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  September 9, 2000



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Painful time


By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun

This morning, I woke up to find my Sun horoscope strangely appropriate.

"Someone at work may be trying to make you look bad. Don't let others trap you into saying things that could be misleading or altogether false."

That seems to describe my current situation in WCW, and especially the interview I did for them on Thunder this week.

I know a lot of you have been wondering what I've been doing on Nitro and Thunder the past couple of weeks, hitting Goldberg with a (rubber) shovel and interfering in a cage match, (appearing to) smash the door on his head.

Well, the storyline goes that I'm trying to get even with Bill Goldberg for giving me a mule kick in the head, resulting in a concussion that's kept me out of action since January.

They even had me do a scripted interview on Thunder where I tore into Goldberg for possibly ending my career and I trashed WCW for not giving me any respect.

The thing to remember is that some of it is part of the show and some of it isn't.

The concussion is real, the revenge isn't. I don't blame Bill Goldberg for what happened. It was an accident. I'd sooner blame an industry that has taken to pushing new guys too fast so accidents become inevitable.

I came home from Thunder disappointed with myself for having done the interview the way they wanted. They had me talking about things that are important -- my career and my injury -- as if they're just a part of some wrestling angle. They're not. I regret that I let things that have very real ramifications to me be minimized into a phony storyline. I felt like a prostitute.

I've been doing a difficult balancing act between what I'm obligated to do for WCW and what I'm compelled to do to preserve my wrestling character and my self respect. I continue to see the best specialists and have the most advanced tests, but the doctors aren't able to tell me if I'll be able to wrestle again.

Meanwhile, I'm still under contract to WCW and if they tell me to show up and say things that I don't particularly want to say, I really have little choice. I don't have creative control -- this time. The guys who write the shows tell me what to say and what to do.

I take offence to how a lot of the guys in charge of wrestling these days have never even worked in the wrestling business. Why should anyone who hasn't paid any dues be in a position to tell me what to do? Even a so-called 'inside wrestling reporter' had the nerve to write that I should be happy to be getting half of my pay and I should stop complaining about it.

Hey, try that attitude with Troy Aikman or Eric Lindros and see how far it gets you. That 'be grateful for whatever they give you' attitude goes way back in wrestling because wrestlers have no union, no solidarity.

When I got home, I was feeling pulled down by the whole thing and it had me thinking about when they tore me down in the WWF at the end.

How I resisted, I fought back for my name, my legacy, my fans. I was swept away like dirt anyway. I promised myself that I would never take the wrestling business so seriously again.

The business changed and it changed me. The fans changed, too. They don't take wrestling seriously anymore, so why should I?

According to the feedback, the fans thought my interview on Thunder was great! The best wrestling angle they've seen in a long time. In fact, most of you commended me for being a great actor because of how I put those realistic looking concussion symptoms into my interview -- like stammering and losing my train of thought.

The thing I find really sad -- even scary -- is that most wrestling fans these days can't tell the difference between when something is real and when it's not. I wasn't acting!

And I tell you what, doing that one wrestling interview brought back the headache from hell, the blurred vision and the balance problems. I found out, the hard way, in front of the whole world, what I already felt anyway -- that I'm a long way from taking bumps.

I think it would be a sad epitaph for a guy who has never hurt anyone in 23 years of wrestling to go out with a brain injury. I don't want to be remembered as 'that guy in that documentary', and especially not as 'that guy who got double-crossed in Montreal'.

I want the fans who've stuck by me and supported me through thick and thin to have a better parting memory, one that would represent all that we've been through together. I think of Gretzky's last game and I envy that he was able to choose his time to step down. I hope I'll be able to wrestle again so I can write a better ending, for me and for my real fans.

I'd like to have a lot of great matches in WCW for a long time to come. My fate is in God's hands now and all I can do is have faith, hope and patience.

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