When Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings heard about DVDs, first introduced in the United States on March 24, 1997, they tested the concept of selling or renting DVDs by mail by mailing a compact disc to Hastings' house in Santa Cruz. When the disc arrived intact, they decided to take on the $16 billion home-video sales and rental industry.
Johnson defeated Bret Hart by disqualification in a title defense on the March 31, 1997, episode of Raw is War. Behind the scenes, Hart mentored Johnson for his first year in WWF and refused to be booked to take the title from him
On April 20, 1997, at In Your House 14: Revenge of the 'Taker, he lost to Savio Vega by countout but retained the title. Audiences became increasingly hostile toward Maivia, with chants of "die, Rocky, die" and "Rocky sucks" being heard during his matches.
The Lakers won 56 games during the 1996–97 season. O'Neal averaged 26.2 points and 12.5 rebounds in his first season with Los Angeles; however, he again missed over 30 games due to injury. The Lakers made the playoffs, but were eliminated in the second round by the Utah Jazz in five games.
Barnes & Noble sued Amazon on May 12, 1997, alleging that Amazon's claim to be "the world's largest bookstore" was false because it "...isn't a bookstore at all. It's a book broker." The suit was later settled out of court and Amazon continued to make the same claim.
On July 23, 1997, Jewell sued the New York Post for $15 million in damages, contending that the paper portrayed him in articles, photographs and an editorial cartoon as an "aberrant" person with a "bizarre employment history" who was probably guilty of the bombing.
Netflix launched as the world's first online DVD-rental store, with only 30 employees and 925 titles available - almost the entire catalogue of DVDs at the time, using the pay-per-rent model, with rates and due dates similar to those of its brick-and-mortar competitor, Blockbuster.
Eminem went to Los Angeles to compete in the 1997 Rap Olympics, an annual, nationwide battle rap competition. He placed second, and Interscope Records staff in attendance sent a copy of the Slim Shady EP to company CEO Jimmy Iovine.
Many of his later roles were in comedies tinged with pathos. His roles in comedy and dramatic films garnered Williams an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (for his role as a psychologist in Good Will Hunting (1997)), as well as two previous Academy Award nominations (for playing an English teacher in Dead Poets Society (1989)), and for playing a troubled homeless man in The Fisher King (1991). In 1991, he played an adult Peter Pan in the film Hook, although he had said that he would have to lose twenty-five pounds for the role.
At D-Generation X: In Your House, Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated The Rock in under six minutes to retain the Intercontinental Championship. The next night on Raw Is War, Austin was ordered by Mr. McMahon to defend the title in a rematch, but forfeited it to The Rock instead, handing him the title belt before hitting him with the Stone Cold Stunner. The Rock feuded with Austin and Ken Shamrock through the end of 1997 and beginning of 1998.
Eminem attracted more attention when he developed Slim Shady, a sadistic, violent alter ego. The character allowed him to express his anger with lyrics about drugs, rape, and murder. In the spring of 1997 he recorded his debut EP, the Slim Shady EP, which was released that winter by Web Entertainment.