Ringside Rewind: The Montreal Screwjob

This post originally ran on RingsideRants.com on November 9, 2013 and is being re-posted as part of the lead-up to Survivor Series 2014.

During the main event of Survivor Series 1997, in the WWF Championship match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, referee Earl Hebner signaled for the bell as Michaels had Hart in the Sharpshooter, in what would forever be known as the “Montreal Screwjob.”

Only a few men knew the plan and Bret wasn’t one of them. Despite assurances to the contrary, Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart that night in Montreal.

Hart was on his way to WCW, after being told by McMahon that WWF wouldn’t be able to follow through on Hart’s 20-year contract due to financial troubles. According to the owner of the WWF, Hart would be doing what was best for everyone by leaving for WCW.

So that’s what Bret Hart did, negotiating a lucrative contract with the enemy, and agreeing to drop the belt the night after Survivor Series. He didn’t want to do business for Shawn Michaels and especially not in Canada. In wrestling, though, when it comes time to do the job, you do the job.

There is so much controversy surrounding the events of the “Screwjob” that a compelling case can be made for a number of arguments. Most say Bret Hart got a raw deal. Some say Bret Hart should have played by the rules and laid down for Michaels. A large number of people think the whole thing was a work.

No matter why and how the whole thing went down, it remains one of the most important moments in wrestling history.

That night Vince McMahon as the heel authority figure was born, which would lead to the Austin-McMahon rivalry and the Attitude Era. It also forced McMahon and the wrestling industry as a whole to pull back the curtain a bit. Depending on your stance, that was good or bad for business.

For two men that hated each other, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels truly had great in-ring chemistry and some of the greatest matches of each wrestler’s career came against one another.

WWE Survivor Series Preview and Predictions

Photo courtesy WWE.com
WWE presents Survivor Series live on pay-per-view and the WWE Network (which is free for November, don’t cha know?) at 8pm ET Sunday night. The card has a less-than-robust five announced matches, plus the return of Fandango on the free pre-show. Below are my predictions for the card. Feel free to leave yours in the comments!

Team Cena (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Ryback and Big Show) v. Team Authority (Seth Rollins, Mark Henry, Kane, Luke Harper and Rusev)

The stipulation added on Friday’s Smackdown that every member of Team Cena would be fired if Team Authority is victorious took a lot of the mystery out of the result of this match, at least in my opinion. They could always do the old trick where the members of Team Cena get fired then Vince McMahon comes out to save the day, but that seems like a lot of effort for a bait and switch.

WWE really needs to do something big at this event because of the WWE Network being free this month. In their minds, Randy Orton returning in his hometown and causing The Authority to be ousted from power might be enough. In the minds of potential subscribers, it may be too predictable.

No matter how they go about it, my bet is that Team Cena overcomes the odds and wins the big one.

Prediction: Team Cena

WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match
The Miz & Damien Mizdow v. Los Matadores v. The Usos v. Goldust & Stardust

It seems like the luster is wearing off of the Goldust & Stardust team and, conversely, the popularity of the Miz/Mizdow pairing is soaring. (Mostly thanks to Mizdow.) Taking the titles off Goldust & Stardust leaves them both with seemingly nowhere to go, however. What’s more likely is Miz, being jealous of Mizdow getting all the attention, doing something dastardly and turning on his partner, costing them a victory and setting up a feud between the two.

Prediction: Goldust & Stardust retain

Dean Ambrose v. Bray Wyatt

I saw these two go at it at a house show a few weeks ago and am excited about what they’ll bring to a pay-per-view contest. As for who will win, it’s really a flip of the coin. I think Wyatt gets the best of Ambrose in round one of what will likely be a multi-month feud.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt

Divas Championship Match
Nikki Bella v. AJ Lee

The obvious outcome is Brie Bella costing her sister the match. On the flip side, this whole “feud” has run its course and I could see Brie helping Nikki as a way to get back at AJ for DDT’ing her on Monday’s Raw, reuniting the sisters.

The only problem is that would make both Bellas heels. With them being the focal point of Total Divas and also shining such a strong light on the Brie-Daniel Bryan marriage, it’s hard to imagine both Bellas being villains.

I think WWE goes the obvious route (which isn’t always the worst way to go) and AJ Lee retains.

Prediction: AJ Lee

Natalya, Alicia Fox, Naomi and Emma v. Paige, Cameron, Summer Rae and Layla

There’s very little to this storyline outside of the Paige-Alicia Fox mini-feud. I’m going with Team Nattie in this one with hopes that it leads to a Paige-Natalya storyline.

Prediction: Team Natalya

Divas Elimination Match Added to Survivor Series

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A fifth match has been added to the Survivor Series lineup, WWE announced today. Natalya, Naomi, Emma and Alicia Fox will take on Paige, Cameron, Summer Rae and Layla.

The updated Survivor Series card, which comes to you live on WWE Network and pay-per-view this Sunday, looks like this:

Team Authority (Seth Rollings, Kane, Luke Harper, Mark Henry and Rusev) v. Team Cena (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Erick Rowan and Ryback)

Divas Championship Match
Nikki Bella v. AJ Lee

Dean Ambrose v. Bray Wyatt

WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match
Los Matadores v. The Miz & Damien Mizdow v. The Usos v. Goldust & Stardust

Natalya, Naomi, Emma and Alicia Fox v. Paige, Cameron, Summer Rae and Layla

Fandango is also advertised to return to action on the Survivor Series pre-show.

Ringside Rewind: Team Andre the Giant v. Team Hulk Hogan, Survivor Series 1987

Following their historic matchup at WrestleMania III, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant would square off again at Survivor Series 1987, but this time they would bring some friends along.

The main event of the pay-per-view featured Andre the Giant teaming with One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and “Ravishing” Rick Rude to take on Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and Bam Bam Bigelow.

Dana White Says Brock Lesnar is Interested in Fighting Again

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It seems like every day there is a new rumor about current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar returning to the octagon to do battle in UFC or even Bellator. Today is no different.

This time the speculation is being fueled by UFC President Dana White.

“Brock Lesnar’s under contract with the WWE. We have a great relationship with him. He’s healthy and he has said that he’s interested in fighting again,” White said at a press conference on Monday. “We’ll see what happens.”

If I had to put a wager on it, I’d bet Lesnar will fight at least one more time. Even though he’s been away from the octagon for a few years, he’s still a huge draw and would command a big payday. At 37 years old, those opportunities are getting more and more scarce.

But it’s not all about the money with Lesnar. He has a WWE contract that’s earning him good coin and requires very few appearances. For Brock, his UFC career was taken away from him due to health issues. To be able to come back and compete again in the incredibly grueling sport that is mixed martial arts would certainly be a big factor in the former UFC Heavyweight Champion’s decision making process.

(Image via ESPN)

Luke Harper Wins Intercontinental Championship from Dolph Ziggler on Raw

A surprise title change took place on tonight’s episode of Raw, as Luke Harper defeated Dolph Ziggler with plenty of help from The Authority to capture the Intercontinental Championship.

The switch makes perfect sense in the way it played out. The Authority beat down Ziggler before the opening bell rang, helping Harper win the strap. It adds fuel to the fire for Ziggler and likely means bigger things are coming for him.

Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Title Match Added to Survivor Series

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WWE announced that a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship match has been added to the Survivor Series card, as Goldust & Stardust will defend the straps against The Miz & Damien Mizdow, Los Matadores, and The Usos.

The addition brings the official match count to four for the pay-per-view card. The others include Team Authority v. Team Cena, Bray Wyatt v. Dean Ambrose, and AJ Lee defending the Divas Championship against Nikki Bella.

WWE Announces Workout DVDs featuring Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

AuthorityDVDsWWE will release a workout DVD series featuring Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. In an email sent out today, the company announced that we can all “Train with Authority.” Get it?

The set includes two DVDs. The first is the “Power Series,” featuring six workouts and 100 minutes of exercises with The Game. The second is hosted by Stephanie McMahon and titled “Fit Series,” which offers five workouts and a four week workout calendar. Available now for pre-order, the DVDs will release on Tuesday, December 2nd in the United States.

The full breakdown from WWEShop for each DVD is after the jump.

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WWE and Alberto Del Rio Reach “Mutual Understanding”

del rio
WWE quietly announced today that the company has come to a “mutual understanding” with Alberto Del Rio regarding his future booking opportunities and, of course, wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Del Rio also announced the agreement on Twitter. There has been much talk of his move to AAA, which will likely come sooner than later now that he and WWE have come to an understanding.

(Image via PWMania)

AJ Lee Will Defend the Divas Championship Against Nikki Bella at Survivor Series

AJvNikkiSS
WWE announced today that Nikki Bella will challenge AJ Lee for the Divas Championship at Survivor Series. The announcement brings the official match count to three for the card, which is less than two weeks away.

Nikki earned the championship shot after winning the Halloween Costume Battle Royal on the October 31st episode of Smackdown.

Team Cena v. Team Authority and Dean Ambrose v. Bray Wyatt are the other announced matches, with more likely to be made official during or following tonight’s episode of Raw, which airs on tape delay from the UK.