Vince McMahon has commented publicly on the Montreal Screwjob, saying he could have tucked tail and hid from Bret Hart but instead went to ringside to face him head-on.
The Montreal Screwjob is the most hotly debated event in wrestling history bar none. As the story goes and everyone probably knows Bret Hart refused to drop the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels after Michaels intimated to Bret that he wouldn’t do the same for him. With champion, challenger, and chairman in a stalemate, a ‘shmozz’ finish was agreed upon. That would see members of the Hart Foundation and DX get involved in the bout causing a disqualification. That never came to pass as Michaels put Hart in Hart’s own Sharpshooter and referee Earl Hebner rang for the bell to indicate a submission that never took place. Hebner ran, Michaels looked annoyed, and Hart literally spat in the face of Vince McMahon.
Re-opening these old wounds on the A&E Biography special on Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart’s career, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon still maintains twenty-four years later that he had no choice.
“I didn’t want him to go to WCW with our championship. So the request for Bret would be, ‘Okay, let’s drop this championship back to someone in WWE where it belongs’ and that didn’t happen so I had to do what I had to do. It’s no different than an actor in a television series who at the end of it refuses to die or refuses to do the job so to speak. What do you do?”
“When, as you call it, the Montreal Screwjob occurred, I wanted to make sure that Bret saw me out at ringside and know that what I did was the right thing to do at least from my standpoint. He’s really good at spitting [chuckles], I’m sorry to say.” Vince McMahon added, “I could have hid, I could have not gone out to the ring at all, I could have left the building and I could have done a lot of things. [Bret] gave me one [punch]. Right to the temple on the left side.”
That punch came from Hart in the locker room after the show was over. Bret Hart soon debuted for World Championship Wrestling with his brothers-in-law Jim Neidhart and The British Bulldog joining him shortly afterward.
Bret Hart has recently discussed letting go of the anger he felt following the Montreal Screwjob that saw him steer clear of WWE until he finally returned in 2010. That return eventually saw The Hitman gain a cathartic win over McMahon at WrestleMania 26.