Earl Hebner makes a bold claim.
The Montreal Screwjob is over two decades old but has recently come back up in conversation thanks to VICE's documentary series Dark Side of the Ring. Their look at the Montreal Screwjob premiered this past week, getting fans talking once again about an incident that the main players put behind them years ago.
Earl Hebner was at the center of the screwjob, serving as the referee in the bout between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Hebner, who was in on the screwjob, called for the bell as Michaels had Hart in the Sharpshooter, before Bret attempted to reverse the hold. Speaking to Busted Open Radio, Hebner claims that Hart knew what was about to happen.
"I think both of them knew, to be honest with you. Why would you let a man put you in your own finish?"
Dave Meltzer previously reported that it was Pat Patterson's idea for Shawn to put Bret in the Sharpshooter.
When asked outright by Bully Ray whether he believes Bret knew, Hebner said, "Yeah, I really do. I'm not going to lie about it anymore. I've been trying to protect Bret but I can bet you 110% that Shawn Michaels knew what was going on."
Bully Ray then asked if the Sharpshooter spot should have tipped off Bret to a potential screwjob. Hebner replied, "Yes. I have different feelings about 'he did know or he didn't know,' to be honest with you. Just the rumors for the last 18-19 years, it's almost been questionable that both of them knew."
Hebner twice said, "18 or 19 years" when we're coming up on the 22-year anniversary of the incident. He also attempted to backtrack a bit in his final quote and didn't seem confident in his answer that Bret knew.
.@TheEarlHebner reflects on the Montreal screwjob, saying he believes both @BretHart & @ShawnMichaels knew what was about to happen.— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) April 18, 2019
Earl also reveals how scared he was later that night in the hotel after Survivor Series. pic.twitter.com/ExjAo27Ed0
You can listen to the clip yourself in the video above.