Bret Hart Talks Becoming Friends Again With Shawn Michaels

bret hart shawn michaels wwe raw

Bret Hart has opened up about how he became friends again with his former WWE rival, Shawn Michaels, many years after the Montreal Screwjob took place.

Time heals all wounds. It’s a famous saying that many of us are familiar with when it comes to dealing with some difficult things in our lives.

For Bret Hart, that difficult moment is one of the most famous wrestling matches ever at WWE Survivor Series 1997 when he lost the WWE Title to Shawn Michaels during a moment known forever as the “Montreal Screwjob.”

To make a very long story short, Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels a few others were in on a plan to take the WWE Title from Bret without him knowing. Since Bret had already signed a contract to leave for WCW (because Vince claimed he couldn’t afford to pay Bret anymore), Vince and company felt like they had to do something to take the title off Bret. That led to Shawn Michaels applying Bret’s Sharpshooter went to counter, but by that point, Vince was shouting “ring the f**king bell” to the timekeeper while referee Earl Hebner called for the bell and hauled ass out of there to avoid getting beat up by Bret.

In the aftermath, Bret spit in Vince’s face, spelled “WCW” with his fingers on the air and then punched Vince in the locker room. Bret’s contention is that he had a clause in his contract that gave him creative control for the last 60 days of his deal. It led to a lot of bitterness that took over a decade to resolve. Twenty-five years later, fans continue to debate who was right, who was wrong and what else could have been done.

Fast forward to January 4, 2010 and Bret was back on WWE Monday Night Raw for the first time in 13 years as part of his return to his company that would lead to a WrestleMania 26 match against Vince McMahon. That was also the night when Bret called out Michaels, they agreed to bury the hatchet that was their past and move. They would go on to shake hands and hug in front of an appreciative crowd.

Bret took part in a lengthy article/interview with The Ringer recently to “celebrate” 25 years since Survivor Series 1997, which led to Bret talking about how the epic Undertaker-Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania 25 in 2009 is what made Bret want to make things right with Shawn in front of the WWE audience.

“We had our issues over the years. But I watched Undertaker and Shawn Michaels wrestle at one of the WrestleManias. Even then, I had such a bitterness towards Shawn, but I had to admit it was one of the greatest matches I ever watched. That’s where I ended up deciding to make friends with Shawn and bury the hatchet and all that.”

As he continued talking about his WWE return, Bret made it clear that reconnecting with Shawn led to them becoming friends again just like they were many years earlier in their careers.

“It was very truthful, that little storyline with me and Vince and Shawn. Me and Shawn making up in the ring (in 2010) and shaking hands and all that, that was all very real and very moving for me. And was not something that was orchestrated. Shawn wanted that off his back and I was in a position to take it off his back and that was the best resolution for both of us. We’ve been friends ever since. And I’m grateful that he’s in a better place today.”

“I wish that none of the bad history that we had had ever happened. I wished I’d never left for WCW because I probably wouldn’t have had a stroke and I probably wouldn’t have had to wrestle Bill Goldberg.”

The stroke Bret mentioned happened in 2002, which was three years after the infamous match with Goldberg at Starrcade 1999, which saw Goldberg kick Bret hard in the head, which gave Bret a severe concussion that would force him to retire from wrestling much earlier than he intended. Bret’s bitterness towards Goldberg has led to numerous attacks including Bret recently saying he wanted Goldberg to be removed from the WWE Hall of Fame, which probably isn’t going to happen.