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Montreal Screwjob - Why Vince was right.

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I know this is a subject that has been covered extensively but I wanted to give my opinion on why Vince, from a business perspective was absolutely right to screw Bret.

I watched the Wrestling with shadows film in full for the first time recently, and what struck me most of all was just how Naive at times a veteran of the business like him turned out to be. To begin, the whole process of the screwjob started with Bret's contract nearing it's end, and a big offer on the table from Ted Turner to join WCW. This would potentially be a major coup for WCW, at a time when WCW were competing with, and potentially ahead of WWF in the TV ratings. Vince had money troubles and couldn't compete with the offer from WCW, who had been the WWF's top man for nearly 4 years by then, but Bret was loyal to Vince and so agreed a long term contract on a lower salary with Vince.

However, Vince couldn't honour the contract and decided he wanted out of it, and to allow Bret to leave and join WCW, but there is no way that Vince could have allowed his top man, his jewel in the crown, to simply leave on a high with a nice farewell at SS then just drop the title and fuck off to their main rivals. There's just no way, and the fact Bret thought he could leave like that shows incredible naivety for someone who had been in the business as long as he had (14 years by then I think it was) so in a way you could even say that, yes, Bret screwed Bret. He had to be sent packing as damaged goods, and the fact Survivor Series was in Canada made his exit that bit more effective. It had to be done, and you have to say that Bret had nowhere near the impact in WCW that he had in WWF.

Besides, the direction WWF were heading in at the time, as Bret explained in the film, was something he was uncomfortable with, so it's doubtful he would have lasted that much longer there anyway.
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· Lucy Snorebush
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At the end of the day, it took two to tango in this situation. Vince not being able to pay a contract he'd agreed and then going about it in a disgusting manner. But Bret (not the angel everyone seems to think he is) certainly gave Vince the firepower to do it. He had a little argument with HBK (also, a well publicised prick in the locker room) which caused him to say he wouldn't drop the belt on a PPV in Canada. Really? Bret got what he fucking deserved, you don't have a personal argument then hold your bosses balls because of it.

The funny thing is that Bret ended up looking like the victim, when all along he was the one who instigated it.

There was alot of bad blood going on before, during and after the screwjob but everyone certainly played their part and none of them are innocent.
 

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I disagree.

First off Bret's contract wasn't 'nearing its end', he still had over nineteen years left on it and Vince told him he was going to breach its terms because he couldnt afford to pay him. Brets negotiations with WCW in 97 started AFTER Vince told him this, not before. The big offer from WCW had nothing to do with Vince saying he couldnt afford Bret, it was the other way around. Hell it was Vince himself who told Bret he should try to get the best deal he could from WCW.

I agree that Bret was very naive during the whole situation, he was far too trusting of Vince despite the constant lies he had been fed by him during the year and the fact that Vince seemed to have a habit of telling people what they wanted to hear rather than the truth. Bret should have realised that there was no way Vince would have let him just give up the belt, but it shouldn't have even come to that. Bret repeatedly told Vince he would lose the title in the ring to ANYONE in the company except for Shawn Michaels, a man who flat out told Bret he wouldn't do the same for him when Bret told him he was willing to lose the belt to him.

The fact is that Shawn in 97 was an arrogant douchebag who had one friend in the entire company (who at the time was really more of a lackey) and was flat out refusing to lose to anyone (Shawn got pinned ONCE in the year of 1997 and that was through him 'laying down for HHH). Shawn was unwilling to put anyone over at the time so why should anyone want to do the same for him?

As for the whole 'damaged goods' issue, I would say Bret looked better heading to WCW as a man who was screwed over by his old company and who never actually lost the title. The fact that WCW fucked it all up had nothing to do with the manner in which Bret left the WWF.

The screwjob in my opinion was only necessary because of Vinces insistence that Bret lose to Shawn, which is something I dont think Bret was wrong to disagree with. Vince had MONTHS to get the title off Bret before he began with WCW and it didnt need to end with Bret just giving up the strap, he would have done it in any manner and to any other guy than Vince wanted. Which he was within his rights to do, due to the creative control clause in his contract (stipulated by Vince).
 

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I think I get what you're saying... basically Vince screwing Bret was as much a sabotage to his WCW career as it was a way of getting the title off him?

Maybe. It's hard to say because in all reality - screwing such a big star and then him being on the oppositions television relatively soon after could have went the other way. If WCW had an iota of sense about them they could have really capitalised on this aspect.

But alas, it happened like it did and WCW used Bret like shit. The bottom line with Bret was, he was too honest and loyal in a business filled with snakes and crooks. All the years he gave to Vince and everything he put his body through for him means nothing to a cutthroat business man like Vince and Bret should have realised that.
 

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Why?

The egotistical asshole that reckons he is the best there is wanted to leave for WCW without losing the title. Woldn't agree to droping it. So the big man owned him and though him a lesson!!

Thats how i remember it
 

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wow...man it's simple: Bret wants to go to WCW as a champion, Vince wants Bret go but not as a champion. Couldn't agree on that, so Vince did what he had to do.
 

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wow...man it's simple: Bret wants to go to WCW as a champion, Vince wants Bret go but not as a champion. Couldn't agree on that, so Vince did what he had to do.
Nope.

Bret has repeatedly stated that he had no intention whatsoever of screwing Vince over and showing up in WCW with the WWF title. Likewise Eric Bischoff has said he knew that there was no way Bret would bring the belt over and that it had nothing to do with Bret being signed.
 

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It was a messed up situation, but I would probably do what Vince did. Madusa showing up with the women's belt on Nitro was one thing, but under no circumstances could Vince risk Bret showing up with the WWF heavyweight title there. The fact that the weasel Bischoff was in the mix made it an easier decision for Vince as well.
 

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I think its been said before Bret didnt want to keep the title.was going to give it up on Raw the next night.I think its bullshit when people say Bret screwed himself
How many other people in wrestling would have stayed loyal..I dont think many.Nash,Hall,hogan and many others are for sure not loyal
And Vince is the boss but at the end of the day Bret worked their for many years and what happened in the end was bullshit no matter what people who hate or like bret hart thinks..
If that happened in any job im sure no on would like it if happened to them
 

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TheIrishProdigy™;9386914 said:
Why?

The egotistical asshole that reckons he is the best there is wanted to leave for WCW without losing the title. Woldn't agree to droping it. So the big man owned him and though him a lesson!!

Thats how i remember it
This.

But yea it's over anyway now.
 

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Why?

The egotistical asshole that reckons he is the best there is wanted to leave for WCW without losing the title. Woldn't agree to droping it. So the big man owned him and though him a lesson!!

Thats how i remember it
This.

If you read Bret's book or his blogs or various interviews that he's done, the one thing that jumps out is how self centered he is. You'd think that if he had things his way, he'd be WWF/E champ until the day he retires.
 

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Nope.

Bret has repeatedly stated that he had no intention whatsoever of screwing Vince over and showing up in WCW with the WWF title. Likewise Eric Bischoff has said he knew that there was no way Bret would bring the belt over and that it had nothing to do with Bret being signed.
you might be right, but vince couldn't be sure about that.
 

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I disagree.

First off Bret's contract wasn't 'nearing its end', he still had over nineteen years left on it and Vince told him he was going to breach its terms because he couldnt afford to pay him. Brets negotiations with WCW in 97 started AFTER Vince told him this, not before. The big offer from WCW had nothing to do with Vince saying he couldnt afford Bret, it was the other way around. Hell it was Vince himself who told Bret he should try to get the best deal he could from WCW.

I agree that Bret was very naive during the whole situation, he was far too trusting of Vince despite the constant lies he had been fed by him during the year and the fact that Vince seemed to have a habit of telling people what they wanted to hear rather than the truth. Bret should have realised that there was no way Vince would have let him just give up the belt, but it shouldn't have even come to that. Bret repeatedly told Vince he would lose the title in the ring to ANYONE in the company except for Shawn Michaels, a man who flat out told Bret he wouldn't do the same for him when Bret told him he was willing to lose the belt to him.

The fact is that Shawn in 97 was an arrogant douchebag who had one friend in the entire company (who at the time was really more of a lackey) and was flat out refusing to lose to anyone (Shawn got pinned ONCE in the year of 1997 and that was through him 'laying down for HHH). Shawn was unwilling to put anyone over at the time so why should anyone want to do the same for him?

As for the whole 'damaged goods' issue, I would say Bret looked better heading to WCW as a man who was screwed over by his old company and who never actually lost the title. The fact that WCW fucked it all up had nothing to do with the manner in which Bret left the WWF.

The screwjob in my opinion was only necessary because of Vinces insistence that Bret lose to Shawn, which is something I dont think Bret was wrong to disagree with. Vince had MONTHS to get the title off Bret before he began with WCW and it didnt need to end with Bret just giving up the strap, he would have done it in any manner and to any other guy than Vince wanted. Which he was within his rights to do, due to the creative control clause in his contract (stipulated by Vince).
First off Bret Hart and Vince McMahon had come to a mutual decision about the contract as Vince had told Bret Hart that there was absolutely no chance to he could afford to pay the contract in full because of the uncertainty surrounding the company. At this point they had been behind WCW in the ratings for quite some time and this was more or less an admission by Vince McMahon that he could not beat WCW now and knew that the end was coming.

Secondly negotitations between Bret Hart and WCW actually began in 1996 whilst Bret Hart was on hiatus after WrestleMania 12 and he was offered something like 3 million dollars a year to switch over to WCW, this is when Vince McMahon offered Bret Hart the twenty year contract which would see him move into the role that Triple H currently has backstage as Vince McMahon's senoir advisor. The money on the table from Vince McMahon was less than WCW were offering but over the long term was much more because WCW was only offering a three year contract which amounted to 9 millions dollars whereas WWE's was possibly three times that over twenty years.

How Shawn Michaels was backstage back then is really completely irrelavant but in reality both Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were as bad as each other because Bret Hart was the one who had started the whole thing by saying bad things about Shawn Michaels whilst he was WWE champion in 1996. If you had known anything from back then you would know that Bret Hart had said to Shawn Michaels that he was saying those things to build heat for their feud if and when he returned but the reality is that Bret Hart was very bitter about losing his spot as the top guy which he had held since mid 1993.

Now last time i knew it was Vince McMahon who ran WWE and he is the one who does all the booking so if Shawn Michaels had not been pinned all year in 1997 then that was down to Vince McMahon but at the same time how many times did Bret Hart lose in 1997 outside of a couple of matches to The Patriot to build him up. What needs to be remembered is Shawn Michaels missed around four months of the year and then barely wrestled again until after SummerSlam which means that he probably wrestled for around six months that year and around three of the months he was WWE champion.

If you have a job and your boss says you have to do something do you turn round and say no to him or say i will but not if i have to work with that person, i would imagine that had you done that and been under contract you would most likely be looking for a new job. In wrestling if you are told to lose to someone then unless you can convince your boss why that isn't a good idea then you have to go out and lose, it doesn't matter who it is too and it doesn't matter what country it happens in either like Ted DiBiase said because the world is watching anyway.

As far back as Survivor Series the plan was always to build Stone Cold Steve Austin up to win the WWE title at WrestleMania 14 and they needed a top heel to put him over of which there was only Shawn Michaels who could do that with Bret Hart leaving, The Undertaker was scheduled to face Kane which left Faarooq, The Rock who was nowhere near ready, Mick Foley who wasn't a big enough name then and Owen Hart who was a mid carder at best. What was best for business was to put the WWE title on Shawn Michaels and then have him carry it into WrestleMania so they could put the title on Stone Cold Steve Austin but Bret Hart refused and said he would drop it to Ken Shamrock.

Why Bret Hart honestly believed that he could decide who he would drop the WWE title too no one will ever know but Ken Shamrock hardly brought ratings whereas Shawn Michaels as leader of D-Generation X did and a feud between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels who were the flag bearers for the new era that had come in was the biggest feud WWE had available to them. I always liked Bret Hart but as every other wrestler who has spoken about it said Bret Hart was completely in the wrong to refuse to drop the WWE title to Shawn Michaels because he didn't like him backstage and he should have done what was best for business and acted professionally.

I never as such agreed with what Vince McMahon said when he said that Bret Hart screwed Bret Hart because it was Triple H's idea and Vince McMahon that pushed it through so it was Vince McMahon that screwed Bret Hart but Bret Hart should have put his personal feelings about Shawn Michaels aside and done the right thing. Saying he would only drop it to Ken Shamrock or give up the title the next night on Raw was a very selfish and self centred thing to do, yes Shawn Michaels wasn't liked by most people backstage but no one ever questioned his ability in the ring or the fact that he was the top heel and the man that Vince McMahon wanted to put the title on therefore the majority of people involved in the wrestling industry have said that Bret Hart was in the wrong for refusing to lose the title to Shawn Michaels.
 

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I don't see it as anyone's fault. It was a very tough situation on the whole. Bret was innocent, and Vince was desperate. Neither can really be blamed. To some extent, you can say that the fault lies with Vince, because he was the one who orchestrated the whole thing. But then, there was nothing that he could possibly have done. The bright side is that the issue has been resolved now: so all is well that ends well.
 

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First off Bret Hart and Vince McMahon had come to a mutual decision about the contract as Vince had told Bret Hart that there was absolutely no chance to he could afford to pay the contract in full because of the uncertainty surrounding the company.
I know that, I was responding to the OPs post where he said that the whole process started
with Bret's contract nearing its end and was pointing out that wasn't the case.


Secondly negotitations between Bret Hart and WCW actually began in 1996 whilst Bret Hart was on hiatus after WrestleMania 12 and he was offered something like 3 million dollars a year to switch over to WCW,
Again, I know that. I was responding to the OP saying that Vince had money troubles and couldn't compete with the offer from WCW, in 1997 he didn't have to compete with any offer from them since Bret was already under contract.

Shawn Michaels backstage behaviour is 100 percent relevant to the screwjob. If he and Bret didn't have the problems they had Bret wouldn't have been so adamant in his refusal to drop the belt to Shawn. If Shawn hadn't responded to Bret telling him he was willing to lose it to Shawn with 'thanks but I wont do the same for you' Bret would have lost to him.

If you had known anything from back then you would know that Bret Hart had said to Shawn Michaels that he was saying those things to build heat for their feud if and when he returned but the reality is that Bret Hart was very bitter about losing his spot as the top guy which he had held since mid 1993.
Thats Shawn's version of the story anyway, he claimed that was the case in the same interview where he denied any knowledge of the screwjob along with a plethora of other lies.

Now last time i knew it was Vince McMahon who ran WWE and he is the one who does all the booking
Vince does all the booking? I guess the existence of a booking team/creative staff in the WWE is all really a myth then. Shawn not being pinned in 1997 was down to Shawn refusing to lose. IMO one of the funniest things about the whole situation is Shawn saying to Vince 'he doesnt want to lose in Canada? What if I say I dont want to lose the the USA?', when Shawn was in fact refusing to lose in America, along with every other country in the world.

As far back as Survivor Series the plan was always to build Stone Cold Steve Austin up to win the WWE title at WrestleMania 14 and they needed a top heel to put him over of which there was only Shawn Michaels who could do that with Bret Hart leaving
I agree. The problem is its not as though whoever beat Bret for the title would have to be the one to face Austin at Wrestlemania. There were three PPVs and a bunch of RAWs between Survivor Series and Wrestlemania for Shawn to win the belt from whoever beat Bret.

Why Bret Hart honestly believed that he could decide who he would drop the WWE title too no one will ever know
Except we do know, Bret had a clause in his contract giving him control of his own booking in the event that Vince wanted out of their agreement. As for having to do whatever your boss says or look for a new job, Bret already had to look for a new job because Vince was breaking their contract, he had no reason to do anything Vince said other than loyalty.

Saying he would only drop it to Ken Shamrock or give up the title the next night on Raw was a very selfish and self centred thing to do
Say what? Bret said he would drop it to ANYONE except Shawn, Shamrock was just one of the suggestions he made. He never said that he would only drop it to him.

I know I probably sound like a rabid Bret fanboy who would defend anything he does with these posts but thats honestly not the case. The guy had a colossal ego to the point of being delusional back then and thats probably one of the reasons he clashed with Shawn so much. That being said, Brets refusal to lose to Michaels stemmed from Shawns attitude and actions and his refusal to do the same thing for Bret and others. People might say that it was the best thing for business at the time but if you work with a guy who you have constant issues with your not going to want to do him any favors regardless of how others may percieve it as not being the right thing to do. Numerous WWF stars at the time threatened to walk out on the company because of what happened and Bret recieved a bunch of calls from legends and former world champions congratulating him for knocking Vince out after what he did to Bret.
 

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The trust had gone on both sides Vince didn't trust that Bret wasn't going to turn up on WCW with the WWF Title as to be fair WCW fucked over the womens championship as well so for Eric to say it wouldn't happen is bull shit.
Bret should have dropped the title that night but his ego wouldn't allow him he didn't do right for the company as much as I like Bret
 

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In my opinion i'm on Bret's side.
He did so much for Vince, was the face of their company throughout it's worst period.

Even though he was on his way to WCW he deserved a pay off from all the years of effort he put in, especially against a guy who at the time was an asshole. It just makes Vince's ego look bigger and bigger everytime I see the screwjob.
 
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