Friday, February 26, 2010

The Hitman returns to WWE

Over the past two months or so, we have seen the return of the excellence of execution Bret "Hitman" Hart in the WWE branded squared circle. The Hitman has been back after 12 years to the WWE. Bret had lot of bitterness towards WWE after being screwed out of the WWE and his championship in the Montreal Survivor Series in 1997. This famous incident was not "kayfabe", and was a real life incident that happened in the WWE. Usually professional wrestling has its wrestlers take part in storylines resembling real life fueds, but they are mostly scripted and improvised. However, Bret's WWE exit in November 1997 was not scripted, but was set up by Vince McMahon, the owner and chairman of WWE. Back in those days, the Monday Night Wars were in full swing. WCW and WWE were in full battle with each other. In the mid 90s, we saw big WWE names like Lex Luger, Scott Hall/ Razor Ramon and Kevin Nash/ Diesel, as well as women's champion Alundra Blayze (Madusa) defect to the WCW. The WCW NWO storyline was a big hit and was helping WCW take over WWE in ratings. Bret was a huge superstar loyal to the WWE brand, and was offered at that time the biggest salary ever by WCW. Bret refused and stuck with WWE's long term contract at lesser money. Vince later realized Bret, no matter how valuable, was not feasible for him, so he allowed Bret to take the WCW contract. Bret was supposed to wrestle his last match against arch rival Shawn Michaels in his native Canada and did not want to lose the title there.

Vince feared he may see Bret go to WCW with the title, convinced him to drop the title in Montreal. Bret was very loyal and promised he will drop the title the next night and say goodbye to his fans. In what happened that night came to be known as the famous Montreal Screwjob. During a pivotal moment in the match, Shawn Michaels had Bret in his trademark finisher, the sharpshooter, and just as Bret was about to reverse, Vince forced the referee to ring the bell. Bret was shocked and disappointed as he looked towards Vince, who he had considered as a father figure. Bret spitted at Vince and then he went nuts destroying the tv monitors in rage. It is known that Bret later punched Vince backstage. All this and more is on the Bret Hart documentary Wrestling with Shadows.

However, Bret came back two months ago to bury the hatchet with Vince and Shawn. He was able to accomplish it with both of them. However, Vince had used the real life bittersweet history between them and offered Bret a 4 month contract in which there will be a scripted feud based on Montreal 1997, and resulting in a match at this year's Wrestlemania, wrestling's biggest PPV. Bret's return also coincided with Hulk Hogan's arrival in TNA, which is a different story. We have seen lot of excitement with Bret's return. It is hopeful, the Hitman continues his quest for excellence as he was always known as the best there was, the best there is and the best there ever will be. Bret was a personal favorite of mine and I hope that despite his 2002 stroke and recovery, he is able to deliver his best in the WWE and leave on a much higher note than he did 12 years ago in Montreal.


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