WWE's Montreal Screwjob officially turned 25 years old on Wednesday, and Bret Hart spoke with Sports Illustrated about the infamous event. If you don't know the backstory, the Survivor Series pay-per-view on Nov. 9, 1997, was headlined by a WWF Championship match between rivals Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Hart had already agreed to leave the WWF for a more lucrative contract with WCW but was still the WWF Champion at the time. Because of the personal animosity between the two, Hart didn't want to drop the title to Michaels in his home country of Canada, but Vince McMahon didn't want the title change to happen any other night nor did he want to run the risk of Hart popping up on WCW Monday Nitro with the title. So, without Hart's knowledge, the match's finish was changed to where Michaels would be declared the winner after he locked Hart in the Sharpshooter, even though "The Hitman" never tapped.
Hart revealed a little-known fact during the new interview — the match was supposed to go another 25 minutes had it gone down as originally planned. It only clocked in at just under 20 before Earl Hebner called for the bell.
"We had another 25 minutes," Hart said. "The match was already good, and we hadn't even hit our stride."
He then went into detail about his thoughts on the match —"Even when we didn't get along, Shawn and I always had great chemistry together in the ring. When we worked together, we wanted to be flawless, and we didn't get along, and that added to the intensity....When I clothesline Shawn over the top rope and we brawl and fight outside the ring, I could tell it was going to be a really special match. It was very competitive."
"That match was just starting," he later added. "All the brawling was done just to set up the actual match. It was going to really get going after I reversed his sharpshooter. We pictured the crowd standing up and going crazy. That was going to be the moment when it took off."
Regarding his career as a whole, Hart said, "I'm proud that people still appreciate what I did. When I wrestled, I wanted to have the best match I could every night. I never believed in going to a certain city and taking it easy. I gave 100% every night. When you work that hard, you always hope someone will remember it. It's nice that people remember." Hart is a two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee and a seven-time world champion.