With a little help from my friends
By BRET "THE HIT MAN" HART -- For the Calgary Sun
When I arrived in WCW, the locker room was in a state of shocked panic.
The balance of power was shifting.
No one knew who would be next to go nWo. There was so much paranoia that old buddies barely spoke to each other and you had to watch your back while guys peered over your shoulder. Everyone scrutinized every little thing everyone else did.
I've always prided myself on getting along with all the boys. When I got to the WCW, I was impressed by the depth of the talent. There were guys I wanted to team with and others that I looked forward to challenging. There was a whole new roster to fight and the chance to take care of unfinished business too.
Now all that is getting lost to constantly- changing alliances, where from one hour to the next, you don't know who to confide in because the sides keep changing.
I was looking forward to trading war stories with buddies I hadn't seen in a while --Luger, the Steiners, and Savage just to name a few. And there were guys I was interested in getting to know better -- Malenko, Benoit and especially Sting. On a time line of our careers, there are so many parallels that I was curious to compare the ups and downs with him.
The nWo ruined all that for me before I even got to WCW. If you were surprised when they sang O Canada on Nitro, you weren't half as surprised as I was because I hadn't joined the nWo! They played on the paranoia of the WCW guys who would normally have known that Bret Hart is too much of a traditionalist to go nWo and they did everything they could to convince everyone that I was a changed man.
They cast just enough doubt that when I got to WCW, most of my old buddies and new friends were afraid to talk to me at all.
Except for Sting.
At a time when Sting hadn't uttered two sentences in public in 18 months and understandably didn't know who he could trust, Sting took a chance and picked me.
I was alone in my dressing room and there was a polite, yet firm knock at the door. Before I could answer, in walked Sting. Without saying a word, he locked the door from the inside, sauntered over, looked me in the eye and said "If you're nWo, WCW is in big trouble. But I don't think you are. I saw how they screwed you in Montreal and that was wrong. Did that change you? Do you still believe in what's right?"
His directness lived up to my preconceptions.
Then it was my turn to be suspicious. Should I divulge my whole, intricate game plan?
If Sting agreed with me, he'd be a powerful ally. If not, he'd let the cat out of the bag before I could even make the first few moves in what may be the most excellently executed long-range plan in the history of wrestling.
I studied the battle lines on his unpainted face and saw resolve balanced by apprehension. But most of all, I saw sincerity.
Then came the Starrcade shenanigans.
If they did what they did to Sting, is it so surprising that WCW didn't stand by my decision by vacating the World Heavyweight title? They didn't even give him first crack at the title after they stole it from him. Deja vu. Where's WCW's support for Sting -- or for me?
I wasn't a changed man when I got to WCW, but I wasn't the same after Starrcade. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
There is another way. A better way. And I'm the only guy who can make Sting see it.
I'm the only guy Sting can trust.
Yeah, in a lot of ways I have become a changed man. Of course I still believe in doing what's right, but it's my idea of what's right that's changed.
Like me, Sting is seeing that the line between right and wrong isn't as clear cut as black and white ... or red and black. It is, was, and always will be pink and black.