Bret Hart may have spit on, then slugged, Vince McMahon so many years ago in the infamous Survivor Series "screwjob."
But that wasn't nearly enough to soothe the disdain he felt for the company he felt had betrayed one of its most loyal soldiers.
The Hitman, whose status in the wrestling world made him much more than just a national hero to us Canucks, could not let go.
It wasn't just losing his championship belt to Shawn Michaels that ate at him ... it was the way it was done -- in an underhanded sort of nod-and-a-wink fashion.
The feelings of betrayal and hurt consumed Hart -- probably way too much for a guy who already had plenty of hurt going on in his life.
Time, and a reconciliation of sorts with Vince, have begun healing the wounds ... and thankfully, for wrestling fans that wanted some form of closure, Bret will be rightfully inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame April 1, the night before Wrestlemania, in Chicago.
And wouldn't it be wonderful if The Hitman got involved in McMahon's feud match with Michaels at Wrestlemania? For sure, but it's not likely to happen. You see, Bret Hart is a man of integrity ... and it's difficult to imagine he'd get involved in a "storyline angle." That would diminish from the real-life trauma he's struggled so long to conquer.
So we may have to settle for the Hall of Fame ... and hopefully some sort of speech at Wrestlemania, but we're good with that. Hart is a hero. And his memories should be ours to share.
"Bret's had an incredible career," says WWE Canada president Carl DeMarco. "He contributed so much to the business and to the fans. Look at his track record. I don't think anyone can take away from what he's accomplished.
"As a big Bret The Hitman Hart fan, I'm thrilled for him. It's going to be an exciting night."
A new association with The Hitman makes plenty of sense on a bunch of different fronts for WWE. His DVD is among its best sellers. And his legacy is still strong -- "You Screwed Bret" chants still ring out in arenas across the world.
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