Jake Roberts recently revealed that he once told Vince McMahon to fire Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels when tensions between them were at an all-time high.
In 1996, Roberts returned to the WWF at Royal Rumble, with Vince McMahon asking him to take on a role behind the scenes as an agent, which included investigating the locker room and reporting back on any issues.
Jake Roberts Was No Fan Of Shawn Michaels And The Kilq
Roberts’ conclusion was that The Kliq had taken control and were driving the business into the ground. Speaking on his podcast The Snake Pit, Roberts said:
“I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t part of The Kliq. I’ve never been a cliquey guy, man. I don’t believe in cliques. I think they’re wrong, I think they’re wrong for the business. Friendship is one thing, but when you start trying to run a company by your influence and forcing people to do things that they don’t want done because you have the power, it’s not good.”
The behind-the-scenes feud between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels was a major cause of consternation backstage, with the pair arguing both onscreen and off, and engaging in an infamous pull-apart backstage brawl prior to an episode of RAW in June 1997.
On the podcast, Roberts revealed that he gave Vince McMahon some extreme advice with how to deal with the conflict between the promotion’s two biggest stars of the time after McMahon was forced to have a conference call with the pair to attempt to resolve their differences:
“When I first heard about that, I said, ‘Vince, fire both of them motherf***ers. Fire both, man. They’re not helping your f***ing company. They’re jacking your company off. They’re playing you.’ Are you kidding me?”
Bret Hart was forced to leave the WWF in 1997, with his already impending exit expediated by the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series ’97. Shawn Michaels wrestled until WrestleMania XIV in March 1998, following which he retired for over four years due to a back injury suffered at Royal Rumble ’98, before returning to face Triple H at SummerSlam 2002 and enjoyed a further eight-year career.
H/t to Wrestling Inc