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  July 7, 1997

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Hometown Harts triumph

Hart comes
By JASON van RASSEL -- Calgary Sun

 Hometown boys Bret and Owen Hart sent fans into a frenzy with an all-out, knock-down, drag-em-out victory in their tag team match at yesterday's wrestling extravaganza at the Canadian Airlines Saddledome.

 "The win was great, but for me it was more special to walk out onto the platform in front of the fans," Bret "The Hitman" Hart said afterward.

 The Hart Foundation's win closes the latest chapter in an ongoing grudge match with hated American rivals Steve "Stone Cold" Austin, Goldust, Ken Shamrock and the Legion of Doom, Animal and Hawk.

 It was a see-saw battle and many times it appeared all would be lost for the Hart Foundation (which also includes Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, the British Bulldog and Brian Pillman), as their opponents double and triple-teamed them and used a large arsenal of dirty tricks to try to win.

 At one point, Austin left the ring and attacked Hart family patriarch Stu, who was sitting at ringside.

 But the move backfired as Hart family members poured in from the sidelines to join the fight. In the pandemonium, Owen Hart managed to pin Austin and the 12,151 fans at the 'Dome went wild.

 Following the victory, dozens of Harts spanning three generations joined the grapplers in the ring to celebrate as Neidhart waved the Canadian flag.

 It was a storybook victory for the Hitman, 40, who's still recovering from a career-threatening knee injury.

 "Just to be able to walk out onto the ramp after my knee surgery -- I wondered whether I'd ever be able to do that again," he said.

 The win also had a nationalistic flavor, with Hart saying his American opponents and the U.S. media never gave him his due because he's Canadian.

 Fortunately, yesterday's fans knew better.

 "Canada kicks butt!" said Jon Koltai, 12. "Bret Hart kicks butt!"

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