In what would become known as “the Montreal Screwjob,” Bret Hart was double-crossed by Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels in the main event of the Survivor Series main event. In the middle of the match, Michaels grabbed Hart and attempted to put Hart in his own signature maneuver, the Sharpshooter. Inexplicably, McMahon, who was standing at ringside, began screaming at the timekeeper Mark Yeaton to ring the bell. Referee Earl Hebner was also calling for the bell a confused Hart reached for Michael’s leg. As Michaels scampered from the ring with the title belt in tow, Hart realized that McMahon, with whom he was involved in a contractual dispute, had decided to take the title off of him without him actually being pinned or him submitted. An enraged Hart spit in McMahon’s face and began destroying WWF equipment at ringside. Later, in the locker room, Hart punched McMahon in the face, knocking him silly.
Hart would leave the next to join World Championship Wrestling, but mcMahon would use the controversy to jumpstart the promotion into becoming the dominant force in the business.