November 9, 1997, is a day that will live in professional wrestling infamy. On that fateful night, the Montreal Screwjob took place and Bret Hart would never again be a full-time wrestler for the WWE.
There has already been so much written and said about that evening. Everybody from Triple H to Jim Cornette has accepted credit with coming up with the idea for double-crossing Bret Hart in his home country. Bret himself has made peace with WWE and has appeared on their television programs as a legend for almost a decade now.
However, there is another side to the Montreal Screwjob. There are those who believe that everything that happened on the night of Survivor Series 1997 was all a collaborative effort between everybody involved to further advance WWE as they were in the thick of the Monday Night War. This theory was even covered during the VICELAND Dark Side Of The Ring documentary.
The basis of the theory is this: after Montreal, Vince McMahon stops being an on-air commentator and officially becomes the Mr. McMahon character. In the wake of this metamorphosis, the WWE does tremendous, record-breaking business while Bret Hart got to go to WCW and make more money for a lighter schedule. In theory, everybody wins.
One of the people who has suggested this theory in the past is former WWE Champion, Kevin Nash. The former Big Daddy Cool Diesel feels that the stars aligned too perfectly. Nash also believes that Vince McMahon sold the Bret Hart punch from their locker room altercation after the Screwjob a little too heavily. In the past, Nash has said that if McMahon didn't sell the 1994 trial against the federal government, then there is no way he would legitimately sell a punch from one of his WWE Superstars.
During an interview with Inside The Ropes, Bret Hart speaks about Nash saying that Montreal was a work and calls the theory idiotic,
"I think anyone that thinks that it was a work is either an idiot or they're just trying to provoke a reaction," Bret said. "You know, anyone that knows anything about me knows that's a pretty touchy subject. I went through a lot in my lifetime and the Screwjob, as I look at it, it was a victory for me. I mean, I got nothing but integrity. Everything I said was true and everything I talk about-- I can name who is in the room when I knocked Vince [McMahon] out. I can mark with an X where everybody sat when it happened and what their reactions were, including Shawn's."
As for Nash specifically, Bret points to the fact that Nash wasn't there and wouldn't know the genuine gravity of the situation.
"All I know is Kevin Nash wasn't there. You know, if you want to know what really happened at the Screwjob, ask Undertaker. He's one of the last guys alive that was in the room." Bret said, speaking to Undertaker's long-fabled reputation as conscious of the WWE locker room.
Bret would go on to say that he wishes the 1997 incident was all an elaborate scheme but nobody had that kind of foresight at the time.
"I wish it was a work," admitted the five-time WWE Champion. "You know, I wish that we'd planned it all out and that I would come back 10 years later when I'm old and wrestle Vince, beat him with a chair. You know, I wish it was. I wish I had that much foresight and we had planned and booked all this stuff so far in advance. But it's clearly a stupid thought."
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels recently came face-to-face once again for the WWE 2K20 trailer. The game, due out on Tuesday, will allow you to create new memories with Bret Hart, whether you pit "The Hitman" against Shawn Michaels or even Kevin Nash, himself.
If you use any portion of this transcription, please credit Inside The Ropes with an h/t: to Fightful for the transcription.