For professional wrestling fans, the infamous Montreal Screwjob has gone down in history as being one of the most underhanded things a wrestling promoter could ever do. Of course it was all well-detailed in the documentary, Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows, but since then it has become legend in the industry for good reason.
If you may remember, Bret Hart was WWF Champion at the time, but was leaving the company for WCW. Vince McMahon stated at the time that he was going through financial peril and couldn’t use the Hitman anymore. Bret was promised that he could hold onto the title until the following night on Raw where he would hand over the title.
The betrayal occurred in a match pitting himself vs. Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal, Quebec. In the end though, he was betrayed, McMahon himself calling for the bell before the match could end properly. Hart was being held in his own Sharpshooter submission hold by Michaels and essentially never tapped out.
The rest as they say is history, and while I’ll ask for pardon for using a cliche, I’m now forced to use another one: History repeats itself, it would seem. Under similar circumstances, it looks like Lewis Hamilton was swindled out of his win much in the same way at the the F1 finale held at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
It was during the race and because of a collision between Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Haas’ Mick Schumacher, that Hamilton was forced to finish the race on bad tires, he not being able to pit because of a virtual safety car call. Essentially he was stuck. It was during the final lap that controversy would hit the world of F1 much in the same way it hit the world of pro wrestling in 1997.
Race Control allowed the lapped cars to pass the safety car and Verstappen, who by that point was just behind Hamilton, and it was at this time that Verstappen went for a pass that still has people screaming in agony (Hamilton fans). This has all caused quite the uproar on social media, many getting in on the discussion.
One Twitter user stated: “I feel like this is the F1 equivalent of the infamous ‘Montreal Screwjob’. It reeks of manipulation. Was hoping to sink a small fortune on a race weekend next year, but cannot see how I can possibly do this after what we have witnessed. #corrupt“
Another said: “So it’s really been bothering me all night how the @fia destroyed Lewis’ season yesterday. I saw a @WWE comparison re how it was ‘planned’ all along. So I guess WWE had ‘The Montreal Screwjob’ meaning @F1 had ‘The Abu Dhabi Screwjob’ “
The fans essentially feel and quite obviously so, that Hamilton was robbed of his victory, thus making the above comparisons. Verstappen won his first-ever world title in the situation…a win that perhaps will forever be drenched in controversy, like the Montreal Screwjob.