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  Aug 4, 1997

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Hit Man wins WWF title for a fifth time


 Some would say Canada has better beer than the United States. Others would even go as far as to state that Canada has superior hockey players and a better health care system than our best friends and neighbors to the South. Like it or not, Bret Hart fans can tack on one more thing that The Great White North has that the U.S. doesn't.

 That's the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Title.

 Calgary, Alberta's favorite son made good on the promise he made to his fellow Canadians and supporters the world over (including those in America) by defeating former World Champion, The Undertaker, at Summerslam held tonight in the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

 Squeezing sweet icing on the cake for Hit Man fans was Hart's bitter enemy in and out of the squared circle, Shawn (Boy Toy) Michaels. Michaels, as the special guest referee, not only delivered the winning three count but the Boy Toy himself was inadvertently responsible for the Hit Man's victory.

 Going into the match of his life, The Hit Man was against great odds. The American crowd was seated solidly in The Undertaker's corner. A knee injury (which still requires major surgery) nagged at his thoughts. Hart also backed himself into a corner swearing that if he failed to bring the title back home to Canada, he would never wrestle on American soil again. WWF officials took Hart on his word and chiseled the special stipulation into the contract even though he is scheduled to fight Terry Funk on September 11th in Amarillo, Texas, as part of Funk's farewell card.

 Carrying the Canadian flag to the ring, Hart grabbed the mike and dedicated the match to his fans. "This one is for you,"he said calling for the Canadian national anthem to be played. Sunglasses hanging low, clutching the Maple Leaf close to his heart; the Hit Man stood resolute mouthing the words of "Oh, Canada" even as the partisan audience booed and heaved projectiles.

 Announced as the special guest referee , Shawn Michaels (who had to call the match fairly otherwise face being booted by the WWF) danced and gyrated. Fireworks popped. Hart looked on with the usual disdain. Fireworks exploded again as The Undertaker raised his ashen arms outside the ring. The Hit Man shrugged off the pyrotechnic spectacle with a smile.

 Even before the bell rang, Hart and Michaels exchanged pleasantries. Hart complaining that Michaels hadn't patted down The Man From The Dark Side for foreign objects. As The Boy Toy conceded, The Hit Man attacked The Undertaker braining him with the WWF World Title belt. A clothesline put a stop to the beating. The Undertaker fenced and posted Hart outside the ring. Missing with another, The Man From The Dark Side was Irish-whipped into the ring stairs but countered with a bear hug slamming Hart's back into the steel post. Michaels admonished the champ. He took no notice and glowered. The Boy Toy backpedaled as quick as he could.

 Dodging a kick, The Excellence Of Execution took over kicking, stomping and figure-fouring Taker's knee. Paul Bearer waddled to ringside eight minutes into the match. The Undertaker gave Bearer a deathlike stare as he struggled to escape the submission hold.

 Viewers waiting for the appearance of Kane (Cain?) The Undertaker's "brother" had to wait another day. He didn't show with Bearer.

 Powering out of the figure four, Taker socked Bearer outside the ring. Hart further damaged The Undertaker's knee in a sneak attack. Michaels, doing a competent job, ejected Bearer from ringside. Bearer's distraction was replaced by Hart Foundation members - Owen Hart and Brian Pillman - at approximately eleven minutes in.

 At seeing Pillman and Hart, The Undertaker launched himself over the top rope at them. Michaels immediately sent the Hart Foundation twosome packing. The Hit Man concentrated on his opponent's lower back. A flying axe handle, a suplex and a reverse bulldog gained Hart a two count. An Irish whip face-first into the turnbuckle stunned The Hit Man and even though Hart was lying under both sets of ropes in the corner (usually an immediate break called by the ref), Michaels tapped his hand down twice for the Taker.

 The Undertaker's attempted Cat Walk on the top rope was telegraphed by Hart. He kicked his feet out from under him causing The Man From The Dark Side to fall spread-eagled on the top rope. Champion and challenger struggled balancing above the ring. Hart won super-plexing the champ. Sensing victory, the Hit Man slapped on his trademark submission hold: The Sharp Shooter.

 The Hit Man uttered a profanity when The Undertaker amazingly bridged out of the Sharp Shooter, hurling Hart through the ropes and to the arena floor. The Hit Man turned the tables on The Undertaker minutes later as he too went for his finishing move - the Tombstone Piledriver. Hart dropped down pulling The Undertaker's legs around the corner post and grinded away. Shawn Michaels climbed out to halt the hold. A Taker kick knocked Hart into Michaels. Dazed, the Boy Toy faded in and out of consciousness.

 In a questionable action, Hart creamed The Undertaker with a steel chair over the head then tossed it out of the ring. Suspecting foul play, Michaels showed the chair to Hart accusing him of bending the rules. The Hit Man yelled an obscenity at Michales then spat in his face. Unable to control his temper any longer, Michaels swung the steel chair. Hart ducked. The chair connected with The Undertaker's cranium as he stood up. The Hit Man motioned for Michaels to count the 1-2-3. Dejected, Michaels did so and instantaneously split the scene; The Undertaker hot on his trial.

 Fans filing out in droves and pitching garbage into the ring, Hart celebrated wrapping himself in the Canadian flag Donovan Bailey style. Hart's brother Owen, his brother-in-law The British Bulldog and honorary Hart Foundation member Brian (Loose Cannon) Pillman partied with The Hit Man.

 For his parting shot as he stepped through the curtains, Hart gave the crowd the one finger salute.

 As SLAM! Wrestling reported last week, The Hit Man and the WWF has invited fans to Toronto's Pearson International Airport at the Terminal 2 Arrivals level on August 5th at 9:41 a.m. to share in his win.

 For Hart, it is the fifth occasion he's won the WWF World Title. Previously with his partner and brother-in-law Jim (The Anvil) Niedhart, Hart twice wore WWF World Tag Team gold as The Hart Foundation and as a singles competitor he held the Intercontinental Title twice as well.
The next WWF pay-per-view is In Your House : Ground Zero on September 7th.
  • WWF Summerslam '97 results