One Night Only 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 event was available on pay-per-view in Canada and Europe, but not in the United States: the storyline reason for this was that WWF Champion Bret Hart – then employing an Anti-Americangimmick – had used a clause in his contract to block the event from being shown live in the US. It was subsequently released on home video there.
Fin Martin of professional wrestling magazine Power Slam described One Night Only as "a sensation", adding: "the card remains the WWF/WWE's best ever in-ring presentation on [UK] shores. The fireworks were provided by the last three matches, all of which were superb." He described Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker as "an epic encounter (over 28 minutes), which was the last truly great match of 'The Hitman's' career", and credited Michaels for having given "the heel performance of the year."
The WWF sold a full 11,000 tickets for the event. With restricted availability, the event, nonetheless, generated a 0.05 buy rate, equating to approximately 20,000 buys.