Commentary Vince McMahon and Jim Ross
Similar to King of the Ring 1996, King of the Ring 1997 also excluded the quarter-final matches. The first semi-final king of the ring match kicks off with Triple H with Chyna, against Ahmed Johnson. Ahmed Johnson had actually defeated Triple H in the quarter-final, however, Triple H was allowed another spot and defeated Crush in the quarter-final. The match is a little boring, and the finish is poor as after dominating most of the match, Ahmed Johnson simply receives a knee to his back followed by a pedigree. Chyna causes the distraction to Ahmed Johnson, thus allowing Triple H to progress to the final.
The second semi-final match is between Mankind against Jerry Lawler. Mankind had defeated Savio Vega in the quarter-final, whereas Jerry Lawler had defeated Goldust to progress. Jerry Lawler enters the match with a microphone and insults the audience and then insults Mankind. The match is a little better than expected as the two brawls with one another. However, as expected Mankind is the won who takes the victory against Jerry Lawler.
Before the next match, Brian Pillman is attacked backstage by Steve Austin who puts his head down a toilet and flushes it.
The next match is between Crush along with the Nation of Domination against Goldust, managed by Marlena. In the match, Goldust does not do his usual theatrics due to his feud with the Nation of Domination. Towards the end D’Lo Brown and Clarence Mason attempt to distract Goldust when he has the advantage by approaching Marlena. The plan however backfires and Goldust scores the win over Crush with a DDT. During the commentary, a lot is revealed about Marlena as a makeup artist at CNN for Larry King along with the fact that she is also married to Goldust when they celebrate their victory at the end. Goldust is also acknowledged as Dusty Rhodes’s son.
The next match is a 6 man tag team match with the Hart Foundation members of the British Bulldog, Jim The Anvil Neidhart and Brian Pillman against the team of Hawk and Animal, aka the Legion of Doom and Psycho Sid. Psycho Sid is excited to be back as a face and takes his time enjoying his entrance with the fans. During the match, the British Bulldog delivers a standing vertical suplex on Sid which is impressive along with a piledriver on Hawk. However, on both occasions, the moves are not sold by his opponents who get up instantly which is shocking. Jim Neidhart hits Animal with a steel chair outside the ring for his team to take advantage. There are some sloppy moves at various times. Owen Hart scores the pin with a sunset flip on Sid who is grappling with the British Bulldog who is the illegal man at the time.
The King of the Ring 1997 final match is next, with Mankind facing Triple H, managed by Chyna. As with the earlier match, Chyna’s interference gives Triple H the advantage. Chyna has the referee distracted when Mankind has Triple H pinned. She then throws Mankind out of the ring when he has the mandible claw on Triple H. Chyna then moves Triple H out of harm’s way when Mankind jumps off the ring apron and lands against the guard rail. This is done in front of the referee yet there is no disqualification which is shocking as Mankind should have been easily declared the King of the Ring. Finally, Chyna then hits Mankind with the royal sceptre and Triple H eventually scores the win with a pedigree and be crowned the King of the Ring 1997. Ironically, during commentary Jim Ross actually says has Hunter Hearst Helmsley ever tried to buy the WWF – little realising years later he will be running the company.
The Hart Foundation then cut a promo and issue a challenge to any 5 WWE superstars to take them on in a 5 on 5 matches at the next PPV of In Your House 16 which is held in Canada.
The next match is between the current tag team champions, Shawn Michaels who take on his tag partner Stonecold Steve Austin. During the beginning of the match, a child fan is hurt when the guard rail hits him following some action. Shawn Michaels then takes the fan away down the aisle to ensure he receives care. The match then continues with both competitors in their prime and before their career-changing injuries. Shawn Michaels before his back injury and Steve Austin before his neck injury. The referee is knocked out when Shawn Michaels Irish whips Steve Austin. Steve Austin quickly hits the stunner but there is no referee to count the pin. Out of frustration he then stuns the referee knocking him out again. A second referee comes out to look after the first referee. During this time Shawn Michaels then delivers sweet chin music on Steve Austin, but no referee makes the count. Shawn Michaels frustrated hits sweet chin music on the second referee. With both referees knocked out a third referee, Earl Hebner comes out but calls a double disqualification as both superstars attacked a referee each. Steve Austin attempts to hit Shawn Michaels with his tag title but doesn’t succeed. The crowd at this point are chanting for Steve Austin. Both superstars argue then, strangely enough, walk out together holding onto their WWE tag team championships.
The final match is for the WWE championship with Faarooq along with his Nation of Domination challenging the WWE champion the Undertaker. The Undertaker is reluctantly back under the management of Paul Bearer who blackmails the Undertaker to accept him otherwise he will expose the Undertakers secret. The match is surprisingly good, as the Undertaker looks in his prime at this time. His pace is quicker than usual and he seems physically stronger. During his walking on the top rope to deliver Old School, the Undertaker launches himself backwards instead onto all members of the Nation of Domination which is impressive. Towards the end, Crush and Savio Vega argue outside the ring which distracts Faarooq who is then hit with a tombstoned from the Undertaker. The Undertaker retains his title, yet Paul bearer insists he chokeslams Faarooq repeatedly. Reluctantly the Undertaker does this until Ahmed Johnson comes out to talk sense into the Undertaker, however, when he is unable to get through the delivers Pearl River plunge on the Undertaker to the end the show.
King of the Ring 1997
Commentary Vince McMahon and Jim Ross