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Guest hunger4unger

The vince mcmahon/bret hart saga

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Guest hunger4unger

Vince McMahon/Bret Hart, Survivor Series 1997.

By Kevin Malton of http://wrestlerevolt.cjb.net


In the wake of Bret Hart being asked to return to the WWF for WrestleMania and the playing up to the crowd on Raw last night by Vince to the "you screwed Bret" chants, I thought it was time I took another look at the now infamous events surrounding Survivor Series 1997.


As you may or may not be aware, I have a firm belief that the "screwjob" that took place at SS 97, was indeed a work.


Why do I think this?


Firstly, we need to look back at the moments that led up to the "screwjob" finish.


Bret Hart was the WWF champion, and had agreed to a contract with WCW, prior to the SS PPV. This posed a problem for Vince McMahon, as Bret Hart was obviously required to drop the title before leaving for Atlanta.


Lets take a short look at Bret Hart for a moment. The Hart family are one of the most respected, if not the most respected, families in professional wrestling. Bret Hart is a man of integrity. Vince McMahon gave Bret his first big break in wrestling, and gave Bret plenty of exposure during the many years Bret was with the WWF. Now, let me ask this: Why would Bret, a professional and respected man in his own right, refuse to drop the title? Title belts in wrestling mean nothing, except to the fans. Wrestlers don`t see title belts as a sign of how good they are. A title belt is comparable to a prop in a theatrical performance. According to rumors, Bret Hart had/has legit heat with HBK. Lets say, for arguments sake, that Bret despised HBK. Then why would he agree to work with HBK, but not drop the title to him? As I said previously, title belts are meaningless, from an "inside" point of view at least, so Bret should have had no problem in dropping the belt to HBK, if he was going to tolerate working with him.


The finish that Vince McMahon and Bret Hart agreed on, was the "screwjob" finish. I believe that only Vince and Bret knew about this finish themselves. No-one else. Not Earl Hebner, not HBK, no-one. In reality, the entire industry was worked besides Bret and Vince.


What did Vince get out of the "screwjob" finish? It set up Vince as a top tier heel. I think we all know about the "Mr. McMahon"/Austin fued that propelled WWF back to the top of pro wrestling. Vince also got the satisfaction that he had worked the entire wrestling world. His own wrestlers believed it was a shoot. Some walked out of the company. This was Vince`s last chance to prove to himself that Kayfabe still existed.


Now, onto Bret Hart. How did Bret benefit? No one views that match as a defeat for Bret Hart. He left the WWF and jumped to their main rivals WCW, without having to drop the title cleanly in his last match. That was great for the Bret Hart character. When a "screwjob" finish like i`ve described above is able to be used, why not go with it? It benefits Bret more than if he agreed to a DQ finish.


Now, onto "Wrestling With Shadows", the documentary that filmed the events leading up to the "screwjob" finish, and the event itself. What would the point of making a doucumentary, or movie as it may be considered, be, if not for a dramatic finish? If, as supposedly planned, Bret lost via DQ, who would be interested in buying the tape? Would you have bought it? With no controversary or dramatic conclusion, I know I wouldn`t have. Another point of note stemming from "Wrestling With Shadows", is that Brets wife was saying her goodbyes to WWF workers prior to the event. Bret was supposedly scheduled for the following nights Raw Is War. Why not do it then? Why would she attend the PPV but not Brets "last" show with the WWF as well? Because Bret was never going to appear at that Raw, that`s why.


You may be wondering right now, "well thats all good but Bret hates Vince". Yes, it appears that Bret does have a dislike for Vince, as allegedly he feels that Vince is somehow to blame for Owen`s accident. Or, just maybe, Bret knows that Vince wasn`t to blame. He knows that Owen had no problems doing the stunt. He knows it was an accident. Also, in my opinion, Bret knows that when he returns to the WWF to face Vince McMahon it will be the hottest angle in wrestling history. Ratings will rocket, PPV buyrates will go through the roof. And, most importantly, Bret will have the opportunity to retire on top where he belongs and leave the legacy that he truly deserves.


Feedback on this column can be sent to [email protected] or posted right here at The Smarks forum.

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