History of the Royal Rumble with KB

Discussion in 'Old School PPV/TV Reviews' started by klunderbunker, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    We have arrived at the last of the Big Four PPVs, the Royal Rumble. This is one of the true unique matches in wrestling as there isn’t another match like this. Yes it’s a battle royal, but it’s distinct from others are we have the time intervals. In case you’ve never seen one of these, the rules are simple. You have 30 men (twenty in the first one) in total with two starting it off.

    Every two minutes thereafter (with a few exceptions in some years) another person comes in. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. The last man standing wins, and beginning with the 1993 match, the winner received the world title shot at Wrestlemania, making this in a way something like the semifinals of a season with the finals being at Mania.

    As usual, this has a backstory attached to it involving Vince vs. Crockett. The NWA had a show called Bunkhouse Stampede, which was somehow worse than it sounds. Vince decided to give away a PPV level card (in his head at least) for free. The Royal Rumble was that show.

    In something that amuses me greatly, Vince would be PISSED when the NWA did the exact same thing on March 27, airing the first Clash of the Champions, which really was a PPV caliber show at the same time as Wrestlemania 4, which this is the buildup show for. Anyway, the series has produced some great moments, primarily due to the idea of the iron man record, which is how long people can last in the match.

    It’s something that’s just cool to think about while really having no significance at all. The record is over an hour by a few people but we’ll get to that later on. Other than that, it’s really just a great novelty act that only comes once a year and never gets old to me. That’s very hard to do, but it works. I have no idea how the reviews of these matches are going to go, but I’m looking forward to it. Let’s get to it.

    As always, I hope you guys call me out on anything you disagree with. Keep in mind that these are simply my thoughts as I watch the shows. I very well may be wrong about every opinion I have on them, so if you think I am, then bring it up. That’s what these are for at the end of the day: getting people talking, which I’ve done enough of now, so let’s get to…more of me talking.

    Royal Rumble 1988
    Date: January 24, 1988
    Location: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Attendance: 18,000
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura

    Here we go with the first ever Rumble. This wasn’t actually on PPV but rather a special on USA, similar to Saturday Night’s Main Event in a way. The idea was invented by Pat Patterson, and that’s about all there is to say on that aspect of it. Since this was a TV special, it only has four matches on it, which to be fair is the same amount on the first Survivor Series. The Rumble here has twenty men in it, most of which are midcard guys.

    There are two other things going on with this show other than the matches. First of all we have a contract signing for Hogan and Andre II, which took place two days after my birthday. Also, Dino Bravo is going to try to bench press 715lbs, which would be a world’s record. With all that said, let’s get to the first ever Royal Rumble, which certainly is a historic thing when you think about it.

    Vince and Jesse talk about the show, which sounds ok at best, but that doesn’t really mean a lot.

    Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat

    This was a great feud in WCW in about four years, but it never took off in the WWF for some reason. Ricky, not Rick mind you, would be gone very soon. He wanted time off to be with his newborn son, but it didn’t happen so he went to WCW and had some of the best matches of all time with Ric Flair. So Ricky and Rick are fighting here before Ricky leaves to go fight Ric. I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up.

    Rude just got here recently, so there’s very little known about him. I’ll never get tired of seeing Steamboat skin the cat. It just looks awesome every single time. Ventura always seemed like he had a man crush on Rude, which was just funny to me. There’s really no point to this match other than just having a match for the sake of having a match, which isn’t something I agree with but it’s fine I suppose.

    You have two great wrestlers so it means the match should be good. It’s classic 80s heel vs. face stuff, so what more do you want. That being said, this is fairly boring to start. It’s fine from a technical standpoint, but it’s a bit bland. Dragon’s armdrags help that out though, as I could watch him do those all day. Granted I’d be bored out of my mind doing so, but I could do it. Steamboat is really good at being able to keep the crowd into a very standard match.

    That’s a talent that very few people ever could have, and Steamboat is one of the best ever at it. I mean, he’s working on the arm of Rude, which is some of the most standard stuff you can do and he’s making it interesting looking at least. He’s doing mainly arm work and the crowd is reacting to it. That’s all you can ask for. During this first part of the match we keep hearing a woman’s voice over and over again.

    It’s not something that’s supposed to be there either. Jimmy Hart never managed Rude, at least not that I can remember, and Steamboat’s wife who occasionally came to the ring with him, so I have no clue who that is. However, once a camera swings around, we see that a woman has brought a bullhorn with her, more commonly known as a megaphone. Oh this is going to be a long match isn’t it?

    And now this is just getting boring. It’s going on way too long here and Steamboat just botched taking an elbow BADLY. I mean it looked horrid, which isn’t something I can ever remember saying about him. I want to hurt that woman with the megaphone. Oh look, it’s ANOTHER armbar, but the fans are cheering it to an extent. At least there’s some psychology being used and he’s adding in more stuff to the arm to switch it up a bit. That’s nice to see.

    Now if only the arm plays into the finish later on, we’ll have an actual story being told instead of just most of one which is what happens far more and far too often. Rude can’t pose because of the arm, and the woman thinks it’s just SO funny. The fans really do love Steamboat. They’re cheering wildly for simple punches and chops. That’s saying a lot. Rude goes to the really bad version of a camel clutch.

    It’s the kind where he just sits on Steamboat’s back and puts his hands on his face which is supposed to be effective somehow. Thankfully that lasts about ten seconds. Oh never mind it’s back on. Damn I can’t stand cock teases like that. Steamboat slaps the mat which would be considered a tap out today, but obviously this is way too early for that. Rude really wasn’t that good at this time in his career.

    He’s rather young and doesn’t have a lot of stuff in his arsenal and it’s rather boring. Somehow we’re discussing Vince putting his fingers up people’s nostrils. You can tell the announcers are rather bored at this point. This match is relying on rest holds such as this chin lock far too much. Yeah they’re actually still in it. At least with Steamboat he worked on the arm which makes sense.

    It takes away the Rude Awakening and while you can argue that the clutch takes away Steamboat’s movement, it’s just boring looking. Ricky (again, not Rick but Ricky) mixed up his offense and used strikes and holds on the arm to at least keep it moving. That’s a major perk if nothing else. To their credit, the crowd has stayed rather hot the whole time. They really did love Steamboat. DAMN that bridge was pretty from Dragon.

    They speed it up all of a sudden and now it’s good. Steamboat goes up for the cross body but Rude pulls the referee in the way of it. I’m not sure if Rude was using the Rude Awakening yet, as he gets Steamboat up in an Argentinean Body Vice, which is where you put a guy on your shoulder and pull down. Jesse says Steamboat just got a Rude Awakening, so there’s your finisher name.

    Rude would be with Heenan by the time Mania rolled around and would be somewhat better. He leaves celebrating but Vince gives away the DQ ending by mistake just before it happens. Nice going BOSS. Rude is a bit angry to say the least as we go to commercial. That’s just weird to say.

    Rating: C+. This was something that didn’t need nearly twenty minutes. The problem was in all the rest holds and Rude simply wasn’t ready for a seventeen minute match yet. Steamboat didn’t help things with the arm work, but to be fair Rude forgot about it maybe two minutes after he was done. The crowd was into it, but it was just barely ok. The ending sucked too.

    It’s time for the bench press attempt. Ventura talks about what we’re about to see while insulting Gene at the same time. Bravo, the Canadian, gets an interesting reception. We get a promo from his manager, Frenchy Martin. It’s in French naturally so I have no clue what he said and I can’t make fun of him. Since we only have four matches, we have time for a warm up of 415lbs first. Wait, Bravo wants it to be silent.

    I’ll give you two guesses as to how that goes. He does the 415 ten times as we set up another 90 to make it 505 as Frenchy talks some more. There’s no angle or comedy angle or anything like that going on here. Bravo is just lifting weights. The fans, shockingly, are booing. He speeds this set up a bit by only doing eight reps of it. Gene is despately trying to make this seem epic and is failing completely.

    We’re up to 555 now, and it’s just the same thing: Bravo wants the people to be quiet, he stalls, he lifts it, and more weight is added. What’s the point of this damn thing? Gene is trying to do like a commentary thing here and it’s dull to no end. Bravo can’t do it because there’s too much noise. Ventura waists more time by saying be quiet and Gene asks for silence. Bravo does about six reps here (they should all be red) and again asks for silence.

    This is just idiotic as we’re at about ten minutes. Yes, ten minutes is being wasted on this. Were there no jobbers available for people to squash? It’s 595 this time as Bravo hates noise. Wouldn’t the time here have been better spent in like, a match for Bravo? This is obviously supposed to be used to get him over but it’s not working. I’d assume it would work better with actual wrestling, but I don’t know enough about the finer points of the game I guess.

    Again, the same formula is used but this time we have another French promo. He does three reps as Gene says how awesome Bravo is. Who really thought this would be a good idea? Remember there’s no Titantron or anything, so the people can see a spotlight on something, but for the most part they can’t see a damn thing. We’re at 655 pounds now so at least we’re close to being done.

    I love also how there’s no judge or official to determine that this would be a record or anything like that also. The booing is ridiculous now so Ventura and Bravo bitch at McMahon, who allegedly was just a commentator at this time so that was odd. Hey he got 655 up! We’re over seventeen minutes now as Jesse says that this is unofficial because the bar will have to be weighed later. So wait, this might not count anyway? Give me a break guys.

    This is beyond moronic and has been from the start, but supposed someone hit their head and thinks this is interesting. We don’t even get to know the results until later on? WOW and you people wonder why people popped so huge for Hogan and Savage. They were the only interesting things on these shows. Again: be quiet. He lays down but gets back up once again demanding silence. Oh come on now. He’s walking away now and Martin is trying to calm him down.

    Jesse asks the people if they want to see a world record. Crowd: NO! Jesse ignores this of course. They waste a minute getting Bravo calmed down and we’re hopefully at the end of this. Jesse helps him do it by grabbing the bar. He would claim to have gotten it clean with Jesse saying he only put two pounds of finger pressure in it. This went on over twenty minutes, as in longer than the opening match. If anyone can explain the mindset of Vince for doing this, I’ll get you a ham sandwich.

    Women’s Tag Titles: Jumping Bomb Angels vs. Glamour Girls

    This is 2/3 falls. The Women’s Tag Titles did indeed exist. Much like he did with Moolah’s Title, Vince bought them from the NWA and gave them to the Glamour Girls who allegedly won them in Egypt. I think it was billed as a double main event and shown on a split screen with Patterson winning the Intercontinental Title in Rio. It happened damn it! Anyway, the Glamour Girls are old and annoying, but the Bomb Angles are freaking AWESOME.

    At Survivor Series when they kicked the asses of the Glamour Girls, Jesse said they were like watching Savage or Steamboat or Dynamite Kid and he couldn’t be more correct. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not a fan of women’s wrestling, but I’ve been looking forward to this match as I’ve never seen it, so you’ll be getting a legitimate fresh review here from me.

    More or less this is just housekeeping at this point, as everyone knows the Angels are winning here. I’m not going to try to spell the Angels’ last names properly time after time, but the Glamour Girls are Judy Martin and Lelani Kai. Only the Angels get entrances. These belts were defended maybe twice or so in the six and a half years they were around and no one noticed when they were retired.

    These two are like Lita vs. Moolah or something like that. For the sake of simplicity, the Angels will be named Red and Pink based on their attire. All four are wearing what would be described as one piece swimsuits for attire which aren’t flattering at all. Jesse and Vince are arguing about weightlifting and Jesse implies that Vince has never lifted one. That’s another of those moments that are ironic given what we know now.

    Vince doesn’t know the names of the Angels either. OH MY GOODNESS! Vince says for lack of anything better, let’s call one Pink and one Red. I called that first Vince! I don’t care if I wouldn’t be born for another ten days. That was MY idea. That’s either awesome or scary as I’m thinking the same way Vince does. The Angels are just flat out destroying the Glamour Girls here as they look about as worthless as Vince is on commentary.

    Damn man at least know the names of your talent. His excuse is he doesn’t speak Japanese. What difference does that make? If I walk into an Italian restaurant I can order spaghetti and I don’t speak Italian. It’s a word and you match it with a color. How hard is that?

    Pink using the split legged move that Jeff Hardy used a lot. The Angels remind me of the Hardys actually with their continuity. In a very cool spot, both have a leg of one of the Glamour Girls and pull on her as the other Girl pulls from the other side. The Angels win and the Glamour Girl that’s standing more or less winds up doing a headbutt onto her partner. It looked cool.

    The Angels are embarrassing the champions at this point as the Girls more or less can only do bare bones level stuff while the Angels, although a bit sloppy at times, are all over the place with varieties of offense that look very great. Like I said they’re not perfect, but DAMN they’re fun to watch. They’re not boring like most of the women wrestlers around this time period. It’s like the situation in the Winter Olympics a few years ago with the French judge.

    One of the teams did a very basic routine perfectly and the other team did a ridiculously hard routine nearly perfectly. As far as execution goes here, the Glamour Girls are likely better, but they’re nowhere near the level the Angels are at here. Jimmy Hart rubbing one of the Glamour Girls’ calves to get the circulation back into it is funny stuff. Oh I almost forgot: the woman with the bullhorn has had it taken away or has been told to stop using it THANK GOODNESS!

    The Girls win the first fall using a fairly cool looking move. Martin sets for a powerbomb but instead shoves Red over her head. Big Show used this for awhile which he called the Alley-Oop. We take a quick commercial break between falls and when we come back we ring the bell. I like that. All of a sudden Vince knows the name of the Pink Angel. Well thanks for getting it seven minutes into the match buddy.

    She goes for the same finishing move again after a big brawl but Red gets a sunset flip out of it instead to tie us up. We hit another commercial and upon returning we run down the Andre/Hogan contract signing and the Rumble very quickly before the bell rings. I’m most impressed here as the announcers actually talk about the match once the bell rings instead of hyping up the bigger stuff later on.

    That’s showing the girls respect which is something you rarely see in today’s product. When the Angels are on offense, this match is interesting. When the Girls are on offense, I want a sharp object to do bad things with. Ah there now it’s interesting again. The Angels hit a double dropkick from the top to win the belts in a cool looking finish. That was nice.

    On replay, Jesse is proven correct as he claims that when the Angel went for the cover she hooked the arm of Martin, raising it off the mat so there shouldn’t have been a pin. Vince says that since the shoulder blade was down it counts. I don’t know what to say to that.

    Rating: B-. I was expecting to be bored out of my mind here, but they carried this quite well in my eyes. It was fairly clear that these belts were a joke, but if nothing else they gave us something that we very rarely if ever get to see in this era, with that being a fast paced and well done women’s match. This was fun. It was sloppy, but fun.

    We hit the recap button on Hogan vs. Andre which I’m sure you all know. In case you’re brand new to wrestling (if you are you’ve picked a most interesting place to start), Hogan and Andre had the biggest match of all time at Wrestlemania 3 in front of 93,173 people, with Hogan successfully defending the title. At one point very early in the match though, Hogan tried to slam Andre but his back gave out and Andre landed on him.

    There was a lot of controversy to the count because Hogan literally couldn’t kick out and it looked like Andre had won in 15 seconds. That’s the driving force behind this rematch. McMahon says that he thinks the third mat slap was “the referee shoving himself up to signal that it was a two.” I get that Vince is the face commentator, but THAT’S the best he can come up with? No wonder he was on the verge of bankruptcy so often.

    Anyway, DiBiase came into the picture and tried to buy the belt, but Hogan wasn’t interested. Since Hogan said no, DiBiase paid Andre to take out Hogan. DiBiase was so great on the mic and in general it’s terrifying. How did he not get a short run with it? Depending on if you want to believe it, there’s a story out there that says he was supposed to, but due to Honky Tonk Man throwing a monkey wrench into things, that never happened.

    The full story of that is in my Mania 4 review if you’re interested, but in essence, the original plan called for DiBiase to hold the belt over the summer of 88, but it would have involved Savage beating Honky for the IC belt. He said no, so Savage got the world title four months ahead of schedule. Basically we recap the entire feud up to this point in a series of videos that take about seven minutes. This feels more like a show for people that are new to the company at this point, which is rather interesting.

    After another commercial, we’re in the ring and for some reason they ring the bell for this. I guess it was to get attention, but it was still odd. Gene says what this is for and introduces Hogan for the contract signing for this match which will take place a week from Friday. It was taking place on a live show on NBC on a Friday night. Live TV was a very new idea back then and being on prime time during the week was unheard of.

    You can tell it’s a very different wrestling world than it is now. Hogan is wearing jeans. That just looks odd. Jesse makes a great point that Hogan should be booed for coming out to Real American in Canada, but of course he’s worshipped even more. Gene mistakenly says that Andre weighs 425 which confuses Vince for a bit. Jack Tunney is here and gets a very mixed reaction (he was a big time promoter in Canada and had a lifetime job for selling to Vince.

    This same deal was in place for Monsoon who owned the Puerto Rico territory of all places) as he should. Andre just looks awesome in his suit where you can see the suspenders holding up his pants. It sounds stupid but for Andre it looks sweet. Heenan has sold his contract for a million dollars and then later in I think 1989 bought it back for a hundred grand. That’s a very sweet deal when you think about it.

    There’s a ton of mind games from Andre which has Hogan looking flat out scared. That’s something you hardly ever see. Hogan signs as DiBiase cuts a promo talking down to Hogan which is just awesome. Andre just stares at Hogan before signing which is scary as hell. Andre signs and then beats up Hogan of course, because it wouldn’t be wrestling without it. This was a new idea so the cliché isn’t there yet, making it much cooler.

    Buy Wrestlemania 4.

    We talk about the Rumble, which sounds really weak. There’s not a lot of huge names in it, which kind of hurt things. Let’s do it.

    Royal Rumble

    Bret Hart is #1 and Tito Santana is 2, so if nothing else we’re guaranteed a solid opening. This was the hot feud for the tag belts at the time, so I’m quite shocked that these are the two opening guys. Bear with me on this, as I have no idea how this is going to go. And we’re off. Vince is bitching about Andre and DiBiase’s conduct, saying that if Andre wins the title it’ll be a dark time for the company. I agree.

    Those 45 seconds were indeed hell comes to Stamford. Thankfully Jesse gets Vince talking about the match and mentions how ironic it is that these two are starting, which amuses me. Something I noticed here: Vince mentions that hopefully 3 will be one of Tito’s friends. This was a lot more of a standard battle royal as there’s no concept mentioned of every man for themselves.

    The idea of say Neidhart throwing out Bret would be a split of the team instead of just a regular thing in a battle royal. That’s very interesting. 3 is Butch “I was supposed to be a Horsemen” Reed. Tito hits the forearm just as Butch comes in to make it one on one again. Jesse says that Reed is virtually rested. Why wouldn’t he be all rested? Also if you’ve been resting, doesn’t it imply you had been doing something before? Why am I examining this?

    After about a minute and a half (the space between people always changed through the match. According to Wikipedia this match runs 33 minutes even. Now I’m bad at math, but with 19 different entrances considering that two start and two minutes between each, wouldn’t there be a minimum of 38 minutes, which would also assume that the last person out was eliminated more or less immediately and didn’t have to run to the ring) Neidhart is 4, making it three on one against Tito.

    Naturally just before Jim gets in, Bret and Butch mess up a double team spot which I think was going to be called the Convenient Plot Twist of Doom, but I could be wrong. The Harts kind of steal Demolition’s finisher to beat on Santana a bit more. Vince finally points out the idea that Reed could double cross them, but naturally he doesn’t.

    After about 75 seconds we have the fifth entrant of Jake Roberts who was rapidly becoming a huge name. He’s by far the biggest star in the match at this point and immediately eliminates Reed and then hammers on Neidhart. Jim would be his opponent at the infamous Heroes of Wrestling issue which I’m sure you’ve heard of.

    Jake and Tito clean house for a bit as it will never cease to amaze me how a guy can get a beating that would put most people in a hospital and be up fresh and fighting just seconds later. The crowd is WAY into this. The DDT doesn’t hit and the heels are in control again. Bret hits a piledriver on Tito as number six is Harley Race who needed to retire about five years prior to this.

    At seven we have Jim Brunzell as we’re in full on battle royal mode of very little happening. This is a white hot crowd which is helping the boredom a lot. All six guys try to get each other out in a big pile which is either very cool or very stupid. Sam Houston, Jake’s tiny and untalented brother in law is eighth. The commentary here has to be limited as it’s really just punching and kicking and a random attempt at an elimination that doesn’t do anything.

    That’s the nature of the beast though as you have to fill in a lot of time out there. We have seven people in the ring right now which is far too high of a number. As I type that, the Harts throw out Tito. Danny Davis is ninth. He was a referee turned wrestler and about as effective as Santino. Sam Houston beats him up if that tells you anything. Race gets caught in the slingshot position which is where he sits on the middle rope and gets punched down but his feet save him and bring him back in.

    I’ve always liked that one. More random punching follows. These fans REALLY want a DDT. Boris Zhukov is the tenth entrant and eighth currently in the ring. How are we already halfway done with this? He goes for Houston, which makes sense as he’s the tiny guy in the match, but it’s getting a bit repetitive. Race and Boris go at it, and the term every man for himself is first used on a Rumble broadcast. I love me some hot heel on heel action. It had to be said.

    Davis tries to get rid of Sam Houston to become mayor of Jobber Town USA, or would it be Jobber Town Canada in the Horowitz province? We start the second half with Don Muraco (incorrectly called #10 by Vince) and Nikolai Volkoff who run down at the same time. Uh oh we have an uninteresting problem here. Muraco hits him and climbs in, making that whole segment completely pointless.

    We have WAY too many people in there until Boris is eliminated to take us down to just eight in the ring. That’s still far too many people laying on the ropes and punching each other. I wonder if they ever get bored doing that for so long. Brunzell hits a sweet dropkick on Hart. That was nice. Apparently Nikolai will be 12th when we finally get to him.

    After Vince mentions that he has the list of all twenty names, more or less ending any feeling of suspense at least for me, Nikolai comes in, again making the time where he stood at ringside completely pointless. Race does his traditional back flip bump to be eliminated which always looks good.

    Jim Duggan comes out 13th to a MASSIVE pop. He and Roberts were likely the second and third biggest faces in the company at this point. He and Race have a short incident in the aisle which I guess is the setup for the hilarious fight they had at the Slammys. Find that show as it’s hilarious stuff all night long.

    There are WAY too many people in there with I think nine at this point and for some reason they’re all on one side of the ring. That looks very odd indeed. Ron “Don’t Call Me Lance” Bass comes in and I promise that’s the last of my Chris Berman moments. I can’t stand that guy. I like the way Duggan punches. It just looks cool. The ring is too full but Brunzell being thrown out helps a bit.

    Brian Blair is 15 to get us down to just five people to go. These fans sound like they’re heroin addicts given how much they want the DDT. After even more stalling and bad punching we have Hillbilly Jim at sixteen. He takes out Anvil in about four seconds to keep us at that ten person equilibrium. Dino Bravo gets us to 11 as number 17 which I think is a new record for most people in the match’s long standing twenty minute history.

    That’s the problem here. Considering the whole match is thirty three minutes, Bravo should be coming in at thirty two I believe, yet we’ve got three more to be entered. Bass gets rid of the twat waffle known as Sam Houston. The match becomes legal when some rookie that hasn’t done anything yet known as the Ultimate Warrior comes in. He’s a jobber killer at this point and barely even that high up.

    Bret finally goes out as I guess he couldn’t stand to be in there with someone as bad as Warrior. He was in there twenty five minutes which is the record at the time. About forty seconds after Warrior comes in we have One Man Gang who would win the Slammy for Best Group. He knocks out Roberts and Blair in about a minute to finally start clearing the ring up a bit. The final man comes out after about a minute and it’s the Junkyard Dog. Well that’s pretty anticlimactic.

    For the life of me I will never understand what was so great about this guy. He was supposed to be a big deal but I’ve always found him to be a complete waste of air. Anyway, this is the final field of about nine or ten so let’s do it. Yeah it’s ten. Vince shows off his brilliant wrestling mind by picking the Dog to win it. The 300lb Lithuanian Nikolai Volkoff is the first of the ten out thanks to Duggan.

    Gang backdrops Jim out to take up to eight. Gang is also the I think fourth person that Jesse says this is his type of match. We get it: brawlers should do well in this. Davis gets clotheslined out to finish eighth. Gang and Bravo eliminate Warrior about five seconds later with relative ease. Dog is out a bit later to take us to five. Bass’ elimination takes us down to four.

    I know that was just listing eliminations but they all came rather quickly with nothing at all between them. The final four are Gang, Bravo, Duggan and Muraco. The announcers pick the Gang for the win. Muraco beats up the Achilles enthusiasts while Duggan is down. Bravo holds Muraco up so Gang can clothesline him out, and naturally…it works. What? Of course it works.

    Those are finely trained professionals. Did you expect them to make a mistake or something like that? They try the same spot on Duggan and it fails to take us to Gang and Duggan as the last two. Gang beats on Duggan on the ropes and charges at him, but Duggan of all things uses his head and pulls the rope down for the win.

    Jesse is annoyed which is funny. We almost immediately go to commercial. One thing I really liked there was that there were no commercial breaks which would have messed up a lot of stuff for me. I’m glad they did it right.

    Rating: C-. This match gets a pass, but it wasn’t that good. To be fair, it’s the very first one and they had no clue what they were doing, so given the information and knowledge they had, this was good. The roster wasn’t huge here as Hogan, Andre and DiBiase were the biggest stars in the company at the time, so there was only so much they could do, but it was certainly watchable. Next year they would iron out a lot of the kinks to improve it greatly, but for a first try this was fine.

    We recap the real thing of the show by talking about Hogan and Andre. Hogan comes out again to talk about the title match on the fifth and says exactly what you would expect him to say. This was just window dressing.

    Islanders vs. Young Stallions

    Yes we actually have another match on this show and oddly enough it’s also 2/3 falls. The Islanders had dognapped Matilda recently in a somewhat well known angle. In short, they stole the dog and then gave it back. It was a big deal at the time for no apparent reason. Vince plays Sherlock Holmes here which is idiotic sounding. Heenan is apparently in Barbados for no given reason. Tama and Jim Powers start.

    Tama was a guy I’ve always liked but he never got anything going for him. Vince admits that he was bored out of him mind during the Bravo segment which is great. It’s always good to hear Vince admit the he fucked up. They more or less ignore the match for the beginning because the show is more or less over at this point. Vince says that Tama has a devastating leap.

    He doesn’t say into a splash or anything like that, but just a devastating leap. Wait, so he has a painful jump? Is he a jump rope master or something? Does Heenan turn the ropes? The man that would somehow become a Horseman named Paul Roma gets a tag and then it’s his turn to get beaten up. Oh dear Roma hurt his knee. No one seems to care. He gets counted out to end the first fall.

    We go to commercial and as we come back, the Stallions are in the back getting Roma’s knee looked at. As stupid as that sounds, we get another recap of the contract signing and while a match is going on, we go to Andre and DiBiase for a promo in the arena. That’s just painfully stupid looking.

    The commercial is let’s say three minutes long. In three minutes a guy with a bad knee got to the back and DiBiase and the Giant got word to the production team that they wanted to say something and got to the stage in time? That’s a BIG stretch. Andre says exactly what you would expect him to say. He does use the term Giant-a-Mania which is kind of awesome.

    After another commercial we’re back in the second fall. Roma’s knee is dead here but we keep going anyway. I’ll give them credit as that’s actually a rather creative way to get in a match and a promo in the final part of the show. It’s kind of plausible but not really. It’s close enough though. Naturally they talk about the promo. You have to give it to Vince: he managed to get a promo in so that he wouldn’t have to talk about this match very much at all.

    I’ll give him credit for something up with good ideas like that. That’s not bad at all. Jesse says that the Hogan vs. Andre match will be bigger than the Indy 500. Vince says he’d like to see Jesse dragged behind an indy car. Damn that’s rather violent.

    This is just rather generic stuff for the most part as Powers can’t tag out because his partner is hurt. He finally does and Roma is destroyed, giving up to a half crab pretty quickly. Jesse somewhat sarcastically calls it a valiant effort which is I guess his attempt at being nice?

    Rating: C-. This booking made little sense as I don’t get why this went on last. It was pretty boring but it’s not bad. It’s standard 80s stuff but it’s little more than a squash. It closed the show on an odd note, but this was ok I guess.

    Vince and Jesse recap the show for about three minutes with a very long talk about the Bravo thing. For the love of goodness it wasn’t a big deal! They desperately try to make it a big deal, but damn man it’s just a failure. They of course recap Hogan and Andre and in a funny close, Jesse goes through the information for the match time and location etc., which disgusts the marketing freak known as Vince. That’s just great.

    Overall Rating: C+. There’s a major factor to remember when watching this show: it was completely free. As a pay per view, this would have been lower than an F. However, given that this was pretty much thrown together and was given away free, how much can you complain? You got four matches and six segments total.

    The first match was ok I guess, the second was exciting, the third was a new gimmick which is always worth a look and the fourth…well I’m not sure why it was where it was but it’s not bad. The two segments were the epitome of hit and miss as the first was just a waste of time, but to be fair you could just change the channel for this one. The Hogan/Andre was nothing but a build up for next week which is also fine. The one thing I don’t get is where a lot of guys were.

    I mean, there’s no IC Champion in Honky. There’s no Savage who would go on to win the world title at Mania. No Demolition who would win the tag titles. Beefcake wasn’t there either and he would get the title shot at Mania. Martel, the other tag champion wasn’t there.

    It certainly would have helped the battle royal out, but I guess that’s neither here nor there. The show is fine all things considered, but it’s really more of a historical thing than a good thing. It’s not bad at all, but don’t expect a great show because it isn’t one.
    cole924 likes this.
  2. cole924

    cole924 Occasional Pre-Show

    Aug 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I've been waiting awhile for you to start a Royal Rumble history thread.

    I've never watched the 1988 Rumble, but it seems weird. What a very strange card to have set around the Rumble. It almost made this PPV a gimmick PPV w/o any reason to have Championship matches? What's the point of having a Women's tag match as one of the 4 matches on the card? It just seems very erratic.

    Was this the initial reasoning behind the Rumble? A gimmick PPV w/o big implications on the main title scene? What was the vibe you had watching the first one?
  3. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Well to begin with, this wasn't a PPV. It aired free on USA.

    I don't think the Rumble was meant to become what it did. It was designed to more or less bitch slap Crockett in the face again and it worked very well as Bunkhouse Stampede bombed, which given that show might have been better in the long run as it was flat out awful but that's beside the point. As for my vibe it's hard to answer that because I knew what the RUmble would become. The match itself is pretty weak, but it was big and new and exciting and obviously people liked it as we're coming up on the 23rd edition of it. The one thing you have to keep in mind though: it was free. Can you imagine the Royal Rumble airing on Raw completely for free? What would you watch: that or a TNA PPV? That was Vince's mentality and it worked like a charm.
  4. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1989
    Date: January 15, 1989
    Location: The Summit, Houston, Texas
    Attendance: 19,000
    Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura

    We have arrived at Pay Per View for this one and just looking at the card you can tell things are…about the same actually. Again there are just four matches and a segment, although this one is an improvement. The matches not called the Rumble aren’t exactly jumping off the page at me, but looking at a few names in the Rumble it’s a massive improvement with guys like Hogan, Savage, Andre, and DiBiase in it.

    The segment is also better as it’s a posedown between Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude who were kind of feuding at the time. You can just tell that the show has a much higher production value and has had more time put into it which likely will mean a much better product. Granted that’s just on paper.

    I wonder how the show itself would turn out. I wish there was a way I could find out. Oh. I guess I could just watch it. I think I’ll do that, and I might as well write about it too, so why don’t you come along? If I get hungry I can always eat your leg.

    Our opening video is Vince listing off all of the participants in the match. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not because it keeps surprises from occurring which is one of the highlights of the match. I get what they’re going for here but at the same time it’s just a bit odd.

    Jesse’s shirt has a big shark on it. That’s most odd. He and Gorilla run down the card and we’re ready to go.

    A bunch of guys take WAY too long to say they’ll win.

    Dino Bravo/Rougeaus vs. Hart Foundation/Jim Duggan

    What is with the Rumble and 2/3 fall matches? This makes three in two years. Isn’t that a bit of overkill guys? This is really just about two feuds being lumped into one match which is fine. They say it’s international rules to justify the 2/3 falls which is fine, but the choice is just odd indeed. It’s not necessarily good or bad but just odd. The heels have Frenchie Martin and Jimmy Hart with them.

    Monsoon says that the 2x4 is a mascot and not a foreign object. That’s just odd indeed. The Harts do this weird thing of taking Bret’s glasses off and make it a spectacle. I don’t remember them doing that ever before. We start with power vs. power in Bravo vs. Neidhart. They reference the weightlifting thing from last year which makes me want to rip my hair out. The USA chant goes up for an American and two Canadians (Neidhart has dual citizenship).

    They’re going really slowly here and I’m not sure if I like that. They talk about Bret’s awesome in ring ability which is completely true. It’s good to know that they saw the talent that far back. Bret then takes the side suplex from Bravo and the elevated seated senton from the Rougeaus (both of their finishers) to make it 1-0 for the heels. Bret has to start the next fall as we are LIVE IN HOUSTON!

    Gorilla once again botches the use of the term literally as no one is hanging from the rafters. I don’t know why but I will never stop marking out for the jumping reverse elbow from anyone. That move is just awesome. Once again Bravo does his stupid little dance before he makes a tag. I’ve never gotten what the deal was with that. Bret is still in there by the way. Again, it never ceases to amaze me when fans chant USA for two Canadian wrestlers.

    Monsoon tries to cover for them by saying it’s for Duggan, but why chant for him when he’s not even in the match at the moment? Either way it’s just stupid. We hit a rest hold with Bret getting beaten on even more than usual in this match. Not sure why he’s been in there so long but it’s probably the best thing they could do. The Rougeaus do a switch and for the life of me I don’t get how people couldn’t tell them apart.

    They look nothing alike. The abdominal stretch is hooked and Gorilla bitches. Good thing that some things never change. FINALLY Bret tags out and Duggan is in. After a lot of double teaming Duggan pins one of the Rougeaus to tie us up at one. For some reason Hacksaw is over and by far and away the biggest star in this match. I don’t get that and never will.

    The heels take over for a very short time as Bravo idiotically (at least he’s living up to his reputation) tries to ram Duggan’s head into the turnbuckle. The face comeback lasts all of a second though as Duggan is beaten on even more. After the luke warm tag to Bret, we have a big thing of calamity and Duggan pops Bravo with the board to let Bret pin him. I love faces getting away with everything they want to.

    Rating: C+. Nothing bad at all here, but I just don’t get the 2/3 falls aspect. I mean really, why do that? Do these six guys need an extra ten minutes or so? I get that there’s a lot of time to fill and a ton of the roster is taken, but I don’t get it. To be fair though, the match was fine and there’s nothing to complain about from an in ring perspective. It wasn’t anything great but perfectly fine.

    We see some people picking their numbers.

    DiBiase doesn’t like his number but pulls in Slick and offers him a deal.

    Luke and Butch both get theirs and trade them.

    Honky hates his.

    Bad News likes his.

    Demolition and Jake are indifferent.

    The Rockers wish each other good luck.

    Super Posedown

    This is more or less a body contest between Warrior and Rude. Well that’s more interesting than Bravo’s weightlifting I suppose. Warrior is IC Champion here. Monsoon says Warrior is pumped up all the time. Make your own steroids joke. Rude is rocking the porn stache here. The first pose is the double bicep. Popular support wins this so take a guess as to who is going to win. This is really quite boring.

    Jesse and Heenan try to make this seem legit which is helping things out a lot. We move to the abdominal pose for which Heenan has to oil up Rude. That’s just creepy to an extent. The third is just called most muscular. If nothing else they’re keeping this moving fast. That’s the best part about it unlike last year when it took 20 minutes. Also, this is actually in the ring. We go through the third pose and still no one cares. The fourth is a medley which takes up even more time.

    Was there supposed to be a point to this? In a shocking development, Rude jumps Warrior and beats the hell out of him with an exercise bar. That was the whole point of this thing and it took too long. Again though, it was far better than the weightlifting thing last year. Warrior gets up and destroys all of the referees and suits that try to help him up and chases after Rude. This was all to set up Rude vs. Warrior at Mania.

    Women’s Title: Rockin Robin vs. Judy Martin

    Robin was this random chick they put the belt on and since she was the epitome of the bathroom break match, they kept the belt on her for over a year. It was retired in 1990 because no one gave a damn and remained that way until Alundra Blayze came along and held it for about a year, then after about another year of various feuds and champions it was dropped (into the trashcan on Nitro) and didn’t come back until the Sable era.

    She was just flat out boring, plain and simple, yet of course Vince stuck with her because no one really gave a damn about women’s wrestling anyway and it was based on wrestling rather than athleticism or looks. Sherri, the woman that Robin took the title from, challenges the winner for a title shot. She wouldn’t win. Just after the start of the match she jumps on commentary. There’s something that even the commentators aren’t sure about but they think it was a DDT.

    Again I want to know what the point of hooking the head on a slam is. I don’t recall any man other than Earthquake doing that. Sherri sounds like Michelangelo from TMNT 2. This is really short and a relief that Wikipedia has an error. They claim this is about sixteen minutes when it barely breaks five.

    I thought this might have been clipped but I can’t find a single instance where it goes sixteen, so we’ll say that’s an error, which is a relief. Robin wins with a second rope cross body after faking one then getting the second. Robin’s music is really annoying.

    Rating: C. I have to go with average here because other than the ending I don’t remember anything about this match. I know that doesn’t sound good, but the time in this match and everything in it are complete blanks to me. Nothing at all of note happened in it other than the ending, which was kind of cool as the fake out isn’t something that you see that often. I think I get why the division was dropped in about a year.

    Sean Mooney is with Slick and the Twin Towers, Akeem and Big Boss Man. Akeem might be the funniest character in wrestling history. Slick denies the deal with DiBiase from earlier. Sean shows the footage of them talking about a deal earlier, which Slick tries to play off as something about a shoe shine. That was just odd.

    Harley Race vs. Haku

    A few notes about this match: first of all, it wasn’t on the home video release at first so quite a few of you have likely never seen it. It’s only been released on the Rumble Anthologies and the original broadcast plus online. Second, this is a one night only return for Race who got really badly hurt against Hogan and had to drop the crown. Haku took it but never beat Race, so Race is back to take his crown.

    Before the match, Jesse is sitting on the throne and says he likes it. Thanks for that Jess. I’ve actually never seen this match all the way through so these will be my legit first thoughts on seeing this in its entirety. When I say not all the way through, I mean I’ve seen a few stills of it and never any actual video so here we go. Heenan manages both guys so he’s set no matter what. I’ve always liked the throne entrance the king got, but DAMN that jobber needs a shirt.

    He must weigh about 320 and he’s in just regular tights. That’s not right. Both guys come out to the same music and in a funny bit, Race is introduced as “The Former King, Harley Race!” That just sounds funny. Race, the king of the heels, jumps Haku early. Both guys have the regal purple on which is amusing as well. I think Race is somehow the face here, which just makes me feel dirty.

    The tattoos on Race always looked odd to me as he seems too clean for them I guess you would say. This was a very rare thing here as we have heel vs. heel with Race being the less heelish guy. Race is just old here and is being asked to carry this because he’s the only one of the two that knows how to work a good match. Jesse says that he has to give the experience advantage to Race. Well DUH Jess. How can it be something that’s debatable?

    One guy has wrestled longer than the other. It’s not really subjective. The fans are cheering Harley. This just isn’t right. They do one of the all time worst collision spots with Race going to the floor. It looked like they were in slow motion on that one. Heenan is his usual masterful self cheering for both guys at various times. This is called the Battle For the Crown because this is a match that was dying for extra billing.

    Speaking of dying, Gorilla tries to say that the crowd is hushed in anticipation for the Rumble. You have to give it to Gorilla: he never gave up. Race gets a bad piledriver on the floor as it seems like this is in slow motion again. They’re just both so slow that it’s almost painful to watch. Race simply had no business being in a ring at this point and it wasn’t even his fault. He was just old and injured which certainly isn’t something you can pin on him.

    He was broke due to a bad business thing (that wasn’t his fault) in Kansas City so he had to keep wrestling to pay the bills. He was good for stuff like this: putting over guys that can’t wrestle well enough on their own. I love how you can have a guy do some chops at an angle and all of a sudden he’s a martial arts master. Damn that was a lot of A’s in a row. After Race dominates for a bit, he misses a punch and gets caught by what we would call Sweet Chin Music to get pinned.

    Rating: C-. I feel sorry here because the wrestling and the in ring stuff isn’t actually that bad at all. The problem is that it feels like this is in slow motion like I’ve said a few times. That’s really the best way to put it. Race was just so old out there that I’m very glad he went to WCW and became a manager which was what he was far better suited for at this point.

    He just was too old here and it was showing bad. Haku was someone that had to be carried and this was his night to be put over and while he wasn’t bad, he certainly wasn’t good. The match was bad but the wrestling was ok if that makes any sense at all.

    More people say they’ll win.

    Gene talks to Rude and Heenan about the pose down where Rude says he won. They bail quickly, I’m assuming afraid of the Warrior.

    Royal Rumble

    I’ll spare you from another rule explanation because I’m sure you know it and I already listed them off once. This year they point out the everyman for themselves rule though, which is a change from last year. That opens a big door though as it implies face vs. face and heel vs. heel. Number one is Ax of Demolition. The interval is set at two minutes again and this year they actually make it possible as the match goes over an hour, so sit back because this is going to be a long review.

    Actually don’t sit back because you might not be able to see the screen. Sit in the middle I guess. Number two is Smash, so we have Demolition going at it to start us off. I love how random of a thing this is, and it’s happened at least one other time that I remember with the Steiners I think, and then the Hardys came in at 1 and 3 in 2001. They’re the tag team champions here, in the middle of their epic year and a half or so run.

    To their credit they beat on each other. It just doesn’t look right though. This is like Bubba and D-Von fighting. They’re just not good at fighting on their own. There’s something about seeing partners fight that just doesn’t work. Matt and Jeff were complete failures in their feud, and I think a lot of it is people would rather have them be partners rather than opponents. They just didn’t click as opponents and that’s a shame.

    Andre comes in at three and this is an historic moment, as Demolition immediately beat him to the ground with what looks like ease. Andre looks like Rey Mysterio getting beaten on like this which is something you’ll never hear again. Mr. Perfect is 4 which sucks because I wanted more Andre vs. Demolition. Think about this for a minute. Demolition did in about ten seconds what it took Hogan fifteen minutes to do. That’s insane.

    No wonder those three plus Jake were the best Survivor Series team of all time. All three of them go after the Giant and Andre just shoves Smash out after Perfect distracts him a bit. Perfect is a very young guy here in the company and is rocking just regular tights. Being the Rhodes scholar that Axe is he goes after Perfect and gets beaten up by Andre for his trouble. Number five is the best possible advertisement for murdering something I’ve ever seen: Ronnie Garvin.

    He is easily the most worthless wrestler this side of the Junkyard dog in wrestling history. How in the world did they ever decide to put him over RIC FUCKING FLAIR for the world title? I just do not get that and never will. Everyone goes after Andre but he just sits on Axe, literally. Greg Valentine is in at six, hopefully willing to use a hammer to crush the cockroach known as Garvin.

    We have four against one here with literally everyone that’s been in the match so far attacking Andre. Gorilla calls everyone that’s beating on Andre a star. That’s just amusing. ANDRE GETS RID OF GARVIN!!! I officially love this man. Get him a cow and a vineyard of wine right now!

    Jake Roberts is seventh to a huge pop. He was probably the second third biggest face at the time as Warrior wasn’t quite there yet and Hogan and Savage were untouchable. Andre just chokes the hell out of Jake in the corner which is sweet. That’s what I love about Andre: after being quadruple teamed he just grabs someone and chokes them. There’s something completely awesome about that.

    He beats anyone that tries to stop him from beating on Jake. That’s just sweet. He’s protecting Jake so he can have the honor of hurting him. Ron Bass is here now as we get closer to reaching our jobber quota. Just after Bass comes in Andre throws Jake out. Bass is freshly bald thanks to a bad comedy angle with Beefcake. Andre is the white elephant in there at the moment as it’s really just about trying to get him out with various incredibly short term alliances.

    That right there is why there needs to be at least one giant in every battle royal. They offer the main source of a story in one of these, because traditionally these matches are void of any kind of a story because it’s a complete free for all, which is fine because that’s the point.

    Having someone like Andre in there for about fifteen to twenty minutes gives you a way to have something running through a large part of the match and hold it together, which is the main weakness of all battle royals not known as the Royal Rumble. The next guy in is HBK, who at this time is next to nothing. Perfect throws Axe out.

    Shawn and Perfect go at it in what would eventually be one of the most overhyped feuds in wrestling history as the build was awesome but the match kind of sucked, which to be fair was what likely was inevitable. Perfect shows off his brains early by staying in after going over the top. Andre keeps choking people as that was the essence of his offense around this time. I really miss the old school stone looking Rumble logo. The thing was just cool looking.

    Jesse says if he were in there he’d go to a neutral corner. Gorilla says if Jesse were in there he’d be out of there. And people wonder why Monsoon got some strange looks at times. After about a minute and a half of waiting, Butch of the Bushwackers gets us into double digits. As he’s coming to the ring, Jake runs back out with Damien and Andre eliminates himself. That’s a smart way to keep the feud hot, keep Andre looking credible and get rid of him to keep the match going.

    The five jobbers lumber around the ring for a bit because there’s no big name in there for them to do anything with, which is the issue with a lot of these things. The timing is getting shorter and shorter here as Honky comes in at 11. Honky had recently lost the IC belt and was in desperate need of a reason to keep his job. He was worthless without the title so until they put him in Rhythm and Blues there was little for him to do.

    Of the six guys in there, Shawn is the only face according to Gorilla in some slightly different words. Oh Butch is there too. Yep, Shawn is the only face in there worth anything. Tito balances things out a bit at 12 to a solid pop. I don’t get why he never got another big push. He was still great in the ring and was getting big reactions, but of course he was made a jobber to the stars for guys like Barbarian and Warlord.

    Gorilla and Jesse discuss some theory about what is considered a good number as not a lot is going on at the moment. To be fair though the crowd is staying hot so there we are. Bad News comes in at 13 as he should have been a far bigger star than he was. Brown vs. Hogan could have been awesome if they had some guts and did it right. Honky is eliminated pretty fast to a decent pop. That’s a good sign if nothing else: he’s still getting reactions.

    This has really slowed down a lot and we need some big names to come in and clear out some of these jobbers. Naturally the next guy in is Marty Jannetty, so if nothing else we have a tag team in there now. A double dropkick that was NOT stolen from the Rock N Roll Express (really, we promise we’ve never heard of those guys that we stole half our name from. Honest) takes out Bass to get us back down to seven people. I think Tito’s knee is hurt.

    Thankfully Savage, the WWF Champion and on the brink of a heel turn for the ages, comes in to get the crowd WAY into this. He freaking mugs Bad News who he was having a short but damn intense feud with. Arn Anderson comes out next as Savage knocks out Valentine. In the epitome of an IWC wet dream team, Anderson and Savage team up to eliminate Shawn. Damn that was just flat out odd to type. Tully Blanchard is in at 17 as this is slowing down again.

    The Brainbusters beat the hell out of Jannetty and prove why they’re awesome. They dump him and heeeeeeere’s Hulk at possibly his lowest number ever: 18. I would have loved to have this be a legit draw and see him get like 4. Let’s see, how many people does Hogan get rid of to make him look like Superman. Perfect is the first victim as Hogan saves his handshake buddy Savage from him. He beats up the Brainbusters but doesn’t eliminate them, which allows them to get rid of Tito.

    Since it’s gotten a bit crazy, for a recap we have Butch, Hogan, Anderson, Savage, Brown and Blanchard in at the moment. Amazingly, Butch has been in there about fifteen minutes which has to be his biggest accomplishment in the WWF. That’s actually quite surprising. At 19 we have the other Marching Moron who licked me at a house show once. Brown puts out Butch to keep us at six guys.

    Anderson beats on Hogan which makes me flash back to Nitro just before the NWO showed up. Anderson beat him two weeks straight on Nitro which was a series I always liked. It gave Arn the spotlight that he never really got and definitely was qualified to have. In at 20 is the Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware. That just flat out doesn’t work no matter how many times you write it. How in the world is that thing in the HOF but Savage isn’t?

    I don’t care how many times he fucked Stephanie, enshrine him already! Hogan dumps Koko to a pop. Even the fans didn’t like him. There goes Luke and Hogan’s total is at I think three. With three clotheslines inside of 30 seconds he adds both Brainbusters and the Warlord who sets the shortness record at 2 seconds. He stepped in and got a running clothesline to put him out.

    To get the record to eight, Hogan runs over and puts out Brown and Savage, the later being by mistake. This would be a major point in the heel turn in about two weeks. Savage is PISSED! Liz comes down to try to straighten things out as Savage offers the handshake to fix things for now. Savage and Liz leave as Boss Man gets in.

    He’s about 100lbs heavier than his traditional weight. This began another Rumble tradition of the one on one showdown. These two had been the big feud for a good while and the showdown hadn’t really come yet so this was a pretty big deal. Not surprisingly Boss Man takes over and Gorilla defends Hogan with the somewhat legitimate argument that Boss Man is fresh.

    Hogan takes a decent piledriver and eventually gets back to even as the buzzer rings about three and a half minutes after Boss Man came out. And in a SHOCKING, yes SHOCKING I say, turn of events, it’s Boss Man’s partner Akeem. Now here’s something amusing to me where the bias towards the main event is as evident as ever.

    Gorilla starts bitching and complaining about how DiBiase must have had something to do with this because there’s no way that tag partners could have consecutive numbers and wind up in this position against Hogan. He’s completely backwards there. First of all, this is the third time in this Rumble where partners have come in back to back (Rockers and Brainbusters, which more or less gives away that this isn’t a random draw).

    On top of that, how could DiBiase have known that Hogan would have been in there at this moment all by himself? If nothing else, this would prove that DiBiase had nothing to do with it as there is no reason for him to assume that Hogan would have A, been in there already when the Twin Towers came in, and B, that Hogan would be alone.

    In order to do that, DiBiase would have had to find out what Hogan’s number was, and the only ways he could have done that would be to find out Hogan’s number directly from Hulk which is unlikely or to have found out all 29 other spots AND managed to spread enough deals around to make sure that Akeem and Boss Man had consecutive numbers after Hogan.

    I’m supposed to believe that he managed to pull all this off in less than two hours with the help of just Virgil? Give us some credit there Gorilla. Granted I don’t think he put that much thought into what he said, but that’s the point of these reviews: to break down things like that and show how stupid some stories can be. In a quite anticlimactic moment, Hogan is hit with a double splash and thrown out. Really, that’s all there is to it.

    That just came out of nowhere and all of a sudden the fact of how stupid that may have been kicks in. Tell me oh great and mighty Vince: why should I care about the rest of the match? Your top faces are all gone now with about ten entries to go. This wasn’t smart booking at all as they backed themselves into a corner for what is likely going to be a weak finish. Hogan of course pulls Boss Man to the floor and beats on him as Beefcake comes out. It’s a big tag team brawl minus the tagging.

    Hogan says he’s going back in and the referees finally do their jobs and keep him from doing so. Hogan pulls Boss Man out AGAIN because this is all about him again, despite him not being world champion or even in the title picture. He and Boss Man fight to the back and they’re going to say Boss Man is out because Hogan pulled him over the ropes. In at 25 we have someone that might even be less useful than Garvin in the Red Rooster.

    I finally got the joke/idea behind the name of his finisher the Five Arm. It’s one better than the forearm. Get it? That lowered my IQ a good bit. The announcers try to figure out who the final five guys will be and naturally they know them inside of 4 seconds. The two faces do the generic beating on the heel because that’s Rumble Theory 101. Gorilla actually agrees that Hogan cheated. I never thought I’d hear that.

    Barbarian is in next to make what should be a completely one sided match. Barbarian, the genius that he is, beats up the faces and then goes after Akeem on his own. I love idiotic heels. Despite this being 1989, Big John Studd is somehow still a relic here. He goes straight for Akeem in what would become a running theme for the end of this match which I’ll get to in a minute. John is a face here on one last hurrah I guess you would call it.

    Basically John keeps throwing people out of his way so it’s just him and Akeem, which can be translated into the guy that he can do the least with while still looking like he’s doing something. Hercules comes in at 28. Just like I thought it would, this has REALLY slowed down since Hogan left and it just doesn’t feel right at all. The next to last entrant is Rick Martel, the returned face who is just about to become a heel and a model.

    The final guy is DiBiase to few people’s shock. If he was supposed to be the big heel, two things: one, he should win, and two he should go on to something big after this. At Mania 5 he had a throwaway match with Brutus. Studd is just a complete waste of time out there as he hasn’t actually beaten on anyone other than Akeem. The final eight, all in the ring, are DiBiase, Akeem, Studd, Martel, Red Rooster, Beefcake, Hercules and Barbarian. What a motley crew that is.

    Rooster is finally gone and we’re at seven. Studd finally fights someone else in the Barbarian. I don’t believe it. DiBiase and Barbarian put out Beefcake and Hercules to bring us down to DiBiase, Barbarian, Studd, Akeem and Martel. Martel puts out Barbarian and then gets knocked out maybe four seconds later to get us down to three.

    The heels double team Studd as I can’t wait for this to end. Akeem is put out after a mistake and we’re down to Studd and DiBiase. He offers money and Studd isn’t interested. After a few power moves, Studd causally throws DiBiase over for the most lackluster ending in the history of the Rumble. Virgil comes in and gets beaten up as well. Wow that was dumb.

    Rating: C+. This is the first of its kind in a way so you have to take it with a grain of salt. They didn’t know what they were doing with the thirty man formula, but I just don’t get the point in having Studd win it. I suppose the issue was that they didn’t think it was a big deal yet so they gave it to a random guy like they did last year. That’s the only thing I can think of at least.

    The match really suffers at the end though because once Hogan is gone, there’s just no drama or anything at all. Studd winning was almost obvious but not quite. Also, Akeem has been in the final three in both of the first two Rumbles. How insane is that? This was a big improvement over last year, but they still had a lot of bugs to work out. Not bad, but it would be massively improved in the coming years.

    In the locker room, Savage goes on a rather long rant about how it was a misunderstanding, but you can see the heel just dying to get out. Liz says that it wasn’t a fight or anything like that. The Mania main event was coming and would be obvious today, but back then it was built up so well that it was shocking.

    Gorilla and Jesse say some basic stuff before we get a highlight package to end it.

    Overall Rating: C-. Average. That’s the only way to put this. There’s nothing at all here that is going to be considered great by any means, but nothing at all is really all that bad. You’re not going to see anything that rivals Steamboat vs. Savage but there’s nothing here that wouldn’t hold your attention for the most part. This is where the Rumble is still being fleshed out but you can see the elements there that made it such a great concept for a show.

    It’s not great and it’s not bad, but a lot of work was needed. For once though you could clearly tell that they had the right idea though and things would be much better next year where they would really get it right. I’d say this show is worth seeing once maybe, but you won’t be missing anything if you don’t see it. If you catch it and have some time to kill you won’t think it was a waste of time but you won’t be thrilled either. Not bad, but nothing great at all.
  5. SuperSteve16

    SuperSteve16 Pre-Show Stalwart

    Dec 2, 2008
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    Great Review as usual klunderbunker, but I have one queston. What was the point of winning the royal rumble back then? Did the wrestler that won it get any reward or was it for bragging rights? What is all pointless?
  6. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    It was just bragging rights at first. Battle royals were far more common back then whereas today there might be one or two a year other than the Rumble so the novelty wasn't there at all. Duggan more or less just looked a but better because of it and Studd was more or less gone in like three months. It wasn't until 1990 that things really started to mean something as Hogan and Warrior had their first showdown and the fans went freaking apeshit. Vince and his guys looked at each other and collectively knew they had something huge.

    Also, due to the main page messing me up on the date of this year's Rumble, I'm going to have to postpone the next review for a week so the countdown works. I'll be doing normal ones and the KOTR though. All of them are written, but I want to do the countdown aspect.
  7. GIMH

    GIMH Lifelong Jerichoholic

    May 24, 2009
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    Yeah, good question about those early Rumbles. Always felt that from the 92 one onwards there was always a lot more prestige and importance attached as there was something on the line, although I think in 1991 there may have been unofficial #1 contender status attached to it a bit like there was with the pre-02 KOTR tournaments; certainly the winner went on to Mania to fight for the title anyhow.

    They were still enjoyable back then mind you but I much prefer them when there's something on the line and the drama that is involved.

    I can't wait for the 1992 review, that Rumble is just amazing
  8. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
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    Royal Rumble 1988

    This is a very strange event for me. It’s strange because for some reason I didn’t even know this took place until around 1996. Although I was young I was watching WWF at this time, but I have no memory of this event at the time. I didn’t have cable so I didn’t get to see this on USA. Thanks to classics on demand I know they hyped it on Prime Time, but you would think they would have hyped it on Superstars or Challenge. Maybe they did and I just don’t remember. Anyway on to the show.

    I like the opening match. I can see why people wouldn’t, but I like those 80’s style matches. It wasn’t great, but it was good enough for me. I saw house show match between these two from around this time on classics on demand that was better. It would have been nice if they had that match here. By the way I am 99% sure Heenan was already with Rude at this time. He just wasn’t at this event.

    It’s a good thing this was on free tv instead of ppv because the Dino Bravo segment was one of the most boring things I’ve ever seen. The idea was fine, but it went on WAY too long. This would have been ok if it was only half as long. I’ll take a shot at the ham sandwich. Maybe Vince was trying to make Bravo so hated by the fans by having him go out there and bore us for as long as possible.

    The women’s division was a lot worse in 1988 than it is today. Not that it’s great today, but it was becoming extinct in 1988. The Jumping Bomb Angels were a bright spot and they were fun to watch. Like all women’s matches this was a little sloppy, but still ok. Even though The Angels won the titles I don’t remember ever seeing them again. Oh well.

    You could argue that the real main event of this show was the Hogan vs. Andre contract signing even though it wasn’t even a match. I bet more people tuned in to see that more than anything else on the card. I suppose the segment did its job as their match on February 5th generated the highest rating for any wrestling program ever. That’s a record that will likely never be broken.

    By today’s standards the Royal Rumble match wasn’t very good. First off there were only twenty guys instead of thirty. Secondly there weren’t many big names. Not that there were no names in there by any means, just not the top guys. Also most of the rumble matches have at least one big story that advances or starts going into WrestleMania. This one didn’t have that. That’s all excusable since this was the first one on free tv and was basically a trial. One thing that’s interesting to me is that this would be the one and only rumble match for half the participants. 1988 was a year of out with the old and in with the new with regards to a lot of superstars.

    It doesn’t surprise me the Stallions and Islanders went on last. Not that it was a worthy main event; it’s just how things were done back then. Remember this was tv not ppv. If you look back at all the Saturday Night’s Main Event specials the true main event never went on last. This was just a standard tag match. It was good enough, but the Stallions were basically glorified jobbers. They were good enough to give a team a tough match but never seemed to pick up any significant victories.

    If I saw this for the first time as a kid in 1988 I probably would have loved it. I didn’t actually see it until 2000 so overall I was under whelmed by the event.
    SavageTaker likes this.
  9. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
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    Royal Rumble 1989

    Well for years I thought this was the first Rumble. To me it’s the first true Rumble as it was the first on ppv and the first with thirty participants. 1988 deserves an asterisk. The rumble match is the main focus here as the other three matches are mostly filler. I am going to try to reply to all of these in a timely manner, but I should point out that it’s been years since I’ve seen some of these. Therefore I may not remember specific match details, but I do have a pretty good memory of the storylines.

    Filler is ok with me and I didn’t mind the six man tag to open things. Looking back it seems strange that this would be two out of three falls, but those matches were pretty common back then for tag teams. During their heel turn in 1988 the Rougeaus were insincerely declaring their love for America and did not like be compared to Dino Bravo (they were all from Montreal). Here they were teaming with Bravo, managed by Jimmy Hart, and stealing part of the Hart’s contract. Throw in the patriotic Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who was feuding with Bravo, and we have a decent story. I don’t remember much about the match so I’ll assume the C+ grade is appropriate.

    Like the weightlifting display from 1988 the super posedown took up a lot of time. This was much more acceptable because it served a much bigger purpose. The Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude was one of the biggest feuds in 1989 and this is where it started. Although it could have been a few minutes shorter this was a very good start to the feud.

    I don’t really have much to say about the women’s match. This is the last women’s match I remember until late 1993. The division was obviously dying and this was pretty much the last hurrah. I thought the match where Rockin Robin won the title from Sherri a few months earlier was actually very good. I would have actually enjoyed seeing a rematch here.

    I didn’t see Harley Race vs. Haku until about three years ago. I watched it right away when I got the dvd box set. It’s not that I was overly anxious to see it. It’s just that I felt so incomplete not seeing every ppv match. Sometimes I have a little ocd thing going on. The match was about what I expected. Race was well past his prime and I think this was his last ever match in the WWF. I could be wrong, but remember Race being the face going into this. I think Heenan was insisting he was still on good terms with Race in case he ended up winning. Race wanted nothing to do with Heenan after he just gave the crown to Haku after the injury. I’m not totally confident in that, but that’s the way I remember it.

    The rumble was ok, but you’re 100% right KB about the booking. Hogan should have lasted longer. There was too much time after Hogan and Savage went out. The ending was very anticlimactic. Although I do kind of like how a random guy ended up winning. Since the stipulation in 1993 it’s been pretty obvious who was going to win every year. You can usually narrow it down to one or two guys; three if you’re lucky. I liked the confrontation between the Mega Powers during the match. There have been many times where a big mania feud began during the rumble match and this was the first. Every year I hope to see a moment like this in the rumble.

    Overall I’m satisfied with this event. It was a new unique event and set up the two biggest matches for WrestleMania V. I could watch any rumble at any given time and be entertained. It’s amazing how it’s always pretty much the same but never gets old.
  10. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Royal Rumble 1990
    Date: January 21, 1990
    Location: Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida
    Attendance: 16,000
    Commentators: Jesse Ventura, Tony Schiavone

    Yes, that Tony Schiavone, not the other Tony Schiavone. He was around for a cup of coffee around this time and it’s more or less completely forgotten. Anyway, we’re at the third Rumble now and the look of the show has completely changed. It’s not the old and for lack of a better term tired looking ring and logo, but rather the bright and colorful one that is more commonly known. Naturally Hogan is world champion here and is looking for an opponent at Mania 6.

    At this time, no one knew who that was going to be. There were rumors ranging from Warrior to Mr. Perfect (more on that later) to Zeus of all people. There were even rumors that Vince was going to have Hogan drop the belt back to Savage to have Savage vs. Warrior for the main event.

    Vince was in real financial trouble at this time and Mania absolutely had to be huge or he very well could have gone bankrupt. Other than the Rumble, there’s not a lot here. Correction: there’s nothing else here. On that note, let’s get to the drivel that is the non main event matches before we get to the real reason this show exists.

    The opening is just Vince listing the card and a lot of people in the Rumble. Oh and there’s a Brother Love show tonight. Jesse is wearing Mickey Mouse ears. That’s just awesome. There needs to be another character like Jesse on commentary. He’s just so awesome at it.

    Fabulous Rougeaus vs. Bushwackers

    All American Boys is just an awesome song. Jimmy Hart was awesome. This whole era just completely rocks. I love me some Marching Morons. Jacques has a big old beard here so maybe Jesse can finally tell their unsimilar faces apart. Jesse says that Mickey and Goofy didn’t have tickets. That’s so stupid yet Jesse makes me chuckle with it. It’s good because they’re killing time in the ring so Jesse at least gives us something to enjoy.

    This is I guess you would say a rematch from Wrestlemania 5. We’re a minute in and Ramon uses a sleeper. Butch bites the referee’s ass. There was just something slightly homosexual about these teams. Watch their matches and you’ll sense it too. Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that we have a comedy match here. After about 4-5 instances of the same exact stuff over and over again, the Bushwackers are in trouble.

    Luke gets beaten on for a good while as this is running too long. Naturally Luke gets the tag to Butch. If nothing else the crowd is on fire here. If they’re like this for Luke and Butch, what are they going to be like for Hogan? Anyway, after some interference by Jimmy, the Battering Ram ends this.

    Rating: D+. This just went on too long. If they cut about 3 minutes in the middle of it, this would have gone much better. It was a comedy match which is ok, but not for nearly 15 minutes. That’s just way too long. These two had some shall we say interesting matches over the years and this was no exception. There’s not a lot going on here, but the crowd liked it so take that for what it’s worth.

    DiBiase and Virgil are with Gene, who suggests that DiBiase rigged last year’s drawing. Either way, he has #1 this year. DiBiase was just a masterful heel. His line of “Let me tell you something little man” is just awesome stuff.

    Genius vs. Brutus Beefcake

    Genius’ brother is the far more famous but possibly less talented Randy Savage. Yeah I said it. Beefcake’s music is just sweet as hell and always has been. For like the 12th time tonight we see the capacity crowd. We get it already. Genius offers a left-handed handshake. Why don’t more people do that? Genius is doing a semi-gay gimmick here, complete with cartwheels and various things that apparently equate to homosexuality.

    Sorry if that comes off as derogatory, but it’s simply the case. An atomic drop by Brutus makes Genius roll around the ring three full times. That’s quite impressive. This is really a glorified squash, despite Genius being the lackey of one of the bigger heels in the company in Mr. Perfect. He also beat Hogan (count out) on SNME a few weeks prior to this. Brutus is a power guy, but you very rarely see him portrayed as such.

    For such a long match (run time of about 12 minutes) not a lot is happening here. It’s not really bad and it’s kind of interesting, but nothing of note is really happening. After the sleeper doesn’t get put on, the referee is bumped and the lack of a clean ending becomes obvious. WOW. The crowd popped like a cherry for the sleeper. That’s saying a lot. Somehow inside of about 12 seconds the Genius is sound asleep.

    That never ceases to amaze me. Here’s a haircut for the Genius because the referee is still out cold. Perfect runs in and beats up Beefcake though. It’s thrown out in case you were wondering. Oh and in this beatdown, Perfect uses a Perfectplex. I won’t even touch on why that’s stupid. Perfect hits a few chair shots to the ribs as it’s announced as a double DQ, I guess for the haircut. Or some reason we have a slow motion replay of basic strikes.

    Rating: C+. Like I said, for such a long match, nothing really happened. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad though. It wasn’t bad at all, but it just kind of came and went. Beefcake had a very short feud with Perfect and then got injured I think, putting his career on the shelf for a good many years. Perfect would become IC Champion after Warrior had to vacate it, and the rest of his career is well known. Either way, this wasn’t bad at all, but certainly not memorable.

    Mooney is with the Heenan Family. He mentions that they might wind up fighting each other. Hilarity ensues.

    Mania 6 will be in Toronto.

    DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT! Ronnie fucking Garvin is on this show. In case I haven’t mentioned it, I want him to be shot.

    Submission Match: Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg Valentine

    Let’s get this over with. Both guys use submissions occasionally, so that’s validation of a gimmick match. Since this is a submission match, they both take boxing stances and pound on each other. Well if nothing else it’s physical. The boxing makes a bit of sense as it’s wearing the other guy down. That at least makes some sense. They keep going for pins here, which makes sense as it’s instinct to go for a pin in a wrestling match for these guys.

    If that’s fake or legit, I’m fine either way. If it’s legit, that’s just instinct. If it’s fake, it’s a nice addition to a match. Jesse implies these two are top level talent. Not in the WWF at least they’re not. They’re really building this slowly which is something good. It’s not done anymore and it should be. Oh I forgot: both guys have shin guards on which allegedly stops the submissions from hurting.

    To further my hatred of him, Ronnie Garvin is in the figure four and makes “funny” faces at Valentine. Who in the world thought that would be a good idea? No wonder Vince was running out of money. He spent a ton of it on high quality cocaine apparently. Garvin uses an Indian Deathlock. Other than Terry Funk losing to Harley Race with it, I don’t think anyone has ever won anything with it.

    If nothing else, these guys are beating the hell out of each other. That’s not bad at all. After a double collision, Hart steals Garvin’s leg brace which is called the Hammer Jammer. Now the figure four works. I think that almost comes close to making sense, but it’s just overdone. After reversing the figure four, we slug it out some more. This has been a very Attitude Era style match. Garvin steals the Valentine leg brace. Hart gets beaten up and a bad Sharpshooter from Garvin gets him the win.

    Rating: F. Any match that Ronnie Garvin is featured in automatically is awful, no questions asked. For an unbiased grade let’s go with a B-. This was very intense and all kinds of brutal without weapons use. I still hate Garvin, but this was his best match to date that I’ve seen.

    Sean is with Hacksaw, who says that Boss Man won’t be a problem for him. Duggan just looks WEIRD here. His eyes are mostly closed so I’m guessing stoned and or drunk. The end of his board is green for some reason too.

    Big Bossman vs. Jim Duggan

    Duggan still has no music here. Oh and Slick is Boss Man’s manager. Surprising no one, this starts as a big brawl. Almost immediately we’re on the floor. Boss Man misses a charge and his arm hits the post, and in something that stuns me, Duggan actually follows up on it! That lasts all of 3 seconds as Boss Man goes back on offense, with a FREAKING ENZIGURI! What in the hell??? Where did he learn that?

    Tony says the Boss Man shouldn’t have the nightstick. Jesse counters with why should Duggen have the 2x4? Tony says it’s his trademark. Wow and I thought Vince was biased towards faces. From a wrestling standpoint, this is crap. From a brawling standpoint it’s pretty good. I’m not sure what Duggan has done other than punch, but that’s ok I suppose. No actually it isn’t. I know he’s a brawler but there’s other stuff you can do too.

    Clotheslines, shoulders, maybe a suplex or something? That would at least add some variety. There’s a real similarity in styles here which means that it’s going to be very hard to have a good match between these two. It can work with guys like Bret and Shawn, but with guys like Duggan who are kind of limited in their offense, this isn’t going to go well. Also, this isn’t the Boss Man that you’re familiar with. He’s about 40-50 pounds heavier at this stage of his career.

    He’s not nearly as fat as he was last year, but he’s still a big old guy. You can really tell here by the end that they’re both just completely spent. Considering we’re about eight minutes in, that’s not saying a lot. For some reason that I’ll never get, Boss Man goes for a top rope splash that naturally misses.

    It’s a shame that two guys are this spent this fast. Ok maybe not fast but it shouldn’t be this bad period. Boss Man nails Duggan with the stick but gets caught for the very cheap DQ. Damn many can we please get a clean pin in a match tonight? Is that too much to ask for? The 2x4 doesn’t hit anyone but it gets rid of the heels.

    Rating: C+. This was fine for what it was, which is a big brawl. Neither guy is going to light the world on fire or anything like that, so this was about as good as it was ever going to get. Boss Man had slimmed down a bit here and was getting close to the weight that he would be most famous at. That enziguri was kind of preview of the great stuff that was coming from him in the next year or so. Anyway, this was good enough and they kept it kind of short which was the best thing possible.

    Nothing has change in the last half hour as Mania 6 is STILL in Toronto!

    Perfect is proud of what he did, and that he got #30.

    Brother Love Show

    Love is talking about the definition of a lady. He brings out the definition of a lady: Sensational Sherri. Jesse actually says she looks hot. I don’t remember hearing that term in 1990. In what takes about 10 minutes, they say that Sapphire is the definition of a peasant which brings her out.

    Love keeps cutting her off over and over again which gets her more and more angry. She hits Sherri, leading to Savage coming out. Dusty of course comes out and the faces run off the heels and beat up Love. That took 12 minutes somehow. What was the point of Sapphire? Does anyone have an answer to that for me? That was long and rather pointless.

    A lot of people say their thoughts on their Rumble numbers.

    Dino Bravo wants his to be close to Warrior’s.

    Earthquake will crush everyone.

    Demolition say they won’t have to fight each other this year, so they’re lucky.

    Bad News Brown says that people will be crying when their favorite wrestlers lose.

    Dusty says that he wants to get his hands on Savage. Sapphire joins him to incomprehensibly yell.

    The Rockers say they’ll be fine and they want the Powers of Pain.

    Hercules says that he’s ready.

    Rick Martel says no one will touch his beautiful face.

    Tito Santana says he has no friends today. ARRIBA!

    Jimmy Snuka says something about sharks.

    Slick and Akeem (who over the last two years has had by far the best run in the two Rumbles) is the baddest guy in there.

    Warrior is his general insane self, saying something about a virus, then mentioning Hogan’s name.

    Tony and Jesse say some generic stuff before the next batch talk. This must have been an intermission.

    Savage says he’s the person you shouldn’t bet against.

    The Powers of Pain say they’ll win, which makes no sense but whatever.

    Jake says the man that will do anything will win, which is him.

    The Harts say they’re ready to go the distance. Those two had scary chemistry together.

    Honky says he’s going to play 29 hits.

    Finally, Hogan says that he’s ready.

    Royal Rumble

    We already know that DiBiase got #1, so the big question is who got #2? The answer would be none other than the joke of the Hall of Fame, Koko B. Ware. Seriously, what’s wrong with this picture? DiBiase, who still doesn’t have music here but would get it by Mania, isn’t in the Hall of Fame but Ware is. That’s just inexcusable. Ted jumps him on the way into the ring which is smart.

    Koko is blonde here for no apparent reason. He gets slammed head first into the buckle and for some reason that wakes him up. Koko goes into jobber offense 101 but a charge at the ropes leaves DiBiase alone in the ring. 3 is Marty Jannetty, who I’m currently debating about in the spam zones. After some more jobber offense including that signature punch of his, Jannetty tries a cross body near the ropes and goes out to leave DiBiase alone again.

    Jake Roberts is in fourth. These two would go at it again at Mania. DiBiase jumps to the floor to go after him including putting on the Million Dollar Dream. Back in the ring Jake naturally takes over and goes for the DDT, which fails. Sorry for the play by play aspect here, but this early on it’s really just one liners until we get something significant going on, which may take a little time.

    They beat on each other for awhile until Savage comes in at 5. He’s rocking bright blue tights trimmed with black and nearly pink gloves. I’ll give him this: he was unique. They double team Jake as we’re finally getting something going here. Far less than two minutes later, Roddy freaking Piper is in at 6. The fans pop loudly for him too. That’s a pretty damn good collection of talent in there, but very few titles in the company.

    Savage had three, DiBiase had three, Piper had one and Roberts had zero. That’s quite surprising. That’s quite a tag match also. There are some insane feuds in there, some of which never happened. Savage vs. Piper anyone? Can you imagine the promos those two would have on each other? All four of these guys could work and talk with the best of them. We mess that up with the Warlord coming in at seven.

    He’s still a Power of Pain here so he’s about as generic of a monster heel as you could imagine. In something that’s both surprising and cool, Piper just flat out beats Warlord up. That’s awesome. Piper can really fight when he has to. Sherri shouting to break Jake’s neck is creepy. The eighth guy is Bret Hart. DAMN there’s some talent out there! You have Bret, Savage, Roberts, Piper and DiBiase out there.

    Just how awesome of a collection of talent is that? Bret got a very good pop by the way, so people knew that he was something special. Since he’s Bret Hart he goes after the biggest man in the match. This is a smark’s dream match here. Piper and Hart work together. Is there a bad combination in there that doesn’t include Warlord? With this many great guys in there, nine has to suck.

    It’s Bad News Brown, who somehow is the sixth most talented guy in the ring out of seven? That can’t be something that would happen a lot. Brown was so far ahead of his time it’s scary. Think of Brown and then think of Austin. How many similarities are there in there? Jake sets for the DDT but Savage knocks him out instead. Damn I guess it couldn’t last forever. Piper almost puts DiBiase out but Savage makes the save.

    Tony suggests that Savage has been paid off. That’s an interesting thought. We hit double digits with Dusty, who skips to the ring. That was just a wrong image. Naturally he goes after Savage with a bunch of elbows that miss by about two or three inches each. Dusty takes out Savage in what might have been the only thing Dusty ever got over Savage in their very long feud. There’s a fan in a red shirt in the front row that is as energetic of a fan as I’ve ever seen at a wrestling show.

    Andre is eleven, moving so slowly that it’s flat out sad to watch. He can’t even stand up straight since his back is so messed up. Within seconds he tosses the Warlord as Heenan and Fuji are going at it on the floor. I’d pay to not have to see that. Dusty gets crushed by the epic ass of Andre in the corner. There’s some great comedy there that a guy as lazy as Dusty is getting crushed by the biggest guy in the company.

    Speaking of annoying wrestlers, Red Rooster is 12. I know I wasn’t talking about annoying wrestlers but I had nothing better for a transition there. Piper throws out Brown but Brown comes back and pulls Piper out. They fight to the back with a huge Roddy chant accompanying them. This led to the weird as hell match where Piper was painted half black.

    According to his DVD, Andre and someone else ribbed him by getting rid of the stuff that got the paint off of him so he was stuck like that for 2-3 weeks afterwards. That’s just amusing. Just to recap, in the ring we have Andre, Rooster, Hart, DiBiase, Rhodes, and at 13 we have Axe of Demolition. As he gets in, Andre throws out Rooster, thank goodness. Dusty and Axe get Andre tied in the ropes but before they can try to throw him out, Haku, Andre’s partner, comes in at 14 to make the save.

    DiBiase looks spent one second and the next he looks great. That’s impressive. Dusty does his weird Hulking Up thing with the dancing that I always got annoyed with. His Twinkie reserves get low though and he gets knocked back down. We get to halfway with Smash, putting the tag champions and the former champions in there at the same time. What a coincidence!

    Akeem the African Dream and by far the most successful Rumble guy ever starts the second half by going after Andre of all people. Demolition take out Andre with a simple double clothesline. That gets a massive pop. Bret is thrown out during the hullabaloo over Andre. Your current lineup is Demolition, DiBiase, Rhodes, Akeem and Haku. Snuka is in at 17. Damn this thing is going by quickly.

    He and Akeem go at it in the house show match from hell. Snuka wins, putting Akeem out early, at least by his standards. Schiavone says the battle rages on, which he used to say all the time in the World War 3 matches. Bravo gets up to 18. You can tell that the guys are starting to get a bit tired out there. There’s a ton of power guys in there also. Earthquake is 19 and he nearly immediately puts out Dusty.

    He tosses Axe as well so you can see how big of a deal they were going to make this guy, at least in the short term. Neidhart is 20, giving us him, Earthquake, Haku, DiBiase, Smash, Bravo and Snuka. All of them other than Bravo combine to get rid of Earthquake. Hart is panicking over this of course. Granted I think he panics ordering dinner. I mean think about it: chicken or pasta. HE CAN’T TAKE THAT KIND OF PRESSURE!!!

    We start the final ten with Ultimate Warrior who is the IC Champion at the time. He takes out Bravo, who is as pale as humanly possible while still being alive. Only DiBiase and Snuka aren’t power guys out there, and Jimmy is debatable.

    Martel is 22nd, and somehow he’s the only former world champion in this match at the moment. How creepy does that sound? Haku takes out Smash with a backdrop and a superkick that was always awesome. We get a Strike Force reunion as Tito Santana is in at Michael Jordan’s number.

    We’re in need of some fresh jobbers in there to replace the tired ones that we have. Hey it’s Honky at 24. He certainly fits that description at this time period. Warrior and Martel take out Anvil followed by Warrior putting out DiBiase to a big pop. That man has earned a ham sandwich if anyone ever has. We’ve got Warrior, Snuka, Honky, Haku, Santana and Martel in there at the moment and they’re joined by Hogan at 25.

    He stumbles coming to the ring. That’s just funny. He takes out Snuka and Haku before taking the shirt off. Warrior gets rid of Tito and you can see it coming a mile away, but the awesomeness of it isn’t diminished at all. As if there wasn’t enough ego in the ring, Shawn Michaels is out next, 26th to be exact. There goes Honky so we have Hogan, Warrior…and as I was typing the other names they were thrown out, leaving us with the showdown of showdowns.

    To say the crowd popped hard is an understatement. Heenan, who has no one in the ring at the moment, is standing out there watching. That’s just cool. They hit some shoulders and no one goes back that far. A criss cross leads to a double clothesline. From an unbiased perspective, that was really boring. From a pure 80s mark, the world just exploded from the sheer levels of awesome in those few seconds.

    Both guys stay down for about 15 seconds until Barbarian is out at 27. That guy has been around forever with very little change to his gimmick, but he kept getting work. That’s quite interesting. Think about it. He was in WWF in the late 80s through early 90s, then in WCW for a bit then a quick run in WWF again and then was in WCW forever. That’s saying a lot. Rude I guess jumps the gun as he’s in maybe 20 seconds after Barbarian.

    Even Jesse makes a point about it. Rude hits a pretty good dropkick to put Warrior down. For some reason Warrior saves Hogan. Jesse of course hates it but Tony has no issue with it. Rude and Warrior just always had scary good chemistry together. I’ve never gotten that. Hogan tries to return the favor and save Warrior but knocks Warrior out instead. Warrior of course jumps back in and then more or less dances out.

    29 is Hercules leaving just Perfect for 30. What is the deal with pale guys wearing powder blue? Both Hercules and Bravo do that. If what’s said about Hogan and Big Show is true, Hogan has bigger boots than Show. I find that unlikely. I love how Jesse and Heenan were right about Hogan being crooked for years. I wonder if those were semi-shoot comments. Perfect finishes us at 30.

    He was actually more or less set in stone to win this thing, but Hogan said no, giving us this ending. Barbarian is put out by Hercules. Yeah Perfect was supposed to be the top heel to challenge Hogan, probably even fighting him at Mania but due to Hogan saying no and Perfect vs. Hogan tanking house shows, Vince went with Warrior. That explains the big showdown from earlier.

    We get down to Rude and Perfect against Hogan, which was the original ending but with Perfect winning though. Perfect accidently puts out Rude, leaving us with Perfect and Hogan. Can you imagine if Perfect had actually won this? How awesome would that have been? It’s not like Hogan would have been crushed by it or anything. Perfect gets the suplex on Hogan but Hogan pops up.

    You mean he got up from a generic not exactly snapping suplex? NO WAY! Even I have to give that one to Hogan. After smacking the post, Perfect is gone and Hogan wins…of course. I would have loved to see Perfect win there to set up that match on SNME or something. It wouldn’t have worked at Mania, but it would have rocketed Perfect to the top heel spot which was vacant at the time. I guess it was him, but not by much at all. Massive posing ends the show.

    Rating: A-. This was good all around. It had cool moments like Demolition beating Andre and the showdown, but it also had the great battle royal stuff like odd alliances and interesting matchups. This was the Rumble getting it right for the first time. Earthquake looked like a big deal because of this which was the main point. This certainly was a success and went by FAST, which to me says it was interesting.

    Overall Rating: C-. Let’s see: first match sucked, second match was a long glorified squash, third was a Garvin match, and fourth was a decent brawl. You add in a good Rumble and to me that’s right in the middle. It’s not a terrible show, but once again this is all about the main event with a horrible midcard. This was all about setting up Mania though and it did just that. Hogan vs. Warrior was the dream match that people wanted to see and they got a preview here.
    Tastycles likes this.
  11. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
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    Royal Rumble 1990

    The first few years of the Royal Rumble tended to have a few lackluster matches and then the rumble match. This year was probably the worst for that. It’s not that the matches were all that bad. It’s just they had no story so no one really cared. We just wanted to get to the rumble. One positive thing was the crowd. Back in the early ppv days the crowd was always hot. People would go crazy over anyone; not just the main eventers. I miss that. Overexposure of the product has killed that today.

    The Bushwhackers vs. The Rougeau Brothers was ok, but I think we saw enough of that match in 1989. They not only wrestled at WrestleMania V, but I remember seeing them against each other at more than one house show. They wrestled a couple times on tv too. So the match was fine, but no one really cared about this one. I think this was the last time we saw the Rougeaus together as a team.

    I know the point of Beefcake vs. the Genius was to set up Beefcake vs. Perfect at WrestleMania, but there was no set up that I can remember to this match. Whatever. I’m ok sacrificing a rumble match if it helps set up angles for mania.

    I actually thought the submission match was pretty decent. Nothing great, but better than expected. After all it was the only match to have any kind of build.

    I don’t have much to say about Duggan vs. Bossman. Here we had a match between two brawlers that had no story. This was as expected. Bossman would be face within a couple weeks.

    The Brother Love segment went a little long, but I was ok with it. It was so obvious what was going on here. They may as well have come out and said “we’re starting an angle between Randy Savage and Dusty Rhodes.” Despite its predictability I’m ok with this because again it sets up a big match for mania.

    I definitely like this rumble match the best of the first three. This one seemed to flow a little more smoothly. I’m not crazy about Hogan getting the win, but I don’t hate it either. The showdown between Hogan and Warrior was awesome. It was short and simple and did a great job of wetting our appetite for a match against the two most popular stars.

    Even though there wasn’t much to the undercard I like this event. The Royal Rumble is the beginning of the road to WrestleMania. Coming out of this show we knew to expect an epic main event between Hogan and Warrior, Beefcake vs. Perfect, Savage vs. Rhodes, and Piper vs. Badnews. I’d say they did a good job with the rumble that year.
  12. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Royal Rumble 1991
    Date: January 19, 1991
    Location: Miami Arena, Miami, Florida
    Attendance: 16,000
    Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Roddy Piper

    Well, there’s a few big things, but a lot is still the same. Warrior is champion here, defending against Sgt. Slaughter who is in the heel turn from hell as the Iraqi sympathizer. Who cares if the war was already over? The other thing is that about two months ago, Undertaker debuted. This really is about the same as last year’s, but you can see a lot of the stuff that would shape the new era coming.

    For one thing, Bret is featured at the opening of the Rumble, as his singles push was just around the corner. This show really is more designed to set up Mania, as the Rumble itself really didn’t know its purpose yet. The title shot at Mania wouldn’t become official until 1993. The card is considered underrated, so let’s see if it lives….up, I guess would be the right term.

    We open with a shot of the American flag as it’s apparently one of those shows. It’s always cool to hear the Anthem though. The problem here though is simple: the war was less than a month from being over and that was fairly obvious. The angle should have ended here with Slaughter coming in as champion, maybe having won it at Summerslam or something like that. Three months later when Hogan beat him for it the war was already over.

    That was just kind of pointless. Anyway, the regular intro is just that: regular. It’s the same old thing of the participants being listed, although this time it’s by Gene. I almost didn’t recognize his voice though. The first name: Hogan. The second: Bret. That’s saying a lot. Piper always ranted with the best of them.

    Rockers vs. Orient Express

    This apparently is an encounter, not a match. That’s the Fink for you. I’m still waiting on the explanation of how they’re tag team specialists, yet they had far more success as singles wrestlers. They start immediately when they hit the ring which says that this should be good. Oh and it’s Tanaka and Kato the masked man here as this is the NEW Orient Express despite them having been a team in the AWA and half of the NEW Orient Express being the same as the old Orient Express.

    Marty is knocked out to the floor and therefore worthless about 4 seconds in. Well it’s good to know he’s improving. He redeems himself by throwing a superkick at Tanaka that misses by about 4 inches or so. Hey Marty’s ON tonight. The Rockers hit stereo suicide dives on the Express. That’s completely unheard of at this time as Gorilla doesn’t even have a name for it here, calling them cross bodies.

    We get a HUGE USA chant as we’re finally in the corners for a regular tag match. To say the crowd is hot is like saying Norcal is a bit popular around here. They are moving ridiculously fast out there with some great chain wrestling. I feel sorry for Marty as he really was talented. His partner just happens to be one of the best of all time. Speaking of which, Shawn is in now and beating on Tanaka.

    They’re never staying in one spot for long at all. The crowd is insane here too so that’s a major plus. This was around the time where you realized the Rockers really were good and not just two pretty boys. Their stuff was getting to a level that was just below the Harts and could even be compared to them. That’s appropriate too because the Harts would split after Mania of this year. Shawn uses a HHH leaping knee to the face. That’s gimmick infringement bitch.

    They use a decent amount of rest holds, but they’re moving out of them quickly which is all I ask for. To be fair they’re all over the place in this. A We Will Rock You sing a long starts up. That’s actually something I’ve never thought of.

    A sleeper gets a pop. That’s just not something you see often at all. Piper goes into a weird discussion about what is a legal vs. illegal punch/strike. Good night this is fun. Shawn goes up for ten punches in the corner and comes off with a moonsault to take out Kato. Again, that doesn’t even have a name. We’re about ten minutes into this and they’re still all over the place.

    Naturally the announcers say that it’s been fifteen or so but whatever. Shawn does a freaking 610! Ok so it was sloppy as hell but it was the same move. They follow that up with stereo cross bodies from the top to the floor. This is AWESOME stuff. Double teaming and Fuji gets control for the Express. We get the inevitable “this is the first match!” line, which is wrestling speak for “we know the rest of this is going to suck and we’re sorry.”

    The Express are using moves that were considered great when the World’s Greatest Tag Team was using them. On no. It’s a NERVE HOLD! This is the epitome of a weak rest hold as all you do is grab the other person’s neck. It allegedly cuts off the flow of blood or something and you lose feeling in your arm. Oh good it’s now a less bad chinlock. The crowd is still going nuts.

    As per the Rockers’ formula, Shawn gets beaten up to set up the Jannetty tag. In a very cool and smart spot, the Express pull off their sash to use for a clothesline but Shawn avoids it. Instead he dives on it, pulling the Express together so they crash. That’s very smart. Marty comes in to get a paycheck so he can….uh…buy model trains. Yeah, that works.

    He’s going to buy model trains with the money he makes tonight. Lots of them, in a dark alley. Yeah, that’s right. His dropkicks aren’t that good, mainly because at least one foot misses. He makes up for it with a jumping back elbow though so I’m fine. The Rockers “hit” a double superkick to put Kato down and go to the top.

    They set for what I think was going to be a rocket launcher but it doesn’t get to launch thanks to Tanaka. The Express set for a move where Kato slingshots Marty into Tanaka for a chop. It works so naturally they do it again. This time though, Shawn hits Tanaka, allowing Marty to jump over him for a sunset flip to win it! That was SWEET looking.

    Rating: A. This was greatness plain and simple. It was a bit sloppy, but this was one of the most fun matches I’ve ever seen. They were all over the place and doing stuff that wouldn’t become popular until WCW’s Cruiserweight days. The Rockers truly were greatness in tag wrestling. They would split in less than a year though, which might have been a shame. Excellent match here though and well worth going out of your way to see.

    Randy Savage has a statement to make. He more or less declares himself the number one contender for the world title. He and Sean watch on the screen as Gene and Sherri come into the arena. She calls Warrior out, saying how honorable he is. More or less she tries to seduce him into giving Savage the next title shot. Naturally since he’s the Warrior and well past certifiable, he turns her down despite her being on her knees in front of him.

    We do find out that Warrior’s eyes are hazel. This is just amusing to see as the acting is painfully bad. Warrior is the better of the two as the only thing he says is NO one time at the very end. To be fair though, I think this was meant to be awful. The pop for her getting down on her knees is WAY bigger than it should be.

    Warrior looks odd in his gear, the belt and a leather jacket with a flag on the back. The belt is purple by the way. In the back, Savage is PISSED, destroying his locker room and sprinting off after Warrior.

    Big Boss Man vs. Barbarian

    This was during what was likely Boss Man’s biggest storyline as a face, as he was feuding with the Heenan Family one by one over comments that Rick Rude had made about Boss Man’s mother. It would culminate with Boss Man vs. Perfect at Mania, where for some reason that absolutely no one gets, Boss Man didn’t win the Intercontinental Title, which more or less ended him being an important character.

    This is just another match so it’s likely going to be a glorified squash. Piper says Heenan is intelligent. I’m blown away. This is power vs. power obviously but they’re doing the right thing here and having them go back and forth with big shots. That’s the best way to do these if there is such a thing I guess. Bossman really was talented. Somehow this is probably the best Barbarian match ever.

    Boss Man at least made you want to care about a match, which is a lot more than most characters from this time were able to do. After a decent display of back and forth stuff, we naturally hit the bearhug because it wouldn’t be a Barbarian match without one I guess. The crowd is staying in this one so I have to hand it to them. They do some more slow stuff but for some reason this is holding my interest very well.

    Both hit their finishers but both opponents get the ropes. Or at least Barbarian was supposed to, but he never actually reached it. He goes for a piledriver and I think Boss Man slipped out of it or something but it looked pretty bad. Crowd is quiet now. Scratch that. I like Boss Man’s shirt coming open like it does. It gives him that working man look that I think was part of what they were going for with him. Little things like that can make a character so points for it.

    In one of the weirdest endings I can ever remember, Barbarian goes up for a freaking cross body from the top but Boss Man rolls through it for the pin. Well that was odd. During the celebration they go slow motion on Boss Man on the ropes raising his arms which looks really cool.

    Rating: B. This was a lot better than I expected. They took two guys of the same style and got a solid match out of them. That’s just flat out impressive. This could have been far worse but it really was entertaining. Boss Man had that it factor around this time that made you care about him and that’s exactly what happened here. For some reason all that got him was a Mania match with Perfect where he didn’t get the belt or a rematch but whatever. This was a lot better than I expected it to be.

    Iron Sheik and Slaughter have a bit to say. Slaughter’s chin puts Jay Leno’s to shame. He’s just flat out creepy actually which is a good thing. He says that he’ll be the new leader and you haven’t even begun to see turmoil yet. So is he saying he’ll be an awful leader that causes turmoil? Apparently that’s an order.

    Gene is with Warrior, who he calls orier. That just came out as odd. Speaking of odd, Gene tries his best to walk Warrior through a coherent promo but the guy whispers almost everything he says and it’s just hard to understand. He says he’ll win I think.

    WWF Title: Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ultimate Warrior

    Gorilla has to give a disclaimer about Slaughter’s views, saying they don’t reflect Arab Americans or the WWF. Piper goes nuts as a patriot, talking about how the troops are fighting for freedom. There’s a complete argument there that I’ll stay out of. Piper says we ain’t talking skim milk here. I love Piper’s complete insanity. How exactly does one go bananas? Warrior really was WAY over. How did he manage to screw this up?

    Warrior beats up the likely senior citizen Sheik and rips up the Iraqi flag. You have to be interested in how war validates things that would otherwise never be allowed. Warrior hits a knee lift, which I’ve never seen him do otherwise. The commentators are so unbelievably biased here it’s unreal. Slaughter really was good as a bumper. For no apparent reason, here’s Sherri with her fine ass. That thing really is impressive.

    Warrior’s isn’t bad either, but that could be because his tights are white which I have a bit of a thing for. She gets Warrior’s attention and he chases her back to the entrance where Savage is waiting on him. He beats Warrior up for a bit which of course the referee sees none of, despite Savage wearing BRIGHT PINK clothing against a black backdrop. Yeah that just blends in perfectly.

    Ah but there’s the USA chants and the power of patriotism gets Warrior up again. Wisely, Slaughter keeps stopping the count. Roddy, being a decent analyst, points out that very thing. In a bit of forshaddowing, Slaughter does a version of the Hogan ear bit. It’s all Slaughter right now as he spits on Warrior. Yep that’s some great offense. He’s also rocking the curled up boots which are a fashion risk but I’d wear them.

    A double clothesline takes both guys down. In a dumb looking spot, Slaughter follows Warrior around with his arms up for a double axe and then puts on a bear hug. You would have to see it to get why it was stupid. Ah, the powers of patriotism are rising up again! Apparently that only works for the yellow and red though as Warrior is still in trouble. Gorilla says Warrior is only half conscious right now.

    Wow he’s in better shape than usual. Warrior gets out of the bear hug with a double axe that I don’t think actually hit. The comeback lasts just a bit though as Warrior obviously doesn’t love America enough. He must be a commie or something. Oh wait. He’s from Parts Unknown. Everything is explained now. The Cobra Clutch, which in this case means a camel clutch, is on put Warrior’s legs are hanging out. In a weird camera angle the referee is blocked by the guys so it looks like there’s no one there.

    Why is the camel clutch used primarily by Arab themed wrestlers? Think about it: Sheik, Sultan, Muhammad Hassan, Slaughter in this gimmick. What’s the deal with that? Vince may not be racist but he tends to have a lot of racial stereotypes to his characters. Here comes Warrior’s Hulk impression as he can’t feel pain. Warrior hits a flying shoulder which Gorilla calls a heabutt. Well that wasn’t even close.

    That’s by far the biggest mistake Gorilla has made that I can remember. Sherri is back again as you can see the screwjob coming. Being the genius that he is, Warrior does the same thing he did earlier which resulted in him getting beaten up. This time though he press slams Sherri as Savage runs out. Slaughter knees Warrior in the back to put him in position for a 619, but Savage blasts him with the scepter.

    An elbow drop of all things gives Slaughter the title in a move that really should have come four months earlier to get maximum heat. Piper is FURIOUS. I love how the madder he got the higher pitched his voice got. Warrior runs to the back presumably to get Savage as Slaughter is awarded the title. Everyone is PISSED, with Piper being the most of them all. Slaughter the solider holding a purple belt is rather amusing looking.

    Rating: D. This was all about the angle. As for the match: it was awful. Granted given the two guys out there, what were you really expecting? This was all about setting up Mania though, and it did a great job of that.

    Still though, the timing of the war ending really hurt them, which is why having Hogan get it back here and then doing something else at Mania would have worked better. What that something else would have been is beyond me though. Maybe Hogan vs. Savage again or something like that, but as it turned out the moment was good, but not in the real world terms. As for this, the match was bad but the angle was good, simple as that.

    Savage and Sherri are with Sean and say that this was because Warrior said no to Savage. Randy says that he’s the best ever as someone is trying to get in, presumably the Warrior.

    Piper and Gorilla are mad. Monsoon is rocking some purple glasses.

    Gene is with the new champion and Sheik. They cut him off as Slaughter says I told you so. That belt looks odd indeed.

    Gorilla calls Slaughter the Ultimate Puke. WOW. Piper rips his own headset off so he can curse for a bit. That was one of the funniest bits I’ve ever seen and it was completely unintentional.

    Mountie vs. Koko B. Ware

    This is cut from the Coliseum Video version and incredibly rare, but I got lucky and found an original recording of the show. I’ll go with a very condensed version here though as it’s a ten minute squash. This is the debut of the Mountie character who was either a bad comedy bit or the results of a Vince coke binge. For those that have noticed I make a lot of cocaine references, think about it.

    For one thing, it was the 80s when cocaine was running rampant. Second, there are a ton of stories of Vince being a coke head at times. Third, is there any way that he could come up with half of his ideas without drug use? I mean really, Repo Man? Anyway, let’s get to the Hall of Famer Koko’s latest masterpiece. WOW this is boring.

    It’s a squash, but it’s the kind that’s supposed to let Mountie show off all of his stuff, but the problem is it’s just putting the people to sleep. I have a feeling I know how this is going to end, which makes it all the more stupid to have to go this long just to get to that one moment. Yep there it is: Mountie shocks him. That’s the whole point of this match: getting that into the Mountie’s system. Wow that was brutal.

    Rating: D. This was pretty bad. It was a waste of 10 minutes in what should have been a 4-5 minute match. Why did we need to see all of Mountie’s stuff? Better yet, why did we need Koko’s? This was about the Mountie, but they gave Koko all of that offense. It makes him look like he has trouble beating a simple jobber which is the last thing you want to do with a heel character. I don’t get this.

    Some people talk about their relatives in the war. Ok, we get it: the WWF supports the troops. Holy throat crammage Vince let it go. Note: saying guys and gals sounds fucking stupid. They’re girls or women, not gals. It’s not the freaking 50s anymore.

    Children attempting to be sentimental should be dragged through the streets attached to a chariot and then set on fire as goats eat their flesh. Or even worse: be forced to listen to how annoying they sound. I don’t like kids on camera in case you couldn’t tell. Now regular kids I love spending time with as they’re cool, but not kids on a camera that are “so adorable.” No, they’re really not.

    Apparently Hulk wanted to go to the Middle East and visit the troops but the Department of Defense stopped him so he’s going to bases in America. Not sure if that’s true, but if it is, that’s pretty cool even if it was the company’s idea and not Hulk’s.

    Jake Roberts says he wants Martel.

    Earthquake says a lot of people are going to come after him and he’s ready. He calls out some guys, including Hogan and Taker. Yeah that’s brilliant buddy.

    Greg Valentine, sweating profusely for some reason, says bring them on.

    Texas Tornado says he’ll win. I always liked him.

    The LOD say that if life is a roller coaster you wouldn’t want to ride them. Um, ok?

    Brother Love speaks for Taker, saying that he’ll bury 29 men. I love how so many people assume that there will be no eliminations by the time they get there.

    Duggan says he’ll win. He punches his board for no reason.

    Martel says he’ll look good while he wins. He’s ripped here.

    Davey Boy Smith says he’s glad he’s a bulldog. Ok then.

    Perfect and Heenan say that Perfect will be the last man standing.

    Tugboat says he’ll jump right in the middle of things and if it comes down to him and Hulk, TOOT! That made less than zero sense.

    Piper has been working with Virgil. Oh dear.

    DiBiase says Virgil is more or less his slave. That looks like a face’s face to me on Virgil. Nah that could never happen though. Perish the thought!

    Dustin/Dusty Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase/Virgil

    Dusty and Ted had been feuding since Summerslam and Dustin had been in the crowd at SNME watching his dad when Ted went after him. The rest is about what you would expect. Dusty was gone less than a month after this, heading back to WCW though so there we are. No polka dots either. Damn. Apparently they’re Americana. Oh great. If nothing else here the two theme songs kick so much ass words can’t describe it.

    They’re really building up the Virgil face turn here as they have been lately. My goodness Dusty is fat. Dustin is a complete rookie here with very little experience. He was naturally talented though so he’s not bad. A big brawl starts us out here as it occurs to me how little experience Virgil has in the ring. Dustin is WAY taller than Virgil and it looks quite funny.

    It’s also amusing that of these four, Dustin would have by far the most successful WWF career. The future gold enthusiast has to duck under Virgil’s leapfrog. It never really occurred to me how tall Dustin is. DiBiase says Virgil is embarrassing him and Virgil is frustrated. You can feel the turn coming and you know it’s going to be awesome. We’re about five minutes in and Dusty hasn’t been in yet.

    You know what, I’m not even going to bother typing the joke here. You all know what’s coming. Dusty, I’m begging you, either put a shirt on, hit a gym, or invest in blow away. You need it. After Virgil and Dustin come in, Dustin hits his knee on the buckle and is down. Naturally (oh I kill myself sometimes) the heels work it over. Just like Jesse used to, Piper gets a bit annoyed with Gorilla’s babbling about what body part is hurt.

    He says Dustin’s leg is hurt, end of discussion, and that’s why Piper is awesome. Virgil accidently hits DiBiase and gets punched and chopped for his efforts. Dustin and Dusty are really just placeholders for DiBiase and Virgil here. As I type this Dusty goes from being dominant to getting rolled up and pinned. Well that was pretty weak. However, we have a post match angle here. Roddy says that the father and son can come back.

    Granted they both did but a good many years later. Ted says that Virgil has his price and that he needs to put the belt around his waist. Oh and he insults Dusty and Dustin. The Virgil chant is massive here and the countdown is on. Virgil really is built. Piper is disgusted by Virgil giving in again and washes his hands of him. That lasts all of about 20 seconds though as Virgil throws the belt down. He eventually gets on his knees after DiBiase orders him around even more.

    DiBiase turns around and Virgil blasts him in the face with the belt. The crowd E-FREAKING-RUPTS over this. For years and years DiBiase had ordered him around and made him look pathetic and finally Virgil had enough. The payoff was completely worth it here in a very cool moment that had me smiling.

    Rating: B. I’m going B here because this wasn’t as much of a match rather than an angle. The angle after the match was just flat out awesome. That needed to happen and they built it up beautifully. They had a match at Mania which Virgil won by count out. The problem was simple though: what in the world do you do with Virgil now? He had no gimmick and he just kind of floundered after this, but damn it was a great moment.

    Time for more Rumble promos.

    Tugboat uses a bunch of boat analogies which make me think Shockmaster was the better of his gimmicks.

    Smash reminds me of the Joker for some reason.

    Dino Bravo says he’s not afraid of Earthquake.

    Crush says no one will be safe, not even Smash.

    Perfect says he’s the only perfect athlete and he’ll win.

    Hogan of course gets his own special interview where he says exactly what you would expect him to say. He dedicates the match to the troops. Say it with me: Hulk will win. In between the promo, Gene gets a message saying that Slaughter has just defaced the American flag. Yeah that’s not foreshadowing Mania at all.

    In one of the absolute funniest things I can ever remember, Hogan forgets the name of the Iraqi leader (Sadaam Hussein). That was PRICELESS. He dedicates the match to the troops and freaks out over the flag issue, but wait, who are they fighting again? That was great.

    Royal Rumble

    It never ceases to amaze me how great the pops are for the Rumble. Bret is number one. That’s saying a lot for what they knew he had. Two is Bravo as we go over the rules. His hair is dark blond here and it looks bad. Naturally Bret looks great out there. This right here is why you need to keep an eye on your midcard and tag guys (the few that are left): you never know what kind of greatness you’ll be seeing.

    The tag line of OVW is Tomorrow’s Superstars Today. Considering at a WWE house show in 2002 I saw two guys named Prototype and Leviathan go at it, truer words have never been spoken. Those two would later be known as John Cena and Batista, so there you are. Bret almost immediately gets Bravo out but not quite. They discuss the Iron Man record which is a by comparison pathetic 44 minutes at the moment.

    Three is Greg Valentine. He goes after Bravo despite his being a heel at the time. Hammer puts him out, and Piper starts writing stuff down just as he did at Survivor Series. It was funny then and it’s still kind of funny now. In at four is Paul Roma. For the life of me, this guy was a Horsemen? I will never understand that no matter how long I think about it. Maybe I shouldn’t try to. Maybe that’s the secret to it.

    Bret is really being pushed as a big deal here which is certainly a good thing. In a smart move, Bret just sits back and lets Hammer and Roma fight. See, that’s something almost no one does but Bret is smart enough to do it. Kerry Von Erich is fifth, giving us two faces and two heels. Piper apparently has issues with calling so much action at once. There’s two fights. How is that hard? Martel is in next, which is pretty lackluster.

    I guess we’re setting up the jobbers for the big name to come in and clean house. We get some heel on heel violence as this is just boring. Saba Simba comes in at seven to dead silence. Even Gorilla isn’t sure of his name. He’s cut as hell though. You guys know him better as Tony Atlas. In a dumb thing, all six guys are in one corner. That’s just not right. Tornado has the claw on Roma for no apparent reason.

    In at 8 is Butch to up the level of talent out there. Simba and Model both go over but Martel saves himself so we’re still at 6. In case you’re wondering, it’s Hart, Valentine, Von Erich, Martel, Butch and Roma. Despite commentating on it a second ago, Gorilla has forgotten about Saba being tossed. These matches go a lot faster when I’m reviewing them.

    Jake comes in at 9 and of course goes right for Martel who had tried to blind him recently. This led to the blindfold match at Mania which just gets dumber and dumber every time I see it.

    In a funny spot, Martel tries to eliminate himself but isn’t allowed to. We hit double digits with Hercules. The ring is WAY too full right now as we need someone to come in and clear out some of these guys. This is a lot of punching and kicking and bad attempts to throw someone out. There are eight guys out there at the moment and there’s the clock.

    The eleventh entrant is Tito Santana to even further overfill the ring. Roma goes out to get us back down to eight. After about a minute the clock is up again for number twelve, which is THANK GOODNESS the Undertaker. We needed a monster to clear out some of these guys, so let’s see what he’s got. He dumps Hart in about four seconds. Taker no sells the Tornado Punch as Von Erich is a pure jobber at this point despite being IC Champion very recently.

    About a minute and a half after Taker gets in, Snuka comes in at 13. Ring is WAY too full. Butch is thrown out by Taker as well to get us to eight guys out there. To recap, it’s Taker, Valentine, Martel, Hercules, Von Erich, Snuka, Santana and Roberts. Valentine and Von Erich are trying to get rid of Taker. The huge amount of people in the ring is just killing this thing. Again with the shortchanging of the clock! It’s British Bulldog to get us to 9 people in the ring. That’s just absurd.

    Snuka just doesn’t look right with an afro and long tights. That’s just odd. It’s the soon to be gone Smash in at 15. Well if nothing else the ending should be good. Jake goes out to get us back down to nine in there as that just sounds stupid. Martel has a freaking scary look on his face. Hawk is the first of the second half as this match is just bad. There are too many people and there’s been more or less no story at all.

    All we have here is a bunch of people leaning on the ropes and punching each other. To make this even BETTER, Shane freaking Douglas is in at 17. Damn what were they thinking on this show? It’s awful. Yes he was in WWF for awhile. We finally get rid of a bit of the crap out there as Von Erich and Superfly both go out within about 5 seconds of each other. Note: I don’t think they’re bad wrestlers, but they’re just filler here and everyone knows it.

    There’s no 18, and Gorilla speculates that someone was afraid to come in. It was supposed to be Savage but he was running from the Warrior so there’s your explanation that comes at the end of the match. Piper says that the 18th entrant has until the clock starts to still come in. Doesn’t the clock always run but we just don’t see it? Why am I trying to make sense of him? 19 is Animal so we have the LOD in there together.

    Apparently 18 has forfeited his spot according to the great and mighty Gorilla. Hawk and Animal put out Taker and then Hercules and Martel put out Hawk just afterwards. At least the numbers are going down a bit. There’s only eight in there now with 11 more to come. Crush of Demolition cracks the twenties.

    At the moment we have Crush, Smash, Martel, Valentine, Animal, Santana, Davey Boy, Shane and Hercules and all of them are joined by Duggan at 21. He throws the board down and I guess we’ll call it runs to the ring.

    Twenty two is Earthquake. Please, I beg of you, get rid of some of these guys! He takes out Animal pretty quickly. About maybe 80 seconds after Quake comes out, the Perfect entrant is in at 23. Even Piper thinks something is wrong with the clock. Perfect is more or less crawling to the ring. It took about 30 seconds to get there. That’s saying a lot. He does take out Duggan so that’s better than nothing I guess.

    Wow we’re running low on people left to come in. They’re talkinga bout how long some of the people have been in there and it really is impressive. The twenty fourth is HOGAN! Yep, he should get a few people out. He gets a massive pop, so naturally he gets beaten on by Smash and Perfect. Never mind as Smash is gone almost immediately. He’s on Earthquake now as I don’t remember seeing a crowd freak out that fast after being dead for so long before.

    The twenty fifth is Haku as we’re really getting close here. Hogan puts out Valentine who was in there for forty four minutes, just shy of DiBiase’s record. Martel just looks dead out there. Neidhart comes in next to get us down to four to go. Tito punches the hell out of Earthquake and is then thrown over with ease. Oh look. It’s Luke in at 27. Bets on how bad this will go anyone? He steps in, Quake grabs him and takes him to the other side of the ring and he’s gone in four seconds.

    Well then there you go. To his credit he never stopped marching. Quake actually uses a full nelson on Hogan. Wow that’s like, a real wrestling move. That’s surprising. Nasty Boy Knobbs is the first of the final three. Damn was the Brawler busy or something tonight? The penultimate spot goes to Warlord as absolutely nothing of note is going on here. Hercules is dumped out. Hogan tosses Crush as I just want to get to the end of this now.

    Martel has the Iron Man record. Hogan knocks out Warlord as we’re at the last countdown of the match, and number 30 is Tugboat, thereby confirming that Savage no showed. Ok, so remaining in the match we have Hogan, Earthquake, Tugboat, Martel, Perfect, Douglas, Knobbs, Bulldog, Haku and Neidhart. See what I mean when I say this isn’t much of a Rumble? They figure out that Warrior ran Savage off. Knobbs throws out Douglas.

    Wow that kind of shows where his career was at. Tugboat picks up Hogan and dumps him to the apron, so Hogan throws him out. He would turn heel in a few months based mainly on this, becoming Typhoon and more or less saving his career, before a good bit of electrocution ended that. Bulldog hits an amazing dropkick on Perfect to put him out. Perfect was sitting on the top rope and Smith caught him with at least one foot square in the face. That was impressive.

    Martel actually puts Neidhart out clean. That’s very surprising. Smith puts Haku out with a backdrop as we’re trying to get rid of the jobbers. Smith follows that up with a clothesline to put Martel out to a pop. That’s saying a lot that the fans noticed that. I’m proud of them for that one. That gets us to the final four of Smith, Hogan (there’s a pairing that could have been interesting to say the least), Earthquake and…..Brian Knobbs?

    And people say Hogan didn’t do good stuff for his friends. The heels team up and knock out Smith to get us to three. Hmm, I never thought I’d see this: Hogan stuck against two heels. I mean, this could never happen! How could he possibly get out of this one??? To further secure the Hogan victory, Earthquake hits the Earthquake and of course pops up. Piper cheering Hogan is just flat out wrong on so many levels. A boot takes out Knobbs and it’s Hogan vs. Earthquake.

    Surprisingly they go at it for awhile with Quake dominating. And of course Hogan winds up winning it. After another Hulk Up, Hogan knocks out Quake with a clothesline. A HUGE celebration ends with Hogan waving the flag to emphasize America is Great angle of the show.

    Rating: D+. This was just bad. It was boring as hell for the most part with Hogan’s winning being about as obvious as you could possibly imagine. Martel was the only running story and you knew he wouldn’t stand a chance at all. Seriously, Brian freaking Knobbs was in the final three. How does that make a good match? It felt like a bunch of jobbers just killing time for Hogan, which is exactly what it was. That doesn’t make a good Rumble at all.

    Overall Rating: C-. We have a kick ass opening match, a decent match, a bad squash, a very bad title match that was all about building up Mania, another bad match and a very lackluster Rumble. My goodness that Rockers/Express match carried a lot of this show, and that’s just not a good thing.

    It’s just not that good overall and while it has some moments, it’s just not there. I think Vince started realizing that this formula wasn’t working and he needed to change a thing or two, and DAMN did he ever for next year. This show isn’t worth seeing, but the Rockers vs. Express match is must see stuff.
    Billie Jean likes this.
  13. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1991

    By 1991 the Royal Rumble still hadn’t hit the right format, but it was getting closer. For the first time there was a world championship match at the event. Even though it wasn’t the greatest of matches at least something besides the rumble match itself had some meaning.

    I love the opener. This really was a fun match and is one of my all time favorite tag matches. It was fast paced, exciting, and the perfect way to start the show.

    The B for Big Bossman vs. Barbarian surprises me. Not that I disagree as I don’t remember much of this match. It just seems that on paper this matchup has C- written all over it. You said this was a lot better than you expected and I suspect I would feel the same way if I watched it again.

    The title match was definitely more about an angle than a match. This was all about setting up WrestleMania which is ok with me. The match really wasn’t any good, but I really liked WrestleMania VII and this set up the two biggest matches.

    Like Harley Race vs. Haku from 1989 I didn’t see The Mountie vs. Koko B. Ware until the box set came out. This was obviously meant to introduce us to the Mountie by having him beat a somewhat credible opponent. Pretty typical although too long.

    In case you couldn’t tell by now, I’m all about the rumble setting up WrestleMania. It should come as no surprise that I like the next match. This actually had a story going in and a bigger story coming out. I think this might have been Dusty and Dustin’s last appearance in the WWF. Virgil’s face turn was awesome. What made it awesome is that Virgil had been with Dibiase since his debut three and a half years ago. This was a long time coming. These kinds of pairings don’t last that long anymore. This is the kind of thing that would last maybe a year nowadays. Had they done this turn sooner no one would have cared. The timing was right and of course another match was set up for mania.

    This wasn’t one of the better rumble matches, but I liked it better than you did KB. Keep in mind I was a kid and already a fan at this time. I remember the hype of these early ppvs and since there were so few they were all special. That’s probably why I like this more than you do. It was still cool to see all the guys on one night and here we had so many in one match. By comparison this rumble is weak, but I still enjoy it.

    The opening match was awesome. Three big matches were set up for WrestleMania. The rumble, although anticlimactic, was still enjoyable for me. If I was making a list ranking the rumble matches this would probably be pretty low, but one of the worse rumbles is still a fun show.
  14. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1992
    Date: January 19, 1992
    Location: Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, New York
    Attendance: 17,000
    Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan

    Oh yes. OH HELL YES. This right here is in mine and several other people’s opinion, the best Rumble of all time, and there is one man to thank for that: Ric Flair. Yes, the Nature Boy himself has arrived to save the company after WCW did the absolute dumbest thing of all time and allowed him to just walk into the open arms of Vince. Without going into the whole rant which is in my Survivor Series 1991 review, Flair was more or less told that he would become a completely new character or be fired.

    Flair actually had a brain and realized he could be a main event star in WWF at a moment’s notice and that’s exactly what he did. The icing on the pizza (delicious, you should try it someday) was that he had legal possession of the NWA World Title belt, the one that is currently known as the World Heavyweight Championship. That led to this moment, which is still the coolest thing I can remember seeing on WWF Television:


    The look on Gorilla and Neidhart’s faces here are so priceless I don’t even know where to start. That would be like John Cena showing up on Impact. To say it was huge was an understatement as it rocked the wrestling world. Anyway, Flair claimed that he was the real world’s champion and helped Taker steal the world title at Survivor Series. Hogan threw the urn’s ashes at Taker and rolled him up to steal the title back.

    Based on all that insanity, Jack Tunney vacated the title. We’ve had no champion in about two months here, and there just happens to be a huge battle royal coming up. So therefore, in one of the only things that Tunney EVER got right, he makes the 1992 Royal Rumble for the WWF Title. OH HELL YES! Tell me that doesn’t sound completely awesome. For the entire build up to this, Heenan kept saying this is Flair’s chance to show that he’s the best.

    Remember that, as it’s one of the most important things to the show. The only bad thing about this is that we have to put up with the rest of the card before we get to the Rumble. Damn I’m looking forward to this. Let’s go.

    Naturally we go over half the entrants to the Rumble first. I like being surprised better though, but whatever. We hear that the Mountie took the IC Title from Hart over the weekend, which was simply done so we could save Hart vs. Piper for Mania.

    Orient Express vs. New Foundation

    The New Foundation is comprised of Owen and Neidhart. We get our first WILL YOU BE SERIOUS from Gorilla so I’m happy. This is the era of the baggy pants which were just flat out odd in my eyes. We hear about the substitutions. Brian Knobbs has a bad shoulder so he’s replaced by Haku. Jannetty is out as well. Something about a bad haircut I believe, and he’s replaced by Nikolai Volkoff. My goodness what a terrifying concept of a match that is.

    Something tells me that this isn’t going to be as good as the other version of this match that had the Rockers in it last year. So far I’m right. We’re already doing far too much mat work here. In something you don’t see that often, the faces dominate the at least opening half of this thing. Ok, they’ve dominated most of this. The ending must be coming soon right? I mean it hasn’t been a bad match but they’ve had ten minutes already.

    With guys like the Rockers going a long time is fine, but Anvil? Something doesn’t connect there. Tanaka is wearing a black shirt in here for no apparent reason. Naturally the commentators won’t shut up about the Rumble, which at least makes sense here. It does guarantee a new world champion, so at least there’s a reason to talk about it nonstop. After some interference (shocking I say, SHOCKING!) from Fuji, the Express take over.

    This match is running long, and they’re in the deadly territory of being long for the sake of being long. That is never a good thing. The match is ok, but I don’t think it needs this much time. Finally we have the hot tag to Anvil, and the Rocket Launcher ends this one.

    Rating: C+. This was a decent match, but there was no way this should have gone on this long. Last year’s stuff was great as they just went out there and went insane, but here it was Owen against two other guys and then a hot tag to Anvil. That’s fine for something like a ten minute match, but this didn’t do it for me. Again, not a bad match by any means, but it just didn’t work, at least in my eyes.

    Alfred Hayes talks about Bret’s loss at a house show where he (kayfabe) had a 100+ degree fever. This was I think two or three days prior to the Rumble. Somehow this sets up Piper against Mountie. We get a long clip from the show. They really need to show more stuff from house shows as they’re a great way to save some TV time and still advance the shows. Oh apparently Piper came in for the save for Hart and Mountie beat him up, setting the match up. That makes sense at least.

    Mountie says he’ll win.

    Piper says he’ll win, but in a much funnier way.

    Intercontinental Title: Mountie vs. Roddy Piper

    The idea here is that Piper has never won a title, but can win two tonight. This is really just a formality as I don’t think anyone believed there was a chance in Mountie retaining. This is more or less the height of Piper’s face run as he’s been feuding with Flair for awhile. He’s living proof that you don’t need a title to be a major star. The pop is great here as he’s just massively over. Piper stars off hot here, beating Mountie up with relative ease.

    Heenan is hilarious, plain and simple. He’s panicking over what number Flair has and is desparate to get to the back and find out, coming up with great ways to have to go check. He offers to go get a diet drink for Monsoon. It’s a lot funnier than it sounds. Why do I love the jumping back elbow so much? It just looks awesome. Hart interferes but Piper is FAR too smart for that. He hooks a sleeper about as casually as you can imagine and gets his first title.

    He uses the shock stick afterwards which still sounds like a doorbell. The celebration is great here, as Piper really was over to say the least. He didn’t win another belt until a few years ago with Flair, but this was great. He deserved a belt, even though he didn’t need one. It’s a cool moment though.

    Rating: B. The match was a complete squash but it was never about the match. This was giving Piper something for his years of work and that’s just fine. He would go on to have a great match with Bret at Mania, so there we go. This was a cool moment and that’s all it was supposed to be.

    Hayes completely barges into Hogan’s locker room and asks for an interview. To be fair, at least he gives him one. He says he has no friends in the Rumble today. He’s off steroids here as his look is completely changing.

    The Bushwackers say they have a surprise for the Beverly Sisters. Apparently they’re going to feed them to Jameson. Jameson was this nerd character that was just bad.

    Beverly Brothers vs. Bushwackers

    Still I wonder how these guys had jobs. My guess for this is a comedy match. That scares me to death. The Genius is managing the Beverlies here. Gorilla says that the Bushwackers have been licking their way through the competition. That line speaks for itself. The match gets going as Jameson has a sandwich. No one has ever gotten the point of this guy, so naturally he kept going on and on. This just goes on and on.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if Luke and Butch actually did something. All they’re doing is going to the ropes after some bare bones offense and shouting to the crowd. The heels aren’t much help either as they’re just not that good. We are LIVE! I guess even the camera guy couldn’t take watching this for such a long time. I can’t say I blame him. This is just going on FAR too long here and nothing at all of note is happening.

    It’s just generic stuff that isn’t interesting at all. They’re just beating on each other with no rhyme or reason. Oh and Jameson is nervous. That’s all there is here but it just keeps going. The fans are more or less dead here too. After literally almost 15 minutes, the Beverlies win it. Oh but wait! Jameson has to do something stupid! Apparently he doesn’t like the Genius so he kicks him in the shin. Yep, that’s about it.

    Rating: F-. Do I even need to explain this?

    Gene is with the LOD, who are the tag champions here. They just say they’re not afraid of the Natural Disasters. Hawk does have a good line where he says the Disasters want to throw their weight around. That’s ok, because the LOD want to throw the Natural Disasters’ weight around too.

    Tag Titles: Legion of Doom vs. Natural Disasters

    Damn this is tag match #3 out of 4 matches. The Rumble is next, thank goodness. This undercard has been crap in every sense of the word. The matches aren’t interesting and other than Piper vs. Mountie, nothing of note has happened. I mean really, Owen and Neidhart vs. two jobbers and jobbers fighting jobbers. How interesting does that sound? At least this should be kind of fun at least. LOD’s pop is great.

    Naturally this is mainly just a strength contest to begin with. Damn it with the stupid formula stuff all night long. I can almost call out the match as it goes. It’s just generic stuff that power guys do with the Disasters taking control for most of the match. Why should I be interested in this? In short, I’m not, and I like these teams. Here’s the comeback. Yeah, I really don’t care about this. That’s the problem with a huge match like the Rumble for the title closing the show.

    Also the talent is all in the main event so no one is interested in something like this. The good thing is that the Rumble should be pretty star studded. Oh come on. A freaking COUNT OUT??? That’s how we end this? We don’t event get a solid ending after having to sit through that? I’m already annoyed and that’s what I get for it? Freaking bad booking there and it got no reaction at all. When the LOD get no reaction, you can tell there’s no interest at all. The Disasters won by the way.

    Rating: D. This just feels like a bad house show so far. I mean really, the IC Title changing hands is the only thing on the whole show so far worth mentioning and that was a five minute squash. As for this match, it was just boring as hell. This was like a trailer for a future match. It didn’t work at all and I wasn’t interested in it. Factor in that I’m a big fan of the LOD and the Disasters so this was a great sounding match to me, yet it falls flat. This show has sucked so far, and it has sucked HARD.

    Sean is with the Natural Disasters. Damn he must have been wearing Eau de Twinkie or something to get them back there that fast. They say they should be champions because they won. That’s actually a good argument: they beat the champions in a title match. That sounds to me like a title change. All it means is the feud continues. Thanks for that.

    Piper is FIRED UP over winning the IC Title. He’s even more insane than usual. If you don’t believe that wrestlers use cocaine, find a copy of this interview and I guarantee your view will change. He dedicates it to Colt, without saying who that is. It’s his son. I like that. It was really quick and didn’t come off as cheesy at all. Roddy Piper being quick and simple. You’ll never hear that again.

    Sean is with Shawn Michaels who is freshly heel turned. It’s a week after the Barber Shop, which we recap so this is the first televised Shawn appearance as a heel. We get a replay of it, and Heenan saying that Shawn doesn’t need Jannetty is awesome. Shawn is about the level of Chris Masters if he’s lucky here, so this is the epitome of filler.

    Back then, the implication that Shawn could win the world title was absurd. Now it’s a legit possibility if he’s every wrestling for it. He’s a textbook example of someone rising through the ranks, so keep an eye on people you see. You’ll never know what they could become.

    Hayes is with Flair in what must be an intermission. That makes sense. With the Rumble coming up, you want to give the people a chance to get popcorn or a burger or a Coke or something like that. For once, I agree with that idea. Flair says he was #3. This was for the home video release as no one ever said what number they had.

    Flair cuts a generic promo with a chipped tooth. That looks odd. You can tell he is excited though despite how calm he looks. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Flair in his prime was as good as anyone else, plain and simple.

    Savage says that he’s won the title before and he can do it again.

    Sid, who was rapidly becoming a major force in the company a la Batista in 2005, says that he’ll be champion.

    Repo “Smash” Man says that he could take the title. If you ever want to see someone that has gone from one gimmick to another with such smoothness, look right here.

    British Bulldog, who was the real dark horse for the title here, won a battle royal in London so he’s got some recent experience in these matches. It sucks that he never got the title because I think he could have been a solid transitional guy. He certainly had the power for it and that powerslam could beat anyone.

    As Jake and I discussed once though, there was never really a time for him to do that, other than maybe beating Diesel at Great White North, but even then I don’t know if it would have worked. He was really awesome though.

    Jake says he’ll get what he wants. He would be gone by Spring.

    Flair and Perfect say Flair will win. Perfect comes off like a television pitch man here and it works really well in a weird way. Flair’s promo here is in his over the top style and it works like an absolute charm. This was a combination that was so awesome it’s unreal.

    The just about to turn face Undertaker says he’ll win the title again atop a pile of carnage.

    Hogan says that today he gets to prove a point. Amazingly, there are the slightest heel tones here. That could never happen, could it? More on that later.

    And now it’s FINALLY time for the Rumble. Heenan is nearly hyperventilating. This has me hyped despite how bad the earlier stuff was. Shut up Howard! I want my Rumble! Oh there we go. OH DAMN IT it’s freaking Jack Tunney. The booing is about as audible as you could imagine. This guy is just annoying.

    I think he forgets the name of the match. He tries to say it and then calls it this event. Even Heenan is shouting to get this going. Tunney was annoying as hall. After another request for Heenan to be serious, it’s time to get going at last.

    Royal Rumble

    Bulldog is in at #1. Heenan is absolutely hilarious here with how worried he is. DiBiase is in second and someone actually has a Sherri shirt. I didn’t know they even made those. This isn’t a bad way to start: a pair of guys that should be in the Hall of Fame. DiBiase hits the ring and we’re off immediately. The beauty of the format they have this year is that there’s automatically a story in there with the title on the line.

    Gorilla says that DiBiase has been very successful in Rumbles as of late. As of late? There’s one a year, so as of late equals the last two years I guess. Not to mention DiBiase didn’t even wrestle in the 91 Rumble but rather in a tag match. So in other words, doing well as of late now means that two years ago he got about two thirds of the way through. Heenan points out that someone should just hit the floor and kill time, which is actually a very smart thing to do and perfectly legal.

    They establish early on that Martel holds the Iron Man record, so that more or less guarantees that it’ll be broken or heavily challenged. They mention that Luke has the record for shortest time, which is incorrect as he was in there nearly twice as long as Warlord. My goodness I’m a geek. DiBiase is out in less than two minutes as Bulldog hits a dropkick to be all alone. Flair is third and I have to rewind it a few times to get Bobby’s reaction again. He PANICS.

    Gorilla says Brain can kiss it goodbye. This sets the stage for the rest of the match as we all know that it’s going to be the Flair Show here, so let’s see what we’ve got. For one thing he’s rocking the black robe that’s always been my favorite. He’s strutting early so you know this is going to be good. The atmosphere here is off the charts. Heenan and Gorilla are stealing the show though with their commentary as Heenan is panicking and Monsoon is needling him for all he’s worth.

    Smith gets Flair to the apron but doesn’t watch him hit the floor. Damn he’s got to stop doing that. Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys is 4. Sags jumps Smith, and in the words of Dusty Rhodes, “HE BE CLUBBERIN! AND HE’S GOT A BICYCLE!” Smith puts Sags out with the same move he used on DiBiase so we’re back down to Flair and Smith. Gorilla says that all’s fair in the Rumble. I need to mark that down as I’m sure he’ll contradict that later on.

    Out fifth is Haku, Heenan’s old client. He goes right for Smith, which leads to a brief double team. Flair goes for Haku and gets chased to the floor. You can see Flair planning everything he does as he’s being the sneaky master and playing it to the hilt. He goes to Haku’s head with a knee drop which as I’m coming up with a joke Heenan points out that it won’t hurt Haku. He’s a damn proud Samoan stereotype.

    After Haku beats on Flair even more, Smith dumps him with relative ease. HBK is in at 6, as Gorilla gets in another great line with “Some guys hate Flair more than others.” HBK has connections with both guys in there so that’s actually rather interesting. Michaels hits a crescent kick to Flair as it’s years away from having a name yet. Flair pops up almost, but to be fair it looked like he got his hands up.

    Smith puts Shawn to the apron and DOESN’T MAKE SURE HE HITS THE FLOOR! My goodness you would think he would have learned his lesson for three years later. Shawn goes for the kick on Smith but it literally doesn’t make contact with his head at all. The way the camera is set up couldn’t have been worse as you can clearly see the foot going over Smith’s shoulder.

    He sells it more than Flair did though so there we are. Heenan is looking for a drink with a kick. He’s really the highlight of this match not named Flair. Shawn gets crotched on the top rope in a spot that never gets old. Santana is in at seven in his El Matador gimmick.

    He goes for Flair as Bobby is screaming for Perfect to get out here. So far, seven guys and seven champions. That’s pretty damn good. Actually, all seven guys were at one time in their WWF/E careers, tag team champions. That’s quite impressive I’d say.

    Flair gets his first low blow in of the match on Smith which Heenan doesn’t even deny. You know this is a big match based on that alone. Heenan says he’d do that to his grandmother if he had to. That’s just hilarious. The Flying Jalapeno puts Flair down as Barbarian comes in to break the tag champions streak. How did he still have a job at this point? Gorilla points out in a near creepy tone that Barbarian doesn’t like Flair either. He’s the jobber I guess.

    Texas Tornado, who beat Flair for the world title back in I think 84 is in at number 9. Damn those white tights. Flair goes right after him to renew their rivalry. Von Erich was pure jobber here as he hadn’t meant a damn thing in about a year and a half at this point. Heenan points out his old strategy of bringing in a big wrench and beating people with it to win. That’s either brilliant or cause for a citizen’s arrest. At number ten, stealing the single digit monopoly is the Repo Man. WOW that joke sucked.

    His comedy here is impressive, especially considering at one time he eliminated Andre the Freaking Giant from the Rumble. Heenan points out an interesting thing: why should Repo run to the ring? Why not avoid some punishment? That’s actually really smart. I’d do it. Slide in the ring then slide back out and go out into the crowd or something then climb in at the end. Damn kayfabe fucking stuff up.

    Greg the Jobber Valentine is in at 11. He and Flair know each other pretty well too. It amazes me how many people Flair has interacted with over the years. That’s very impressive. Think of it like this: Taker has been around forever right? He needs another ten years to be around as long as Flair, and he’ll likely be gone in five years. Michaels is literally holding on by a single foot which would become his trademark.

    In at 12 is the 320lb Lithuanian Nikolai Volkoff! For some reason that’s a popular line that I’ve just never gotten but it originated here. Still, only Barbarian has never been WWF/E tag champion of the entrants so far. For no reason whatsoever, Valentine puts Flair in the Figure Four as Volkoff is thrown out. Gee thanks for coming Nicky. Boss Man, rapidly approaching jobberville, breaks the Rumble into its teen angst years by being number 13.

    He just punches the hell out of everyone, namely Flair. Valentine is tossed pretty easily. Repo is thrown with ease as Boss Man is clearing the ring which was desperately needed. Flair surprisingly back drops both Smith and Von Erich out with relative ease. Those came out of nowhere. That leaves us with Flair, Santana, Shawn, Boss Man and Barbarian in case you were wondering.

    Shawn and Santana eliminate each other to set up their forgettable Mania match as Hercules is in at 14 and hammers on Flair. Flair high fives Barbarian and then chops him to send Heenan to his 10th heart attack of the match. Barbarian tries to dump Flair, but Hercules dumps Barbarian and gets dumped by Boss Man, leaving us with the cop and Flair. Well I’ll give them this: there haven’t been any dead spots.

    Flair hits nearly 30 minutes as Boss Man does some weird martial arts thing. Flair throws him out with ease again as Heenan says that’s enough and Flair should be world champion. We get to the end of the first half with Roddy freaking Piper! The fans are freaking here as they hit the floor through the middle rope. Piper is hammering him. Flair hits an atomic drop but gets the Three Stooges eye poke for his troubles.

    Piper goes WAY old school with the Airplane Spin, the finisher of Gorilla Monsoon himself to set up a sleeper. Now this strikes me as odd. Piper beat Mountie with a sleeper after beating on him for about four minutes and Mountie was out like a light. Flair has been out there for about 30 minutes and he can stand a longer sleeper than Mountie who was 5 minutes removed from being fresh? Does that just sound odd to you?

    In another weird looking thing, Piper knocks Flair out with it and then picks him up and puts it back on him. Well ok then. Jake is in at 16 but wisely just sits back and lets Piper beat on Flair. That’s really smart when you think about it. Why should he risk getting thrown out or use any energy? That’s what people mean when they talk about wrestling psychology. Anyway he jumps Piper from behind as Heenan is all of a sudden a Jake fan. Damn I love Heenan.

    Jake starts the DDT sequence on Flair and Heenan actually thanks Piper for the save. Literally seconds later, he’s calling Piper a no good skirt wearing freak. Bobby really is cracking me up here. Seventeenth is Jim Duggan who gets a pop and a half. What is the appeal of this guy? I’ve yet to see him not get a huge ovation. Gorilla admits that he’s impressed by Flair.

    With Flair on his stomach, Heenan says he’s on his feet. I guess you can’t always be awesome. IRS is in at 18th as this match is going really fast for some reason. He more or less beats on everyone and gets his tie pulled. Now that’s just not that neighborly. Nineteenth is Snuka who is about as much of a jobber as you could ask for at this point. He just had been passed by and it’s a shame considering how innovative he really was.

    Also he needs to wear the short tights as they just work better for him. Gorilla and Heenan go over the big names remaining and Heenan panics some more to give me yet another great laugh. Gorilla slips up though and says that the big names get preferential treatment. Oh that’s not going to go over well with Vince at all. I can picture the screaming he’ll be doing. Granted I’d need to turn up the volume to hear but the visual is awesome.

    We crack the top 20 with the Deadman who is just about to go face as I mentioned above. He’s also got Paul Bearer now so things look as normal as they can with him. There goes Snuka and he’s on Flair now. Heenan is just gone at this point, screaming that it’s over and he has nothing left. Taker actually goes low to stop Duggan. That’s not something you see very often at all. The twenty first guy is Savage to a solid pop.

    There is some amazing talent in there. Jake runs for his life of course as he continues to has such a mastery of the psychology. A high knee from Savage takes him out though and in a moment of insanity he jumps over the top and takes out Roberts. They make a last second save though and say that he jumped himself so he’s still in, which contradicts everything they’ve ever said as far as rules go so there we go.

    I’ve always wondered what would happen if someone screwed up that was supposed to win and got thrown out by mistake. It would be interesting if nothing else. Taker and Savage are going at it. That’s a very interesting match indeed. Piper and Duggan are kind of hard to tell apart. It’s annoying. Gorilla is surprised that Flair is fighting, which means low blows and punches but whatever.

    Berserker is in at 22 as we’re really getting close to the ending here. You can tell Heenan is nervous as he says that Flair should weasel his way out. That’s amusing on many levels. 23 is…Virgil. Well I guess they had to have a few jobbers in there. We get the old standard of jokes as Brain says that Virgil took the gold belt and had it bronzed. Granted that’s a smart idea considering it would be very rare.

    Taker is choking Flair. There’s really not a lot going on here as it’s just a lot of basic stuff. However they’re managing to keep it interesting which is hard to do. Piper beats on Virgil, his former student. Twenty four is Colonel Mustafa, who has a job despite the war having been over for a year now.

    Vince, learn how to drop a gimmick when you need to. That’s a very important life lesson. For some reason Monsoon calls Flair Martel twice in a row and isn’t corrected. WE ARE LIVE! To make things even more confusing, Martel is #25. He’s naturally a heel here and goes right for Flair for no apparent reason other than logic. Savage throws Mustafa out to no reaction at all.

    It’s Hogan in at 26 to set the arena on fire. He grabs Taker and Flair so there we go. Hogan takes out Taker with a clothesline and then backdrops Berserker out about three seconds later to clear the ring out a bit. That’s good too as it was really needed at that point. Virgil and Duggan eliminate each other so we’re four men lighter than we were a second ago.

    Make that three as Skinner is here at 27. Hogan has Flair up and Bobby starts crying in perhaps the funniest part of the match yet which is saying a lot. He starts praying which has me cracking up despite having watched this match at least 10 times. He again pleads for a drink as he sounds like an AA dropout. Quick recap: Flair, Hogan, Skinner, Piper, Martel, IRS and Savage and they’re joined by Sgt. Slaughter.

    That means there are ten guys possible that can win. Martel puts Skinner out to a yawn from most people. Hogan and Piper go at it and all things are right with the world again. Flair has set the Iron Man record, which Bobby says is good enough to make him champion. 29th is Sid Justice who is a major face at this time. That means that thirty will be Warlord for no reason at all. Flair is still on offense which is pretty cool.

    There’s Warlord and for some bad reason, Flair goes to the top. I wish Heenan noticed it too as it would be great. He and Hogan are on the floor now and Flair takes a suplex. Ok, so the final guys are Flair, Hogan, Piper, Martel, IRS, Savage, Slaughter, Sid and Warlord. There goes Slaughter so we’re doing to 8. Since I just reviewed Wrestling Classic an hour or so ago, I smell a bad tournament! In a very funny moment, Piper is in trouble from IRS but he grabs the tie and eliminates him with it.

    That’s great stuff. Hogan Hulks Up after a chop and Flair is scared to death. Hogan and Sid easily dump Warlord, which for some reason surprises Gorilla. Ok then. Sid dumps Martel and Piper to get us down to Hogan, Flair, Sid and Savage. That’s a pretty good final four. Savage is gone and we’re at three. Hulk Hulks Up again. Flair can’t do the Flair Flip which is impressive since he’s worked this long.

    Hogan is dumped from out of nowhere by Sid and the ending is clear now. Hogan screams that Sid stole his belt and grabs his arm. Flair sneaks up behind him and throws him out to win the title. Bobby’s orgasm could flood the whole state of New York. Hogan keeps going after Sid on the floor to make sure that no one but him gets the spotlight. Heenan says yes 32 times inside of a minute. That’s impressive.

    Rating: A+. This is the greatest Rumble of all time, hands down. The emotion, the action, the ending, and the talent were all top level and it worked perfectly. Watch this Rumble right now as it’s worth every minute of it.

    Now for the interesting part. As Flair and Perfect leave, we have Sid and Hogan fighting in the ring, and you can hear the fans booing Hogan and cheering for Sid. This of course had NOTHING to do with Hogan thinking it was time to retire and it was all his idea.

    In the back, Tunney presents the title to Flair in front of the “press”. Flair cuts one of my all time favorite promos as he talks about what it means to be a champion. He’s just dripping with emotion here and he gets a nice little jab in at the NWA and WCW by saying that it’s just the WWF Title that means anything in wrestling.

    This was a very novel idea at the time as other than the inaugural Survivor Series, no heel had ever won the main event on PPV before in the WWF (Taker vs. Hogan wasn’t the main event technically). That’s simply amazing and Flair says that it’s his time now and he just proved it. He’s absolutely right.

    Overall Rating: B. That’s how good the Rumble is. Other than that and the moment of Piper winning, this show is horrible. Look at it. It’s just random stuff thrown on there with zero rhyme or reason. That’s the problem with having such a great Rumble: you take away the rest of the card.

    Now to be fair, they were really betting the farm on the main event working and to say it paid off is an understatement. The main event is incredible stuff that will not get old to me no matter how many times I see it. I think the recommendation here is pretty easy: watch the Rumble and then watch it again. That’s more interesting than the first half of the show.
  15. GIMH

    GIMH Lifelong Jerichoholic

    May 24, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I share your feelings on that Rumble, and to be honest if we had two hours of Santina Marella V Vickie Guerrero before the Rumble I'd still score the event an A because I jsut feel great after watching it. I once read that it was the last great performance of Flair's career (I don't agree for the record and at the very least his performance against Savage at WM 8 should be considered) and he was fantastic alright.

    Heenan gives the best ever commentary performance in this match. The amount of times he said, "it's not fair to Flair!" must have been off the charts, and I love the bit you mentioned when Piper saved Flair.

    "It's a kilt, all those times I said it was a skirt, no, it's a kilt."

    Piper attacks Flair.

    "It's a skirt! You skirt wearing freak!"

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. May have to watch this tomorrow night.
  16. KillBill

    KillBill Getting Noticed By Management

    May 24, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Yes, this was the best Rumble ever. The talent, the hofer's everything was just epic. I like that the Rumble was divided into 2 matches pretty much, right in the middle, so that was different. Another part I really liked that happened on many ppv's that you have never mentioned to my knowledge, was the stills from the ppv with music. I like the music they did with this 1, esp when they had stills with Piper holding the belt, and Flair looking scared and beaten. Great Match.
  17. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1993
    Date: January 24, 1993
    Location: ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
    Attendance: 16,000
    Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon

    Well, a bit has changed in the last year. For one thing, about two weeks before this, a show called Monday Night Raw debuted. This completely changed the world of wrestling forever. No longer did we have to watch Sunday morning Superstars to get wrestling. We now had it every Monday night in prime time. That really did change the world of wrestling forever. Other than that, Hogan is more or less gone at this point.

    He would be back just in time for Mania to steal a title that he had no business being around after guys like Bret and Flair had worked so hard for the past year, but he’s Hulk Hogan and therefore awesome and can get away with stupid moves like that. Savage is on commentary for the most part now but he occasionally wrestles like he’s doing tonight. More on that later though.

    Also tonight, we have the relatively rookie wrestler named Razor Ramon getting a world title shot. He was never actually in the Rumble. He always was in some kind of title match or injured. That’s saying a lot. Anyway, not a lot of people remember this show, which could be good or bad. Let’s see how it goes.

    Oh and Narcissist debuts tonight.

    Alfred Hayes does stupid stuff with fans as I need a revovlver.

    Beverly Brothers vs. Steiner Brothers

    I guess we can officially say we have a Rumble tradition as this is the fourth year running for a tag match opener. There is ZERO talking during the Beverly entrance. The Steiners get a traditional one though. Rick and Scott were there for little more than a year, but it worked very well I’ve always thought. They’ve been here about a month at this point though so this is their showcase match more or less. Wow that’s a bad draw for them as the Beverlies suck.

    Heenan points out that the headgear Rick wears could be a weapon. Technically yes but it’s far better than cauliflower ear. Gorilla and Bobby are at it again, but Gorilla says the Beverlys have been successful. Did I miss something here? Scott gets an armbar and control according to Gorilla, which sounds like something on a game show. Also according to Gorilla, his taxicab driver said he could have sold his ticket for 50x its face value.

    So in other words the driver admitted he might illegally scalp it. Yep that’s very smart there buddy. They reiterate that this is the first time where the winner of the Rumble is guaranteed a title shot at Mania, and thereby the tradition is born. Since it’s their first big match, let’s have them get beaten down for the most part. That’s perfectly logical isn’t it? The Steiners are getting beaten up here really badly and it’s just a poorly booked match.

    If you’re going to have tag jobbers, then have them look like jobbers. By doing this it looks like Rick and Scott can’t beat a couple of horrible guys. We are LIVE! I always get a kick out of those. They come from nowhere and they don’t tell you anything at all. Also, what kind of an expression is getting a kick out of something? Wouldn’t that hurt instead of being amusing? The Beverlies are bad. Like, really bad.

    We finally get to the hot tag but the fans are kind of bored here as it’s just taken too long to get to that. The tag looks awesome as Scott is on the ground and dives for Rick but he goes through the ropes and lands on the apron. That was sweet looking. Rick more or less beats them up by himself until Scott comes back in.

    They set him up for a Doomsday Device move but in another SWEET counter, Scott rolls up one of them into a victory roll and the Frankensteiner ends it soon after. The ending two minutes were great but the rest was just bland.

    Rating: C-. This is mainly for Rick’s beard and mustache which I think are alive. There’s no way those things aren’t at least creatures of some sort. As for the match, I don’t get why they would have the Beverlies, one of the most boring teams of all time, go in there and beat up Rick and Scott, one of the best of all time, for such a long time. It just made them look weak and while the dominated the end, I didn’t care by then, which defeats the purpose of the match as a whole.

    We hit the recap of the Rockers as I’m surprised Okerlund is still with the company at this point. He and Heenan would definitely be gone by the end of the year. Anyway, the Rockers were awesome minus that whole winning anything. We have the Barbershop Incident and Marty was out for a long time.

    Shawn started doing this thing where he would fix his hair in front of a mirror in the ring. Marty came from the crowd and Shawn saw his reflection in the mirror which was awesome. After the beatdown swung it at Shawn and hit Sherri who was Shawn’s manager. That led to this match.

    Intercontinental Title: Marty Jannetty vs. Shawn Michaels

    Sherri is here first as I think they’re trying to go with a Mega Powers Explode angle here. The aisle seems very short here for some reason. The arena is good sized so I don’t know why they would have to do that. Shawn’s belt is blue here for no apparent reason. Shawn is already selling like a mad man. In another unintentional funny moment, Gorilla answers the question of has a woman ever been in love with you by saying are you kidding me?

    This is mainly about Sherri because she’s clearly more important than the title involved here. More or less we’ve had all Shawn beating on Marty here as we have this continuing theme of the faces getting beaten up. It’s mainly working on Marty’s left arm which confuses Gorilla for no apparent reason. Watch a string of matches and tell me how many times you see a guy working on the right arm. It simply doesn’t happen.

    This is reminding me of the Hardy matches when they feuded as there’s just something odd about seeing these two fight. It’s just not working for me. I don’t get the need for the long pauses in commentary. It’s kind of annoying. Why does Shawn oversell everything? He hits the post shoulder first so both guys have bad wings at this point. In case you missed it the first time, WE ARE LIVE!

    We apologize for taking you away from a decent match to let you know that, but we feel a shot of the crowd and a reminder that we’re LIVE is more important. For one of the only times that I can ever remember, the reverse suplex to the floor works for Marty. Sherri smacks Shawn on the floor and only Bobby and Gorilla seem to care. Wow Marty Jannetty can’t do a DDT to save his life.

    They’ve picked up the pace a lot here and the crowd is suddenly alive. For reasons of it being required the referee goes down. Marty holds Shawn for a shoe shot from Sherri as my love for alliteration grows. Of course it misses and she’s completely distraught. Amazingly no one seems to care. Ok not really but I wanted to make it seem like it meant something. In a rather dumb ending, Shawn yells at Sherri, Marty gets up, Shawn kicks him and we have a pin. Sherri won’t talk to Gene in the back.

    Rating: C. Well, the opening was just off for them but then they turned it up again. The ending was just odd all together though. The problem is these two had a far better match a few months later when Marty actually won the title, which for some reason didn’t happen until May which I’ve never gotten. The chemistry was there to an extent, but at the same time it just wasn’t clicking, which I know sounds weird but I can’t word it any other way.

    In the back, Sherri is overreacting at an insane level as Gene even curses. Shawn runs back and looks like he’s going to hit her but Marty runs in for the save. For some reason an orange goes flying. This was just dumb.

    Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Big Boss Man

    My, that’s a lot of Bs. Boss Man is just about gone here and is a complete jobber to the stars at this point. Bigelow is freshly returned to the company here and this is I think his first non squash match. There’s zero story here, which just furthers the squash theory. We’re eight seconds in and Boss Man is looking destroyed already. This is all Bigelow here as the announcers aren’t even talking about the match but rather something about Gene and Bobby in Vegas or something.

    You can clearly see the fans leaving to get food or whatever in droves. I don’t get why Boss Man was never pushed really hard in the midcard. He’s a jobber here and he’s getting solid pops. They go to the corner and Bigelow gets the traditional 10 punches to the neck. It’s also a fairly morbid match as both men are dead now. Bigelow’s submission here is just holding onto Boss Man from behind. Yep that’s it.

    This is just not interesting at all and it’s going on for too long which seems to be a running theme tonight. FINALLY Boss Man does something and he gets a decent back drop on Bigelow. That’s pretty impressive. In another stupid ending, he just clotheslines Boss Man down and hits the headbutt to end it. What’s with that lately?

    Rating: D+. It saddens me to see a guy that I always liked like the Boss Man reduced to this. This was a squash and not a very interesting one either. Bigelow completely destroyed him here in the IC Special. I just don’t get why Boss Man was pushed so far down. He wasn’t bad at all and apparently they saw something in him as they kept bringing him back. This was about 10% Boss Man if that, which really is a shame. Bigelow would have a strong initial run and then just fall completely flat.

    We see a clip of Razor beating up Owen. Yep that’s not very interesting. Gorilla and Bobby sound odd here. We get a short promo from Razor saying he’ll beat Bret.

    WWF Title: Razor Ramon vs. Bret Hart

    This was allegedly supposed to have been Warrior instead of Razor. I’ve read that from multiple sources including Bret himself, so I think there might be some truth to it. Warrior had been in the title picture when Bret took it from Flair from out of nowhere. If nothing else it makes sense here for Warrior to have gotten the shot here. I think they went with the right choice in Razor though. Granted Warrior had been thrown out for steroids allegedly so there we go.

    Anyway, Razor had been hanging with Flair as a top heel for no apparent reason and then he got a world title shot for no apparent reason. I think he was supposed to be this incredible bad ass guy but it never really was explained why he was so awesome. Granted he certainly was, but it would have helped a bit.

    His character was more or less taken straight from Scarface, but he got incredibly lucky: at the meeting where he pitched the character, Vince and Pat Patterson thought he was improving it and thought he was brilliant. Even still it’s a great character, but DAMN what a way to get over good with the boss. Bret, rocking the pink jacket, says that Razor has made it personal.

    I guess that’s because of the Owen attack which is kind of a story so I’ll take that over nothing at all. Razor is really young in his WWF time here, having been there about five months at the time. In a very cool shot, we see Bret ready to come through the curtain and getting himself fired up. He stands there for a bit looking like he’s in a coma and at a high point of his music he snaps forward and turns into the Hitman. That was sweetness.

    Stu and Helen are of course here as is their custom. Bret winning here is pretty much a given, but a title match is better than nothing at all. Before the bell, just a quick reminder that WE ARE LIVE! This is working pretty well at the start as it’s fairly clear that Razor has a limited but solid offense. He had nearly 10 years experience at this point, but he’s not a great worker yet.

    Over the next few years he would just nail the character so well that it could be kind of overlooked. We have a not entirely short early beatdown by Bret which is fine as he’s making Razor look solid. Razor is helping himself as well with some good selling. Naturally we have Bret in trouble soon after this, as Razor works on the ribs. This goes on for awhile and again since the match is pretty good I can’t really comment on it that much.

    It’s a very basic style with Bret being in trouble a lot but coming back with some basic offense here and there. Razor keeps him down though and avoids the Sharpshooter at all costs. Bret finally gets off the mat for a bit and we go at it some more. For no reason whatsoever, Ramon uses back to back Greco-Roman knuckle locks, more commonly known as a test of strength. Brain says this could help him work on the ribs. Am I missing something here?

    Bret doesn’t get moving quickly that often but when he does it really does work. In a GREAT ending sequence, Bret rolls down the back of the Razor’s Edge and gets a sunset flip for two. Razor kicks out and Bret grabs the legs, locks the Sharpshooter on from the mat and turns Razor over for the tap. OH HELL YES!

    Now that is Bret just being awesome out there and using his natural skills to just flat out beat someone he’s in there with. That’s awesome. It’s almost the same ending he used against Perfect in 91 at Summerslam, but damn it’s still cool.

    Rating: B. This was a solid enough match for sure, but it could have been just a hair better. I have no clue how, but I know it could have been. Bret was at his best out there, sort of showing Razor where to go without holding his hand. This is what they built the company on for a long while, until somehow Hogan managed to sneak in and take the world title despite not having been doing anything even remotely associated with it for about a year.

    Heenan is ready to unveil Narcissus. He’s actually in the arena and not on satellite which surprises me. This was a big deal for the fans of WCW who didn’t know that Luger had jumped. Heenan is liking Luger’s body WAY too much here. It sounds like he wants to jump him or something. Also Luger is posing to some really bad pop/techno music.

    I don’t know why Heenan wasn’t associated with him more than he was. I never got that. I feel like I’m watching some kind of gay porn intro from how much Heenan is saying. Bobby gets in a jab at Perfect before Luger talks. He doesn’t help the gay overtones by mentioning the people getting on their knees before him. It’s an over the top yet effective intro so I’ll give them that.

    Caesar and Cleopatra are here for the foreshadowing the idiocy of the World’s Largest Toga Party at Mania. They look so bored out there and they actually try to make this sound serious. It’s just fucking dumb. Move on PLEASE.

    With no big string of interviews this year, we’re ready for the Rumble.

    Royal Rumble

    Flair is out first as he wins the award for worst luck in Rumble history. He would get 30 about 14 years later so that’s all fine I guess. He would lose a loser leaves town match the next night on Raw, so guess how he does here. Anyway, we have a battle of the old guys as Bob Backlund is in at 2. He gets zero reaction which is a shame as he really was great. Both guys are wearing red which is interesting looking. HA I beat Heenan to pointing that out!

    Wow actually Heenan would last until the end of the year. Sorry for referencing something I said a few pages ago but I just looked that up during a dead spot. Gene would be there until September. I had those dates way off. In at three is Papa Shango which is just about the oddest pick you could have to join these two. Surprisingly he lasts about 20 seconds as Flair sneaks up on him to put him out.

    That’s not something I expected but it makes sense. Flair and Backlund are having what should be a pretty historic encounter here, but damn I just couldn’t care less. This would have been epic 10 years earlier, but geez this isn’t interesting at all. DiBiase comes in at 4 as the talent out there is insane. He and IRS are tag champions at this point.

    Heenan is sharp here but he’s not up to what he was last year. Granted that’s nearly impossible to pull off. My goodness DiBiase and Flair would be an epic duo. I don’t think the feud would work though. Fifth is Brian Knobbs who was kind of feuding with DiBiase’s team at this time. Wow he just doesn’t fit the mold of the other three in there. DiBiase gets his face rubbed into Knobbs’ arm pit. And people wonder why he left doesn’t associate with wrestling much anymore.

    Virgil is in the ring maybe 2 seconds after his buzzer goes off so I’m thinking he jumped early. Naturally he and DiBiase go at it. My goodness he was generic as hell. Backlund is 43 years old by the way. DiBiase puts on Knobbs for a little retribution. At far less than two minutes after Virgil, Lawler comes in at seventh. Flair goes through the ropes to kill some time.

    It’s just completely odd to hear Heenan talk about Lawler. We get another funny now line as Bobby says Lawler is Vince’s boss. Again less than two minutes go by and we have Max Moon who may or may not have been Konnan. We’re almost at 1/3 of the way through this and it’s not that interesting at all so far.

    Lawler is wearing white/gray which looks like it has flowers on it. It’s really odd looking. Lawler puts out Moon as Genichiro Tenryu of all people is number nine. I can feel the smarks cheering from here. He goes for Flair as I request not to be soaked with semen until after 9pm. Heenan says that Tenryu must be the inspiration for chop suey with all those chops. No that would be Kobashi. Wow I spend too much time on WZ to know that.

    Gorilla doesn’t have a running clock this year which I think is a first. Oh he’s told something. Apparently it’s been 20 minutes. Considering I’m watching this online and we’re at 18 minutes on the counter and the match didn’t start until about two minutes, we know that’s a lie. Not to mention he says this before #10 comes out, and with two minute intervals and considering that 1 and 2 are there together, math wise we could only be at about 16 minutes max.

    Perfect is in at 10 as Heenan has a bigger heart attack than when Hogan came in last year. Naturally he goes straight at Flair which was a great rivalry that I wish we had gotten more of. For a recap, we currently have Flair, Backlund, DiBiase, Virgil, Lawler, Tenryu and Perfect in there. Perfect really was awesome at this time as this was the height of his face run. He would beat Flair clean the next night (or a week ago depending on how you look at it) in a great match. Bobby is FREAKING here.

    You know I wonder what would happen if say Flair won the Rumble and then lost his career the next night. Would there not be a Mania title match? Literally as I finish typing that question, Gorilla says that should that happen there wouldn’t be a title match. It’s like we’re psychos or something! Anyway Skinner is 11th as this is just kind of looking bad so far. Perfect dumps Flair to a HUGE pop. That’s good to hear.

    The Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware is in at 12, wearing but not rocking the bright green pants. Who did he sleep with to get a job for so long? I’d love to know. Perfect continues being awesome by putting out Skinner as Heenan challenges Monsoon to a fight. The Rumble is 13 years old now as it’s Samu. Nothing is happening here as we’re really just going through the motions.

    Berserker comes in and we now have Backlund, DiBiase, Virgil, Lawler, Tenryu, Perfect, Ware, Samu and Berserker. Good night that’s a lot of jobbers. Perfect drops Lawler to get us down to 8. DiBiase, Ware and Lawler team up to take out Perfect after a long struggle, which disappoints me as he certainly could have gone on a lot longer as a bigger deal.

    Virgil is gone too and we’re at 6. The first half ends with Taker who is allegedly the favorite in this match? Sure why not? Taker drops Samu with relative ease as hopefully he’s the guy that drops the jobbers.

    Berserker and Backlund are on the floor fighting but are both still in it. Taker throws out Tenryu as I’m guessing that he didn’t get a fair break, he could outwrestle everyone in this match put together, and he had a five star tag match with some other Japanese legend about 4 days prior to this? He also should be going to Mania for some massive crossover show with another company being brought in to make it an international organization.

    The fact that no one popped for his entrance, anything he did in the ring or his elimination is irrelevant as well because they just don’t get it and the in ring work is more important than ratings. Just thought I’d spare some morons some keystrokers of idiocy there. Taker vs. DiBiase is an interesting…oh damn it Terry Taylor is in this match. He’s on the Garvin scale of annoying wrestlers. THANK YOU TED DIBIASE! He put out Taylor and Ware in one shot!

    Granted he got chokeslammed just after it but damn I’m happy now. There he goes though so we’re at Backlund, Berserker and Taker at the moment. Since we just had a cool moment, let’s have a stupid one here as Giant Gonzalez debuts. For those of you that don’t know it’s a guy that’s taller than Khali but with about ¼ of his wrestling ability.

    The thing is they used the same exact storyline to introduce Khali: Daivari, or in the original case Harvey Whippleman, had managed a guy he had sent after Taker (Kamala and then Hassan/Henry) who Taker had destroyed. The monster appeared, beat up Taker a few times, leading to a major fight that Taker would win. See? It’s the same thing and the main reason why Khali was hated.

    We old school guys knew what was coming step by step and it just didn’t work. Gonzalez, who isn’t named here, wears this weird suit that makes him look like a caveman. I can’t believe that at the time, people actually compared him to Andre the freaking Giant. Taker puts out Berserker to make it him alone with Gonzalez. In a standard camera shot, Gonzalez’s ass is above the top rope.

    Taker comes up to his shoulders. Damien Demento comes in at I think 17 and Gonzalez throws Taker out, which for some reason counts. Yep that’s about it. Backlund and Demento aren’t in the ring but they’re still in the match so keep that in mind. Taker gets beaten down by Gonzalez which actually was a big deal at the time. This goes on WAY too long as IRS comes out at 18.

    About a minute later Tatanka comes in as we realize that the Rumble more or less has started over, which is freaking stupid but whatever. Taker tried to sit up but fails so Paul Bearer has to help him. Sara, Michelle McCool, Paul Bearer, write your own joke. Taker limps after Gonzalez because the Giant worked on his leg. Yep, a monster worked on his leg in his debut. That’s just absurd. No actually it’s stupid.

    They try to say Gonzalez was 8 feet tall. It was more like 7’7 but whatever. Jerry Sags is in next at 20 as we get the amazing coincidence again of having a member of the tag champions against a member of the challengers twice in the same Rumble for I think the third straight year. What a coincidence!

    Typhoon comes in as Heenan says that they’re getting fresher. Well not really but since this Rumble has completely sucked I can understand his lack of good lines. Fatu is in at 22, more commonly known as Rikishi.

    The problem with the reset earlier is beginning to show as we’ve got an army of nothing but jobbers out there that simply aren’t going to win. There’s also the issue of the roster here just flat out sucking. Earthquake is 23rd so we have the Disasters in there together. He goes right at Typhoon as their team was just about to split up. Quake dumps him out with relative ease as I really want this stupid match to end but we’ve got another 7 guys to come out.

    Oh for the love of cheese Carlos freaking Colon is in next as Gorilla calls him a youngster. He’s 45 here and older than Backlund. To the majority of you his kids are more famous: Carlito and Primo, although they’re far less talented. He puts out Demento though so he’s already paying dividends. In next we have Tito Santana as we’re getting close to the end here.

    VERY allegedly, he was supposed to win this at one point, but since he’s the only person to claim that I have a huge problem believing it. Fatu is out. To recap, we have Tito, IRS, Backlund, Sags, Earthquake, Colon and now Martel as I’m guessing he’ll fight Santana. Of course he does. DAMN they feuded for what, 4 years about a team that was together less than one. That’s even better than the Evolution feud. IRS is out.

    Heenan redeems himself a bit by saying Backlund is like a spider monkey. GORILLA MONSOON SAID HELL! I have never once heard him curse and he did it like it was nothing. Actually there was a tiny little hesitation before he said it which makes me feel better. Yokozuna, who is a relative newcomer at this point, is number 27. He throws out Tatanka with more or less ease and does the same to Carlos. We get Yoko vs. Quake as Owen comes in at 28.

    Heenan says he can’t hear Gorilla despite them being on headset together. Yoko actually belly to bellys Quake over the top. That was cool looking. Repo Man is 29th as I’ve made a counting error somewhere in here. Ah there we go it’s fixed now. Everybody gangs up on Yoko but amazingly he fights them all off.

    The 30th guy is Savage, so the final list of guys is Backlund, Santana, Sags, Owen, Repo Man, Martel, Savage and Yokozuna. Ok, now in case you’re just an idiot when it comes to old school, you can pretty much guess who this comes down to in the final two. Yoko puts out Santana and then the same to Owen. Repo is gone and we’re down to four. Have to give it to Backlund: this is impressive. He knocks out Martel clean as Heenan is amazed.

    Yoko puts him out to a chorus of boos. It amazes me that he was jobbing to Razor at Mania in a glorified squash match. He goes over an hour, setting a new Iron Man record to a great reaction and gets treated like that. If nothing else put him out there with Shawn or Santana and let them tear the house down old school style. So we’re down to Savage against Yoko as Backlund is getting a big ovation.

    We get a short one on one match here as Savage gets his ask kicked for a good while. But then, there’s a comeback! Savage has Yoko in real trouble and does something no one else has ever done by knocking him off his feet! Then we get to the ending which I’m not sure if I like or not: Savage has Yoko down and goes up for the elbow. He covers Yoko, who powers out of it, throwing Savage over the top to win the Rumble.

    At first I hated this, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. Savage is as intense as anyone has ever been, so for him to get his mind clouded by being on such a role and go to what is his instinctual finish makes sense to me, even though it’s obvious that it’s scripted. I can live with this and it was a creative way to eliminate him and keep him looking strong at the same time. The Japanese flag waving for a Samoan wrestler takes us out.

    Rating: D+. This was BAD. The Gonzalez thing divides the match in half and the first half is even more boring than the first. Backlund is the undisputed star of this match though as he went out there for over an hour and put on a great performance that never once was too farfetched to believe. As for the ending, this is something I wanted to address. I’m torn on whether or not this was the right ending to the Rumble.

    I know that Vince wanted to push Yoko as the monster heel, but I think he was completely missing the boat here. What I would have done for my summer feud: Savage vs. Bret for the title. Now think about it. Those are two of the best workers of all time. Are you telling me that those two wouldn’t have put on a freaking classic at Mania? This is where my issues with Vince show up. No one, I repeat no one, can convince me that Yoko was a better choice for the huge push than Savage.

    If you don’t believe me, watch Bret vs. Yoko from Mania 9. Yoko was just too fat to be in any real trouble and the match sucked as a result. This was Savage’s first real chance to shine with Warrior and Hogan gone. It’s not like he was incredibly old at the time (he turned 41 in November of that year) but he certainly would have worked for a feud over the summer.

    He won multiple world titles down the line in WCW so he certainly still had the it factor. The fans were behind him and Bret hadn’t really gotten a big rub at all. Beating Savage clean certainly would have done that for him.

    However, Vince continues his love affair with big huge men that can’t do a ton in the ring (by comparison to Savage that is) so he goes with the David vs. Goliath match, stupidly not realizing that the only thing that could make Yoko look credible for a full match was a power guy, which he got in Luger later in the year.

    Either way, the Rumble sucked as once you got down to the final ten there was zero doubt who would win. The announcers were bored out of their minds too, which for Monsoon is saying a lot.

    Overall Rating: D. Well let’s see. We have two ok matches, an ok one and a really boring main event. Yeah the D is a generous grade I think. The Ramon and Bret match is the only thing worth watching here as other than that the whole show is just flat out boring. Marty and Shawn is ok at its absolute best but it just falls flat on its face for the most part. The Rumble is just atrocious.

    Nothing of note happens, Savage and Yoko are the only two that you think have a shot at winning, with Hogan gone there’s no real A-list star in the match, and it just doesn’t work. Gonzalez also kills the thing by eliminating Taker after about five minutes which isn’t good either.

    This whole show was just awful other than a few moments, which certainly weren’t enough to validate this as one of the major, and at the time only, shows of the year. Don’t watch anything on here, not even the best match as it’s like saying someone is the best poster in the prison. Just a bad show all around.
  18. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1992

    It seems that this is a lot of people’s favorite rumble and I can see why. While it’s hard for me to pick a favorite 1992 is definitely near the top. Obviously the title being on the line added an element to this show that no previous rumble even came close to matching. The undercard was tough to sit through, but the rumble match made it worth it. I agree with everything in this review pretty much dead on so I’ll try to be brief with my comments but I probably wont’ be.

    I agree with the review on the opener. This was a decent match but I remember it being long. Even though the match was fine I was just thinking get it over with already so we can move on.

    The IC match was a squash but it was a fun moment. Piper never needed a title but it was nice to see him get one after so many years. This was originally scheduled to be Bret Hart defending against The Mountie. That was changed to set up the angle between Piper and Hart for mania. As a result The Mountie got himself a two day title reign. I’ve always found it somewhat ironic that Bret Hart wasn’t involved in this show. Everyone always talks about all the talent at this event. Bret Hart wrestled at every ppv from WrestleMania 2 through WrestleMania 12 except this one. So even though there was a lot of talent here, the WWF’s most consistent and arguably most talented performer wasn’t there.

    Do I have to say anything about The Bushwhackers vs. The Beverly Brothers? I never understood Jameson. This was crap. All the talent was in the rumble so this was here to fill time.

    LOD vs. The Natural Disasters was a perfectly fine match to have at this event. They were two big teams feuding over the title at the time. The only problem was the match wasn’t very good and the end was crap. By this point I was just begging to get the undercard over with and just get on to the rumble.

    Finally the big moment had arrived. There was a feeling of electricity in the air. Since the title was on the line the winner was narrowed down to only a few guys, but this was a lot of fun anyway. I wonder how we would look at this if Heenan wasn’t on commentary. I’m not saying he made the match but he definitely added to it. This rumble flowed smoothly and always had some top talent in the ring. There was never a dull moment. I hate to nitpick at such a great event, but there are a couple things. One disappointment was Dibiase. I never understood why he was in and out so quickly. He was always hovering around the world title picture and did well in his last rumble. Why was he out in the first two minutes? I think him coming in around number 10 and lasting until the end could have added a little more to this. I also think Taker should have lasted longer. The top six guys going into this were Taker, Hogan, Flair, Savage, Piper, and Sid. I think it should have come down to those six for a little while at the end. Also shouldn’t Hogan and Sid have been in opposite positions? Hogan came off as a total heel. He was eliminated fair and square by Sid and was a sore loser about it by pulling Sid out and helping the heel Flair win. Sid was the one who went heel. Shouldn’t Hogan have eliminated Sid and Sid being the one who was the sore loser?

    One thing I want to point out to you KB is Monsoon didn’t slip saying that the big names get preferential treatment in the drawing. It was stated before the rumble that Hogan and Undertaker would draw first choosing only between numbers 20 and 30. They got this advantage due to being the last two champions before the title was vacated. This was just like Hogan and Andre getting a first round by at WrestleMania IV.

    Overall this was a great event thanks to the rumble match. The undercard is just something you have to sit through to get to the main event. The main event made the show worthwhile and changed the rumble match forever.
  19. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1993

    What a difference a year makes. While 1992 is considered to be one of the best rumbles I would say 1993 was probably one of the worst. Earlier in this thread I mentioned that 1988 was a year of out with the old and in with the new. The same was the case for 1992. Some key differences from last year to this were no more Hogan, Piper, Sid, or Jake among several other lesser stars that had been around for years. Also Flair was on his way out immediately after this and Savage had become irrelevant. I didn’t notice the drastic changes as much as I followed as a kid, but just looking at the 1992 rumble compared to 1993 shows a world of difference.

    The opening match was pretty standard. The Steiners had recently debuted and this was their first big match. I didn’t follow WCW too much back then, but I knew who the Steiners were and was happy to see them in the WWF.

    I was kind of surprised to see Michaels vs. Jannetty at the rumble. I thought they would do this at mania instead. This match was a disappointment. It wasn’t bad, but I expected much better out of these two. I don’t know that involving Sherri so much was necessary. These two certainly had enough history between them that they didn’t need any extra element to this feud.

    Bam Bam vs. Bossman looks pretty good on paper. Both guys were big but both were quick and agile too. Like the IC title match this was disappointing. These two should have been able to deliver a better match. I believe this was the Bossman’s last match in the WWF. I know Bigelow was being showcased here as he was new, but I think I would have preferred to see these two in the rumble match. With guys like Terry Taylor, Max Moon, Tenryu, and Carlos Colon, Bigelow and Bossman would have made for a better rumble.

    I thought the title match was pretty good. Bret Hart has had so many classic matches over the years this is easy to overlook. This is not on the level as a lot of Bret’s matches but it is solid nonetheless. I liked the matchup. Razor was a new fresh heel at the time and I was intrigued by him.

    I was pleased to see Luger had arrived. I was never a very big fan of him, but he was a big name coming into the company at a time where they needed big names. Of course I like how we had a mania match being set up. We knew right away that Luger vs. Perfect was going to mania.

    The Royal Rumble can usually overcome a weak undercard by delivering a good rumble match. Unfortunately that did not happen in 1993. There just wasn’t enough star power here. The big stars that were involved like Flair, Perfect, and Taker did not last long enough. I knew when it was time to post about 1993 that I would go on a long rant about how Savage should have won and gone on to face Hart at mania. You took care of that for me KB so I’ll just say I 100% agree. One thing I will disagree on is Giant Gonzalez. I know he’s a laughing stock in the wrestling world. I know he doesn’t have any talent. Despite that at the time (I was 13) seeing him come in and destroy the Undertaker was pretty cool. I just couldn’t believe this monster I was seeing. For the past several years anytime someone delivers a beating to the Undertaker the announcers declare “no one has ever manhandled the Undertaker this way” despite it happening many many times before. This was actually the first. At the time they could honestly make that claim. I figured Gonzalez wouldn’t be able to do much but I was intrigued to see this match a WrestleMania anyway. Overall the rumble was filled with too many mediocre guys with the bigger stars being eliminated too quickly.

    I believe there is a difference having watched something live as a kid compared to seeing it years later. If I were to watch this show tonight I would transform into my 13 year old self. I enjoyed anything back then. It would be another couple years before my standards would be raised and I would become more critical of shows. Even though this was a bad show I could put in the tape right now and still be entertained by it.
  20. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1994
    Date: January 22, 1994
    Location: Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
    Attendance: 14,500
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Ted DiBiase

    A year later, and while the roster hasn’t changed a ton, it’s matured a lot. Yoko has dominated the title scene since winning the title from Hogan in June after the mess that was Mania 9. He’s taking on Taker tonight in their first of the two casket matches that they had. Yes, it’s that match. We also have Razor in another title match and not in the Rumble as he’s now a face and fighting IRS for the IC Title.

    The Rumble is more or less Yokozuna and his cronies against Luger with Hart on the side. Yoko had been feuding with Luger but Luger can’t have another title shot. Since the Rumble winner gets a title shot, Luger and Cornette who also worked for Yoko made a deal: Luger can fight in the Rumble but Cornette gets to bring in some guys that will represent Yoko.

    That would have been nice to have been told to us on the PPV, but why waste time with that when we can remind you that WE ARE LIVE! Also, we have the next chapter in the brother war, which will be nothing but awesome so let’s get to it.

    The crowd is hot if nothing else. Vince on commentary just works better for some reason, despite me loving Monsoon and Heenan. DiBiase I think was a surprise on the mic here as he just kind of pops up after Vince does the main intro. You have to give him this: he’s absolutely insane about his product. I defy you to find someone more dedicated to his company. There’s a reason why he’s the most successful promoter of all time.

    DiBiase gets insane heat and it’s a shame he broke his neck and was pushed down the card so far over the years. He says he was in every Rumble to date, which just isn’t true, so at least he’s got the theory behind being a commentator down already: lie about stuff and hope no one remembers.

    Note: this is important for one major reason: Brooklyn Brawler actually WON A MATCH in the dark match, beating Jim Powers. He is officially the joke of the company.

    Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

    This was supposed to be Ludvig Borga but Borga hurt his ankle and never came back. Tatanka starts out fast and this could be a solid match, on this LIVE SHOW! He gets a nice jumping DDT on Bigelow as I can’t believe it but Tatanka is actually impressing me. Luna is with Bigelow here in one of the strangest concepts in wrestling history that worked beautifully. For the first time ever, guys in the earlier matches are going to be in the Rumble as well which is something long overdue at this point.

    Both announcers have a small orgasm over a running splash. God bless overhyping. Why does Vince always suggest stuff? I don’t get that at all. This isn’t bad at all, but the bear hug isn’t helping it. Vince says that only in the WWF will you ever see a man of Bigelow’s size use a moonsault. That is of course until he went to both WCW and ECW and did it there too. It misses though, and Tatanka hits a basic cross body off the top for the win. Wow that came from out of less than nowhere.

    Rating: B. This was actually good for what it was: an 8 minute opener. Tatanka won clean and the fans were into him so it got a good reaction. That’s what an opener is supposed to do: get the crowd built up a little bit. This wasn’t anything great but I’ve certainly seen worse matches. I liked this one a lot though, so there we are.

    We hit the recap button on Bret and Owen’s issues and their teaming up. This stems from the Survivor Series match where Owen was the only member of his team eliminated, which for some reason ticked him the hell off. I guess it was because Bret was in a way the cause of him getting eliminated, but at the same time you could argue that it was only Owen’s fault.

    Bret said that he would love to help Owen forge a path and legacy in the company, and his way of doing this was helping Owen get his first championship: the tag team titles. How that helps Owen get out of Bret’s shadow was never explained but whatever.

    We see clips of the Quebecers losing the belts and then getting them back a week later. That was really pointless as it kind of makes them look weak but we can overlook that. We go to Bret and Owen with Todd as Owen is behind Bret in some great symbolism.

    Tag Titles: Bret/Owen Hart vs. Quebecers

    Quebecers are managed by one Johnny Polo, who in less than a year would be in ECW as a character called Raven. So I’ve watched about 15 minutes of this so far and I have no complaints. It really is a great tag match. I’m not going to go into the discussion of this match as it’s really good and there’s nothing I can poke fun at other than DiBiase and Vince trying to sound cool which fails epically. Anyway, after about 13 minutes, we get to the point.

    The point of the first 13 minutes: Bret and Owen are awesome. Eventually, Bret has the ropes pulled apart and hits the floor, injuring his knee. Following an overblown sequence in which his knee is hit by a chair, the post, the guard rail and a golf club, his knee is a bit hurt. We hit the ring again and Bret is just getting destroyed. His knee is gone and he can barely stand up. He does however dodge the Quebecers finisher and looks for Owen.

    However, there’s no tag. Why isn’t there a tag? There isn’t one because Bret goes for the Sharpshooter but his knee gives out and the referee calls for the bell due to injury. Owen is PISSED and I can’t blame him. As Bret limps to his feet, Owen kicks him in the bad knee, sending him to the mat in agony and turning Owen heel, setting up the EPIC feud for the rest of the year.

    On his way to the back Owen says that Bret was selfish and all he had to do was tag Owen and they would be champions. Bret is still holding Owen down and Owen has had enough of it. Despite Bret being in agony, Vince sends Ray Rougeau to the ring to find out about him. Well isn’t that nice. As Bret is being stretchered out we go to the back with Todd and Owen.

    Owen, with Bret watching him on the stretcher, goes into a great angry rant about Bret’s ego and never having a title because of Bret. This is a great promo by Owen here as he just lets out a ton of anger and yells at Bret, although we do get the famous botched line as he says it felt so good when he kicked Bret’s leg out of his leg, instead of out from under him. Anyway, this was awesome. DiBiase applauds him.

    Rating: A+. It’s a great match and a better angle that set up one of the best matches and feuds of all time. What kind of a grade do you expect me to give it? Go find this segment as it’s just excellent all around.

    IC Title: Razor Ramon vs. IRS

    Fink is very excited to announce this match. IRS is really solid on the mic to say the least. JR and Gorilla do commentary here as the other guys do Radio WWF I guess. Razor is insanely over. My goodness the quality of commentary just shot up. The battle royal that Razor kind of won the IC Title in has jumped from 20 people to 30 people in just a few months. Razor is rocking the baby blue tonight.

    IRS apparently stole the necklaces and jewelry from Razor and has it in his briefcase, which Gorilla calls a briefer for no apparent reason. The crowd is on fire for this. That’s making up for it being just above average as a match. IRS takes over here and we’re in a formula based match here and there’s not a thing wrong with that. We hear talk of issues with Michaels and Razor. Oh yes. Also, Razor cost IRS a loss to a man named PJ Walker. He’s more commonly known to you as Justin Credible.

    We’ve got a ref bump and Razor prevents the briefcase shot and knocks IRS out with it. Razor sets for the edge but here’s Shawn with his IC belt to nail Razor with. Why can’t we watch the ladder match now? IRS…gets the three count? Wait what? Ah there’s the other referee to explain things here. They did the same thing with a Borga match on a tape I think. We’ll ignore the referee’s decision being final too. The Edge ends this about 8 seconds later.

    Rating: C+. This was about Shawn and Razor, but that’s fine. IRS is a fine choice for a midcard heel to keep Razor busy until he gets the major feud going. The match itself was probably about the level of something you would see on Raw or a house show, which doesn’t mean that it’s bad. This was adequate, that’s the best thing I’ve got for it.

    Paul Bearer says nothing out of the ordinary.

    WWF Title: Undertaker vs. Yokozuna

    This is a casket match. For your backstory here, it’s pretty simple: Taker is the only top face that hasn’t fought Yoko yet, so this is his shot. Oh and of course Yoko is scared. Yoko comes out first with Cornette, who looks like his twerpy best from the 80s and Fuji. In something that I wish I was making up, Vince cuts off DiBiase to say we are LIVE! I know I make fun of that a lot, but come on now Vinny.

    Anyway, this is considered an epic battle, but Taker is just beating the hell out of him. They’re trying to make Taker look like a god here and they’re doing a pretty epic job. However, despite being slammed into the steps and being fine, salt to the eyes apparently is his kryptonite as all of a sudden the same move has him messed up. Back in the ring, Yoko’s offense that has killed the likes of mere Hogans has no effect here.

    Taker beats down Yoko with relative ease and after maybe 6 minutes has him in the casket ready to close the lid when we get to the real part of the match: the run-ins. Crush is first, fighting Taker back but naturally getting beaten down. Kabuki of WCCW fame and Tenryu run in next but are also stopped by Taker. Bigelow comes out as Crush and the others are back up. It’s 4-1 now and Fuji has stolen the urn.

    Yoko is back up now too, but Paul Bearer actually takes out Cornette and Fuji to get it back! Here he comes again! Taker is fighting them off again, but a shot from the salt bucket apparently does nothing at all. Adam Bomb is here now. Here’s Jeff Jarrett to make it 7-1. The Headshrinkers make that number 9 but Bearer holds up the urn and TAKER COMES BACK AGAIN!

    Ok, now wait a minute. I can get him coming back 4-1, considering Tenryu and Kabuki were just henchmen and he’s shown that he can beat the tar out of Yoko on his own. Crush is tough but Taker is better, so that’s actually plausible. But come on: NINE guys?

    Oh if that’s not enough, Diesel is here too and finally they get him in the casket. Just remember the match is still going on here. Something occurs to me. These guys are coming down presumably because they hate Taker or they’ve been bought off I’m assuming.

    A question rises from this: WHERE ARE THE OTHER FACES??? I mean DAMN. Savage hates Crush, Luger hates half the guys in there, Tatanka had a match with Bigelow earlier tonight, it’s the mid 90s so I’m sure Razor has beaten half these guys for the IC Title already. The Steiners can’t stand the Headshrinkers, and yet not a single one of them come down. I don’t think that was ever addressed but it makes no sense.

    If nothing else, Taker could have been turned heel when he got back over that, but I guess it wouldn’t fit witht he character. Damn it has a big logic hole in it though. Anyway, Taker AGAIN fights back, this time from in the casket but Yoko steals the urn and hits him with it, which apparently is more powerful than 9 guys beating on him but whatever. The top comes off the urn, and green smoke comes pouring out of it.

    Taker stops getting up, and after a ton of finishers and big moves, FINALLY they close the casket. Bigelow jumping on top of it as soon as it’s shut made me chuckle for some reason. However, we’re not done yet. The heels, all 12 of them, start wheeling the casket back, and the gong is heard. Smoke similar to the kind from the urn starts coming out of the casket as the lights go out.

    On the screen, we see a shot of Taker lying on his back (despite being thrown in on his stomach/side) and his eyes pop open. He gives a ridiculously over the top speech, which amazingly can be heard throughout the arena, more or less saying that he’ll be back. Oh also, we’re led to believe this is inside the casket, despite seeing the bottom of the lid of the casket is plain wood. We hear electrical sounds and the screen looks like it’s being electrocuted, until the image of Taker actually explodes.

    I don’t mean that in a figurative sense. I mean it looks like the damn Death Star blowing up, but all that’s left is a negative picture of Taker, as in his body and clothes are all white and his skin is black if you know what kind of picture I’m talking about. Oh we’re not done yet. That image is then changed so that it looks like he’s rising up out of the screen, and then to top it off, a man (allegedly Marty Jannetty) is on top of the screen and raised up on visible strings into the rafters.

    There’s just one problem: On PPV, YOU CAN’T SEE ANY OF THIS! I’ve seen this show about 10 times and until I read about it, I had zero idea what was going on that Vince and DiBiase were freaking out about. This time I knew what to look for and I could see it, but DAMN I had no idea that’s what was going on for years.

    Vince and Ted scream about how supernatural that was. After the heels run off, Bearer has the now smokeless urn and is pointing up while pushing the casket away. That was just…uh yeah.

    Rating: F. This is an F for one reason: they have just completely fucked up Undertaker’s character. This match, and more importantly the smoke from the urn being the source of Taker’s power reminded me of the Midi-Chlorians from Phantom Menace. You don’t explain the Force. You just know what it is and what it’s capable of, but you never question it.

    That’s why Taker worked so well. We just knew he had powers and abilities, but by trying to explain them or show what they were was just a waste of time. This was insane and just didn’t work at all. Taker would be out for about 7 months until LESLIE FREAKING NIELSEN was brought in to “solve” the case in a horrible comedy bit at Summerslam. Yeah, Vince really didn’t have a damn clue how Taker’s character worked. This was horrible. Oh and the “match” sucked too.

    Savage says he’ll win the Rumble and get Crush.

    Jarrett says he’ll win too.

    Tatanka says there’s no friends and he’ll win.

    Diesel says he’s going to Mania. Well I’d hope so. I’d hate for Vince to keep his own employees from going.

    Doink is excited.

    Shawn says he’ll be the new champion at Mania.

    Luger says this is his big chance.

    Vince and DiBiase says anything can happen and keep talking about Taker.

    Royal Rumble

    After Howard goes over the rules, we’re ready to go. Oh and it’s 90 seconds this year instead of 2 minutes. Number one is Scott Steiner and he gets Samu of the Headshrinkers. What a coincidence AGAIN! They punch the hell out of each other and again, the idiocy of power vs. power is shown. Also considering this is Samu this isn’t going to go well at all. The clock is sponsored now. I give up.

    Rick is #3, so shockingly a team has gotten almost consecutive numbers. How do people not catch this time after time? As the Casio clock, so at least it’s a watch company, gets us to zero, Kwang is 4th. He’s more commonly known as Savio Vega in case you’ve never heard of him. As he comes out, Samu misses a cross body and gets his head caught between the top and middle ropes to be eliminated soon after.

    Kwang hits the Muta mist to Rick to get it to one on one. DiBiase points out how easy it would be to just have the Steiners beat on everyone as they came at them which is true, but what does he know? Vince says Rick is smarting from the mist still. I think he said that so that it can be said that Rick is smart for the only time in his career. Scott is rocking the Triforce on his singlet so if nothing else he looks cool.

    Owen Hart is fifth to some HUGE boos. He takes out the visually impaired Rick without much trouble and the double team on Scott begins until Bart Gunn is in at 6th. This is going too fast. Apparently something has happened in the back. Well it’s good to know that everyone isn’t just sitting around doing nothing. Diesel comes in at 7 to apparently clear out some of these guys.

    At this time he’s just a body guard with zero character to him at all. In about 40 seconds he drops all four guys and we have Backlund in at 8 and it’s one on one. Well at least we have something close to a story going here with the dominant giant. He hits the ring and starts crawling on his stomach. It looks dumb at first but DiBiase does his job and points out that Bob is going after Diesel’s legs.

    People on Raw and Smackdown: PAY ATTENTION! That is what an analyst is supposed to do. He explained something that might have been a bit confusing otherwise and he’s got the resume and experience to be believable. See what I mean? It looked a bit odd, so the analyst said what’s going on. That wasn’t complicated at all, but some clarification is always a good thing. They can do more than make stupid jokes you know.

    Bob actually gets Diesel close to out but just can’t do it which is fine. A few seconds later Diesel is on his own again, which for some reason surprises DiBiase. And Ted, you haven’t been in every Rumble. You’ve been at them all, just not in them all. Get your facts straight.

    Billy Gunn is next, and apparently you can find out the order of the wrestlers by calling the WWF Hotline. WOW. Ok, where to begin with why that’s stupid. #1, it ruins the mystique of knowing who is in the match. 2, that’s the first time we’ve heard about that all night long so nice job of advertising. 3, who in the hell thought that was a good idea? Never mind, it’s a Vince McMahon show and there’s money to be made. All is explained.

    Anyway, mullet man is victim #6 of Big D, lasting maybe 15 seconds. What’s up with the way he punches? It’s like he hits people with the wrist. We see a clip from earlier to Tenryu and Kabuki jumping Luger in the back. Yeah you can tell it’s been a dominant performance if we have time for a segment during the match. The power of Shane Stevens stops them though.

    Virgil is #10 as an alternate for Kamala and despite DiBiase laughing his ass off over it, Diesel drops him in about a minute. Wow we’re already a third done with this. We have a story here though so I’m very proud. This is a new approach to the match that really is working. Also we don’t have to worry about the ring filling up with jobbers. Ah here we go: Randy Savage is number 11 and he hammers the big man.

    See this is a smart way of doing the Rumble: they had all those guys like the Gunns and Virgil and Kwang that weren’t going to mean a damn thing and got them in and out so the bigger names can be around later on. That’s very smart and it gives you a bonus of making Diesel look amazing. I’ve always been a bit surprised that DiBiase and Savage’s feud from 88 was really never mentioned on WWF TV after it ended.

    There was never any mention of them having any issues or of DiBiase main eventing a Wrestlemania or anything like that. It’s like it was forgotten, and it’s not like DiBiase is on bad terms with the company or something like that as far as I know. He’s made a ton of appearances over the years yet you never hear about it. Anyway, Jarrett is 12th as I have visions of WCW dancing in my head.

    I kind of liked the Jarrett story of using wrestling as a springboard to country music. That’s very original if nothing else. Savage takes him out with relative ease so we’re back to him and Diesel again. It’s Crush to a huge reaction from the audience. He and Savage were in the middle of a mega feud at this point which was just purely awesome. For the life of me I don’t get why Crush never got a huge push.

    Him against Hart would have been very interesting at least to me. Doink comes in because I guess there wasn’t enough stupid comedy to meet the quota. Savage is gone and we’re at two monsters against a clown. He actually is smart though as he just watches the big men fight. He actually sprays water from a flower and steps on their toes. Thankfully they wake up and beat the tar out of him as Bigelow comes in at fifteen.

    This is going really fast but there’s a bit of a flow to it here and it’s not as bad as I expected it to be. Bigelow puts Doink out with the same thing he did to I think Spike Dudley in ECW, which had just started to be booked by Heyman two months prior to this show.

    Since he’s an idiot, Crush hits Diesel when they have Bigelow an inch away from being out. Mabel is 16th as the smallest person out there is Crush as 6’9 and about 310lbs. Diesel goes right for him as I’m digging this planning of the Rumble. There’s been distinct segments here and that’s a major plus. And here’s Bob Holly to screw that up. He’s subbing for 1-2-3 Kid. WOW that’s not a good way either way.

    WE ARE LIVE! WE GET IT ALREADY VINCE! What’s the damn point in showing wide shots of the crowd and saying how live we are? I didn’t buy this PPV to be shown the fucking audience. I bought it for the matches, so quit showing big wide shots of the fucking crowd and emphasizing that you’re live. It means jack shit and no one cares but you. WOW how many things could that be said about that he’s come up with?

    Shawn is in at 18. All of the big guys get on Diesel and Shawn gives the final shove to put him out. That gets no reaction at all. He gets some applause on his way out though, and you can hear the wheels turning in Vince’s mind. Mo, the most worthless wrestler of all time is in next. Greg Valentine (seriously???) is in at 20 to a decent pop (seriously???). 21 is Tatanka to a short but loud pop.

    To recap, we’ve got Crush, Bigelow, Mabel, Holly, Shawn, Mo, Valentine and Tatanka in there at the moment. Kabuki is in next as someone else that no one knows. A bunch of people jump Mabel and he’s out, which surprises Vince for no apparent reason. Luger sprints out with apparently no damage at all to him from the earlier attack and naturally goes straight after Kabuki, and there he goes.

    In a STUNING, yes STUNNING I say, turn of events, Tenryu is next at 24. The buzzer rings for 25 but no one comes out, which was apparently Bret Hart. To recap, we have Crush, Bigelow, Holly, Michaels, Mo, Valentine, Tatanka, Luger and Tenryu. Luger and Michaels could have been an interesting feud. Martel, more commonly known as he who will not go away, is 26th and it amazes me that we’re this close to being done.

    At 27, in the words of Vince, IT’S BRET HART!!! He’s limping like hell so of course everyone goes for his knee. He’s barely in there when Fatu is out at 28. We’ve got WAY too many people in there at the moment with something like 11 or so. A ton of people get together to eliminate Crush as Marty Jannetty comes in and goes right for Shawn. Now, since we have 10 guys in the ring, what’ the best thing to do? Why, go to the back to hear from Crush!!!

    Yep, they actually cut from the ring to Ray Rougeau in the back with Crush for an interview. Savage jumps him and they brawl. This would have been stupid if it went on for 20 seconds, but it lasts over a minute! Also you can see Adam Bomb clearly standing there getting ready to come out so it also gives away #30. We get back to the ring and apparently nothing has happened, but geez how freaking stupid was that? They hate each other, we get it already.

    Ok, so with Bomb, who Vince says will win the Rumble, gives us a final group of Bomb, Bigelow, Holly, Shawn, Mo, Valentine, Tatanka, Luger, Tenryu, Martel, Fatu and Jannetty. Oh and they figure out that the guy that didn’t show was Bastian Booger.

    Bret and Shawn eliminate Holly. They work very well together. I hope those two do more in the future. With such great teamwork they could really do some great things. Ok bad jokes are mostly over as we have 11 people left. Damn that’s just too many at the end. Bret Hart beats on Mo which has to be the highlight of Mo’s career. Bret is limping everywhere, so he wins salesman of the year already. Valentine is out.

    They’re just kind of mulling around at this point. Martel is out by Tatanka. Bomb is out as we’ve rapidly picked up the pace. Mo is out and gets no recognition by name. I love that. Bam Bam just throws Tatanka out like a jobber. Are these guys all double parked or something? Bigelow does a Flair Flip and goes out by Luger. Jannetty goes out and we’re down to five with Luger, Hart, Tenryu, Michaels and Fatu. Hart and Luger get rid of Tenryu to take us down to four.

    Bret and Shawn go at it, as I’m completely unstunned. Shawn and Fatu go out on stereo backdrops and we’ve got Luger vs. Bret. They go right at it and dump each other out at the same time. Both men are announced as the winner individually and since Hart gets a bigger pop I guess he wins. My goodness the things I want to do to Luger. I have a thing for muscle guys and damn.

    They’re named co-winners, even though later on we would see video where Luger clearly hit the ground first. Tunney comes out and makes the official co-winner decision. This led to a coin toss where the winner would get the first title shot at Mania and the other guy had to fight someone “of an equal level”, which led to Bret vs. Owen. Had Bret won the toss, Luger would have fought Crush.

    No matter what, the person that didn’t get the shot would get the title shot later in the night against whoever had the belt after the first title match. I like that system a lot better than the triple threat which wasn’t around in the WWF yet. Granted that could be because we’ve seen so many triple threats that they’ve lost their luster. Anyway, that ends our show.

    Rating: B. This was a good Rumble. I was quite surprised that the intervals worked as well as they did here, since the shorter ones usually don’t work that well. This had a lot of segments in it and you could tell that it was well planned. 92’s was better simply because of star power, but this is easily the 2nd best so far.

    I really liked this match and it did a lot of good things, including advancing stories and making you interested in seeing how they would fix the issues brought up in the match. That to me makes it a success. It’s not great, but it’s very good.

    Overall Rating: B. This was a mostly solid show. If you factor out the Taker/Yoko debacle this is an instant A. Razor vs. IRS is probably the weakest match but it works very well and certainly isn’t bad at all. The Rumble itself is a good one and the tag titles is must see stuff.

    You factor in all those things and this was a very good show. There’s more here than just the Rumble, but that’s the centerpiece. Overall definitely a good show and well worth checking out, as long as you’re not a diehard Taker fan because you might want to shoot your TV.
  21. WWEIsLife

    WWEIsLife Occasional Pre-Show

    Sep 25, 2006
    Likes Received:
    The Royal Rumble in 1994 was the 1st PPV I had ever seen so it still holds a special place with me. I remember going to a Friend's House to watch with a bunch of others and I remember being upset that Taker did not win the WWF Title. The Rumble Match is a good one and was surprised at Bret & Luger being the Co-Winners that year. I had always thought Luger hit the ground first because I wanted Bret to win it but made sense in the long run going into Wrestlemania that year. The IC & Tag Title Matches I enjoyed plus Owen turning on Bret was the topper that night which kicked off their Awesome Feud.
  22. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1995
    Date: January 22, 1995
    Location: USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
    Attendance: 10,000
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler

    Well, another year has passed and other than some different jobbers in the midcard, the only big change is Diesel has replaced Luger atop the company. Yoko is now a non factor, Bret is of course in the title hunt, and Luger is in the midcard doing jack shit. Other than that there are just not a lot of differences. Of course we have the Rumble, but other than that and a Diesel vs. Bret title match, we’ve got nothing of note.

    This was a very weird period for the company as they were pretty much booking as they went instead of having long term plans. At the same time in WCW, everything was more or less thrown together. Also, there’s still no Nitro at this point as it was about seven and a half months away. There’s just not a ton going on at this point in wrestling and it’s clear that a change was needed. However, that wouldn’t come for over a year and a half, and as you’ll see, that was WAY too far off. Let’s get to this.

    Your big deal here is that Pamela Anderson is here and will escort the winner of the Rumble to Mania. This would turn out to be one of the worst celebrity things that I can remember as she just looked like she absolutely HATED being there. If you’re getting paid to be there, at least try to not look like you’re just wanting to go get smashed. The intro is as generic of a beach thing as you can possibly imagine. Why does Vince have to be such a freaking mic hog? It’s really annoying.

    Intercontinental Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Razor Ramon

    These two feuded for what seemed like forever. Razor is of course the champion here as that’s all he ever did. Razor’s intro has reached Orton levels. Jerry gets in a funny line about how Jarrett, a country singer here, is going to star in a Broadway play: Phantom of the Grand Ole Opry. That’s just great. As we have a long feeling out period, we keep seeing the Roadie, who is more commonly known as the Road Dogg.

    These two had some awesome chemistry to say the least. The gimmick that Jarrett had hurt him a lot I think. He was hard to take seriously, which is unfair because he looked good, he sounded good, he wrestled well, and he just overall worked as a big time guy. However, due to his gimmick and eventually the guitar he just failed. I’ve never gotten that. Take this match for example: everything is working fine and it’s a pretty solid match.

    I don’t have anything to really make fun of in it. Granted that could be because Razor was incredibly underrated here so that might have something to do with it. Razor does all his usual stuff, although instead of the bulldog from the middle rope we get a clothesline. These two are having a very solid match out there if I do say so myself. We go to the floor though and Roadie clips Razor’s knee to send him down.

    That causes the count out but Jarrett is intelligent for a change and says that he doesn’t want it that way so we need to keep going. They went for almost fifteen minutes to get to this point if that tells you anything. It was a lot of feeling out stuff but at the end of it we more or less had a stalemate. Razor gets back in and we’re ready to go again. I’ve never gotten the term restart the match. Why don’t they get new entrances?

    That’s what started the match and if you’re going to redo them you might as well redo those too. With Razor’s knee destroyed, Jeff of course gets the Figure Four on a bit later. Lawler channels his inner Monsoon and says stick a fork in him, he’s done.

    However, since Razor is a face and therefore comes equipped with healing powers, he escapes and makes his comeback. If Vince says he’s got him! No wait he doesn’t, one more time I’m going to scream. He gets Jarrett up in the Edge but his knee gives out and a small package gives Jarrett the title. That was good.

    Rating: B+. That was a solid opener. Razor was a big deal at the time and him jobbing to Jarrett should have been the start of a big push for him but for some reason that wasn’t the case. These two were both solid workers that were likely told to just go out there and have a good match and that’s just what they did. This was a great opener.

    Some annoying looking woman can’t find Jarrett. Hint: HE’S IN THE RING!

    Todd is with Pamela Anderson who has gotten lots of gifts from wrestlers because apparently wooing her will make them win the Rumble. I really hate this.

    The annoying woman has found Jarrett but calls him Razor. He looks good with the belt.

    IRS vs. Undertaker

    This was during the epically long Taker vs. DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team feud. This was actually billed as Death vs. Taxes. I give up. Apparently Taker was at a monster truck rally the night before, in character. That’s just amusing to no end. They say he was there watching his favorite monster truck: Grave Digger. There’s just something hilarious in that. As expected, there’s not a ton here.

    Look at the guys in there and tell me you were expecting a solid match with a straight face. IRS simply isn’t a legit opponent here, plain and simple. This is a lot of IRS trying to fight Taker and naturally failing while Lawler says the Druids, who worked for DiBiase, should be at ringside. I’m quite bored during this match as it’s just not interesting at all. Taker apparently was at the NFL 75th Anniversary Black Tie Dinner. WOW that’s an image.

    After more beating on IRS, DiBiase brings in the Druids because this wasn’t uninteresting enough. The Druids mess up Old School as the ring sounds weird. This just needs to end like NOW. It’s completely boring and feels like a bad joke or something. Lawler thinks the urn has something to do with Taker’s power. That’s so stupid I don’t even know where to begin. It’s the SMOKE inside the urn, not the urn itself.

    IRS gets out of a tombstone because of the Druids and hits his finisher: a clothesline called the Write Off. Yep, his finisher is a clothesline. After sitting up for like the 4th time, a bad chokeslam ends this FINALLY. Oh wait here are the druids for even more wasting of time. King Kong Bundy comes out and allows IRS to steal the urn. I really couldn’t be any less interested. Oh and apparently the cheering of the fans works as well as the urn. I give up.

    Rating: D. Oh man this was bad. It ran about 12 minutes but it felt like 45. I mean really, Death vs. Taxes? Who thought that was going to be a good match? This should have been about half as long as it was and a glorified squash. No one bought Taker as being in any kind of danger here and it’s clear that this was just not going to be competitive. It was also really boring with the Druids and DiBiase taking too much time. Just a horrible waste of time.

    We get interviews from earlier in the day where Todd pesters the hell out of Bret and Diesel who don’t want to talk to him.

    WWF Title: Bret Hart vs. Diesel

    Diesel is champion and Bret wants to be champion, end of backstory. They point out that Bret has won two triple crowns while Diesel has won it faster than anyone else (Punk broke that record.) Diesel goes over to talk to Lawrence Taylor and it starts. I really don’t get what they thought that was going to accomplish. Actually I do as it got them a ton of mainstream press, but the fans got fucked over in about 3 months.

    WE ARE LIVE! Vince, I hate your marketing obsession. They’ve bought the show. You don’t have to sell it to them again. This actually starts with a slugfest, which naturally doesn’t work for Bret. There’s a bit of a story going on here as Bret is trying to get at Diesel’s legs using all kinds of little tricks and quick moves while Diesel is just straight ahead power. I like that. Bret gets the leg and hammers it early which is odd.

    We’re 5 minutes in and we’re on our seconds figure four. Vince says it’s perfect. Vince is wrong. Lawler uses that line I hate about how they’re the same size on the mat. No, Diesel is indeed still taller than Bret. Bret is acting a bit heelish here which the announcers point out. I love that suicide dive that Bret uses. It just looks awesome. Granted any version of that looks great.

    Apparently one elbow from Diesel is like 10 average punches. So he has the strength of ten men. That’s amusing indeed. In a funny moment, Diesel gets Bret up in an Argentinean Back Breaker which starts like a powerbomb but Diesel stops to put the hold on. Bret gives a look to the referee and then realizes what’s going on. It looked funnier than it sounded.

    In a weird spot, Bret wraps Diesel’s legs around the post and ties them with his tape to beat on him. This lasts about 5 seconds as the referee frees him. That was kind of stupid. We go to the floor…again and Bret hits a pescado but is caught and posted. Diesel goes for him again but then remembers to sell the knee injury. Thanks for that one big guy.

    Diesel hits the jackknife but Shawn runs in for the save. He beats on Diesel and works on his leg, yet that’s not enough for a DQ. Well thanks guys. I guess we’re building up some screwjob credits for two and a half years from now. Bret hooks his third figure four of the match as the fans are so bored with it I’m amazed. Lawler channels his inner Heenan and keeps changing his pick. Damn it Nash sell the freaking knee!

    Ok, this whole Bret can’t get disqualified thing is freaking stupid. He cracks Diesel in the knee with a chair and that’s not enough for a DQ. The referee has no issue with checking on a submission after that. Owen runs out for the save as this has just gotten stupid. Hey we’ve used chairs, posts, tape and run ins. Why not an exposed buckle? How can no one get that Bret is likely playing possum as he’s done it about once a match for years. Oh sure. Let’s knock out the referee now.

    Owen, Shawn and Backlund and Jarrett and the Roadie run in and FINALLY we get the fucking DQ. So let me get this straight: it was always going to be a double DQ, yet we had to sit through all of those run ins, weapon shots and just absurdity to get there? Why did the heels have to wait for the referee to go down? No one else got disqualified earlier for it.

    The announcement of the draw, so apparently they still didn’t get disqualified, gets booed out of the building. Bret gets put in the chicken wing but Diesel breaks it up as his knee is just fine all of a sudden. I hate that. The faces shake hands which I’m ok with. Oh NOW the knee hurts again. Thanks for that one Nash.

    Rating: B-. I know I blasted the ending and a lot of this match, but that likely wasn’t fair. This really was a solid match for about 80% of it, but damn they did too much with this. If you want to have the ending the way you had it that’s fine, but why have the run ins earlier in the match like that? I just don’t get that part. I get not wanting to have either guy be made to look weak, but this was just too much overkill for my taste.

    That being said, when it was just Bret vs. Diesel, there was a of great stuff in there. The psychology was there, but Diesel, I can’t emphasize this enough: SELL THE KNEE NEXT TIME! I mean Bret worked the hell out of that thing and Diesel barely limped half the time. Anyway, this was solid enough, but the booking didn’t make a ton of sense in my eyes.

    Holly and 1-2-3 Kid are in the back and say they believe in themselves.

    King draws a picture of himself kissing Anderson using a telestrator. He’s talented but that was pointless.

    Tag Titles: Bam Bam Bigelow/Tatanka vs. Bob Holly/1-2-3 Kid

    This is the final of a tournament after Shawn and Diesel split and dropped the titles. Holly and the Kid are doing the whole underdog that won’t die thing that no one likes but Vince insists we’re always enthralled with. The heels are completely dominating for about the first 8 minutes or so. I know that’s kind of a blanket statement, but damn this just isn’t even close.

    Why should we buy either of these guys as having a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Bigelow or Tatanka. They mention Lou Albano which is still kind of sad. We get it: Holly drives cars. As if we don’t have enough dominance here, Kid accidently hits Holly. Vince points out that the faces haven’t been around for long and were thrown together. Way to bury the teams they’ve beaten Vince.

    Oh apparently they were supposed to be the Smoking Gunns but there was a rodeo accident. I don’t want to know. Holly actually tries to tag in Tatanka. This is just stupid at this point. The faces make a brief comeback which given the way they booked it is something close to believable. Kid is launched to the floor and Bigelow goes up for the moonsault. Tatanka picks that moment to hit the ropes though, and Bigelow crashes to the mat back first.

    Holly hits a running forearm to knock the stereotype to the floor and the referee starts a double count. He gets to EIGHT and Kid puts an arm over Bigelow for the pin, SEVENTEEN SECONDS after he hit the mat. So let me get this straight. Falling about 12 feet to concrete keeps you down for about 5 seconds in the Kid’s case, but falling about 6 keeps you down at least 20 seconds? Yeah I hate this match.

    As if that’s not enough, the Gunns would win the belts the next night on Raw, which makes me want to know something: WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST WIN THE FUCKING TOURNAMENT??? If you want to put the titles on the Cowboys, that’s fine. However, why not just have them go over Bigelow and Tatanka here?

    Oh that’s right: to further Bigelow’s mindless face turn that happened because he kept losing to guys like Kid and Lawrence fucking Taylor of all people. Where did that turn wind up? Oh yeah: Japan and ECW. Thanks for taking care of your audience Vince.

    Rating: D+. I HATE matches where one team completely dominates and then a mistake at the end gives the other guy/team the win. That’s just lazy booking and it makes the winners look completely weak. Bigelow and Tatanka shouldn’t have won, but the faces should have been the freaking Guns. How hard is it to just think for a minute and not overbook the hell out of a match? This is Vince’s biggest flaw as a booker: he over complicates everything.

    Post match, Taylor is laughing at Bigelow so the big bald man shoves him and we have our Mania main event. Damn I hate 1995 wrestling. This takes 10 minutes somehow.

    We get a ton of interviews about the Rumble that I don’t feel like recapping. Everyone says they’ll win and say stuff about Pamela Anderson because she’s more important than Wrestlemania.

    Royal Rumble

    Oh wait we have to let Pam look bored as hell and pretend to be into this for awhile first. I hate celebrities being in wrestling. Anyway, Shawn is first and Bulldog as second. Oh and this year it’s one minute because we just HAD to have all those other matches and we don’t have time for actual intervals. Good night Shawn calls spots loudly at times.

    Bulldog has Shawn in a gorilla press but of course slams him instead of throwing him over. Shawn is getting the hell beaten out of him as Eli Blu (Skull of the DOA) comes out as 3. We’re 10% of the way through already which is just stupid. Oh come on we’re at the countdown already? Duke Drose is 4th. What kind of a name is the Dumpster? It’s just stupid.

    His gimmick was a wrestling garbage man. That’s beyond any and all logic whatsoever. Let the countdown begin! It’s Jimmy Del Ray who means nothing at all for the most part. We get some heel vs. heel mullet action with him fighting Shawn. Sixth is Sione (Barbarian) as I already hate this match. Del Ray is the first guy out as Shawn keeps surviving in impressive ways.

    In at seven is Tom Pritchard, Del Ray’s partner because we have to keep a high level of suckage in there. Vince is in full blown over the top mode here as he asks Lawler if every guy that he likes is going to win the Rumble. Also notice that Vince always says Royal Rumble instead of just Rumble. He has to make sure it’s said correctly. Doink is eighth as this match is rapidly catching 93 as worst Rumble of all time.

    Everything is all over the place and the time intervals are just killing it. Granted the whole and complete lack of interesting talent is killing it too. Kwang is in at 9 as I’m thinking about throwing on some Family Ties which I’m not a fan of but it would be more interesting than this.

    We’re at double digits with Rick Martel who never changes at all. Del Ray is the only elimination at the moment so the ring is full. That’s another issue with this: You can’t get rid of people without making them look weak, but at the same time you can’t let the ring get this full because it’s too cluttered. That clock is really starting to piss me off. Owen is number 11.

    Bret runs out to jump him though on his way to the ring in the most interesting thing in the whole match so far. Now everything starts going insane. Timothy Well (of Well Dunn) is number 12 to a big pop? No actually Bulldog threw Owen out about a second after he got in. At the same time I think Martel went out and Droese was thrown over and landed on Earl Hebner in an unplanned spot. Well is gone also.

    Oh Martel just got thrown out. Pritchard is out and we have Doink, Barbarian, Shawn, Bulldog, Eli and Kwang. Doink is out as Luke of the Bushwackers comes out. In an elimination that you can only see on the screen and isn’t acknowledged by Vince or Jerry, Barbarian throws out Kwang and then he and Eli eliminate each other. That leaves us with Shawn, Bulldog and Luke. This is making my head hurt.

    He’s in there about 10 seconds as Shawn throws him out. He still had a job at this point? Why? Jerry is timing people with his Mickey Mouse watch. That sounds like a simple comedy one liner right? This confuses the HELL out of Vince. You can tell he’s just thrown completely off by it which granted could have been him fighting back laughter. Now I want a Mickey watch. Jacob Blu (8-Ball of the DOA) is number 14 as we’re nearly halfway done and 15 minutes hasn’t passed yet.

    Shawn dumps him in about 15 seconds and we’re back to the first two all over again. Former Wrestlemania main event level talent King Kong Bundy is our halfway man. We get a replay of Owen being eliminated, which was a mere five minutes ago. This show should be shown to ROH fans as a torture method. Mo is in next and Bundy becomes my hero by putting him out in three seconds. Naturally Mabel is next as we continue the dumb tag partners in a row tradition.

    Of course he goes right after Bundy and we have a bad battle of the big men which can indeed get old. Eighteen (seriously?) is Butch. Bundy is gone and Butch follows soon thereafter. Both guys (Mabel and Bulldog) try to put out Shawn as Luger the midcard guy is 19th. Damn he fell very far very fast. He puts out Mabel with ease.

    Mantaur is number 20 as my eyes roll. He’s supposed to be half man and half bull I think but it was never really explained. This is easily his crowning achievement though so take that for what it’s worth. 21st is Aldo Montoya who is more commonly known as Justin Credible and more commonly known as the guy wearing a jockstrap on his face. Henry Godwin is 22nd and the sixth guy in along with Luger, Mantaur, Bulldog, Shawn and Montoya.

    He’s a heel here for no apparent reason. We see Pamela who looks like she’s being told she is about to drink yak urine. Our Jordan entrant is Billy Gunn. WAIT A FUCKING SECOND! He was too injured to fight in the tournament but he can fight here. I hate Vince. Oh apparently they were injured to keep them out of the tournament but they get a title shot tomorrow instead? I’d just fake injuries to get title shot after title shot.

    Bart is of course 24th because tag partners always get the same numbers. In case you can’t tell I hate this match to a great extent. Bob Backlund is next as we have 5 left. Oh look it’s Bret playing policeman again. They would fight at Mania in an ok at best rematch from Survivor Series. Next is Steven Dunn since we have to further lower our intelligence. In case you can’t tell, the final two will be Shawn and Bulldog.

    Backlund is out after being in about 15 seconds. Bret stays in the spotlight by jumping him again. As that happens, Dick freaking Murdoch is in at 27. He’s 48 here and would be dead in about a year and a half. He’s also in the KKK but that’s not likely to be mentioned. No one has a clue who he is by the way. It amazes me that he can get an entry here. Were they that hard up for talent that he’s the best they can get?

    What’s even worse is he’s more energetic than most people in there. Adam Bomb who should have been pushed damn it is 28th. There’s like 10 guys in there and I’m not even bothering to recap them as it’s obvious what’s going to happen in case you can’t tell. Fatu is the penultimate guy. Luger gets Mantaur on the ropes and shakes him up and down to get him out which just looked stupid as hell. He’s out though.

    Crush who also should have been pushed is number thirty. Like I said I’m not wasting my time on listing them. The Gunns go out at the same time because of Murdoch and Crush. Murdoch looks pretty damn good out there actually. We go back to Anderson who points back at the ring as in get off me so I can be miserable and then get my check. I think there’s 9 people in there. Let’s up the stupidity a bit as Vince says that never again will two guys go out at the same time and hit at the same time.

    Of course, this ended the show last year and JUST HAPPENED. Luger saves Michaels for no apparent reason. Bomb goes out. I nearly spit out my drink as Vince says he was a favorite. That’s just amusing. He’s young and over and decent. There’s no way he could do anything of note. Montoya is out and AGAIN Luger saves Michaels. Is he that scared of the power of Dick? The final six are Luger, Murdoch, Godwin, Bulldog, Shawn and Crush.

    Murdoch is by far the most interesting guy in here as he hooks an airplane spin but falls out when trying to dump Godwin. Shawn sprints at Luger which is awesome. This just needs to end as it’s not interesting at all. Godwin is out and we’re at the final four. Crush puts out Luger and I think some nachos sound good here. The heels beat on Bulldog for a bit as we’re just wasting time. Crush tries to jump Shawn but Bulldog sneaks up and drops Crush to get us down to the starters.

    We get the famous ending as Bulldog clotheslines Shawn up and over and the music hits for the celebration. But wait. What’s this? Shawn jumps back in and nails Smith to put him over the top and he’s declared the winner. For the only time this will ever be said, Vince is awesome on the mic here. Fink announces that only one foot hit and Vince is stunned. We go to the replay and in one of the coolest and most impressive things I’ve ever seen in wrestling, Shawn’s foot does not touch.

    That’s amazing and damn risky as if he slips one inch, and who could blame him if he did, the next few months have to be completely altered. Anyway, Shawn wins and he and Pam “celebrate” as it looks like she wants to scream. She even leaves halfway through it as Shawn poses to end the show.

    Rating: D+. This has been called the Jobber Rumble and it fits perfectly. I mean look at the list of people. The only ones that were ever going to have a chance were Shawn and Luger, both of whom were midcard guys at best here. The whole thing was just messed up with no monsters to save anything and no one that was a big star to be a big surprise. That’s just stupid.

    The one minute intervals are just flat out stupid as hell too. There’s zero time to get going at all and it was just stupid. This did however get two things right: the ending was downright inspired. That’s one o the best ways I can think of to end the thing and the key to it for me is Shawn won completely legally. He earned the win and that’s the most important thing as it ties into the other thing they got right: a midcard guy got elevated.

    Shawn goes from IC Title dude to world title shot at Mania in less than 40 minutes. That’s what the Rumble could be for yet never is. They got the end right, but the road getting there was just awful. This could be worse than 93 but I don’t think it quite is.

    Overall Rating: C-. This show is just not great at all. It’s the epitome of just being there. It’s not good or bad although it’s leaning towards that latter of the two. The matches are just uninteresting and this feels like it could be on any show at all. Yes we have three title matches, but while they’re good, they could easily have happened on Raws or any run of the mill PPV.

    It’s a show where the matches don’t add up to the whole show, as this just feels completely empty despite having some decent stuff on it. I’d say check this out only in extreme cases of boredom or for hardcore fans only. The casual viewer will just be bored to tears, which the ratings around this time reflect. This show was bad, but the individual stuff was ok I guess.
  23. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1994

    I like this event a lot. In my opinion this is the perfect format for the rumble. We had the usual four matches before the rumble, but this is the first time all three titles were defended. That’s the way it should have been all along. The only problem was the shortened length of the rumble match. I mentioned in the Survivor Series 1993 review that I liked how that event set up the next one. Well this was the next one and I liked how this one set up WrestleMania X.

    The opening match was good, but I was disappointed. I’m probably the only one, but I was kind of a mark for Ludvig Borga. I was disappointed that not only an injury put him out of the rumble, but that he would never return. Bigelow was a suitable replacement. He had feuded with Tatanka in 1993 and I thought they should have had a singles match at SummerSlam. This was a good match to start the show.

    I love everything about the tag title match. Bret and Owen are two of my all time favorites and I really liked the Quebecers too. The match is overshadowed by the angle, but this is a great match too. This was the turning point in Owen’s career. He was always talented but never had any direction. Finally he got that here. Bret vs. Owen at WrestleMania X is the greatest non gimmick match ever in my opinion, and it all started here.

    Razor vs. IRS was ok, but it was Razor vs. Michaels that everyone was looking forward to. IRS was a good opponent for the rumble as Michaels was rightfully being saved for mania.

    I really don’t know what to say about the title match. I thought the hype going into it was very good. I was looking forward to it. This was just bizarre. I thought it was kind of cool but at the same time thought it was way too unbelievable, even for wrestling. This was unique and memorable if nothing else.

    I’m always in favor of the two minute intervals, but the rumble match flowed pretty smoothly. This was Diesel’s coming out party. He was just a big sidekick for the past six months but here he got a chance to shine. Somewhat surprising for 1994, the fans were really getting behind him despite him being heel. I guess you could say this is notable for being the debut of Bob Holly. How did he last 15 years? You want some stupid wrestling logic? Tenryu and Kabuki’s sole purpose is to make sure Luger doesn’t win. Why is Tenryu working on random people on one side of the ring while Luger is on the other? The ending was certainly different. I’ve heard that Vince wanted to have separate announcements declaring both Bret and Lex the winner. He wanted to hear who got the better reaction and that’s the person who would win the title at mania. I suppose that makes sense but I don’t know if I believe that. I thought the finish went pretty well. I don’t think it’s clear that Luger hit the floor first. It’s pretty hard to tell. If this was football there wouldn’t be enough evidence to overturn the original call.

    Overall I really like this event. As I’ve said every time now I judge a rumble partial on how it set up mania. This did a good job setting up Bret vs. Owen, furthering Razor vs. Michaels and Savage vs. Crush, and creating intrigue about what would happen with the main event. Good show.
  24. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1995

    Even though the WWF stuck with the format that I like, this may have been the worst rumble ever. The overall event was ok, but I though the rumble match was terrible.

    I love the opening match. Toward the end of 1994 I really started to like Jeff Jarrett. I was happy to see him getting a push and getting an IC title shot on ppv. I just knew he was going to win the title. The match was pretty good and I thought Jarrett was going to be the next great heel IC champion in the mold of Mr. Perfect and Shawn Michaels.

    Like most I didn’t think much of Undertaker vs. IRS. This was obviously a filler feud the occupy Taker until WrestleMania. Looking back we know King Kong Bundy’s comeback was a failure, but at the time I was remembering the guy who gave Hogan everything he could handle and main event WrestleMania 2. I thought Bundy was a perfectly suitable opponent for Taker at mania. Even though that didn’t work out very well I left the rumble satisfied with the new feud and the mania setup.

    I was a little surprised that Bret Hart got the title shot against Diesel. I assumed it would be Shawn Michaels and Bret would win the rumble and get Diesel at mania. Turns out it worked ok the way things went down; at least for Shawn. I thought the match was very good. I didn’t like it quite as much as the King of the Ring match but still liked it very much. All the interference and the finish were pretty annoying. Even though I didn’t care for how it went down I can understand why it did. I guess the idea was this was such a big match that the ref didn’t want it to end in a dq. He wanted a clear finish. Finally after so much interference he had no choice but to call for the double dq. I don’t care for it, but I get it.

    I pretty much only remember the tag title match for the post match actions. I know a lot of people hated the angle with Lawrence Taylor in 1995, but the setup of the angle was awesome. Even though I was old enough to know better this looked like it could have been real. Like him or not, LT sold that beautifully. Bigelow shoved him down and LT looked pissed. Vince went off commentary to sell it even more. We knew he was the owner of the WWF but it had never been acknowledged on tv. For him to go off commentary all of a sudden made you feel like he could be legit pissed about what happened. Whether you like the mania match or not the start of the angle was well done.

    I hated the rumble match. It was definitely the worst up to that point and probably the worst of all time. I’ll take 1993 over this any day. This rumble didn’t have nearly enough star power. Two of the biggest stars that were in this, Owen Hart and Bob Backlund were eliminated instantly. Bundy could have done better too. This would have been better if those three had more of an impact. The thing that really kills this is the one minute intervals. This moved way too fast. Guys were coming in and going out so fast you could hardly keep track. It’s still talked about how Shawn Michaels entered at #1 and won the whole thing. Big deal. The match lasted like 40 minutes. Dibiase drew #1 in 1990 and lasted that long and he was eliminated with like eight or nine guys still to come. Despite going the distance there are several guys over the years that have longer times. I will say the finish was very good. That clip is shown every year around rumble time and is one of the most famous moments in rumble history.

    Overall this may not have been the worst rumble, but I think it’s the worst rumble match. If I was grading this the undercard would get a passing grade, but the rumble match gets an F.
  25. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Royal Rumble 1996
    Date: January 21, 1996
    Location: Selland Arena, Fresno, California
    Attendance: 9,600
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect

    Well it’s a year later and the roster is more or less the same. There are a few changes though. The biggest is Shawn has finally given up and turned face thank goodness and Taker is back in the title hunt. Bret has the title again and is facing him in the main event. Other than that, there’s a few new guys but a lot of this is the same. Nitro has debuted so the war has almost started.

    The rest of the card looks similar to what we had last year with all three titles on the line plus the Rumble and one other match, but this just looks miles more interesting for some reason. The Rumble roster still looks weak but far better than it did before. This flat out can’t be less interesting than last year so let’s go.

    I almost forgot: Shawn has been out with a ton of injuries including the concussion kick from Owen and tonight is his big return, so that’s easily your biggest story of the night here.

    Oh yeah and a guy named Hunter Hearst Helmsley debuted. A bald guy from Texas is here too. They’ll never mean a damn thing.

    There was a preshow match with HHH vs. Duke Droese. The winner got 30 and the loser got #1. Amazingly, HHH lost so there we are.

    Sunny is in a bathtub and says that tonight’s show is viewer discretion advised. My goodness she was perfect. Anyway, Bret vs. Taker is previewed, along with a few other matches. There’s a picture of Razor hitting a belly to back suplex off the middle rope on someone. That someone: Jeff Hardy. Oh yeah and there’s that Rumble thing too. Finally, there’s talk of some monster showing up tonight. Some guy called Vader I think.

    Jeff Jarrett vs. Ahmed Johnson

    Ahmed is a relative rookie here, having been around for just a few months here. In other words, this should be a slaughter. This is fallout from Jarrett breaking a gold record over Ahmed’s head at the previous In Your House. I love how I now have seen that match and reviewed it as it ties things together a bit. In case you’ve never seen him, Ahmed is a freaking tank.

    He’s more cut up than Ezekiel Jackson and even scarier looking. The only problem was he wasn’t as talented either. He’s killing Jarrett though so there we are. He was supposed to become world champion actually but he couldn’t stay healthy. There have been a ton of clotheslines in this match to say the least. I don’t mean a bunch in a row, but a bunch over a fairly spread out period of time.

    Why is it that when something happens it’s unbelievable to Vince? He saw it happen so apparently it’s not too farfetched. Johnson is hulking up. That can’t be a good sign. Jarrett continues to imitate Ric Flair without the success by getting Ahmed in the figure four. You know considering how awesome Ahmed was, this is just really boring.

    After powering out of that, Jarrett goes to the top with the guitar and El Kabong is enough for the DQ. Ahmed just stood there and waited to get hit in the head. Jarrett leaves and of course Ahmed is up in about 18 seconds and not even shaking it off. That was odd.

    Rating: D+. Uh yeah. I’m not sure what to say about this one as it just wasn’t that good at all. Ahmed wasn’t really sloppy, but he certainly was limited. I’m not entirely sure why they had Jarrett not get pinned here. He really had nothing to lose here as he would be gone less than ten months later. Ahmed was supposed to look great here but he just didn’t, plain and simple. This is more of a headscratcher than anything else.

    Buy WWF stuff, t-shirts in this case.

    Billy and Bart, looking like male porn stars from some cross breed of the 70s and 80s say they’re going to keep their titles. My goodness they were so painfully bland it’s painful.

    Diesel says heelish things despite still being a face officially I guess. He mentions not having a problem with Taker, and we have a feud on the rise.

    Tag Titles: Smoking Guns vs. Body Donnas

    Sunny was hotter than anything on the planet, period. The Body Donnas are Tom Pritchard and Chris Candido, more commonly known as Chris Candido. Sunny starts off in the ring by saying ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages. Holy stolen ring intro in a few years. Sunny of course gets the biggest pop of everyone. She’s 23 here and was screwing Bret Hart at the time, so there we are.

    We get an upskirt shot of Sunny which leaves Perfect speechless. In case you can’t tell, no one cares about the match but only Sunny. She really was excellent at getting all of the attention on her which is very good to be able to do. The Guns are giants compared to the heels. After the Donnas desperately try (and fail) to take over, Sunny is knocked to the floor. The only good thing is a nice ass shot but whatever.

    Perfect: she could have been hurt! Vince: she may be hurt! Thanks for being original McMahon. Naturally she was faking (don’t you hate when women do that?) and the Donnas get the advantage. Vince calls Zip Flip so there we are: we have found a gimmick so bad that even Vince McMahon can’t remember their stupid names. In a cool spot, Zip hooks his partner in a gutwrench release powerbomb (think Jack Swagger’s move but he just lets the guy go) onto Billy.

    That was different as Perfect says. Since this match has been the most intelligent of all time, we have another odd spot as Skip runs into Zip and Zip is knocked into Billy so everyone is down. It leads to the cold tag to Bart who cleans house. Vince says he hits Skip or Zip or whatever his name is. Since it’s 1996, we can’t have a regular ending, so instead the Guns hit the Sidewinder (backbreaker/leg drop from the top) but Sunny distracts the referee.

    In a bad looking spot, Billy sees Skip on the top rope clearly, but goes after Sunny instead. It was one of those moments that wasn’t supposed to look bad but accidently did. The Donnas go for a double suplex but Billy spears one of them so that Bart lands on the other guy for the pin. Yep, that was stupid.

    Rating: D. This show really isn’t starting out well at all. This was somehow worse than the previous match. Literally, looking at Sunny is all that this is good for. The match itself is just bad, the booking is weird and the ending leaves something to be desired. The Guns would forfeit the belts in about a month due to injury and the Donnas would get them in a tournament just before Mania, as in about 20 minutes before.

    We see a big thing of the Billionaire Ted skits. These were funny at the time, but allegedly they ticked off Ted Turner so much that he revamped WCW, so in essence they nearly killed Vince’s company. There we go then.

    Recap of Razor vs. Goldust. In essence, Goldust wants Razor, as in the way I want Ellen Page, so that apparently made Razor put the title on the line. Yeah that makes perfect sense.

    Intercontinental Title: Goldust vs. Razor Ramon

    Goldust debuted the night before Ahmed so there we are. Hey did you know that Goldust is bizarre? We need to make sure you know that he’s bizarre. Vince says don’t adjust your televisions. I’ve never gotten that expression. How many people actually get up and adjust televisions? What was going to go wrong with it in the last 10 seconds or so since the last segment ended?

    Are we supposed to believe that it wasn’t right before? Also, if you have a really fuzzy picture and you had really bad eyesight, would it eventually look normal? Apparently the noise at the beginning of Razor’s music is from screeching tires. What vehicle is making that noise? This is Marlena’s debut as well. She looked really good back at this point.

    In a funny moment, Vince goes over the rules to how you win a title and Perfect almost yells about how he’s won the title twice so why does he need to have it explained to him? That’s a really funny point when you think about it very little. Goldy grabs Razor’s chest a few minutes in so there we go. When asked about what he would do against Goldust, Perfect replies with kick him in the face.

    I love Mr. Perfect, if nothing else for the rampant sex jokes and innuendos he’s dropping here. At one point when they’re fighting on the floor someone shouts out that Marlena has a nice rack, which is very true. This match seems like it keeps starting and stopping. They’ll do a bit and then Goldust will go all freaky. That’s fine for character development, but it makes for some bad matches which is what’s happening here.

    We do however get a cool spot as Goldust hits a slingshot belly to back suplex that I’ve never seen before. Other than that though, there’s just not a lot to talk about here. Finally Goldust takes over, but still there’s no flow to this match. It’s hard to put into words, but you would know what I meant if you say it. Something just doesn’t feel right about it as it just looks choppy for lack of a better word.

    On top of that he keeps groping and molesting Razor. That’s just annoying. Can you imagine in wrestling related anything someone that was constantly making gay references and puns and actions? It would drive me crazy. Anyway, it’s a sleeper and a standard comeback by the face.

    Oh the fans are mostly dead for this. No Monty Python jokes here by the way. After some Terri interference, the 1-2-3 Kid comes in and heads to the top for a spin kick that clearly misses but I guess the air from it knocks out Razor for Goldust to get the pin.

    Rating: D. Uh yeah, this sucked too. I don’t get it. For the most part there’s been talented guys in every match but nothing at all has worked so far. Granted that could be because we’ve had three matches and zero clean endings. Is it that hard to let one guy cleanly beat the other one?

    Anyway, like I said earlier this match just feels choppy and it really hurts things. There’s zero flow here and it felt like watching a video game being played where the guy controlling it was just hitting all of the moves he programmed in if that makes sense.

    A bunch of people say they’ll win that don’t interest me. Shawn’s doctor says he’s ready to come back.

    After the explanation of the rules from Vince (none given to the live crowd), we’re ready to go.

    Royal Rumble

    HHH is in first and second it Henry Godwin, now rocking the best music in wrestling history: Don’t Go Messin With a Country Boy. These two had a pseudo-rivalry around this time so this works pretty well. We’re back to two minute intervals which almost guarantees a better match. They imply that winning two in a row is almost impossible as Hogan is continually buried.

    Backlund is third, completely in his crazy man Presidential candidate (don’t ask) gimmick. Also, how bad of a string of draws does this guy get? The more I see of this guy the more I like him. He’s just amazing considering his age. Backlund still has the Iron Man record at this point. Fourth is Jerry Lawler as I’m already loving these two minute intervals better.

    There’s far more time to let people get settled in and it helps a lot. The heat on Lawler is nuts with the Burger King chants. Godwin breaks up a triple team and gets the slop bucket. Everyone gets it at once as they’re on the floor and now we’re back in the ring with a Gallagher reference. Fifth is Bob Holly to fill the jobber quota a bit more. Backlund is on the floor or something I think as he hasn’t been seen in awhile.

    He’s not out but he’s not in the ring either. Oh there he is. HHH has jumped twice in this match, which is more than in this decade combined I believe. Mabel, who is still King, is in at 6. He’s gained even more weight here and it even less interesting of a character if that’s possible. HHH is compared to Shawn. Oh dear.

    Jake Roberts, on the nostalgia trips to end all nostalgia trips (notice the word choice I used for Jake) is seventh to a solid as hell pop. He lets loose the snake and throws it over Lawler who is of course terrified of snakes. How much of a creep was Roberts? The only people he ever fought were terrified of snakes. That’s just pathetic. Anyway, Lawler hides under the ring as Dory freaking Funk Jr. is #8.

    No one knows who he is, which is likely because he’s 56 years old at this point. With the NWA dead at this point, Vince mentions their name on camera. No one has been eliminated yet so we have eight people in and you can recap it yourselves you lazy pests. Jake almost gets a DDT on HHH to a pop but it doesn’t work.

    Terry Funk is apparently friends with Bruce Willis. Well ok then. Funk fights Backlund in one of the only encounters you’ll ever see where Bob is ten years younger than the guy he’s fighting. Yokozuna is 9th as we’re way too full here. Those are words I don’t think Yoko ever used. As Backlund has the chicken wing on Funk, Yoko dumps Bob easily to a big pop.

    I think he’s just about to or just has turned face. The Kid is tenth as we hit double figures. This hasn’t been bad as it’s pretty clear they’re saving the big guns for the end, but damn those guys are staying in there a long time. It’s not exactly a bad thing, but I’m not sure if I’m sold on it or not.

    Razor chases him to the ring as Godwin is eliminated to absolutely zero recognition. I had to rewind it to see where he went out at. Razor chases Kid around for a bit which means nothing in the end. Mo is very annoying to say the least. I think Shane was there as an official to get Razor to the back. Some Japanese wrestler named Omori is number 11. He comes out to the Orient Express’ music, and I don’t have a clue who he is.

    Thanks to Wiki, he apparently has a pretty good resume. That’s fine and good, but again we have the same old problem: ALMOST NO ONE KNOWS THAT VINCE. These foreign guys are fine to bring in, but damn it tell us why we should care. Don’t just say he’s a wild man from Japan. We need more than that. Tell us a big name he’s beaten, tell us some titles he’s won, tell us SOMETHING.

    I don’t want to have to do a ton of research to figure out who one guy from Japan is in one match. He’s from All Japan Pro, that’s all we get. Even Vince says he doesn’t know a ton about him. Well thanks Vince. Savio Vega is 12th as nothing of note is going on. Dory is out there doing stuff that belongs in the 40s or something which is pretty cool looking.

    The saddest part: I doubt half the roster today would be as smooth as he is out there in this match. Yoko puts out Mable and the smarks shed a tear as the completely unimportant Omori is put out by Roberts. To recap, we have HHH, Lawler (hiding under the ring), Holly, Roberts, Funk, Yoko, Kid and Vega in there at the moment. Perfect says he’s tapped into the Superstar line and knows who the next guy is.

    Ok wait a minute. So first of all, you can find out the SECRET drawing on the Superstar line? I know they did that last year but I just don’t get what the point is. Why ruin the mystique of one of the biggest matches of the year? Second, you can tap into it? How many science geeks that were watching this (of the 4 or so that were) immediately tried to figure out how to do that? Third, Perfect is on the phone while calling a match? Dude I want that job!

    Anyway, 13th is the debuting Vader. At the time, he was a complete monster and rapidly becoming one of the biggest heels in the company. He beats up Holly so he’s a good guy to me. Savio puts out Funk from the apron. Vader of course pulls him back in so there we go. Vader punches Savio, making him dance. Yeah I hate him too. Fourteenth is Doug Gilbert of the USWA, which is Lawler’s company.

    Jake sets Vega for the DDT, arguably the most devastating and popular move in company history at that point, so right as he goes for it we cut to Holly trying to dump the Kid. We can see it hit between Holly’s legs and the pop is huge, but of course two career nothings are more important so there we are. In a VERY stupid looking spot, Jake hooks Gilbert for the DDT and then just stares at Vader for at least four seconds and then gets clotheslined over the top. That looked so stupid.

    Ok so 15 and 16 are twins called the Squat Team. Yes that’s the best name they could come up with for them. They’re twin 450lb guys from Puerto Rico where they’re called the Headhunters. Ok, so we can’t just call them that generic yet far better name? They last less than two minutes combined as Vader just goes insane on the first one with two punches to knock them both out. That was AWESOME.

    As the first one leaves his partner is coming out and they both go to the ring. Vader beats them both up at once until Yoko (still heel apparently) grabs one and is like “Bitch get your fat ass out of here and make me a sweater” while Vader beats up the other one and is like “Bitch go marinate bake me a ham and set the table” and both guys are knocked out.

    That was both stupid and pointless which is a nice combination. Oh and just after the first guy came in Doug Gilbert got hit with a freaking AWESOME chokeslam from Vader and thrown out. It looked awesome.

    To recap, we have HHH, Lawler (under the ring), Holly, Kid, Vader, Yoko and Vega. Owen is 17th and a major heel at this point due to being the guy that hurt Shawn in the famous enziguri (how in the hell is that spelled anyway?) that made Shawn black out. Yoko and Vader just beat the living tar out of Vega and Shawn is 18th as the roof isn’t blown off in the slightest.

    There’s a reaction but damn there was nothing impressive about that in the slightest. Vader puts out Savio as Shawn hits HHH. What would the children think??? The crowd is awake but not much beyond that. Vader and Yoko fight at the ropes and Shawn runs up and dumps BOTH of them at once. Ok that was cool looking. The fans are very much insane now. Shawn gorilla presses Kid out in another cool spot.

    Vader and Yoko keep fighting as Hakushi is now in to make it him, Shawn, Owen, Holly and HHH as we see the major problem already: it is so completely obvious that Shawn is going to win. Vader comes back in and throws him out to completely silence the crowd. All of a sudden this year that doesn’t count like it used to so Shawn is still in. Gorilla the Commissioner comes down to run off Vader.

    Vader would kick his ass soon which was quite sad. The heel heat on Vader is nuts. Maybe 45 seconds after Hakushi comes in we bring in Tatanka for a one night return for no apparent reason. I’ve always liked that hook of the steel bar that Shawn did. It’s an intelligent counter that works quite well. Owen throws out Hakushi as the Shawn Michaels plus the midcard Rumble continues.

    Aldo Montoya is 21st to some of the weirdest music I can ever remember. It’s like techo and tribal mixed and it’s just failing. Shawn finds Lawler under the ring and throws him back in. Sometimes simple heel tactics like that are just made of win. Montoya and Lawler go out almost at the same time as Diesel tries to give Shawn a challenge at 22. I know looking at it now he looks weak but at the time he was a major player still so this was a big deal. He puts Tatanka out with ease.

    He and Shawn go at it to a solid pop. Owen goes after Diesel to finally live up to the poster for this event. I have no idea why those two were on the poster. I also have no idea why they didn’t fight at Summerslam 95 instead of Mabel but whatever. I mean really, what match sounds more interesting: Diesel vs. Mable or Diesel vs. Owen? It would have at least been interesting to an extent instead of Diesel and Owen which was completely awful.

    Kama is in next to no reaction at all. Yeah Shawn should have come out about 10 spots later than he did. Holly is more or less dead at this point as Shawn hits the ten corner punches on him. The crowd counts with him and I keep thinking it’s another person coming in. Apparently Ahmed has a concussion and is going to the hospital. So wait, it took AN HOUR AND A HALF to figure that out? Dude how bad is your medical staff???

    The Ringmaster is in at 24. For those of you that don’t know, he would soon become known as Stone Cold Steve Austin. His manager, Ted DiBiase heading to WCW might have saved the company. He’s wearing white boots here which just doesn’t look right. Aww his boots have little stars on them! That’s so cute! He FINALLY puts out Holly though so he’s awesome already.

    Austin is a much more technical based guy here with some very good athleticism. Barry Horowitz is 25th, coming out to his completely sweet rock version of Hava Nagila. How awesome is that? Perfect says that if Horowitz wins this he’ll get back in the ring. That made me chuckle for no reason at all. In a cool looking spot, Owen is leaning on the ropes to choke Shawn so Shawn nips up to kick Owen over, but Owen skins the cat to get back in. That was awesome looking.

    The fans are DEAD here. Diesel puts out HHH with complete ease. That looked cool if nothing else. 26th is Fatu. WHY IN THE HELL DOES HE GET THESE AWESOME DRAWS EVERY YEAR??? This is the making a difference Fatu. My goodness this was awful. It makes Rikishi look brilliant. Hey let’s plug the Superstar Line again! Apparently only the guy on there knows who is next. So is he running around telling people what order to go in?

    Perfect changes his stance to he’ll quit if Horowitz wins. So wait, does that mean he’ll quit being retired? If that’s so does that mean he’ll wrestle again? Maybe he didn’t change his stance at all. Owen almost puts Shawn out but just won’t do it because it would probably get him fired. Isaac Yankem (Kane) is in next. Horowitz is gone. Owen hits the enziguri on Shawn again but this time doesn’t kill him.

    Austin does the Shawn pose as I laugh. Austin vs. Diesel is a match that I don’t think ever happened. Owen is out due to Diesel and Shawn. 28th is Marty Jannetty as this match just needs to be put out of its misery. Apparently he’s been doing well in the singles division. Did I completely miss some time in the company history? The Rockers go at it in a fight that would have been good maybe 3 years ago.

    British Bulldog is 29th again to ZERO reaction. 30th is going to be Duke Droese so there we are. Smith is heel here so he beats on Shawn. He dumps Marty quickly so if nothing else there’s a future for him in vermin control. Fatu puts out Austin. How many people would believe that in three and a half years he would run him over in a car and put him out for a year?

    That’s just completely amazing and shows you that all kinds of things can happen in wrestling and you never know what’s coming. Kane knocks out Rikishi with ease as the announcers admit they have no idea how Austin went out due to there being a lot of action going on. No not really but I can’t argue with Vince right? Ok so there’s Duke and the final groups is, and I’m not kidding you here, Duke Droese, Kama, Diesel, Shawn, Bulldog and Yankem. WOW.

    If you couldn’t tell who was going to win this and who he was going to eliminate last, you’re an idiot. Droese and Kane go out really fast so your final four are Bulldog, Diesel, Kama and Shawn. And before I’m done typing that Shawn kicks Diesel out to win it. Literally, the final four started and ended inside of 30 seconds. Shawn wins, shocking no one at all. Diesel comes back and they do the Too Sweet sign. Yep, that’s all they do and good night I’m bored here.

    Rating: D. How can this show not seem that bad? I mean seriously, Ahmed freaking Johnson at this point has the match of the night, and that’s after guys like Chris Candido, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall and Dustin Rhodes have performed. Once Shawn came in, the match was over, period. No one thought for a second that anyone other than HBK was going to win, period. I mean look at this lineup.

    The alternatives are the debuting Vader, Diesel, who had talked about Taker nonstop recently so his feud is set up, and……and……oh come on there has to be a third guy. Owen Hart wins it by default I guess: a career midcard guy with a cup of coffee in the main event a year ago that is clearly the first Shawn target. WOW. How in the world did this Rumble get a chance to do anything? There is no way this was ever, and I mean ever, was going to work.

    The only thing CLOSE to making this work would have been Yoko, Diesel, Owen and Vader against Shawn at the end. I mean really, who else was going to win? This wasn’t interesting at all and other than for a few seconds, the crowd might as well have been asleep, and I can’t blame them a bit. This was just boring as hell.

    Bret says he’ll win in a generic interview, which is somehow the most interesting thing I’ve seen other than Vader and Yoko being put out in over an hour.

    WWF Title: Undertaker vs. Bret Hart

    This is happening because Bret is champion and Taker would have been far too big of a threat to Shawn’s popularity. Taker is wearing the skull mask at this point after Mabel and Yokozuna destroyed his face. For no apparent reason, Diesel is still at ringside. He gets in Taker’s face and there they go. Taker was just all kinds of awesome at this point, as he was reaching that mythical level that few get to.

    He’s officially that kind of guy that’s awesome just because he’s who he is. Like today for example, it’s about two weeks after Kofi destroyed Orton’s car. That was AWESOME. Kofi got over in that one segment and granted I have no idea if it’ll still or not as you guys won’t read this for about two months, but the point is he might just fall off the map. A guy like Taker simply isn’t going to fall off the level he’s on barring anything completely insane happening.

    He was just hitting that level around this time. He’s like Shawn is now: you can throw together a bullshit storyline to put him in the title match and everyone will buy it because he’s just awesome enough to be in it. Bret’s pop is solid here, but this crowd just kind of sucks. Ok we’ve been in this match 3 minutes now and I think I already know what’s coming. I had a bad vibe about this match earlier on and it’s coming true now: they’re doing a formula match.

    Yep, Bret’s going for the knee early. That means a long drawn out match where Bret works on the leg with a submission, Taker fights back, Bret hits the knee and uses a submission, Taker fights back, Bret hits the knee and uses a submission, Taker fights back, Bret hits the knee or a suplex move and sets for the Sharpshooter and somewhere in there we brawl on the floor with a weapon other than the belt or a chair being used. And what do you know I’m right.

    Yes, for about 25 minutes, that’s all we get. During that Bret gets the stupid looking skull mask off of Taker that was just really annoying. PLEASE END THIS! Taker hits the Tombstone finally, and here’s Diesel for the cheap DQ to set up Diesel vs. Bret to set up Diesel vs. Taker. Ok, I know I have the benefit of hindsight here, but this was as predictable as humanly possible.

    The signs were all there for Diesel vs. Taker, especially the fight before the match started. I mean seriously, who in their right mind thought Taker had a chance in hell here? Actually he won, so who thought he had a chance of getting the title here? Whatever, I just want this show to end.

    Rating: C-. While it was formula stuff, it was somehow by far and away the best match of the night, and that’s just pitiful. They went out there and did half an hour of stuff you could write a textbook with. Now I know that usually means greatness, but in this case I mean a book called Cookie Cutter Title Matches in 30 Elongated Minutes.

    It might have been that I was just wanting this show to end, but DAMN this was boring as hell to me. I’m going with the C- because it gives it the best grade of the night just so Jeff Jarrett can’t have it. WWF>TNA, forever, even when you have to lie to get there.

    Overall Rating: D-. Somehow, this passes. I have zero idea how, but somehow it passes. The matches all completely sucked, but it was like I kept wanting to like the show. That’s either really good or really bad and I’m not sure which.

    This whole show feels like the forms you have to fill out to get something you know you’re getting: it’s pointless, you don’t like it, but you have to do it anyway to get to the end result. This show is just boring as hell. I don’t know if it’s particularly bad, but it’s just so boring that it becomes bad. Don’t watch this unless you’re an insomniac.

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