Gotta ask you something- When did Russo said that?
Because in his autobiography he talks about that night and he mentions that it was a shoot.
Although a lot of stuff actually made me wonder. The whole lead up to that is so strange.
Yes, Russo said that it was a shoot and he said that it was actually his idea for the screwjob finish. Me being a big Russo fan I accuse Russo for the first time that he made something up, he made up that it was a work. He indirectly admitted it that it was a work because of all people a headwriter had an idea how to solve this difficult problem. Of course a headwriter had an idea because a job of a writer is how to end a segment/storyline.
The reason why people like Bret, HBK, Vince, Triple H and others still claim that it was a shoot is because the MSJ became bigger than intended, they wanted to create a controversial moment but it became epic so why destroy the magic? People still talk to this day about this one and look how many screwjob storylines they did afterwards in different companies and this will be part of a storyline or a "greatest moments" DVD even in 20 years
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels know that this night they did something more memorable than any world title win, Vince knows that this made the Mr. McMahon character more believable so why ruin it? I think nobody will know the whole truth, because it will ruin one of the biggest moments in wrestling history.
The wrestling with shadows documentary was just an alibi. If you look only at the match ending it was just a confusing moment. The documentary with all the stuff before the match and the reactions and backstage stuff after the match made the fans realize what the hell happened. Without the documentary the Survivor Series match would guaranteed be voted as the match with the shittiest ending of all time because nobody would get it, thanks to the documentary it became an epic match ending and that was the intention why they did it.
The unnecessary booking, if Bret and HBK had real problems and if Bret said that he would drop the title to anybody except Shawn in Canada why the hell has WWE booked on a PPV before (Badd Blood:IYH) Bret Hart defending his title and HBK winning the #1 cont. match against the undertaker when they knew it would lead to Bret vs HBK title match in Montreal?
All the character changes of the superstars: Vince McMahon was for 20 years only a commentator and all of sudden in the late 1996 he was acknowledged as the owner, and not only that, he was a owner who was hated or mocked by many superstars like Stone Cold, DX, Bret Hart or Jim Ross so they needed a controversial moment. With Austin vs McMahon planned for 1998 and Bret already leaving this was the perfect moment.
Bret Hart, he complained the whole year 1997 how WWE screwed him in storylines. Do you think a wrestler who was screwed multiple times in storylines got screwed "for real" is a coincidence?
Vince Russo, since he became the headwriter almost every show had one worked shoot segment, MSJ was typical Russo writing.
People believing that it's real still today shows how great it was so why ruin it and admit that it was a work? If Bret wouldn't have so many problems like the stroke, loss of so many family members and the tragedy at Over the Edge what really ruined the relationship between Bret & Vince we would have Bret in WWE before 2010, maybe even in 2002 or 2003 when all the big names returned that would make more people realize that it was a work.