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Jim Ross Reveals Bret Hart Didn’t Speak To Him For Years After The Infamous Montreal Screwjob

The Montreal Screwjob has gone down in history as one of the most treacherous things to have ever happened in the professional wrestling industry. It’s right up there, but of course most definitely underneath the murder of Bruiser Brody in Puerto Rico by Invader 1 (José Huertas González).

It proves—both incidents do, as do all other tragedies in pro wrestling—that reality and a harsh reality at that, can often invade a world that’s supposed to be solely built on the make-believe. In Hart’s case, the Montreal incident ruined a 15-year WWF run and started his WCW career, which would also end in tragedy, on the wrong foot.

Recently, AEW commentator and longtime WWE employee, Jim Ross, went into the incident and the aftermath from it when it happened, and he revealed on his Grilling JR Podcast, that Bret Hart didn’t speak to him for years after it all went down. Here’s some of what he had to say on the matter:

“We went for years (and) never spoke because he didn’t believe I was not a party to it. The truth was, I was not a party to it. The truth was, I didn’t even know the f***ing finish. I’m glad to some degree that the story has a happy ending,” he said. “It was emotional for Bret to come back, get a hug and be in a ring and then finally have his meeting with Shawn.”

Wrestling Headlines (Transcription)

Bret and Shawn would move past the incident and although it would take years to mend that bridge it did happen, with a lot of work on Shawn’s part to change an make up for what he did, and a lot of forgiveness in Bret Hart, or at least a capability to forgive, which isn’t always easy.

via MerMoose Media /YouTube

But at the time, Hart was insanely upset about it all. Of course the event occurred at Survivor Series in Montreal in 1997 and behind his back, Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels and Triple H decided that they would change the finish on him in the ring, ultimately playing Brutus to Hart’s Caesar.

Bret Hart spoke to Sports Illustrated a few years back and went into the whole thing and the immediate aftermath, recalling a scuffle with the former chairman of WWE, Vince McMahon:

“It was a pretty close-knit group who knew about the screw job…Vince, Triple H, and Shawn were the three who planned it, and they got Jerry Brisco to come up with a plan when to execute the finish. I was getting ready to go through the curtain when they circled Earl and basically told him this was how the match was going down…

They also reminded him he was mic’d, with a microphone behind his ear, so they could hear everything he said. If he did anything to tip me off, they’d fire him…When I saw Shawn (after the match), he started pleading, praying to God that he never knew…I knew he wasn’t innocent, but I was pretty calm by then. After I tried to knock down Vince’s door, I calmed right down…

Vince said straight to me, ‘This is the first time I ever had to lie to one of my talent.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ …Then I rattled off on every finger about ten different lies he’d told me in the last week. Vince told me, ‘What I did to you today won’t hurt you. You’ll still get all the money you’re supposed to get from WCW.’ Somewhere in that conversation, I said, ‘If you’re still here after I get dressed, I’m going to punch you out.’ …

When we walked towards each other, it was a lot like a wrestling match…On one side of the room was Vince, and he had Sgt. Slaughter, Shane McMahon, and Jerry Brisco with their arms crossed behind him. On my side of the room was Owen, Davey, Rick Rude, and Neidhart all in the corner to my left…

On my right was the Undertaker, and Shawn was on his right. Shawn was sitting in the corner holding his head in his hands balling his eyes out. He cried like a baby the whole time. I always knew Shawn was guilty, but I wanted to find out for sure before I did something about it…

I think everyone in the room – including Vince – was expecting me to throw an overhand punch…It was the most beautiful uppercut punch you could ever imagine…I popped him right up like a cork was under his jaw and lifted him right off the hand. I broke my right hand just beneath the knuckle, and knocked Vince out cold…”

-Sports Illustrated (link above)

Join us next time as we take a deeper look at the Montreal Screwjob, when, why it happened, and even more on the aftermath.

NEXT: Cody Rhodes Still Draws Inspiration From The ‘All In’ Event From 2018

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