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  December 27, 1997



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Starrcade hit parade
By BRET "THE HIT MAN" HART -- For the Calgary Sun

  Are you ready for WCW's Starrcade pay-per-view tomorrow? I'm as ready as I'll ever be but I don't know if that's ready enough. Being the special referee for the match between the NWO's Eric Bischoff and Living Legend Larry Zbyszko is not a problem. The problem is the NWO. Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking sides. I intend to call the match right down the middle 'cause no one knows better than me what it's like to get cheated by a referee. It didn't go down well with Eric Bischoff when I told him not to look to me for help. No doubt the NWO guys will be watching Bischoff's back and that's okay. Watch Starrcade to find out who will be watching my back.

 The Zbyszko/Bischoff match is martial arts vs. wrestling with control of Nitro going to the winner. When this thing started, the idea was that Zbyszko had to win to maintain WCW control of Nitro but now he has to win to regain control. In their ultimate powerplay to date, the New World Order took over Nitro last Monday. The siege was led by NWO members Rick Rude, Konan, Vincent, Buff Bagwell, and Scott Norton. They intimidated WCW crew members into removing all the WCW signs and banners on the set and replacing them with the NWO logo. After that was accomplished, (ex-WWF) announcer, Bobby Heenan, begged Bischoff to let him join the NWO. Heenan said the NWO is the future of wrestling and that he's always left his prior jobs to work for the number one wrestling company.

 Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan is being billed as the match of the decade and it may turn out to be just that -- but only until I get my hands on the winner! It needs to be pointed out that Sting hasn't wrestled in nearly a year! From the Stingers' point of view, he realized that he'd have to go outside the rules of sanctioned wrestling to avenge the devious deeds of the NWO. When Sting made the transformation into a mysterious Brandon Lee Crow-type character, often hiding up in arena rafters or under the ring, wrestlers and fans alike questioned if he had cracked under the expectation that he be the unifying icon to defend WCW. I see what he's doing, though. It all comes back to fighting fire with fire. Psychological warfare.

 Let's say Sting takes the NWO Title away from Hogan tomorrow, making it back into the WCW title. What would the NWO strategy be? They'd probably try to get Hogan a rematch right away but I think they'd do better with Nash or Hall because maybe the best chance of a long NWO Championship run is with one of those two guys. Or else they could recruit new NWO members who would stand the most chance of beating Sting. Only problem is that's probably Ric Flair and Lex Luger.

 On the undercard:

 In the Giants Collide match, The Giant meets Kevin Nash to find out who is the biggest big man in the wrestling business today. The big question here is what will play a bigger factor in this match, the Giant's injured hand or Nash's bum knee? Diamond Dallas Page will battle Curt Hennig for the U.S. Title in a cage. It was supposed to be Hennig vs. Flair but with the help of the NWO, Hennig made sure Flair has an injured leg and can't make it to Starrcade. Henning might have gone from the frying pan into the fire because DDP as never forgiven the U.S. Champion for betraying him during a pay-per-view tag match against Randy Savage and Scott Hall. If it hadn't been for the interference of the Wolfpack, there's a good chance Page would already have been the Champ and within the confines of a cage there will be no escape for Hennig! This one is bound to be brutal.

 Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko for the Cruiserweight Title. This might end up being the show stealer. The heated feud between Malenko and Guerrero for both the U.S. and Cruiserweight titles has resulted in great matches that somehow keep on getting better.

 Have you seen Bill Goldberg yet? He's the second coming of Steve Austin only bigger and tougher. Goldberg's been tearing through the WCW roster but he hit a roadblock at Halloween Havoc when he stole Steve 'Mongo' McMichael's Super Bowl ring.

 Edmonton's own, Chris Benoit, has been waiting a month for Raven (Johnny Polo) to wrestle him on Nitro but Raven has evaded the match each week by sending a member of his flock.

 This is the first time in I don't know how many years that I don't have to pack my bag on Christmas day and fly off to battle the bad guys. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my fans happy holidays and all the best in the coming year. I'd like to thank each and every one of you who wrote to me after the WWF screwed me in Montreal. I'll continue to do my best and keep my promises and despite the way things went down in the WWF, they most certainly will come up in WCW. All I really wanted for Christmas this year was for the Calgary Hitmen to be in first place on Christmas Day.

 In a world full of small victories, I honestly want to say how proud I am to see this team overcome almost all its obstacles by digging themselves out of a hole, fighting back, working hard and earning respect.

 It just goes to show you that you can't keep a great team down and for them to be in second place is all the inspiration I need. To Coach Dean and the entire Hitmen hockey team, congrats on a great turnaround and for setting an example that this Calgarian plans to follow. Happy New Year.

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