The latest “Something to Wrestle” podcast had a remix of past conversations with Bruce Prichard about the Montreal Screwjob, followed by a new conversation on this topic with Gerald Brisco:
In a never before told story, Brisco said the Montreal screwjob was not the first time Bret Hart refused to do a job?
“We were over in Bahrain,” Brisco said. “It’s a little island right off Saudi Arabia. We’re running an outdoor show there. This is probably the same year. We had a tournament. It came down to Bret and Undertaker as the main event. It wasn’t a title match, it was just a Bahrain tournament. Bret said, ‘I’m not going to drop the match here. I can’t get beat here.’ I’m thinking, we’re in the middle of nowhere. I asked Bret, ‘Why? It’s The Undertaker.’ He said, ‘There’s too many fans.’ Granted, there were a contingent of Canadian soldiers in attendance, so he was right in that aspect. There were some Canadian soldiers, but most of the people were native people there. It wasn’t like there were overwhelming Maple Flags flying there. We’re 10,000 miles away from anywhere, and back in those days, there wasn’t any social media or anything like that. Of course, I made my phone call to Vince. Vince said, ‘Just get the match in the ring.’ When Undertaker comes in, he likes to know what he’s going to do so he can develop a game plan in his head during the course of the event.
I’ve never told this story before. ‘Vince said talk to Taker. Just get the match in the ring. Do what you have to do, but get it in the ring. It’s the last night of the tour, get the hell out and come home. We’ll deal with it then. I tell Taker what’s going on. He said, ‘He doesn’t want to drop the title to me?’ I said, ‘No, he doesn’t want to drop it. There’s too many Canadians here.’ Taker looked at me with a look of shock with those piercing eyes of his that scared me to the bone. I said, ‘Well, what do you want to do? He said, ‘The hell with it. I’ll put him over.’ That’s the professional that Taker is. I approached Bret and said he’ll put you over. He said, ‘Well, I don’t have to pin him. I can put the sharpshooter on him.’ I said, ‘Well you’re not going to put the sharpshooter on him. You’re going to pin him.’ So we worked out the match for VKM. That was my first example with Bret.”
Brisco telling us about the conversation he had with Earl Hebner about the screwjob that was being planned:
Brisco said, “As the match was getting ready to go to the ring, Earl was getting ready to get in there. I grabbed Earl by the arm and I took him just a few steps from the Gorilla position where Bruce (Prichard) was sitting, and Davey Boy and Owen, so I couldn’t talk to him right in front of them because they would alert Bret somehow that Brisco was talking to the referee and to be aware of something.
Brisco continued, “So I took Earl back in a little corner and Earl did not want to do it. Earl was not going to do it. I just started laying it out in black and white to him. I said, ‘Earl, you have a mortgage on your house, right? If Bret takes his title down there (WCW), and like I said, we’re not in the greatest shape financially, we being WWF, is he going to pay your mortgage? Is he going to pay your electric bill? Is he going to feed your family when he takes off and he’s down there making billions of dollars? What’s going to happen to you if you refuse to do this and I have to replace you?’”
“I went to Timmy White and asked Timmy to stand by. I told Timmy, ‘We might have a ref bump so I might need you to stand by.’ That’s how I covered it with Timmy to be on standby to referee the match just in case something happened. Timmy of course being a company man said, ‘Yea, I’ll be glad to.’ He said, ‘I hope nothing happens.’ I said, ‘Well I do too, but I might need you as a standby.’
So Timmy was sitting over by Gorilla [position]. Finally, I got down to brass tacks with Earl. I said, ‘Ok Earl. You have to go to the ring. You have to tell me right now. I’ve got Timmy White over there that will take your place. You know if you refuse to do it and you walk out, you’re probably finished here. Now is Bret going to take you to WCW and get you a job down there? I doubt it if he’ll take you down there. You’re going to be out of the business as far as making major money with a major organization.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Brisco, I wouldn’t do it for any other guy but you.’ He said, ‘It’s against my judgment.’ I said, ‘It’s against my judgment too, but it’s the only choice that we have at this time. So are you going to do it or not?’ He said, ‘I’ll do it.’ I said, ‘As soon as you do that 1,2,3, I want you to grab the belt, hand it to Shawn, and just get the hell out of there. Get out of that arena as quickly and as fast as you possibly can.’”