Bret Hart won't be on hand to celebrate 20 years of Monday Night Raw. - Photo by Mandy Coombes of Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
WWE has decided against using Bret Hart on the 20th anniversary of Monday Night Raw. Other former stars have been told that their scheduled appearances are off too. So don't expect too many big name returns on Monday.
What a difference a day makes in the constantly evolving world of professional wrestling, thanks to the fickle mind of WWE kingpin Vince McMahon!
Only yesterday, the word on the street was to expect numerous big name returns on Monday Night Raw's 20th anniversary special, including possibly Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and The Undertaker.
Now, everything is out the window, apart from having The Rock back for good (well, for the next three months anyway) and Ric Flair being involved in a major angle with CM Punk.
According to Dave Meltzer of f4wonline.com, WWE has since cancelled Bret Hart's appearance at the event, despite being the company's biggest star from 1993-1997:
"As of right now, Bret Hart won't be on the 20th anniversary of Raw. There was talk about the possibility of him being brought in for the show, but he was given word they decided against it."
When Bret was contacted about being brought in, he was only willing to come if there was something important for him to do. He didn't want to be just a face in the crowd or have a brief meaningless cameo role. WWE telling Bret that his services were no longer required, may have been a sign that they indeed didn't have a major storyline mapped out for him, but didn't want to suffer the indignity of "The Hitman" being the one to shoot them down.
However, this was not an isolated incident. As Meltzer discusses, other former WWE stars that had been told to leave the day free as they would likely be used for the special, have also been told that their appearances were off too:
"Others who were at least told to keep the date of Monday open have said they were told the creative direction for Monday was changed and they were not going to bring stars back. It may have just been told to cancel them or just give them word they weren't needed, it may be only one or two people are being brought back rather than a big number, or a fullscale change in direction."
Maybe after the ratings came in this week, Vince McMahon decided that less was more. With the end of football competition and The Rock still having the Midas touch with viewership, a strong number, the biggest in many months, is guaranteed, so why waste bringing back every star under the sun not named Brock Lesnar to the promotion for one night only, when those returns could mean much more in the future if done properly?