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  November 8, 1997



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'Michaels will never be the Man'
By BRET HART -- Calgary Sun
  Bret Hart revealed this week in the Sun that he's pondering a move to the WCW. Stay tuned for more updates on the Hitman's career plans.

 It's hard to believe it's been a year since I came back to the WWF and kicked Stone Cold Steve Austin's butt at Survivor Series.

 There were two reasons I came back. The first was for the millions of fans around the world who stuck with me through thick and thin.

 The other was because I didn't like the direction the WWF was going and I wanted to put things back on the right track. About a year ago, in this space, I wrote "...it just may be that my toughest fight is ahead of me. I'm going to try and prove that one guy can make a difference when it comes to restoring the dignity that professional wrestling has lost! I have no delusions about single-handedly changing things overnight but maybe wrestlers and fans will see my point and together we can row the boat upstream and change the tide."

 I had no idea that while I was away for seven months (after Wrestlemania 12) the stream that was flowing the wrong way had grown into a tidal wave! While I was home, Shawn Michaels and other degenerates gained a stronghold in the WWF.

 Is it too arrogant of me to think that it was my absence that opened the door for them?

 The strange thing was that it only happened in America. Wherever else I went -- to South Africa, England, Germany, the Middle East, and especially here in Canada -- the wrestling fans still cheered for heroes and booed for bad guys.

 But in America, they cheered for scum like Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. When I told the truth and said that American morals seem to have gotten all twisted, the U.S. fans made me their villain. It disturbed me greatly because the point a lot of people are missing is that I love America! My mother is American! In what must be the longest interview in wrestling history, the night after Wrestlemania 12.

 I explained everything that I thought was wrong in wrestling in America. Every grievance that I brought up was true to fact. I was cheated out of the WWF title, not once, but four times. No one ever rallied to my defence. Even when I lost the belt to Psycho Sid in Chattanooga because Stone Cold hit me in the back of the head with a chair, no one spoke up for me at all. I got very few letters from my American fans but a ton from Canadians and Europeans who were furious at what a travesty of justice it was. I got tired of being the only guy who wrestled by the rules but I still tried to exemplify the ideals that my fans in Canada and the rest of the world had come to expect and respect.

 Then came the day that Stone Cold Steve Austin bashed in my knee with a chair. The fans in Binghamton, N.Y., were cheering Austin on to bash it again and again. I think that's the coldest day, for me, in the history of wrestling. It wasn't so much the pain of having my knee cap crushed, but when I looked around at the audience and they were screaming like a pack of wild animals, yelling for him to hurt me more, it's a disturbing v sion that haunts me. I tried to be the hero that the fans wanted me to be and I've always been proud of that.

 It's disheartening when I think of the years of work and dedication I gave to these fans -- these same fans who were cheering for Austin to cripple me and end my career.

 On TV last weekend they said that I dislike Shawn Michaels because he openly mocks my celebrity status. They missed the point. I don't like Shawn Michaels because he openly mocks everything that is good and decent about wrestling! Shawn had the ability to help put wrestling back on the right track and instead he's derailed it. What a pathetic waste. I can't wait to get my hands on him at Survivor Series, in Montreal.

 Survivor Series is tomorrow on Viewer's Choice pay-per-view. Owen has recovered from a nasty concussion he got from Ahmed Johnson and at Survivor Series he'll defend the Intercontinental Title against Stone Cold Steve Austin! Team USA (Vader, Goldust, Merro, Patriot) takes on Team Canada (Bulldog, Anvil, LaFon, Furnas).

 Patriot got a torn triceps in a match with Anvil last week but maybe it's all even because Goldust broke his hand and it's in a cast -- but he'll wrestle his match anyway. LOD, Ahmed, and Shamrock take on NOD, Headbangers and Blackjacks vs. Gunn, Road Dog, Godwinns, Mankind vs. Cain!

 I admit that sometimes there are days that I wonder what I'm trying to prove. The bones in my knees are grinding to a halt.

 The bones in my wrists are turning to powder. My tragic hips! God knows what kind of price I exacted on my body over the last 21 years, to prove what?

 Tomorrow, at Survivor Series, my mission is the same as it was a year ago -- to prove that one guy can make a difference in putting the dignity back in pro wresting. To prove that as long as The Hitman is around, Shawn Michaels will never be "the man", the show stopper, or the icon that he arrogantly claims to be.

 Well, maybe he is an icon -- an icon that stands for the cancer that is killing professional wrestling. The Hitman is the antidote.

 Oh yah, but the way, I have exercised a 30-day clause in my contract which has allowed me to explore my options with the WCW.

 Officially, I'm under contract review and my situation is yet to be determined.

 The entire Hart family sends get well wishes to WWF president Gorilla Monsoon. Gorilla is suffering from serious heart disease and is a prime candidate for a heart transplant when he regains enough strength for surgery.

 Our thoughts and prayers are with Gorilla in his toughest fight ever.

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