|Ted DiBiase Jr. signs autographs at HMV in Toronto on Thursday night. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
For a moment, Ted DiBiase Jr. had a flashback.
Back to when he was seven years old, sitting in front-row seats. He was there to cheer on his dad, The Million Dollar Man. But he was also anxious to see his other hero, Bret "The Hitman" Hart.
"Bret's music came on," remembers DiBiase, now 27. "He came down, looked at me in the front row. He stopped and put his glasses on me. I still have those glasses."
So imagine the feeling when The Hitman resurfaced on WWE's RAW on Monday, after more than a 12-year absence.
"It was so cool," says DiBiase, now a WWE star as part of The Legacy and also starring in a direct-to-DVD movie, The Marine II. "This past Monday, I was a fan. I almost forgot I was there to work.
"I saw Bret at the hotel and we talked for awhile. He was very encouraging. When one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time tells you you're doing a great job, you know you're doing something right."
Not only did Hart shake hands with Shawn Michaels, he also came face to face with Vince McMahon. Peace was shortlived with McMahon booting Hart in the gonads, leading to a feud that will peak at Wrestlemania.
A few channels down the dial, rival promotion TNA had huge moments of its own.
TNA introduced Hulk Hogan as its new go-to guy. And he brought along a cast of characters. There was the predictable (Nasty Boys, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman). There were surprises. Sean Morley (Val Venis), Orlando Jordan and Jeff Hardy. And there was Naitch, Nature Boy Ric Flair, a huge coup. The TNA show was a rollercoaster ride, but it was compelling TV. So was RAW, at least while Hart was part of it.
Let's see if TNA has enough bullets in its gun to move Impact to Monday. Another Monday Night War wouldn't be a bad thing for wrestling fans.
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Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org.