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The Biggest Double Cross in the History of Professional Wrestling
By David Meltzer - The Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The Double-Cross : Hart climbed the top rope for a double sledge on Michaels. Michaels pulled Hebner in the way and Hart crashed on him. Just as planned. Michaels for a split second looked at McMahon and put Hart in the sharpshooter, just as planned. The next split seconds were the story. Ciota, listening to his headpiece for his cue to run in, heard the backstage director scream to Hebner it was time to get up. Hebner, listening himself, immediately got up. Ciota started screaming that he wasn't supposed to get up. Owen Hart and Smith readying their run in were equally perplexed seeing him get up. Prichard was freaking out backstage saying that wasn't supposed to happen. Bret still not realizing anything was wrong laid in the hold for only a few seconds to build up some heat before the reversal. Michaels cinched down hard on the hold and glanced at Hebner and then looked away - which more than one wrestler in the promotion upon viewing the tape saw as proof he was in on it - but then fed Bret his leg for the reversal.

Hebner quickly looked at the timekeeper and screamed, "Ring the bell!"

At the same moment McMahon sitting next to the timekeeper elbowed him hard and screamed, "Ring the fucking bell!" The bell rang at about the same moment Bret grabbed the leg for the reversal and Michaels fell down on his face on the mat. Michaels music played immediately and was immediately announced as the winner and new champion. Hebner sprinted out of the ring on the other side, into the dressing room, through the dressing room and into an awaiting car in the parking lot that already had the motor running and was going to take him to the hotel where he'd be rushed out of town with his ticket home instead of staying to work the next two RAW tapings.

Michaels and Hart both leaped to their feet looking equally mad, cursing in McMahon's direction and glaring at him. Hart spit right in McMahon's face. The cameras immediately pulled away from Hart to Michaels. Vince screamed at Michaels to "pick the fucking belt up and get the fuck out of there." Michaels still looking mad was ordered to the back by Jerry Brisco who told him to hold the belt up high and get to the back. The show abruptly went off the air about four minutes early. The camera never returned to Hart, standing in the ring, looking perplexed, disappointed, angry, and even somewhat amused.

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HITMAN HART wrestling with shadows
HITMAN HART wrestling with shadows
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HITMAN HART wrestling with shadows
HITMAN HART wrestling with shadows © 1998 High Road Productions. All Rights Reserved.