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7 ways the Montreal Screwjob changed Pro Wrestling

  • 7 ways the "Montreal Screwjob" Changed pro wrestling.
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Modified 26 Jan 2019, 12:33 IST

#1. The line between Kayfabe and reality was permanently erased.

Vince McMahon in 1997, the night after Survivor Series
Vince McMahon in 1997, the night after Survivor Series

One thing that is often perplexing to people who don't regularly watch wrestling is the concept of kayfabe.

Kayfabe is slang for 'blatant fabrication,' and in laymen's terms, it's the events, angles, and personas of a pro wrestling show. The difference between kayfabe, and, say, the suspension of disbelief in a show like Game of Thrones--obviously, there are no such thing as dragons but they are integral to the plot--is that kayfabe is meant to be maintained twenty-four seven. When Kit Harrington is off-set, he doesn't pretend he's still Jon Snow and wear his armour or drag around a broadsword.

But with wrestlers, the expectation used to be just that. If two wrestlers were in a feud with each other, like Ric Flair and Sting, they were expected to NOT interact in the outside world. They cannot dine together, go to events, or associate in any way because that would kill the illusion that the two men are mortal enemies.

Maintaining kayfabe was once so important that Kevin Sullivan ruined his own marriage by requiring his own wife to travel with another man, and Meng/Haku once bit a man's nose off for calling him a 'fake' wrestler!

But after the Montreal Screwjob, the curtain came crashing down on kayfabe. In his famous "Bret Screwed Bret" interview, Vince McMahon not only killed kayfabe, he practically eulogized it. Now wrestlers openly admit their act is a performance in all forms of media other than a wrestling event.

Published 26 Jan 2019, 12:33 IST
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