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After months of WCW gaining plentiful power over the WWF thanks to its highly successful New World Order storyline, it became evident that after years of service to the WWF, Bret Hart was leaving for WCW. There was only one thing standing between Hart and his new found home; the WWF Championship. Hart, along with Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker had been the stronghold of the WWF throughout the nWo storyline and Hart had the title for a solid period of time.Amidst all the drama, McMahon requested that Hart drop the title at Survivor Series against Shawn Michaels. Hart said he'd drop the title to anyone but Shawn Michaels; otherwise he would vacate the title the next night on RAW. McMahon accepted his decision and allowed Hart to continue on his way to Survivor Series. What was brewing in professional wrestling was something nobody except McMahon and a few associates knew.
The match went ahead as planned and showed yet another display of technical brilliance from both competitors. However, as Michaels locked in the Sharpshooter to finish the match, McMahon told referee Earl Hebner (who was supposedly in on the act) to "ring the damn bell!" Hebner then signaled to the timekeeper as if Hart had submitted to the hold, and Michaels was quickly awarded the match and the title as his theme music began to play. Hebner then bolted backstage from the ring, allegedly to a waiting car.
Astounded by the unexpected turn of events, Hart was immediately outraged. As Hart stood dazed in the ring, Triple H and Gerald Brisco came out to escort Michaels back stage as the fans threw garbage at him and rained boos. Michaels himself was told to act even more outraged than Hart because if he didn't, they feared, due to his bad temper, that Hart would attack and pummel him for real (as he had tried to do, but was unsuccessful at several months earlier backstage at a RAW taping). As ringside commentators Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler quickly departed their announce position, Hart looked down at McMahon from the ring, spit right in his eye, and shortly after destroyed several TV monitors at ringside before climbing the turnbuckles and signing the letters "WCW" to the rabid crowd.
With Bret Hart's move to WCW, it appears WCW is prime to push the WWF right off the map.