SummerSlam 1997 was the tenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on August 3, 1997 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The tagline was "Hart & Soul".
Summerslam 1997 featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines that were played out on WWF Monday Night Raw and other World Wrestling Federation television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches.
The featured rivalry heading into the event involved WWF champion The Undertaker and Bret Hart. On the July 7 episode of Raw is War at Edmonton, Alberta, Hart was announced as the number one contender for the WWF title. In an interview with Vince McMahon, Hart said that if he did not win the title at Summerslam, he would not wrestle on American soil again. The next week, Shawn Michaels, Hart's nemesis, requested Vince McMahon to be a part of SummerSlam. On the July 21 episode of Raw, Hart, his brother Owen, and his brother-in-law The British Bulldog (The Hart Foundation), challenged three American wrestlers into a flag match. Shawn Michaels was announced as a special referee for the main event at SummerSlam, and in response to the announcement, Hart attacked Michaels and McMahon. Later, the Hart Foundation defeated the American team that contained the Tag team champions Steve Austin and Dude Love, with the Undertaker, where the Hart Foundation won thanks to an interference from Brian Pillman. The next week, Hart challenged The Patriot, a match where Hart lost thanks to an interference from Michaels. After the match, the referees prevented Hart from attacking Michaels while the Undertaker watched from the entrance ramp.
A predominant feud entering the event featured WWF Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart and Steve Austin. On July 6, on the Canadian Stampede pay-per-view, Hart managed to pin Austin in a five on five match. The day after it, Austin attacked Hart while he was singing the Canadian national anthem. At the same night, Austin told Vince McMahon that if he did not win the title from Hart at Summerslam, he will kiss Hart's ass. The next week, Austin teamed up with Dude Love to win the vacant tag team titles in a match with Hart and the British Bulldog. At the July 21 episode of Raw, Hart's teamed managed to defeat Austin's team at a three on three flag match. The next week, Hart attacked Austin during a tag titles match against The Godwinns, counting him out. After the match, Austin attacked Hart.
Another rivalry heading into event featured the WWF European Champion The British Bulldog and Ken Shamrock. The two were at opposing teams of the Canadian Stampede PPV. At the July 14 episode of Raw, the Bulldog said that if he lost at Summerslam, he would eat a can of dog food right after the match. The next week, the Bulldog attacked Shamrock during a match with Vader, powerslamming him on the steel ramp, and making him lose the match via count out. The next week, Bulldog and Shamrock competed in an arm wrestling contest, but as Shamrock was about to win, the Bulldog headbutted him, hit him with a steel chair and poured a can of dog food over him.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Mankind defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Chyna) in a Steel cage match (16:25)
- Goldust (w/ Marlena) defeated Brian Pillman (7:15)
- The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) defeated The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) (9:51)
- The British Bulldog (c) defeated Ken Shamrock to retain the WWF European Championship (7:29)
- Los Boricuas (Savio Vega, Miguel Pérez, Jr., Jose Estrada, Jr. and Jesus Castillo) defeated The Disciples of Apocalypse (Crush, Chainz, 8-ball and Skull) in a Eight-Man Tag Team Match (9:07)
- Steve Austin defeated Owen Hart (c) to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship (16:16)
- Bret Hart defeated The Undertaker (c) (w/ Shawn Michaels as special guest referee) to win the WWF Championship (28:09)
- This was the first SummerSlam where the WWF championship changed hands.
- Todd Pettengill introduced New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Gorilla Monsoon and The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher). Todd Pettengill went on to say how Whitman took taxes off of professional wrestling in New Jersey and that was the reason why the WWF had returned after not being in New Jersey for over eight years. Monsoon then presented Whitman with a replica WWF Championship belt for getting rid of the taxes.
- This show also marked Pettengill's last appearance for the WWF.
- This was the final SummerSlam to use the generic blue and orange SummerSlam ring apron and rafter banner. This was also the first SummerSlam not to use red, white, and blue ring ropes, opting instead for the RAW is WAR scheme of red ropes.
Other on-screen talent
- SummerSlam 1997 Official Website
- SummerSlam 1997 on WWE Network
- SummerSlam 1997 at CAGEMATCH.net
- SummerSlam 1997 at Online World of Wrestling
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|1997 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • The Final Four • WrestleMania • Revenge of the 'Taker • A Cold Day in Hell • Canadian Stampede • King of the Ring • SummerSlam • Ground Zero • One Night Only • Badd Blood • Survivor Series • D-Generation X|