Bret Hart Bluntly Responds To Earl Hebner Saying Montreal Screwjob Was A Work

Bret Hart says he has never changed his story when it comes to the notorious "Montreal Screwjob," but the WWE Hall of Famer was informed during a recent virtual autograph signing that Earl Hebner has. 

Hebner was the referee for the historic match at Survivor Series 1997 where Shawn Michaels "defeated" Hart for the WWE Title. Hart found himself locked in his own Sharpshooter finisher when Hebner signaled for the bell, but Hart never submitted. It was a means of getting the title off of Hart, who was leaving for WCW, but Hart was unaware of the finish. Hebner screamed "ring the bell" to end the match, but the team at K&S Wrestle Fest told Hart that Hebner noted to them off-air that he was the one swerved on the whole situation, as it was Hart, Michaels, and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon who were in on the deal.

"That's not true. He should know better about that," said Hart, who wanted Hebner to officiate the match because he believed Hebner could be trusted. "I was well under the understanding that they were going to try and screw me that day somehow. I was just determined not to let it happen."

Hart added: "Earl is a victim of being a coward. I told Earl the night before. I said, 'They're going to ask you to screw me tomorrow.'"

Hart said Hebner, with tears in his eyes, said he'd never betray Hart, who said all he wanted was a warning if it was going to happen. Hart noted that all of this is shown in the 1998 "Wrestling With Shadows" documentary.

"There's not much to refute about anything anymore. It's all black and white," Hart said. 

A Case Of People Not Being Able To Live With Mistakes

Hart mentions in his autobiography that from the way he heard it, McMahon and others pulled Hebner aside before the match and said if that if he gave Hart any indication of what was going on they'd fire him, which Hart believes would have happened if Hebner didn't follow directions.

"If there was one victim in the whole thing it was probably Earl," Hart said.

"I think it's the case of people not being able to live with mistakes. Earl knows what he did. He's just bullsh*tting you," Hart said. He said he always felt bad for Hebner, who had kids, a house and a mortgage, that McMahon put him in that position "A really sh*tty thing for Vince McMahon to do to put that on him," Hart added.

Hart noted that he was completely unaware of Hebner's nerves as the match was going on and assumed Hebner was going to give him a heads up. Hart said he understands Hebner being scared for his job, but he would have handled it differently.

"I'm a guy that's good for my word. Earl was a coward with a yellow stripe down his back," Hart said. "He's entitled to be a coward, but that's what he is. That's what he should be saying. 'I was too scared and I did it out of fear.' At least that's the way to have your integrity a little bit more intact. To come up with bogus excuses that we were all in on it and that he was the only in the dark is either stupid or ignorant."

Hebner was recently at another virtual autograph signing, where it was noted that he'd no longer sign "I screwed Bret" on items, as he and Hart are now on good terms.