Earl Hebner’s Son Believes The Montreal Screwjob Was A Work

Bret Hart Shawn Michaels Earl Hebner

The Montreal Screwjob remains one of the most divisive moments in wrestling history, but Brian Hebner – son of the match’s referee Earl – isn’t so sure everything was as legitimate as it seems.

Shawn Michaels‘ victory of the WWF World Heavyweight Championship over Bret Hart at the 1997 Survivor Series pay-per-view ended in controversial fashion, following the infamous Montreal Screwjob. This, of course, saw the match’s referee, Earl Hebner, call for the bell as Michaels had Hart locked in his own Sharpshooter hold, without ‘The Hitman’ ever submitting.

Despite the many, many times this incident has been covered over the past nearly 25 years, it remains a hot topic of conversation, with some still not believing in its legitimacy. Among those is Brian Hebner, son of Earl and current IMPACT Wrestling senior official. He returned to the Anthem-helmed promotion during their 2021 Hard To Kill pay-per-view.

During his appearance on The Angle Podcast, Brian explained his view on the whole ordeal, which he has believed was a work from the moment it occurred while believing his father’s tale of the events (h/t Wrestling Inc.):

“I thought it was a work the whole time, and still do to this day. I think it was one done exactly properly done. I just don’t believe it really worked out the way we are told. I know my dad’s end is true, but I don’t think that’s the way it went. I think it was worked.”

The aftermath of the incident saw an incensed Bret Hart spit in Vince McMahon’s face, as he departed for World Championship Wrestling. Shawn Michaels, meanwhile, would enjoy a 140-day reign as WWF World Heavyweight Champion before heading into his first retirement, owing to two herniated and one crushed disc sustained at the 1998 Royal Rumble pay-per-view. He returned to in-ring action four years later.

As for Earl Hebner, he remained a WWE official until July 2005, ultimately debuting for the now-IMPACT Wrestling at their Against All Odds pay-per-view the following February, where he was also inducted into their Hall of Fame. He’s since seemingly retired from wearing the black-and-white stripes after a stint in All Elite Wrestling.