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SummerSlam ’97

Arnold Furious: This is a pivotal show for the WWF in many ways. The Shawn-Bret rivalry of the summer months was coming to a head but Shawn’s role as special referee in Bret’s shot at the Undertaker’s WWF title showed they were now willing to cooperate in the ring. Something that seemed unthinkable earlier in the year where Shawn walked out and threatened to sign for WCW. Meanwhile, Steve Austin would challenge for Owen Hart’s IC title, the traditional stepping stone for someone in the world title hunt. The match would turn sour however when Owen botched a piledriver and nearly broke Austin’s neck. The resultant injury almost derailed the biggest push since Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Sheik. The fallout from this show would be Austin getting stripped of title because of his injury and developing a contempt for authority. A storyline that led directly to the company saving Austin-McMahon feud of 1998. Also Shawn’s failure to remain neutral as an official would lead to his series with the Undertaker and the debut of the Hell in a Cell. In the words of Good Ol’ JR; business was about to pick up. We’re in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The tape opens with one of those great video packages the WWF were getting so good at. It focuses heavily on Taker (his secret), Bret (his threat to never wrestle in the US again if he lost) and Shawn (knee injury). All three will play a huge role in tonight’s event. Hosts are Vince McMahon, JR and King.


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