The fourth annual King of the Ring tournament, featuring Mankind, Ahmed Johnson, Hunter Hearst Helmsley & Jerry Lawler. Also, WWF Title: The Undertaker vs. Faarooq, Stone Cold Steve Austin ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Tony Norris ...
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Jerry 'The King' Lawler
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The British Bulldog
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Storyline

The fourth annual King of the Ring tournament, featuring Mankind, Ahmed Johnson, Hunter Hearst Helmsley & Jerry Lawler. Also, WWF Title: The Undertaker vs. Faarooq, Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels, Goldust vs. Crush, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog & Jim the Anvil Neidhart vs. The Leigon of Doom & Sycho Sid Written by Anonymous

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tv special | wrestling | See All (2) »

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9 June 1997 (USA)  »

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Trivia

A match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels was promoted in the weeks leading up to the event. But the match was cancelled after Hart and Michaels had a real-life altercation backstage. Michaels wrestled Steve Austin instead and Hart did not appear on the show. See more »

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Followed by WWF Rebellion (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One step for mankind . . .
21 February 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Semi finals: Ahmed Johnson v Hunter Hearst-Helmsley: This is a typical HHH match around 1996 - 1997 where he used Chyna (before her plastic surgery) to help him win matches. It looked like Ahmed was going to win after delivering a scissor-kick, backdrop and spine-buster but, as typical as the WWF gets, Chyna distracted Johnson as he was about to go for the Pearl River Plunge. This allowed HHH to hit the pedigree (looks a bit different to what it does now) and sneak the pin. Nothing remarkable but an okay opener. HHH goes through to the finals . . . 4/10

Mankind v Jerry 'King' Lawler: Before the match, Foley cut a promo that involved 'the emperor wearing no clothes' but, like myself, the crowd were pretty much dead to it. The match itself wasn't too bad for a Lawler outing, giving a half-decent work-rate for once (actually seeing him do a decent dropkick!). Of course, he still felt the need to do the 'hidden foreign object in the tights' routine but aside from that some nice bumps by Mankind into the railings and a Lawler pile-driver on the outside. The match ended when Lawler attempted another pile-driver, Mankind reversed it with a backdrop, Lawler held on for the sunset-flip but got caught in the Mandible Claw and submitted. Mankind goes through to the finals . . . 5/10

Goldust v Crush: What is interesting is Jim Ross refers to Goldust as 'The Natural' Dustin Rhodes and will do the same later on for Farooq, calling him Ron Simmons, actually blowing their kayfabe characters, lol. The match ends when The Nation of Domination try to intimidate Marlena but Goldust knocks them out and gets the DDT on Crush for the pin. Poor Crush. Despite showing some great moves (including a lovely belly-to-belly suplex and a military press/gut-buster combo) he is totally wasted with this gangland gimmick that only requires him to brawl. Not as awful as the match appears on paper. 5/10

Legion of Doom and 'Psycho' Sid v British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Jim 'Anvil' Niedhart: A bit of an odd match-up where Sid is portrayed as a face though granted he still knows how to keep the psycho character in play. What is interesting about this match is the amount of no-selling. British Bulldog does a vertical suplex on Sid and Sid actually bounces back up! Hawk completely no-sells a beautiful pile-driver by British Bulldog and later on completely no-sells a double clothesline attempt by literally breaking through it. Anyway, the match ends when Owen Hart does a sloppy flying sunset-flip on Sid who is about to powerbomb Bulldog (Sid has to back into Owen for him to get hooked) to get the pin-fall - so basically the crux is Sid can jump out of vertical suplexes but is completely immobile when it comes to pin attempts - figure that one out. Hmmmm . . . 6/10

Final: Mankind v HHH: This pretty much starts off the long-running feud between these two. As a final, it is quite a slog to start with as Mankind has to sell his bad neck caused by Lawler in the previous match. At one point, Mankind gets his neck caught in the ring ropes. Mankind hits an elbow on HHH while he is in the tree of woe and crashes into railings. HHH manages to pedigree Mankind on to the announcers table (before they were like the ones they use now) and also hit by Chyna's sceptre as he tries to get back into the ring. HHH manages a further pedigree for the pin-fall to become King of the Ring 1997. Probably would have been a classic if the match was cut short by 5 minutes. 6/10

'Stone Cold' Steve Austin v Shawn Michaels: Before the match, An injured Bret Hart cuts a pretty rubbish promo with Bulldog, Niedhart, Owen and Pillman beside him. They cause a scene involving Jim Ross and Vince McMahon that makes them look stupid rather than menacing. Anyway, Austin and Michaels at this point are tag champions. The match is pretty fast-paced with multiple Irish-whip attempts, reversals and near fall attempts and Austin makes a hilarious muscle-pose imitating Shawn at one point. The conclusion arrives when Austin is reverse Irish-whipped and crushes the referee into the turnbuckle. Both wrestlers manage to use their finishing moves on each and the referees (the original and the one that comes to the ring to check on him). Earl Hebner comes to the ring by this time and declares a double- disqualification. Don't worry Austin, you two will fight each other again in under a year's time. One thing to note is don't listen to this on high volume, the amount of women squealing for Michaels in the match is nauseous. 7/10

Undertaker v Farooq for the WWF championship: It is so interesting that the announcers make such a big deal that Farooq could be the first African American man to hold the championship belt. Considering the booking is fixed already, this actually says more about the WWE than the athletes, lol. This isn't as painful to watch as it seems on paper as Farooq gets hit in the face with his own steel steps and Undertaker completing a lovely drop onto the Nation of Domination while doing the old school 'standing on the ropes' trick. It seems there is dissension in the Nation for, what appears to be no reason, causing Farooq to be distracted enough to be given the tombstone and Undertaker the pin. Farooq from here gives way to a new leader of the Nation. 5/10

Overall, a King of the Ring that deserved to be as awful as the one two years previous but, due to decent performances, was pretty watchable.


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