Hey Scott,Was just looking at the KOTR 1997 Brackets on Wikipedia when I saw that HHH has originally lost his qualifying match against Ahmed Johnson via DQ but...
Helmsley was allowed another spot in the tournament because he was not properly instructed prior to his match with Ahmed Johnson the previous week that he could be eliminated via disqualification and thus threatened the WWF with legal action; Vader was originally in this spot but sustained a broken nose after his No Holds Barred match with Ken Shamrock at In Your House: A Cold Day in Hell on May 11. This gave Helmsley the opportunity to fill in the vacant space and face Crush. Vader fought Ahmed on the May 26 episode of Raw Is War for his spot, but lost.
Obviously, there is a fair amount of kayfabing going out with the lawsuit but I'm wondering: Was HHH always slated to win the KOTR that year? I ask because this was around the time Vader did the Kuwait interview and basically went downhill from there. Was Vader supposed to win KOTR but screwed himself out of the position (Ironic, obviously, considering what happened to HHH in 1996). Or was this just a situation where they were always going to push HHH to KOTR and were just waiting until after his punishment was over? Or was it something else?
I don't recall hearing anything wacky at the time. Like, as far as I can recall, he was always getting the rocket push whether we liked it or not. Vader was kind of on the outs by that point anyway.