The Montreal Screwjob – the most famous shoot in the history of the business or the most realistic work?
That’s the question that has been asked of pretty much everyone since that fateful night on November 9th 1997. Many believe it was real, lots refuse to bite and still believe it’s a work. So, where do I stand? It was a freaking work! Anyone who believes otherwise is a fool. That’s just the way it is. Don’t believe me?
Here’s six reasons why it was the greatest work in the history of professional wrestling.
Vince McMahon could’ve just added a third guy to the match.
There you go, problem solved. Throw Undertaker in there. He already had an ongoing issue with both men, and him being involved would’ve made perfect sense. Shawn Michaels could still have won, but Bret Hart didn’t need to be involved in the pinfall. He could’ve had the glorious send off in his hometown that he desired following what would’ve been a classic Triple Threat clash. Why didn’t this happen? Because the whole thing was a work!
Failing that, why not add a special stipulation?
Bret Hart apparently didn’t wanna lose a fake wrestling match in his hometown to Shawn Michaels because that would’ve made him look weak. Yeah okay……
If that was the case, then why not just add a stipulation to the bout? This isn’t a real sport. It’s WWE, they can do anything. All that was needed was a stipulation stating that Bret Hart would lose the WWE Championship via disqualification and countout, thus losing all Champion’s privileges.
He becomes the wronged hero. A messy run in involving DX and the Hart Foundation would lead to a DQ, and Michaels stealing the title. Hart never has to put HBK over, and he goes out the way he wanted. Why didn’t it happen? Because it was a freaking work!!
Who the hell actually came up with the Montreal Screwjob?
If you believe everyone, which you probably do if you are still convinced this whole thing was real, then Vince Russo, Gerald Brisco, Jim Cornette, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and their loved ones came up with the masterplan. I genuinely think they all speak some truth, but not in the way they make out. It was never real. McMahon and Hart had agreed to some screwy finish and decided to ask for ideas.
For what it’s worth, I think it was Vince Russo who probably came up with the idea, as it’s right up his street of working the marks. He’s done it his whole career, and it started here. Why would Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels decline? It would make them bigger than they’ve ever been before. Hell, people are still talking about it over 20 years later. There is still some people who will say this wasn’t a work. I can’t help those people.
A camera crew filmed the entire lead up to Survivor Series
Oh, how convenient. These film makers just happened to land on the biggest goldmine by pure coincidence. Don’t make me laugh! It was all a work! How dull would the Bret Hart documentary have been without the Screwjob? About as dull as a Bret Hart match.
They managed to film everything from his heated rivalry with Shawn Michaels, all the backstage politicking, the infamous Screwjob, and even punching Vince McMahon in the face. Yeah, a soon to be WCW employee who refused to do business just punched the boss in front of witnesses and there was no lawsuit forthcoming? From Vince McMahon? Are you kidding me? It’s actually laughable that they’ve managed to convince people this was real.
The cameras stayed on Bret Hart’s reactions
Come on, how much more proof do you want? When have you ever seen WWE do this unless it’s a storyline? When something happens that they aren’t happy with, and I’m assuming an employee spitting in the face of Vince McMahon and writing WCW in the air comes into that category, they instantly cut away like it’s not happening. They didn’t do that here because they wanted those reactions so they could replay them for years to come and make more angles out of it.
Don’t believe me? Look back to the summer of 2019 when a “fired” Kevin Owens burst through the crowd on Smackdown and hurled abuse at Shane McMahon, saying some very real things. What happened? Cameras continued rolling because it was part of an angle. What happened when Enzo Amore tried making a name for himself at Survivor Series? He was thrown out and cameras refused to give him his five minutes of fame. Now, do you believe me the Montreal Screwjob was the most calculated work of all time?
Bret Hart’s WWE contract did not expire at Survivor Series 1997
Now, are you going to believe me this was all a work? Even if everything leading up to it was real, and some of it probably was, it still doesn’t make sense. It’s no secret Hart and Michaels didn’t like each other, and I could see Hart not exactly being thrilled about dropping the title to someone he deemed disrespectful. However, if that was the case, so what? Bret hart’s contract did not expire at Survivor Series.
You know what that means, right? The whole Montreal Screwjob debacle was easily avoidable. Hart said he wanted to forfeit the title the following night on Raw. He could’ve done that, as he would’ve still been under contract. They could’ve run the rematch and had Michaels go over, since they weren’t in Montreal any longer. They could’ve had Undertaker beat Hart for the gold. They could’ve done a number of things because they chose not to. Why? Because they came up with the greatest work the business has ever seen!
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @JK_CFC3. Thanks for reading!