The Montreal Screwjob in WWE is a moment in professional wrestling history that will likely never be forgotten.
The 1997 Survivor Series pay-per-view featured a match by then-WWE Champion Bret Hart against Shawn Michaels. Hart had already signed a deal with WCW and was set to depart that December. Vince McMahon feared that Hart would take the title to his rival’s show.
As a result, McMahon told Hart the match would be ending in a disqualification. Hart didn’t want to drop the title in his home country of Canada, but said he would drop it or vacate it at a later time. Instead, once Michaels locked Hart in the Sharpshooter, per McMahon’s instructions, referee Earl Hebner called for the bell.
Michaels was announced as the winner and new WWE Champion despite Hart never tapping out. Hart left WWE and there was bad blood between the two sides for years. Recently, independent wrestling star Teddy Hart joined Sean “X-Pac” Waltman’s podcast, XPac 12360.
He explained how the aftermath of The Montreal Screwjob effected his family:
“It affected the unity of our family plus the WWE family because Bret [Hart] and Shawn [Michaels] were good friends before that. And it put guys like you [Waltman] in an awkward spot.
“That whole rift thing in WCW, where some of your friends left and went there and Bret going after and hitting Vince [McMahon], I think was one of the worst things that ever happened in wrestling history. That situation caused Owen [Hart] to end up in that situation too.
“Like a ripple effect. Like Davey [Boy Smith] wasn’t in the right headspace after he tried to make his comeback and Jim [Neidhart] suffered definitely from not being in the WWE system because the structure in WWE compared to WCW at the time, you know WCW was pretty wild… the ripple effect of that Montreal screwjob f–ked everybody over.”