The Undertaker Was 'Real Pissed' with Vince McMahon About Montreal Screwjob

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for WWE, Hall of famer Shawn Michaels, left, and Undertaker who brings his un-defeated record to 20-0, right, take H.H.H. from the ring during WrestleMania XXVIII in Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, April 1, 2012 in Miami. (Marc Serota/AP Images for WWE)
MARC SEROTA/Associated Press

The Undertaker said Tuesday he was "real pissed" WWE chairman Vince McMahon didn't use him as a replacement for Shawn Michaels to face Bret Hart in the WWF World Heavyweight Championship match at Survivor Series 1997, which ended with the Montreal Screwjob.

Taker said during an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast (via Justin Tasch of the New York Post) using him to defeat Hart, who was leaving to join rival WCW after failed contract talks, could have avoided the real-life drama that followed Hart's controversial loss.

"I was pissed," he said. "I was pissed about the whole thing because I felt like there, I possibly could've been used to get what we needed. Take Shawn out of this, let me do it, and then I'll do business on the other side, and I think Bret probably would've went for that."

Hart didn't want to drop the title to Michaels amid personal issues between two of the company's most popular Superstars. McMahon decided to move forward with the Survivor Series match anyway and secretly put a plan in place to have the HBK win by submission without informing The Hitman ahead of time.

In 2014, the Calgary native revealed to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated the situation reached a boiling point in the locker room afterward as he delivered a knockout blow to McMahon.

"It was the most beautiful uppercut punch you could ever imagine," Hart said. "I actually thought it would miss and go right up the side of his head, but I popped him right up like a cork was under his jaw and lifted him right off the hand. I broke my right hand just beneath the knuckle and knocked Vince out cold."

Undertaker explained to Simmons he also wanted to confront McMahon about the decision, but he waited until arriving for Monday Night Raw the following day to say his piece.

"'If this kind of s--t happens again, you've got to involve me here, because it doesn't have to go down like this,'" he told McMahon. "And he agreed. I guess it all worked out. It was sad. I'm really tight with Bret. Bret could've done some things differently; Shawn could've done things differently; Vince could've done things differently. But ... that's one of the great wrestling stories of that era and that decade—the Montreal Screwjob."

Taker is well known for being one of the locker-room leaders during the Attitude Era.

Although the initial reaction was outrage from many angles, the infamous match probably ended up being a net positive for WWE, which went on to outlast WCW in the Monday Night Wars.

Hart and McMahon eventually reconciled, and the Excellence of Execution was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame twice: as an individual in 2006 and as part of the Hart Foundation with Jim Neidhart in 2019.