This press bonanza for ‘The Last Ride’ really is the gift that keeps on giving! Rarely a day goes by at the moment without hearing of a wonderful quote that The Undertaker has given about his career or famous moments in wrestling. Some serious. Some not so serious.
Well now we have finally heard The Deadman comment on one of the most famous incidents in wrestling: The Montreal Screwjob.
The famous incident at Survivor Series 1997 saw Vince McMahon and a number of co-conspirators concoct a plan to take the WWF Championship from Bret Hart without The Hitman’s prior knowledge.
This was due to Hart having signed a deal to leave for WCW after McMahon intentionally reneged on Hart’s contract due to alleged financial difficulties the WWF found themselves in.
Hart was set to defend the belt against Shawn Michaels that night and as a result of significant and well documented bad blood between the two, Hart refused to drop the title to Michaels that night in his home country of Canada.
As the undisputed locker room leader in WWE then and now, Undertaker’s is hands down the most interesting side of this story we have never heard. Recently he spoke to the Bill Simmons Podcast about it and understandably, he was ‘real pissed’ at Vince McMahon for what went down:
“I was pissed about the whole thing because I felt like there, I possibly could’ve been used to get what we needed. 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 went for that.”
Although he doesn’t elaborate, it sounds like Undertaker suggested he should have been inserted into the title match instead of Michaels. With a relationship of mutual respect between Hart and ‘Taker, that could have been a smooth transition with The Heartbreak Kid winning the belt soon after.
“There was such disdain at that time between the two of them, and Bret was leaving. But I was just kind of, at that point I was like, if … it’s (McMahon’s) company and he did what he thought was best, but I was like, ‘Dude, I think I could’ve helped this whole thing out. I’m right here and you know I’m gonna do business.’ But it happened, and I was real pissed.”
You might be in the camp that thinks the above would have been a swell idea. Or you might believe that the incident led directly to the creation of the Mr McMahon character and a boom the likes of which wrestling has never seen before or since.
If you’re in that second camp, maybe you think McMahon made the right call in the long run. And maybe he did. Although The Undertaker wouldn’t agree:
‘If this kind of s–t happens again, you’ve got to involve me here, because it doesn’t have to go down like this. And he agreed. I guess it all worked out. It was sad. I’m really tight with Bret. Bret could’ve done some things differently; Shawn could’ve done things differently; Vince could’ve done things differently. But … that’s one of the great wrestling stories of that era and that decade, the Montreal Screwjob.”
So there we have it. After 23 years, we finally have insight into The Undertaker’s positioning on Montreal. Yet more fascinating insight as The Undertaker opens up to media like never before. It really does feel like he’s on the last day of school and he can tell the teachers exactly what he thinks of them doesn’t it?
Episode 3 of ‘The Last Ride’ will air this Sunday on the WWE Network.