Getting over in the mid-card
Join Date: Jan 2006
Re: The Montreal Screwjob.. Who acted worse?
I don't think you could say who acted worse and both Bret Hart and Vince McMahon acted pretty badly and it all depends on what side you look at it from. On the side of Vince McMahon you have someone in Bret Hart who refused to lose the WWE title because the planned match was in Canada and because it was Shawn Michaels who he didn't get on with off screen and was bitter because he had replaced him as the top guy.
WWE was losing the ratings battle to WCW and had been for a long time so in his eyes he couldn't risk Bret Hart showing up on Nitro with the WWE title or without having ever lost the WWE title as it would make WWE look weak. Regardless of Bret Hart having "reasonable creative control" for the last 30 days of his contract he should have dropped the WWE title to whoever he was asked to do so to and in whatever country the match was taking place. I think Ted DiBiase said it best when he said it doesn't matter where you lose as the world is watching anyway so be it America, Canada, Germany or England it's irrelevant.
On the side of Bret Hart he was annoyed because after he had told Shawn Michaels he had no problem in losing to him later down the line Shawn Michaels had apparently told him he wouldn't be willing to do the same so didn't want to back down in their backstage feud so refused to lose to Shawn Michaels as well. After being the top star and face of the company from 1993 through to early 1996 he felt disrespected and pushed out in a way because of the way the product was going which was tailor made for people like Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin. I believe Bret Hart had actually stopped his children from watching post Summerslam because of the content on Raw on a weekly basis.
I've always said though that Bret Hart should have dropped the WWE title to Shawn Michaels because the plan was always for Austin/Michaels at WrestleMania 14 and it was for the good of the business and company. It's a shame that his WWE career ended the way it did because he had done a lot for WWE but he was so bitter about Shawn Michaels replacing him as top guy he refused to do anything with Shawn Michaels in which he didn't look better. There is no doubt that Shawn Michaels was a prick to people backstage and alienated a lot of people but Bret Hart wasn't really any better but did it in a sneaky way where he would try to get everyone on his side backstage.
Still to this day Bret Hart tries to take credit for everything good in WWE back then as seen by his interview with Arda Ocal recently and he talks of how the ratings plummeted as soon as he left and that Shawn Michaels didn't carry or represent WWE anywhere like he did although i posted the ratings from when Shawn Michaels was WWE champion through 1996 and in 1997 against Bret Hart as WWE champion from late 1995 to WrestleMania 12 and again from post Summerslam and the ratings were more or less the same outside of a few times when Raw hit a 4.0 or over for the first time ever and Shawn Michaels was WWE champion.
People always talk about Hulk Hogan refusing to lose to people so in the sense Bret Hart was just as bad but played the victim for why he refused to lose when if he really wanted to claim the moral high ground he should have lost and then he would have been seen as the bigger man and walked away with the full respect of everyone for doing what was right for business. The way he did it though he did what was best for him and him going to WCW as WWE champion or without losing could have killed off WWE for good so in a way he forced the hand of Vince McMahon in to doing what he did. One thing i don't get though is why Triple H never gets any heat for what happened seeing as it was his idea and he was in on the whole thing as well.