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The Icon




This isn't really a wrestling column persay, but please bear with me.

Here's the basic story: I used to HATE Bret Hart. When someone (I know who, and some of you probably do too, but I'm not dropping his name in case he doesn't want it dropped) suggested that the wrong Hart brother was up in the rafters in May, I actually AGREED with them. When I got WCW Revenge, one of the first things I did was change Bret's name to "Some Midcarder". In May, I tried to write an Owen tribute piece, but I hit a brick wall when it became another excuse to bash Bret. Owen's death effected my own life in a tangentially related way and it warranted a deep, meaningful reflection. Owen's death made me realize that if you're feeling under appreciated, then it's best not to be upset about it, because appreciation is not always something that people feel the need to express openly. They WILL miss you when you're gone. That piece would have been awesome, but it became another anti-Bret crusade. Why is it that I hated him, you ask? Well, do read on.

Basically, he represented everything that I hated about myself. He was whiny, and blamed everyone but himself for his woes. He would let meaningless things eat away at him and burn a hole in the pit of his stomach. There are other things that I dislike about him, like how hypocritical (he tried to walk out with the IC title in early 1992) and unprofessional he can be at times (witness his third "transitional" title reign, as well as his selling, or lack thereof at WrestleMania 12 and his subsequent sulking), as well as how he still does something he supposedly hates when there's no need for him to do it. (Although he may retire at any point after Goldberg nearly kicked his head off.) Hey. We all have flaws. Right? Jeez. Where did all my hatred go? Well, I'll tell you.

Well, now I realize what made Bret into what you've seen in the past few years. He let his paranoia run his life. He feels as if he was betrayed, and that betrayal made him look long and hard at the world of pro wrestling. What he saw obviously freaked him out. I'd be pretty upset if all that I had believed in and dedicated my life turned out to be ugly and nasty and crumbled around me in a cascade of reality. As a result, he became bitter and paranoid and lashed out. That's why he said that Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon had a homosexual relationship. That's why he said that he wouldn't brake if he saw Diana Smith (his own SISTER) crossing the street. These comments used to upset me, but now that I look back on them I think, "How could something so ludicrous have irked me? I've said some pretty fucked up things myself. Did they piss off people as much as these comments did me? Hell, these comments pissed me off when they had NOTHING to do with me." There you go. Once again, wrestling leads to personal growth. I learned that paranoia and having a precious little paradigm of something you hold dear being shattered leads one to say and do stupid things. Hell, my own paranoia and self-loathing came back to nearly bite me in the ass recently, and it made me look at things a whole lot differently. Now that I realize that I've been in his situation and reacted in a similar fashion, I'm not angry anymore. Hell, I'm no different than him. If I met him on the street today, I wouldn't call him a whiny, hypocritical, pink-wearing mark for himself. I'd say, "Bret: I feel your pain, man."

See? Sometimes wrestling can help you understand the real world a bit better.

And take Jerry Lawler's lesson learned from Owen's death to heart: NEVER leave without telling the people that you care about how much you love them.

Man, was this column a change of pace or what?

~The ICON~

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