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Gerald Brisco on how Vince McMahon approached him to screw Bret Hart, Earl Hebner wanted to quit WWE

On the latest episode of “Monday Mailbag,” Gerald Brisco went in-depth on the Monteal Screwjob. He talked about what he knew about hit, his thoughts on screwing Bret Hart out of the WWF Championship, what was going on behind-the-scenes on the day of the show, and more.

Gerald Brisco was asked how far in advance did he know about the Montreal screwjob and how it was kept a secret?

“It wasn’t my idea. I can tell you that right off the bat. Probably that’s the length I can go into it until I have more time to discuss it, but I’ll tell you when I found out about it. I knew during the week just as everybody else did that there were some issues with the champion not wanting to return the title to the company in Montreal. I was called and asked my opinion on a couple of alternative deals.

On Saturday night before a PPV, we always had an executive type production meeting where just the top level guys are in a conference room and we would go over the issues of the show and the ins and outs of the show and the timing of what’s taking place and all that stuff. There was a corporate meeting going on. We’re getting to the end of it. We discussed the show. We come to Bret and Shawn. We are waiting for Vince to start telling us our marching orders and he said, ‘To be continued.’ In other words, we will continue the conversation in the morning. That’s what we usually did.

As he dismissed everybody, he looked at me and said, ‘Brisco, do you mind hanging behind? I need to talk to you.’ He tells me, ‘We have an issue with the last match and I think you’re the guy who can handle it.’ I said, ‘Lay it out and let’s hear it.’ He lays out the plan. We didn’t talk names on whose suggestion it was. This was all coming from Vince so to me, my marching orders didn’t come from anybody but Vince McMahon. He said, ‘I need you to figure out a way to do this. I want you to meet with Shawn tonight and teach him some self-defense in case Bret gets on him.’ I said, ‘Ok.’ I met with Shawn in his hotel room. Shawn’s an athlete so Shawn and I started going over the match on how we can do this thing in a way that wouldn’t be tipping our hand to anybody on what we were doing.

Shawn and I came up with the spots together, the sharpshooter, and when to ring the bell. The whole key to this entire deal was not really Shawn, but it was Shawn, because Shawn had to sell all through the day that he was willing to do whatever Bret wanted. I said, ‘whatever you do, don’t change your approach with doing business tonight. If he suggests something you don’t like, tell him that. Don’t go off where he’s not going to do a lot of things.’ The important thing was the cooperation of Shawn getting that sharpshooter on. That sharpshooter is not an easy maneuver to get on if somebody is resisting.  Vince walking out to ringside was something we had not discussed. That really threw a lot of people off including myself. I had to stop Earl Hebner as he was going to the ring. I said, ‘Earl, as soon as this match is over.’ I thought Earl was going to walk out on us right then and there. I really did. Earl was wanting to quit but it all comes down to loyalty or who’s paying your bills. Is Bret paying your bills? If Bret goes down south and collects that three million dollar paycheck, is he going to be paying your bills?

Brisco was asked who knew about this:

The most intense part was when everybody got backstage. That’s when the intensity built to a boiling point like I’ve never experienced in my 50 some years. There was J.R. that didn’t have a clue what was going on. There was Bruce Prichard that didn’t have a clue. There was Pat Patterson who was saying, ‘What is going on?” I know I knew. I knew Vince knew. I knew Kevin Dunn knew. As far as I knew, those were the only guys that knew. I don’t care who else knew, but I did know those guys knew what was coming down because they were essential people.”

Brisco was asked if he was nervous the night of the screwjob:

“I wasn’t nervous all day. My nerves started the match before when I thought, ‘How am I going to explain this to Earl on what we are trying to do?’ It goes against everything that we were taught in this business and everything we stood for in this business. On the other hand, you look at it on the other hand and sure it went against everything we stood for and everything we were taught to believe, but what the opposition was doing, the opposition, the opposition being Bret, what Bret was doing, was completely against everything we had been taught to respect in this business. If you leave a territory, you do the right thing, and you give the title back to the person that the company wants you to give it to. His old man struggled like hell up in Canada. If this happened in his territory, how would Bret have felt if some American or some guy would come up there and said ‘I don’t want to drop this Canadian Stampede title because I’m a hero here and I’m going to take it with me and go make three million dollars with the competition.’ How would Stu Hart feel about that? What would Stu do? Stu would probably take the guy down in the dungeon and break his arm. At least we didn’t do that.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit “Monday Mailbag with Gerry Brisco on” with a h/t to for the transcription.

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