Royal Rumble (1997)


Royal Rumble (1997)

Infobox Wrestling event
name=Royal Rumble (1997)


tagline=No More Mr. Nice Guy!
promotion=World Wrestling Federation
date=January 19 1997
venue=Alamodome
city=San Antonio, Texas
attendance=60,525cite web|url=http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/usa/wwf/rumble.html#97|title=Royal Rumble 1997|accessdate=2008-02-04|publisher=Pro Wrestling History]
lastevent=
nextevent=
event=Royal Rumble
lastevent2=Royal Rumble (1996)
nextevent2=Royal Rumble (1998)

Royal Rumble (1997) was the tenth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on January 19 1997 from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The main event was between Shawn Michaels and Sycho Sid for the WWF Championship.cite web|url= http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/wweppv/royalrumble97.html|title=Royal Rumble 1997 Results|accessdate=2008-02-04| publisher=Online World of Wrestling] The main matches on the undercard were the Royal Rumble match, which Stone Cold Steve Austin won after last eliminating Bret Hart,cite web|url= http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/1988114111/mainevent/|title=1997 Royal Rumble match|accessdate=2008-02-04| publisher=WWE] Vader versus The Undertaker,cite web| url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/1988114111/results/|title=Royal Rumble 1997 official results|accessdate=2008-02-04| publisher=WWE] and Hunter Hearst Helmsley versus Goldust for the WWF Intercontinental Championship.cite web|url= http://www.pwwew.net/ppv/wwf/january/1997.htm|title=WWF Royal Rumble 1997|accessdate=2008-02-04|publisher=PWWEW.net]

Background

The feud between Goldust and Hunter Hearst-Helmsley centered around Goldust's manager, Marlena. During the free broadcast prior to , Helmsley attempted to seduce Marlena.cite web|title=WWF Raw: December 16, 1996|work=The Other Arena|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw121696|accessdate=2008-02-11] Goldust responded by attacking Helmsley during matches in the following weeks. The feud escalated on the December 30 1996 episode of "Monday Night Raw" during a match between Goldust and Jerry Lawler. Helmsley came to the ring and tried to carry Marlena away. Marc Mero, who had dropped the WWF Intercontinental Championship to Helmsley, blocked Helmsley's path, but the distraction was enough to cause Goldust to be counted out.cite web|title=WWF Raw: December 30, 1996|work=The Other Arena|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw123096|accessdate=2008-02-11]

On July 22, 1996, Faarooq Asad (later Faarooq) made his WWF debut by attacking Ahmed Johnson, the Intercontinental champion.cite web|title=WWF Raw: July 22, 1996|work=The Other Arena|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw072296|accessdate=2008-02-10] He claimed that he attacked Johnson because Johnson was not "from the streets", as Faarooq claimed to be.cite web|title=Wrestler Profiles: Ron Simmons|work=Online World of Wrestling|url=http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/r/ron-simmons.html|accessdate=2008-02-10] Soon after the attack, Johnson was diagnosed with a legitimate kidney problem, so the WWF claimed that Faarooq's attack had hospitalized Johnson. [cite web|title=World Wrestling Entertainment Substitutions|work=Softwolves|url=http://www.softwolves.pp.se/wrestling/wwf/substitutions#y96|accessdate=2008-02-10] Johnson was unable to compete for several months and was forced to vacate the Intercontinental Championship. [cite web|title=WWF/WWE Intercontinental Title|work=Wrestling Titles|url=http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/ic.html|accessdate=2008-02-10] When Johnson returned to the WWF, he interfered in several matches involving Faarooq's stable, the Nation of Domination. He attacked them with a two-by-four, which led to an angle in which Johnson was suspended for the attacks. By December, Johnson's injury had recovered sufficiently to allow him to resume wrestling, and a match was scheduled for the next pay-per-view, the Royal Rumble.

Vader and The Undertaker did not have a substantial buildup to their match at Royal Rumble 1997. Vader had joined other heel wrestlers to attack The Undertaker on several occasions, but there was no major storyline behind their match.cite web|title=WWF Raw: January 13, 1997|work=The Other Arena|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1997/raw011397|accessdate=2008-02-11] The Undertaker had been involved in a feud with Paul Bearer that dated back to SummerSlam 1996, when Bearer had turned on The Undertaker. [cite web|title=The Undertaker|work=SLAM! Wrestling|url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/undertaker.html|accessdate=2008-02-11] On the January 5 1997 episode of WWF Superstars, The Undertaker attacked Vader's manager, Jim Cornette,cite web|title=WWF Raw: January 6, 1997|work=The Other Arena|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1997/raw010697|accessdate=2008-02-11] leaving Vader without a manager at the Royal Rumble.cite web|title=WWF Royal Rumble 1997|work=Online Onslaught|url=http://www.oowrestling.com/columns/ooldtyme/20050323.shtml|accessdate=2008-02-11]

The feud between Sycho Sid and Shawn Michaels dated back to 1995. The storyline saw Michaels hire Sid to be in his corner during the Michaels vs. Diesel main event at WrestleMania XI. Sid interfered in the match by distracting the referee, but the plan backfired when the referee was unable to count the pinfall after Michaels superkicked Diesel.cite web|title=WrestleMania 11|work=The Other Arena|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1995/wwf040295|accessdate=2008-02-08] On the following night's episode of "Monday Night Raw", Michaels told Sid that he would not be needed in the case of a Michaels vs. Diesel rematch.cite web|title=WWF RAW: April 3, 1995|work=The Other Arena|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1995/raw040395|accessdate=2008-02-08] Sid responded by turning on Michaels and powerbombing him three times. This attack led to a feud between Sid and Diesel, but Sid and Michaels were reunited as partners in an elimination match at Survivor Series 1995. During the match, Michaels accidentally kicked Sid in the face, which led to Sid being eliminated.cite web|title=Survivor Series 1995 Re-Revued|work=Online Onslaught|url=http://www.oowrestling.com/columns/ooldtyme/20041014.shtml|accessdate=2008-02-08] Sid retaliated by powerbombing Michaels again. Once again, the feud was not developed, as Sid left the WWF.cite web|title=Wrestler Profiles: Sid Vicious|work=Online World of Wrestling|url=http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/s/sid-vicious.html|accessdate=2008-02-09] Sid returned to the WWF on the July 8 1996 episode of "Monday Night Raw" when Michaels introduced him as a partner in a six-man match at .cite web|title=Ring Results: 1996|work=The History of WWE|url=http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/96.htm|accessdate=2008-02-09] Sid helped Michaels several times in the coming months by saving him from attacks by other wrestlers. At , Sid defeated Vader to win a WWF Championship match against Michaels at Survivor Series 1996.cite web|title=WWF IYH: Buried Alive|work=Online Onslaught|url=http://www.oowrestling.com/columns/ooldtyme/20050209.shtml|accessdate=2008-02-09] During the match at Survivor Series, Sid attacked Jose Lothario, Michaels' manager, with a television camera.cite web|title=WWF Survivor Series 1996 Re-Revued|work=Online Onslaught|url=http://www.oowrestling.com/columns/ooldtyme/20050223.shtml|accessdate=2008-02-09] While Michaels was distracted, Sid hit him with the camera and powerbombed him to win the title. A rematch was later booked for Royal Rumble 1997.

Event

The first match that aired was an Intercontinental Championship match between Goldust and the champion, Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Before the match began, Goldust attacked Helmsley up the aisle, but they then returned to the ring where they continued to brawl back and forth. Later into the match, Helmsley would attempt to hit Goldust with the Intercontinental Championship belt, however, Goldust countered and grabbed the belt and hit Helmsley with it, and as Goldust attempted to pin Helmsley, Mr. Hughes, who was at ringside as bodyguard for Helmsley, pulled Helmsley out of the ring. Hughes then continued his distraction on Goldust, which led to Helmsley deliviring a Pedigree and pinning Goldust for the win, thus Helmsley retained the Intercontinental Championship.cite web|url= http://www.softwolves.pp.se/wrestling/wwf/1997#rr97|title=Royal Rumble 1997|accessdate=2008-02-18|date=1997-01-21|publisher=AWT] The next match was the encounter of Faarooq and Ahmed Johnson. Johnson won the match after members of the Nation of Domination, who were at ringside, interfered on Faarooq's behalf.

The third match was the encounter of The Undertaker and Vader. Undertaker gained control early into the match, however, Vader gained control after Paul Bearer, who was at ringside in Vader's corner, hit Undertaker with an urn. The Undertaker did not retaliate, as Vader hit a Vaderbomb on him, which gained a successful pinfall for the win. The next match was a Six-man tag team match between the team of Héctor Garza, Perro Aguayo, and El Canek against the team of Jerry Estrada, Heavy Metal, and Fuerza Guerrera. A slow paced match between the two teams, as they exchange control of the match back and forth. Late into the match, the two teams brawled outside of the ring, as Aguayo hit Metal with a diving double foot stomp off the top rope, which gained a successful pinfall, thus Garza, Aguayo and Canek won the match.

The fourth, and final, match on the undercard was the Royal Rumble match. The match begun with Ahmed Johnson and Crush, where the rivalry with Johnson and Faarooq continued, as Johnson eliminated himself after Faarooq came down the aisle to chase him. Late into the match, Steve Austin, the fifth entrant, was eliminated by Bret Hart, the twenty first entrant, however, no referee was present to make the elimination official, as they were preoccupied with eliminated wrestlers, Mankind and Terry Funk, who began to brawl outside the ring. The final four men came down to be Hart, Vader, "Diesel", and The Undertaker. Undertaker continued his feud with Vader, as both men began to brawl, while on the other hand, Hart and Diesel battled it out. Austin, who had been non-officially eliminated, reentered into the ring to eliminate both Vader and The Undertaker. As Hart eliminated Diesel, Austin (from behind), tossed Hart over the top rope, thus, Austin won the Royal Rumble match.

The main event was a WWF Championship match between Shawn Michaels and Sycho Sid. Sid works over on Michaels's back early into the match, however Michaels retaliated by hitting a flying elbow drop on Sid. Michaels then attempts to deliver a Sweet Chin Music to Sid, however, he counters by tossing Michaels over the top rope onto ringside. As Sid threw Michaels back into the ring, Michaels accidentally hit referee Earl Hebner. Sid then delivers a Chokeslam and attempts to pin him, however, as the first referee was down, a second referee came out to count the pin, which got a two count. Sid then attacked the second referee, which allowed Michaels to hit Sid with a camera and delivered Sweet Chin Music, as the original referee slowly counted the successful pinfall, thus Michaels winning the WWF Championship.

Aftermath

Shawn Michaels later vacated the WWF Championship on the "Thursday Raw Thursday" special.cite web|url=http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/raw/1997.html|title=RAW results - 1997|accessdate=2008-02-04|publisher=Online World of Wrestling] Due to this and the controversial situation over the Royal Rumble ending, Steve Austin, Bret Hart, The Undertaker, and Vader were pitted against each other at in a Four Corners match for the WWF Championship.cite web|url=http://www.pwwew.net/ppv/wwf/february/1997.htm|title=WWF In Your House 13: Final Four|accessdate=2008-02-04|publisher=PWWEW.net] Which saw Hart defeat Austin, Undertaker and Vader to win the vacant WWF title. The next night on "Raw", Austin interfered in a WWF title match between Hart and Sycho Sid. As a results of Austin's interference, Hart lost the belt, which resulted in Hart's short-lived title reign. [cite web|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1997/raw021797|title=WWF Raw - February 17, 1997|accessdate=2008-02-19|publisher=the Other Arena] On the March 17 edition of "Raw", Hart and Sid faced off in a Steel Cage match for the WWF title. [cite web|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1997/raw031097|title=WWF Raw - March 10, 1997|accessdate=2008-02-20|publisher=the Other Arena] cite web|url=http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1997/raw031797|title=WWF Raw - March 17, 1997|accessdate=2008-02-20|publisher=the Other Arena] In which Sid won, after interference by both Stone Cold and Undertaker. At WrestleMania 13, Undertaker defeated Sid for the WWF title.cite web|url=http://pwwew.net/ppv/wwf/march/xiii.htm|title=WWF WrestleMania 13 Results|accessdate=2008-02-20|publisher=PWWEW.net]

Results

Notes

*During his employment with the WWF, "Razor Ramon" Scott Hall only competed at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in championship matches. "Razor Ramon" competed in the 1997 Rumble match, however by that point he was being portrayed by Rick Bogner, not Scott Hall. Kevin Nash had left the WWF by this time as well, and Diesel was portrayed by Glen Jacobs, better known as Kane.
*During the "Free for All" pre-event match featuring "Mini Vader" and "Mini Mankind", Vince McMahon inquired if there was a "Mini King" (in reference to Jerry "the King" Lawler), to which Lawler promptly reminded him that there were, in fact, "mini Kings," in the form of Cheesy, Sleazy, and Queasy at the 1994 Survivor Series.
*With ten eliminations, Steve Austin broke the elimination record for a single Royal Rumble match previously held by Hulk Hogan from the 1989 Royal Rumble.

References

External links

* [http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/1988114111/ Official 1997 Royal Rumble website]
*cite news|author=Martin, Finn|title=Power Slam Magazine, issue 32|work=Back on Top (Royal Rumble 1997)|publisher=SW Publishing|date=1997-02-25|pages=12-15
*cite news|title=2007 Wrestling Almanac & Book of Facts|work=Wrestling’s Historical Cards|publisher=Kappa Publishing|date= 2007|pages=97


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