Longtime wrestling fans remember the “Montreal Screwjob” as one of the most controversial moments in the history of professional wrestling. During the 1997 Survivor Series, Brett Hart was looking to leave WWE.

Hart had fight scheduled against Shawn Michaels, and apparently, Hart and Vince McMahon decided that Hart would leave the promotion with a final victory. However, that is not how things went.

Michaels pinned Hart in his own Sharpshooter submission hold, and McMahon demanded referee Earl Hebner to call for the bell, awarding the victory to Michaels. Hebner recently appeared on Busted Open Radio, and discussed the incident.

It seems that initially, Hebner was against the decision to give the victory to Shawn Michaels. He stated that he “said to a certain person, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ And that didn’t go over too good.” However, he eventually changed his mind.


Walking to the ring, I had the different feeling of, “Oh, what do I do really? Am I going to do it or am I not going to do it?” And I guess when I got to the ring, I ended up doing what they asked me to do, but it was a tough situation because it’s either do it or you don’t have a job or whatever price I was going to pay after.

That being said, it does seem like the decision to award the victory to Michaels did pay off for Hebner, at least financially. Hebner revealed that he received a pretty hefty bonus for refereeing that match. Although, that seems only fair, considering the massive risk he took.

The Montreal Screwjob will live on forever in pro wrestling history. It was certainly an important moment in time, and Earl Hebner was paid very well for his part.

What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!

Abhishek Kar

Abhishek Kar is a freelance writer and a full-time pop culture enthusiast from India. In his spare time, Kar likes to paint.

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