This week’s episode of “Mailbag Monday with Gerald Brisco” has been released.
During it, he was asked about the Montreal Screwjob at the 1997 Survivor Series PPV event where Vince McMahon rang the bell while Shawn Michaels had Bret Hart in the Sharpshooter. This was done to have Michaels win the WWE Title as Hart was leaving for WCW. Specifically, he was asked how far in advance he knew about it.
“It wasn’t my idea. I can tell you that right off the bat. Probably that’s the length I can go into it until I have more time to discuss it, but I’ll tell you when I found out about it. I knew during the week just as everybody else did that there were some issues with the champion not wanting to return the title to the company in Montreal. I was called and asked my opinion on a couple of alternative deals. On Saturday night before a PPV, we always had an executive type production meeting where just the top level guys are in a conference room and we would go over the issues of the show and the ins and outs of the show and the timing of what’s taking place and all that stuff. There was a corporate meeting going on. We’re getting to the end of it. We discussed the show. We come to Bret and Shawn. We are waiting for Vince to start telling us our marching orders and he said, ‘To be continued.’ In other words, we will continue the conversation in the morning. That’s what we usually did. As he dismissed everybody, he looked at me and said, ‘Brisco, do you mind hanging behind? I need to talk to you.’ He tells me, ‘We have an issue with the last match and I think you’re the guy who can handle it.’ I said, ‘Lay it out and let’s hear it.’ He lays out the plan. We didn’t talk names on whose suggestion it was. This was all coming from Vince so to me, my marching orders didn’t come from anybody but Vince McMahon. He said, ‘I need you to figure out a way to do this. I want you to meet with Shawn tonight and teach him some self defense in case Bret gets on him.’ I said, ‘Ok.’ I met with Shawn in his hotel room. Shawn’s an athlete so Shawn and I started going over the match on how we can do this thing in a way that wouldn’t be tipping our hand to anybody on what we were doing. Shawn and I came up with the spots together, the sharp shooter and when to ring the bell. The whole key to this entire deal was not really Shawn, but it was Shawn, because Shawn had to sell all through the day that he was willing to do whatever Bret wanted. I said whatever you do, don’t change your approach with doing business tonight. If he suggests something you don’t like, tell him that.
Don’t go off where he’s not going to do a lot of things. The important thing was the cooperation of Shawn getting that sharpshooter on. That sharpshooter is not an easy maneuver to get on if somebody is resisting. Vince walking out to ringside was something we had not discussed. That really threw a lot of people off including myself. I had to stop Earl Hebner as he was going to the ring. I said, ‘Earl, as soon as this match is over.’ I thought Earl was going to walk out on us right then and there. I really did. Earl was wanting to quit but it all comes down to loyalty or who’s paying your bills. Is Bret paying your bills? If Bret goes down south and collects that three million dollar paycheck, is he going to be paying your bills?
H/T to WrestlingNewsco