The expression Montreal Screwjob indicates what happened on Sunday 9 November 1997 at the Molson Center in Montréal (Canada) during the pay-per-view Survivor Series, an event organized by the American wrestling federation known as World Wrestling Federation.
The episode, considered one of the most controversial in the history of professional wrestling, was the culmination of a long intrigue of power hatched by some members of the Stamford-based federation in order to win the world title to Shawn Michaels at the expense of Bret Hart without the latter knew anything.
In the fall of 1997 Hart was supposed to leave the World Wrestling Federation to join the rival World Championship Wrestling, following the path that other important wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage had already undertaken in the previous months; However, WWF owner Vince McMahon absolutely did not want the Canadian to move on to the competition as world champion and therefore, after weeks of discussions with the management, ordered the Survivor Series match ending to be changed without notifying most.
of its employees. The screwjob generated a lot of controversy both inside and outside WWF and was partially recounted in the 1998 documentary Wrestling with Shadows. Former WWE writer Vince Russo recently opened up about the Montreal Screwjob and revealed why he backed Vince McMahon's decision to double-cross Bret Hart.
"It was horrible (talking about the Montreal Screwjob). It was terrible. It was really, really bad. But having been a main part of that, as much as I've had my differences with Vince McMahon over the years, I really believe that Vince was protecting his company.
Vince [McMahon] was afraid, keep in mind, the Alundra Blayze thing had just happened with her throwing the title, and Vince was afraid the same thing would happen."
Vince Russo on the Montreal Screwjob
Vince Russo said.
He continued: "Let's face it, Eric Bischoff was a snake. He was clearly capable of talking Bret into setting the belt on fire or whatever, so I know for a fact and without the shadow of a doubt that it was nothing personal with Bret as far as Vince....Vince loved Bret, that had nothing to do with it.
It was about protecting the integrity of his company. To this day I will still back up Vince's decision with that." He said that he had also told Bret he believed Vince McMahon had done everything he could to protect WWE: "I've had many conversations.
I've talked to Bret Hart and I told Bret exactly the same thing that I'm saying to you. I said, "I know you'll never see this side of it but Vince was trying to protect his company. It was nothing personal towards Bret," Russo said.