Throwback Thursday: SummerSlam 1997 - Stone Cold Steve Austin Breaks His Neck

Twenty years ago today, the then-WWF held SummerSlam from the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The main event saw Bret Hart defeat the Undertaker for the WWF title thanks to an accidental chairshot from special referee Shawn Michaels.

That match would go on to begin the Undertaker/HBK feud that resulted in the creation of Hell in a Cell (which is where Kane debuted), plus Shawn Michaels forming DX. So it was kind of important.

It also featured a good steel cage match between Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley, which ended with Mick Foley turning into Dude Love.

Also Brian Pillman lost to Goldust, meaning he'd have to wear a dress, and the British Bulldog had to eat dog food after he lost to Ken Shamrock. Yes, every Hart Foundation match had a stipulation and those were the two that actually happened.

Of course, none of that is what the event will be known for.

Steve Austin was temporarily paralyzed by that move and he almost had to retire. His neck injuries would eventually force him out of wrestling at a relatively young age.

Imagine if Austin retired after that match? He'd never be WWF champion. We'd never get Austin versus McMahon or Austin versus Rock. Would WWF have been able to defeat WCW without Austin?

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