Revisiting Sgt. Slaughter's Failed 1997 Return To WWE

Sgt. Slaughter may well be remembered as one of the greatest professional wrestling characters of the '80s and '90s, but his Attitude Era return to the WWF may also be remembered as one of the most unfortunate runs in history.

Slaughter, whose real name is Robert Remus, was an enormous star for Vince McMahon's WWF promotion throughout his first two runs with the company. In the WWF, Slaughter rose as a star by feuding with Bob Backlund for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. He later took off in meteoric proportions by embracing his America-loving military persona and feuding with the Iron Sheik –- one of the most memorable head-to-head rivalries in pro wrestling history.

Ultimately, Slaughter was able to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at the 1991 Royal Rumble pay-per-view event by defeating The Ultimate Warrior. Though he soon lost the title to Hulk Hogan at that year's WrestleMania VII, the title run cemented Slaughter's legacy in the WWF –- a legacy soon to be walked all over when he returned to the company in 1997.

Slaughter becomes D-Generation X's 'punching bag'

After losing his title to Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter continued to wrestle for the WWF until leaving a second time in 1994. Then, just as the Attitude Era began to take off in 1997, Vince McMahon brought Slaughter back into the fold as an authority figure, becoming a hilarious but embarrassing foil to the company's most ludicrous stars.

Slaughter's 1997 run primarily saw him trying to wrangle with D-Generation X at the height of their popularity in the role of commissioner of "Monday Night Raw." In response, the raucous faction led by Triple H and Shawn Michaels called Slaughter "Sgt. Slobber" and teased him weekly.

Eventually, Slaughter sought to get back at D-Generation X by placing Triple H and Michaels in a title match against one another for Michaels' WWF European Championship. In the end, Michaels laid down on the mat and let Triple H pin him, keeping the title in the D-Generation X family without toiling over it.

"That was to put egg on my face as I was out there at ringside watching it," Slaughter remembered in an interview with Inside the Ropes magazine. "I was their punching bag."

Slaughter would go on to hand over his commissioner title to Michaels in 1998. He later made several one-off appearances in the '00s and was last seen in WWE on the "Legends Night" episode of "Raw" in January 2021.