On the most recent episode of his Confessions of the Hitman web series, Bret Hart continued sharing his thoughts on the “Montreal Screwjob” — the real-life incident that preceded his bitter exit from WWE — and named the individuals he believes were most instrumental in its planning.
As quoted by Wrestling Inc. on Thursday, Episode 22 of Confessions of the Hitman featured Hart mainly looking back on the fallout of the Montreal Screwjob, which took place during his WWE Championship match against Shawn Michaels at the 1997 Survivor Series. At that time, chairman Vince McMahon ordered referee Earl Hebner to ring the bell despite the fact that Hart hadn’t tapped out while Michaels had him in the Sharpshooter and wasn’t aware of the match’s actual ending. This was supposedly done to prevent “The Hitman” from leaving WWE for World Championship Wrestling while still holding the company’s top title.
After touching on the events that happened in the lead-up to the incident, Hart discussed its immediate aftermath, where McMahon purportedly told him in the dressing room that this was the first instance in which he had to lie to his performers. According to the Hall of Famer, the chairman’s alleged lies remind him nowadays of “watching Donald Trump on the news.”
Because Hart ended up punching McMahon after seemingly being cheated out of a chance to end his WWE run on a high note, he expressed regret for letting his anger get the better of him. He also stressed that while Michaels was not very popular among his co-workers due to his drug problem at the time, he mainly sees him as a “willing participant” as opposed to someone who had planned the Screwjob. He then named McMahon, backstage producer Gerald Brisco, and fellow wrestler Triple H as the people who were most responsible for making it happen.
“I’d say I gave Shawn the benefit of the doubt up until I knew what happened, and I think that’s why he was so ashamed maybe. He felt so guilty. And Triple H, from what I gathered, I think he was pushing that thing more than Shawn. I think Shawn was more of a willing participant. Triple H, and Brisco, and Vince were the ones who created the whole thing happening.”
As pointed out by Sportskeeda, the Montreal Screwjob instantly made McMahon “the most hated person” in pro-wrestling, with Michaels and then-WWE head writer Vince Russo also getting blamed by many fans. However, “The Heartbreak Kid” would later claim in his autobiography that Triple H had actually been the first person to suggest such a setup. The outlet added that McMahon helped keep the future world champion’s involvement as low-key as possible and took the blame for what had happened.
Regarding Brisco’s alleged involvement, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Heel by Nature) wrote earlier this year that the industry veteran was one of the few people McMahon informed in advance about the plans to prevent Hart from leaving WWE with his championship belt.