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Full Version: Bret Hart resigns with WWE thru WrestleMania!
Collector Zone > Non-Sports Cards > Wrestling
While this is not due to any Monday Night Wars, perhaps as big a news as Hulk Hogan debuting for TNA on Jan. 4, is that there is a good chance Bret Hart will be debuting for WWE on the same night.

According to a WWE source who would have full knowledge of the situation, Hart, 52, signed a short-term talent contract with WWE this past week covering the period from 1/1 to 4/10, or through WrestleMania and about two weeks after the 3/28 show at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Hart simply told us that he wasn’t going to lie about anything and thus wasn’t going to say anything on the story. It was said that Hart wanted his signing to be kept quiet and his return to be a surprise, but that WWE couldn’t help itself but all but announced it publicly on the first Raw after the ink was dry.

The storyline start was that Dennis Miller, as guest host, was having a conversation with Vince McMahon and McMahon asked Miller who he’d like to see as a future guest host. Miller said Bret “The Hitman” Hart. McMahon said that Hart hadn’t been on Raw since “Bret screwed Bret” and stormed off.

This deal had been talked about for several months, perhaps as far back as SummerSlam. One source in WWE confirmed it to us months ago that they expected Hart in for a program, not a one-shot appearance, that negotiations were at a level to where he actually thought there was a legitimate shot of it happening. After the story was reported here, Hart never denied the story, but always tried to play it down. Keep in mind, the WWE has expected Hart to come in and do a program in the past and it hasn’t materialized several times over the years. In 2002, Hart was spoken with about refereeing at WrestleMania, but he turned it down. In 2006, McMahon told the writing team that Hart had agreed to do the program coming off Survivor Series of 1997, and that he and Hart would be doing a street fight at WrestleMania, leading to a tag team match with himself and son Shane against Hart & Shawn Michaels of all things at Backlash. But Hart, whose career ended in early 2000 due to post-concussion syndrome, largely stemming from a nasty kick from Bill Goldberg on December 19, 1999, in a WCW title defense in Washington, DC. Even though he had a concussion, in those days with the knowledge of concussions and thoughts about them being different, he continued to work, and it is likely he suffered a series of concussions over the next few weeks in being dropped badly by Sid Vicious, and in taking weapons shots in a hardcore match with Terry Funk. He was diagnosed with a major concussion and told to take time off. He never returned, and in late 2000, after being fired by WCW after being unable to return, he announced his retirement at the age of 43.

He suffered a major stroke while riding his bicycle in Calgary in 2002. This may have stemmed from the brain injuries suffered in those final weeks of his career. The stroke at first left him partially paralyzed. He eventually made what was medically considered a remarkable recovery, to the point he could lead a normal life. Even though he considered Jeff Jarrett one of his closest friends in wrestling, he never appeared on TNA television. He returned to WWE to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, shattering the ratings record for a Hall of Fame special set by the inductions of Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper, although the 2008 Ric Flair induction ended up breaking his record.

Hart made it clear he would not attend WrestleMania the next day, which led to a scene with McMahon as he left for the airport the day of the show. On more than one occasion noted that his being inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame three months later was a bigger honor. He did one taped appearance on Raw since that time. There had been talk over the past several months of him perhaps doing something on television in conjunction with helping The Hart Dynasty move up the ladder, but it never materialized.

Last year, when the plans were for Donald Trump to play owner of Raw, there was talk of Trump appointing Hart as General Manager in the storyline. Later, when the stock price dipped because of the confusion of the Trump role and the role being eliminated after one week, but before McMahon came up with the celebrity guest host idea, it was floated a storyline where Trump’s final move would be to sign Hart as the new General Manager with a contract McMahon couldn’t break. It’s unclear whether Hart was ever asked about the role, or if he wasn’t asked because McMahon came up with the weekly revolving celebrity idea. However, talks with Hart regarding returning must have started either then, or within a month or so after that point.

Hart and McMahon reconciled to a degree in 2002 after McMahon called him after he suffered the stroke, although he still refused to do any business with him until the sides agreed to do a Bret Hart DVD, which was the subject of some very tenuous negotiations.

A second Hart DVD, which may be a Hart Foundation DVD (Jim Neidhart was recently interviewed in Stamford for what he believed was a Hart Foundation DVD coming out next year) is part of the deal.

It is not confirmed Hart will guest host the Jan. 4 show in Dayton, but we do know he is currently not scheduled to appear prior to that date and the angle made it appear he would debut under the guise of a one-time only guest host appearance.
Holy Hitman!!
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