During a recent interview with The Ringer, both Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart spoke about their Survivor Series 1997 match, which of course was dubbed as the Montreal Screwjob.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
Bret Hart on his emotions during the whole thing: “I’m a pretty easygoing guy. But I do know that I had a lot of dark thoughts, really crazy, dark thoughts about how angry I was when that happened. And it’d be a fair warning to them. In those moments when I’m walking to Vince’s door, I don’t care who was standing there, I was a time bomb. But I remember when I got there and it was locked, I was almost calm. It was almost like, ‘I’m so glad there’s nothing I can do.’ That’s the last step that I can try to do is maybe break down Vince’s door and beat the crap out of him.”
Shawn Michaels on regaining the locker room’s trust: “That was my biggest concern. This business is about taking care of one another’s bodies. Those things were never an issue with me, as far as taking liberties, even in that match. And this wasn’t even holding a guy down, so to speak. But it certainly was real enough and sucked enough at the time. … You knew there were people who already loathed you and would love to kill you. But I think they knew that it was a position I was put in. I did it. They didn’t like it and they might have wanted to do something to me, but no one did.
“The [ill will] did not last as long as I feared, because of Vince doing everything he could to take the responsibility and to try to get everyone to understand that it was his call. … I always go back to him talking to Taker. Mark [Calaway, the Undertaker] had a real big leadership role in that respect after all of it was explained to him. He sort of set the tempo when he came out and said, ‘Look, you and I are cool.’ And then even Owen [Hart] coming to me after to say, ‘That was between you and Bret and has nothing to do with me and you.’ So it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. I mean, it still felt bad, you know what I mean?”
Bret Hart on if he would change anything: “I know I did [the right thing]. I’d rather have done what I did than anything else. To me, it would be a total sellout of yourself and everything you’ve ever worked for and everything you ever believed in. You’d be totally selling yourself out. When Vince came into the room and basically confronted me, I told him it was a dumb move. I warned him before he came in. I said, ‘I’m not in a friendly mood and this is not going to go well and you need to go right now.’ And he stayed. And I always think whatever happened that day defined me as a person. And it was probably the greatest thing I ever did, in the sense that I stood up for myself like no other wrestler ever stood up for themselves.”
Shawn Michaels on how the whole thing affected him: “Well, look, I continued to stay a drug addict and it only got worse. So yeah, I think it weighed on me. It was something we both carried with us, and it was just a fricking shame, to be perfectly honest. When I got married, we started a family, I got saved. That’s when a lot of that was lifted off me. It took us a long time to actually forgive one another and reconcile. I was ready. Then it was just hoping that one day he would stop hating me. And then, to finally get to that day was tremendous. So much of our careers got wrapped up in that, when there was so much more to them. Especially his, and that’s just a huge injustice to everything that he did.”