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  June 6, 1998



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Tag-team picture muddled
By BRET "THE HIT MAN" HART -- For the Calgary Sun

  So, where were we when we left off last week? I was saying how Sting had four alternatives. He could face the cold, hard truth and realize that WCW isn't supporting him and get out before he gets double-crossed big time. He could give in to Luger's urging to go red and black Wolfpac. He could join Hollywood Hulk Hogan's nWo. Or he could take my advice.

 Everything is going exactly according to plan. And everything is upside down and inside out. The Outsiders are defunct because Hall has been MIA for months now. If you thought it was confusing to figure out how the nWo(Outsiders) could be WCW Tag Champs, the tag situation is downright mindboggling now.

 With Sting and Giant as partners, the most prestigious tag championship in all of wrestling today was split between two federations -- WCW and nWo. We anxiously awaited JJ Dillon's ruling but, of course, the one thing you can count on about Dillon is that you can't count on Dillon. Knowing that Giant was using one-half of the tag championship to lure Sting to the nWo, you have to wonder why JJ didn't immediately make a ruling to eliminate that enticement.

 When Sting didn't bite the bait and instead joined the Wolfpac, Giant decided that suddenly he was within his rights to strip Sting of the tag belt and to appoint Brian Adams as his new partner. There's yet another title stolen from Sting! The Wolfpac thinks it was Luger who brought Sting in so they've made him head recruiter. Giant and Adams challenged Luger and the partner of his choice. Here's where it gets even stranger. It would have been the perfect opportunity for Luger to team with Sting and get Sting back the belt he never lost. But who does Luger offer the title shot to? Diamond Dallas Paige! How do you suppose Sting feels about that?

 DDP is a pretty smart customer. He took the shot and won the tag title but he never said he joined the Wolfpac. So now the tag championship is once again divided, this time between the Wolfpac and the nWo -- or is it? It all depends on which way DDP decides to go.

 Enter JJ Dillon -- finally. Four chapters late, he decided Giant had no right to precipitate any of this. He declared that Luger and Paige are not the new tag champs, which they have one heck of a gripe about because they won the belts in a sanctioned WCW bout in front of millions of witnesses. And to top it off, Dillon mandated that Sting and Giant have to face off, in a singles match, for the tag straps, at The Bash pay-per-view, in Baltimore, on June 14!

 After capturing the WCW tag straps seven times, Harlem Heat was forced to dissolve due to an injury to Booker's brother and partner, Stevie Ray. Now we're in the midst of an amazing best-of-seven tournament between Booker and Chris Benoit. It's a feud fuelled by both respect and rivalry that's way too close to call. The winner gets a TV title shot at Fit Finley at The Bash.

 Even with all the strange alliances in WCW and nWo, for me, the strangest is the tag match I'm entangled in at The Bash. As psychotic a team as Rowdy Roddy Piper and Macho Madness Savage is, there has never been a team as improbable as The Hitman and Hulk Hogan! Randy has already said that after the tag match, he wants a shot at Piper. Don't give me any ideas . . .

 Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to express my deepest sympathy and recall fond memories at the loss of one of wrestling's most indelible characters, The Junkyard Dog. Who can forget the monster feud between JYD and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts in Stampede Wrestling, circa 1979?

 With the millions of miles traveled during the career of a pro wrestler, one of the greatest frustrations is that no matter what road you take, it leads you farther from home. A wrestlers greatest fear is the highway.

 That JYD fell asleep behind the wheel, in his own hometown, on the way back from his daughter's high-school graduation, is strangely like the old lost dog who traverses all kinds of hardships and obstacles to find his way home. And then lies down to rest in the familiar safety of the family driveway.

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