Hey Scott, the Summerfest '96 countdown post got me thinking, any idea what the plan was going forward if HBK hadn't put the kibosh on Vader's win? Was Vader supposed to take Sid's role and carry the strap until dropping it back to Shawn the Rumble? Or would the Survivor Series main event have been Sid vs Vader, with Sid going over at MSG and then losing it to Shawn at the Rumble like actually happened? I ask because the second scenario seems like a lot of hotshotting the title around for that era, and I was always under the impression that Sid going over Shawn was something of an audible based on the profoundly negative reaction babyface champ HBK was getting (I was at MSG for that, and the broadcast doesn't do justice to how pro-Sid – or more accurately, anti-Shawn – the crowd was). Either way I think 1997 WWF would have been an even more interesting place if Vader had gotten a reign in 96 and been a stronger main event presence. Oh well.
The original plan was Vader winning at Summerslam and then doing the feud with Sid through Survivor Series, and then whoever had the belt at Royal Rumble was dropping it to Shawn. As noted before, the name of the December PPV was set as "It's Time" months in advance, which would have indicated Vader's involvement. I forget what Shawn was supposed to be doing, probably feuding with Bret Hart or something like that.