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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MOST TALKED ABOUT MATCH IN WRESTLING HISTORY - THE MONTREAL SCREWJOB

By Buck Woodward on 2009-11-09 07:55:48

November 9th

On this day in history in ....

1933 - Otis Clingman defeats Thor Jenson for the Pacific Coast Middleweight Title in Eugene, Oregon.

1937 - Earl McCready defeats George Walker in Wellington, New Zealand to become undisputed New Zealand Wrestling Union British Empire Heavyweight Champion.

1937 - Billy Weidner defeats The Great Mephisto in Dayton, Ohio to win his second Midwest Wrestling Association Light Heavyweight Title, this also ended the second reign for Mephisto.

1949 - Bobby Managoff defeats Jack Claybourne for the Hawaii Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1950 - Billy Goelz defeats Gypsy Joe to win the Wisconsin Junior Heavyweight Title in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1952 - Lucky Simunovich and Gino Garibaldi defeat Bob Langevin and Rom Rice for the vacant Hawaii Tag Team Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1956 - Lou Thesz defeats Whipper Billy Watson to win his second NWA World Heavyweight Title as well as, to this day, the final totally Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

1957 - Ivan Bornov and The Great Malenko defeat Frankie Talaber and Leon Graham for the MWA Ohio Tag Team Title in Columbus, Ohio, ending Talaber and Graham's second reign.

1961 - Lord James Blears and Neff Maivia defeat Shoulders Newman and Ted Travis for the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Title in Honolulu, Hawaii, then lose the belts right back to Newman and Travis.

1962 - Fred Blassie begins his second reign as the recognized World Heavyweight Champion in the state of Georgia, defeating Jake Smith in Atlanta in a rematch from their meeting two weeks earlier for the title, also in Atlanta, the title had been immediately held up following the prior match.

1964 - Terry Garvin and Chin Lee are awarded the Gulf Coast version of the NWA Southern Tag Team Title, when the previous champions, The Corsicans (Joe and Jean) leave the territory two weeks earlier.

1968 - Kintaro Ohki defeats Buddy Austin for the vacant All-Asia Heavyweight Title in Seoul, South Korea. The title had been vacant since late 1963, following the death of then-champion Rikidozan.

1970 - Don Leo Jonathan and Steven Little Bear defeat Chati Yokouchi and Yasu Fuji in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for the Vancouver version of the NWA Canadian Tag Team Title.

1973 - Wahoo McDaniel defeats Strong Kobayashi for the IWA (Japan) World Heavyweight Title in Wakayama, Japan.

1973 - Chris Colt and Bobby Mayne (Bobby Jaggers) defeat Tito Montez and Kurt Von Steiger to win the NWA Western States Tag Team Title in Phoenix, Arizona.

1975 - Terry Funk defeats Paul Jones in a tournament final for the vacant NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Greensboro, North Carolina. The title was vacated due to champion Johnny Valentine suffering career-ending injuries in a plane crash on October 4th also involving Ric Flair, Tim Woods and Bob Bruggers.

1976 - The Spoiler defeats Bill Watts for the Mid-South version of the NWA North American Heavyweight Title in Shreveport, Louisiana, ending Watts' fourth reign and starting Spoiler's second.

1981 - Yukari Ohmori and Mimi Hagiwara defeat Nancy Kumi and Ayumi Hori to win the World Women's Wrestling Association Tag Team Title in Obuyama, Japan.

1985 - Dutch Mantel defeats Phil Hickerson for the Continental Wrestling Association International Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee. This ended Hickerson's third reign and began Mantel's second.

1985 - Bobby Jaggers defeats Ricky Vaughn (Lance Von Erich) for the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title in Portland, Oregon, his third title win.

1986 - On a card promoted by Bill Watts' Universal Wrestling Federation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, two titles change hands. Bill Irwin and Leroy Brown defeat John Tatum and Jack Victory to win the UWF Tag Team Title, and Savannah Jack defeats Buddy Roberts for the UWF Television Title.

1986 - Invader III wins the WWC Junior Heavyweight Title for the sixth time, defeating Don Kent in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

1987 - Jeff Jarrett defeats Jimmy Jack Funk to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning Jarrett's fifth reign.

1991 - Eric Embry defeats Tom Prichard for the USWA Southern Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee, starting his third run with the belt and ending Prichard's second reign.

1996 - Lance Storm and Yuji Yasuraoka win their second WAR International Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title from Jushin Liger and El Samurai in Tokyo, Japan.

1996 - The Bruise Brothers defeat Brian Christopher & Wolfie D for the USWA Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee to start their fifth reign with the belts.

1997 - Arguably the most talked about match in the history of professional wrestling takes place at the WWF Survivor Series Pay-per-view in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart, who had already signed with WCW, was double-crossed in the finish of his main event match with Shawn Michaels.

Bret Hart had signed a lucrative 20-year contract with the WWF the year before, but Vince McMahon later told him he would be unable to fulfill the terms of the deal, and for Bret to negotiate a contract with WCW. Bret did, and gave notice to WWF. As part of the agreement, WCW would not mention Hart's signing until after the Survivor Series PPV, as Hart did not want his highly anticipated match with Shawn Michaels ruined. Still, word leaked out leading into the event.

During a meeting on the afternoon of November 9th, McMahon and Hart met to discuss a finish for the Survivor Series match. McMahon wanted the belt off of Hart, fearing WCW would announce the next night on Nitro that they had signed away the WWF Champion. Hart did not want to do the job to Michaels in Montreal for a number of reasons (including personal animosity and Michaels unwillingness to do a job for Bret following Wrestlemania 12, amongst others). Hart was open to losing the belt the next night on Raw, or at Madison Square Garden later that week. McMahon and Hart agreed to a DQ finish, and that Hart would come out on Raw the next night and surrender the title, giving a farewell speech to his WWF fans and putting over the company on his way out.

Hart and Michaels put together their match with Pat Patterson. The planned finish (suggested by Patterson) was for referee Earl Hebner to be knocked out. Michaels would put Hart in a Sharpshooter, but Hart would then reverse it. Michaels would tap out, but the referee would be down and not see it. Hart would release the hold to check on the ref, then Michaels would hit him with Sweet Chin Music. A second referee would come down to count, but Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart would run down and pull the second referee from the ring, eventually leading to a disqualification finish.

Bret Hart was actually warned by Vader prior to the match to watch for a double cross, and not allow himself to be placed in submission holds or positions where he couldn't get his shoulders off the mat. Hart, who personally made sure close friend Earl Hebner was the assigned referee for the match, was not worried about a double cross.

During the match, Hebner was bumped, and Michaels placed Hart in the Sharpshooter. However, Hebner got up, instead of staying "knocked out". Hebner called for the bell, with Vince McMahon (who was at ringside due to a planned earlier portion of the match where McMahon and agents were trying to get the action back into the ring during a brawl on the floor), screamed at the timekeeper to ring the bell. Hart was reversing the hold at the time this happened, and he and Michaels crumbled to the mat, with Michaels (who later admitted to being in on it) acting angry.

Earl Hebner immediately exited the ring, and ran out of the building into a waiting car. He would fly home immediately, and not appear at Raw the next night. Hart spat right in Vince McMahon's face. McMahon screamed at Michaels to take the belt and leave. Michaels, with Gerald Brisco ushering him out, took the belt, and held it up as he left (presumably under orders from Brisco). The PPV went off the air at that point. McMahon, with Pat Patterson and security surrounding him, left ringside. Bret Hart smashed several TV monitors, and Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart (who never got their cue to come in for the finish) came to the ring and calmed him down. Hart then spelled out "WCW" with his fingers to the fans before leaving the ring.

Backstage, McMahon locked himself in his office. Hart confronted Michaels, who insisted he knew nothing about it, and that he wasn't going to keep the belt. Hart gave Michaels the benefit of a doubt, and said Michaels would have his chance to prove himself by not bringing the belt out on Raw the next night. The rest of the locker room was angry, feeling McMahon lied and screwed with someone who had been with the company for over a decade, and did a lot for the WWF.

McMahon would not open his door for anyone, until The Undertaker, after putting together what had happened, pounded on his door and demanded that McMahon speak to him. Reportedly, Undertaker, the recognized leader of the locker room, told McMahon, very adamantly, that he needed to apologize to Bret Hart right then and there. McMahon went to Hart's dressing room with Sgt. Slaughter, Gerald Brisco and several others. Vince attempted to apologize, justifying his actions by saying that he couldn't take the chance of Eric Bischoff announcing the next night that WCW had signed the WWF Champion. Hart said he was going to shower, and if Vince was still there when he got dressed he would "knock him out". Hart called McMahon a liar, and when McMahon said this was the first time he lied to him, Hart rattled off a list of lies from McMahon. After Hart got dressed, he told McMahon twice more to leave, and when he didn't, a scuffle broke out and Hart knocked McMahon to the ground with a punch. Shane McMahon tried to attack Bret, and ended up in a scuffle with Davey Boy Smith, who pulled Shane off of Bret's back. As McMahon was dragged out of the dressing room, Sgt. Slaughter reportedly accidentally stepped on Vince's ankle.

Most in WWE management insisted they knew nothing about a screwjob. Many wrestlers stated they would not go to Raw the next night because of the screwjob, but with the exception of Hart's relatives (Owen, Smith, Neidhart), Mick Foley was the only wrestler to carry through on his protest. The next night on WCW Nitro, the NWO came to the ring waving Canadian flags, and sang "Oh, Canada". Michaels, despite his promise to Bret not to, came to the ring with the WWF Title belt and poked fun at Hart.

Here are the results from the rest of the PPV:
- Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, Henry Godwin, & Phineas Godwin defeated The Headbangers & The New Blackjacks in an elimination match. Gunn & Road Dogg were the survivors.
- The Truth Commission defeated DOA in an elimination match. The Interrogator was the sole survivor.
- Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart, Doug Furnas & Phil Lafon defeated Vader, Steve Blackman, Goldust & Marc Mero in an elimination match. Smith was the sole survivor.
- Kane defeated Mankind with a tombstone.  This was Kane's first televised match. 
- Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson & The Legion Of Doom defeated the Nation of Domination in an elimination match. Shamrock was the sole survivor.
- Steve Austin defeated Owen Hart with a stunner to win the WWF Intercontinental Title.

2001 - 2-Dope defeats Marcus Jordan for the Maryland Championship Wrestling RAGE Television Title in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.

2002 - Apolo defeats Rey Fenix to win the IWA (Puerto Rico) Heavyweight Title in Cayey, Puerto Rico, beginning his sixth reign with the belt.

2002 - Chet Jablonski defeats Matt Stryker for the HWA Heavyweight Title in Batavia, Ohio.

2002 - Whiplash defeats Justin Valentine, Zero-X and Benin to become the first Alabama Pro Wrestling (later NWA Xtreme) Junior Heavyweight Champion in Childersburg, Alabama.

2002 - C.J. Sensation defeats Lance Dayton in McKeesport, Pennsylvania to win the NWA East X Division Title.

2003 - Momoe Nakanishi defeats Mariko Yoshida in a tournament final in Tokyo, Japan to become the first AtoZ World Champion.

2005 - CM Punk defeats Ken Doane for the OVW Television Title in Louisville, Kentucky.

2007 - WWE goes on the offensive following a CNN report entitled "Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling".  Following the piece, which WWE participated in, John Cena came under fire for the quote "I can't tell you that I haven't, but you'll never be able to prove that I have" in response to the question of whether he uses steroids.  WWE, on their website, posted both the CNN clip, and unedited footage of Cena with the reporter when he made that statement.

In the unedited version, Cena definitely said "Absolutely not" when asked directly if he used steroids.  He then gave a very detailed answer before the quote that CNN selected to use.  He followed that answer by stating that he could take tests and pass them, but people will still accuse him of using steroids.  He noted that he has "worked his ass off" to get into the shape he is in and that it "sucks" that people say he has to "rely on a crutch". 

CNN would later pull the quote from re-airings of the piece.

Thanks to Ryan Martinez for his help with the above.