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  June 27, 1998



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Still giving his all
By BRET "THE HIT MAN" HART -- For the Calgary Sun

  Big congratulations to Calgary Hitmen coach Dean Clark, for being named the Canadian Hockey League's coach of the year at the Hockey Hall of Fame awards evening in Toronto.

 If ever there was a guy deserving of the recognition, it's coach Clark, who beat out some very tough competition in London Knights coach Gary Agnew and Quebec Ramparts coach Guy Chouinard.

 Clark and I have a similar philosophy.

 It's about respect more than recognition. The personal reward comes from the satisfaction of knowing you give 100% of yourself 100% of the time.

 Then if people regard you as the best there is, that's a great feeling.

 Coach Clark is definitely the best there is!


 The Bash at the Beach pay-per-view on July 12 is shaping up to be the biggest cross-over card of the year.

 Karl Malone, Dennis Rodman and Kevin Greene, now of the Carolina Panthers, will all climb into the ring.

 Green will be tagging up with Goldberg to take on Curt Hennig and The Giant.

 That should be very interesting because it'll be the first time Goldberg will really be tested.

 Goldberg will have to be in the ring longer than usual and it's our first opportunity to get a good idea of what his stamina and ring psychology are like.

 We know how Goldberg destroys his opponents but this will be a chance to see what he's got in his arsenal.

 The Canadian Crippler Chris Benoit is one tough customer and I enjoyed a good fight with him on Nitro.

 We agreed to a rematch, set for July 10 in Los Angeles, but unfortunately Benoit couldn't get out of prior wrestling commitments in Japan.

 Not one to miss an opportunity, Sting issued me a challenge that I was happy to take 'cause he's one of the few guys I'd consider on a level with Benoit.

 Meanwhile, Benoit's camp has been in touch about setting up best-of-three falls match and even an ironman match and I say why choose?

 Let's do them both! Details are being worked out.

 The big question you've been asking is when I'll be wrestling in Canada again and no one is more eager for that than I am.

 The good news is that WCW is working on putting together a major Canadian tour and I'm hoping to see all my great Canadian fans by the end of the year.

 Conquering the border isn't WCW's only expansion conquest, with major shows already happening in New York.

 In what I feel is an excellent business move, WCW is opening a chain of theme restaurants, along the lines of Planet Hollywood.

 This is a pet project of Eric Bischoff and it looks like the first restaurant will open as soon as September, probably in Las Vegas. The restaurants will feature wrestling memorabilia, personal appearances, and lots of big-time special events.

 I'd suggest that they open one in Calgary, but that might be a conflict because for years I've been thinking about having my own place here when I retire ... whenever that is.

 There are so many talented guys in WCW that I want to fight, it feels like I'm just getting my second wind.

 Things are going great in WCW.

 The Nitro and Thunder shows have been selling out.

 In contrast, the WWF had to cancel a major card because too many of their top guys are injured.

 That's what happens when you treat wrestlers like circus animals with a schedule that runs them into the ground.

 In contrast, WCW's attitude is that you can't have a successful wrestling company without healthy wrestlers.

 There's a trainer on site and even security is better.

 But sometimes, no matter how good security is, it isn't good enough.

 I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you a story about that.

 Less than an hour before I teamed with Hollywood Hulk Hogan against Piper and Savage at The Great American Bash pay-per-view on June 14, Bischoff and JJ Dillon pulled me aside and told me that a call had come in and that my dad had passed away.

 About 10 minutes later, JJ came back and told me my dad is fine (which he is!) and that the prank phone call contained enough inside information that it seemed authentic.

 Bischoff felt awful for not checking it out first, but the way the message was constructed I can't blame him for believing it.

 The way Bischoff treated me was first class.

 He told me I didn't have to work the match and he'd fly me home.

 I've since been told that Michael Jordan was subjected to a similar ordeal when he received a fraudulent message that his mother died.

 If any good is to come of this, let it serve as an example of the often overlooked downside to being a celebrity.

 My fan club put out a release about this incident a few days ago and in response I've already received about 10,000 e-mails from Hitman fans all over the world expressing outrage and concern.

 Time and time again, the undying support of my fans has been the upside, where I always find motivation and support.

 Thank you all.


 Bret Hart's column runs every Saturday in the Calgary Sun.

 You can write to Bret Hart C/O The Sun or email HITMANclub@aol.com

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