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

The Aftermath : The officials left the ring immediately. McMahon went into his private office in the building with Patterson and a few others and locked the door behind him.

Hart in the ring flipped out on the realization of what happened and began smashing the television monitors left behind until Owen, Smith and Neidhart hit the ring to calm him down. The four had an animated discussion in the ring all looking perturbed. Finally Hart thanked his fans who for the most part left with the air let out of their sails, gave the I love you sign to the fans and finger painted "WCW" to all four corners of the ring, which got a surprisingly big pop, and went back to the dressing room.

He first confronted Michaels who swore that he had nothing to do with it. Michaels obviously afraid Hart would punch him out right there told Hart that he gets heat for everything that happened but this time it wasn't his fault and he was as mad as Hart about the finish. He said he didn't want to win the belt that way, was disgusted by what happened and to prove it, would refuse to bring the belt out or say anything bad about Hart on RAW the next night.

Hart said that Michaels could prove whether he was in on it or not by his actions on television the next night.

The entire dressing room was furious at McMahon by this point. The feeling was that if Hart having worked for the company for 14 years and not missing shots due to injuries the entire time and having made McMahon millions of dollars throughout the years could get double-crossed this bad, then how could any of them trust anything he would say or do? People were saying that "How could anyone trust anyone ever again?" and that it was an unsafe working environment.

For three years after the steroid trial and all the bad publicity McMahon had worked favourably to change his legacy in the industry: not as the man who ran all the other promoters out of business; not the man who marketed pro wrestling to young children while pushing steroid freaks; not as the man who tried to destroy wrestling history and create his own; not his worked Harvard MBA, worked billion dollar company; not a man so vain as to give himself a Hugh award in Madison Square Garden as "the genius who created Wrestlemania"; not the man who at one time tried to monopolize every aspect of the business for himself. But instead, as the working man's hero, coming from humble beginnings, fighting those ruthless rich regional promoters and through nothing but guts, gusto and vision, became the dominant force in this industry and taking it to a new level.

And now, against all odds, fighting against Billionaire Ted Turner.

Three years of a facade was largely working on a new generation of wrestling fans who saw him as their underdog hero. Only this time there was a situation where those who didn't "know" him were truly "introduced" to him for the first time.

Undertaker was furious, pounding on McMahon's locked door. And when he came out to talk with him, Undertaker told him in no uncertain terms that he needed to apologize to Hart. He went to Hart's dressing room where Hart had just come out of the shower.

Smith answered the door and Hart said he didn't want to see him. Vince and son, Shane McMahon, came in with Sg. Slaughter and Brisco anyway. Vince started to apologize saying that he had to do it because he couldn't take the chance of Hart going to WCW without giving back the belt and he couldn't let Bischoff go on television the next night and announce Hart was coming while he was still his champion and said how it would kill his business.

Hart shot back that he had no problem losing the belt and told McMahon that he was going to dry off and get his clothes on and told McMahon, "If you're still here I'm going to punch you out."

Hart called McMahon a liar and "a piece of shit" and talked about having worked for him for 14 years only missing 2 shots the entire time and being a role model for the company and the industry, and this was his payback?

McMahon tried to say that in 14 years this was the first time he'd ever lied to him and Hart rattled off 15 lies over the last year alone without even thinking about it. Those in the dressing room watching were stunned listening to Hart rattle those off and McMahon not offering a comeback.

Hart got dressed and twice told McMahon to get out. Hart got up and a scuffle started with them locking up like in a wrestling match. Hart broke free and threw a punch to the jaw that would have knocked down a rhino. One punch KO in 40 seconds. McMahon growled like he was going to get up, but he had no legs.

Shane McMahon jumped on Hartís back and Smith jumped on Shane's back pulling him off. Not realizing there would be trouble Smith had already taken off his knee brace and hyper extended his knee in the process of pulling Shane off. Hart nearly broke his hand from the punch. McMahon's jaw was thought to be fractured or broken.

Hart asked Vince if he was now going to screw him on all the money he owed him and a groggy Vince said, "No". Hart told Shane and Brisco to get that "piece of shit" out of here and glaring at both of them told them if they tried anything they'd suffer the same results. In dragging McMahon out someone accidentally stepped on his ankle injuring it as well.

Phone lines were ringing off the hook around wrestling land that night. Some people who were close to the inside thought it was the greatest worked finish in all of wrestling because it got everyone talking. By the morning, everyone realized the truth. This was the biggest double-cross in the history of modern, professional wrestling.

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HITMAN HART wrestling with shadows
HITMAN HART wrestling with shadows
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