Rewriting 1994, Part 1 of 4: The Royal Rumble
1. Tatanka def. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon)
2. Tag Team Championship: The Quebecers (c) (w/ Johnny Polo) def. Bret Hart and Owen Hart
3. Intercontinental Championship: Razor Ramon (c) def. Irwin R. Schyster
4. WWE Championship Casket Match: Yokozuna (c) w/ (Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) def. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)
5. Bret Hart and Lex Luger co-won the Royal Rumble
Overall, this was not a bad Royal Rumble event, but I can't say enough how much I hate the concept of co-winners. It's like the old saying when a coach can't decide on a starting quarterback, "If you have more than one, you really have none." However, the way they booked it with Yokozuna having to defend twice did help pave the way for one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all-time in Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, but the thought of the WWE Championship even possibly changing hands twice in one night at WMX the same way it did at WMIX makes for a bad feeling in this fan's stomach. Here is how I would have rewritten the first big event of 1994.
Rewriting the 1994 Royal Rumble
1. The Bushwhackers vs. The Headshrinkers
Luke and Butch make a seldom ppv appearance here with the big 30-man battle royal coming up and my preference of not making guys pull double duty. Fatu and Samu make short work of them and remain high on the tag team pecking order.
2. Intercontinental Championship: Razor Ramon (c) vs. Irwin R. Schyster
Nothing I would change about this one. With IRS no longer one half of Money Inc, a midcard push would be in order. This one comes about when IRS steals Razor's gold chains and tries to take the rest of his gold in the form of the IC Title belt. Razor would have none of it however, finishing Schyster off with the Razor's Edge in a match filled with controversy, interference from Shawn Michaesl, and 2 referees.
3. Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. The Smoking Gunns
A battle of two teams of brothers here with mutual respect for one another as the Gunns challenge the Steiners for the tag team gold. Unfortunately, we wouldn't find out who the better team was thanks to The Quebecers, who decided if they weren't going to get a shot at the title, no one was. They would make their way to ringside and attack the Gunns, giving them the DQ win.
4. Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
This was a solid match that served its purpose for the most part and the only thing I would change is the finish. Bam Bam wins with the moonsault and a little help from Luna, getting revenge from Survivor Series this past November when Tatanka would get the better of him and be the last man standing. These 2 would find each other again in the Royal Rumble match, being the only 2 men to make a double appearance on the evening.
5. WWE Championship: Bret "Hitman" Hart (c) vs. "The Narcissist" Lex Luger
Finally Hart and Luger would meet here after being on a collision course seemingly forever. Bret having been a fighting champion, having many successful title defenses since winning the gold at WrestleMania IX, would take on the #1 contender who had yet to be pinned in his first year with WWE. Despite Luger going out of his way in promos to time and time again after Survivor Series to say that Bret Hart had been dodging him ever since his arrival in the WWE, Hart would not back down and granted him a title shot for the Royal Rumble.
In a terrific 20+ minute match, Luger would come within an eyelash of becoming new WWE Champion several times. In the end, Bret wouldn't be able to get Luger to submit to the Sharpshooter, but still would go on to retain the gold with a backslide pin. Now, to find out who he would defend against next at WrestleMania X.
6. Royal Rumble Match: Owen Hart wins by last eliminating Shawn Michaels
This is a no-brainer here, really. Bret is still the WWE Champion and I of course would never get rid of their matchup at WMX. But I would have liked to have seen it with the title on the line. Owen goes in still a babyface, wins from entry #17, outlasting other great performances from Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, Crush and Jeff Jarrett. And the big heel turn comes AFTER the Rumble match, when Bret comes out to congratulate his little brother. Owen takes exception to being congratulated, attacking Bret from behind after having his hand raised by his older brother and Bret's, not Owen's, music plays. Owen yells into the camera that Bret has never taken him seriously, he's always been the black sheep of the Hart family, and now he's gonna show the whole world that he's always been the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. WrestleMania X here we come.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment and/or post your changes to this card.
Next up, WrestleMania X.
That is a great way to launch a heel run for Owen Hart and have excellent booking plans for the company going forward in 1994 to combat a growing WCW.
Interesting booking of Owen's heel turn. It'd certainly be effective, given how you've built up Bret as champion at this point, but I'd be curious if you'd pull the trigger on heel Owen actually being champion.
You done went and did it now. You've taken my very first memory of wrestling and ruined it. The 94 Rumble was the very first wrestling event that I ever watched on TV. At first, I was bored and couldn't care less. I kept asking Dad why we had to sit and watch this. Then it happened, Yokozuna vs the Undertaker. When that gong sounded and the lights went out and 'Taker made that long walk to the ring with Paul Bearer in front of him pushing the casket and he raised the lights when he got there, I was mesmerized and hooked from that point on. I distinctly remember McMahon saying on commentary, "That is a Phenom!". Ever since then the Undertaker has been my favorite wrestler of all the times. You can't take away his match with Yokozuna where it took 10 guys to put him into the casket and shut it. You can't take away that eerie appearance he made on the titantron saying that he will never rest in peace. You can't take away Marty Jannety dressed as 'Taker ascending towards the heavens. That was the moment I became a professional wrestling fan.
This was, in my opinion, a generally well-booked Royal Rumble event throughout, with a decent Rumble match and a logical undercard. There's a few things I'm not mad keen on, but otherwise I think I would change very little here.
First off, I probably wouldn't bother with the Tatanka v Bigelow match given that Bigelow was a very short notice replacement for Ludwig Borga, who got injured just days before the ppv. I'd probably just make it a four match card, and extend the Rumble to 2 minutes between wrestlers as in previous editions.
The three title matches, I would keep exactly the same, but I would change the end to the WWF Title match. The booking of both mid card belts was perfect, serving to further two of WWE's biggest storylines at the time, and they achieved that succesfully. The WWF title match just descended into a farce, with it taking a dozen heels to beat the Undertaker, who then 'died', but it all counted for nothing as he returned in pretty much exactly the same spot as he was in; if you are making him look so dominant that it takes a dozen people to beat him, when he comes back he tears through the roster en route to the title; instead, Diesel got that push and 'Taker didn't get a look in to the world title picture for 2 years, until the Royal Rumble 1996. Having booked the Ramon v Michaels and Hart split feuds perfectly, they completely messed up here. By all means, still have outside interference, but I'd make it only a handful at best, and maybe even just Fuji and Crush.
Now the Royal Rumble match was really good IMO, and one of my favourite endings. Kudos to Luger and Bret for legitimately touching the floor at the same time (well, Luger's feet hit a fraction of a second earlier but it was hard to see conclusively); if you've been following my revisions, you will recall that Luger is still a heel for me, but has been strongly built, ready for a run at the top. This means that he didn't face Yokozuna in a One-shot deal, and in fact he announced his intention to enter the Rumble at Survivor Series. This in turn means there is no need for the Great Kabuki and Tenryu appearing as Fuji's mercenaries. They can easily be replaced with the Heavenly Bodies, though Jimmy Del Ray can take Owen Hart's number and this get quickly eliminated by Diesel, whilst Hart draws a later pick. I'd also not have a blank spot, so Bastion booger would appear. Everything else about the Rumble would remain the same, with Owen Hart taking Tenryu's spot as one of the final five
Where's Rewriting 1994, Part 2 of 4: Wrestlemania X? I love following along with your version of how things unfolded, even if I don't agree with them 100% of the time I love the thought you've put into it and it's a great way of reliving the era. So, thank you!
I tried posting it the other day, but had some trouble with the website when I was on my pc. I'll probably try again tomorrow or Friday.
1.Tag Team Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship
The Quebecers (C) def. Bret Hart and Owen Hart
3.Singles Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon (C) def. The 1-2-3 Kid.
4.Casket Match for the WWF Championship
Yokozuna (C) def. The Undertaker
5.The 1994 Thirty Man Over The Top Rope Royal Rumble Match
Lex Luger and Bret Hart co-won the 1994 Royal Rumble Match by last eliminating Owen Hart.
**Final Four: Lex Luger, Bret Hart, Owen Hart and Shawn Michales**
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