WWE Hall of Famer Sgt Slaughter did an interview with Inside the Ropes.
During it, he talked 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. Here are the highlights:
What he thought was going to happen:
“We were all planning for Bret Hart to leave. It was time for him to drop the title and Vince wanted Shawn Michaels to have it. Bret said, ‘No way. I’m not giving it to him. I’ll drop it to Shamrock on RAW.’ Vince said, ‘No, I want you to drop it to Shawn, it’s my company.’ I was thinking, ‘Here’s a guy, Vince just made him $3 million and he won’t drop the title to Shawn—is there that much hatred for the guy that he won’t do that?’ When we got to the production meeting in Montreal, as far as I knew Shawn and Bret were going to do a match where there was no winner or somebody won by disqualification. I can’t remember what the thing was, but Bret was keeping the title. We were five minutes from the match and Vince was standing there with his cup of coffee and he said to me, ‘Sarge, you’re the commissioner—you come with me to ringside.’ I strolled down there with my chest sticking out, standing right next to Vince, and we sat down and started watching the match.”
On not knowing what was going to happen:
“All of a sudden Shawn went to put Bret in the Sharpshooter, and referee Earl Hebner yelled, ‘Ring the bell, ring the bell, ring the bell.’ I thought, ‘What the hell is going on?’ The bell started ringing, and Vince walked over, grabbed the title and shoved it up to Shawn. Shawn was looking down at us and he yelled, ‘Not like this, not like this.’ Vince said, ‘Shut the f–k up. Take that title and get the f–k out of here.’ Bret was standing up now, he knew he got screwed, and he just had this look on his face. Bret looked at Vince and said, ‘You no-good motherf—-r.’ Vince put his arms out, like, ‘Hey, you gave me no choice,’ type of thing and Bret took that big hocker and spat right in Vince’s face and hit him right in his eye. I remember Vince wiping it off and telling me, ‘Come on, Sarge, let’s go. Let’s go.’ I said, ‘I’m going to wait, I’m going to hang out here and see what happens.’ “
Who he thinks knew about beforehand:
“Kevin Dunn was in the truck—he knew—and Brisco knew about it. That’s the only people I ever heard that knew about it. I’m not even sure if Pat Patterson or Bruce Prichard knew because Vince didn’t want anybody to know so it wouldn’t get out. Over the years, I have heard that Undertaker was the locker room general and he took care of everything. And Shawn said, ‘I knew everything. I knew all about it.’ What I saw didn’t show me that he knew anything about it because he was scared to death, and the way he reacted in the ring, going, ‘Not like this, not like this,’ and Vince saying, ‘Get that f–king belt’, and ‘Get the f–k out of here,’ led me to believe that Shawn had no idea. Hunter didn’t have any idea—he wasn’t even close to Vince at that time. I hear stories that Hunter knew about it and Bruce knew about it but I don’t believe a word of it. I saw it go down from ringside, in the dressing rooms, and after. A lot of the other stuff is a little bit fictitious. That’s my take on it, that’s what I saw and what I believe happened. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!”