Got your attention? Good!
The Montreal Screwjob. We all know it. We all know what happened, it was live on national television. It was blatant disrespect of a veteran wrestler who poured his heart and soul into the business, and he got screwed.
But, what if what we saw was a work? One huge massive work that fooled ALL of us. You. Me. WCW. Just, what if? Hear me out here before you go “Oh my god Lauren is a damn liar how dare she publish this shit fire her!” Just hear me out on this.
I ran a poll, and 76% of you said it was a shoot. That means 24% of you think it was a work. I found that really interesting.
Oh, side note, we will not be going back to deep history, that will be in the next “Boom, Pipe Bomb Bitch” article next week. This will be straight up the night of.
So to start this conspiracy theory we’re going to have to get in our way back time machine and go back to the night of the actual screwjob. But we’re going to instead of taking a straight up time trip, I’m going to break down certain points and cover them, so it might be a bit disjointed, but we’ll recap everything in the end. Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey and all.
Before we go on, lets take a look at what exactly defines a “Work” and a “Shoot”, because I feel that sometimes it’s mislabeled. A work is scripted to look real. Like that dirt bag CM Punk’s “pipe bomb” promo. It seemed so real, you almost wanted to believe it! The RAW walkout? Work. The nWo invasion? Work. it’s all things they want you to believe are real, I mean Nash and Hall appearing on Nitro, we didn’t have the internet then so we had no idea what was going on! We thought shit was really hitting the fan for real!
A shoot is the opposite. It’s unscripted off the rails real shit. A great example is the recent altercation between Bully Ray and the fan. The fan disrespected the women, and Bully came to their defense. That was a shoot. The curtain call, a shoot. Shane Douglas throwing down the NWA belt is ALMOST a shoot as well, and I only classify it as thus due to it’s ripple effect on wrestling today. He didn’t know which way he was going to turn until the very moment he threw the belt down. You can see more about that here .
So lets start by looking at that night, and start looking at the events leading up to it. Brett Hart’s contract was coming up, and he was the current WWF champion. The original plan Brett had was to beat Shawn at the PPV, and then hand the belt over on RAW the next night. But Vince didn’t want that. Neither Vince, McMahon or Russo who was employed by WWF at the time, as well as Jim Cornette, who was also in the meetings. They had planned several different scenarios for Brett to lose the belt, but he of course said no. So that left them with the only thing possible. Screw Brett. Or was it? What if instead of screwing Brett, they only made it LOOK like they screwed him? What if it was a work, the entire time?
You see. one of the big moments of this “Screwjob Theory” is that the camera stayed on Brett as he wrote W C W, it got a closeup of Vince wiping the spit out of his eye, why? Wouldn’t you turn the camera away if this was unscripted? I mean surely you wouldn’t allow your competition to write W C W in the middle of your ring. Surely you wouldn’t show the owner get spit on. But the odd thing is, they did. Brett faced the hard camera and wrote W C W. The camera showed a close up of Vince wiping the spit out of his face. There was no cutaway, there was no security removing Brett from the arena. In fact it was the opposite. It payed out like it was all meant to be. WWF pulled the wool over your eyes dear reader. You were the subject of a work.
Then there’s something people overlook a lot. The music. Someone in the truck had to be told “Hey, instead of Brett’s music you’re goign to play Shawns.” Someone had to know in the truck, after all!
We covered why we believe it was a work, the event itself, and a bit of the prelude. Let’s look at the match, and then the aftermath. This will be my theory, this will not be the actual events that transpired. I will be covering that in my next “Boom, Pipe Bomb Bitch” article and go into depths about what happened that night. Supposedly. Or did it? Got you scratching your head yet?
So as we said, the deal was Brett was supposed to keep the belt and drop it the next night. But Vince had learned his lesson from Medusa, who infamously dropped the Women’s title in the trash can on WCW Nitro one night. Vince did not want a repeat, obviously, and he was going to do whatever he could to stop it.
Now this is where things get strange. One account says Cornette was in the meeting with Russo, McMahon, and Hart. Another account says Cornette was NOT there. I can’t seem to confirm or deny as both are from reputable sources, so I’ll let you make your opinion on that.
See, Cornette said that he had Owen and Bulldog in gorilla waiting for a run in. This in itself is also odd because from what I’ve researched, a run in typically doesn’t have wrestlers in gorilla. Wrestlers typically hang backstage so as not to be seen by the fans when they leave the area (I believe, correct me if I’m wrong), yet Bulldog and Owen were right there for a supposed run in? Hmmm.
There’s also the fact that Vince McMahon happened to be ringside. At the time he wasn’t well known as the owner of WWF. Vince was just a commentator, and a damn good one at that. So this told some fans that something was amiss. There was only one thing that was going to happen. Screw Brett. I mean think about it. They can’t have him lose clean. They can’t invoke any odd stipulations because back then, you just didn’t do that shit. There was a rule book and they played by it. Remember, WWF back then was not like WWE is now. WWF was much more strict, by the book, while WWE throws that book out the window and does whatever they want. I’m looking at you, Wildcard. They didn’t change matches last second unless absolutely needed. Generally a match stayed the same, so they really could not change it last second. It just wasn’t a thing, whether by principle or by how Vince felt back then, I’m unsure. The general bodyslam.net staff opinion is that this is just how it was back then. This was right on the brink of the Attitude Era. One could even argue this was the birth of the Attitude Era, as this also was the birth of Mr McMahon.
One last thing. The sharpshooter. Shawn begins to apply it, and of course does it wrong. Brett has to adjust it to the correct position. As soon as it’s applied Vince is screaming “RING THE BELL, RING THE BELL!”. Of course if you’re the time keeper and Vince McMahon tells you to ring the bell you ring the damn bell. But Vince wasn’t close enough to commentary to be picked up on their microphones. Technically his voice shouldn’t have been heard. Yet it was, pretty clearly. They even show him doing it. Why would production show Vince yelling ring the bell if it was a shoot? Why would the cameras continue to cover Brett trashing ringside instead of cutting away?
So let’s wrap up all the facts in one place. Brett wants to drop the title Monday, begs Vince to let him stay. Goes on to a lackluster WCW career with Vince Russo (Eventually) and returns to WWF.
Brett blatenly spits on Vince and the cameras show it. Cameras show him writing W C W
Vince is heard yelling RING THE BELL out of microphone range. (Theory, can’t prove it unless I did measurements and stuff, I’m going by position)
Bulldog and Owen are in gorilla when they shouldn’t have been
Production happens to know to play Shawns music.
Cameras cover Brett trashing ringside instead of cutting to a break
The stories don’t add up between Russo Cornette and Brett
The camera crew happens to be there, happens to be covering all this, but just happens to have all access, but doesn’t cover the meeting with Vince and Brett?
My theory? Well, when I first heard this I laughed and was like “This is a shoot, come on.” But the more I researched, the more i heard the stories, the more I listened, the more I started to think “Hey, this might actually be true!”
So me, personally? I’m torn. We may never know.
What do you think? Twitter showed out of 127 people, 60% thought it was a shoot, which suprised me that 40% thought it was a work! One rude guy told me get over it, he doesn’t count.
Stay tuned for the next pipe bomb article next week!