Question about Montreal

I hear Saint Catherine Street has all the good clubs, but are they really worth putting up with all the Quebecer assholes? (Not saying everyone in Quebec is an asshole I'm just saying i assume all the assholes congregate in the clubs). Plus i can only imagine i'll pay an arm and a leg for drinks. Is it worth crossing the border and making a 2 hour drive on your expert Canadian opinion?

​John Cena is not turning heel!  Goddammit!​

Hypothetical Montreal question

Watching the Austin/McMahon rivalry episode on network and the mention Montreal so here's a quick one:
If Madusa never shows up on Nitro and drops the Women's Title, does Vince screw Bret?   Vince was obviously paranoid because of the Madusa/Nitro situation.  He and Bret were close for nearly 15 years.  Can we kinda sorta thank Madusa for helping spark the Mr. McMahon character?
​I think it was certainly a contributing factor, but a minor one.  Madusa wasn't actually going to drop the belt on the way out anyway, she was  basically fired (her contract expired and she wasn't offered a new one) and it was more that the company stupidly forgot to ask for the belt back.  It's not like she was supposed to come in for a RAW in December and drop the title to Aja Kong and screwed them over.  There had been a rough plan for that title change at Royal Rumble but that was out the window by December.  
So yes, Vince would definitely have still screwed Bret at Montreal.  ​

Montreal question (sorry!)

Hi Scott,

If I may continue to beat the long rotted corpse of the dead horse that is the Montreal Screwjob, I'd like to ask a question about it I've never heard adequately explained: why was Vince so hellbent on putting the belt on HBK at that Survivor Series? With Bret allegedly willing to drop the belt to basically literally anybody else, wouldn't it have saved Vince a monumental headache to just put the belt on, like, Taker or Vader or somebody and then transition the belt onto Shawn at the December PPV or even the next night on Raw? Vince had to have known he was nuking a bridge, so why was it SO goddamned important that Michaels and only Michaels take the belt from Bret?

Thanks


Pretty sure it was just Vince's typical stubborn streak, in that the match was already booked and pretty anticipated by the fans.   And although Bret was willing to drop it to anyone, he was never asked to.  So clearly Vince only had Shawn in mind, no matter what. 

What the World Was Watching: Survivor Series 1997

by Logan Scisco
Jim Ross &
Jerry “the King” Lawler are doing commentary tonight and they are live from
Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  This is the
first exclusive pay-per-view pairing of Ross and Lawler, as Vince McMahon has
given up regular commentary duties.

Opening
Contest:  “The Road Dogg” Jesse James,
“Bad Ass” Billy Gunn & The Godwinns defeat The Headbangers & The New
Blackjacks when James and Gunn are the survivors after Gunn pins Thrasher with
a flying leg drop at 15:25:
Other Eliminations:  Bradshaw pins Henry Godwinn with a cradle out
of an abdominal stretch at 3:51; Phineas Godwinn pins Barry Windham with a
lariat at 5:11; Gunn pins Mosh after countering a bulldog with an inverted slam
at 8:40; Thrasher pins Phineas with a Mosh Pit at 12:37; James pins Bradshaw
with a schoolboy at 13:44
This is the entire tag team division, Legion of Doom
excluded, as we approach the end of 1997 and when you look around it’s not that
surprising that the WWF was willing to give James and Gunn a run with the titles.  James and Gunn are actually the most over
team in the match, with Gunn booed heavily when he steps into the ring and
enduring some chants questioning his sexual preferences.  Gunn just rolls with it and gives the crowd a
one finger salute, only riling them up more. 
As it is, this match is just a vehicle to continue James & Gunn’s
rise through the tag division and give them a justification for facing the
Legion of Doom for the tag team titles later in the month.  The crowd isn’t into most of the guys in this
thing so it dies a slow and painful death and on a couple of eliminations it’s
not clear whether wrestlers are pinned or not. 
It reminds me of the accelerated Survivor Series tag match on the Free
for All the previous year.  Gunn
completely whiffs on his finishing move, which just makes it all worse.  Last year’s tag team opener with Furnas &
LaFon this wasn’t.  Rating:  DUD
Kevin Kelly and
Sunny tempt us to call the Superstar Line to find hear from the night’s winners
and losers.  I have a feeling that when
the real controversy broke out later in the evening that people were
flooding in calls, but they got little for their money.
The Truth
Commission beats The Disciples of Apocalypse when The Interrogator is the sole
survivor after pinning Crush with a sidewalk slam at 9:58:
Other Eliminations:  The Interrogator pins Chainz after a sidewalk
slam at 1:18; Skull pins the Jackal with a spinning sidewalk slam at 2:50;
Skull pins Recon after a lariat at 5:20; Sniper pins Skull with a bulldog at
6:29; The Interrogator pins 8-Ball with a sidewalk slam at 8:50; Crush pins
Sniper with a powerslam at 9:47
The good thing about the Survivor Series in this format
is that it allows you blow off factional feuds like this fairly easily.  The Truth Commission head into this at a
disadvantage because the Jackal has to wrestle to make this a true four-on-four
encounter and predictably, he’s the first man on his team to be
eliminated.  However, he just goes and
does commentary for the rest of the match, which has no heat.  On the bright side, if you love sidewalk
slams this is your match.  Before there
was the Great Khali you had the Interrogator, who was repackaged three
different times and failed to get over in any of those incarnations so
eventually the WWF let him go.  However,
this was at the time where they really wanted to make him the star of the
group, so regardless of the fact that the DOA were still cheered by parts of
the fan base, they are jobbed out again. 
By the way, this was Crush’s last WWF pay-per-view appearance before
jumping to WCW, thereby finishing up his run of futility with the company.  The reason this isn’t a DUD is that it kept a
pretty good pace.  Rating:  *
Fans share their
thoughts on who they think will win tonight’s championship match between Bret
Hart and Shawn Michaels.
Kelly hypes
America Online’s chat about the show. 
Steve Austin is participating in the chat and says that he is going
forward after his neck injury
.
Team USA (Vader,
Goldust, Marc Mero, and Steve Blackman) give a promo.  Blackman doesn’t relay much intensity, but
promo work was never his strong point.
Team Canada (The
British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon) sees Furnas
renounce his American citizenship.
Team Canada (The
British Bulldog, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon)
beats Team USA (Vader, Goldust, Marc Mero & Steve Blackman w/Sable) when
the Bulldog is the sole survivor after pinning Vader after hitting him with the
ring bell at 17:46:
Other Eliminations:  Blackman gets counted out at 5:44; Vader pins
Neidhart after a splash at 7:31; Vader pins LaFon after a splash off the second
rope at 9:07; Furnas pins Mero with a rollup and holding the tights at 11:57;
Goldust gets counted out at 16:58; Vader pins Furnas after a Vader Bomb at
17:34
This is the blowoff for the 1997 feud between Canada and
the United States and it ends with more of a whimper than a bang.  The Patriot suffered a debilitating bicep
injury before the show, so he was penciled out and Blackman was put into the
match.  This is an odd match on paper
because Furnas and LaFon just returned and only one of the wrestlers on Team
Canada was actually born there, a fact that Ross brings up on commentary.  Team USA are the heels, but it’s nothing like
the dynamic that was present at Canadian Stampede four months prior.  The Bulldog does get a massive pop for
vertically suplexing Vader, though. 
Blackman is presented as the new “supreme fighting machine” (my words,
not the WWF’s) and his karate-style is put over strong and the heels have to
gang up to eliminate him.  Goldust is
brooding over family issues and has a broken hand so he refuses to tag in and
Vader tires of that and tosses him into the ring.  Goldust just decides to walk out after that,
which sets up a new feud with Vader and basically costs Team USA the
match.  The match had some fun moments, like
a great power match between Furnas and Vader, but when the Goldust-Vader issue
took over it limped over the finish line. 
Rating:  ***
Call 815-734-1161
to get a new Steve Austin t-shirt for $25 (plus $6 shipping & handling)!
Ross and Lawler
talk to Jacquelin Cook, who won the Survivor Series Super Supper Sweepstakes so
she and ten friends can have dinner with a WWF superstar.  Luckily, she picks Steve Austin and not Bret
Hart for her dinner guest.
A long video
package hypes Kane-Mankind.
Mankind says that
the next match won’t be a wrestling match because it is going to be him against
a brick wall.
Kane (w/Paul
Bearer) beats Mankind with a Tombstone at 9:29:
I’m surprised that they didn’t put this match after the
first two in order to break up the string of Survivor Series matches.  Like Sin Cara and Glacier, Kane had special
lighting for his early matches, but it makes some spots on the arena floor hard
to see.  This is Kane’s first televised
singles match and Mankind takes his usual sick bumps to get him over.  Heading in, everyone knew who the winner of
this match would be, but Mankind gives this a good effort and produces a pretty
good David-Goliath struggle.  Rating: 
**½
Michael Cole
interviews Commissioner Slaughter and Vince McMahon.  Slaughter says security has been stepped up
in the backstage area and McMahon says that Bret-Michaels will hopefully happen
tonight, since it has been cancelled several times before.  Cole asks him who is going to win, as a wink
at the smart fans, to which McMahon replies “I don’t know” which leaves you
with the impression that something is wrong. 
It just feels eerie.
Dok Hendrix
interviews Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson & The Legion of Doom.
Ken Shamrock,
Ahmed Johnson & The Legion of Doom defeat The Nation of Domination when
Shamrock is the sole survivor after making Rocky Maivia submit to the ankle
lock at 20:37:
Other Eliminations:  Rocky Maivia pins Hawk with a Rock Bottom at
2:15; Johnson eliminates Faarooq with a Pearl River Plunge at 4:39; Maivia pins
Johnson when Faarooq trips Johnson and holds his leg down at 6:18; Animal pins
Kama Mustafa with a schoolboy at 10:53; Animal gets counted out at 15:00; Shamrock
forces D-Lo Brown to submit to the ankle lock at 17:12
This Ahmed-Nation issue is a little out of hand, since
this feud has been going on since the summer of 1996.  I mean we have headed into Tito Santana-Rick
Martel territory here.  Ahmed gets a measure
of revenge on Faarooq by eliminating him, but Faarooq returns the favor and
they brawl to the locker room because the feud must continue!  After those sequences, the crowd completely
dies as Animal takes the offensive.  The
only thing that wakes them up from time to time is to taunt Maivia.  As the crowd works up a “Rocky’s gay” chant,
I have to wonder what future generations will think of these fans since it is
no longer acceptable to chant those things and how editing that stuff out will
butcher future releases of this show. 
Jesse James and Billy Gunn come out and get Animal eliminated, but don’t
fear because that allows Shamrock to mount the comeback and by proxy, build up
a feud with Maivia that will carry into 1998. 
This thing had a hot start, but completely died around the eight minute
mark.  Shamrock-Maivia brought it back at
the end, but it took forever to get there. 
Rating:  *½
Cole interviews
some fans about who is going to win the WWF championship match later tonight.
A video package hypes
Steve Austin-Owen Hart
.
Intercontinental
Championship Match:  “Stone Cold” Steve
Austin beats Owen Hart (Champion w/Team Canada) with a Stone Cold Stunner to
win the title at 4:01:
This is a weird dynamic for Austin’s return, since he’s
in hostile territory but he manages a mixed reaction to show how over he
is.  Jim Neidhart tries to attack Austin
before the bell, but eats a Stunner and that allows Owen to get the advantage.  Sensing trouble, Owen tries to get counted
out and when that doesn’t work he chokes Austin with a microphone cord and
tells the referee “disqualify me” and when the referee tells him no and to
break it, Owen says “NEVER!”  Shortly
after that, Austin gets Owen in the ring and then hits the Stunner and wins the
title.  Really awkward match to watch,
but Austin came back too quickly and was very fragile.  Also, if someone broke my neck in the ring I
wouldn’t want to be out there with them very long either.  Watching this at the time, though, I had a
lot of reservations about Austin’s future in-ring career.  Thankfully, those reservations proved to be
unfounded, at least in the short term.  Rating: 
A video package
hypes Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels
.
WWF Championship
Match:  “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn
Michaels (European Champion) beats Bret “the Hitman” Hart (Champion) when Bret
submits to the Sharpshooter to win the title at 11:00:
Well, this is the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” whereby
Bret refused to lose to Michaels in Montreal and instead of running with the
agreed upon finish, which was a double disqualification, Vince McMahon had
referee Earl Hebner ring the bell when Michaels had Bret in the Sharpshooter to
cause a title change.  While this match
is tough to watch as a Bret fan, I do believe that McMahon and crew were justified
in what they did because it made no sense to have Bret forfeit the belt and
head to WCW as an undefeated champion. 
They couldn’t have run Michaels-Bret on RAW and had a title switch
there, which would have cheated the paying pay-per-view customers, so that was
off the table.  You can sense the
frustration that the WWF booking staff felt if you watch Jim Cornette’s 1997
Timeline shoot interview, as he says it was chaos trying to come up with a
reasonable finish for the match.  In the
end, all parties are to blame for what unfolded, some more than others.  Watching this match fifteen years later, with
the entrances showing both guys coming to the ring from their locker rooms, it
feels a lot like a funeral to the “Bret Hart” era that has existed in the company
since he won the WWF title in 1992.  This
match is probably the most controversial and arguably most significant match in
wrestling history, as it generated some of the momentum that led to the WWF
overtaking WCW, helped cement Vince McMahon’s status as a heel, and it still
generates a great deal of debate today.  There
is some nice continuity in the sense that five years ago when these two faced off
at the Survivor Series they both had singles titles, with Bret as the WWF
champion and Michaels as the Intercontinental champion.  As a match, it is actually a good prelude to
the Austin era since they brawl into the crowd and up the aisle before the
official bell.  The pacing is a little
slower than usual and there is only one near-fall, which might be owed to Bret
being paranoid about a fast count finish. 
It’s a little weird to rate this match, since the screwjob ended it
abruptly and before it was supposed to, but I guess you have to work with what
you have.  Rating:  ***
The Final Report Card:  The only real appeal of this show is the
screwjob, but if you hope to see any extracurriculars after the bell rings then
you aren’t going to get them on the Coliseum Video release, as the show ended
very quickly after the bell and missed Bret Hart destroying equipment and
everything else.  This is a show that you
can easily bypass as it has little redeeming value outside of the legacy of the
main event.  In fact, I would say it’s
the worst Survivor Series up to this point.
Attendance: 
20,593
Buyrate: 
0.89

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down

NOT A MONTREAL CONSPIRACY BUT QUESTION

I know you have shot down "Montreal work" conspiracies and I agree with you that what happened was real (Vince changing the finish) but I one question concerning it:
 
In storyline terms it did make sense for Vince to come out and screw Bret as from late 1996 and on WWF was making it known Vince was the owner (Showing him on camera breathe a sigh of relief when Bret said he was staying rather than go to WCW)
 
And in 1997 Bret shoved Vince after the cage match on Raw leading up to WM13 and later on that summer they got into a scuffle at the announcers table when Owen and Bulldog had to hold Bret back.
 
Even if Bret had stayed, it seemed like they were setting up Vince for some kind of retribution against either or both Bret Hart & Steve Austin. They were the only two wrestlers ever shown getting physical with Vince.
 
It seems like Vince had been dropping hints at the Mr. Mcmahon character for about a year prior and Montreal was just the perfect time for him to turn into the evil authority figure. Is that fair to say?
 

Y

up, it just happened to be one of the greatest happenstances in wrestling, absolutely.  One of the latest Observers has a whole story on amazing timing and luck just like that one, although clearly Montreal worked out to be the biggest bit of luck like that, maybe ever.  

Post Montreal question

Hi Scott, here's a question I don't think anyone has asked before: let's pretend that Montreal was the final nail in the coffin for the WWF and the company went out of business and WCW brought the video libray and acquired a lot of the WWF top stars, do you think the fate of WCW would have been the same where they would have screwed that up, and if they continued to lose money, do you think Turner would have pulled the plug on the company despite it being the only international wrestling company around? And if WCW was no more, would have the return of the territories come back or would there have been a huge investor to create a new international wrestling promotion in the same vein as TNA.

That's an awfully big pretending, since VInce was miraculously able to shell out millions of dollars for Mike Tyson months before the business turned around, despite being so destitute that he couldn't pay Bret Hart his contracted money.  
But regardless, I think that WCW would have screwed it up regardless and still gone out of business at the same time, because they were just doing SO much wrong.  Plus, as noted many times, the eventual death of WCW was caused by the TV division cancelling them, not any direct effect of the business itself.  I think probably we'd still have TNA, and guys like Cena and Batista would have migrated to MMA instead.  So basically TNA would have Mondays to itself doing the same rating as now, and probably Vince would try again with another startup at some point.  

Fwd: Bret Hart. Montreal. One. More. Time.

———- Forwarded message ——— Hey, hands off the Spam button, this is topical! So after 15 years, the WWE is about to milk the last (I think?)
possible juice out of the Montreal Screwjob:  Bret Hart appearing in a
WWE ring in Montreal for the first time since that fateful night. This, like the first on-screen meeting since the Screwjob between Hart
and Michaels, will be Must See TV.  But…what could they possibly do
that wouldn't be a letdown?  Should they try to tie this in to other
current angles (a cringe-inducing bit involving Santino just sprung to
mind), or just trot Bret out at the beginning or middle of the show
for his standing ovation, let him say a few words, and then just let
him be on his way with his closure? ——————— The last one hopefully.  I won't get a chance to see it until tomorrow anyway.

The First Montreal Question Of The New Blog!

Hey Scott,
Watching the Hart/Michaels rivalry DVD, there’s a point where Bret mentions he had already worked well beyond his contractually-obligated dates and could have legally told Vince to take his PPV and shove it, but didn’t out of good faith (or something, can’t remember exactly why he said he didn’t end up doing that).
It’s the first I’ve ever heard of this and, if true, doesn’t it give him all the leverage in the world (not even mentioning the creative control clause) to dictate, at least partially, how he wanted to go out? Would he have been black-balled in the business for no-showing, especially in Bret’s alleged case where he had already satisfied the terms of his contract and, throughout the years in general, was typically one of the true iron men when it came to working an insane number of dates?
Just curious as to your thoughts on that comment in general since, like I said, I’d never heard that part of it brought up by anyone before, but it seems to possibly paint Bret in a bit of a better light in hindsight.

Well, here’s the tricky thing with that particular contract dispute.  Yes, Bret had creative control over his character, and yes, Bret was only obligated to work a certain number of dates and thus had a huge amount of leverage.  However, you’ll recall that Bret punched Vince in the face after the events went down, which meant that Vince had a very solid case for assault and they would have spent the next millennium tied up in court counter-suing each other, and in the end both decided that the Mexican standoff wasn’t worth pursuing.  Would he have been blackballed?  Doubtful, he was already going to WCW, it’s not like Vince could resent him any more.  People have done WAY worse and gotten back in Vince’s good graces sooner.

Hogan v. Montreal

Heard something I would love to hear you respond to.  On a recent episode of the “steve czaban” radio show, Hulk Hogan appeared and was asked about the Montreal incident.  His response was “that we all have jobs, and we show up and do those jobs.  Bret showed up and said he wasn’t going to do his job.”
My first reaction was to laugh.  Then laugh some more.  And then…. laugh a lot more.
But then I did think about Hogan’s departure from WWF(E).  He did basically let Yoko squash him.  Including getting defeated with his own move and selling it on his way back to the locker room.
So my question is this: Do I laugh at absurdity of Hogan stance of someone else doing the job?  Or accept it for the way he did the job when he left?

Yeah, well, Hogan refused to do the job for Bret Hart in the first place, which is why they had to swap in Yoko, so he’s got no leg to stand on there.  Bret was more than happy to do the job for Shawn Michaels or anyone else down to Steve Lombardi, just not on THAT show.  It could have been the night before or the night after and then Vince could have done whatever he wanted with the title. 

Hogan v. Montreal

Heard something I would love to hear you respond to.  On a recent episode of the “steve czaban” radio show, Hulk Hogan appeared and was asked about the Montreal incident.  His response was “that we all have jobs, and we show up and do those jobs.  Bret showed up and said he wasn’t going to do his job.”
My first reaction was to laugh.  Then laugh some more.  And then…. laugh a lot more.
But then I did think about Hogan’s departure from WWF(E).  He did basically let Yoko squash him.  Including getting defeated with his own move and selling it on his way back to the locker room.
So my question is this: Do I laugh at absurdity of Hogan stance of someone else doing the job?  Or accept it for the way he did the job when he left?

Yeah, well, Hogan refused to do the job for Bret Hart in the first place, which is why they had to swap in Yoko, so he’s got no leg to stand on there.  Bret was more than happy to do the job for Shawn Michaels or anyone else down to Steve Lombardi, just not on THAT show.  It could have been the night before or the night after and then Vince could have done whatever he wanted with the title. 

Hogan v. Montreal

Heard something I would love to hear you respond to.  On a recent episode of the “steve czaban” radio show, Hulk Hogan appeared and was asked about the Montreal incident.  His response was “that we all have jobs, and we show up and do those jobs.  Bret showed up and said he wasn’t going to do his job.”
My first reaction was to laugh.  Then laugh some more.  And then…. laugh a lot more.
But then I did think about Hogan’s departure from WWF(E).  He did basically let Yoko squash him.  Including getting defeated with his own move and selling it on his way back to the locker room.
So my question is this: Do I laugh at absurdity of Hogan stance of someone else doing the job?  Or accept it for the way he did the job when he left?

Yeah, well, Hogan refused to do the job for Bret Hart in the first place, which is why they had to swap in Yoko, so he’s got no leg to stand on there.  Bret was more than happy to do the job for Shawn Michaels or anyone else down to Steve Lombardi, just not on THAT show.  It could have been the night before or the night after and then Vince could have done whatever he wanted with the title. 

Hogan v. Montreal

Heard something I would love to hear you respond to.  On a recent episode of the “steve czaban” radio show, Hulk Hogan appeared and was asked about the Montreal incident.  His response was “that we all have jobs, and we show up and do those jobs.  Bret showed up and said he wasn’t going to do his job.”
My first reaction was to laugh.  Then laugh some more.  And then…. laugh a lot more.
But then I did think about Hogan’s departure from WWF(E).  He did basically let Yoko squash him.  Including getting defeated with his own move and selling it on his way back to the locker room.
So my question is this: Do I laugh at absurdity of Hogan stance of someone else doing the job?  Or accept it for the way he did the job when he left?

Yeah, well, Hogan refused to do the job for Bret Hart in the first place, which is why they had to swap in Yoko, so he’s got no leg to stand on there.  Bret was more than happy to do the job for Shawn Michaels or anyone else down to Steve Lombardi, just not on THAT show.  It could have been the night before or the night after and then Vince could have done whatever he wanted with the title.