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  July 10, 1999



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Getting into the Stampede spirit
By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun
  There's nothing like the Calgary Stampede to raise your spirits.

 Me and my new buddy, Paul Brandt, are making the rounds all over the Stampede grounds because we're taping a big TV show. What a cool excuse to just be everywhere and do everything!

 I just got to see Australian bull rider Greg Potter compete. He's ranked Number 1 in the world and I can see why.

 And I thought I had a tough job!

 Yesterday morning at the parade, I enjoyed meeting Hitman fans from all over -- including New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Japan, India, Australia. They were telling me about how hard it is for them to keep up with wrestling because what they see on TV is so far behind. They also told how they trade tapes with wrestling friends here and in the States. I'm flattered that they go to all that trouble to see my matches.

 Also, I just want to say thanks for all the birthday cards. At first it was a bit awkward as I opened each envelope, not knowing if it was a cheery birthday joke or a sympathy card.

 But then I realized that either way they're all from good people sending good thoughts and I thank you all for that.

 So many people have walked up to me to express their feelings about Owen. Or else they just wave or smile or nod. I can't begin to tell you how appreciated and uplifting that is. That's in stark contrast to when I was on Nitro a few days ago.

 WCW has been really good to me and they've given me as much time as I need to collect myself. Eric Bischoff asked me to appear on Nitro to let you know if I'm coming back to wrestling. I didn't feel ready to think about it yet, but I convinced myself that by agreeing to be on Nitro and giving myself sort of a deadline it might help me to make a decision. It didn't.

 I was looking for answers, but all I came up with was more questions and the realization that I, honest to God, don't know what I want to do with my career, or with my life. I'm at a major crossroads and don't see any signs so I need to be home until I sort it all out.

 I want to make a point of thanking Mike Teneay (WCW announcer and walking encyclopedia of wrestling) for the classy and tasteful video tribute he put together.

 I think it's the best video project WCW has even done.

 You could say I'm biased -- and maybe I am -- but as far as I'm concerned Mike did an exemplary job with a delicate situation.

 This TV special that Paul Brandt and I are hosting is challenging because we're trying to capture that Stampede spirit on video tape to share with folks all over the world when the show airs in the fall. To do that, they've got us running all over the Stampede grounds, doing all sorts of things, so I can't really tell you where I'll be or when I'll be where.

 I ran into that tough old Frank Sisson. For those of you visiting town, Frank owns Silver Dollar Action Centre and was robbed and shot a while back.

 But the son of a gun is out there enjoying the festivities.

 Paul Brandt is a great guy, which is no surprise, but the shocker came when he told me he always wanted to be a wrestler.

 But at Crescent Heights high school, the wrestling team was such a bunch of wimps that he didn't even bother.

 The only minor difference I have with Paul is that he keeps insisting we sing a duet ... that's because he's never heard me sing! You can catch up with us tonight at the Nashville North, I think about 10ish.

 Saw a strange sight yesterday. Dogs rolling in manure and loving every minute of it. For some reason it made me think of how the British Bulldog will do anything to work for the WWF.

 See you at Stampede!

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