The Montreal Screwjob
The Montreal Screwjob has gone down in infamy as one of the most famous, and most talked about incidents in wrestling history.
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were involved in an extremely heated rivalry both in front of the camera and behind it, in 1996-1997 in the WWF. Bret had signed a 20 year contract with the WWF in late 1996, but about a year later, WWF owner Vince McMahon told him that he couldn’t honor the contract, and gave Bret permission to negotiate with rival promotion, WCW.
Bret ended up signing with WCW. However, he was still the WWF World Champion, which caused big problems heading into his match with Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series in Montreal, Canada. Neither man wanted to do the job, aka lose to the other one. On Bret’s documentary, Wrestling With Shadows you hear Bret wore a wire into his meeting with Vince earlier in the day at the Survivor Series, and they agreed to a double disqualification finish to the match, which would result in Bret keeping the title.
However, during the actual match, Shawn put Bret in the “sharpshooter”, which was Bret’s submission finishing move. While Bret was in the move, the referee was ordered by Vince McMahon, who was at ringside to ring the bell.
Shawn Michaels quickly got out the ring, took the belt and left and Bret Hart spat in Vince McMahon’s face, and destroyed monitors at ringside. Later in the dressing room, Bret punched Vince in the face and blackened his eye. Bret then left the WWF and went to WCW.
Was it a shoot? Was it a work? Those are two questions that have been asked by both fans, and people inside of the wrestling business since it happened at The Survivor Series, in 1997.