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  November 20, 1999



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Showdown!

Only one of us can be the WCW's champion

By BRET 'THE HITMAN' HART -- Calgary Sun

 Tomorrow is a big day.

 Tomorrow is the first-ever WCW pay-per-view in Canada.

 Tomorrow, the final four guys in the World Title tournament battle it out in Toronto.

 Tomorrow, someone will walk out of the Air Canada Centre as the new WCW heavyweight champion.

 A new champion for a new era.

 He will be the first WCW Champion since the coming of the 'Powers That Be'-- that's what we call the team of head honchos who recently jumped from WWF to WCW.

 This will be the first time a WCW Champion has ever been crowned outside the U.S.

 Two of the final four combatants are Canadian.

 One of them is me.

 The other is Chris Benoit.

 See how it's gotten interesting?

 The match I had with Benoit in Kansas City, in honour of my brother, Owen, was magic. This time, it's a ppv, it's Canada, and the world heavyweight title is on the line. There's no telling what would happen with me and Benoit.

 We might never know.

 There are a couple of formidable obstacles standing in the way, namely, Sting and Jeff Jarrett.

 What it comes down to in the tournament bracketing is that Benoit is up against Jarrett and I get to face arguably the best wrestler in WCW -- Sting!

 This is as big as it gets. This is serious competition.

 This is four guys, any one of who can be the best there is any time, any place. It doesn't matter who's been naughty and who's been nice because all that goes out the window when the big belt is on the line.

 This is four of the best scientific wrestlers in the world pulling out all the stops -- to be champion.

 That four solid wrestlers with impressive mat arsenals advanced to take over the finals doesn't surprise me. There are guys who put on a good show, talk the talk and walk the walk, but in the end it's what you can do in the ring. Talent rises to the top. I see this as a really positive thing for WCW, for the wrestling industry and the fans, because whoever wins, we already know the champion will be a technical wrestler.

 And I see it as a really positive thing for Canada if both Benoit and I can beat the odds. Then the world champion will be a Canadian technical wrestler. It doesn't get much better than that.

 But which one of us will it be?

 Who would get the cheers? Is Chris the young 'Underdog' chasing the tail of the `Veteran Champ'? Or, is this match long overdue restitution for the world title that was stolen from me the last time I wrestled on a pay-per-view in Canada? We all know what happened then.

 It's crossed my mind that it may be more than coincidence that the 'Powers that Be' showed up from the WWF just in time for this match --with cohorts they call `Creative Control'.

 And don't get the idea that I'm looking past Sting to Benoit because Sting is a guy who should never, ever be underestimated.

 I'm sure he's plotting his own strategy. After-all, he has to get past the Excellence of Execution, and Sting is one of the saaviest ring tacticians I've ever faced. Wrestling Sting will take it's toll on me, and if I'm fortunate enough to beat him, that's a win of honour and meaning but I won't be able to savour the moment knowing that what's left of me still has to face either Jarrett or Benoit for a second match the same night.

 You already know what I think of Benoit.

 As for Jarrett, he was Owen's tag team partner and his close friend. Jarrett, a second generation wrestler, might even know as much about 'Dungeon' wrestling as Benoit.

 I'm taking it a step at a time. I'm looking forward to my match with Sting and may the best man win. Then I'll either be holding my breath, watching a great match to see who the new champion will be, or taking a deep breath, looking for a second wind for what is sure to be the toughest fight of my career.

 A man walked up to me yesterday and asked, "When are you going to get the belt back?"

 I matter-of-factly replied, 'maybe this weekend.'

 He thought I was being sarcastic and walked away. I guess he didn't know I have a title shot. I laughed to myself, wouldn't it be funny if the guy turns on Nitro and there I am with the belt!

 I will do my best to bring the WCW title to Canada.

 If I can accomplish that, I have some plans that I think you'll find interesting.

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