7 Things You Should Know About WWE Royal Rumble 1997

2. It Was The Most Controversial Finish In Royal Rumble History

Prior to 1997, the most controversial finish in Rumble history was 1994 when Bret Hart and Lex Luger tied when their feet touched the floor at the same time. That was nothing compared to what happened in the Alamadome. It was hard to tell who was going to win. Guys like Hart, Undertaker and maybe Austin were considered the favorites for the match. They lasted until the end. It was a brilliant ending because of everything going on. Executing the plan likely wasn't easy. The finishing sequence started when The Undertaker eliminated Mankind, who started brawling with Terry Funk on the floor. That was key because that's where the refs were. Seconds later, Bret threw out Austin to a big pop. The refs didn't see it because they were breaking up the fight. Austin snuck back in the ring and he dumped Vader and Undertaker out. Bret eliminated fake Diesel (Kane). Austin went over to Bret and dumped him out of the ring for the win. The refs finally settled the fight during all of that and raised Austin's hand as the winner of the match. When it was over, Bret was angry about it. He told the refs that he eliminated Austin and then yelled at Vince McMahon about it. This was around that period of time when they finally started acknowledging that Vince was the owner of WWE. Vince ripped Bret on commentary: "Talk about unsportsmanlike conduct." It was a brilliant angle that was done to start Bret's heel turn as a whiner while also setting up the Final Four match at the February PPV with Hart, Austin, Vader and Undertaker to determine the number one contender to the WWE Title. Things changed before the next PPV thanks to the WWE Champion losing his smile as he put it, but that was the plan at the time. The reason it was such a good angle is that it made people want to tune in the next night to see what would happen next.

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