It was a cold and bitter night in Montreal Canada on November 9th 1997. The wrestling world was looking towards the epic championship match that was almost eighteen months in the making between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Michaels and Hart for a variety of reasons had not had another match since Shawn Michaels won his first WWF Championship against Bret Hart in the Iron Man Match.
The added intrigue was that Bret Hart was on his way out the door, to World Championship Wrestling. The news had leaked and by Monday, Eric Bischoff was likely to announce this trump
The fact was this, Shawn Michaels absolutely point blank refused to lose or in the wrestling terms, do a job, in 1997. Therefore, Bret Hart fired back, not wanting to lose to Shawn Michaels, especially in Canada. Bret Hart thought himself as a Canadian National Hero and it would cheapen the match if he lost to Shawn Michaels. Vince McMahon meanwhile, was in the middle of a ratings war and he could not afford for his World Champion to show up on another show. He feared a repeat of the December 1995 incident when Alundra Blayze/Madusa showed up and trashed the World Wrestling Federation Women's Title on Nitro. For this to happen with his World Title, it would be the doom of WWF.
Bret Hart was willing to lose the belt to anyone within the
A compromise was perhaps made, for a no contest to happen due Bret's allies in the Hart Foundation and Shawn's allies in DeGeneration X to interfere. The next night on RAW, Bret Hart would surrender the championship, with his head held high, and walk out peacefully into the sunset.
The ultimate irony is had that happened, we might not have WWE around today. There would be no hot feud between Mr. McMahon and Stone Cold, due to Vince not having the hatred that came out of the events of this night. There would be no Attitude era that made WWF record business and allowed them to go public and to have a virtual monopoly on the wrestling business.
Then again, if a butterfly flaps its wings a different way, we can only wonder what might have happened. Rather, we must take a look at what did happen.