King of the Ring 1996 was an interesting time for WWE. Bret Hart was on hiatus for the first time in a decade and Stone Cold was about to step up and break through his glass ceiling. The Ultimate Warrior was being briefly featured, although he would soon depart too for a final time before he would return when Vince killed him.
Speaking of people Vince killed, Owen Hart opens the show entering to the ring to join the commentary team, in King Jerry Lawler’s absence. Lawler will be facing the Ultimate Warrior tonight!
Stone Cold Steve Austin is the first competitor out. He faces Marc Mero. Owen Hart calls Sable “homely” LOL. Owen is GREAT on commentary. He makes me laugh several times in this match. Calls Jake Roberts “in his 50s or 60s.” Probably in meth years. The Wildman, in the middle of his biggest push, puts on a good performance. He even kicks Austin in the mouth because he’s a botch-machine. Austin wins with a Stone Cold Stunner.
Jake Roberts talks about the blood of the lamb and some other bullshit. He comes out to face Vader. Jake hits the DDT on Vader but Vader pulls the ref down and gets DQed. He beats up Jake The Snake. Owen Hart is killing it on commentary!
The Godwins come out with some damned animals. I hope they’re not facing the Smoking Guns again. It is. I hate this feud. Who cares.
King is out next!!! Yes! He tells McMahon to shut up! He says he saw a guy getting a drink of water in the bathroom earlier! LOL. Some of the best trolling ever. He tells a fat lady she made one too many trips to Burger King and she flips him off and says “Fuck you” on camera! He asks if when she’s blue, do people try to mail envelopes in her? He says girls like “these two” turn men into people like Goldust. I met Jerry Lawler around this time as a little kid, at a softball game, and told him I loved it when he hit Ultimate Warrior with that painting. He said “Yeah he’s a goof!” I was basically like his son. HA. Fucking WIGGLIN. WARRIOR comes out and has his shitty comic book logo on his robe. It blew. King whups him. Warrior somehow wins and acts like a dummy with the crown. Vince cackles.
Gorilla Monsoon says “torn intercostal cartilage.” Jake will wrestle.
Mankind vs Undertaker in their first match is next! This match really helps establish Mankind as a threat. I don’t know why but I’m really loving Owen on commentary. He NEVER did commentary and sounded excellent. Better than Art Donovan, or O’Donnoll as Monsoon called him. Thanks to Paul Bearer, Mankind wins!!
Goldust is out next to defend the IC belt against Ahmed Johnson. Ahmed is so angry, he charges out knocking people over on the way out. He wasn’t too angry not to put his baby oil on before the match, though. Or to fuck Sunny so she could score drugs. That occurred. The jist of this match is Ahmed is out of control because Goldust gave him “CPR.” He really just kissed him. Goldust does it again and Ahmed snaps. He wins the IC title. Rob Zombie looking fan just stares like he doesn’t approve.
Brian Pillman comes out! He’s a different level of heel and had he not passed away. He calls JR a stupid son of a bitch! He actually cussed before Stone Cold. Vince apologizes for his remarks. Owen says “I don’t apologize for anything.”
Stone Cold faces Stone OLD next. Austin vs Roberts for the King of the Ring. Austin is vicious and it’s great. Monsoon interrupts the match and Jake gets a breather (as opposed to a breathalyzer). Austin wins anyway!! He delivers the Austin 3:16 speech that completely launched his career.
We see that the sponsor is SEGA SATURN.
Mr. Perfect is the referee for our main event. British Bulldog is out first with his wife, Diana. She is dressed like a wedding cake. HBK comes out and Monsoon does too. He announced that Perfect will be OUTSIDE OF THE RING! Perfect and Shawn talk and almost Perfect holds back laughter. Way to ruin the whole show man IT WAS STILL REAL TO ME GODDAMMIT.
The bell rings and here we go. Fans chant USA and Owen, playing heel, says the fans are chanting “UK.” Vince falls for it!! I think I just accidentally bit a fly while opening mouth randomly. Shawn and Bulldog botch a spot and just stand in front of each other for a second when Shawn calls for a press slam. Owen says “Jose Estrada” needs to go back to Tijuana. The “gold dust” sticks to their bodies the whole match. I always hated that, and I think Vince did too because they started dropping it in the audience. Bulldog slips off the top rope!! Man this match is shit for the first 2/3rds. They pick up the steam toward the end. Bulldog flings Michaels during a superplex like I’ve never seen. Bulldog takes his bump into the corner where he flips. Michaels misses the fuck out of the super kick and almost looks like he considers not pinning Bulldog. He does, though, and wins. Owen pulls Perfect out but the other ref finishes the count. Weird.
Then, they do the set-up for the In Your House show next month. Owen attacks Shawn, Ahmed makes the save but Vader shows up. The Warrior makes the big save and HBK, Ahmed and Warrior hold hands to Sexy Boy. What a weird King of the Ring.