After the infamous Montreal Screwjob in 1997, Owen Hart returned to the WWF and looked as though he was going to enter a long-term program with Shawn Michaels. It didn’t work out that way, however. Owen and Shawn’s feud never seemed to take off and eventually, Owen and Triple H began feuding over the European Championship leading to WrestleMania 14.
On a recent episode of Grillin Jr, the topic of Owen Hart and Shawn Michaels’ abbreviated program in 1998 was brought up. Conrad Thompson mentioned that some rumors hold that Triple H and HBK quashed the idea of Shawn working with Owen. JR believes that while that might be true, it’s also the case that Vince McMahon didn’t have full faith in Owen.
“Could it have happened? Of course, it could have happened,” JR responded when asked if Triple H and HBK quashed the idea of Owen feuding with Shawn. “Can I confirm that it definitely happened? No, I cannot. I don’t know the answer.”
“I don’t know if there was as much confidence in Vince’s eyes in Owen because of the perception that Owen didn’t have this animal magnetism that Bret possessed.”
“So maybe Vince’s lack of total confidence in Owen affected that decision making. Owen was another guy just like Shawn, you knew that bell-to-bell, nobody was going to be better. Owen Hart was a great worker but maybe he didn’t have that zest of charisma to the level that Bret had and that is what he was being compared to. That was obviously not that fair, but that’s the only thing I can think of, Conrad.”
“Maybe Shawn and Hunter just wanted to get away from the Hart thing. They rode that horse a long time. I don’t know, I don’t have the answer to that scenario, I wish I did.”
A clip of JR talking with Conrad Thompson about the Owen Hart vs Shawn Michaels feud in 1998 is below: