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Nov. 24, 1997 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The Montreal Screwjob, pt. 2


Editor's note: This retro edition of the Observer is part two of Dave Meltzer's coverage of the Montreal Screwjob. Part one, which was re-posted yesterday on the 20th anniversary of Survivor Series 1997, is available to read here.


After a week of both private and public comments in the aftermath of the double-cross finish in the Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart match at Survivor Series and Hart's subsequent leaving the WWF about one month earlier than originally planned, the basic gist of the story was covered here last week.

But anymore discussion of the decision making processes involved by Hart and McMahon as it related to the double-cross finish, there are a number of points both relating to this story and how it was presented in last week's issue, and to the historical nature of last week's piece that need to be clarified and discussed:

Bret Hart's heel turn in March was Vince McMahon's idea, that McMahon sold Hart on as mentioned in the story. It was Hart's idea to remain a babyface in Canada and internationally while being an Anti-American heel in the United States. However, it was Hart's idea all along to do a heel turn. In the original plan formulated by McMahon and Hart in July 1996, when McMahon flew to Calgary to woo Hart, who was sitting out and attempting to break into acting, was for Hart to beat Michaels in a babyface match and win the title at the 1997 Wrestlemania, and then make a slow heel turn. As that was going on, they'd avoid a third match for a long time until the heel turn was complete making Michaels that much stronger of a babyface. At that point the agreement was that Hart would put Michaels over in the third meeting. That scenario changed when McMahon decided to take the title from Michaels to Sid, make Sid vs. Undertaker for the title the Wrestlemania main event, and then make Hart vs. Michaels as the semifinal. Seeing that he would have to do two major jobs in a row, Michaels showed up the night he was supposed to drop the title to Sid, claimed he had a career ending knee injury, and later that night on television handed the belt back.

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