WWF One Night Only

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WWF One Night Only
Promotional poster featuring various WWF wrestlers
PromotionWorld Wrestling Federation
DateSeptember 20, 1997
CityBirmingham, England
VenueNEC Arena
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WWF One Night Only was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) and aired exclusively in Canada and the United Kingdom. It took place on September 20, 1997, at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England. The event featured eight matches, with two main events. In the first main event, The Undertaker challenged Bret Hart for the WWF Championship where Hart retained. In the second main event match, which closed the show, Shawn Michaels defeated The British Bulldog to win the WWF European Championship.



In 1997, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) scheduled a United Kingdom pay-per-view titled One Night Only. It took place on September 20, 1997, at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England and was a one-off event.[1] It aired exclusively in Canada and the United Kingdom.


One Night Only featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines that were played out on Raw Is War and other World Wrestling Federation (WWF) television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches.[2]

The event featured eight matches, with two main events. In the first main event, The Undertaker challenged Bret Hart for the WWF Championship in a rematch from the previous month's SummerSlam event, where the Undertaker had lost the title from interference from special guest referee Shawn Michaels. This bout was not featured on the promotional poster for the event, which Hart resented and attributed to the backstage politics of Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley; he said The Undertaker was similarly bemused by the omission[3] (the match was also inexplicably removed from the North American VHS release, but included on the British VHS release and on the later DVD release on both sides of the Atlantic). To close the show, Michaels challenged The British Bulldog for the WWF European Championship, as part of his ongoing feud with The Hart Foundation. The WWF Tag Team Championship was also defended on the card, with Los Boricuas members Savio Vega and Miguel Pérez, Jr. challenging champions, The Headbangers.

The event was available on pay-per-view in Canada and Europe, but not in the United States: the storyline reason for this was that WWF Champion Bret Hart – then employing an Anti-American gimmick – had used a clause in his contract to block the event from being shown live in the US. It was subsequently released on home video there. In contrast to his hated heel status in the US, Bret Hart got mostly cheers from the British crowd in Birmingham, although his opponent The Undertaker got even more cheers. The British Bulldog got the biggest cheers of the night, while his opponent Shawn Michaels got the most of the boos and heel heat, especially after Michaels taunted the British crowd following the main event ending in controversial fashion.


Fin Martin of professional wrestling magazine Power Slam described One Night Only as "a sensation", adding: "the card remains the WWF/WWE's best ever in-ring presentation on [UK] shores. The fireworks were provided by the last three matches, all of which were superb." He described Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker as "an epic encounter (over 28 minutes), which was the last truly great match of 'The Hitman's' career", and credited Michaels for having given "the heel performance of the year."[4]

The WWF sold a full 11,000 tickets for the event.[1][5] With restricted availability, the event, nonetheless, generated a 0.05 buy rate, equating to approximately 20,000 buys.[6]


1Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna) defeated Dude LoveSingles match12:51
2Tiger Ali Singh (with Tiger Jeet Singh) defeated Leif CassidySingles match4:06
3The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) (c) defeated Los Boricuas (Miguel Pérez Jr. and Savio Vega)Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship13:34
4The Patriot defeated Flash FunkSingles match8:47
5The Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) defeated The Godwinns (Henry O. Godwinn and Phineas I. Godwinn)Tag team match10:42
6Vader defeated Owen HartSingles match12:14
7Bret Hart (c) defeated The Undertaker by disqualificationSingles match for the WWF Championship28:34
8Shawn Michaels (with Chyna, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and Rick Rude) defeated The British Bulldog (c) (with Diana Hart-Smith) by technical submissionSingles match for the WWF European Championship22:53
(c) – the champion(s) heading into the match

Other on-screen talent[edit]

Ring announcer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "One Night Only". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Live & Televised Entertainment of World Wrestling Entertainment". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 18 February 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  3. ^ "An Evening With Bret Hart". Revolution Pro Wrestling. Walkabout Temple, London. 18 October 2013. "There was a lot of things that Shawn and Triple H were doing behind my back in those days...When I got to the dressing room with Undertaker, we both looked at each other and said: 'I can't believe how they're killing our match'." "When you rented the pay-per-view that match was deleted, which always drove me mad."
  4. ^ Martin, Fin. "The Complete History of Wrestling On Pay-Per-View". Power Slam. Issue 223/March 2013. p. 16/17.
  5. ^ WWF One Night Only (VHS). Birmingham, England: Coliseum Video. 1997.
  6. ^ WWF Pay-Per-View Buy rates. Archived at DXpresso.
  7. ^ "WWF One Night Only « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 March 2018.