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Teddy Hart is ready
Young Hart is one to watch after landing NWA contract
By TJ MADIGAN -- Calgary Sun


It was almost a year ago I first wrote about Teddy Hart, the 23-year-old boy wonder from the most famous family in wrestling. At the time, Hart was grappling at small Calgary venues in front of 50 people each night, with little or no monetary motivation for taking all the bumps and bruises. He had the talent, the look, the ring psychology and the charisma to be a superstar but, aside from a short-lived developmental deal with the WWF a few years earlier, he was just one of many up-and-comers waiting for a chance to earn a spot in the big-time.

Hart managed to shine during several opportunities for exposure, including a WWE house show at the Saddledome last October and a vicious hardcore brawl with Sabu at Stampede Wrestling\'s anniversary event in May.

Last week, his hard work finally paid off.

NWA TNA came calling and Hart made the jump to the major leagues of North American wrestling. His pay-per-view debut was at TNA\'s Wednesday Bloody Wednesday show, as part of the critically acclaimed Super X Cup Tournament.

In the tourney\'s opening- round match, Hart went just three minutes with Johnny Storm before nailing the UK king with a shooting star press for the clean 1-2-3.

The bout was more of a spot-fest than Hart is usually involved in but it allowed him to advance to what will probably be remembered as the match that made him a star, at least in insider circles.

It was the semifinal tilt of the tournament and Hart was set to face the eventual winner and arguably one of the best workers in the world, Juventud Guerrera. When the smoke finally cleared on the TNA ring, the duo had produced a 12-minute mega-match that was the talk of the industry on Thursday morning.

Both wrestlers pulled out an awesome arsenal of high-flying, high-energy, high-impact moves, many of which I didn\'t know the names of and some I don\'t even think have names yet.

The action was logical and believable, unlike so many other high-flying clashes, which look more like gymnastics contests than wrestling matches. Even when Guerrera hit the Juvidriver from the middle rope to get the duke, the Nashville fans were still hot for both competitors.

Wrestling guru Dave Meltzer described the bout as match-of-the- year calibre and mat columnists around the world nominated Hart as the MVP of the show.

In just one night, while participating in a tournament he didn\'t even make the final of, Hart has gone from being a relative unknown with a famous last name to a hot commodity in the wrestling business -- a commodity that will almost certainly be fought over in the near future.

Although the WWE hasn\'t formally announced interest in signing Hart, I was talking to a senior company official last month and let\'s just say that when the subject of local talent came up, the WWE exec was full of questions about Hart\'s ability and a little too anxious to get a copy of some Stampede Wrestling tapes.

For now, though, Hart is expected to continue working for the up-and-coming NWA promotion, which you can check out Wednesday by ordering their Best Of pay-per-view, which is being offered for just one cent by most providers.

Hart is the eldest grandson of Stu Hart, nephew to Bret and Owen, and son of BJ Annis and Georgia Hart (despite the TNA website\'s initial claim he was Bruce Hart\'s son). He is one of three third-generation wrestlers in the Hart family, alongside Harry Smith and Nattie Neidhart.

- - -

HOLIDAY FOR TRIPLE H: After Triple H loses the world title to Goldberg at Unforgiven this month, he\'s expected to take some time off to recuperate from the groin injury that has plagued him for more than a month.

The break from business should also allow him to devote time to his upcoming nuptials with Stephanie McMahon, which will reportedly take place in October.