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Behind The Vintage: KOTR 97'

The Undertake, Shawn Michaels, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Ahmed Johnson being featuerd for King of the Ring 1997

Every vintage T-Shirt is a piece of history, a part of a story. This King of the Ring 97’ shirt is no different. KOTR is one of WWE’s OG ``big four” PPVs. Most winners of the event go on to have great careers and set themselves apart from the rest. This KOTR was notable because it represented the WWE as it was transitioning into The Attitude Era.

The year prior, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin dropped his iconic Austin 3:16 promo that eventually started a revolution within the industry. In 1997 he was involved in a feud with his tag team partner and co-champion, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels. Their match from this event is an underrated gem because it features Austin during his post WrestleMania double-turn ascent and it was the first PPV match for HBK since “losing his smile.” More importantly, the two icons were in their physical prime before both were hit with career altering injuries. The match ended in a double DQ.

The main event featured WWE Champion, The Undertaker, vs Nation of Domination leader Faarooq. Taker pinned Faarooq with a Tombstone but got attacked by Ahmed Johnson (remember him? He was polarizing but also pretty over in the mid-to-late 90s) afterwards. Johnson later joined The Nation of Domination.

The King of the Ring winner was Triple H, who defeated Mankind in a damn good finals match. As most wrestling fans know, Triple H was originally supposed to win KOTR 96’, but his involvement in the “Curtain Call” halted any chance of a meaningful push. Triple H (and Chyna) would go on to form the original D-Generation X later in the year with HBK and Rick Rude.

KOTR 97’ is the last event to feature the OG classic logo and showcases the WWE during one of its greatest and most important years. 

Own a piece of wrestling history! 

- JustJayBe


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