On the 21st episode of Confessions of the Hitman, Bret Hart once again discussed the infamous Montreal Screwjob, the conspiracy theories surrounding it and who he thinks was involved.
"You know, a lot of people take credit for it. I've had a lot of people come up to me and tell me that they were involved in it, like, 'I didn't want to say anything, but I was in on the whole thing.' It's bullshit. I mean, the only guys that were in on it, that I know of, were Vince, Triple H, Shawn of course, and Jerry Brisco. That's it, period. Earl Hebner got pulled in at the last minute when he walked out, but nobody else knew. Not even the TV guy, the producer, the guy that does all the - Kevin Dunn. Vince's TV guy didn't know anything about it until we were in the ring, then I think they told him."
The question then came up of if Bret himself were actually in on it, and if the whole thing was a work.
"I just can't see the point or the value. I mean, I would stand up for real things, and if you know me, if anybody really knows me, they would know it's not the kind of thing I would lie about. And there was a lot of real bad blood about it for a real long time. And it's just an insult to my character that I would be a part of something like that."
"I believe that leading into everything, the integrity of Vince in particular, his integrity started to really wane. There were a lot of things where I'd go, 'this guy's not being straight with me.' And everything from Vince saying he couldn't pay me, to then Vince saying he would even negotiate my [WCW] contract, that he was giving me all this information so I could leave, so I could be the first one to get out because it was a sinking ship. They were all things - when he told me these things, I'm trying to believe him. I did have a very trusting relationship with Vince, and I'd like to think I was a guy who went to bat for him for a lot of things.
"I trusted Vince but there were things leading up to the Screwjob that I just couldn't trust. It was just getting very hard to believe anything he said, and again, I tried not to leave. I didn't want to leave, and I kind of got pushed out, and I kind of felt even before the Screwjob happened that I felt betrayed. Everything I had delivered for him - I really delivered for him and gave him so much, and I really felt that he didn't come through. [McMahon's] integrity was pretty shoddy."
"Especially when I won the title, as an example, I had so much pride and respect for what [McMahon] was doing for me, appreciation. And I would have jumped in front of a moving train for Vince McMahon and probably would have up until those last few months. The truth is, I took a $1.5 million salary over a $2.8 million salary. Oh, I think maybe the first offer was $2.5 [million], but that's a considerable amount of money. I said, 'no, I'm going to stay loyal with you.' And you only have so many years to make whatever I could make, and for them to try and ruin me and tear me down based off of that I cost more or I'm making more money?
"Shawn and Triple H, all I can say about what they did with me was clearly they were offended that I made more money than them. And it's like, is Triple H offended when Brock Lesnar is making more money than him? Does that give them the right to go screw him too? To mess with somebody else's [livelihood]? So, you can kind of see the frustration of A) why I would be offended by this and B) why I got so mad when it happened?"
Bret Hart went into further detail about if Vince knew he was going to get punched in the face.
"The Undertaker had a take on it. His take on it a few months ago - and they always say stuff like, 'Vince probably said before he walked in that he was going to let me take a shot at him.' I don't remember that ever happening and I don't remember Vince saying anything like that to me in my dressing room that he's going to let me take one shot at him. There was no one shot [offer]. I took my own shot. I doubt that's the case. [McMahon] never saw it coming."
"I think I knew Vince pretty well, especially at the time. What really was happening, I think, was a case of Vince trying to save face with his talent. I don't know if he expected there to be such an uproar. There was a real uproar with the wrestlers and the talent where they were probably wondering how many wrestlers were going to show up in the dressing room the next day. That kind of thing. So, it was a grandstand moment for him to confront me in the dressing room and sort of look to my better nature. I'm a pretty easy going guy. I think Vince gambled that I was going to take the high road and say a few words to him, and then I would walk out or grab my stuff, and leave the dressing room, and that would be the end of it, and he could say, 'at least I confronted him.'"
"The other angle I think Vince thought is we'll get into a pull apart. This is what I believe Vince thought was going to happen. 'He'll confront me, he'll stand up to me, he'll almost provoke physicality with me and I'll take him up on it, and we'll come at each other, and we grab each other, and as soon as we' - because there is about 10 guys in the dressing room and they're all waiting, including Owen, including Davey Boy. I mean, I think they're all going to jump in and sort of pull us apart, grown men fighting. I think that's what Vince thought were the two options."
Hart then explained that guys who were there have different versions of what happened.
"The Undertaker said something about - and I love Undertaker, and I don't expect everybody who was there to remember exactly the way I did, but it was not an overhead punch. It was an uppercut, and I turned in. And I think it happened so fast that I don't think anybody might remember it the way I did, but I know how hard I hit Vince."
"I remember Jim Neidhart talking, one time, to somebody else who was talking about The Screwjob when we were in the room, and Jim's memory of it, which was the opposite of The Undertaker but similar in the sense that people have these different memories of what happened, Jim was right there in the room, as was The Undertaker. but I remember Jim telling somebody I got on top of Vince and just wham, wham, I'm beating the crap out of him. And it's like, I remember going to Jim, like, 'I didn't do that! What are you talking about? I hit him one time!' And Jim was like, 'really? One time?' And I was like, 'yeah, one time!'"