Late to the party? Yes I am as I have finally got round to watching the documentary series Dark side of the Ring made by Vice. The episode that got me thinking about wrestling history and how it’s rewritten was story of the Montreal Screwjob.
If you are a casual wrestling fan sure enough you’ve probably heard of the Montreal Screwjob so I won’t go into detail on what actually the Screwjob is, but whilst watching this episode of the Dark Side of the Ring it was interesting to hear that both Russo and Cornette believe they came up with the idea of the finish in the same meeting at Vince McMahons house.
We will never know who actually came up with the idea to screw Bret Hart as many insiders and reporters have suggested that Triple H came up with the idea. In his autobiography ‘Heartbreak and Triumph’ Shawn Michaels suggests that he was the one to come up with the idea in a meeting the night before Survivor Series with Vince, Triple H and some of his closest allies.
The role of Earl Hebner is a crucial one in knowing the true story but sadly even his story is different at times. He mentions that Jerry Briscoe told him on his way to the ring the plan, but in an episode of WWE Confidential Hebner says he was told 10mins before. In Shawn Michaels autobiography, Michaels states that he was the one to inform Hebner of the plan early in the evening of Survivor Series. Bret Hart in his autobiography states that he believes Jerry Briscoe came up with the idea.
One thing is for sure is we will never know the truth regarding this match but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer writes in length about the history of this and also has a detail analysis and timeline of events leading up to survivor series 1997. It is worth reading all of that especially his comments after WWE Monday Night War episode on this match that leaves a lot out and tries to change the narrative on Hart, his contract, Nitro the next night and Michaels not putting over Hart. These articles can be found easily on Reddit and are well worth a read if unfamiliar with the time in wrestling and incident itself.
I think we will only find out the really truth in who’s idea it was to screw Bret Hart if Vince McMahon decides to tell us but like others, his ego might get in the way of that too.