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  October 2, 1999



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Wailin' Ed's one of the greats
By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun
  What's all this hoopla about Ed Whalen's retirement? Nah, I'm just kidding. It's not only well deserved but it seems like there should be even more of a way to say thanks for being a friend to so many for so many years. Ed did more for Stampede Wrestling than any hero or villain. He had this ability to make wrestling so exciting to watch and he has a great sense of humour ... even the Cuban Assassin is probably still losing sleep over "hair by mix master." We'll all miss seeing Ed on TV, but think of it this way, we'll see even more of Ed around town in the meantime and in between time.

 Have you been watching Nitro this past couple of weeks? If not, I recommend that you might want to tune in and check it out. I've got a lot of letters from people saying that the show has more interesting rivalries now and great matches. Except for this one person whose been living in a time warp or something and wants to know why Ultimate Warrior isn't on TV, (he has a wrestling school now.)

 There is still an unpredictability to Nitro but now it makes for exciting surprises. Who would have ever thought that they would see the Hitman tag up with Hulk Hogan? Certainly not me! When I said I wanted Hulk Hogan in the ring with me before I could make my decision about going back, I didn't mean as a tag partner. But you know what, one thing leads to another, we teamed up and it's turned out great!

 I've always thought of Hulk Hogan as the Elvis Presley of wrestling and I'd like to live up to being the Robert DeNiro of wrestling. It sounds like such an unlikely duo, but the way it feels to me is that we balance each other out and our timing clicks as if we've been partners for a long time.

 Same goes for Ric Flair. He's always said, "to be the man, you gotta beat the man," and make no mistake, Ric Flair is still the man. Flair is older than me but you'd never know it judging by how tough and enthusiastic he still is and the way he gives 110%. I hope, a few years on, I can still be as dedicated as Flair.

 To all of you who predicted that me and Hogan and Flair could never get along, look how cool it was when Hogan came out to lend a hand to me and Flair when Sting, Luger and Page went bat happy again. I'm not looking for excuses, but it is obvious the bat is why we've taken a bit of a butt-kicking two weeks in a row. I hear there is some new rule with big fines for anyone who has a bat backstage. That's a start, but what about ringside? Anyone who knows me knows that getting trounced only motivates me more, so look out.

 I think we need to take a page out of coach Dean Clark's book. Just look at the absolutely awesome way the Calgary Hitmen started their fifth season. Mainstay Brad Moran has been so incredible that he keeps on topping himself to where living up to his own reputation is his toughest opponent. And this before we get to welcome home Pavel Brendl.

 I was blown away by the news that Brad Stuart made the San Jose Sharks. Clark told me, "if we get this guy, we'll win the Memorial Cup," and then we got him and he ended up taking a cheap shot to the head and had to sit out the final game. When we lost, there wasn't anyone who didn't think, "things might have been different if we'd had Stuart." It's every WHL kid's dream to play for the Memorial Cup and that dream was taken away from Brad.

 Speaking of dreams, when I heard the British Bulldog expounded on how it was his dream to come back and wrestle in honour of my brother Owen, I had no idea he was going to go back to fight girls. I don't watch the WWF, but I heard he got beat up by a girl on Monday, or something like that and if that's the case, I guess I should wish Davey the best of luck winning the best titles. I don't know what to think of this anymore than anyone else, but it does seem to explain this really funny photo that someone passed on to me. I'm assuming maybe it must be Davey's latest publicity shot. At least I hope that's what it is. I like the braids.

 I don't approve of anyone who says they are doing something to honour my brother Owen when it turns out they stand to gain from it either financially or through publicity. If you want to honour my brother, do it selflessly, with Owen in mind.

 That's why when WCW told me they are doing a Nitro show this Monday in the same arena where Owen was dropped to his death, a show that was scheduled long before any of this happened, I had to think long and hard about what my role should be. I've put a lot of soul searching into how to best honour my brother in a way that would be clearly seen by anyone as tasteful. They told me that I didn't have to be there at all but that seemed to me to be slighting Owen's memory. Besides, why shouldn't I be there for the fans of Kansas City? The more I thought about it, the more I realized this is something you decide with your heart more than your head. I came up with something I think anyone who loves wrestling will appreciate and will understand it for what it is.

 The thing is ... no matter how hard I try not to, I know I will be compelled to look up. And that will be one of the hardest things I've ever done. By far, this will be the single most important time I've ever climbed into the ring. I will try my best to do my brother proud. I hope my best is good enough. I dedicate this Monday night to you Owen, and those who loved you.

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