Originally Posted by Trouble Trouble
If it so humiliating to Bret, why did he come back, basically squashing the beef with Vince and HBK? That leads me to believe either Bret was more in the wrong than people admit or that it was all a work, with the plan for the 2 to have a rematch down the line but injuries said otherwise.
Losing the title in Canada should have been the least of Bret's worries. I've heard that WWE, upon signing, makes you list the 5 most embarrassing things that could happen in your career and then tells you eventually, they will happen.
Bret refusing to drop the title because HBK saying he wouldn't return favor is the equivalent of me saying "since you ratted me out to the police, I'm telling on you too". Still doesn't make either situation right. And the fact that they were shooting a documentary during the screwjob, the fact that Mr. McMahon was born from it, Owen stayed in WWE and Bret worked with Vince again less than a decade after the incident strongly tells me this was a work. Nobody can keep their story together and because of his reputation, HBK is always going to be the bad guy. And IMO, Bret still wanted his victory back from 1996.
Let me ask you this, lets say you're Vince McMahon. Now, you're known for screwing over talent in the past (Wendi Richter in '85), you've had the rival promotions WHC on your TV show and your competition had one of your titles thrown in the trash, killing that championship for about 3 years. Bret is known to throw temper tantrums, so how are you going to pretend that there is no chance Bret won't throw your title in the trash, especially as, after you said, Vince constantly standing by HBK?
It's only 2 choices for me, Bret couldn't be trusted or the whole thing was a work that backfired.
I already stated that Bret refusing to drop the title to HBK was Bret reasonably looking out for himself. Again, this is an industry that heavily relies on TRUST. When two guys get in the ring, they're performing scripted moves on each other that if gone wrong can kill people. Only a few inches on a 5 Star Frog Splash separate someone from taking the move regularly and almost having your trachea crushed a la Triple H at Survivor Series years back. You have to place your life into the hands of another wrestler and pray that they are competent and trustworthy enough to properly execute the move and not cripple you. Also, Vince has the same relationship-they trust him to hire competent, trustworthy guys and treat them properly, and Vince trusts them to go out there and be professionals-to make sure they don't break kayfabe, to work their matches to the best of their abilities, etc. Now, if I, as Bret Hart, am told by douchebag, drugged out Shawn Michaels that he isn't going to do his professional job for me, he is violating the trust we have. Why would I risk my life by getting into the ring with a guy like that? He might 'drop' me on my head because of our personal issues backstage. Why would I risk him breaking kayfabe and embarrassing me and the company?
Yet another big problem was when Vince pulled that swerve he, Michaels and his inside cronies were in on. That violated the trust of EVERYBODY in the company and brought to light the fact that Vince was capable of doing something like that. No longer could people go out there and feel completely secure about their standing in the company, or how their match would turn out. If Vince had a problem with you, he might just screw you over the same way he did Bret and embarrass you in front of the people in attendance and the ones watching on tv. When you're expecting guys to go out there and potentially hurt each other so YOU can make money, you don't fuck with your trusting relationship, because the second they don't trust you, they stop working. Vince is incredibly lucky more people didn't leave. Can you imagine if Austin had been so pissed by what happened that he left and went to WCW? We'd see a very different wrestling industry today, one very possibly NOT run by the WWE.
As for your speculation about Bret wanting his victory back, that's just what it is-speculation. Owen stayed because he was contractually obligated to-if he didn't, they'd have sued him and depending on the terms he may have wound up in prison.
Also, Vince and Bret had, by all means, a very good relationship up until the screwjob. You'd think that 2 guys who had a working relationship and personal friendship that went well for over 15 years would have at least given each other the benefit of the doubt. Vince had no reason to think Bret would do that because Bret at least hadn't violated his trust. And you want to talk about people who couldn't be trusted...you think Shawn Michaels, who was heavily abusing drugs and liquor, who ruined the pushes and careers of many guys in the past and who was a self centered prima donna in and outside of the ring COULD be trusted? Shawn didn't want to lose to Austin at WM14 and only under threat of physical violence from Undertaker did he concede-he very nearly stopped Attitude from happening. And yet Bret, the one who gave absolutely no reason not to be trusted in the past, was clearly the untrustworthy one...what sorta fucked up logic is that?
That's what it comes down to, really. I do not understand the logic of people who blame Bret considering what happened and HBK's state at the time. Even in some fucked up reality if Bret was being an unprofessional jerk, he STILL didn't deserve what happened to him. It was completely the wrong way to handle the situation.