The Montreal Screwjob
Out of all the stories in professional wrestling, there’s one that stands out as the most infamous and talked about incident in the industry. Regarded by many as the incident that caused professional wrestling’s facade to lift, the Montreal Screwjob continues to be a hot topic of debate, even to this day.
With multiple interviews from insiders and other wrestlers there during that time period, we begin this episode with a history of the Hart family, including a look at the infamous Hart Dungeon. After making it big in the Canadian wrestling scene, we see the Hart family signed to the WWF.
From here, we see Bret’s meteoric rise to the top of the roster and the start of his intense rivalry with “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels after winning the heavyweight title. As things start heating up and becoming more intense off-camera, a lucrative offer from WCW comes calling which leads to Bret ultimately leaving the WWF. We then see Vince Russo, Jim Cornette and Vince McMahon trying to formulate a scenario behind the scenes for the best way of Bret losing the title.
As the big night approaches, the original plan is to let Bret Hart win the match and the following night retire the title when he leaves. However, Vince McMahon has other ideas which involves ringing the bell during a submission move to signal Shawn Michaels winning and thus, orchestrating the screw job.
Between backstage antics and Bret leaving to go to WCW, various TV interviews shed light on these backstage politics in professional wrestling, exposing Vince McMahon as the owner of WWF and giving birth to the Mr. McMahon persona so infamously depicted through wrestling.
Much like the first episode, numerous re-enactment shots are used to depict the action. Peppered between these segments are various face to face interviews and archival footage of matches, helping to paint a realistic picture of Bret Hart and the events leading to Survivor Series where the Screwjob occurred.
Of course, as I said before those not wholly into the wrestling scene may feel a little out of the loop given the wrestling terms thrown around. Gaining heat, booking, heels and faces are all words thrown around here and it’s certainly worth highlighting, given the emphasis toward tailoring this for wrestling fans.
Still, there’s enough here to make for a very enjoyable and interesting episode, even if you’re not into wrestling. It’s an episode layered with a thin veil of conspiratory theories around who was and wasn’t in on the whole ordeal. Quite where Dark Side Of The Ring goes from here is anyone’s guess but for now, The Montreal Screwjob episode doesn’t disappoint and is certainly the highlight episode of this series this far.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!