Recently on Confessions Of The Hitman, two-time WWE Hall Of Famer Bret Hart talked about the documentary film, Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows, which was filmed during the so-called “Montreal Screwjob”, as well as the fallout from the events in question on episode 22 of the web series. Hart, who detailed The Montreal Screwjob in episode 21 of Confessions Of The Hitman, claimed that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s poor handling of his heat with two-time WWE Hall Of Famer Shawn Michaels made the situation much worse.
Also, Hart shared his opinion that Michaels’ well-documented substance abuse problems around the time of The Screwjob should excuse his poor behavior. During the interview, Hart divulged what McMahon first said to him in the locker room following The Screwjob, and that he immediately regretted punching McMahon in the face. Additionally, Hart talked about the roles Michaels and his DX stablemate, Triple H, played in The Screwjob.
According to Hart, his issues with Michaels did not have to escalate as they did were it not for McMahon’s poor handling of the situation. ‘The Hitman’ indicated that he laid out his issues about ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ to McMahon prior to The Screwjob at Survivor Series. Apparently, McMahon promised to sit them down to address the issues, but he never followed through. Hart described the ultimate meeting as “dodgy”.
“I told Vince what happened,” Hart remembered. “I told him I wouldn’t drop the belt to Shawn, and Vince said, ‘when I bring Shawn in, I’m going to bring him in and I want you to tell him everything you’ve just told me in front of him, and we’re going to deal with it.’ And it’s like, ‘great – bring him in.’ And Vince took quite a while to find him and they never did. Maybe it was three hours later. This is all two or three weeks before The Screwjob, but they bring Shawn in the dressing room and I’m waiting for Vince to bring up this very touchy issue with Shawn in front of him.
“And if it had been handled properly by Vince right then and there, maybe we would have worked it out. I know Shawn burst into tears. He actually cried, and thanked me, and said he had so much respect for me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. ‘That’s not what you said three days ago. Three days ago you said you would not be willing to do the same thing for me.’ And the way Vince didn’t even bring it up; I ended up being the one to have to bring it up. And then, the first thing Vince did in that meeting with Shawn, the first thing he told him was, ‘Bret’s going to drop the belt to you.’ It’s like, ‘what? Wait a minute. We haven’t agreed to that yet.’ And that’s where things stood until the night I signed the contract with WCW.”
Hart claimed that Michaels is probably still disliked in Canada for his antics, such as putting the Canadian flag up his nose and “humping” the Maple Leaf. ‘The Excellence Of Excution’ stated that ‘HBK”s “serious” drug problem should not excuse his more jerk-like behavior at the time.
“And still, I don’t think people in Canada have forgotten,” Hart said. “I know my dad was pretty pissed about that. But Shawn, Shawn had a drug problem, which I don’t think that gives him a pass. But, I mean, he did have a serious drug problem at the time and I think he cleared that up. And a lot of this, even when I talked with Shawn for this WWE thing I did where they sat us both together, he was really fuzzy on a lot of the details of the things that happened. And maybe that was just his state of mind at the time, but I don’t know that that gives you a pass to say, ‘oh, it’s all fine because you had a drug problem and you had issues.’ That doesn’t give you the right to walk in the dressing room and say the kinds of things he said to me, or act the way he did with other [pro] wrestlers. Shawn had a real attitude issue with a lot of the wrestlers, and I wasn’t the only one that wanted to set Shawn straight. It was quite a few wrestlers.”
During the interview, Hart shared that the first thing McMahon said to him in the dressing room after The Screwjob was that this was the first time he has ever had to lie to his talent, to which ‘The Hitman’ disagreed. Hart suggested that McMahon’s lies leading up to The Screwjob made him look like United States President Donald Trump.
“The first thing he said, he goes, ‘this was the first time I ever had to lie to one of my talent.’ And as I’m sitting down, I go, ‘you lying piece of s–t.’ Then, we started, like, ‘you’ve lied to me all week, all month, all the last six months. You’re lying to me, lying to me, lying to me, lying to me, lying to me. Everything is a lie, everything that comes out of your mouth.’ It’s like watching Donald Trump on the news,” Hart said. “And it’s like, everything’s a lie and it gets my dander up again.”
Hart admitted that he regrets kicking the documentary film camera crew out of dressing room prior to the punch.
“I regretted it right away,” Hart explained, “I did kick the camera crew out, and I remember after the whole thing happened, thinking, ‘s–t, I wish I kept that camera crew in here.'”
With that said, Hart claimed that he immediately felt bad for knocking out McMahon because of the respect he had for sports entertainment visionary.
“When Vince was out cold on the ground, I did feel bad,” Hart recalled. “Like I’ve said, I had a lot of love and respect for Vince for a long time. And it’s not the right way to do business for me, but he crossed the line first and there are consequences for provoking a 240 lbs. man when you come to his dressing room when he [has] still got the blood going – like, the blood boiling a little bit.”
In Hart’s estimation, Triple H had more to do with the planning and pushing for The Screwjob while Michaels was simply “a willing participant”. He explained that in the end, he believes Triple H, Gerald Brisco, and Vince McMahon were the ones who spawned the original idea.
“I’d say I gave Shawn the benefit of the doubt up until I knew what happened, and I think that’s why he was so ashamed maybe. He felt so guilty. And Triple H, from what I gathered, I think he was pushing that thing more than Shawn. I think Shawn was more of a willing participant. Triple H, and Brisco, and Vince were the ones who created the whole thing happening.”
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