Volume 1, Issue 75
November 10, 1996
Bret Hart's Weekly Calgary Sun Column
This weeks column is titled "Should Bret Fight Dirty?" Bret begins by reminding readers that it's one week untill Survivor Series. "I'm feeling really good about getting back into the ring." He says he has been training hard and is ready for his match with Austin. He thanks everyone who sent him their best and worst Survivor Series moments. He says there some moments he'd like to remember and some he'd like to forget. This is his 10th Survivor Series!
He says that one year ago he was in training to get the title back from Diesel-"who had stolen it from me via Bob Backlund!". He mentions that the heat between Bret and Diesel began at Survivor Series '92. He was two months into his first reign as WWF champ when then Intercontinental Champ Shawn Micheals challenged him and lost a tough fight. He talks about Jerry Lawler and how Lawler spent all of '93 hurling insults at his family and they decided to settle the score at Survivor Series. He mentions that Lawler hired three mystery men to team with him against Bret, Owen, Bruce and Keith. "Bruce and Keith came out of retirement to defend the family name." But they never got the satisfaction they wanted due to personal problems that kept Lawler out of Survivor Series.
But who showed up? Shawn Micheals! He then mentions that Micheals lost the match, " but I lost my brother, Owen." He goes over the unfortunate set of circumstances that caused Owen to get irate at Bret. "He thought somehow he'd been slighted by me - which was never the case at all!".
At Survivor Series '94, he was the Champion for the second time and faced Backlund. Backlund showed up with his brother Owen. He mentions that it was a submission match and that that either Davey Boy or Owen would throw in the towel. "I made Davey give his word that no matter what happened he wouldn't throw in the towel." He then mentions that Backlund got him in the cross-faced chicken wing, but he wasn't about to give up. He says he could stand the pain longer than Backlund could apply the hold. He says Owen knew this and "put on an academy-winning performance to convince my mother" who eventually threw in the towel and cost him the match.
He feels that it's ironic that Owen and the British Bulldog are now partners and the Tag Team champs. He then mentions how the very next day Backlund lost the title (in record time) to Diesel. He speculates that "It made Shawn nuts!". That is, the fact that the HBK couldn't win it while his best buddy did. At Survivor Series '95, Bret says he took the title back. "Winning the WWF Title for the third time is probably my best Survivor Series moment but then Diesel jack-knifed me twice and that's something I'd rather forget."
At Survivor Series '90 he says his battle with Ted DeBiase "was one of the greatest moments in the WWF."
He then talks about Steve Austin and how this is his first Survivor Series. That Austin has been known to use foreign objects and to cheat. Bret says "I understand that because I did the same thing way back when I was trying to get attention!" Bret then asks his readers "If Austin plays dirty with me, do you think The Hitman should hit him with dirty tricks he hasn't even thought of yet or do you think I should keep it clean?" He closes by asking his readers to write him c/o The Calgary Sun and to "Stay cool"
The address is:
Bret Hart c/o The Calgary Sun
2615 12 St NE
Calgary Alberta Canada T2E 7W9
That's his column for this week, Earl.
In Fridays edition of the SUN, there were two wrestling related articles...one was about the Hitman and his appearance this weekend on a syndicated TV show called "The Adventures of Sinbad". It apparantly airs in some markets, but not in Calgary area (or Spokane, as we get four stations on cable from there). He says all he got for playing a romantic part was a peck on the cheek. But the peck was "more than Luther Root got". (Luther Root was his character on Lonesome Dove:The Series).
On Sinbad, Bret will appear in a Viking costume with "very little makeup" & will portray a character named Viking Eyolf. He says initially they wanted him to play a second lead, but that he passes on it, as it would have meant living in South Africa for 8 months a year. He says he was pleased to go to Capetown to film the one episode. He hasn't seen this episode yet, but says the role was harder than playing Luther Root. His Viking role is "a tiny bit tongue in cheek". He says "when it's mythic and fantasy, you don't want to go over the top and be Lawrence Olivier!".
He also will appear on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons, which is his favorite TV show. He says Atlantis (producers of Sinbad) have talked to him about playing a lead in a new series. However, it's a lot of talk for now, but he should know what's happening in the next couple of weeks. He doesn't know what the role entails, but he would playing a role that is "a cross between Crocodile Dundee and McCloud."
Elsewhere in Friday's SUN, Jim Davies, (a sort of a gossip type columnist) writes about "Razor Ramon" and his Calgary connection. The "new" RR is actually a man named Rick Bogner. He is 26 years old. He went to the Hart Brothers Pro Wrestling Camp (here in Calgary) and wrestled locally as Rick Titan (Big Titan in ECW). He then spent 5 years in Japan and Europe. He says that it was the Hart family who contacted Vince McMahon about him. Rick claims he is "younger, more athletic and tougher than the 'old' RR." (Editor's Note: I think that is yet to be seen - we've certainly never seen a gut like this guy's got on Scott Hall...) He hopes to have a long future in the WWF and wear the World Title belt some time.
Thanks again to Rudy Van Koll for another great report.
Pillman/Austin Angle Apparently a Winner
Well it seems that the "Gunfight at the Pillman Corral" was a big hit last Monday night. I mean, is anybody talking about anything else this week? I have to admit that I did my part to further the controversy by making it the subject of my Weekly Discussion Group forum. Opinions seem to be about evenly split between those who are decrying it as over the line or a desperation measure by a failing promotion and those who are telling the former to "chill out" because it's "only wrestling". I won't bore you with my own personal opinion (it hasn't changed since I expressed it just fine in Issue #72, thank you).
The point is...it worked - though not insofar as having any effect on the ratings for Monday Night RAW. In the process the WWF program suffered from a touch of what I call "Nitro-itis" (sacrificing matches in the ring to cut away and further the latest controversy). In fairness we should wait and see the numbers for this coming Monday - after all, nobody knew Pillman was going to brandish a gun last week...
Speaking of ratings - it's obvious that the reason WWF LiveWire featured Vince McMahon (with Jim Ross and Doc Hendrix) this week was to try and rescue that sinking ship. Meanwhile McMahon is backpeddling for public consumption on the Pillman/Austin incident, admitting that they set the interview up and counted on Austin showing up but claiming that the confrontation got out of hand when Pillman produced the Glock...yeah right. This is another example of McMahon trying to "have his cake and eat it..." - claiming to have made a "mistake" while reaping the benefits of the adverse (or whatever) publicity generated by the incident. They're showing the offending footage with the gun obscured electronically.
It resembles the use of the bogus "Diesel and Razor" to create controversy while laying the blame (and thus deflecting the fans' ire) on the shoulders of the "loose cannon" Jim Ross.
I thought the best moment on this weeks program was when a caller told JR that he was "the best play-by-play man" he'd ever heard. When prompted by Ross to comment on McMahon's talents he called Vince "a joke" and suggested he go back to the front office and stay off the air. Hear hear.
Next weeks program will feature Shawn Michaels in the studio.
WWF/ECW - Is it an angle or not?
Several of my correspondents have been taking me to task this weekend for doubting that the WWF/ECW angle is actually taking place. I mentioned on my Readers' Forum that it seems to taking a long time for anything to come of it. I noted that the same WWF advocates who complained bitterly about how long it took Eric Bischoff to get the NWO ball rolling, keep assuring the rest of us that the ECW Invasion is happening and we need to be patient. The latest word is that it will become obvious at next week's Survivor Series. I'm still not convinced...but I've been wrong before (remember - I didn't believe in the Perfect Alliance) and of course...time will tell.
WCW Saturday Night
We moved a little closer to the impending heel-turn of Marcus Bagwell this week. After a hard fought match against Juventud Guererra/Sychosis, Bagwell upbraided his partner for knocking him off the apron just before the pin. I'm sure we'll see Bagwell back-jump Riggs sometime soon (my guess is that it will happen on this weeks Nitro broadcast).
Sherri finally had it with Col. Parker this weekend and served up a haywaker that layed him out after he got involved in a match against the Amazing French Canadians. She then stood by laughing while the Heat creamed him. It's about time they got rid of that millstone.
A melee erupted following a match that pitted Chris Benoit against the Dungeon's Hugh Morris. Benoit got a hole stomped in him after winning the match, during the brawl Bubba slammed Chris's back on the security railing several times. Looks like yet another Horsemen could be on the shelf.
Mike Tenay is reporting on the WCW Hotline this weekend that we can expect the Hogan/Piper showdown to take place at Starrcade '96 on December 29th in Nashville, Tennessee. Also, he reports that Mean Gene Okerlund has re-signed with WCW and could reappear on TV as soon as this Monday's Nitro broadcast. Expect him to represent the NWO. Hulk Hogan is said to be wrestling Lex Lugar in a dark match on the same Nitro card.
This week's "NWO Saturday Night" segment saw Syxx go up against a 325 lbs. jobber in the 2nd round of the "NWO Cruiserweight Tournament". As usual the bout took place in an empty arena with a masked Nick Patrick as the referree. If these silly skits are the extent of what the NWO "won" as a result of their victory at WarGames I think they got rooked...
I have to agree with one of my correspondents that this live weekly show is starting to be consistantly better then RAW. This Sunday's program featured a tag team match pitting the Smoking Gunns against each other (at the end of which Billy pretended to extend the hand of friendship then sucker punched his "brother"). We were also treated to a fairly competitive match between HBK and Salvitore Sincerely (Johhny Gunn).
Jim Ross showed the taped footage from the Pillman/Austin incident and then stated that it was the last time it would be seen on WWF TV. Why not? It's no doubt served it's purpose...
A reader's complaint about the Nation of Domination
I had thought about writing my own editorial on this subject because I find the whole idea kind of digusting. Then I received this post on my Readers' Forum guestbook from a correspondent who identified himself as Andre - his take on it was more eloquent then I could hope to be...
I have a couple of comments concerning this Nation of Domination angle that Vince is purportedly starting. Before starting -- let me reveal my point of interest: I am an African-American attorney who grew up watching Mid Atlantic Championship wrestling and the NWA. So there -- everyone knows from where I am coming. I am very disturbed and offended as an American (not African, Italian or any other sub-identification).
Clarence Mason, if I am accurate recalling, was involved in the Tawana Brawley/Al Sharpton debacle which, among other things, added to the ugly and growing racial and ethnic polarization that currently plagues our country. Mason, later on, was disbarred and no longer practices law as a result. I personally find the people involved in that sham (and any other sham where people falsely accuse any GROUP) repugnant at best (I'd say worse but I don't want Earl to restart the Profanity WatchDog). Now, while this diatribe is focused on the WWF, let me add -- ALL the federations are guilty of using stereotypical racial stereotypes i.e. the Iron Sheik (Tehran Iran, Number One!), Rufus R. Jones, Rocky Johnson, Farooq and even the HEAT). So all share the blame. My problem, however, is when they use real life emotionally-inflaming incidents such as the Brawley/Mason/Farakhan issues to increase profits. TOO MANY PEOPLE, ADULTS AND CHILDREN ALIKE, USE OR TAKE THESE PORTRAYALS AS REAL.
I could go on but I won't. I appreciate the opportunity to vent, Earl. I also would love to see others' reactions on this topic.
Thank you Andre, I couldn't have said it better.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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