Across the pond: The history of United Kingdom-exclusive pay-per-view events

One Night Only: Sept. 20, 1997

WWE’s first foray into exclusive pay-per-view broadcasting occurred during late 1997’s transition into The Attitude Era. In fact, One Night Only is notable for being the final show to feature WWE’s cherished color scheme of royal blue ring fashioning and red, white and blue ropes. Seen in both Canada and Europe, One Night Only was said to be held back from American audiences due to WWE Champion Bret Hart’s disdain for United States fans.

In front of 11,000 Brits at Birmingham, England’s NEC Arena — now the LG Arena — fans witnessed The Undertaker challenge “Hit Man” for the WWE Championship. Bret had defeated The Phenom for the title at the previous month’s SummerSlam, and this occasion marked the first time on television The Undertaker was able to get his hands on The Excellence of Execution  since losing the WWE Championship.

The night’s second main event saw Shawn Michaels controversially defeat local hero The British Bulldog for the European Title with Davey Boy’s family looking on at ringside. HBK’s D-Generation X cronies and Bulldog’s Hart Foundation allies all interfered in the matchup, which was the only time the European Title was defended in a pay-per-view main event.