Daniel Bryan and other champions the McMahons never wanted

Bret Hart

Nov. 9, 1997 stands as one of the most infamous and controversial nights in WWE history. On the eve of his departure to WCW, Bret Hart competed in his final WWE match against rival Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series. In the midst of the action, The Heartbreak Kid applied the the Hit Man’s own Sharpshooter submission on Hart, and — at WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon’s orders — referee Earl Hebner called for the bell instantly, divisively crowning a new WWE Champion.

Check out photos of the notorious Montreal incident

Shocked and disgusted with the conspiratorial nature of losing his title, the Hit Man spat on and punched out his former boss and walked out of WWE. The longtime bitterness between Hart and Mr. McMahon lasted for years until they battled in a grudge match at WrestleMania XXVI, with Hart getting the redemptive win over The Chairman who “took” his title.