“Stone Cold” Steve Austin wins the Intercontinental Championship from Owen Hart at SummerSlam ‘97: August 3, 1997
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s first Intercontinental Championship victory was marred by an accident. Owen Hart delivered a sit-down piledriver that temporarily paralyzed the Rattlesnake. Austin managed to school boy the King of Harts — just barely — for the win. WWE.com still ranked the match among SummerSlam’s 25 best (No. 19), lauding the technical display from Austin and Hart. I can’t get over the move that nearly ended Austin’s career. In an alternate reality, there never would have been an Attitude Era (or, at least, the Austin-McMahon feud). Luckily for us — and Austin — he overcame the injury.
The main event saw WWF Champion the Undertaker take on Bret “Hitman” Hart, with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee (ranked 12th in SummerSlam history). The Canadian hero vowed to never wrestle in the United States again if he lost the match. Michaels also made the pact, swearing he’d be an impartial referee. However, the bad blood between the Hitman and the Heartbreak Kid boiled over during the match and the Deadman was just an innocent bystander caught in the middle.
Hart spit on Michaels, who swung a steel chair at the Excellence of Execution. Hart ducked in time for the Showstopper to brain the Undertaker. Hart covered the leveled Phenom for the win, leaving New Jersey with the WWF Championship and his career intact.
Also on the card:
“Mankind” Mick Foley paid homage to “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, leaping off the top of a steel cage onto Triple H. Unlike the Superfly, Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy picked up the win.
Goldust defeated Brian Pillman.
Ken Shamrock lost by disqualification to the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith.
The Road Warriors beat the Godwinns.
Los Boricuas defeated the Disciples of Apocalypse.