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Montreal: Was it a work or a shoot?


The Beltster
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Here is what I came up with on the fly, I wanted to write it all out last night but my son was sick so I couldnt. This is only a tiny fraction of the reasons, this is just food for thought because I really dont have time to put it down how I want to put it down...so, have a read, those who simply dont want to believe it wont, and will explain a million reasons why I'm wrong and thats fine, thats what its all about afterall, differences of opinion.

 

Once I get more time, I'll add to this, but until then, this is the best I can do.

 

1) 20 year contract was not affordable for Vince? Vince never could have afforded a 20-year deal in which Bret wasn’t making all that much per say (at least less than Vince later paid Austin and Rock). Yet there were no major talent cuts that year or any real down sizing of the company. In fact right after all this is when the company boomed.

 

So the excuse for wanting to rework Bret's deal never made sense and neither did the whole outcome.

 

2) I often wonder if it wasn’t a work that was agreed to. And then with all the bad sh*t that happened to Bret and the Hart's did Bret convince himself it was a shoot and that what he had been saying was true. You know the old adage if you tell a lie long enough you make it true. Did Bret through all the "fake" war with Vince get warped by the death of his brother and his injury convince himself that Vince really did screw him

 

3) The funny thing is legally speaking all Bret had to do was say nope not letting you out of your contract. We signed a 20 yr deal now pay me or sue me!

 

So I have believed for a long time this was the ultimate work to explain why Bret Hart was leaving the WWF after so many years. And then after Owen and all that happened to Bret in WCW, I think Bret began to believe his own lie and his own work and has now convinced himself Vince screwed him

 

4) Court Case explanation: Bret Hart was not a party to the case and therefore his employment situation would have no legal bearing, IE INADMISABLE. The only way "Brets Situation" could legally play a role would be if they were charging Vince with a crime saying he was trying to get back at Bret by killing his brother. So it may have been mentioned by a lawyer or even in a deposition by people not in the know, but it was not part of the case and therefore was never a lie to the courts.

 

5) Circumstantial: The fact that there was a documentary being filmed on Bret Hart as precisely the same time this supposed screw-job is taking place and bret is leaving. During the taping of this documentary: Bret speaks to Vince McMahon on multiple occasions with cameras all around and wearing mics and yet Vince speaks freely. Vince is not that open of a guy unless he is controlling it. After 20 years Bret's wife suddenly doesnt trust the man who supposedly just helped Bret sign a $3 million a year job with WCW??? The sound guy being on top of it enough to hit the music immediately after the bell rings. Bret supposedly punches Vince McMahon in the face on camera and no charges are filed at all. Bret sits in the same room and calmly changes clothes next to the guy who obvious was in on the "screwjob" the very same guy Bret never wanted to drop the belt to in the first place.

 

It all just points to Vince and Bret working this whole situation with Earl and Shawn involved in order to spark Vince as the mean and nasty boss and Bret as the scorned hero before he leaves the WWF after so many years.

 

Accidents dont turn into monetary boons like this. Had Vince truly been embarrassed and recorded in private convos without his knowledge and felt screwed by Bret he never would have used it. And the most glaring thing. If Vince felt that he couldnt trust Bret's outcome and had to protect his belt and all that....why not just come on TV and make a storyline about how Bret was cutting and running and stabbing him in the back and he couldnt trust him anymore therefore he was stripping Bret of the title in Canada....

 

6) And then the story written by one of Harley Race’s wrestlers Matt Murphy in an online column talking about meeting Bret Hart when he came in to do a WLW show. Murphy, sitting around drinking with Hart and Race one night, asked about the whole Montreal thing. Bret grinned and have what was described as a half hearted attempt at saying he was screwed that he had agreed to a DQ, basically everything you see on the documentary. Murphy said he pressed further basically telling Hart outright he thought it was bullsh*t and that Hart and McMahon had a deal working. Hart asked Murphy to explain why he thought that. So Murphy laid out that Vince never would let something so embarrassing happen, that NOTHING in wrestling is left to chance, the fact that the documentary was filming that day, his last day in the WWF and caught all this on tape. The fact that Hart sat in the room afterward with HBK and acted calmly. And he went on and on. When he was finished Hart just smiled and said he was going to bed. Murphy then asked Race, after Hart left, what he thought of the situation. And Harley’s reply was: “I have known Bret since he was a boy and I love him like a son, but most of what comes out of his mouth is pure bullsh*t.!

Edited by The Beltster
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An interesting theory and one you have obviously given alot of thought to.

Respect to you.

Maybe one day Bret and Vince will tell the world what really happened, or more likely we will never know and like a chinese whisper the 'montreal screwjob' story will continue to grow.

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I will add more to this later, but here is another I missed:

 

I believe that Bret was supposed to return to the WWF in 2001, after his WCW deal expired and after he took over $9,000,000 of Ted Turners money. He would have come back to the WWF with a ready made angle, one which would have had 3 YEARS of build, and it was a reality based angle which are ALWAYS the high grossing sellers.

 

Three years the Mr. McMahon character would be getting a little stale, what better way to revitalise it than to have Hart come back into the company, the man who really helped kick off the Mr. McMahon character by 'being screwed'?

 

Plus, lets not forget, he could have feuded with HBK (nobody knew he would be injured and out of the WWF in 2001) and he could have also done something with Earl Hebner...the possibilities there were endless.

 

Goldbergs kick to Harts head put paid to all this, but if you really stop and think about it, its so plausable.

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Just to add to that Goldberg story there belty,

 

do you think its possible that WCW and Turner could have found out about Vince and Bret's plot and orded Goldberg to kick Bret in the head in that match to stop anything like what you said from happening?

 

Well, I wouldnt say a definate no, but I dont think Goldberg would be the type of man to do that. Although, I dont know the guy. He was known for working pretty stiff and being pretty reckless, so if I had to make a personal comment, I'd say that it was an accident. But in wrestling, who knows? I wouldnt say he didnt do it on purpose for sure.

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Just to add to that Goldberg story there belty,

 

do you think its possible that WCW and Turner could have found out about Vince and Bret's plot and orded Goldberg to kick Bret in the head in that match to stop anything like what you said from happening?

 

I think that's going a bit far down the conspiracy theory road Andy!

 

If Goldberg was known to be a reckless worker what makes you think he could kick Bret in the head with the intention of merely concussing him. Kick him hard enough and he could have killed him.

I dont think you can plan something like that.

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I for one have always been of the opinion that Vince screwed Bret. When it was first discussed on here about it being a work i have to admit i thought no way. For years that had not even crossed my mind. I always like to hear various angles on events and to be honest Beltmarks comments are certainly very interesting. I for one would have loved to see Bret Hart and Vince go at it in 2001. It has opened my eyes up a lot and i look forward to your further details.
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Point by point:

 

1. Right after, they did enter a boom period. Based on the Evil Vince character (created in the aftermath of Montreal) and Austin. When the contract was signed, the WWF wasn't doing very well. It wasn't as bad as when Diesel was champ, but they were certainly in a down period.

 

2. We'll never really know about this, but do you really think Bret could get THAT confused?

 

3. Bret, it has often been said, felt very loyal to the WWF up until this point and thus was willing to negotiate with Vince. It was only at Vince's suggestion he negotiated with WCW.

 

4. Hmm, not too sure which case you're referring to here.

 

5. The camera crew had been following him since AT LEAST Canadian Stampede. Do you think Vince was organised that far ahead? Vince allowed himself to look stupid on Beyond The Mat, and not talking to the Wrestling With Shadows crew would have been too obvious. As for accidents don't just turn into financial booms - sure they do, if you know how to handle them. And as HBK was supposed to win by DQ anyway, it's understandable that his music was cued up.

 

6. There is obviously some bias in the telling of that story, I feel. If Murphy went into the room believing it was a work, he is more likely to see things to back up that theory.

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1) Bring the Noise... I can't believe theres another Aberdeen Uni student on the forums.

 

2) I still honestly believe its all too far fetched. I'll maybe go through each point when I get the chance but honestly, its like all conspiracy theories, interesting but likely to just be nonsense.

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Hi guys, i'm new here, but have read previous posts on this subject with great interest.

 

Beltmark, you make some good and interesting points, but I would like to challenge them, in the hope of stirring a bit of a debate.

 

I personally dont think this was worked (although I'm not closed minded), and feel that if people were to dig into that side of the argument they could come up with a similar length post for their side. If you believe somthing so much, you can become oblivious to the other side and only see the bits of information that support your theory. Having said that, the points made do add up.

 

I will dis-agree with one point, Bret's contract (and i'll have to believe you on the length of it as I dont know) was un-affordable at the time. Vince did go on the pay the rock & austin more, but it was less as a percentage of income than bret's. This was at a time when WWF weren't enjoying their best days, and couldn't see a change in the near future. Vince couldn't have predicted the turn around that became.

 

My second point comes from one of a personal account. I dont want to give away who I'm talking about, but I became friends with someone who travelled with bret between shows (but no longer has anything to do with him). I cant express to you how much Bret hated Shawn, and began to hate WWF & Vince. This was at a time when he was carrying their belt. It is worth pointing out that a lot of the guys (including the guy i'm talking about) didnt have much time for shawn, due to his pull backstage. This in part led to the fraternity BSK coming about which is tatooed on the Taker's chest.

 

This makes it hard to believe that he would have sat down and worked all this out with Vince and Shawn. And i dont believe it could have been kept quiet all this long either.

 

The guy i spoke to was there that night, and says (although he was not a party to it if it was a work) that there is no way he thinks it was worked, and that Bret did punch Vince, and that Vince was helped out by Shane.

 

I'm not sure Bret could have sued Vince if he couldn't afford his contract, given he had a better one else where. By getting more money with WCW, he hadn't lost any earnings to sue for. I dont know if anyone has seen bret's shoot interview, but in it he uses the phrase "i'll just pick up my cheque". Bret was also talking to WCW a long time before he admits to, and advised other wrestlers to do the same.

 

A happy ending to the whole thing for everyone would have been the return, and the massive payday it would have allowed. I dont think that was in anyone's mind to begin with.

 

I will go on to say that there were more people in on it than vince. Shawn & his cilq were in on it, and some of the production engineers must have been in on it. Hebner, i'm undecided about.

 

However, at the moment, I dont think bret was in on it.

 

If i think of other things, i'll stick them down.

 

Daz

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Yeah have to say well researched belty, but for me it all seems far too far fetched. The planning is far too in depth, and risky considering, one injury, or one change of mind could change the whole thing. Admittedly it's plausible, but so are most things, doesn't mean it's likely. It's just too far fetched in my eyes. And actually I have a feeling Wrestling With Shadows even started filming and such in 1996, when Bret originally thought about going to WCW and signed the 20 year deal.

 

And also their wasn't a camera on Bret hitting Vince, Bret at the time didn't know Shawn was in on the screw job as he asked him, and Bret had always said he'd drop the belt to Shawn, just not at that PPV in Canada, as it was his last PPV.

 

Plus there was no real talent cuts, simply because guys were on a lot less in WWF then. Now the roster's a lot bigger, guys on top earn more money generally and have better deals. Back then, who were real big time guys on big money? HBK, Taker and Bret. Everyone else including Austin, were on midcard money. Thus when Vince gives Bret the contract (which at the time, was one of the biggest in history), I can't say I'd be surprised he couldn't afford it, when the company wasn't doing well.

 

It's a nice idea and all, I just find it way too far fetched.

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  • 9 months later...

Correction to the first post

 

Hey guys,

 

A fan emailed me about what Belt Mark said I wrote in my column about Bret Hart. He has some of the story right, but some of it was inaccurate.

 

Most importantly, Harley Race never told me that most of what comes out of Bret's mouth is pure bullsh*t. Harley has had nothing but good things to say about Bret in the more than six years I've known him.

 

I did tell Bret I thought it was a work, but even though we were enjoying beers and having a good time I still treated both he and the Montreal situation with respect. Had I done otherwise, I'm sure Harley and Bret would have taken turns kicking my ass.

 

The column to which Belt Mark is referring, I believe, is actually a page on my website which promotes my book and has many text samples. Here is what I wrote in my autobiography, The Story of a Nobody, and the Pursuit to Become a Somebody, about that night:

 

"Natural and I started slamming beers, and I was pretty buzzed by the time Harley returned with Bret. We all sat around chatting for several hours, and then Bret got onto the topic of the infamous match with Shawn Michaels."

 

Then I gave a two-paragraph review of the events before, during and after the Montreal screwjob. Continuing...

 

"So anyway, Bret was telling us the story, and I had just watched Shawn Michaels' shoot interview on RF Video a few days before. I said, 'Well, I always thought it was a great work.' Then he started talking about the Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows documentary that was released in 'ninety-eight or 'ninety-nine. He asked me what I thought of the video and I said, 'It was pretty decent, but awful one-sided for my tastes. I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but come on. The movie made you sound like the always-victimized, perfect angel. I would have liked it better if you would have taken a look at the other side of the coin a few times."

 

I never backed Bret into a corner and scared him away to his hotel room. In fact, I was getting pretty tired and had a good beer buzz, so I excused myself and went to bed. The following day, Bret and I talked and he asked me if I still thought it was a work. I told him I did, but that my theories don't change reality.

 

I do believe it was a work- a damn good one. I just needed to clarify a few things about what I had written.

 

Matt Murphy

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I downloaded ''Wrestling with Shadows'' a time ago, and it's really intriguing. Because before I thought, theres no way this can be a work, but after seing ''Wrestling with Shadows'' im kinda split. Cause I mean, what a coincidence that they taped all of that biography just before the whole Montreal thing and after.
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Re-opened by request.

 

Thanks Mr Fill!!

 

Now lets see, I don't believe it was a work, and I never will. Belty has put some points accross, but they are just his own opinions after all, and they don't prove anything.

 

Some things are just not true however...

The fact that there was a documentary being filmed on Bret Hart as precisely the same time this supposed screw-job is taking place and bret is leaving. During the taping of this documentary: Bret speaks to Vince McMahon on multiple occasions with cameras all around and wearing mics and yet Vince speaks freely.

 

Precisely the same time? The Shadows documentary had been in full swing for well over a year before the Montreal screwjob happened, so its hardly the precise same time. Vince does not speak freely at all when the cameras and mikes are around, in fact he asks Bret to meet in private when discussing matches and angles. The only time he does speak freely is when Bret 'wears a wire' and there is no camera anywhere, i.e. Vince doesn't know he is being taped.

 

After 20 years Bret's wife suddenly doesnt trust the man who supposedly just helped Bret sign a $3 million a year job with WCW???

 

It could be due to her husband not trusting Vince after 20 years and the whole marriage thing, no?

 

The sound guy being on top of it enough to hit the music immediately after the bell rings.

 

Well, come on, it's not hard to press play on a cd player or whatever it is, if it's your job and you get payed to do it?? Shawn Michaels "wins" the match, you play his music, no conspiracy there.

 

Bret supposedly punches Vince McMahon in the face on camera and no charges are filed at all.

 

The camera was cut before this incident as requested by Bret, so it wasn't on camera at all. As for no charges being pressed, Belty you should know more than anyone of the oldschool philosophy about fighting between wrestlers, there are never any charges brought against anyone for little punches, its the wrestler code. And anyway, Bret told Vince if he was still standing there when he got out of the shower, he was going to knock him out. Vince was there, K.O, end of.

 

Bret sits in the same room and calmly changes clothes next to the guy who obvious was in on the "screwjob" the very same guy Bret never wanted to drop the belt to in the first place.

 

I wouldn' really call Bret calm, more of a state of disbelief, As far as Bret was concerned, he didn't wan't to drop the belt in Canada, and Michaels was "acting" as if he knew nothing about it, Michaels would admit years later that he was in on it. So Bret changed his clothes calmly because whereas he may not have liked Shawn, it doesn't mean they were shootfighting 24/7 in the locker room. As far as Bret knew at that stage, Shawn (in Brets mind) had nothing to do with it. So it's no surprise that he didn't get angry with him. Why would he.

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respect to belty for all the effort he's put in he's obviously been thinking about it alot

 

me personally have always thought it was a work (but i still keep an open mind) and i think bret knew more about what was going on that night than he lets on but we will proberly never know the full story and theres only 3 people that really know the truth shawn bret and vince

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which documentary was this that was being filmed at the time????

It was a documentary of Bret, it showed everything from his childhood and days at the dungeon, to most of the things between Summer Slam 97' through Survivor Series 97'. From Bret talking to Vince about the match ''wired''. Bret talking to his wife that he wasn't happy with Vinces decision about him loosing in Canada as his last match. After the ''Screwjob'' on the locker room, we see Bret with his kid, and he tells the camera man to turn the camera off, then outside you see Hunter and Brets wife.

 

Brets wife says to HHH something like this ''You think this is funny, you guys will be probably laughing about this back at the hotel on the bar''. And hunter was like no mam. Then we see Vince walking out of Bretts locker room, limping. It's a really cool movie if you wanna know more about the whole Montreal scandal.

 

Here's a link.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179218/

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