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

Hart's still in la-la land after knock on head


By Ryan pyette -- Winnipeg Sun

 He can't recall Christmas. And he doesn't remember what he did with his family on New Year's Eve.

 "It was like the whole world around me was celebrating," said Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, "and I wasn't a part of it. I didn't know what was going on."

 For the past two months, all the world-famous wrestling hero knew were bad headaches, memory loss, weird, fuzzy, disoriented feelings and slurred speech.

 Not exactly ideal symptoms when you make half your living battling muscular giants, and the other half talking about it in jam-packed hockey arenas.

 "You just hope you don't feel this way forever," said Hart yesterday from his Calgary office. "That's the stuff that scares you."

 And that's the stuff he's lived with since fellow wrestler Bill Goldberg booted him in the head during their World Championship Wrestling main-event, heavyweight title bout at the pay-per-view special Starrcade on Dec. 20 in Washington's MCI Centre.

 The blow, although unintentional, left Hart with a serious concussion, and has put his career in a frustrating sleeper hold.

 "I didn't even know what it was, I went to the doctor because I had a sore neck from the kick," mused the Hitman, who figures he had his head whacked about seven times during December, "and he (doctor) must have known something was up because he started asking questions.

 SIMPLE WORDS TO REPEAT

 "He said, 'I'm going to give you five simple words to remember and repeat'.

 "He gave me the words -- like shoe, car, and cat -- and I thought, 'No problem.' "

 But after a minute or so, Hart sunk into the chair at the doc's office, totally depressed.

 "I told him, 'I couldn't do it,' " Hart said. "And that worried me."

 He's been out almost two months now, and he's still not sure when he'll return to the Ted Turner-owned WCW squared circle.

 But the hardest part for Hart wasn't missing out on the marquee match-ups.

 It was convincing some people close to him that he's really injured.

 "Everyone was skeptical, they said if I was in the WWF, I would be back wrestling again," said Hart. "And I was like, 'No, this is really serious.'

 "Maybe I would have wrestled in this condition for the WWF, but I'm glad I work for a company now that understands."

 Sure, it hurts to miss gigs like tonight's premier World Championship Wrestling card in Winnipeg.

 SWEETER SHARPSHOOTERS

 The sharpshooters are always sweeter in Canada.

 But he doesn't want to end up like some punch-drunk boxer who can't remember his kids' names.

 So he'll just work the mike tonight in his special guest appearance at the Arena.

 "I feel trapped," said Hart. "I was supposed to wrestle in Germany last week, but I couldn't, so I went just to talk to the crowd.

 "But to give you an idea of how I feel, I was at some place, and somebody rolled a cart with a bunch of trays that were rattling around past me."

 "Well, the sound alone had me slumping against the wall, fighting to stand up.

 "Right now, flashing lights and loud sounds make me dizzy."

 This experience has sobered him again on the grappling biz.

 "After this, I'm going to be real careful who I work with," said the Hitman. "You see all the injuries, it's because a lot of guys they bring in aren't ready.

 "I don't want to be dropped on my head. The next concussion might be the big one, and I don't want to be in there with someone I can't trust."

 Hart's reeling right now: injured, disillusioned, and worried about the future.

 His hopes and dreams have been pile-driven to the mat.

 But Bret Hart's been here before.

 And if memory serves true, he always gets his shoulder up after the referee counts to "Two."

 This concussion won't kill the "Excellence of Execution."

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