The Montreal Screwjob was a controversial professional wrestling incident that occurred at the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) event “Survivor Series” on November 9, 1997 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. WWF champion Bret Hart and challenger Shawn Michaels was involved in this wrestling and was orchestrated by WWF owner Vince McMahon and other backstage officials.
Canadian wrestling legend
Bret Hart, a Canadian wrestling legend, was set to leave the WWF for rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW) after Survivor Series. McMahon and Michaels, who had a long-standing personal and professional rivalry with Hart, were concerned that Hart would refuse to lose the championship to Michaels before leaving the company.
Devised a plan
As a result, McMahon and his team devised a plan to have Michaels win the match by submission, despite Hart not actually tapping out. The referee, Earl Hebner, was in on the plan and called for the bell to ring, ending the match, while Hart was in a submission hold. Hart, who had not been informed of the finish, was furious and spat on McMahon after the match.
Controversy in the Wrestling World
The Montreal Screwjob caused a huge controversy in the wrestling world, with many fans and industry insiders accusing McMahon and the WWF of betraying Hart and ruining the integrity of professional wrestling. The incident also had a major impact on the careers of all involved, with Hart’s reputation taking a hit, Michaels becoming a hated figure among many fans, and McMahon gaining a reputation as a ruthless businessman willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead.
Most Talked-about and Debated Moments
The Montreal Screwjob remains one of the most talked-about and debated moments in wrestling history, and is often cited as a turning point in the industry’s evolution from a largely kayfabe (scripted) product to a more reality-based form of entertainment.