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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Pride motivates Hart's departure


By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Sports
 What's the number one reason Bret Hart is leaving the WWF?
 "Pride."
 The WWF World Champion was candid in a brief interview backstage at Toronto's SkyDome Friday night.
 "It's certainly not a money factor," Hart said. "I want to spell that out right away because there's no ounce of truth to that. It was never a factor, and never has been a factor for me. What we're dealing with here is somebody who takes a lot of pride in what he does."
 He also alluded to the possibility that things run much deeper than anyone thinks.
 The obvious reasons for him leaving the WWF are creative differences with the direction of his character and the company; more pay in WCW; less days actually wrestling in WCW. Some of which may, or may not be true.
 But Friday night, Hart introduced another consideration.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna speak to the media Friday night at SkyDome.
-- Greg Oliver, SLAM! Sports

 "Maybe I was pushed into leaving, kind of thing," he explained. "Maybe the onus isn't on me. Maybe this time the onus is not on Bret 'The Hitman' Hart at all. Maybe, maybe just conceiveably maybe, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart is the victim in this whole thing. A victim that benefits from the deceitful business practices."
 Bret Hart's decision has certainly been the talk of the WWF.
 The Headbangers, in the CANOE offices for a live chat with their fans, both said that they were shocked when they heard the news. But Mosh was quick that say that "it isn't a money thing."
 Hunter Hearst Helmsley, in a SkyDome press conference, tried to use Hart's departure to strengthen his character.
 "Their decision to leave to go to WCW is based on what's best for them and their families," said Helmsley. "I wish them the best. I wish Bret Hart the best too. He thinks the grass is greener, let's just hope that the lawn-mower isn't too old to mow."
 Helmsley also touched on the wonders of the current market, where big name wrestlers are starting to make salaries that hockey or football players wouldn't turn down.
 "It's a wrestler's market right now," said HHH. "You have two companies that are hot, that are fighting each other which means we're more in demand than ever. If you've got talent, you're in more demand that ever before."
 "As far as what company is better than the other, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we're all doing better business than we've ever done before. Competition is good for everybody."
 When asked who might follow him out of the WWF, Bret Hart avoided any speculation.
 "I don't have a clue who's going to follow me. Because if they follow me, they may follow me into a corner."

Full transcript of the Bret Hart interview

Q: Hunter Hearst Helmsley said earlier to the press that 'there are a thousand reasons someone might switch.' What are a couple of your reasons?

A: "Pride. It's certainly not a money factor. I want to spell that out right away because there's no ounce of truth to that. It was never a factor, and never has been a factor for me. What we're dealing with here is somebody who takes a lot of pride in what he does. Maybe more pride than anyone else who actually does it. That's the sole basis of whatever decision I make. There's a lot of false information out, regarding me and regarding my situation.

Q: What are the facts?

A: "Well, again, I can't really go into a lot of details until the appropriate time. And then I can. I will say this much, everyone's got it that I've left the WWF for personal reasons, for financial reasons, or whatever reasons. But the fact is it might not be anything close to that. Maybe I was pushed into leaving, kind of thing. Maybe the onus isn't on me. Maybe this time the onus is not on Bret 'The Hitman' Hart at all. Maybe, maybe just conceiveably maybe, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart is the victim in this whole thing. A victim that benefits from the deceitful business practices.

Q: Who's going to follow (you out of the WWF?)

A: "I don't have a clue who's going to follow me. Because if they follow me, they may follow me into a corner. Again, I'm not in a position to say that I'm going anywhere. I'm leaning strongly towards one way and I don't forsee that that will change. But then it could. At the same time, who could follow me? I don't know. Not too many people are even allowed to follow me.

More on...

  • Bret Hart
  • Hunter Hearst-Helmsley