|Tagline(s)||Hart & Soul|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||August 3, 1997|
|Venue||Continental Airlines Arena|
|City||East Rutherford, New Jersey|
SummerSlam (1997) was the tenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and the third presented by Stridex. It took place on August 3, 1997, at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Summerslam 1997 featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines that were played out on Raw Is War 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 Is War, 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 Stone Cold 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. On the July 21 episode of Raw Is War, 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 team championship 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 pay-per-view. On the July 14 episode of Raw Is War, 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 countout. 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.
During the Intercontinental title match, Owen Hart's botched piledriver temporarily paralyzed Austin and left him with many years of neck issues, forcing him to retire at age 38 in 2003. Austin has since stated that his neck is in good shape and he is in zero pain after a successful neck surgery in 2000. The accident was a source of backstage conflict between the two men, but Austin ultimately forgave Hart and paid tribute to him on Raw is War the night after Hart fell to his death at Over the Edge (1999).
|1||Mankind defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna)||Steel cage match||16:13|
|2||Goldust (with Marlena) defeated Brian Pillman||Singles match; as a result of his loss, Brian Pillman had to wear Marlena's dress until he won a match.||07:17|
|3||The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) defeated The Godwinns (Henry O. and Phineas I. Godwinn)||Tag team match||09:15|
|4||The British Bulldog (c) defeated Ken Shamrock by disqualification||Singles match for the WWF European Championship||07:29|
|5||Los Boricuas (Savio Vega, Miguel Pérez Jr., Jose Estrada Jr., and Jesús Castillo) defeated The Disciples of Apocalypse (Crush, Chainz, 8-Ball, and Skull)||Eight-man tag team match||09:08|
|6||Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Owen Hart (c)||Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship||16:16|
|7||Bret Hart defeated The Undertaker (c)||Singles match for the WWF Championship with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee||28:19|
- "Live & Televised Entertainment of World Wrestling Entertainment". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "WWF Summerslam '97 results". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. August 4, 1997. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
- Steve Austin (2004). The Stone Cold Truth. Stamford, CT: WWE Home Video. Event occurs at Title 14, 1:22.
- "2007 Wrestling Almanac & Book of Facts". Wrestling’s Historical Cards (Kappa Publishing). 2007. p. 99.
- onlineworldofwrestling.com – SummerSlam '97 results
- twnpnews.com – SummerSlam
- wrestlinginformer.net – SummerSlam '97 review
- hoffco-inc.com – SummerSlam '97 review