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King of the Ring (1996) Promotional poster featuring The Ultimate Warrior Tagline(s) To Battle Is Honor...to Win Is Hell! Information Promotion World Wrestling Federation Date June 23, 1996 Attendance 8,762 Venue MECCA Arena City Milwaukee, Wisconsin Pay-per-view chronology In Your House 8: Beware of Dog King of the Ring (1996) In Your House 9: International Incident King of the Ring chronology King of the Ring (1995) King of the Ring (1996) King of the Ring (1997) King of the Ring (1996) was the fourth King of the Ring professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The event took place on June 23, 1996 from the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The main event was a standard wrestling match for the WWF Championship. Shawn Michaels defeated British Bulldog to retain the title and Mr. Perfect served as the special guest enforcer. The undercard featured the 1996 King of the Ring tournament, won by Steve Austin.[1] Other matches on the undercard included a WWF Intercontinental Championship match between champion Goldust and challenger Ahmed Johnson, Mankind versus The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior versus Jerry Lawler and a WWF Tag Team Championship match between champions The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart) and challengers The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas).[1][2][3] The event has been cited by WWE as the starting point of the Attitude Era.[4] Contents 1 Background 2 Event 2.1 Preliminary matches 2.2 Main event matches 3 Aftermath 4 Results 4.1 Tournament brackets 5 References 6 External links Background King of the Ring featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on Raw—World Wrestling Federation's (WWF) television program. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.[5] The pay-per-view event featured the annual King of the Ring single elimination bracket tournament. The qualification for the tournament started on the May 27, 1996 edition of Raw, with Ultimate Warrior wrestling the WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust to a double count-out and Vader defeating Ahmed Johnson.[1][6] The qualification continued on June 2 edition of Superstars as Justin Bradshaw defeated Henry Godwinn.[1][7] On June 3 edition of Raw, Steve Austin and Jake Roberts qualified for the tournament by defeating Bob Holly and Hunter Hearst Helmsley respectively.[1][8] On June 9 edition of Superstars, Savio Vega defeated Marty Jannetty in a qualification match.[1][7] On June 10 edition of Raw, the qualification for the tournament ended as Marc Mero defeated Skip and Owen Hart defeated Yokozuna.[1][9] The first quarterfinal match of the tournament took place on June 16 edition of Superstars, with Jake Roberts defeating Justin Bradshaw.[1][7] On June 17 edition of Raw, Steve Austin defeated Savio Vega and Marc Mero defeated Owen Hart in the remaining quarterfinal matches.[1][10] Vader received a bye in the quarterfinals due to Ultimate Warrior and Goldust's qualifying match resulting in a double count-out.[1] The main rivalry heading into the event was between Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog over the WWF Championship. At In Your House 8, Michaels defended the title against Bulldog in a match that resulted in a no contest as both men's shoulders were down on the mat. Although the referee Earl Hebner awarded Michaels the victory, Bulldog's wife Diana Smith, brother-in-law Owen Hart and manager Jim Cornette handed Bulldog the belt. The on-screen WWF President Gorilla Monsoon declared the match a no contest.[11] On June 3 edition of Raw, Monsoon announced that Michaels would defend the title against Bulldog in a rematch at King of the Ring and allowed Camp Cornette to choose a special guest referee for the match.[8][9] On June 17 edition of Raw, Jim Cornette announced that Mr. Perfect would be the guest referee for the match.[10] Mick Foley wrestled The Undertaker as "Mankind" at King of the Ring. Another predominant feud heading into the event was between The Undertaker and Mankind. On April 1 edition of Raw, Mankind made his WWF debut and defeated Bob Holly. Later that night, Mankind attacked Undertaker during his match with Justin Bradshaw.[12] On May 13 edition of Raw, Vince McMahon conducted an in-ring interview segment with Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Mankind attacked Undertaker, who was distracted by Goldust and his valet Marlena.[13] At In Your House 8, Mankind helped Goldust in retaining the WWF Intercontinental Championship against Undertaker in a Casket match.[11] This led to a match between Undertaker and Mankind at King of the Ring. On May 27 edition of Raw, Ultimate Warrior wrestled the WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust to a double count-out in a King of the Ring qualifying match when Goldust tried to leave ringside and was attacked in the aisle by Warrior. After the match ended, Jerry Lawler tried to retrieve a director's chair for Goldust's valet Marlena but Warrior grabbed the chair and destroyed it.[6] Lawler had been critical of a comic book released by Ultimate Warrior and made statements about how he was a better artist than Warrior.[14] On June 10 edition of Raw, Lawler interviewed Warrior and apologized to him for costing him his qualifying match against Goldust and offered a portrait of Warrior as a present. Warrior rejected the apology and the present. Lawler smashed the portrait on Warrior's face and attacked him, leading to a match between the two at King of the Ring.[9] On May 27 edition of Raw, Ahmed Johnson got into an altercation with the WWF Intercontinental Champion Goldust in a backstage segment after losing a King of the Ring qualifying match to Vader.[6] On June 3 edition of Raw, WWF President Gorilla Monsoon announced that Goldust would defend the title against Johnson at King of the Ring.[8] At In Your House 8, The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart) defeated The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. As a result of Godwinns losing the titles, their valet Sunny became the manager of Gunns.[11] Due to the betrayal of Sunny, Godwinns continued their rivalry with Gunns, leading to a tag title match between the two teams at King of the Ring. Event Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip) wrestled The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy) in a match that aired live on Free for All. Bodydonnas won when Skip pinned Cassidy after Bodydonnas' manager Cloudy kissed Cassidy. The match was followed by a non-televised match in which Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Aldo Montoya. Preliminary matches Steve Austin won the 1996 King of the Ring tournament. As the event concluded, the semi-final round of the King of the Ring tournament started. The first semi-final match pitted Marc Mero against Steve Austin. During the match, Austin's mouth was badly injured after Mero applied a Sleeper Hold on Austin. Austin managed to escape the maneuver but received a Body Press. Mero whipped Austin through the ropes and backdropped Austin. Austin attacked Mero with a Boot in the corner and tried to throw Mero out of the ring but Mero tossed Austin outside the ring. Mero delivered a Plancha to Austin causing Austin to bleed from his mouth. Mero returned to the ring and hit a Suicide Dive on Austin. Mero tried to pin Austin after a Missile Dropkick but got a near-fall. Austin regained his momentum and tried to pin Mero after a Hotshot but Mero kicked out of it. Austin followed by hitting Mero a Three-Quarter Facelock Jawbreaker which Austin called Stunner to win the match. The next semi-final match was between Jake Roberts and Vader. Vader dominated Roberts with a Body Press and a Running Splash. Roberts booted Vader and hit a Swinging Knee Lift. Roberts tried to finish the match by attempting a DDT on Vader but Vader backed him into the corner and tried to hit a Short-arm Clothesline. Roberts countered and hit a Short-arm Clothesline of his own. Roberts ran through the ropes but Vader hit him with a Running Splash and tried to charge Roberts into the corner. Roberts avoided the charge and tried to hit a DDT on Vader but Vader used the referee as a human shield to prevent himself from getting a DDT. As a result of using the referee, Vader was disqualified. Vader assaulted Roberts after the match and injured him by hitting a Corner Slingshot Splash which he calls Vader Bomb.[1][2][3] In the next match, The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart) defended the WWF Tag Team Championship against The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas). Gunns got the earlier advantage in the match when Billy distracted Phineas and Bart attacked Phineas from behind. However, Godwinns got advantage and dominated most part of the match. In the closing moments of the match, Bart hit a Boot to Phineas, allowing Billy to pin Phineas with a roll-up.[2][3] The fourth match was between Ultimate Warrior and Jerry Lawler. Lawler brought a scepter to the ring during his entrance. As Warrior was making his entrance, Lawler started attacking Warrior with the scepter and used many dirty tactics to defeat Warrior. Lawler tried to finish the match with a Piledriver but Warrior did not sell and began dominating Lawler with a series of clotheslines. Warrior hit Lawler a Running Shoulder Block and pinned him to win the match.[2][3] The fifth match was between The Undertaker and Mankind. Undertaker started the match by attacking Mankind with a Flying Clothesline. Undertaker followed with an Arm Twist Ropewalk Chop, which he calls Old School. Mankind gained momentum by a Bodyslam. The action continued until it was carried onto outside. Mankind grabbed a chair to nail Undertaker with it but Undertaker kicked Mankind into the chair. Undertaker backdropped Mankind into the ring and the two returned to the ring. Undertaker's manager Paul Bearer distracted the referee, allowing Undertaker to attack Mankind with a chair. Undertaker followed by a Big Boot and tried to finish the match by attempting a Reverse Belly to Belly Piledriver, which he calls Tombstone Piledriver. Mankind slipped out of the move and hit a Swinging Neckbreaker. Mankind tried to finish Undertaker with a Mandible Claw but Undertaker blocked the move and was kicked by Mankind. The action returned to the floor where Mankind smashed his elbow on Undertaker against the steel steps. He tried to attack Undertaker with a Diving Elbow Drop through the apron but Undertaker blocked the move with the chair. Mankind returned to the ring and hit Undertaker a Piledriver. Mankind grabbed Undertaker's urn and tried to attack Undertaker with it but Bearer snatched the urn from Mankind. Mankind focused on Undertaker and applied a Mandible Claw on Undertaker. Bearer tried to hit Mankind with the urn but Mankind pulled Undertaker to prevent from being hit and Undertaker was hit with the urn. This allowed Mankind to apply another Mandible Claw on Undertaker. As a result, Mankind was awarded the victory by TKO.[2][3] Main event matches In the sixth match of the event, Goldust defended the WWF Intercontinental Championship against Ahmed Johnson. Johnson dominated most of the match. Goldust had nearly won the match after applying a Sleeper Hold, which he calls Good Night Sweet Charlotte but did not pin Johnson and tried to further assault him but Johnson countered and hit Goldust a Sitout Double Underhook Powerbomb, which he called Pearl River Plunge to win the match and the Intercontinental Championship.[2][3] Next was the final round match of the King of the Ring tournament pitting Steve Austin against Jake Roberts. The WWF President Gorilla Monsoon came to the ring before the match and offered Roberts to stop the match due to his rib injury suffered in his semifinal match against Vader. Roberts regrouped and refused to forfeit. He began attacking Austin and attempted to hit a DDT but Austin avoided the move and began focusing on Roberts' injured ribs. In the end of the match, Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner to win the match and the King of the Ring tournament.[1][2][3] After the match, Austin mocked Roberts' Bible-preacher gimmick during his coronation as King of the Ring by uttering a quote: “ You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass! ” —Steve Austin, King of the Ring 1996 – June 23, 1996 Shawn Michaels defended the WWF Championship against British Bulldog at King of the Ring. The main event featured Shawn Michaels defending the WWF Championship against British Bulldog. Mr. Perfect was scheduled to referee the match but WWF President Gorilla Monsoon ordered Perfect to be the outside referee of the match to make it fair and Earl Hebner was made the referee inside the ring. The match went back and forth with Bulldog's wife Diana Smith and manager Jim Cornette interfering on Bulldog's behalf on many occasions during the match. Bulldog's brother-in-law and teammate Owen Hart served as the guest commentator for the match. In the closing moments of the match, Michaels attempted to hit Bulldog a Hurricanrana but Bulldog countered it into a Sitout Powerbomb. Michaels regained his momentum and hit Bulldog a Flying Forearm Smash, a Diving Elbow Drop and a Superkick, which he called Sweet Chin Music and attempted to pin Bulldog. Hebner and Perfect both began counting the pinfall. Hart left the commentary table and pulled Perfect out of the ring to prevent him from counting the pin but Hebner counted to three, allowing Michaels to win the match and retain the WWF Championship. After the match, Bulldog and Hart attacked Michaels. Ahmed Johnson came to rescue Michaels until Bulldog and Hart's teammate Vader joined Bulldog and Hart to attack Michaels and Johnson. Ultimate Warrior came out to rescue Michaels and Johnson from Bulldog, Hart and Vader and this ended the show.[2][3] Aftermath Following the formation of an alliance of Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson and Ultimate Warrior after Michaels' match with British Bulldog at King of the Ring,[2] the three were scheduled to compete against Camp Cornette (British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Vader) at In Your House 9. However, after his match with Hart on July 8 edition of Raw, Warrior was released by his WWF contract due to missing several WWF events. As a result, Warrior was replaced by Sycho Sid as Michaels and Johnson's tag team partner.[15] At In Your House 9, Camp Cornette defeated Michaels, Johnson and Sid.[16] The Undertaker continued his rivalry with Mankind after King of the Ring. Mankind interfered in Undertaker's match with Goldust at In Your House 9, causing Goldust to get disqualified. After the match, Undertaker and Mankind brawled with each other and their fight reached the locker room.[16] This led to the first-ever Boiler Room Brawl between the two at SummerSlam which Mankind won after Undertaker's manager Paul Bearer turned on him and helped Mankind in winning the match.[17] After winning the 1996 King of the Ring tournament, Steve Austin quickly rose to stardom and his catchphrase "Austin 3:16" became the most popular catchphrase in professional wrestling history. Austin was pushed as a main eventer as he constantly challenged the inactive Bret Hart to a match. On October 21 edition of Raw, Hart returned to WWF and made his first WWF appearance since losing the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII.[18][19] Hart accepted Austin's challenge to a match and defeated Austin at Survivor Series.[18][20] Results # Results Stipulations Times Free For All The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip) (with Cloudy) defeated The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy)[2] Tag team match 08:06 Dark Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Aldo Montoya[3] Singles match 03:00 1 Steve Austin defeated Marc Mero (with Sable)[1][2][3] King of the Ring Semi-Final match 16:49 2 Jake Roberts defeated Vader by disqualification[1][2][3] King of the Ring Semi-Final match 03:34 3 The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart) (c) (with Sunny) defeated The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas)[2][3] Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship 10:10 4 Ultimate Warrior defeated Jerry Lawler[2][3] Singles match 03:50 5 Mankind defeated The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer)[2][3] Singles match 18:21 6 Ahmed Johnson defeated Goldust (c) (with Marlena)[2][3] Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship 15:34 7 Steve Austin defeated Jake Roberts[1][2][3] King of the Ring Final match 04:28 8 Shawn Michaels (c) (with Jose Lothario) defeated British Bulldog (with Jim Cornette and Diana Smith)[2][3] Singles match for the WWF Championship with Mr. Perfect as special outside enforcer 26:25 (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match Tournament brackets The tournament took place between May 27 and June 23, 1996 (the entire first two rounds were actually done on May 27 and 28, two of the three quarterfinal matches actually occurred before the first round was completed). The tournament brackets were:   First Round (TV) Quarterfinals (TV) Semifinals (PPV) Final (PPV)                                        Ahmed Johnson Pin    Vader 11:32      Vader          BYE      Goldust DCO  The Ultimate Warrior 15:20      Vader DQ      Jake Roberts 3:34    Hunter Hearst Helmsley Pin    Jake Roberts 9:34      Jake Roberts Pin      Justin Bradshaw 6:15    Justin Bradshaw Pin  Henry Godwinn 7:39      Jake Roberts Pin    Steve Austin 4:28  Steve Austin Sub    Bob Holly 9:34      Steve Austin Pin      Savio Vega 8:10    Marty Jannetty Pin  Savio Vega 7:25      Steve Austin Pin    Marc Mero 16:49    Marc Mero Pin    Skip 10:28      Marc Mero Pin      Owen Hart 9:43    Owen Hart Pin  Yokozuna 3:58   References ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "King of the Ring 1996 Tournament Brackets". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. May 27–June 23, 1996. http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/usa/wwf/kingtny2.html#96. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "King of the Ring 1996 Report". Powerdriver Review. http://pdrwrestling.com/?p=2328. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "King of the Ring 1996 results". Wrestling Supercards and Tournaments. June 23, 1996. http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/usa/wwf/kingring.html#96. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ "WWE Hall of Fame Inductees "Stone Cold" Steve Austin Biography". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/superstars/halloffame/inductees/stonecoldsteveaustin. Retrieved 2011-04-07.  ^ "Live & Televised Entertainment of World Wrestling Entertainment". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://corporate.wwe.com/company/events.jsp. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b c "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. May 27, 1996. Archived from the original on 2001-09-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20010904041727/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw052796. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b c "WWF Superstars Results 1996". The History of WWE. http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/superstars96.htm. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b c "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. June 3, 1996. Archived from the original on 2003-05-30. http://web.archive.org/web/20030530105941/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw060396. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b c "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. June 10, 1996. Archived from the original on 2003-05-30. http://web.archive.org/web/20030530110709/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw061096. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. June 17, 1996. Archived from the original on 2003-05-30. http://web.archive.org/web/20030530111018/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw061796. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ a b c "IYH: Beware of Dog Report". Powerdriver Review. http://pdrwrestling.com/?p=2046. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. April 1, 1996. Archived from the original on 2003-05-30. http://web.archive.org/web/20030530111000/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw040196. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. May 13, 1996. Archived from the original on 2003-05-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20030511061333/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw051396. Retrieved 2010-09-05.  ^ Lawler, Jerry (2002). It's Good to Be the King...Sometimes. Simon and Schuster. p. 298. ISBN 0743457676. http://books.google.com/books?id=Qv83yXvjPOkC&pg=PA298#v=onepage&q&f=false.  ^ "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. July 8, 1996. Archived from the original on 2001-09-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20010904034145/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw070896. Retrieved 2010-09-06.  ^ a b "In Your House IX: International Incident Report". Powerdriver Review. http://pdrwrestling.com/?p=2820. Retrieved 2010-09-06.  ^ "SummerSlam 1996 Report". Powerdriver Review. http://pdrwrestling.com/?p=2950. Retrieved 2010-09-06.  ^ a b "WWF Raw Report". The Other Arena. October 21, 1996. Archived from the original on 2001-07-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20010714000752/http://www.otherarena.com/htm/cgi-bin/history.cgi?1996/raw102196. Retrieved 2010-09-06.  ^ "Shawn Michaels vs. Bret "Hit Man" Hart–WWE Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. March 31, 1996. http://wwe.com/shows/wrestlemania/history/wm12/mainevent. Retrieved 2010-09-06.  ^ "Survivor Series 1996 official results". World Wrestling Entertainment. November 17, 1996. http://wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/history/1996/results. Retrieved 2010-09-06.  External links King of the Ring 1996 at Online World of Wrestling WWF King of the Ring 1996 at Complete WWE v · d · eWWE pay-per-view events King of the Ring 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 Current Royal Rumble · Elimination Chamber · WrestleMania · Extreme Rules · Over the Limit · Capitol Punishment · Money in the Bank · SummerSlam · Night of Champions · Hell in a Cell · Vengeance · Survivor Series · TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Former The Wrestling Classic (1985) · No Holds Barred (1989) · This Tuesday in Texas (1991) · One Night Only (1997) · Capital Carnage (1998) · In Your House (1995–1999) · Over the Edge (1998–1999) · Fully Loaded (1998–2000) · Invasion (2001) · King of the Ring (1993–2002) · Rebellion (1999–2002) · Insurrextion (2000–2003) · Bad Blood (1997, 2003–2004) · December to Dismember (2006) · New Year's Revolution (2005–2007) · Unforgiven (1998–2008) · No Mercy (1999–2008) · Cyber Sunday (2004–2008) · Armageddon (1999–2000, 2002–2008) · No Way Out (1998, 2000–2009) · Backlash (1999-2009)  · Judgment Day (1998, 2000-2009)  · One Night Stand (2005–2009) · The Great American Bash (2004-2009)  · Breaking Point (2009)  · Bragging Rights (2009-2010)  · Fatal 4-Way (2010)