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   Sun, July 20, 2003



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COMMENT





Time for Hitman to give fans what they want
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun


Okay, Vince McMahon won't let us forget it.

Shawn Michaels won't let us forget.

And obviously this columnist can't seem to let it go.

And, for the record, Bret Hart says he'd rather forget it. Or would he?

In his wonderful weekly column featured in SLAM! Wrestling, The Hitman's reaction to WWE's latest jab at the 1997 Survivor Series screw-job angle was: "Oh no, not that again. That was my reaction when I heard they were playing clips of the Montreal screw job on RAW. I couldn't help but think: Why dredge the whole stinkin' mess up again? It was 51/2 years ago, why can't they get over it?

"So I turned on RAW to see Shawn Michaels tell the world he has apologized to me and we should all just get over it and get on with our lives. Hey, we were doing that ... until Vince decided to bring the whole thing up again."

The Hitman goes on to say while he had once again been on speaking turns with Vince for the past year: "how could Vince think I'd interpret a stunt like this as anything but (another) slap in the face?"

It's at that point The Hitman's memory seems to lapse.

"If Montreal hadn't happened, I would have been more than happy to finish out my career in the then-WWF," he said in his column. "If I hadn't been in the WCW, I'd have been at Over the Edge and, I guarantee you, Owen would never have been up in the rafters in the first place -- so my brother wouldn't have died that day.

"The Hart family wouldn't have been ripped apart during a lawsuit that never would have ever happened.

"I wouldn't have been in the WCW and sustained a career-ending concussion from Bill Goldberg.

"Doctors tell me they can't rule out the possibility the severity and location of that concussion made me prone to the major stroke I suffered last year."

First things first.

The reason Vince orchestrated the screw job was The Hitman was already leaving for WCW, with McMahon's blessing. Maybe Vince violated "the code," but he did what he felt was best for his company -- get the championship belt away from Bret by hook or crook. Perhaps the memory of Medusa trashing her WWF belt on live WCW-TV was too vivid. Whatever, Vince did what he had to do.

To blame Vince for a succession of horrific moments in Bret's life is wrong. Things happen. Sometimes they're horrible. Life must go on.

Bret has to bury the hatchet in his own mind. And do what everyone wants him to do -- make one last appearance, perhaps at Wrestlemania next year and knock Vince on his ass.

Everyone wins with that scenario. The demons stop haunting Bret. Vince makes a wheelbarrow full of cash. And fans get what they want -- one more vivid picture of Bret Hart, a hero once again.

- Kane set J.R. on fire during RAW. Well, at least he set a J.R. stunt double on fire. Stone Cold Steve Austin is being blamed, of course. And co-GM Eric Bischoff says Austin will be fired by Linda McMahon tomorrow on RAW.

- Rumblings won't go away that The Rock will step into the main event of Summer Slam to face Triple H. The match was supposed to be Triple H vs. Goldberg.

- The Wrestling Observer reported that The Conquistadors on Smackdown! were actually Nick Dinsmore and Rob Conway. Without the masks, the two are feuding in OVW.

- Tributes continue to roll in for Jack Curran, the host of Montreal's Grand Prix Wrestling in the early 1970s. Curran died of cancer in Ottawa a week ago Thursday, at age 71. "He was the best," Paul Leduc told SLAM! Wrestling's Greg Oliver.

- Here's the lineup, so far, for next Sunday's WWE Vengeance pay-per-view: Zach Gowen vs. Vince McMahon; John Cena vs. The Undertaker; Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show; Stephanie McMahon vs. Sable; Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas vs. Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman; and Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit. Also, look for a barroom brawl featuring the APA.

- The Internet Wrestling Syndicate held another card full of mayhem last Sunday. The results: The Green Phantom and EXceS69 beat Kid Kamikaze and Beef Wellington to win the tag titles; Fred le Merveille beat Shane Simmons; it was no contest between Jeff Johnson and Darren Knife when Tomassino hit the ring and destroyed both men; The Flying Hurricanes beat Extreme Revolution; Hardcore Ninja 2 beat El Generico; Los Latinos lost to Le Syndicat de Lutte Internet; and Dru Onyx pinned Quebec legend Sunny War Cloud in 6:52 to retain his IWS heavyweight title. The next IWS show is Born to Bleed, Aug. 16 at Le Skratch, 965 Cure Labelle, Chomedey, Laval, Que. For more information, check out syndicatewrestling.com.

- Elite Wrestling Action will host Shock-N-Awe Aug. 9 at Cornwall's Si Miller Arena. Among the matches, Elite Wrestling Action will crown its first heavyweight champion in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination Tables match. Tickets are available at Denny's Smoke Shop, 12 Montreal Rd. or by calling (613) 932-2083.