Earl Hebner Won't Sign An Autograph With Two Phrases

In his 44 years as an official, Earl Hebner has served as a referee for countless matches across various promotions. However, he will always be remembered for his infamous role in the so-called "Montreal Screwjob" at Survivor Series 1997 in Canada. That night, Shawn Michaels defeated Bret Hart in wildly controversial fashion to become WWE Champion. Hebner was the referee for the contest, and was tasked with ringing the bell the moment Michaels locked Hart in his own submission hold.


Recently, while sitting down for a "Highspots Sign it Live" auction, the events of that evening once again came to the surface. With fans having ordered autographs ahead of time, though, Hebner took a moment to clarify what he would and would not sign.

The veteran official no longer honors requests that ask him to sign "I screwed Bret Hart," noting that he and "The Hitman" have made up and are now on good terms. Another personal request that often comes along with that one is "Vince made me do it," which Hebner also no longer signs. Outside of that, as long as the message is a positive one, fans have a good chance of getting their personal requests honored.

"Everyone's friends again," Hebner said. "Everyone's in a positive thing and we want to keep it that way."


Hebner spent nearly 30 years with WWE, from his debut in 1977 until his departure in 2005. His last true officiating job came with AEW between 2019 and 2021, but he also made a surprise appearance at this year's Impact Wrestling Slammiversary event, counting the 1-2-3 in a match between the Impact Originals and Honor No More.