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The W - Pro Wrestling - Wrestling With Shadows
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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
Anyone who wasn't there, hasn't seen it, has seen it or wants to again, or is simply looking for a primer for Bret Hart's return to WWE tonight...

Wrestling With Shadows is online for free at http://www.nfb.ca/film/hitman_hart_wrestling_with_shadows/. It's still an excellent documentary.

God, has it really been 12 years?

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CajunMan
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Give me a Title shot!

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.23
I remember when this aired on A&E. I can't really blame Vince doing what he did to Bret.

What does Sunny do these days anyway?
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 54 min.
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.06
    Originally posted by CajunMan
    I can't really blame Vince doing what he did to Bret.
I can. Bret's contract guaranteed him "reasonable creative control" over his last 30 days in the company, and Bret offered numerous options for dropping the title, so I really don't see an interpretation in which Vince was in the right.

Of course, Bret made a ton of money in WCW, and WWE basically turned itself around off the strength of Austin feuding with the heel Mr. McMahon character, so Bret getting screwed didn't really wind up as a hardship for anyone*. I'm just saying Vince had no real right to do what he did, not that it was a bad idea.

*Even if you want to argue that Owen would never have wound up back in the Blue Blazer gimmick if Bret had never left, Bret leaving and Bret getting screwed on the way out are two separate things.



JK: LJ, FB, T
JST
Liverwurst








Since: 20.1.02
From: Quebec City, CAN

Since last post: 10 days
Last activity: 14 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.39
Oh dear. This again.



DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 86 days
Last activity: 59 min.
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.42
Read it and weep, fella


    Originally posted by KJames199
    Bret's contract guaranteed him "reasonable creative control" over his last 30 days in the company, and Bret offered numerous options for dropping the title, so I really don't see an interpretation in which Vince was in the right.
How much time passed between Bret signing with WCW and SS'97? IIRC (and it's been awhile), wasnt it only like 3-4 weeks? I've always believed that it was a shitty thing to do, but in hindsight I think Vince was justfied in doing it.

I dont think anyone believes Bret would actually show up on Nitro with the WWF belt, but I think Vince was afraid that Bischoff/WCW would start announcing Bret's WCW arrival on TV while he was still WWF champ, which would be almost as bad IMO.

But back to my original question: How much time did Vince have to get the belt off Bret BEFORE SS'97, and how much longer after SS'97 did Bret have left on his WWF contract? I've always been under the impression (again, it's been awhile) that the short amount of time Vince had to work with was the reason he felt he had to do what he did.



CLICK OR DIE
StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
Vince could have let him drop the belt on raw the night after SS, which is what Bret suggested.

hansen9j
Andouille








Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 25 min.
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.57
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      Originally posted by KJames199
      Bret's contract guaranteed him "reasonable creative control" over his last 30 days in the company, and Bret offered numerous options for dropping the title, so I really don't see an interpretation in which Vince was in the right.
    How much time passed between Bret signing with WCW and SS'97? IIRC (and it's been awhile), wasnt it only like 3-4 weeks?


It was negative nine days. He actually signed PRIOR to Survivor Series (on November 1, with Vince's blessing).

However, he remained under contract until December 1, and Bischoff gave permission for WWE to use Hart until December 8.

Not only could Bret not show up on tv until then, he DEFINITELY couldn't show up with the title, as there had already been two lawsuits that showed that one company could not use the other company's title on their TV (Ric Flair, Alundra Blayze).

My opinion is similar to James. Vince was wrong to do it, but it worked out far too well for him to fault him for it.

EDIT: And let's be clear: it wasn't a case where Bret Hart was becoming a free agent and was just completing his commitments. Vince signed him to a 20 year contract in 1996 (to keep him from going to WCW) and then a year later intentionally defaulted on the contract as it was too pricy given WWE's economic situation. Vince basically begged Bret to sign with WCW.

(The economic situation then improved prior to the November 1 deadline and Vince asked him to stay, but the fact still remains that Vince asked Bret to leave while he was still champion.)

(edited by hansen9j on 4.1.10 1545)


It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects.
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It's False
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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.32
In retrospect, if Vince had it all to do over again, I don't think he does anything different. It's already been mentioned that the WWF's popularity shot into the stratosphere after SS '97.

What hasn't been mentioned was how awful a move leaving the company was for Bret, in hindsight. Within six months, poor Bret went from world champion to Hulk Hogan's lackey. If he had it all to do over again, I don't think Bret signs with WCW at all. Period.




There can be only ONE!
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.58
A friend of mine had an interesting theory about it. He stated Vince did to scare the hell out of the boys. Remember Vince went on air for almost 30 minutes on Monday Night and buried Bret as well as numerous skits. Meanwhile, Bret sulked at home instead of going on Nitro where he would defiantly pop the rating and be able to control the WWE PR machine to a point or at least counter it. I do think they are both wrong. He thinks the wrestlers saw that as a Don't Fuck with Vince or he will go after you. Maybe even a warning shot to those who wanted to leave as well.

I think they are both wrong. It was wrong for Vince to renig on his previous deal with Bret as well as not take Bret's advice in dropping the belt elsewhere. Bret is also wrong for saying he shouldn't lose it Canada. He should have done the job there, because he saw what Vince saw with Madusa dropping the belt in the trash. He knew on some level Vince was terrified of that, so he should have said ok I'll do the job here, but you can't bury me on Raw the next night. They could have worked something out, but they were both too stubborn and Shawn adding fuel to the fire wasn't helping matters anyway. That documentary is awesome by the way, but also helps re-enforce the idea it was a work since the cameras magically appear during all of this.
RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

Since last post: 585 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.17
Oh dear. This again.

YEAH BABY!!! and this time it's for real!

Wrestling With Shadows, these days, and with the right playoff from McMahon would turn Hart into the biggest heel in the business. I pop this video in about once a year and with each viewing, Bret comes off worse

Of course, what I would like to see is Bret, right at 9pm, come out, not say a word, let the crowd react and the lay down a silver platter

Vince comes out - Bret not talking for 5 minutes and the silver platter thing ain't part of the script, but okay Vince rolls with it

...stare down and then Bret knocks him the fuck out, with Vince's head falling to rest on the Silver Platter. Bret hops in a cab, boards a jet and comes to Orlando

A Pre- Made Sadhidi hype video has been prepared, waiting to plug in a "bootleg" audience video clip from 9-9:08 RAW

Final Editing, 10:57 showing...Hogan and Eazy E pose with the Silver Platter

of course, the only thing that would go wrong already has, so I guess that's why it's call Fantasy Booking

I Can't Wait! Going over to check out the scene at TNA tonight. RAW will be playing somewhere there, I'm sure

I was told about 15 minutes ago that they were trying to round up people (tourists) to see the show for FREE - which it is anyway, so how hard would it be to fill...nevermind. It is pitiful and always has been. And that's a story for another time

I should ask CRZ if the DX Yarmulke and the Benoit t-shirt would make a good outfit. Then again, I should have a Twitter account and not waste space here

Hope everyone tunes in Tonight. Especially those that comment / but don't watch. Tonight's The Night, says Rod

FLEA



Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high

"Learn to love yourself... for it is the greatest love of all" - Jeremy Borash 11:24 AM May 13th,2009
KJames199
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Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 54 min.
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.06
    Originally posted by JST
    Oh dear. This again.
This again! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT
    Originally posted by It's False
    What hasn't been mentioned was how awful a move leaving the company was for Bret, in hindsight. Within six months, poor Bret went from world champion to Hulk Hogan's lackey. If he had it all to do over again, I don't think Bret signs with WCW at all. Period.
Very true. The screwjob effectively turned him into the #1 babyface in wrestling (and still WWE champion in the eyes of most), but WCW did nothing to capitalize on his potential. Of course...
    Originally posted by hansen9j
    Vince signed Bret to a 20 year contract in 1996 (to keep him from going to WCW) and then a year later intentionally defaulted on the contract as it was too pricy given WWE's economic situation.
    The economic situation then improved prior to the November 1 deadline and Vince asked him to stay.
...knowing that, Bret wouldn't have had any reason to leave WWE. But would WWE have reached the heights it did if Bret wasn't screwed and Vince McMahon didn't become the on-screen heel owner? Things might have turned out very differently.

(Of course, if Bret could do it all over again, preventing Owen's death would take precedence over all of this title/screwjob stuff that does seem a little ridiculous in hindsight.)



JK: LJ, FB, T
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 54 min.
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.06
    Originally posted by lotjx
    Remember Vince went on air for almost 30 minutes on Monday Night and buried Bret as well as numerous skits. Meanwhile, Bret sulked at home instead of going on Nitro
Bret legally couldn't appear on Nitro until his WWE contract expired. He was in enough potential legal trouble for punching out McMahon backstage.
    Originally posted by lotjx
    Bret is also wrong for saying he shouldn't lose it Canada.
Agreed. "I don't want to lose in my home country" is too much, even for a national hero (which Bret legit was, at the time - and he's still really famous here). In his defense, he only started getting really picky about when, where, and to whom he'd drop the title after Shawn Michaels started being a dick about it first. Doesn't make it right, of course.
    Originally posted by lotjx
    That documentary is awesome by the way, but also helps re-enforce the idea it was a work since the cameras magically appear during all of this.
I knew tons of people who believed it was all an angle back when it happened, but really, WWE can't even maintain an angle for a few months without screwing with it.



JK: LJ, FB, T
The Goon
Boudin blanc
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 9 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.05
C'mon, don't you guys realize "the Montreal Screwjob" was all a big work?

(Seeing as we're revisiting the old debate, I thought I'd throw in the third viewpoint from back in the day.)
geemoney
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Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 15 min.
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.72
    Originally posted by The Goon
    C'mon, don't you guys realize "the Montreal Screwjob" was all a big work?

    (Seeing as we're revisiting the old debate, I thought I'd throw in the third viewpoint from back in the day.)

I'll believe this when it's profiled on "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura."
StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
    Originally posted by geemoney
      Originally posted by The Goon
      C'mon, don't you guys realize "the Montreal Screwjob" was all a big work?

      (Seeing as we're revisiting the old debate, I thought I'd throw in the third viewpoint from back in the day.)

    I'll believe this when it's profiled on "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura."


"But I know, as a Navy Seal, Vince doesn't just do something for the sake of business, it has to be more"



ANYWAY, Bret leaving had no NEGATIVE real impact at all on WWE, since it turned Vince into the worlds biggest heel, and having him launch into the feud with Austin shot them to the top.

No matter WHAT they did with Bret in WCW, it wasn't going to top how much of a dick Vince had become.

Bottom line, what Vince did was good for business in Connecticut, and in the locker room, since it had the wrestlers scared to jump ship like so many others had.

Bret, as sad as the situation was, definitely WAS screwed, but Vince did the right thing all around for business.

(edited by StaggerLee on 4.1.10 1718)
jwrestle
Lap cheong








Since: 4.4.03
From: Nitro WV

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.32
    Originally posted by CajunMan
    I remember when this aired on A&E. I can't really blame Vince doing what he did to Bret.

    What does Sunny do these days anyway?


Ask and ye shall receive.

FaceBook Profile: Tammy "Sunny" Sytch

EDIT:
Side note, I know its really her. She has the same booking agent as the Rob "The Stro" Kellum.

(edited by jwrestle on 4.1.10 2035)



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09.30.08 1st time W of the day.
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CajunMan
Boudin blanc
No longer registered








Since: 2.1.02
From: Give me a Title shot!

Since last post: 1008 days
Last activity: 145 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.23
    Originally posted by jwrestle
      Originally posted by CajunMan
      I remember when this aired on A&E. I can't really blame Vince doing what he did to Bret.

      What does Sunny do these days anyway?


    Ask and ye shall receive.

    FaceBook Profile: Tammy "Sunny" Sytch

    EDIT:
    Side note, I know its really her. She has the same booking agent as the Rob "The Stro" Kellum.

    (edited by jwrestle on 4.1.10 2035)


Wow, Nice Rack!
FLRockAndLaw
Boerewors








Since: 2.1.02
From: Central Florida, somewhere between Orlando and Tampa, U.S.A.

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.65
Here are some more thoughts from a demented mind in Central Florida:
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
    But back to my original question: How much time did Vince have to get the belt off Bret BEFORE SS'97, and how much longer after SS'97 did Bret have left on his WWF contract? I've always been under the impression (again, it's been awhile) that the short amount of time Vince had to work with was the reason he felt he had to do what he did.


If we assume that Bret signed with WCW on Nov. 1, 1997, that's a Saturday. I don't recall if these were the days that RAW was taped for two weeks, or live every week. Here's what I don't get. http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/97.htm , which is The History of WWE's 1997 ring results seems to suggest there was a RAW is WAR show from Hershey, PA, on Monday, November 3rd. Here's what's never been adequately explained to me in all the years since this happened. Why does Vince not have Bret come to RAW that night, and tell him, "Okay, here are your options. You can drop the belt to Austin, to Undertaker, to Mankind, etc., but you are not leaving the building tonight as WWF World Champion"? If you know your World Champion has signed with the competition, why oh why do you keep the belt on him with no less than four show between November 1st and Survivor Series? Wouldn't getting the belt off Bret before Survivor Series be truly the right thing and the good thing for business? Have whomever beats Bret at RAW drop it to HBK at Survivor Series due to DX interference, and then set up Austin for the title chase that he had. You deflate Bischoff's chance to announce he's signed your World Champion, you don't screw over Bret, and you can still keep just about everything else that happened in place.

What the hell am I missing here?



Why yes, I am both a musician and a lawyer. Thanks for asking. :)
Scar
Goetta








Since: 2.1.02
From: NS, Canada

Since last post: 1401 days
Last activity: 1058 days
#19 Posted on
My guess is they wanted to have Bret in the main event because the show was in Canada.



Nothing creative.
hansen9j
Andouille








Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 25 min.
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.57
    Originally posted by FLRockAndLaw
      Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      But back to my original question: How much time did Vince have to get the belt off Bret BEFORE SS'97, and how much longer after SS'97 did Bret have left on his WWF contract? I've always been under the impression (again, it's been awhile) that the short amount of time Vince had to work with was the reason he felt he had to do what he did.


    If we assume that Bret signed with WCW on Nov. 1, 1997, that's a Saturday. I don't recall if these were the days that RAW was taped for two weeks, or live every week. Here's what I don't get. http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/‚Äč97.htm , which is The History of WWE's 1997 ring results seems to suggest there was a RAW is WAR show from Hershey, PA, on Monday, November 3rd. Here's what's never been adequately explained to me in all the years since this happened. Why does Vince not have Bret come to RAW that night, and tell him, "Okay, here are your options. You can drop the belt to Austin, to Undertaker, to Mankind, etc., but you are not leaving the building tonight as WWF World Champion"? If you know your World Champion has signed with the competition, why oh why do you keep the belt on him with no less than four show between November 1st and Survivor Series? Wouldn't getting the belt off Bret before Survivor Series be truly the right thing and the good thing for business? Have whomever beats Bret at RAW drop it to HBK at Survivor Series due to DX interference, and then set up Austin for the title chase that he had. You deflate Bischoff's chance to announce he's signed your World Champion, you don't screw over Bret, and you can still keep just about everything else that happened in place.

    What the hell am I missing here?


Short answer: You're missing Survivor Series 1997, which did the biggest buyrate of the year due to the backstage and forestage intrigue.



It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects.
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