1. WWE put the title back on Bret Hart because Bret Hart asked to do a storyline where if he lost he would never wrestle in America again. They first tried the storyline going into King Of The Ring which was meant to be Michaels/Hart and Austin/Pillman but because of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart having their real life fight in Hartford that match never happened and they did Austin/Michaels instead. They then did it with Undertaker/Hart instead but the plan was always to build towards Michaels/Hart at Survivor Series which is why they had Bret Hart win against The Undertaker as he did so they could do Michaels/Undertaker and keep Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart apart until Survivor Series.
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin only came back at Survivor Series and was tied up with Owen Hart whilst The Undertaker was deep in the storyline with Kane and Mankind was a non starter. People don't seem to realise that Michaels/Hart was THE biggest feud that WWE had at that time because of the real life situation and the history on screen and off screen and WWE was in a bad way financially so Michaels/Hart simply HAD to happen business wise as well as storyline wise.
3. Back in 1997 the whole face/heel, black/white thing was blurred into shades of grey and faces feuded with faces and heels feuded with heels as Austin/Pillman as far back as late 1996 shows. Because of the history between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart it didn't matter about a heel/heel thing as the fact was they hated each other and that made the feud rather than who was face and who was heel. Other heel/heel feuds from around that time were Austin/Pillman, Mankind/Kane and Bulldog/Owen just to name three off the top of my head so heel/heel feuds were not so rare that Michaels/Hart shouldn't happen.
To say Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon had it in for Bret Hart from the start is very wrong because it wasn't until late 1996 that there was even a real problem between the two and up until then they had been working everyone from WrestleMania 12. As seen in another thread which shows Bret Hart is still bitter he found it hard to accept he wasn't the top guy anymore yet complains about the older wrestlers not putting him over when he had just become the top guy. Whilst Shawn Michaels had no love for Bret Hart he was actually the least involved in setting it all up as it was an idea by Triple H that Vince McMahon pushed through, Shawn Michaels was the guy that had to pull the trigger as has been said and because he was the one who had problems with Bret Hart he got way much more hate than was actually deserved.
1. "..It was always planned.." I hear this a lot on the forum as if its an explanation or a justifiable excuse for wwe to do bad decisions. Ex. Cena v hhh at wm 23. Granted these plans are coming from the same man who came up with Katie vick and ... the screw job. I never knew Bret wanted to do this storyline. Was this his exit storyline? Was the title essential to this story line. If he were to lose, he was open to losing to hbk? If so Shawn has thrown a wrench in just about everything that year huh?
2. I believe brets contract was ending around Xmas? Correct me if I'm wrong but they could have been more prepared for Bret to transition the title to anyone besides hbk. Yes as great as exploiting real life situations for the great of business over creative writing(depends on how one looks at it) as great as it sounds, there iron man match demonstrated how they were the pillars of that time and defined a generation. I feel it didn't need to be revisited. After all wwe went on to have there best years with creative story lines and original characters. Admittedly hbk v bret might have influenced the direction and the shoot style atmosphere of the attitude era but nothing to the level were reality based were the focal point of all story arcs rather clever placed hints of blurred reality. Good "Business wise" could be argued in that regard.
3. Bulldog v Owen was essential for the formation of the hart foundation. In austin v pilman, Steve was a face. Mankind was a face in later 1997 when he fought Kane.
My original point is that Bret was pinned in that situation where it did not need to happen. Vince didn't need to put HIMSELF in that do or die situation.
Bret did have a case where no one put him over. Hogan did not put him over. Ultimate warrior didn't put him over. Macho man didn't put him over. He beat yokozona after hogan had already embarrassed him the previous year. Bret and his generation never had the credibility and could very well be why that generation looked like such a failure.
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