Bret Hart was in the corner of his niece Natalya..

Women's match at Payback proves WWE's failure to leave Montreal in the past

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WWE Payback saw Charlotte defend the Woman's Championship against Natalya. The match, however, had a very specific twist to it as Ric Flair was in Charlotte's corner and Bret Hart was in the corner of Natalya.

It seemed that the very purpose of Bret Hart being there was to eventually cost Natalya the match, however, this wasn't the case.

It soon became clear in the closing moments of the match that WWE intended to simply replicate the infamous 1997 'Montreal Screwjob' that saw Shawn Michaels lock Bret Hart in his own submission hold while the referee called for the bell. This was then mirrored at Payback.


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Charlotte managed to lock Natalya in the Sharpshooter in an attempt to gain heel heat from disrespecting the manoeuvre made famous by Bret Hart. Referee Charles Robinson then hastily called for the bell before running out of the ring to retrieve the Woman's championship for Charlotte.

The move to replicate the screw job made little to no sense as Charles Robinson isn't generally regarded as a crooked referee and has no reason to have any personal bias towards either contender in the match. 

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The booking decision was done for the pure factor of nostalgia and several fans have been annoyed by this stating that it ruined what was a generally good wrestling match. 

It was a worry for many fans when Bret Hart was announced to be ringside for the match with the fans believing that he would get into an altercation with Ric Flair that would ruin the quality of the match. Although that is not what happened, the match still fell flat because of it's ending. 

While Bret Hart and Vince McMahon did make amends over what happened ahead of Wrestlemania 26 in 2010, a case could be made that the angle should have been left there.

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By now, almost all WWE fans know what happened at the 1997 Survivor Series and it'll always be a date inscribed into wrestling history but it is the time that WWE moved on from it and stopped forcing it's impact into current day WWE, especially if it comes at the expense of championship matches.

It's time for WWE to leave the past in the past. While the 'Montreal Screwjob' brought in a lot of money and publicity for the company, it is something that simply won't be replicated again to the same measure of success. 

Did WWE make a booking mistake during the Women's Championship match? Have YOUR say in the comment section below

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