Bret Hart explains The Undertaker's role in aftermath of 'Montreal Screwjob'

The real-life buildup and aftermath of the 1997 Survivor Series main event between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, infamously dubbed the "Montreal Screwjob," is a story that has been told in countless ways over the last 20 years.  

But Hart may have revealed a new wrinkle to the tale during an interview with Sports Illustrated on Monday talking about the life and career of The Undertaker.  

"I punched out Vince McMahon in the locker room, but the only reason Vince was in the locker room was because of Undertaker," Hart said. "Undertaker pounded on Vince's door after the 'Screwjob.' He said, 'Get your ass down to that dressing room and explain yourself,' and Vince wouldn't have listened to anybody else."

The Undertaker, who wrestled what is expected to be his 25th and final WrestleMania match earlier this month against Roman Reigns, has long been known behind the scenes as a locker room general in WWE. It's a role, Hart said, was handed down to him with purpose. 

"I wrote Taker a letter when I left," Hart said. "I said, 'You have to be the voice of the dressing room and the leader now that I'm gone.'

"I always felt that I was the leader of the dressing room and looked after everything. If guys had a problem, they could come to me and I'd go to Vince and say, 'This guy has a problem, maybe you can help him.'"

Hart famously had his then-WWF championship taken from him during the "Montreal Screwjob" match thanks to a finish that wasn't communicated to him prior to the match. After Michaels put Hart in his own finishing move, the Sharpshooter, McMahon came to ringside and motioned for the bell. 

After the match, Hart spit on McMahon and destroyed a set of television monitors at ringside before taking physical action with McMahon backstage. Hart said the reason that The Undertaker was so willing to help him that night and repay a favor was because of the work Hart had done to put him over during the 1990 Survivor Series, which served as The Undertaker's debut with the company. 

Hart said he was proud of the job that The Undertaker did to command the locker room in his absence after Hart left WWF to join rival WCW for more money. 

"Then Taker stepped in and became that guy," Hart said. "A lot of times he had to straighten out guys like Shawn Michaels and stand up for the other wrestlers. Undertaker was always a force in the dressing room."

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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