Earl Hebner & Julie Hart Talk Montreal Screwjob 15 years Later

Justin LaBar

Julie Hart and Earl Hebner were on Inside The Ropes talking about the famous Montreal Screwjob in 1997.

Hart was married to Bret Hart at the time of the incident and Hebner was the referee of the match.

Highlights of Earl Hebner's interview:

His thoughts when he heard Bret didn’t want to drop the belt to Shawn: "Bret had plenty of time to drop the belt. He could’ve dropped it in the United States. I didn’t know much about the deal with those two but he could’ve dropped the belt to anyone, hell he could’ve dropped it to me. But he had an ego and he didn’t wanna do it. Time was running out. If you’re leavin you drop the strap, he didn’t wanna do it. If you remember Alundra Blayze went down there and dropped the Womens belt in the trash. Now if you have a $3 million deal to go to another company, why would you even hesitate to drop the belt? I mean why? Your moneys already guaranteed when you get there. Just drop it and go. A lot of people put him over, made him who he is. So he’s gonna refuse to drop it and make those guys look like idiots? This business is a work."

On him telling Bret he swore on his kids lives he wouldn’t let anything happen in Montreal: "I was sitting on a plane with Bret. His very words “Will you count me out?” I said “If you keep your shoulder up, I will not count you out” Which I didn’t count him out. Did he get pinned 1.2.3? You stop and think about my position. I’m thinking about the guys in the back. Austin, Undertaker, Rocky all the guys that put him over as being the Worlds Champion, we made him what he was, so he’s leaving us and he’s screwing us because he doesn’t want to drop the belt. So on my way to the ring, I’m thinking it’s not fair. Someone asked me, I won’t say who, about two minutes before I walked to the ring, I said I can’t tell you what I’m gonna do, but when I walked to the ring, I thought about all the boys back in the dressing room, so it wasn’t right for him to screw 25 guys because of his stubbornness, so thats why I did what I did. When McMahon and Sgt Slaughter came to the ring, whether I had done it or not, that bell was gonna ring. The only thing that made it more official is that I motioned for the bell."

If he thinks Montreal was a work: "It could have been a work. McMahon, Bret, WCW could’ve all been in on it for all I know. I’m gonna go 50/50 on it. I think it was but I can’t say for sure, but look where Bret is now."

In the full conversation, Earl talks about the relationship between Shawn and Bret, Undertaker's reaction the situation the next day, conversations with Bret since Montreal, Bret’s 2010 return to WWE and if he was contacted about appearing at WrestleMania 26.

Julie Hart's interview highlights:

When Bret got suspicious that he might get screwed: "It wasn’t really till we got to Montreal. I remember someone came to Bret and told him that they’d saw Shawn getting into an elevator with Vince in his hotel and that kinda got Bret a little worried. That was earlier in the day. The kids and I had gone shopping and when we got back, Bret said he had to go talk to our lawyer who was in town with us as well. The source, I can’t tell you who it is, but the source had said what happened, so bret went over to our lawyer to talk about it and that’s when Bret really started getting nervous."

WWE making Vince into the Mr McMahon character: "I thought that was horrible but thats what Vince does right? Thats how he markets things. I felt sorry for Bret because he was such a good person to Vince and I felt like “jeez why did you have to go and do that?” But you look at everything now and how things have played out. It was all about the business, and it’s still all about the business. Those things, I guess, shouldn’t have been taken so personal."

Her reaction to people who think Montreal was a work: "Firstly, no it wasn’t work. It was as raw as…..you’d have to be there to experience the emotions that Bret went through. I can honestly say on my childrens head, that none of that stuff was set up. It was as real as you would ever get. That camera was in the place in the right time. It was never set up, it’s sad that people would think that. I know, I was there, my kids were there, I saw what it did to Bret emotionally, for our marriage after that, we were never the same….."

Julie goes on to talk about how Bret was in 1997, who was backstage at Montreal, why she talked to Triple H after the match, why Bret wore a wire and much more.

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