In The Locker Room v.15 The Debate, Who Screwed Who?

Jordan Prill

In The Locker Room v.15- The Debate, Who Screwed Who?

Hello WrestleZone readers I am back once again with one of my unique styles of writing which has been seen once before by me, THE DEBATE! Basically what I do is get one (or more) of my great wresting buddies and do exactly that with them, debate, about topics that we disagree on. My friends are no push-overs however, as I make sure they are great writers before I even think about putting them in my work. This man, Kyle West, is one of the man who a good while ago got me first OFFICIALLY started in the writing business, over on a site called FigureZone. Since that sites closing, West has not applied for any wrestling sites as he has kept his attention on his website, and mine, both comedy sites. He made one appearance in my column in ITLR v.13, and decided he wanted to do another, and with recent happenings, the opportunity arose. With all the recent talk about Bret Hart, and Bret being an avid Bret Hart fan, as well as me being the HBK fan you all know and love, we decided “Hey, why keep arguing to ourselves when we could have a bunch of people see our great points?” and here we are. so strap in now as West introduces himself to you as you follow me In The Locker Room.

Hello everyone, as Jordan already said my name is Kyle West. I would like to take just a we-little bit of your time to ramble incoherently about myself. If you even think of skipping this section I’ll personally come to your house and break your knee caps out with an old rusty tire iron. Go ahead… try me.

Hell after that death threat I feel like the first thing I should tell you all is that I have a very unique since of humor. You will either learn to pick up on it or run in fear of it. Either way I have your attention. I’m 18, I live in Iowa, I work at the Movie Gallery, and I drive an old beat up 1972 Chevy Pickup (although looks are deceiving it’s got more horsepower than I know what to do with). I have been watching wrestling as far back as I can remember. My favorite wrestler of all time is Bret Hart, although my favorite wrestlers currently on the roster are: Gene Snistky, Rob Conway (yes Rob Conway), Triple H, Chris Jericho, Christian, and Batista.

I don’t get Smackdown as UPN isn’t offered in my area, so yes I really WAS in a constant state of pissed off during this years draft. I love writing, and sharing my goofy since of humor with others. I enjoy eating small children and the NFL. The Vikings are MY team.

Now onto the real reason why you are reading this…. the really heated Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels debate between me and Jordan!

PRILL: I’m going to start with a very basic question for you……..Who screwed who?

WEST: I believe that Vince screwed Bret. You can’t blur or deny the fact that it was Vince McMahon. What has always bothered me is the fact that Shawn did nothing at all to stop it from happening. The relationship between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels up to the 1997 screw job wasn’t exactly peachy. Which leads me to believe that Shawn DID have something to do with the entire situation. I’m not laying blame on him entirely. I’m just saying that he played a major role in it.

PRILL: The way I see it, and I know not many agree, is Bret indeed DID screw Bret. I know you have never had the opportunity to watch “Wrestling With Shadows”, but it gives a very insightful look. Bret decided he was going to leave for WCW, after Vince suggested it because of money problems, but would not drop the belt to Shawn in Montreal. Now, with everything that had happened in the war with WCW, Vince was afraid Bret would show up on Nitro with the WWF Championship, and insisted Bret dropped the belt, as it was the last night in his contract. Now, if you were Vince, would you really want to let a man who is leaving for the enemy win your World Championship? Or would you want to give a push to the man who is, in theory, going to lead your company?

WEST: I would have trusted Hart 100%. People often seem to debate the integrity of Bret Hart. Saying that Vince felt he would take his WWF Championship over to WCW. The fact of the matter is Bret WANTED to stay with the WWF. During Harts 6-Month break from the WWF prior to his WrestleMania Iron Man Match loss to Shawn, WCW offered him a 9 MILLION dollar contract. Even though Bret was set to make CONSIDERABLY more money with WCW. He turned them down. Saying that being loyal to his company was more important than money. Flash forward to 1997 when Vince suddenly approaches Bret and tells him that he wants to breach his 3 year contract that he had recently signed. Yes, at this point Bret had expressed his feelings of not liking the direction the WWF was taking, saying that it was too”Jerry Springer”.

But he never really considered leaving the company. Vince wanted Bret out. He wrote in story lines with the intent of driving him out. Knowing all of this, and despite the fact that the night before the WWF royally screwed one of their best, he didn’t show up on WCW TV and claim to be the WWF champion. Honestly, if Hart planed on doing that, it would have been PERFECT for him to do so right then and their. After Vince screwed him he could have EASILY showed up on WCW TV with a replica WWF belt saying he never lost. But did he? No. Bret is man of character. I don’t believe he would have ever showed up on WCW TV with their championship. He didn’t after he got screwed. And he wouldn’t have if they never did.

PRILL: I also don’t think he would have showed up on WCW TV with the belt. I just feel that he could have just as easily let Shawn win the belt at SS, but instead Bret’s ego got in the way. I know he said he would drop the belt on Raw, but how would that help the WWF? Not at all. They needed someone to defeat Bret, and with the company wanting to go with HBK, it had to be dropped to him, but Bret would not lose to Shawn. Just to let you know, according to the movie, Bret was actually signed to a 20-year contract with Vince, and then offered a three year, 9 million dollar deal from WCW, which yes he did decline. Vince then asked to get out of the contract because of money issues. The way I see it if Bret would have just dropped the belt, he would be back in the WWE today.

WEST: Thanks for correcting me first of all, it was a 20-year deal Bret had at the time.

The question I have for you is would you want to job to Shawn on what could possibly be your last night in the WWF (he had about 3 week on his contract after the Survivor Series ample time for him to loose to someone else) considering how Shawn had treated Bret up until this point? Bret lost the belt to Shawn during the Iron Man Match at WrestleMania. When it came time for Shawn to return the favor’ to Bret. He (HBK) REFUSED to loose the title to Bret. Shawn actually forfeited the title in February of 1997 so that he wouldn’t have to loose it to Bret. Shawn had stated numerous times that he would “never loose the title to Bret”. Would you want to loose to Shawn?

Bret had about 3 weeks left on his WWF contract after the Survivor Series main event and was quoted as saying that he would “Loose the title to ANYONE but Shawn. Even The Brooklyn Brawler” I don’t think that his request was too much to ask for. Considering the treatment that Shawn gave him in the past.

PRILL: No, I wouldn’t want to lose to Shawn, and I see your point. I don’t believe this would have been his last match though as Vince did say he would sign him back. But then again, who knows when Vince is telling the truth. But there is a point I want to make to you……

” Vince McMahon made me, he gave me the stage to work on, and the opportunity to show everyone I was the best of ’em.”

That is a quote from Bret Hart himself, before he was asked to go out of his contract. Now I have a question. If Vince made him, couldn’t he also brake him if Bret wouldn’t drop the belt? He essentially could have done that to Shawn as well, but for whatever reason, did not.

WEST: That is completely true. Vince is an evil bastard. I believe (and I think you do as well) that he DOES indeed have the “I made you I can break you” attitude. And in a way I would like to believe that Bret Hart was almost in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’.1997 was a shifting year for the WWF. They were just starting to push new their company towards the Attitude Era,with starts like Stone Cold and The Rock being made. Bret was an example of the ‘old’ WWF attitude, and I believe that Vince wanted to make an example that NOBODY was safe (not even the man on top) in HIS company. And that he was willing to do anything to regain his spot as the top wrestling promotion. Even if that means cutting Hart. I think Bret was more or less a way for Vince to prove a point, not only to himself but the rest of the WWF roster, and even Eric Bischoff and WCW.

Vince could have screwed Shawn just the same. But at this point in time Shawn was playing backstage games… and more or less had Vince in his back-pocket. Vince was willing to do ANYTHING to help Shawn. Even if it meant screwing Bret in my opinion.

PRILL: I believe Shawn was using the pull of his whole “KLIQ” was all in WCW by now, except HHH. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman (X-Pac) were all in WCW. Also, Shawn was just hitting his prime, and if not for the back injury, would have been there with Stone Cold and The Rock those 4+ years he missed. So that is probably one thing Vince brought into play. And Shawn was going with the Attitude Era, being the leader of DX. While Bret was out bashing the WWF. Would you want an employee doing that?

WEST: That is a very valid point. I agree with that 100%. Shawn was willing to go the new direction the WWF was taking. Bret wasn’t. Putting myself in Vince’s shoes I would probably want to keep Shawn and get rid of the Hitman as well. However just because Bret disagreed with Vince that doesn’t give him (McMahon) ANY right to what he did. There was no justification behind it. And don’t you think that Shawn could have possibly put his ego aside for a minute and done what was right and informed Bret prior to their match that something was up. If not Shawn, why not Earl Hebner? Both of whom have admitted to knowing about the ‘new’ ending to the match up (although to Hebner’s credit he knew about it only 10 minutes before the match) Shawn, on the other hand learned about it the NIGHT before the match. As him and Gerald Brisco went over self defense moves the night before (in a hotel room) that Shawn could use incase Bret ‘snapped’ after the match.

PRILL: That story I have heard before. You can see Earl running his ass off after the match too, he was out of the building within minutes. Yes, Michaels probably should have told him, but if he did, he would have probably suffered the same fate from Vinnie-Mac. He also had the whole company in his pocket… why cause trouble? There is another man I feel could have done something about this…..and this man is none other than Hunter Hearst Helmsley. You know he know what was going on, but no one ever mentions him. Except Bret’s wife who gave him a good chewing out after the match, where The Game denied everything.

WEST: A lot of people could have done things. You can make the same argument that the sound guy could have told Bret about it? Think about it… he knew to hit Shawns music RIGHT AWAY as soon as the finish of the match was called. Someone had to tell him at some point. I’m sure it was probably seriously minutes before the match but SOMEONE had to approach him. Although arguing about the knowledge of the sound guy is kinda silly. So let’s try to neglect everyone else for the minute. And… just out of curiosity. How much did HHH know about this match?

PRILL: I have no idea. I just thought it was someone everyone seems to ignore, yet was very close to Shawn and even involved in the storyline somewhat. And you are right. There are many people who knew, hell, security was probably told, extra probably brought in, and extra in the parking lots. But now I want to talk about after the match.

“Vince McMahon, ran into my hand” Bret said to his cameras cockily after he punched Vince in the face following his match. “When the smoke cleared it was the right thing to do. There was no other choice but to get up and punch Vince one time and let it die”.

LET IT DIE. Those words stick out to me. If Bret truly would have let it die, he could put this behind him and return to give his fans what they want. The Hit Man. The Excellence of Execution. I’m not saying he should have then, but 8 years later seems like enough time to me, if only for one night, to get back in a WWE ring in some capacity.

WEST: I think we all agree, 8 years IS long enough. I believe there is a possibility that Bret will come back to the WWF. Just recently he meet with Vince about the possibility of a DVD, and let’s not neglect the fact that The Hitman appeared in the recent WWE: Raw vs. Smackdown video game for the PS2, I’m not sure if that is relevant to anything… but they APPEAR to be steps towards his eventual comeback. Honestly… I think Bret is at the top of Vince’s list to be inducted into the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame. Sable said it herself “time heals wounds”. Maybe one day Bret will return.

Here is a question for you. Was Bret right in punching Vince after the match? Would you not do the same thing?

PRILL: Of course he was right for punching him. I probably would have punched him more than once. Bret would have too, had Vince not hidden away in his office for a while and let Bret cool down just a little bit. I’m not sure if you saw Raw last night but they played Bret’s music while Shawn was cutting a promo, and Shawn said ” Bret Hart will NEVER be in a WWE ring again”. So, that pretty much confirms that he will in fact be back, for the HOF maybe, and maybe a little confrontation at WM. But, we know there is no way Bret will wrestle.

WEST: I didn’t get to catch the first half of Raw (busy buying a 35.00 Demolition Derby car). That is INCREDIBLY interesting. If you ask me…. that is fairly descent proof that he has agreed to something. Although it is unfortunate that Bret will never be able to wrestle (due to a stroke) and somehow…. Hogan is still on my TV set.

PRILL: Yes, damn Goldberg. There is still the chance of Bret giving HBK a Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring at WM 22. Or picture this. Shawn Michaels vs. (put wrestlers name here) with Bret Hart as special referee, for the WWE Championship. Bret would be able to screw Shawn, and it would be a great storyline.

WEST: Hell stick Bret in a ‘management’ style position. He has a nephew that wrestles. The (late) British Bulldog has a son that wrestles. They could bring back the Hart Foundation if they wanted. I’m not going to claim it’s a GOOD idea, but it’s a way for Bret to be back on TV and feuding with Shawn (who could align himself with Triple H and Ric Flair to re-form Evolution)

Hell, Jordan how did we get onto the topic of writing fantasy story lines? That’s the current question I pose for you.

PRILL: Haha. First of all that wrestler goes by Teddy Hart am I correct? And I am not sure, but I’m sure many have done the same, and there have been many chances to bring him back, and this could be yet another failed try. But let’s try to get a little bit back to it with this final question. Will Bret Hart be back in the WWE in some sort of capacity by WrestleMania 22 in Chicago?

WEST: Gosh. It’s so hard to answer that one. Is it yes or is it no. I hate to fill everyone head with old WWF propaganda but it IS the WWF and anything can and usually does happen. Who would have thought Hogan would show back up on our TV screens. I’m going to say that by Wrestle Mania 22…. Hart will have at least been on WWE TV ONCE.

I’ll keep it simple. Was Vince McMahon make the right move in getting rid of Bret the way he did?

PRILL: First of all I agree with you that we will see Bret sometime before WM 22. Maybe more than once. If a deal is made, I feel he’ll be on TV a little bit. Now, to your question.

If you are talking right as in moral values, hell no. As far as storylines ….maybe. The immediate following of that did boost ratings, because everyone heard about it. A lot will say Bret fans quit watching….but you know they didn’t. Maybe for a little while, but you know they wanted to see if Bret really would come back. And you know they are still watching today as you see the signs everywhere and they are, once again, watching for Bret. Vince is still using that night in storylines….so it goes a little bit in both. If I had to chose yes or no. I would say, no. He should have kept Bret in the first place. Do you feel the same about that?

WEST: Hell yea I agree he should have kept Bret. I think it was really dumb for him to get rid of him like that. However Vince, being Vince, somehow (currently is) managing to turn his shitty business move into something that we all want to see. Hell he does it all the time, just look at Matt Hardy.

PRILL: Well West I think we have gotten as far as we can on this topic.

WEST: Yea I agree. Any more and I would probably just start repeating myself…. only with more and more swear words as time goes on. F*** S*** D*** H***!!!

PRILL: Well then I’m going to end this before we have to get a censor here on WrestleZone.


This will be short and sweet. I am dropping the preview to my next column (yes already) because it seems like my ideas change daily. Also, please email me what youn think of this. Do you like the DEBATE idea, or would you like to see me drop it entirely? Or would you maybe even like to be involved in one? Let me know at either,, jordanprill on AIM, and For Kyle West, I’m Jordan Prill, and I’m afraid we are going to have to ask you to leave The Locker Room.

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