During an interview on The Bill Simmons’ Podcast, The Undertaker discussed the infamous Montreal Screwjob involving Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Taker described how he thought he could have been involved to ensure things didn’t happen the way they did.
“I was pissed about the whole thing because I felt like I possibly could have been used to get what we need,” Taker said. “Take Shawn out of this, let me do it, and then I’ll do business on the other side and I think Bret probably would’ve gone with that. There was such disdain at that time between the two of them and Bret was leaving, but I was just at the point where if you would’ve just come to me with this too I think I could’ve helped this whole thing out. I’m right here and you know I’m going to do business. It happened and I was really pissed.”
Taker also described how he felt the day after everything had happened. He admitted that it took him a bit to calm down and see Vince McMahon’s side to the entire situation.
“The next day we were supposed to show up by noon for a T.V. day and I think I rolled in at about 5 the next day,” Taker said. “I was so pissed about the whole thing and the way it went down, I had to really gather myself because that was my intention that I’m going off on somebody when I get there. I’m really disappointed in the whole situation, I was so angry, and Vince and I have had our disagreements but more centered around what I was doing and not somebody else. But I also look at the big picture and what’s best for business. If I go, I’m going in there raising hell and I’m not sure that I want to do that so it took me all day long to finally figure out to calm down and hear his side of it.
“At that point I had already talked with Bret, everything had already happened so I had to figure out Vince’s side of this and give my perspective to say look, if this kind of s–t happens again you got to involve me here because it doesn’t have to go down like this. He agreed and it all worked out. It was sad because I’m really tight with Bret. Bret could have done some things differently, Shawn could’ve done things differently, Vince could have done things differently but then that’s one of the great wrestling stories of that era and that decade.”
Taker also admitted that he always knew they would eventually come out on top of the Monday Night Wars, however it would take some time for them to do so.
“I always knew that we would come back out on top,” Undertaker said. “It was just going to be about how long it took and how bad it was going to have to get before big changes were made. It just kind of happened.
“People ask me why I didn’t jump ship [to WCW] when I could have, well one the guys told me before I went down to WWE when I went to re-negotiate a contract and I was looking for just a bump in pay and they [WCW] go, ‘No, I don’t think so, we’re going to re-sign you at your current deal. Look, no one is ever going to pay money to see you wrestle.’
“That stung a little bit. All Vince ever does is gives you an opportunity, he doesn’t promise you anything, he gave me an opportunity to be a success in this industry, and I was like hey, he believed in me and gave me the opportunity. That’s all I needed.”
Undertaker also talked about when he became the leader of the locker room.
“I would have to say around ’95, ’96,” Undertaker said. “That time period is when it became a talking point. Believe me, I had plenty of good times but nothing came before business. I don’t care how late you stayed out the night before or what you did, at bell time it’s go time and you’re not going to be hungover or drag ass because you had a pretty good night the night before. That’s how it started and then people just trusted me.
“I had this connection with Vince and normally when a talent is tight with somebody in the office then there is a stooge, well I never got that. Everybody knew I was able to go and talk to Vince and talk to our talent and give them my perspective and what I had seen. I think they appreciated the fact I didn’t play one side against the other and I was a pretty good spot to start when guys had issues. I handled things in the locker room before they ever had to go to management.”
Taker also discussed if there ever was a point where he got into fights with talent in the locker room.
“Never had to go that far,” Taker admitted. “I never presented myself as a bully, I’ve gotten in people’s faces but normally I take somebody away from the group.
“Back in the day, you always knew something bad was going to happen if somebody said ‘Hey can I talk to you in the shower?’ You always had to look over your shoulder if you were walking into the shower because you didn’t know if you were going to get sucker punched or whatever. A lot of times if there was a case where somebody really screwed up, I’d pull them aside and say ‘Look, this isn’t going to fly’.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Bill Simmons Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.