Friend vs friend, foe vs foe, it’s every man for himself! That’s the long and short of it with a Royal Rumble match and if the previous three are anything to go by then this should be good.
Going into this, Ultimate Warrior is the World Heavyweight champion and has been since Wrestlemania VI when he defeated Hulk Hogan. Now though he has to defend it against Sgt Slaughter who as an Iraqi sympathiser has created as much heat as any heel seen before in the WWF. A new World champion has only ever been crowned at a Wrestlemania event, could tonight be a first?
Since Summerslam, Mr Perfect has won the Intercontinental title back from Texas Tornado with a little assistance from Ted Dibiase. Dibiase continues his feud with Dusty Rhodes, a feud that has become more personal since Dusty’s son Dustin has got involved. Dusty and Dustin team up together to take on Ted Dibiase and the man making his PPV in-ring debut, long time bodyguard to Dibiase, Virgil.
The Hart Foundation are still the tag team champions and they escape a title defence at this PPV as both Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart are involved in the Royal Rumble match.
There are a few comings and going since Survivor Series, the only two major outgoings are Honky Tonk Man and Boris Zhukov. Honky Tonk had a good run in the WWF and can’t be displeased with his epic Intercontinental title run. Zhukov didn’t pick up a single win on PPV as one half of The Bolsheviks with Nikolai Volkoff. Look out for a few debuts tonight including The Mountie, The Nasty Boys, Kato, Shane Douglas and Saba Simba.
We start the show with a long shot of the American flag followed by the American national anthem. This’ll make the fans feel more patriotic and give Slaughter even more heat. We’re then treated to a run-down of some of the superstars involved in the Royal rumble match tonight. British Bulldog is back. Saba Simba and The Nasty Boys makes their PPV debut too. Shane Douglas involved too. Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgy Slaughter is arguably the main event though and it’s the first ever title match at a Royal Rumble PPV. In the commentary booth it’s Gorilla Monsoon and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Think I’d rather see Piper in action, it’s been nearly a year.
The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
Well this is somewhat or a rematch from Wrestlemania VI. The EXpress clear the ring of Jannetty and take it to Michaels but Marty soon makes the save and The Rockers clean house. Kato replaces Sato for the Orient Express as Sato has now left the WWF. The match officially under way and it’s Jannetty and Kato that start things off. Some quick holds and reversals now between the two. Piper seels its well. The Express with some double teaming slows the momentum down for The Rockers but only momentarily as Jannetty takes over! Shawn Michaels tagged in and he enters the ring via the top rope. Tanaka hits a sweet looking flying forearm that knocks Michaels down. Monsoon announces that the winner of this match will get a shot at The Hart Foundations tag team titles. The Rockers are still looking for the first win on pay per view. Michaels hits a double noggin knocker!
Michaels has the advantage and locks in a headlock. A “we will rock you” chant breaks out, brilliant. Shawn locks in a sleeper and the crowd go nuts. Wow, you don’t get that any more. Kato breaks it up and both men are down. Tanaka makes sure Shawn stays down in this back and forth match, Michaels gets the advantage and then hits s moonsault on an oncoming Kato! All hell has broken loose and The Rockers send the Orient Express to the outside before going up top and landing some high impact cross boy’s to the outside! It’s Kato and Jannetty in there now. This is Kato’s PPV debut actually. Some double teaming from the Express takes Michaels down. The Orient Express beat The Rockers at Wrestlemania, will this have the same result? It looks like it at the moment as Tanaka grounds Michaels. Kato in and the two hit a nice double team move on Michaels. Mr Fuji watches from the outside and looks happy with what he sees.
Quick tags between The Orient EXpress and it;s Tanaka who hits some nice chops and then locks in a nerve hold. Kato is ripped, he has a great physique. And he throws Michaels from one side of the ring to the other. Classic selling from Michaels. With Tanaka in, Shawn finally gets some offence in, flapjacking Tanaka into the mat. Michaels makes the tag to Jannetty and the crowd erupt! Jannetty takes Kato and Tanaka down with powerslams and dropkicks and now all four men are in the ring! Michaels and Tanaka fight to the outside and then back in! Michales trips Kato from the outside and then The Rockers hit a double crescent kick on the masked man.Michaels goes up top but Tanaka kicks him off and to the outside! Kato slingshots Jannetty into a chop from Tanaka and then sets it up again but Michaels kicks Tanaka and Jannetty sunset flips over the top of him and pins him for the three! A great win and a first win on PPV for Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty!
Backstage to Randy Savage who doesn’t care who wins the World title match tonight but he is the number one contender to the championship. Savage says that Sherri is going to bait The Ultimate Warrior into giving Savage a shot st the title. We go to Sherri now who is with Mene Gene. I remember this segment from when I was younger and having a crush on Sensational Sherri! Sherri backs up what Savage has just said and claims that Slaughter would grant Savage a World title match should he win the title. But she wants to know whether Ultimate Warrior would do the same. And here comes The Warrior. Clad in American flags on his jacket and trunks. Red, white and blue face paint too. Sherri starts flirting with Warrior now, pulling his jacket off and telling him how wonderful his hair is. She gives Warrior a little kiss and the champ doesn’t look to pleased. She goes down to her knees which gets a big cheer. Warrior spits on the floor, has a fit and then gives her the “noooo”. Savage starts smashing up his locker room and then goes running to ringside!
The Barbarian vs. The Big Boss Man
Bobby Heenan is out managing The Barbarian and The Boss Man comes running to the ring to a good ovation. Neither of these guys have won matches since last years Wrestlemania so it’ll be interesting to see who has the momentum going into this years. They were on opposite teams at the last PPV, Survivor Series but neither men won the match. It;s back and forth to begin with and The Boss Man knocks his opponent down to the outside of the ring. He then slides outside and throws him into the ringpost! The Barbarian tries to get back into the ring from the top rope but Boss Man sees him coming. He then clothesline Barbarian back to the outside! The former Power of Pain gets back into the ring and hits a big suplex on The Boss Man. Barbarian grounds Boss Man again with a big but sloppy looking clothesline. The Barbarian is in control now, tying Boss Man up in the ropes and then running him into the ring post. Bobby Heenan then takes a cheap shot on the outside. Back in the ring and Barbarian hits a backbreaker and gets a near fall. A bear hug locked in on The Boss Man now and it’s locked in for quite some time until eventually Boss Man gets out of it!
Boss Man with the advantage now, choking Barbarian on the top rope and covering the big man but only for a 2 count. Both men then hit heads and it’s a race (a slow race) to get back up. Barbarian gets up first and goes up top and nails his big clothesline off the top! That should be a three count but Boss Man gets his foot on the rope. Boss Man reverses an irish whip and then hits his Boss Man Slam! He covers Barbarian who gets his hand to the rope. Just. Barbarian now with a huge piledriver. Heenan tells Barbarian to “do it”. And he goes up top again and hits a high cross body but Boss Man uses his momentum to reverse it and pins The Barbarian for the three count! A nice win for The Big Boss Man. Heenan goes running to the back leaving Boss Man to celebrate in the middle of the ring.
Backstage now to Sgt Slaughter and his commanding officer, General Adnan. Adnan talks in Iraqi or some sort of foreign language. “Shut your hole, puke”, classic line from Slaughter. Slaughter looks hilarious in his headgear. He reckon he’ll defeat The Ultimate Puke. His voice goes by the end of this promo.
Now backstage to Mene Gene with The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior has a nice purple belt. Warrior is confident that he’ll win. This match is up next.
The Ultimate Warrior (c) vs. Sgt Slaughter – World Heavyweight Title Match
This is the first ever title match at a Royal Rumble PPV and it;s a big one. Slaughter goes form feuding with Nikolai Volkoff to a World title match with The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior is high energy as you’d expect and he clears the ring before the bell before ripping up the Iraq flag. He then nails Slaughter with the flagpole and it’s not a disqualification. He throws Slaughter from pillar to post and the crowd love it. He then throws the Iraqi sympathiser over the top rope and out comes Sensational Sherri. Warrior chokes Slaughter and then throws him back into the ring, hitting him with clotheslines. Sherri grabs the champions leg and Warrior chases her to the back. But out comes Savage! He nails Warrior with a light and then runs to the back. The referee didn’t see any of it! A big USA chants breaks out. Slaughter won’t let the referee count out Warrior who crawls back towards the ring.
Slaughter goes outside to help Warrior get back into the ring. He then keeps Warrior down with kicks and a backbreaker. He spits on the champion and goads at him to get back up. Slaughter has the same boots that The Iron Sheik used to have. I love little things like that. Warrior starts to make a comeback and hits a clothesline, both men are down! They both get back up to their feet and Slaughter locks in a bear hug. After a while Warrior fights out and hits a bodyslam on the challenger. But Warriors got a bad back. He really sells it after Savage hit him with the light. Slaughter goes back to work on the back and then locks in a Camel Clutch! But Warriors legs are outside the ring so Slaughter has the break the hold. The Sarge thinks he’s won but he hasn’t. Warrior is finding a second wind now, he shakes the ropes and starts trotting around the ring. He then knocks Slaughter down with clotheslines! And then a big shoulder barge! He motions for the Gorilla Press Slam but out comes Sherri again!
Sherri is up on the apron distracting Warrior and the champion drags her into the ring! He then lifts her up but here comes The Macho King! Warrior throws her on top of him and Slaughter chokes him on the rope. Slaughter then backs off and distracts the referee allowing Savage to hit Warrior with the scepter! Slaughter puts the champion on his back and then covers him and gets the three count! The building goes quiet as we wait for the official result. A “bullshit” chant breaks out and Warrior runs off with something hanging from his nose. Slaughter is left in the ring and the official decision is….new World Heavyweight champion! Sgt Slaughter wins the title and becomes the first ever heel to do so! Savage wasn’t heel when he won the belt if that’s what you’re thinking.
Koko B. Ware vs. The Mountie
Out comes Jacques Rougeaus under his new guise as The Mountie. Koko B. Ware, everyones favourite jobber looks for his first PPV victory. The Mountie is managed by Jimmy Hart, much like Jacques was. Koko is slightly quicker than The Mountie and he dropkicks the Canadian Policeman to the outside. Back in the ring Koko hits a nice arm drag and locks in an armbar. Its back and forth for a while and The Mountie back body drops Koko over the top rope. Jimmy Hart distracts the referee and The Mountie then nails Koko with his cattle prod! He throws Koko back into the ring and the crowd don’t seem too into this one. Jimmy Hart talks to Frankie the parrot on the outside, laughing at Koko. Mountie hits a nice flying elbow and then chokes Koko. Koko with a sunset flip and a two count. Mountie is quick to react and throws Koko to the outside of the ring. Back in the ring Mountie attempts a piledriver but it’s reversed by Koko. Koko carries the momentum with a nice swinging neckbreaker, a flying headbutt and a powerslam. He goesup top now and nails a flying dropkicks. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron causing a distraction but Koko averts The Mountie. He hits a high cross body but just a two count. Koko comes flying off the ropes and The Mountie hits a sloppy looking sidewalk slam for the win. Nothing memorable but a good PPV debut for The Mountie.
Backstage to Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri. Savage says he;s the best of all time and he’s not happy that Warrior wouldn’t grant him a shot. Warrior bangs on the locker room door but he aint getting in!
Mene Gene with Sgt Slaughter and General Adnan now. Slaughter told the world that he gives the orders. Slaughter defeated The Ultimate Puke. When Slaughter says he’ll crush somebody, he does it. And he’s just begun.
Lots of messages now for the armed forces from fans. I’d love to know what these people are doing now.
And now for some Royal Rumble promos. Jake Roberts up first and he;s cold. And he wants Rick Martel. Jimmy Hart with Earthquake now and he’s ready for everyone including Undertaker, Mr Perfect and Hogan. Greg Valentine now with blonde hair will crush everyone with the hammer. Texas Tornado says the tornado will come down on the rumble. The Legion of Doom say it’s every man for himself, what a rush. Brother Love and The Undertaker will bury all 29 opponents. Jim Duggan says he’ll be the last man in the ring. Rick Martel says it’s all about how you look and he’ll be guiding Jake Roberts out of the ring. The British Bulldog is glad he’s a bulldog. Mr Perfect back as Intercontinental champion is the greatest athlete ever produced. Tugboat will be jumping into the middle of things.
Backstage to Sean Mooney with Ted Dibiase and Virgil. Dibiase goes through some of Virgils tasks and the bodyguard doesn’t look happy. Dibiase says it’s all about the money.
Dusty & Dustin Rhodes vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase & Virgil
Father and son take on Dibiase and Virgil who makes his PPV in-ring debut tonight. Dibiase and Virgil attack before the bell but it’s The Rhodes’ that clean house. Virgil, who was named after Dusty Rhodes starts the match with Dustin. Dustin knocks down Virgil with a clothesline and then a dropkick sends him to the outside. Dibiase shouts at his bodyguard to get back into the ring. Virgil gets back into the ring but it’s not long before Dustin clotheslines him back out. Once again Dibiase shouts at Virgil and calls him an embarrassment. In comes The Million Dollar Man who tells Virgil that he’ll show him how it’s done. Dibiase takes Dustin down with a clothesline and a back body drop. Dustin eventually gets some offence in and copies his dads elbows. Dusty is tagged in now and the crowd get what they want to see. Dusty hits some of his elbows on Dibiase and then locks in a sleeper!
Virgil breaks it up pretty quickly though. Dustin tagged back in and he hits a big dropkick on Dibiase and gets a nearfall as Virgil breaks it up again. Dibiase tags in Virgil now who takes control of the match. Dustin blows his knee out missing the bodyguard in the corner and Virgil uses it as a target. Dibiase holds Dustin and Virgil accidentally nails him! Dibiase goes mad and chops Virgil then throws him to the outside! And in comes Dusty who goes mad on Dibiase. Dusty goes for an elbow in the corner but Ted ducks it and rolls Dusty up for the three count! Dibiase and Virgil with a big win! After the match Ted Dibiase demands that Virgil gets the Million Dollar Belt and put it round his waist. Virgil nails him with the belt though! And the crowd love it.
A quick promo from Hulk Hogan. He isn’t happy that Sgt Slaughter has apparently defaced the flag. Uh oh.
The 1991 Royal Rumble Match
It’s Bret Hart and Dino Bravo that start the match. Two Canadians, Bret Hart actually started the rumble in 1988 along with Tito Santana. Bravo hasn’t been up to much recently, mainly being Earthquakes lackey. Bret Hart is still one half of the tag team champions having defeated Demolition at Summerslam. Number 3 is Greg Valentine and he goes after Dino Bravo! These two used to team up as The New Dream Team back in 1988. Jimmy Hart wants the two to team up to take on Bret Hart. All three of the men in the match have been managed by Jimmy Hart at one time or another. Greg Valentine eliminates Dino Bravo! Valentine seems to be a tweener at this point. Bret Hart goes after him, Bret once had the record for longest time lasted in a Royal Rumble match, a record now held by Ted Dibiase. #4 is one half of Power and Glory, Paul Roma. He comes in and goes after Bret Hart and then turns his attention to Valentine. It’s not long until #5 comes in and it’s the former Intercontinental champion Texas Tornado. The Tornado comes in and takes down Valentine whilst Hart goes after Roma. Could Tornado move up from the Intercontinental title to the World title with a win in the Rumble? The heels quickly turn on each other whilst the faces watch each others back. They’re coming thick and fast now and it’s #6 Rick Martel. I’d love to see Tornado and Martel go at it. It’s Roma that goes after Martel though. Those two were part of the same team at Survivor Series. Tornado and Hart team up on Valentine
Hart goes after Martel now with big lefts and right in the corner. Roma goes after The Model again now. And it’s time for #7 in the form of Saba Simba. Which is Tony Atlas without any shoes on. Atlas hasn’t been on PPV since Wrestlemania 2 nearly five years ago. Tornado nearly eliminates Martel, better save him for Roberts though. Paul Roma is the only man in the ring never to have held a title in the WWE up to this point. Time for someone else and #8 is Bushwhacker Butch. Butch stomps around until he gets slapped by Greg Valentine. Saba Simba attempts to eliminate Rick Martel but Martel reverses it and eliminates Simba! All six men are paired off but we’re due somebody else and it’s Jake Roberts much to the crowds delight. Martel goes straight for him but Roberts takes him down with his trademark jabs. Roberts has been in every Royal Rumble so far but so far he hasn’t won one. Martel manages to escape Jake allowing Valentine to attack The Snake. Shane McMahon is one of the referee on the outside. A third of the way through and #10 is Hercules. He helps out tag team partner Paul Roma. The ring starts to fill up now and Martel has Roberts on the ropes. Power and Glory go after Greg Valentine whilst Butch takes Bret Hart down. #11 now and it’s Tito Santana who has also been in every Royal Rumble match. And he goes after Rick Martel as Jake Roberts eliminates Paul Roma! The rivalry between Santana and Martel never ends! Tornado and Jake Roberts going at it now!
Valentine goes after old rival Santana now but Bret Hart makes the save. #12 now and it’s The Undertaker making his Royal Rumble debut. Undertaker comes in and eliminates Bret Hart! He then chokes out Texas Tornado and headbutts him. Tornado hits him with the spinning right hand but Undertaker no sells and knocks the former Intercontinental champion down. Unlucky for some, it’s #13 and it’s “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka just as Undertaker throws out Butch. Snuka goes after Martel whilst Undertaker and Tornado go at it. I like that rivalry. Greg Valentine has been in there the longest now as he looks to rebuild his career. #14 now and it’s The British Bulldog making his return to the WWF. He hasn’t been on pay per view since Survivor Series 1988. Hercules and Tornado go at it in one corner. Bulldog hits an atomic drop on Martel and Snuka chops Valentine. We’re at the half way point now as Smash enters as #15. He goes right after The Bulldog but Bulldog nails him with a big clothesline. The Model then pulls Jake Roberts out from behind, eliminating him from the match! The Undertaker and The British Bulldog go at it in one corner as Hawk makes his royal Rumble debut at #16. He goes mad but soon half the ring gang up on him. Undertaker, Hercules and Smash all go after him but Hawk explodes on Hercules. Snuka and Smash are in another corner whilst Santana has The Undertaker in another.
Just to refresh we’ve got The British Bulldog, The Texas Tornado, The Undertaker, Hawk, Hercules, Rick Martel, Greg Valentine, Smash, Tito Santana, Jimmy Snuka and now at #17….Shane Douglas. A youngster that has been in and out of the WWF. Speaking of out, Undertaker throws out Texas Tornado and Hawk eliminates Jimmy Snuka. Hawk and Hercules representing their respective teams go at it. Valentine still in there, looking sweaty. #18 now and it’s….nobody! Nobody comes out at 18. That’s one less person for everyone to eliminate. Apparently it was suposed to be Randy Savage but he was chased out of the arena by The Ultimate Warrior. Animal enters at #19 though and he teams up with Hawk to take on The Undertaker and the two men double clothesline him out of here! Straight away though Rick Martel and Hercules double clothesline Hawk out of here! Santana and Martel go at it, they have a lot of history. Greg Valentine has been in there for over half an hour, could he break Ted Dibiase’s 45 minute record? #20 now and it’s Crush making his Royal Rumble debut. Two thirds of the way through now. Him and smash team up on the British Bulldog. Valentine goes after Shane Douglas but then comes over to help Santana with Martel. It’s quite quiet as #21 “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan enters. Duggan won the first ever Royal Rumble back in 1988 and he goes after The Model.
Douglas and Hercules go at it in one corner. Duggan and Smash in another. Animal and Santana double team Crush whilst Valentine and Bulldog also go at it. #22 now and it’s Earthquake led to the ring by Jimmy Hart. You’ve got to fancy Earthquake as one of the favourites in this one. He comes in and goes toe to toe with Animal but Quake eliminates him! Duggan beckons Earthquake and now those two go at it. #23 already and it’s Mr Perfect who takes his time getting down to the ring. Duggan goes after Perfect and throws him into the corner. Perfect over-sells like a pro but as Duggan tries for a clothesline, Perfect ducks and eliminates him! Perfect then nails a dropkick on Survivor Series partner smash. Santana levels him with a clothesline. #24 now and it’s Hulk Hogan! What a reaction for The Hulkster! Smash greets him and over comes Perfect but The Hulkster Hulks up! He eliminates smash, throwing him over the top and then he goes after Earthquake. Quake soon gets the advantage though as a “Hogan” chant breaks out. Perfect and Bulldog go mad at each other in one corner. #25 now and it’s Haku! Hogan then eliminates Greg Valentine! He was in there about 41 minutes. Martel rips Hogans shirt off and chokes him with it. Now is a heels time to shine against Hogan. Haku goes after The Bulldog. Hercules and Haku now go at it, two old Wrestlemania opponents there. Earthquake tries to eliminate The Bulldog.
Mr Perfect chops away at Earthquake but here comes #26 and it’s Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart one half of the tag team champions. He comes in and goes straight after Hercules as Earthquake eliminates Royal Rumble veteran Tito Santana. Last years final two Hulk Hogan and Mr Perfect going at it in one corner now. Rick Martel has now been in 40 minutes, could he break Ted Dibiase’s 45 minute record? #27 comes out and it’s Bushwhacker Luke. He marches in, Earthquake grabs him and throws him straight back out! Luke goes marching back up the aisle, thanks for coming! Shane Douglas still in there, a great opportunity for him. He’s been slugging with Intercontinental champion Mr Perfect for the most part of this match. British Bulldog and Shane Douglas save Hulk Hogan from being eliminated. Brian Knobbs of the Nasty boys is #28 making his WWF PPV debut and half the guys in there go straight after him! Knobbs has one hell of a mullet. Crush is still in there choking out The British Bulldog. Knobbs eliminates Hercules! The Warlord now comes in at #29. And he goes after The Bulldog. And now Hogan eliminates Crush! And now he’s eliminated The Warlord. And now it’s time for the last entrant and it’s Tugboat! And he goes right for Earthquake.
We’re down to Tugboat, Rick Martel, Mr Perfect, Hulk Hogan, Brian Knobbs, Jim Neidhart, Earthquake, Shane Douglas, British Bulldog and Haku. One of these guys will win the Royal Rumble.It won’t be Shane Douglas, Knobbs just threw him out. Rick Martel has broken Dibiase’s record now having been in there for 50 minutes. Tugboat and Hogan going at it now! Last years winner manages to stay in though and eliminate the big man! And the Bulldog dropkicks Mr Perfect out! They’re leaving quickly now as Martel eliminates the remaining champion in the match, Jim Neidhart. And then Bulldog throws out Haku! We’ve got five men left. British Bulldog and Rick Martel fight on one side of the ring whilst Earthquake and Knobbs wear down Hogan. Martel goes up top and The Bulldog shoves him off to take him out of the match! It’s the final 4! British Bulldog, Hulk Hogan, Brian Knobbs and Earthquake! But the two heels throw out Bulldog and we’re down to three. A great first PPV showing for Brian Knobbs. Quake nails a big splash on Hogan and then hits the Earthquake splash!
But Hogan hulks up! He boots Knobbs over the top rope to the outside and then lays some big right hands into Earthquake. The two Summerslam opponents are the final two, Hulk goes for a powerslam but buckles and Quake lands on top of him. Earthquake follows up with a powerslam of his own but once again Hogan Hulks up! He gives Earthquake the point. Youuuu! Big boot to the big man and the crowd are loving it! Hogan gets him up for a slam this time and as Earthquake gets up to his feet, Hogan throws him over the top rope to win the match! That’s Hogan second Royal Rumble in as many years.
Rating: 7/10* Match Of The Night
Overall this felt like a much bigger show than most Royal Rumble PPVs prior to this. This was the first time a Royal Rumble winner would get a World title shot in the main event of Wrestlemania. It was also the first Royal Rumble PPV to feature not only a title match, not only a World Heavyweight title match but a title change. The Rhodes/Dibiase feud also carried a lot of weight and this would be the final WWE PPV to feature Dusty Rhodes for a long time. The Mountie made his “debut” by defeating all round jobber Koko B. Ware. I like Jacques so it’ll be interesting to see where his career goes. The Boss Man/Barbarian match was ok, it seems as though Boss Man is slipping down the card slightly whilst Barbarian gets a good rub from fighting someone who has been involved in the main event scene since stepping foot in the WWF.
Overall Rating: 52/100 (Ranked 3rd out of 19)