wrestling / TV Reports

411’s Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions Report: Bret Hart on the Montreal Screwjob, WrestleMania 13, Goldberg Being Dangerous In The Ring

March 16, 2020 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Steve Austin Bret Hart Broken Skull Sessions

Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions: Bret Hart

-Original air date: 03/16/20
-Run Time: 1:08:25

-As I am about to watch this show, word has finally come down on the fate of WrestleMania. It seems the show must go on and it will in front of 0 fans at The Performance Center. I am just stunned they wouldn’t move the date. This will definitely make this Mania interesting and one for the history books.

-Also of note, WWE Backstage is on hiatus (as is nearly everything else) so I won’t be having live coverage tomorrow night. Hopefully things will settle and get back to normal in the weeks and months to come, but for now, everyone just stay safe and stay at home if at all possible. In this day and age of WWE Network, Netflix, Disney Plus, etc it should be easier now more than ever.

-It other news its Austin 3:16 Day and the WWE is celebrating with the latest episode of Broken Skull Sessions. Austin is joined this time by one of his greatest rivals and the main that helped make him a star in the WWE: Bret Hart.

-Normal great Austin introduction of his guest to start.

-Show opening!

-They shake hands (can’t do that anymore) and make small talk. They discuss Bret coming back from a vacation in Hawaii. Bret mentioned it rained the entire time, but beats the freezing cold of Calgary.

-Austin brings up they are two grizzled warriors now. Austin tells Bret that he always looked up to him as he was 1/2 a generation behind him. Austin tells a story of Bret showing up late with a flat tire, and while he was in the Main Event, Austin went out and fixed his tire.

-Bret tells the story of how he pushed for Vince to sign Steve when he went to ECW. He knew Austin was one of the best around and the WWE always said they wanted new talent and Austin was sitting right there.

-Austin wants to start this session with The Montreal Screw Job just to get to it. Austin says he doesn’t remember who he worked with that night as everything that happened blew him away. He was in shock and says Foley quit and the boys were all in disarray. He has never had a chance to talk to Bret face to face and wants to know the deal.

-Bret says there was a lot of dishonesty in the WWE at the time and Vince told him he couldn’t afford the contract anymore. Vince was even willing to help Bret negotiate with WCW. His lawyer told him not to let Vince do that. Bret says the real story is that they were in San Jose when he found out he was working Montreal with Shawn Michaels. Shawn thanked Bret for the match they had that night in San Jose (Shawn was the ref). Bret told Shawn he knew they were working in Montreal and he offered to put Shawn over anytime as a way to broker peace and Shawn said he appreciated it, but he won’t do the same for him. The next day Vince tells him that Shawn is going to win the title, but Bret was told he could leave anyway he wanted and he had creative control the last 60 days.

-Austin asks if that was personal or if he worked himself into a shoot. He brings up how he refused to put over Brock in an unadvertised match and it was the wrong way to handle business and in his head he worked himself into a shoot. Bret says it was an honor thing with him and he laid out to Vince what Shawn had said. Vince then wants to get Shawn so Bret can tell the same story. After a few hours they bring Shawn back and Vince ignores what Bret said and leads off with “Shawn we are going to put the belt on you.” Bret said he didn’t agree to that and he didn’t see Shawn again until Montreal. Bret told Vince that he didn’t want to go to WCW up until the night before the show. Vince laid out that Bret would be jobbing to Shawn in every match possible if he stayed and that was when Bret knew he had to leave.

-Austin brings up that Vince was probably trading in for a younger horse. Bret just wanted to prove to Vince he was worth the money and says it bothers him that people think he refused to do business. He feels any wrestler who valued their worth would have done the same thing. Vince then lays out again how Shawn will win, and Bret says it won’t happen. He offered to drop the title to anyone else or even Shawn the following night on RAW. To him Shawn had to put him over before he would put him over.

-They show footage from the match as Steve and Bret talk about it. I always love when they do that on this show. Bret says he was heading to the ring thinking it was a schmozz. He says Shawn was quite chummy with him and Bret’s goal was to deliver a great match. He brings up talking to Earl in Detroit and Earl swore on his kids that he would never screw him. When he saw Earl was the ref he felt he was good. He talks about Pat Patterson coming up to him and he doesn’t think Pat was in on it, but it was Pat who came up to him with the sharpshooter spot. He says he knows Earl was in a tough spot and has never blamed him and admits he may have done the same thing.

-The match starts with a fantastic brawl through the crowd and Bret says that all went to plan. We then see the Sharpshooter spot and Earl calls for the bell while Vince does the same on the outside. Austin brings up Shawn says he wasn’t part of it, but clearly he was. We see Bret spit in Vince’s face and then trace “WCW” in the air. Bret talks about working for 14 years and never complaining about anything.

-They get to the dressing room with Taker, Bulldog, Bret, Rude, and Owen. Austin says Taker screamed “Fuck It” and goes to get Vince to get this settled as he was heated. Bret says Taker kicker over a garbage can and other wrestlers were breaking things in the back. Bret thought it was weird that Shawn was changing in his (Bret’s) dressing room and Shawn swore he wasn’t part of it. He thinks Shawn was scared for his life. Bret says he calmed down and took a shower. While in there he was told Vince was waiting outside the door. Bret told Rude to tell Vince to leave as it was over and nothing good would come from it. As Bret came out of the shower in the room was Vince with Slaughter. Also Taker was standing and watching while Shawn was in the corner crying. Bret had Rude, Owen, Neidhart, and Bulldog to his side. He had the idea to rush Vince but knew he was naked and that probably wouldn’t look good. He mentions Vince said this was the first time he ever had to lie to him and Bret called him out on that. He knows Taker went and got Vince to settle this thing.

-Bret thinks that Vince just wanted to stand up to him in front of the boys and that was a mistake. He told Vince he was going to knock him out if he was still there when he got dressed. He tied his shoes and stood up and they walked towards each other and tied up. He talks about how it looked like the episode of RAW where they jostled with each other at the announce desk and Bret didn’t want it to be like that as he felt he could get a shot in. He didn’t think he could get off an overhand punch, so he dropped his hand to his shoe and delivered an uppercut. He only hit Vince one time and it caused him to break a bone in his hand. It knocked Vince out cold and it stunned everyone that was in the room including Bret. He would have done anything for this man that was now laying out cold on the floor. He says he did kick out the documentary crew, but he hoped they could get something and what they got was a groggy Vince being helped out of the room.

-Shawn was left in the room with Bret’s crew and he was crying in his hands. Bret walked over and thanked Shawn for the match and shook his hands. He remembers thinking he should have kicked him in the face. Austin calls it the manliest thing he could do was shake his hand. Bret thought it was the right thing to do since Shawn said he had nothing to do with it. Then Shawn buried him the following night on RAW and he knew he was in on it. They show part of Shawn’s promo as he takes credit for sending Bret south with the other dinosaurs.

-Austin asks Bret where his relationship is now with Vince. Bret says it is a good relationship. He will never get over what happened to him, but part of him forgives Vince because of everything he accomplished in the WWE.

-Austin brings up that Bret was the first guy to lay hands on Vince as we see the episode of RAW where he shoved Vince on his ass after a cage match and goes on a curse filled tirade. Great moment, but I believe Vince took a chair shot during a Flair/Piper fight on Superstars. Bret says he was told to say whatever he wants and could go off. They were going to bleep anything he said and it was just for the house. He gets to the back and they asked what he was doing and he reminded them, they told him to do it. They agreed and that is why he didn’t get in trouble.

-We move to WCW and Austin says they had no idea what to do with him. Bret says that Austin told him that before he even went to WCW. Bret says that he had so much heat coming into the company from beating Steve, Taker, and not losing to Shawn while also knocking Vince out. He says he should have done a huge program with Hogan from Day 1 and had him tapping to the sharpshooter. I get where Bret is coming from, but WCW had to finish out the Sting/Hogan program. Now Bret beating Hogan and then moving to Sting while the nWo tries to play them off each other may have worked.

-Austin wants to know what The Hitman character is about. Bret says he has been The Hitman since he was 4 years old. He became a fan of wrestling that early and he studied wrestling. He had a grasp of the business as early as you could. He thinks the fans loved him because he was so different than Hulk Hogan. He was the guy that loved to tell stories that came across as real. He felt people loved the believable style in his matches and Austin says Bret was believable and had the ability to sell so well. Everything Bret did was precise and had the ability to look like he was in a real fight. Bret says the best wrestlers were wrestling fans first. He would put himself in the shoes of the fans and would do what he would like to watch.

-Bret talks about classic matches and they are the ones that people talk about years and years later. He brings up his match with Piper at Mania, Bulldog at SummerSlam, Mania with Austin and Owen.

-Austin brings up their match at Survivor Series 1996. Before that match they worked a few times on house shows in Texas. Bret saw Austin work a match with Shawn and loved it. He told Austin they could have a match anytime. Bret says he knew he could do great stuff with him. Back to the Survivor Series 1996 match and it’s just fantastic. They show highlights as they talk about the match and I just want an entire series of guys talking about a match while watching it. They used to give us stuff like that on DVD releases and I want more! The finish sees Austin going back to his roots with the Million Dollar Dream and Bret kicks off the buckles for the pin (same finish to his match with Piper). Austin laughs that he could see by Bret’s reaction that he was blown up and Bret laughs as it was his first match in 7 months. Bret calls it a 4 star match.

-Now they move to WrestleMania 13 and Austin calls it one of the greatest matches in professional wrestling history. The match was going to have a double turn. Bret says Vince called him and told him that he was going to talk him into turning heel. Bret didn’t want to turn heel as he would be losing merchandise money. Vince promised Bret he could talk him into it in 5 minutes. He showed Bret a list of 5 guys he could work with as a heel and 5 as a babyface. The prospects of who he could wrestle as a heel intrigued him more.

-Austin tells the story of sitting at home with a busted knee and hearing on WWE programming that it was going to be a submission match and he was pissed. He wasn’t a submission wrestler. Bret says he felt it was too early for another match as he felt they should be away from each other until SummerSlam. He was told in August that it was going to be him and Shawn at Mania 13, but Shawn lost his smile. Bret still isn’t sure if that injury was legit, but he kind of believed it was. Vince told him it was too obvious to do him and Shawn and instead it would Taker/Sid for the WWF Title. Bret felt it was too soon to do something with Austin again.

-Austin is the one that told Bret he was turning heel that night. They met with Vince and mapped out the finish. Austin wasn’t sure if it was going to work and double checked with Vince who swore it would work. They talked about the match and Bret said that if Austin was going to be passing out he needed to bleed. Austin agreed to it and says Bret told him he would help him get color at a time when nobody got color. They were given permission to fight in the crowd as Shamrock was there to be their bodyguard to protect them. That makes sense. Bret talks about it being a submission match and how the only one he had was with Bob Backlund and calls it the worst match of his career. He says no offense to Bob, but submission matches are hard and suck. Bret kept relating it to a high school fight and that’s how he pictured it in his head. Bret says their match emulates any good UFC Fight as it seemed real. He says the ball shot Austin gave him was great and not one of the ones that Ric Flair gives (BURN!).

-Video from the match and once I am done here I am going to watch it again. Just a tremendous match and easily one of the greatest of all time. Bret loves that the fans were still cheering him as he walked out and admits he was thinking the match wasn’t going to be as great as he wanted. Austin puts over Shamrock for bringing a lot of star power and doing a great job. He was perfect in this role and just let them beat the hell out of each other. They discuss various spots in the match and Austin laughs about taking a drink from a fan’s Coke. There is just so much great insight from these two as they talk about this match. They talk about setting the table for things that would happen later in the match. Bret laughs that he is the good guy in this match even though he is using a chair and anything else he can, but they are setting the story in place. Austin fires up and destroys Bret with a chair to a monster face reaction.

-We get to Austin hitting his head on the barricade and in that chaos, Bret gigs Austin just a few inches away from the fans without anyone noticing. Austin says he saw the blood flowing and knew it was a gold mine. We see the ball shot from Austin and it is glorious! Austin marks out over all the blood on the canvas as he watches which is fantastic! Austin apologizes for some of the snug shots he gave during the match. They get to the Sharpshooter spot and the iconic image of blood pouring out of Austin’s head. Austin talks about how he had to sell the hold and didn’t want to take too long to disrespect Hart’s signature hold. Austin says it was an iconic image thanks to Bret. Austin rises up before passing out and concluding an amazing piece of business. Bret cements his heel turn by attacking Steve after the match and forcing Shamrock to pull him off. Bret then backs away from Shamrock to show he was now a coward. Bret says in his mind all he did was give Austin what he deserved after what he did to him the last 4 months. We see Bret walking out with fans giving him the finger. Austin called an audible as he told Vince he needed to hit someone with a stunner because his character didn’t trust anyone and that’s why Chioda ate a stunner.

-They talk about losing a match and having it make your career. Bret feels he was made losing the match at SummerSlam with Bulldog. Austin says he lost both those matches to Bret and still got over. He was so satisfied laying there in that blood knowing they accomplished their goal. Bret calls the match perfect and says it was one of the easiest matches he ever had. He felt great the next morning. They discuss they never had issues with each other and always had the trust to have a great match. Austin mentions he never won a match against Bret and says he isn’t mad as it made his career.

-Austin brings up Owen and the match he had with him at SummerSlam 97. Austin says they were having a great match and then he gets dropped on his head due to a slight miscalculation. Austin wasn’t scared, but was trying to stay calm. He knew he wasn’t going to lose as the stipulation was he had to kiss Owen’s ass. So he called for a roll-up and gave Owen the worst one in history. He says that match changed him from a technical wrestler to a brawler and really created what Stone Cold became. Bret talks about Owen backing off and giving Austin time to figure things out. Bret says that is what you should do in that situation.

-Austin asks Bret what he wants Owen’s legacy to be and the idea of being in The Hall of Fame. Bret knows that Owen would want to be honored and that’s where they leave that topic.

-Austin brings up the 10 Man Tag at Canadian Stampede and the heat for that match is something to be seen. Owen wins the match for his team with a roll-up of Austin. What’s sad is that Bret is the only one from his team that is still alive. That’s just tragic! Bret talks about that moment and the moment when he won the Title at Mania X and he was carried around the ring. He thanks Vince for giving him those moments and loves the matches they did in the 90s. He thinks the matches in the 90s are better than anything from any other period.

-Bret says that he wants to be remembered for being The Best there is, was, and ever will be. He never injured anyone, but at the same time could be stiff enough to make things believable. He was taught by guys in Japan how to execute without hurting anyone. He was taught to be a total pro and would hurt himself before he hurt another wrestler. Bret then goes off on Goldberg and is annoyed he is in the Hall of Fame as he hurt everyone he worked. He calls him unprofessional, dangerous, and a gorilla to work with. He talks about how banged up Hennig was doing matches with Goldberg. Bret told Goldberg before the Starrcade match to not go crazy and hurt him. They show the kick that basically ended Bret’s career. Austin says it is hard to watch and he knows Bret is proud he never hurt anyone, and Austin knows he can’t say the same.

-They wrap things up show some footage from a match in Kuwait where Austin is trying to make Bret break character. Fun stuff! Austin says he has never been able to drink a beer in the ring with Bret so they do it here on the show as we close.

-This was amazing and easily my favorite episode of this series. I could listen to these talk wrestling all day and what’s crazy is they only touched on a few things, but they were the big things people would expect. The Montreal stuff may be things we’ve all heard, but Bret is always going to be asked about that. The real joy in this one is them discussing the Mania 13 match in such detail. Just a pleasure to listen to. Then we get Bret going off on a rant against Goldberg which I wasn’t really expecting as Austin didn’t bring that topic up, but Bret made sure to get it in anyway. This is clearly a must watch for anyone. Thanks for reading!