This year doesn't hold up like I thought it did, the Austin/Hart feud is head and shoulders what carried the WWF and kept them alive for the first half year. The Mid-card and tag teams were a joke, I FUCKIN' HATE STABLE WARZ! Bret's heel turn and war against the USA started off phenomenal but the Patriot feud hurt it and the Shawn heel turn really hurt it too, because you can see WWF booking starting to revolve around Shawn plus their real life hatred really fucked up a lot of the stuff. Injuries, Bret getting hurt, Shawn's fake injury and Austin's neck injury really hurt. Not in a character development and getting over, because those guys were on TV like every week, just goes to show how things have changed. It just hurt in terms of dream matches and star wrestlers wrestling every week. But they did some positive, Kane's debut, the rise of Stone Cold, The New Age Outlaws, Mankind becoming a crowd favorite and say what you want DX got over huge. Oh, and how can I forget we got Vince off commentary and are now gearing up for VINCEGOD OWNER GIMMICK!
Top 25 Matches of the year
25. Mankind vs Sycho Sid - RAW March 3rd, 1997 ***
24. Vader (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Undertaker - Canadian Stampede ***
23. Ken Shamrock vs. Bret Hart - RAW October 27th, 1997 ***
22. Ken Shamrock vs. Shawn Michaels - RAW November 3rd, 1997 ***
21. Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels - RAW October 20th, 1997 ***
20. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart - WWF Survivor Series 1997 ***
19. Ken Shamrock vs. Shawn Michaels - WWF D-Generation X 1997 ***
18. Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels - RAW December 29th, 1997 ***
17. Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind - Canadian Stampede *** - ***1/4
16. Owen Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin SummerSlam 1997 *** - ***1/4
15. Shawn Michaels & Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldog - RAW May 26th, 1997 *** - ***1/4
14. TAKA Michinoku vs. The Great Sasuke - Canadian Stampede ***1/4
13. Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Cactus Jack - RAW September 22nd, 1997 ***1/4
12. Shawn Michaels vs. The British Bulldog - WWF One Night Only ***1/4 - ***1/2
11. Mankind vs. The Undertaker - WWF In Your House: Revenge Of The Taker ***1/2
10. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker - Ground Zero 1997 ***1/2
9. Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind - RAW August 11th, 1997 ***1/2
8. Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind – SummerSlam 1997 ***1/2 - ***3/4
7. Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - WWF In Your House: Revenge Of The Taker ***1/2 - ***3/4
6. Owen Hart vs. The British Bulldog - RAW March 31st, 1997 ****
5. Owen Hart vs. The British Bulldog - RAW March 3rd, 1997 **** - ****1/4
4. Goldust, Ken Shamrock, The Legion of Doom & Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Hart Foundation - Canadian Stampede ****1/2
3. Vader vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Bret Hart - Final Four ****1/2
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart - WrestleMania 13 *****
1. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker - Badd Blood 1997 *****
PPV Of The Year: Canadian Stampede
Hands down PPV of the year, most if not all matches deliver. It’s not only the best PPV of the year but you can argue the case of one of the best PPV’s in WWF and wrestling history.
Tag Team Of The Year: Owen Hart & The British Bulldog
Tag Teams have been pretty trash this whole year; it was clearly an afterthought and just something to have on TV. They had a shitload of teams but all of them outside Owen/Bulldog were trash. I’m only giving it to them for them being consistent; not just tag teams but singles too, they pretty much ruled the first 6 months. The Outlaws didn’t debut until November and only 2 months isn’t long enough to put them in the race.
Wrestler Of The Year: “The King of Harts”….” The Black Hart”…”The Lone Hart” & “The Two-Time Slammy Award Winner” OWEN HART
This one was tough for a bit, it was a two-headed race between Owen and Bulldog for the longest time, but Owen pretty much ran away with it after Bulldog slowed down after One Night Only, then leaving after the Montreal Screw job. Shit, I can make a case that Mankind/Dude Love/Cactus Jack moved into two surpassing Bulldog later in the year. Fuckin’ Shawn, he might have had the GOAT year if he wasn’t such a fuck up and FAKED injuries for the first half to 8 months.