One of the key figures at the center of the infamous Montreal Screwjob believes the whole thing was a work.
Following the Viceland documentary on the screwjob, former WWE referee Earl Hebner joined the Busted Open Radio crew to talk about his role.
Hebner makes it clear…although he doesn’t have proof, he believes Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were in on it and they knew what was going to happen. As noted in the documentary, Hebner says he promised Hart the night before that he would not screw him over. However, Hebner was pressured to do so just moments before he walked out of the ring and he chose job security over loyalty to his friend.
Hebner says he’s had thoughts off-and-on since the screwjob. He said, “I think both of them knew, to be honest with you. Why would you let a man put you in your own finish?”
Michaels admitted in 2002 that he was in on the plan to screw Hart but Hebner also believes Hart was in on it.
“I’m not gonna lie about it anymore,” Hebner said. “I’ve been trying to protect Bret. I can bet you 110 percent Shawn Michaels knew what was going on.”
Hebner said he’s heard the rumors over the years so he doesn’t know for sure that Hart knew. Hebner talked about taking off in a car with brother Dave Hebner immediately after the match.
During the Viceland documentary, Scott Hall fed into the work conspiracy but said he has never talked to Michaels about the finish of the match. Hall said he knew it was a work when the camera showed Hart spelling out “WCW” with his hands and the camera zoomed in on McMahon when Hart spit on him.
The problem with Hall’s theory is that the pay-per-view went off the air within seconds after the screwjob. The”WCW” gesture and close up of McMahon was not shown on the live broadcast. Hart’s post-match destruction of the monitors at ringside was also not shown on the live broadcast. The footage that Hall is referring to was shown at later points when Hart had already left the company.
The documentary did not cover the fact that the screwjob led to Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart quitting the company. Owen Hart tried to quit but Vince McMahon held him to his contract and others Superstars (Mick Foley, for example) were threatening to quit because of the incident. The documentary also did not cover alternate plans that were suggested. Hart had several weeks left on his contract after the infamous match and he offered to drop the title to anyone including Ken Shamrock and even The Brooklyn Brawler.
It should also be noted that Vince McMahon filed motions in court to try to stop the release of the “Wrestling With Shadows” documentary.
Listen to what Hebner said about the screwjob in the video below:
Earl also reveals how scared he was later that night in the hotel after Survivor Series. pic.twitter.com/ExjAo27Ed0
— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) April 18, 2019