HBK delivers more Hart attacks
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Old habits die hard. Shawn Michaels really is the Hart break kid.
Michaels has finally fessed up for his role in the infamous 1997 Montreal Survivor Series "screwjob" of Bret Hart.
It was no secret that WWE boss Vince McMahon decided to "screw" Hart out of the WWE championship in that night's main event.
What we didn't know for sure was The Heartbreak Kid's involvement. Michaels, in his new book Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story, says he conspired with McMahon, Triple H and Jerry Brisco to make sure Hart lost the championship right before he left WWE to join WCW.
"Bret was leaving, but he was refusing to lose," Michaels says in the book. "For all we knew, he might take our championship belt down to WCW and make a mockery of it and use. We couldn't afford to take the chance. It may not seem like much to an outsider, but in the wrestling world, what we were going to do was the equivalent of a mafia hit.And I was going to be Jack Ruby.
"It may have been Vince's decision to swerve Bret out of the title, but I was going to be the one pulling the trigger."
Michaels admits saying to McMahon. "If we have to do a fast count or get him in a hold and tell someone to ring the bell. I'll do whatever you want me to do."
Michaels says McMahon told him: "Bret's going to be hot. You need to put the heat on me. He's going to be mad at me and he is going to want to hit me. I'm going to let him. I owe Bret that much."
Michaels also says ref Earl Hebner was let in on the dirty secret just before the match.
"I believed in my heart that I did the right thing, but I still felt a little dirty," says Michaels.
"I know this is going to sound offensive coming from me, but Bret was not a great wrestler. He was good, very, very good ... but not great. He wasn't that versatile in the ring. The things he did, he did well, but he didn't do a lot of exciting stuff."
If you can get past the shots at Bret, Michaels' book is a very good read. Sometimes arrogant, but seemingly a straight shooter, Michaels pulls no punches on things like problems with his longtime tag-team partner Marty Jannetty.
But you can bet Michaels' popularity level in Canada will take another dip.
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