To Battle Is Honor, To Win Is Hell is the tagline for this pay per view. I genuinely have no idea what that means. The poster for this show features Ultimate Warrior which is an interesting choice. He makes his King Of The Ring PPV debut tonight when he takes on Jerry “The King” Lawler. Lawler has been a part of every KOTR PPV whether he’s attacking Bret Hart after he was crowned King or losing to the likes of Roddy Piper or Bret Hart. It’s sort of Jerry’s PPV. Warrior has been feuding with Lawler after the charismatic commentator mocked the former WWF champion and even smashes a picture over his head. The two legends clash tonight for the first ever time.
The WWF title is defended tonight when Shawn Michaels meets The British Bulldog. The last match between the pair at In Your House: Beware Of Dog was a draw and so a rematch was made straight away. Bulldog and Diana are convinced Michaels has been sniffing around Mrs Bulldog and despite Michaels denying it the Brit isn’t happy. Tonight this ends once and for all. The Intercontinental and Tag Team championships will also be on the line tonight. Goldust defends against the man he has been playing mind games with, Ahmed Johnson. Goldust even gave him mouth to mouth which Johnson was not happy with. The Smoking Gunns defend their belts against The Godwinns. This is a rematch as the Gunns beat the Godwinns for the titles and not only took the gold but their valet, Sunny. Billy Gunn and Phineas Godwinn are in a tug-o-war over the former Bodydonna and tonight the titles are on the line.
Tonight of course we also have the King Of The Ring tournament. Unlike previous years we’ll only be seeing the semi finals and final tonight as the quater finals have already taken place. In one semi final Jake “The Snake” Roberts meets Vader and in the other Marc Mero meets “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Vader pretty much had a bye to the semi finals when he defeated Ahmed Johnson with a little bit of help from Goldust and Owen Hart. The other three have battled valiantly to get here. You’d fancy Vader or Mero to win the tournament but we’ll see how it pans out.
The other match we’ll see tonight is between Mankind and The Undertaker. Mankind has been attacking Undertaker since he arrived in the WWF and tonight he makes his PPV debut against the dead man. At the last In Your House Mankind cost Undertaker the match and Intercontinental title against Goldust so Undertaker has a big score to settle. Let’s get to it.
We start with a package and some words from The Ultimate Warrior. He says he’s going to kick Jerry Lawlers ass but Lawler disagrees. Then some words from the King Of The Ring participants. Steve Austin, Jake Roberts, Vader and Marc Mero remain in that tournament. Mankind and Undertaker battle for the first time too. The tag titles and Intercontinental title matches are highlighted in this package too. And Shawn Michaels contest with British Bulldog too. The voiceover finishes by saying that this is the greatest card in the history of King Of The Ring! A bold statement. Vince McMahon then WELCOMES EVERYBODY to King Of The Ring. McMahon is joined by Jim Ross as Owen Hart makes his entrance. Owen Hart is joining McMahon and Ross on commentary. Good stuff.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Marc Mero – King Of The Ring Semi Final
Steve Austin beat Bob Holly and Savio Vega to get here, In the quater final against Vega was the first time we saw the “Stone Cold Stunner” his elusive finisher. Mero is joined by his manager Sable and we see how he got here by beating the likes of Skip and Owen Hart. Hart is hilarious at this point on commentary. Mero is actually undefeated on PPV at this point but he’s only had one PPV match when he beat Hunter Hearst Helmsley. It’s nice to have Jim Ross on commentary. We have some technical exchanges in the early going, hammerlocks, drop toe hold and headlock by Steve Austin. Mero gets the advantage with a flying head scissors as a “Sable” chant breaks out. Austin goes to the outside. Two newcomers in this match, both of which made their PPV debut in 1996. Mero goes to the headlock now but Austin sends him in for the ride and hiptosses him across the ring. Mero gets the advantage and goes to the headlock now. But Austin gets out of it and hits a Lou Thesz press. It’s back and forth now as Mero hits a back body drop and Austin rolls to the outside.
Steve rolls back into the ring and offers his hand to Mero but Marc doesn’t take it. The two men go for a test of strength now but Austin boots Mero down to the mat. Mero gets back up to his feet but Austin sends him over the top to the outside. Stone Cold follows him out and pulls back the mats outside. He then lifts Mero up above his head and throws him into the concrete floor! Austin gets back into the ring and Mero joins him slightly after but gets suplexed in the middle of the ring. Austin has only won one of his three PPV matches so far and that was at Wrestlemania. It’s all Austin now though as he hard Irish whips Mero into the corner. Looking at the brackets you’d probably fancy a Marc Mero/Vader final rather than a Steve Austin/Jake Roberts finale. Mero and Vader definitely seem to be getting bigger pushes anyway. Austin comes off the second rope and hits an elbow for a two count. Steve then hits a backbreaker for another 2. Austin goes for a slam now but Mero rolls him up for a two count.
Steve is back on top as he hits Mero down to the canvas with an elbow. Steve rolls Mero over with a Boston Crab now. Sable and the crowd are right being Mero though clapping him on which helps him get out of it. There’s a series of near falls and Mero rolls up Austin for another 2. Austin hits him with a right hand though which takes him down. Mero manages to lock on a sleeper though but Austin drops to the canvas and hits a jawbreaker which busts Austins mouth open. Austin sends Mero into the corner but Mero bounces off the middle rope and both men go down. Mero quickens the pace now hitting a dropkick then some big right hands in the corner which the crowd count along with. The Wildman hits a back body drop then goes up to the top and hits a double axe handle. He gets a 2 count then sends Austin over the top rope before hitting a plancha on him. And then a suicide dive! Mero rolls Steve back into the ring now and then hits a dropkick off the top! Mero hooks the leg and gets another 2.
Mero motions for something then puts Austin up on the top rope and hits a hurricanrana! Mero rolls him over and once again gets a 2. Both men get up and it’s Austin that hits a boot before hitting a powerbomb of sorts, dropping Mero on the top rope which gets him a 2. Austin then gets Mero up and hits his Stunner! That’s enough for the three, Steve Austin beats Marc Mero to go on to the final of the King Of The Ring. Decent opening match between these two newcomers.
Dok Hendrix is backstage with Jake Roberts now. Roberts gives us a religious promo and hopes he can get by Vader.
Vader vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts – King Of The Ring Semi Final
Vader only had to beat Ahmed Johnson to get here. You’ve got to consider Vader the favourite. Mabel was the winner last year and like Vader he was biggest man in the tournament. To get here Roberts defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw, arguably the most difficult route of the semi finalists. This is Roberts 25 PPV wrestled on, only 5 men have wrestled on more in WWF history at this point. The two men were on opposite sides at Wrestlemania. Vader starts well, taking Jake down and splashing him. Jake comes back with some jabs and a knee lift then motions for the DDT but Vader drives him into the corner and nails him with some right hands. Vader has won 3 of his 4 PPV matches thus far, his only loss coming in the Royal Rumble. Roberts is actually joint 6th for all time PPV losses. He’s 16 PPV matches. Roberts nails Vader with a clothesline but Vader then takes him off his feet. Vader tries to squash Roberts in the corner but Jake gets out of the way and as Vader turns around, Roberts nails him with the DDT! But as he goes down, Vader shoves the referee and the referee calls for the bell!
Jake Roberts wins by disqualification! After the bell Vader attacks Jake Roberts, crushing him in the corner then hitting him with the Vader Bomb! Roberts gets helped to the back by the referee whilst Owen Hart says how Vader has been robbed. This was a short match, nothing spectacular.
We get a Coliseum exclusive now with Vader fuming backstage and saying he’s the King Of The Ring, Jim Cornette agrees for his own safety.
The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) (c) vs. The Godwinns (Henry & Phineas) – Tag Team Title Match
Well Sunny is now the manager of the Smoking Gunns. She’s been moving around from team to team recently, picking whichever team are the champions. The Smoking Gunns are three time tag team champions after beating the Godwinns. The Godwinns are still managed by Hillbilly Jim. Billy Gunn gets on the mic before the match and tells Phineas that he makes Sunny feel like Phineas never could. This distracts Phineas and Bart attacks him from behind. The Smoking Gunns made their PPV debuts at King Of The Ring 93 which was 3 years ago now. They’re by far the most experienced team in the WWF right now. Phineas goes mad now and it takes Henry Godwinn to calm him down. Skip and Zips new manager Cloudy gives us a few words now. Cloudy is a man in drag dressed as Sunny. Back in the ring and it’s Phineas taking Bart Gunn isolated now. Quick tags between the Godwinns and Henry locks on an armbar now.
Henry bounces off the ropes but Billy lays a knee into his back then Bart tags in Billy. The Smoking Gunns are enjoying a heel run for the first ever time now. Billy drops a knee on Henry which gets him a two count. The Gunns have a 60% win percentage as tag team matches go on PPV. Bart tags Billy now who hits the Fame-asser for a two count. Billy tags Bart back in who applies a backbreaker to Henry. This is the first match between these two teams on PPV. Henry rolls Billy from nowhere and gets a two count but Billy takes the advantage right back. He throws Henry into the corner and goes for a big splash in the corner but Henry moves out of the way. Both men hit the deck and the race is on to make the tag. Phineas tries to get in and the referee shoves him out allowing Bart to get into the ring. Bart goes up top and tries for a legdrop but Henry rolls out of the way and tags Phineas and Bart tags Billy!
Phineas comes in and takes down everyone and then all four men are in! The Gunns try to throw the Godwinns into one another but there’s a doe’see’do and they clothesline the Gunns down. The referee then tries to get Henry out of the ring and as he does Bart clotheslines Phineas from behind! Billy then drops on top of Phineas and the referee counts the three! The Smoking Gunns win and retain their tag team titles!
Backstage to Jim Cornette who has a special guest referee for Bulldogs match with Shawn Michaels later. Cornette quotes Dick Murdoch. We then see Mr Perfect in the back of shot with his referees shirt on. Is there some collusion with Perfect? Bulldog is confident he’ll be taking the World title tonight.
Jerry Lawler comes out now and gives the crowd some stick. Lawler is really quite comical picking different fans to take the mickey out of. Lawler says that the Ultimate Warrior has over-stayed his welcome.
Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. The Ultimate Warrior
This is Lawlers first match since Survivor Series where his team got destroyed by The Undertakers team. Ultimate Warrior is undefeated since returning to the WWF having beaten both Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Goldust. Lawler attacks Warrior before the bell with his scepter though before throwing the former WWF champion into the ring steps. Lawler then chokes Warrior, first with his own coat and then with his wrist tape. Warrior has a 77% win record from his 18 PPV matches and only Ricky Steamboat has a better win percentage of those that have wrestled more than 2 PPV matches. Lawler goes for his finisher the Piledriver now and nails Warrior with it but Warrior sits back up! Warrior shakes the ropes and jogs around the ring and the King can’t believe it. Warrior hits 3 clotheslines and the crowd are right behind him as he then hits a shoulder tackle which is enough for the three! Ultimate Warrior win the match! It wasn’t a long match as Warriors matches usually aren’t but it’s another win for the former WWF champion. Short and sweet.
Backstage now to Dok Hendrix who is with Gorilla Monsoon and Jake Roberts. They announce that although Roberts is hurt he will be continuing tonight. Monsoon says that if he has to stop the match then he will.
We now see some footage from IYH: Beware Of Dog 2 with Mankind putting Undertaker in the casket. Then to Mankind costing Undertaker a match against The British Bulldog.
Mankind vs. The Undertaker
This is Mankinds PPV debut and he’s straight in at the deep end as he goes up against The Undertaker. Undertaker now goes above Hulk Hogan in PPVs fought on as the dead man reaches 28. Undertaker is 4th of all time for most PPV wins at 17 and if he wins this one then he’ll go joint with “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Paul Bearer comes out and doesn’t seem to have The Undertaker with him. Undertaker then appears on top of one of the ring posts. He dives off and attacks Mankind then hits him with right hands in the corner as the crowd goes nuts. Undertaker throws Mankind out of the ring and the strange newcomer starts to walk to the back but then returns to the ring. Undertaker tries to take the mask off Mankinds face but he can’t and instead throws him into the corner. Undertaker then twists the arm and heads to the top rope before balancing along the rope and coming off with a single axe handle. Undertaker then chokes Mankind in the corner before irish whipping him. Mankind meets him with an elbow then powerslams him in the middle of the ring.
It’s back and forth as both men try to brawl their way to an advantage. Mankind does get the advantage and lays in some boots in the corner before elbowing Undertaker to the outside. Mankind then comes off the apron with an elbow to The Undertaker. Owen Hart has done well on commentary so far. The two men take it to the outside now and Mankind grabs a chair. He runs at Undertaker with it but the dead man boots it into Mankind face. The chair is thrown into the ring and Paul Bearer distracts the referee allowing Undertaker to smash the chair into Mankinds back! Undertaker is looking for his first win at a King Of The Ring PPV. He boots Mankind and goes for the Tombstone but Mankind slips down and hits a neckbreaker. Mankind follows it up with a legdrop then motions for his Mandible Claw but Undertaker blocks it. Mankind locks on a nerve hold and the crowd get behind the dead man. Every match Undertaker has, the commentators will say that they have never seen Undertaker dominated by anybody so much. Undertaker starts his comeback now hitting right hands on Mankind then clotheslining him over the top. Undertaker goes out with him and Mankind hits him with a flurry of forearms then runs half way round the ring and knees ‘Taker into the ring steps. Mankind then comes off the apron again with an elbow but Undertaker holds up a chair and Mankind goes straight into it. Undertaker then nails Mankind with the steel chair. How is this not a disqualification?!
Back in the ring and Undertaker hits a couple of headbutts then a huge clothesline. Mankind manages to stop the attack with a piledriver though which earns him a two count. Mankind then goes mad, hitting his own head and pulling his own hair out. He then grabs the urn off Paul Bearer and raises it high in the air. He then goes to hit Undertaker with it but Bearer grabs it back off him. Mankind then locks on the Mandible Claw! Undertaker gets out of it and Paul Bearer goes to hit Mankind with his urn but accidentally hits Undertaker! Undertaker hits the mat and Mankind locks on the Mandible Claw once again! This time it’s over! Mankind defeats The Undertaker! That’s back to back PPV losses for The Undertaker and a debut win for Mankind. Mankind then goes after Paul Bearer with his chair, this one definitely is not over. Really good match here.
Backstage to Dok Hendrix who is interviewing Mr Perfect. Perfect says there’s nothing going on with him and British Bulldog. Michaels then comes in and says that Perfect needs to call it down the middle. Perfect says that Michaels seems nervous and tonight he will call it down the middle.
Goldust (c) vs. Ahmed Johnson – Intercontinental Championship Match
Ahmed comes sprintig down the aisle and nails Goldust with a clothesline to get this one going. Goldust escapes the ring but Johnson comes flying over the top rope and misses him. Goldust goes down none the less and Ahmed then throws him back into the ring. This is Goldusts third PPV title defence and possibly his last as Ahmed Johnson throws him around the outside of the ring again. And now back in the ring and Ahmed throws Goldust into the corner. He misses with the splash though and goes all the way out of the ring. Goldust hits him with some right hands then throws the big man into the steps. Goldust then picks up the steps and throws them at Johnson whilst the referee was talking to Marlena. Back in the ring and Goldust hits a clothesline and gets a 2 count. Ahmed hasn’t had a great 1996, he’s lost in his last 2 PPV appearances, both tag team matches against Camp Cornette. Goldust beat The Undertaker at the last PPV with a little help from Mankind. Goldust locks on a Camel Clutch now. Back up and Goldust chokes Johnson on the top rope.
Goldust has had a great 1996 thus far, winning the Intercontinental title twice and taking on the likes of Razor Ramon, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, The Ultimate Warrior and The Undertaker. Goldust now locks on a sleeper and Johnson fades. The referee checks the arm and Ahmed comes to life then stops a sunset flip attempt but Goldust hits some right hands and gets a two count. It sounds like a “Diesel” chant breaking out as Goldust hits a piledriver. Goldust then sexually crawls all over Ahmed Johnson and gets a two count. The champion is in full control now as he drops the first on Johnson then kisses his arm! The two men get into a slugfest now and Johnson goes for a dropkick but Goldust gets out of the way then covers him for a 2 count. The champion then locks on a sleeper but oddly lets go of the hold. Goldust then tells the official that Johnson needs mouth to mouth and starts to do it causing Ahmed Johnson to go mad! He gets back up to his feet and beats down Goldust before hitting him with a spinebuster! Ahmed then hits the Pearl River Plunge for the three! Ahmed Johnson wins the Intercontinental title! Owen Hart is convinced he only won because Goldust revived him. Brilliant.
Now for an In Your House commercial with aliens abducting some fella and zapping Sunny into his living room.
Now to another Collisium exclusive of Ahmed Johnson being congratulated by the likes of Shawn Michaels, The Bushwhackers and Marc Mero.
Brian Pillman now comes out. Pillman has recently signed to the WWF and he comes out on crutches. Jim Ross interviews Pillman who says he doesn’t care about his extended family or the fans at ringside. Pillman does and says whatever he wants. And soon we’ll have to see if any of the WWF superstars have the guts to stop him. Pillman says he’s going to rape and pillage this entire generation.
“Stone Cold”Steve Austin vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts – King Of The Ring Final
Steve Austin passes Brian Pillman in the aisle, two former tag team partners as the Hollywood Blondes right there. Roberts sells the injuries he got courtesy of Vader earlier on. Austin had to go to a medical facility after smashing his mouth up in his last match too. Austin goes after Jake’s ribs before the bell and lays in the boots. Roberts tries crawling away but Steve just stomps and drops elbows on the veteran. Jake gets back into it with some boots and a right hand but he can’t maintain any advantage. Austin rips off the tape protecting Roberts ribs and it’s looking very one sided thus far. Gorilla Monsoon arrives at ringside and gets into the ring. Gorilla demands that Austin stand in the corner but Jake wants to fight on. And he does, attacking Austin with jabs and then attempting the DDT but Austin forces him into the corner. The last two King Of The Rings have been heels, could Roberts be the first face to win the tournament since Bret Hart in 93? Unlikely, he hits Jake with the Stunner and that’s all she wrote. Steve Austin wins the King Of The Ring and mouths a lot of “F” this and “F” that.
Steve walks over to the throne where Dok Hendrix is waiting for him. Austin says the first thing he wants is Jake Roberts out of the ring and out of the WWF. “Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16 well Austin 3:16 just says I whooped your ass”. Classic. The quote that changed the WWF. Austin tells the crowd to piss off then says that he’ll be going after the WWF champion.
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. The British Bulldog – WWF Championship Match
Mr Perfect is the special guest referee for this one. Owen Hart is stood on the announce desk cheering on Bulldog when he comes out, fantastic. Michaels is very over. He was arguably at his peak at this point in his career. This is Bulldogs 4th PPV main event and title match in the last 9 months. Nobody has had as many shots as him. Gorilla Monsoon gets in the ring and an announcement is made that Mr Perfect will officiate from outside the ring and Earl Hebner will referee inside the ring. Bulldog throws Michaels across the ring to start with, he’s definitely the more powerful of the two. It’s then a technical start to the match as both men exchange arm bars and hammerlocks. Michaels then applies a headlock. Nobody has currently fought on more PPVs consecutively than British Bulldog, this is his 10th PPV in a row. Bulldog sends Michaels over the top but Shawn hangs on and headscissors Bulldog over the top before diving off the apron and hitting a hurricanrana. Michaels then spanks Jim Cornette with his own tennis racket.
Back in the ring and it’s Bulldogs turn to take Michaels down with a headlock. Shawn gets out of it and quickens the pace using arm drag takeovers and gets a near fall. A “Perfect” chant breaks out which he ignores. Michaels then goes to the arm bar but Bulldog gets to the ropes and surprisingly Mr Perfect takes his arm off the rope. Plenty of quick exchanges now as Bulldog hiptosses Michaels but misses with a clothesline. Michaels get a sleeper locked on but only momentarily as Bulldog forces Michaels into the corner and hits him with a hard Irish whip into the opposite corner. It’s Bulldog now that goes to the sleeper. Michaels gets out of it and hits a single arm DDT before going to the top and hitting a double axe handle. Bulldog takes the advantage with a gorilla press slam over the top rope on Shawn Michaels. McMahon claims it should be a disqualification but I have no idea why it would be. Bulldog hits a suplex on the outside and Perfect won’t let Lothario near the champion. Bulldog throws Michaels back in the ring and covers him for a 2. Both men have goldust all over them. Bulldog is in the driving seat as he goes for a surfboard stretch.
Bulldog releases the surfboard and locks on a sleeper. There have been plenty of sleeper holds in this one. Michaels gets out of it but receives a knee to the abdomen before Bulldog drops a legdrop. Two count. Bulldog goes back to the sleeper. Michaels gets up to his feet and hits a cross body for a two count but as both men get up Bulldog hits a clothesline for a 2. Then back to the headlock. These men are both in the top 3 for most PPVs wrestled on and most PPV matches. Bret Hart is number one followed by Michaels then Bulldog. Both men get up to their feet and Michaels goes for Bulldogs running powerslam but Bulldog reverses it and goes for the powerslam himself. Michaels slips down this time and goes for Sweet Chin Music but Bulldog hangs on to the ropes and avoids it. The challenger hits a piledriver now and then goes up to the top which is unusual for this man. He dives off and misses with a headbutt. Michaels hits an Irish whip and goes up to the top himself but Bulldog dropkicks him then hits a superplex. Little bit sloppy that one. Two count for the Bulldog. Challenger props champion on the top rope but Michaels reverses what Bulldog tried into a cross body for a two count. Both men up and both men collide into one another.
Both men get back up and Bulldog powerbombs Michaels right back down. But Michaels reverses an Irish whip and Bulldog goes head over heels into the corner. Michaels hits his forearm and nips back up, powerslamming Bulldog but knocking the referee down as he does! Michaels then comes off the top with his flying elbow. He sets up for Sweet Chin Music and nails Bulldog with it (but clearly misses) then pins Bulldog. Perfect gets in the ring and both referees count 2 but Owen Hart pulls Perfect out and Hebner counts 3! Shawn Michaels wins the match and retains the title! Owen Hart then gets involved and attacks Shawn Michaels. It’s two one one until Ahmed Johnson runs down and helps out Michaels. But here comes Vader now and Camp Cornette pick apart Ahmed Johnson and Shawn Michaels. But as Vader goes to crush Michaels down comes The Ultimate Warrior! Warrior, Michaels and Johnson stand tall in the ring.
McMahon makes an announcement now that at the next PPV, International Incident Michaels, Warrior and Johnson will go up against Vader, Bulldog and Owen Hart. We go backstage to Jim Ross with Camp Cornette. Jim Cornette defends the actions of his men then Owen Hart says that he was helping Mr Perfect. Cornette says Hebner shouldn’t even have been there in the first place. Bulldog says that he is the better man and he has his friends. Owen Hart says we have a great cast. Haha. Cornette then says that Vader would eat Ross alive if he wasn’t on a low fat diet.
And that was the fourth annual King Of The Ring pay per view. It didn’t follow the last three in that we didn’t get the quater finals, semi finals and final of the tournament, it was just the semi finals and final. It seemed like there was less focus on the King Of The Ring tournament itself as a result. It was quite an unpredictable tournament though with Marc Mero and Vader looking like the favourites but both men losing their semi final matches. Both matches involving Jake Roberts were pretty awful. They were short and generally features Roberts getting a beating. Steve Austin and Marc Mero’s opening contest was more entertaining and actually a decent match between the two. This gives Austin a decent push and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here. I can sense a Steve Austin/Ahmed Johnson feud in the future.
The main event speaks for itself with Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog putting on a decent match which was different to their previous contest. Michaels wins fairly cleanly but we have a 6 man tag set up for the next PPV, International Incident. I think that’ll lead on to a Shawn Michaels/Vader feud as the big man is definitely the top hell on the roster right now. Ahmed Johnson beat Goldust for the Intercontinental title which will help freshen up that belt. I liked Goldusts reign but he’s the sort of character that doesn’t need the title. He’s done a decent job with it on his 5 month reign though,maybe he’ll fit into the upper card now.
The Smoking Gunns retained their title against The Godwinns. The Gunns seem to have turned heel now and have Sunny in their corner. The tag team division only really contains these two teams, The Bodydonnas and The New Rockers. Three heel teams and The Godwinns. Jerry Lawler and Ultimate Warriors match was a typical Warrior squash and didn’t serve a lot of purpose. In fact, none of his matches have lasted long since he returned. His matches with Randy Savage and Rick Rude are a thing of the past now. The other match between Mankind and Undertaker was really good fun although I’m not entirely sure what the rules were. With Mankind winning, the feud between the two is far from over.
This was a decent King Of The Ring PPV but to be honest I’d much rather have seen an all night tournament like we have seen in the past, it makes the KOTR stand out from other PPVs. We’re definitely in a new era with the likes of Steve Austin, Mankind and Marc Mero replacing Diesel, Razor Ramon and The 123 Kid. This was the first KOTR PPV not to feature Bret Hart, Bam Bam Bigelow, I.R.S, Tatanka & Yokozuna.
Overall Rating: 54.3/100 (Ranked joint 23rd out of 57)
Match Of The Night: Mankind vs. The Undertaker
Worst Match Of The Night: Jake Roberts vs. Vader
Surprise Of The Night: Steve Austin wins KOTR
Worst Booking Of The Night: Jake Roberts
Wrestler Of The Night: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
KOTR 96 Will Be Remembered For: Austin 3:16 just says I whooped your ass
One thought on “King Of The Ring 96”
This was head and shoulders better than the 1995 KOTR, with great matches, great psychology, and Austin and Foley making their first mark.
The roster was slowly fleshing out the losers. Looking at the main eventers in 1995 and the main eventers in 1996, we could see a huge difference in quality. The midcard division was also cooking with gas, as the fresh personalities on both babyface and heel sides really brought an exciting dynamic to the WWF.
Also, on the Free for All, the Bodydonnas (with Cloudy) defeated the New Rockers in a surprisingly good match when Zip pinned Leif Cassidy a.k.a. Al Snow after Cloudy got in the ring and kissed Cassidy.