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  July 18, 1998



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Molson Indy worthy of plug
By BRET "THE HIT MAN" HART -- For the Calgary Sun

  International flags are waving in the streets of Toronto this weekend but for three days one flag rules -- the checkered one.

 Fans from around the world have de-scended upon Toronto for the Molson IndyFest, which promises to be the biggest week-long racing celebration ever. People ask me to plug things in this column all the time and I have a thing against that because I won't allow my weekly letter to my fans to become a marketing tool.

 However, when I truly believe in something, I can't wait to write about it here and that's the way it is with the Molson Indy. It's a world-class event with a world of reasons to be there. With an expanded lineup and continued support from sponsors, drivers, teams and loyal race fans, this year's goal is to top the $230,000 donated to children's charities from last year's successful events.

 I'm really pumped up about being a starting announcer and I'm looking forward to meeting race and wrestling fans at a big autograph session today.

 I guess you heard me venting my frustrations about wrestling fans on Thursday Thunder. My remarks weren't directed at those of you who still appreciate the best technical wrestler in the world. I have a problem with wrestling fans who are so impressed with pyro effects and storylines that they not only don't respect mat skills, but they actually yell profanities and throw things at me.

 Every once in a while, I feel the need to yell back at them and that's what you saw Thursday night. It's just mind over matter. I don't mind, because they don't matter.

 I hope you, my loyal fans, don't mind bearing with me through my occasional verbal sparring sessions with 'them.' I don't look at wrestling fans as one big group any more. I truly believe it has become a case of us and them -- we who appreciate wrestling and they who are only there for group catharsis.

 I have bad days at work, too, just like anyone else. Sometimes I have to take the attitude that it's just another day, another dollar. I know there have been a lot of contradictions since I got to WCW. Thanks for the thousands of e-mails about it. The only answer I can give you is this: I don't run WCW's booking committee -- and they don't run me.

 People have been telling me that they can understand why I have a problem with Goldberg since he got the belt from Hogan. I don't have a problem with Goldberg. Don't the people who start these rumors have anything better to do? Why fault a guy for working hard and going as far as he can? Bill Goldberg didn't double-cross me to get where he is, so more power to him.

 Here's another crazy thing. On Thursday night, I imitated the way Booker talks and right away a couple of fans told me they're disappointed in me for being a racist. That's ridiculous and they have it backwards. I'd have said the same things if he was white and I wasn't being stereotypical at all. If you took it that way, then who's the racist? How many people make fun of Canadians for saying 'eh'? But my point was that Booker accused me of having `lazy legs.' Who's got lazy legs now?

 Yeah, sending Booker home with an injury was a real bad guy kind of a thing to do, but I don't have a problem with being bad. The problem is that The Hitman doesn't get any respect from the new breed of wrestling fans. They confuse fairness with weakness. It's sad that they think the only reason a guy fights fair is because he's afraid to fight dirty. The only way I'm going to get any respect from them is to kick the crap out of every single guy who steps in the ring with me -- and anyone else, too. Once I have their attention, I can show them that real tough guys don't need to fight dirty.

 If that sounds like a farfetched plan, it's not. There was a fledgling tag team that put themselves on the map exactly the same way. That team was The Hart Foundation. We invented bad. There is one important difference now: I'm not doing this just to earn respect for myself, I'm also doing it to refocus the attention of this business on athleticism and sportsmanship.

 So that's it. That's a warning. You've got to be pretty tough to win nine world championship titles, and I was a good guy throughout most of that. Now they've pushed me to be bad -- and that's one bottle they're going to wish they'd never uncorked. No one is safe.

 I don't think anyone is safe from my new bud, Dennis Rodman, either! It's cool that he's always been a wrestling fan and he got to live his dream by climbing into the ring. Even teaming with Hollywood Hulk Hogan and beating Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Paige. But, Rod, man, what was that jammin' with Pearl Jam in D.C. about? That'd be a dream come true for me -- and a nightmare for anyone unfortunate enough to hear it!

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