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Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon
Two men, one ring and more than 12 years of bad blood. It all adds up to one of the most anticipated grudge matches in WWE history: Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Mr. McMahon.
The hemorrhaging of animosity between these two began on Nov. 9, 1997. It was then, at Survivor Series in Montreal, that the then-WWE Champion Hart faced Shawn Michaels as The Chairman looked on at ringside. With the bout underway, HBK locked the “Hit Man” into Hart’s signature submission hold, The Sharpshooter. While Hart never submitted, the referee nonetheless ordered the bell to be rung and the title awarded to Michaels, all of which had been orchestrated by Mr. McMahon.
The “Montreal Screwjob,” as it has henceforth been known, left Hart filled with rage, especially toward The Chairman. For his part, however, Mr. McMahon has made no apologies, almost seeming to revel in his duplicity.
The situation remained at a stalemate until Jan. 4, when Hart agreed to act as special guest host of Raw in hopes of gaining “closure.” It was during the historic broadcast that the WWE Hall of Famer managed to make peace with Michaels. It was also when Mr. McMahon’s treachery continued. After praising his longtime nemesis, The Chairman betrayed Hart, kicking him and leaving him writhing on the canvas. In subsequent weeks, Mr. McMahon would berate and, with help from Batista, actually spit in the face of Hart.
Now, it’s time for more than a decade’s worth of frustration, resentment and pent-up rage to culminate on The Grandest Stage of Them All in a match the WWE Universe may have never thought they’d see, but always hoped to witness. Will The Excellence of Execution be able to unscrew what’s been done to him? Or will The Chairman continue to make Hart suffer?