When discussing Bret Harts career everybody usually begins to wonder what could have happend if not for the incident in Montreal. This was easily the most controversial event in Professional wrestling history. This article will attempt to answer the question of what would have happened if Bret Hart had not been screwed over by Vince Mcmahon.
The year was 1997 and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was in the middle of a huge ratings war with (World Championship Wrestling). Many wrestling fans had abandoned WWE's Monday night Raw show to watch the alternative WCW Monday Nitro show on a rival network. WWE then called "WWF" was no longer the most sucessful wrestling company in the U.S. that title had been taken by WCW.
It is important to remember what was going on in pro wrestling during 1997 to truly understand what happend in Montreal. Bret Hart had made a deal with WCW and his last match was to take place in Montreal agains Shawn Michaels. The drama unfolded backstage because Bret Hart had creative control of his character and he refused to lose the title in Canada. This prompted Vince McMahon to screw Bret Hart in the middle of the ring by declaring Shawn Michaels the victor even though Bret never tapped out.
This leads us to the question of what would have happend if Bret had not been screwed? We need to remember that during the "Monday Night Wars" WCW and WWE were going at each other with everything they had. WCW revealed the outcome of the Mick Foley championship before it even aired and also had a female wrestler named Debra Miceli throw her WWE title into a trashcan. We also cant forget that WCW also had Mike Awesome appear on their show while he was the ECW champion. I believe that the Mike Awesome incident indicates what would have happened if Bret Hart had not been screwed.
Lets put this in perspective WCW was using every dirty trick in the book and they signed Bret Hart to a multi million dollar deal. one can only speculate that if Bret had not been screwed WCW would have built it up as them having the WWE champion. This would have been a huge blow to WWE and might have resulted in the demise of the company as a whole. Its important to remember that at that time WCW had a very succesful feud with the NWO and Sting that most people considered the best feud in history.
Of course Bret Hart could have easily lost the title the next night on Raw how he mentioned but we can at least understand McMahons reasoning. During this time Hogan, Macho Man, Scott Hall, Nash, had all turned their back on Vince McMahon they were out to end his buisness. Vince had to have been worried about Bret Hart not having the best of intentions. He was in survival mode and clearly he thought that Bret Hart not losing might have destroyed his company financially.
I understand that Austin and Rock became huge stars that eventually helped beat WCW but the truth remains that if Bret Hart would have won the consequences to WWE might have been devestating. Even though WCW had no idea of what to do with Bret Hart had he gone in as champion they would have had a lot of leverage on WWE. I personally do not think Vince McMahon should have handled the situation that way but I at least can see why he did it.