According to Earl Hebner, he and Bret Hart have finally reconciled after decades of animosity.
The main event of Survivor Series 1997 is the stuff of legend, with Shawn Michaels being declared the winner of the bout as he had Hart in his own infamous Sharpshooter despite Hart not tapping out. The man calling for the bell in the infamous Montreal Screwjob was longtime referee Earl Hebner, who’d promised Hart just hours before that he wouldn’t betray Hart’s trust in the ring.
Speaking in a recent interview with Steve Fall of WrestlingNews.co, Hebner addressed the Screwjob incident. When asked if he knew something would go wrong as he arrived at Survivor Series that day, Hebner said he expected any issues to have been worked out beforehand.
“Not really. Truthfully, I thought everything had been worked out and settled and was okay. Time to go to the ring.”
Things were obviously not ok, and Hart has been vocal in the past about feeling betrayed by Hebner. However, according to the former WWE official, he and Hart have since reconciled after decades of being on the outs with one another.
“I have a merch shirt that says ‘Damn right I did.’ And a lot of people want me to say, Can you write on it ‘I screwed Bret?’ I go, ‘No. I can’t do that.’
“A while back, maybe three or four years ago, I would do it but Bret and I made up. And before my brother passed, we were at a house show, or indie show and he was there and he called us into the ring and he put us over like big time.
“So now Bret calls me now and then and I’ll call him and we got a good relationship back and I’m not gonna screw it up by writing something over a dumb ass shirt. It’s gonna destroy our friendship.”
“It Was Bad For Me” – Earl Hebner On Decades-Long Tension With Bret Hart
Continuing, Earl Hebner opened up about hating the hostility between himself and Bret Hart following the events of Montreal, detailing a time when his attempts to communicate were refused.
“For a long time it honestly it bothered me. It was bad for me, you know, cuz I carried it with me for a lot of years. We met one time an airport, and I wanted to talk to him and he said, ‘I don’t want to talk to you.’ … I said, ‘can I talk to you for a minute?” He goes, ‘I don’t want to talk.’ I said okay, so I let it go and that was it. And as time went on, you know, it finally worked out well. We got to see each other [and] communicate…”
As recently as October 2022, Bret Hart called Earl Hebner a “coward” for lying about certain aspects of the Montreal Screwjob.
Bret Hart detailed the original plans for his Survivor Series match with Shawn Michaels in a November 2022 interview.