Update Nov 26, 2010
First off, Happy belated Thanksgiving to all my American Hitman fans everywhere. I always celebrate the American side of my heritage in memory of my American mother, Helen, and although I didn't actually have a turkey this year, my family celebrated by watching NFL all day and me texting greetings to all the American wrestlers and friends I've befriended over the years. It was hard not to get too miserable arriving home to a bone chilling minus 30 below zero.
Thanksgiving here was all the better when a chinook (warm west winds that blow in from Japan) blew through town like the calvary to rescue me and everyone else who lives up here with some comfortable t-shirt and shorts weather in a matter of hours. Today Calgary is a very beautiful place with blue skies, white clouds, and no wind. The Rockies capped in white and its during times like this when I think of how many time people have asked me why I lived here and, on a festive holiday like Thanksgiving, it strikes me that on a day like today this is one of the most lovely places in all the world to live, and yes I give thanks for that.
On another thankful note, I wanted to say that my recent WWE tour that landed me back in London, England's 02 Arena, Brussels, Belgium, Mannheim, Cologne, and Nuremberg, Germany and capped off with an amazing couple of days in Istanbul, Turkey. I usually try to write about my wrestling life experiences such as being the enforcer in Randy Orton's bout, but I'll skip right to one of the highlights of my storied career: standing in as the #3 man of the Hart Dynasty, David Hart Smith (Harry Smith) and Tyson Kidd (TJ Wilson), throughout the German leg of the tour. The Nexus crew were spoiling for a pier 6 brawl and they got one; one that landed one of them in the sharpshooter every night. It was such a thrill for me to live a sweet dream, perhaps Davey Boy Smith's dream, but a sweet one all the more knowing that when young Harry was but a lad, he never ever stopped believing he'd someday grace a WWE ring. Even as a mere boy, I think we both often wondered if somehow, someday, somewhere we'd team up and work together. Same for Tyson Kidd, whom I've also known since he was around 10 years old. Like Harry, he too, never gave up on his dream of doing the same. As for Germany, I can't think of a better wrestling environment to let that wonderful dream play out. Thanks to the Hart Dynasty for letting me be part of the show, thanks to my German fans for coming, and lastly, thanks to the WWE for letting me have this special moment at this stage of my life and career.
The only sour note was the loser who stole my ring jacket. I fully expect that this thief will eventually wear it only to be mobbed and stripped of it by my fans over there, who will always be on the lookout for it. No real Hitman fan would want to steal from me! It's all the more frustrating since nearly all my career ring jackets have been stolen mostly during my WCW days. I'd have someone take my jacket at ringside and never see them again. It got so bad that, as ridiculous as it is, I stopped wearing jackets because that hapless company of inefficiency couldn't stop letting them get stolen. Anyway, one more gone and, like always, I'll simply get another. Enough on that.
Having ended my tour in Istanbul, Turkey, the WWE's first time there ever, was simply incredible. The streets of Turkey were clean and vibrant and I loved living one more amazing dream, finally being in the ring partnered up with my old pal Edge and Rey Mysterio. We teamed up against three wrestlers which I was thrilled to be in the same ring with: Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, and Scotsman Drew McIntyre. Although I confess that I did little to earn us the win, as Rey and Edge took it to them, I was so honored after Rey's 619 and Edge's spear to twist Alberto Del Rio in a sharpshooter to the delight of my Turkish fans that never got to see me in my prime. I had such a good time on this tour hanging out with the best big man in the business, my one-time rival, and longtime pal, the Big Show. Watching Big Show knocking tables over and stomping his feet because some flunky only brought him two expensive bottles of Shiraz rather than four or five like Andre used to get brought back memories of old. At one point, he grew so discontent he insisted that some of us join him in a form of telepathic protest by several wrestlers lying on the dressing room floor, head to head, a think tank is how he termed it, but despite the high levels of deep concentration, no more bottles of red wine appeared. Our little think tank proved to be a waste of time, like Big Shows other brilliant idea to mix the tuna casserole with the curried lamb stew or hide all the Mars bars on the bus by sticking them down the seats. On another note, I want to thank Aylan, a longtime Hitman fan, for taking the time to show me around Istanbul while I was there. I toast her and all the Turks with a sip of raki, a licorice drink similar to ouzo but lighter. Thanks for your kindness and generosity.
From there I went back to England for some book signings in the London area. My book was only first released there this spring in paperback and cheers to all who came out. Then, while I was there, I headed up to Birmingham where I crossed paths with my longtime hero and original Hitman of the ring, Tommy Hearns. I remember being at an airport somewhere waiting for a connection flipping through a paper as Jimmy Hart sat next to me urging me to come up with a ring name in the next three days for TV tapings. I'd glanced down to read how Hearns was going to call it a career and retire after losing a split decision to "Sugar" Ray Leonard the night before. I said to him, "Hitman Hart...that's a cool name and he's not going to use it anymore." That was the beginning of so many things for me. Upon seeing Tommy, one of the classiest athletes I've ever known, we had fun reliving the memory of a little altercation he had with the Hart Foundation back in 1997 at a Detroit Raw. We had a good chuckle at the recollection of him tagging Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart with a lightning fast pop to the chin that brought the big Anvil down like a big rhino being put to sleep with a sledgehammer. Anyway, it was great seeing him again. I also had the pleasure of seeing my old pal, "Big" Joe Eagin, Mike Tyson's former sparring partner, another bonified fighting legend making a name for himself acting in movies like Sherlock Holmes.
I want to congratulate my niece, Nattie (or Natalya) on fulfilling her lifelong dream by winning the WWE Divas title from the feisty Michelle McCool and Layla last weekend. The Hart kingdom, even now, is still ringing bells in honor of her victory. She never ever once since being a little girl, has let up on this dream despite so many roadblocks in achieving this. She's made all of us in the industry (the fans, the wrestlers, the WWE, and me) so happy for her. No one has worked harder, dreamed larger, or achieved more as a Hart in pro wrestling. Way to go, girl. You've earned it. I know in my heart that both my parents, Davey and Owen watched from the heavens cheering your every move.
In closing, I just want to say that after such an amazing trip, I am truly grateful for being able to travel these cities, dust off my old Batman suit, and be the Hitman for my fans again. Thanks to every single one of them for coming to see me. I'll never forget it. To come home to my happy world and my lovely wife with so many memories during this time of year shows me how much I have to be truly thankful. What's next? I don't know, but I can't wait!
Checkout my online store at brethart.com/store for the Hitman's Christmas sale... use promo code HITMAN5 to save $5 on any order before Dec 1.
THANKS HITMAN FANS!