Did Bret Hart bring the Screwjob situation on himself?

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by TEIWCSCSAATBHPHASP, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. TEIWCSCSAATBHPHASP

    TEIWCSCSAATBHPHASP Pre-Show Stalwart

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    @Makaveli31

    Calling a spade a spade, Bret was a tremendous wrestler and a decent interview. (Basically William Regal if he didn't look 40 years older than he was.) That said, the whining got old after a while, and there was little anyone could do with that in WCW by the time he got there. He may have been the hottest name in the business when he got there but how do you keep a 'hard done by' guy over? You can't because it gets old fast.

    I still don't believe for a second that McMahon ever promised Bret that Hogan would put him over for the title. There was nothing there storyline wise that would have led to that at that point and Bret just wasn't going to mesh well for a well booked title match. Yoko was a draw at that point and Hogan and Yoko worked and was a draw when Hogan put him over. (And he put Yoko over better than he put Brock over and that's saying something.)

    There was little from the WWF's New Generation era that drew after Hogan. Lex, HBK, Diesel, Bret, none of them were a draw. Razor and Taker were the ONLY ones in the company that were serious draws at that point, and to a lesser extent Hennig. The only time Bret was truly over was in Europe and the Canada vs USA angle. I respect that Bret wanted to be the man but he handled the fact that he couldn't be very badly, knowing full well that Bret Hart can never truly be the man in a winning wrestling company for the Monday Night Wars. He is only the man when he's in a wrestling company devoid of true top stars to the point that Bret would get his fill by default. In a good wrestling company, Bret being the guy would never have happened.
     
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  2. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Championship Contender

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    William Regal?!? LOL first off Regal had no where near the charisma Bret, had no where near the caliber of matches Bret had and Bret (when he had an issue to talk about instead of rambling) was a better talker than Regal. Another comparison that boggles the mind. There were ALOT of problems with Bret's WCW run not just the whining (which did get old) but again he was told to do this by Bischoff. If you read Bret's book, Bischoff told him to rip the fans (when the fans were chanting Bret's name ironically) and play the blame game not Bret. Now, you can criticize Bret for not coming up with any new ideas for his character that's fair but he will say (and he has stated) that all of his ideas were shot down by Bischoff, Nash, and Hogan.

    It was a head game between Hogan and McMahon and Bret was caught in the middle. Vince told Bret one thing (probably to get him to drop the strap to Yoko without any ill-feelings) and told Hogan another. Vince was known for doing that. Bret says he was told one thing by McMahon and when confronted McMahon flat out lied and said "it was never going to be a World title match." That was according to Bret's book.

    Hennig?!? When was he a draw? He barely wrestled during the New Generation Era. Razor and 'Taker were role players at that point. Prominent players but they weren't charged with "carrying the comapany."

    The problem with the New Generation Era was Vince booked them like he did Hogan in the '80's The white meat All-American babyface. In the Attitude-starved '90's. We're talking MTV, grunge, gangsta rap, Pulp Fiction-era stuff and Vince had Lex in skimpy USA tights driving around in a bus?!? Diesel singing Christmas carols?!? Shawn with his boyhood dream touring the country with his 60 year old trainer Jose Lothario. It was enough to make you puke.

    To me, Bret Hart was over. Was he Hogan, Austin or Rock? No. Was he Sammartino or Andre? No. Was he even Backlund? Debatable. But he lead the company during it's worst time financially abd creatively. If you're a Hall of Famer on a losing team you are still a Hall of Famer. He was still VERY over with the crowd. You just have to look at the matches and the kind of response he got. The proof is in the pudding. There were very few Bret matches that were boring or did not deliver. He brought it everyday.

    You could argue that point. It's valid but if I was running a wrestling company I would rather have Bret on my team than the opposing teams. He would not necessarily be "the man' but he would always be a top star.
     
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  3. Emmet

    Emmet Juventino 4 LiFe

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    Hart like Regal? Genuinely one of the worst comparisons I've ever read. That is simply ridiculous.

    Hart was huge all over the world except the USA in his 1992-96 years. He was huge in the UK and won German athlete of the year a couple of times (a legitimate award). He was popular in America, he wasn't Hogan or Austin, but still good enough to hold the belt on numerous occasions.

    The 'whining' was part of his character through 1997. That wasn't the real person, at least in the beginning. Also your comments that Bret couldn't handle 'not being the main man very badly' is rubbish. He went out of his way to put Austin over, told HBK multiple times that he wanted a string of classic matches which would ultimately end in his hand being raised. Hart was the ideal company man.
     
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  4. agentmichaelscarn

    agentmichaelscarn Old School

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    There were posters leaked advertising HOgan vs. Hart for Summerslam. Also I'm from Detroit(where Summerslam 93 took place) and it was advertised on the radio and TV as late as June to "come watch Hulk Hogan take on Bret the Hitman Hart". I'm sure Vince's plans were to have Hogan win but I don't doubt for a second that he told Hart that he was going over.

    Also where does this not a draw come from? Bret's live gates always outdrew the other show that he wasn't on, PPV's headlined by Bret were always higher than the years without him, when Bret became a focal point of Raw regularly in 97(before that he would only be featured here and there) Raw put up their highest ratings ever to that point. Hell in 95 he was headlining house shows with Jean Pierre Lafit and they were outdrawing shows with the WWE title on them.

    Even as bad as he was booked in WCW he was still drawing ratings for them. Meltzer breaks down quarter hour ratings and ratings for individual wrestlers. And in 98-99 Bret brought a plus 2.42 when he was on TV. Only Goldberg, Flair and Hogan were higher.

    Also Meltzer breaks down all the gate receipts and merch sales and for the decade of the 90s the only wrestlers from WCW and WWE to draw more money than Hart were Flair and Hogan.
     
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  5. agentmichaelscarn

    agentmichaelscarn Old School

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    Also I just want to shoot down one more of the narratives that WWE always spouts. They say that "They couldn't risk WCW saying they signed the champ.". When Bret wears a wire for his meeting with Vince on Wrestling with Shadows, on the extended cut he specifically says "I can call Bischoff and tell him not to say anything on TV about signing me" and VInce says "Don't bother everybody already knows anyway." So Vince didn't give a shit about that, he knew that people wouldn't give a shit anyway, I mean WCW was heading towards their biggest PPV in their existence and their biggest match ever. He knew that the signing of Bret Hart was the least of their concerns.

    It was just another excuse he used to justify what he did.
     
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  6. MrMojoRisin

    MrMojoRisin Championship Contender

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    This thread is a joke, and you guys have done a pretty good job debunking this guy on his fantasies...

    and he's done a pretty good job giving Hart everything he'd ever need to have a judge file a restraining order if he wants...

    but these quotes here stood out to me and need to be addressed.

    What the FUCK is wrong with you? You're so obsessed with talking shit about Hart that you have to resort to talking like this about the dead?

    What makes Piper one of the most notorious pieces of scum that professional wrestling has ever seen? Muraco? Hawk? Smith?

    Har, har, har. Look, the guys that Bret Hart called friends are all dead, and the ones that Michaels was friends with are still alive. Just goes to show what a piece of shit Hart was? The fuck type of logic is that?

    Real classy talking about the dead like this. Real class act you are.
     
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  7. comrade_mario

    comrade_mario Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    This thread is a bit mental, the OP seems to have some serious issues but I'll give my take on it anyway.

    The Montreal Screwjob happened because Vince McMahon, rightly, feared he had lost some influence and power in the locker room. For all intents and purposes, Bret's contract in 1996 gave him the most power a WWF wrestler ever had. He was paid Hogan money, big merchandise rights and he had reasonable creative control, as well as the use of the The Hitman name. That did not go unnoticed by guys like the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, who were pushing for similar contracts.

    So, whats the best way to deal with that situation? Raise everyone up to Hart's level or destroy Hart? Bingo. Vince didn't need to do the screwjob to save the company from seeing Bret on Nitro with the belt, he needed to do the screwjob to show everyone he was still in charge.

    Shawn was just a useful tool in getting to that point as the likes of Foley, Taker, Austin etc. wouldn't have gone through with it.
     
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  8. theHeadliner

    theHeadliner Getting Noticed By Management

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    In late September, Vince told Bret money was no longer a problem, that he could pay him in full. It wasn't the money. Bret was unhappy about the direction of the company, and when Vince laid out plans for him, which were losing to Michaels at a series of PPV matches before he beat Michaels on RAW only to lose to Austin shortly thereafter, that he wasn't going to be the champion, which Bret Hart took very seriously. He is just as guilty as Michaels of taking things to heart or too seriously, etc.
     
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  9. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    I get the Regal point from both sides both are kind of correct... the problem is in 97, he had nowhere near the charisma someone like Bret did... but Regal DID end up a far better wrestling "character" than Bret ever was and far more charismatic when he had the years on the clock... on at least two different occasions, with the GM role (which Bret would have had instead had he stayed) he was one of the best heels in the biz, on his attitude and persona.The first time was more comedic with the Jericho "besmirching" and Eugene etc but the second when he was active and KOTR... That Regal was the talent Bret thought himself to be in 97, if that drugs fail hadn't come, the landscape would be different now... not cos Regal would have been the man for years, but even just once would have meant other talents came through differently and or better.

    When it comes down to it, Bret DID screw Bret...his ego did 90% of the damage... but it IS fair to say he was led into a trap Vince, who after 12 years had worked him out and knew which buttons to push. Bret no longer fit and he was dumb enough to fall for it all... was stubborn enough to perpetuate the feud for a long time and is still conceited enough to think he was morally right about it.

    Bret's gift was that he is/was Bret Hart, a unique man from a unique family in a unique business at the right time to make it big... over more time it's become his curse, as he and the family name have ceased to be unique, special or important to that business at all... The Hart name is largely forgotten or unknown by the Reigns generation, Natalya does her best, but it's small beer when it comes down to it.
     
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  10. SSJPhenom

    SSJPhenom The Phenom of WZ

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    I don't know how I missed this gem of a thread, but damn I wished I had of been around for the initial discussion. I've just read the whole thing and like the Montreal Screwjob always does; it shows who are Bret marks, who are Bret haters, and who actually looks at the situation objectively for what it was. A big huge clusterfuck resulting from many many wrongs on many many sides.

    Did Bret Hart bring the Montreal Screwjob on himself. As this thread has proven, a legit argument can be made for no and a legit argument can be made for yes. I'm of the mindset that had Bret not done certain things then this never would've happened. The same thing can be said of McMahon and Michaels too. Where I fall at, though, is at the end of the day; if your boss tells you to do something, you go do it. Let's forget this is wrestling for a moment. Let's look at this as any other workplace. There's a young guy at my workplace who I can't stand. Every day he does or says something that pisses me off. One day, he asks me to cover for him because he needs off. I say, "Sure, if you ever need off, I'll cover for you". He says; "Well that's great but I'd never cover for you". From that point on, I can't stand the guy. I don't want to talk to him or work with him or anything. My boss tells me that we have a job coming up and that I'm going to have to team up with the guy I hate to get the job done. I say; "No, I'm not doing that. I'll work with Steve or Mark, or hell the new guy that doesn't know shit but I'm not working with that asshole". Boss says he already has plans for those other guys and this is the only option available. Still I refuse. Well what should my boss do people? What would any good boss do in this situation? He should fire my ass and not look back.

    Sure I left out some details as to contract situations and what not, but the fact remains the same. Bret Hart was an employee asked by his boss to do something and he refused. So his boss took it upon himself to get what he needed done, done anyway he could. Did Hart bring the situation upon himself? Sure he did, however, McMahon and Michaels also brought the situation to fruition. It was a clusterfuck of many different faults that resulted in the Montreal Screwjob.

    P.S., I love some of these posters trying to make Hart look holier than thou. I've posted threads and videos in this very section showing situations in which Hart played backstage politics against people like Nash, 'Taker and others. At the end of the day, Hart was a huge mark for himself and his ego was out of control, but 90% of all wrestlers in his situation were or are like that so I don't blame him for that. I do blame him for not admitting he had any fault in what happened and still to this day likes to play the victim.

    It was a lot of people's faults and he played his part like everyone else did.
     
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  11. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Joanie Laurier says hello. As does rick rude, and Louie spocolli.

    Michaels himself is lucky not to be a wrestling tragedy.

    Also, Bret hart is a generation older than hbk and hhh no?

    So when the attitude era/new generation guys start dropping in a few years, will you be able to use the same argument?
     
    #111
  12. FlairFan2003

    FlairFan2003 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I cant believe we are STILL debating this!

    Brett wasnt happy being pushed out of the #1 spot, especially after such a relative short time. Fact is, Brett was popular, Brett was a draw, he wasnt Hogan though (or Flair, or Austin, or Rock). During his tenure 92-97 WWE continually tried different people in the #1 role and always came back to Hart, who even if he didnt bring in business levels like Hogan always brought in solid numbers, often better than the "chosen ones" handpicked to replace him.

    Brett didnt like the change in tone of the programming, the less kid friendly Disney approach that took hold with the advent of Hulka-Mania and continued through The New Generation. Performers like HBK thrived in the less kid oriented presentation, which only enhanced Brett's dislike due to backstage issues between them.

    Did Vince double talk Brett over his contract (lets not forget money may have been an issue, but the Creative Control Clause was a bigger sticking point for Vince, something no other wrestler ever got again) ? Maybe, was Vince perhaps trying to find the best solution for his business perhaps, just as Ted Turner & Jim Crockett Jr did in 1988 when they fired Dusty Rhodes to ensure they didnt lose Ric Flair, likely.

    Was Vince legitamately worried about Brett showcasing the WWE World Title on Nitro ? No doubt, Rick Rude beyrayed Vince, embarrassing him by showing up on Nitro trashing WWE at the same time he was appearing on a taped Raw. Nitro routinely gave away Raw match results when it was taped, Alundra Blayze showed up and tossed the WWE Womens Title in a trash can on Nitro. Vince himself took advantage of WCW's legal issues after firing Flair in 1991 by spending a month showing the WCW Title Belt on all of their programs to proclaim the arrival of "The Real World Champion" to WWE. No matter what Brett may say to the contrary dont think the thought didnt cross Eric Bischoff's mind, and before you claim Brett was too honest or loyal to do that to Vince, remember Brett was being phased out, encouraged to leave, and asked to put over someone he truly didnt like on his way out. Very similar to Flair, he twice turned down offers from Vince in 1985 & 1988 to leave WCW, too loyal to the company who made him a star and the other wrestlers he worked with, until they tried to change his character, cut his pay, reduce his role, and gave useless Sid Justice a huge raise, then reneged on money they owed Flair. At that point loyalty was no longer in question. Flair's breaking point was the money, if they would have paid him what he was owed he would have jobbed out to whoever they chose, crowned a new champion, and moved on. Would being asked to put over HBK on PPV be the back breaking straw for Hart, where loyalty finally dies and the WWE Title ends up being burned, trashed, or spray painted NwO on live Nitro ? Vince couldnt take that chance, and Hart couldnt bring himself to put over someone so disrespectful and in his mind undeserving in his exit....

    Blame Brett ? I dont, wrestling is a tough business, no guaranteed contracts, independent contractors competing with each other for money but reliant on those same comoetitors as well as writers to help make their characters marketable enough to earn money in the first place, he felt he no longer could trust HBK & couldnt work with him, just as HBK saw an opportunity to establish himself as the defacto top dog in the company.

    Vince made a business decission to chose the more versatile performer, HBK, only after it became clear they could not co exist. Vince had to protect his company from the very same crushing embarrassment he had put his rival through at the start of the decade.

    If Brett had acquiesced and just agreed to put over HBK maybe it wouldnt have been an issue, just as easily Vince could have put someone else in the ring to win that night as a go between, someone Hart would lose too who would then quickly drop the title to HBK but he didnt. Likewise WCW easily could have paid Flair the estimated $60 grand they owed him and none of their troubles would have occured. They decided to make a stand, not to honor the agreement, things happened.

    There is no one person to "blame" for what happened to Hart in his WWE exit, lots of mitagating factors, lots of conflicting concerns for individual careers, business concerns, personal pride, etc. It's silly to blame anyone, it is just not that simple.

    If it was me, I would have put Shamrock or someone else in HBK's place, have them beat Hart clean, then lose in short order to HBK and proceed as planned. Giving Hart that much leeway I think wouldnt have been that big a deal. Of course, if I was Jim Herd I would have extended Flair's deal an extra 30 days so he could put over Lex Luger on PPV as planned (who books a championship match with a champion who's contract expires before the match without securing a new deal first anyway?), then paid him the $60 grand on the belt deposit money, let him leave in peace.

    Of course, that would have robbed wrestling fans of two of the 4 biggest stories of the 1990's (NwO Invasion, Hogan to WCW the other two) if they had, and what would we talk about two decades later LOL
     
    #112
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  13. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    I can't believe you still spell Bret with two T's.

    People will debate this as long as people remember him. Fans read biographies and listen to shoot interviews and read people's opinions and take what they read, hear and see as fact. Very few people know what went on. But that does not stop others from talking authoritatively on this subject.

    Also, I see you responded in January. So, 19 years of debate was ok but 20 is where you draw the line?
     
    #113
  14. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Vince is the only person that knows the entire truth.

    Even if it was a work, which I think it was, and Bret was in on it...

    The fact that Vince used it to make himself a megastar while Bret floundered in wcw and has become bitter... Has altered his perception of events.
    After Owen died I don't think vince ever wanted to deal with the details of the screwjob ever again.

    But even if hbk, hunter, Bret, etc were in on it, not many others were.

    Rewatching it recently its fairly obvious rude knew something was up, just not what.

    And no one but Vince knows his exact motivivations for doing so.
     
    #114
  15. therockiswwf

    therockiswwf The voice of Michael Cole's headset

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    Why would Bret do this work then claim to be unhappy for over a decade? What would be the point of keeping the work up and never appearing for WWE? What would be the point of Bret keeping up the work by going on talk shows and talking about how bad WWE is and that HBK/Vince are gay for each other? What was the point of HBK not being able to beat a leaving guy? What was the point of Vince having Bret legit punch him instead of pretending?

    Why did Bulldog and Neidhart go to WCW? Why would that be part of the work?

    Vince became big with Austin not this. This helped Vince but it wasn't really a factor in Austin/McMahon.

    A lot of people know what happened. HHH, McMahon, HBK, etc. Bret didn't like Shawn saying he wasn't going to drop the title to anyone. Bret decided to use his creative control. HBK needed to win. Simple. There is no secret motivation here.
     
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  16. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    Oh good. This guy figured it all out for everyone. (Perfect example of the people I referred to earlier. They believe whatever is put in front of them. I mean, it's on the internet, it must be true.)

    As for "Why did Bulldog and Neidhart go to WCW? Why would that be part of the work?", it actually could be argued that this would make sense if the whole thing was a work. This would help the believability of it. I don't know what's true and what isn't...only Vince, therockiswwf and a few other privileged people know that info. I'm just saying, if that was the story, them jumping ship could be argued as making sense, as far as selling the story goes.
     
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  17. GhettoV1

    GhettoV1 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Bulldog bought his release from WWE not too long after Bret debuted on WCW TV and led him down a road to his untimely passing a few years later.
     
    #117
  18. therockiswwf

    therockiswwf The voice of Michael Cole's headset

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    Then why did Bret's BROTHER stay if they wanted to make it believable? Why would letting Bulldog and Neidhart go during a time when they needed any bit of star power they could get help them? What benefit does this give WWE? People, like Mick Foley, nearly walked out over it. Why would Vince risk that for a work?

    I didn't pull that explanation out of my ass. Bret said he wouldn't drop to Shawn due to Shawn saying he wouldn't drop to anyone. Vince has said Bret needed to lose. They have done countless interviews explaining this in detail.
     
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  19. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    Oh they gave interviews? I didn't know they gave interviews. You can't lie during an interview. Must have been a bummer when they had a plan in place to deceive everyone, only to be thrown into an interview where all deceptions must be admitted to. Unless they pinky swore. Do you know if they pinky swore?
     
    #119
  20. therockiswwf

    therockiswwf The voice of Michael Cole's headset

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    Ah yes, ignore all my questions. Like, WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS BEING A WORK?

    You do realize you're pushing an inane conspiracy theory right? I'm on the one using evidence and logic.

    You're dense. I'm done here.
     
    #120
  21. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    I was going to ignore it, but you wrote it again in all caps, so now I have to answer.

    Kidding..I still don't care what the point may be.

    I simply threw out a possible reason for Davey and Neidhart leaving. I'm not pushing anything because I don't care about this 20-year-old story. My whole point was that you reading interviews doesn't mean you know anything. But, you're right. You should believe everything you read. Wrestlers have never fallen for Vince's lies and they also never bend the truth themselves. Ever read about Tito Santana's and Billy Jack Haynes' planned WWF title runs? You should check them out. Fascinating stuff about actual title runs that were really going to happen, if not for one or two darn unfortunate twists of fate. Truly logical and, therefore, absolutely true.
     
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  22. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Tito's world championship run was considered at the same time as Bret's.

    Vince chose to focus on Canada instead of Mexico and messing with the lucha Libra market.

    But had he decided to look south instead of north, Tito was very seriously considered as a champion.
     
    #122
  23. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Your former boss dropping you're brother on his head for a lame gimmick making fun of hulk hogan would make any man bitter.

    I lost a family member to a hortoble crime so i can sympathize with that.

    Also the fact that Vince did play internal politics with the family against Martha and Bret would make not want tyo play ball either.
     
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  24. therockiswwf

    therockiswwf The voice of Michael Cole's headset

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    Still don't see how Owen has anything to do with the Screwjob being a work (which it is not). If anything, Owen dying probably would have led to Bret admitting the Screwjob was an angle because why would he keep up the ruse after that?

    Still ignored all my questions.

    Sorry to hear about your family member.

    I honestly have no idea what you mean in the last part. I think you are trying to say Vince tried to turn the Hart family against Martha.
     
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  25. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    No, that's NEVER gonna be the case... Bret can't slate WWE in the past for their choice of angle that led to his brother's death and then say "but I took part in the greatest work ever sold..." If it was a work, any chance of that being revealed until either Vince or Bret dies, passed with Owen.
     
    #125

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