Thursday, August 20, 2015

WWF King Of The Ring 1997

So this was a show that happened one night in June... and in all honesty, not a whole lot to say about this one. I probably rented the tape once or twice, but that's about it. Therefore, this is going to be fairly brief, with one or two matches of note at most.

KOTR Semi-Final Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Ahmed Johnson to advance to the finals. It was alright, I guess.

KOTR Semi-Final Match: Mankind defeated Jerry "The king" Lawler to advance to the finals... because sure, why not?

Goldust defeats Crush with a DDT... yeah, this was a thing that happened, I guess.

Hart Foundation (Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, Davey Boy Smith) defeated Sid and the Legion of Doom when Owen pinned Sid with a Sunset Flip. Sid would be gone from the WWF a short time afterwards, with a minor ECW stint and eventually landing in WCW. This match... this match was a thing that happened.

KOTR Finals: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Mankind to become King of the Ring... and instead of a coronation or speech, we get Hunter smashing the crown over Mankind's head. Can't argue with that. This would be the last time that the goofy crown and robe would see the light of the day until Kurt Angle brought it back in 2000 for a one shot, but in fairness, it's no more goofier or ridiculous looking than the get-ups Hunter wears these days at Wrestlemania. Hunter and Foley would go on to have a bunch of great matches over the next couple years, but sadly, this isn't one of them. This was sort of just there.

The match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels (who just so happen to be tag-team champions because Vince Russo) ended in a double disqualification when both guys kept knocking out referees. They'd eventually meet again at Wrestlemania XIV, where Austin would dethrone Michaels for the WWF Title and kick off the Austin era, as it were. This earlier match is a far better affair than their 'Mania encounter, owing to the fact that both guys have yet to suffer dehibilitating injuries that would affect their performance. Without question, the best match on the show.

WWF Champion The Undertaker defeated Faaarrooooqqqqqqqq to retain the title. This match also featured Paul Bearer without make-up and tease everyone with a deep, dark secret... that would eventually turn out to be Kane, back when Kane was cool and interesting. Cool and interesting, however, is not quite how I would describe this match, which is just... DAMN! These chumps should go watch a Melina vs. Alicia Fox match and see how it's REALLY done.

Ahmed Johnson would show up and powerbomb Taker for some reason. At some point, he joins the Nation and then leaves afterwards or something... I guess. I'm not sure, actually.

So that was King Of The Ring 1997... a thing that happened, as it were. The only highlight of note is the Steve Austin/Shawn Michaels match that's probably on a DVD set somewhere and pretty much overshadows everything else on the card. The rest of the show was just... meh at best and I found myself fast-forwarding through most of it.

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