I would be surprised if most people reading this blog weren’t aware of this infamous incident in Montreal. Bret was the WWE champion leaving for WCW. Bret had refused to lose the match to Shawn Michaels. The match itself was no shoot in that both guys worked well together up until the finish. The finish is another story. As most of you know by now Bret was supposed to reverse Shawn in the Sharpshooter. Instead the referee indicated that Bret had given up and Vince McMahon rang the bell. Bret was furious and punched out Vince after the match.
Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart
Survivor Series 1997
Long before the Earthquake made waves in the WWF, John Tenta was a major star in Japan. He returned as part of the WWF/SWS super show and took on another famous former sumo star, Koji Kitao who achieved superstar status in the sport. I haven’t been able to grasp exactly why things broke down but it all appears to go back to Kitao having a problem with Tenta. Kitao no-sold early. Eventually the two had a showdown in the ring with Tenta yelling, “this is pro wrestling!” Kitao allegedly told the crowd after the match that “wrestling is fake.”
John Tenta vs Koji Kitao
This was actually a six-man tag team match but it was the rivalry between Choshu and Maeda that turned this pro wrestling match real. Maeda was a young, rising star in New Japan pro wrestling who was frustrated by the politics at the time. Jonathon Snowden tells the story in his book about Shooters. Snowden recalls that Maeda was upset when Choshu was brought back to NJPW, angry that he was one spot back from the top. During the six-man tag, Choshu had Osamu Kido in a scorpion death lock as Maeda laid in a brutal roundhouse kick at full speed to Choshu’s face, breaking Choshu’s orbital bone. Maeda left and restarted UWF several months later.
Akira Maeda vs Rikki Choshu