shawn Michaels and my hilarious brother, Owen.
The crowd was filled with Palestinian and Israeli kids, teenagers and younger, many of whom were wearing Hitman sunglasses and T-shirts. I could tell going into the ring Owen was up to something. He had a smirk he couldn\'t wipe off.
As soon as the match started, Owen set about cracking me, Shawn and Razor up -- and he wasn\'t concerned if anyone in the audience was aware of it or not. While he wrestled, he walked around with ridiculously exaggerated dinosaur steps. I can remember Razor Ramon holding Owen in an arm bar on the mat and Owen casually pretending he was smoking a cigarette.
Razor tried to pick Owen up but Owen was flat on his back and went dead weight like a 220-lb. starfish.
As hard as Razor tried over and over, he couldn\'t budge Owen as Shawn and I nearly fell off the corners of the ring laughing. Owen proceeded to take the most absolutely phony, cartoon- like bumps all over the ring.
He seized a hapless Razor in a bear hug that looked more like a romantic embrace. From there, he eventually wound up on the ring floor with Razor, where he acted like a complete lunatic and began choking Razor with a microphone cord. Little did Razor know Owen completely tied him up like a rodeo calf from hoof to head and climbed back into the ring, leaving Razor leaning there completely entwined.
If it hadn\'t been for Shawn, that would have been the end of the match right there.
Under the guise of beating Razor up, Shawn somehow got Razor untied without the crowd noticing. Razor tagged me in to a big pop and I ended up getting the win with the sharpshooter on Owen, who was laughing so hard I could barely turn him over.
It struck me the crowd was having an even better time than we were. The Palestinians and Israelis, at least those who were there, had called a truce for the time being, uniting to cheer their TV heroes on to victory.
Sometimes in wrestling, it can be hard to find a sense of purpose but I\'ve always thought it was the perfect outlet for those kids and for so many others with pent-up aggression. In that way, pro wrestling, always considered to be gratuitously violent, is often actually a purveyor of good will. Happy Easter.