At Survivor Series 1997, WCW-bound Bret Hart lost the WWE Championship to Shawn Michaels in one of the most controversial matches in WWE history. The Hitman thought the match was going to end in a disqualification, meaning he would retain his title. However, as per Vince McMahon’s instructions, both the victory and title were awarded to Michaels.
Russo discussed the Montreal Screwjob incident on SK Wrestling’s Off the SKript with Dr. Chris Featherstone. He revealed that Owen Hart was not considered as a possible WWE Champion to compensate for Bret Hart’s controversial exit. He would, however, have remained in the WWE Championship picture if his post-Survivor Series feud with Shawn Michaels received more buzz.
“Not as compensation, more for Owen. In other words, bro, if that [Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart] would have worked, I’m sure we would have progressed that, but it just wasn’t working.”
Hear more of Vince Russo’s thoughts on Bret and Owen Hart in the video above.
Vince Russo said Owen Hart “just wouldn’t fit” when he was asked to be a “p****d off” brother on WWE television after the Montreal Screwjob.
“We’re trying to go organically with the storyline of Owen’s brother got screwed and now Owen’s really p****d off. But, bro, the problem was that’s just not who Owen is. Owen Hart could never play the role of the tough guy. He was the complete opposite of that, and no matter how hard we tried to put that square peg in the round hole, it just wouldn’t fit.”
Owen Hart unsuccessfully challenged Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship in his next televised match after Survivor Series 1997. He then spent the next few months in European Championship storylines.
Please credit SK Wrestling’s Off the SKript and embed the video interview if you use quotes from this article.