Battle Royal at The Royal Albert Hall is the second PPV in 1991 to be held in the UK. It’s only 5 or 6 weeks removed from Summerslam so there aren’t too many changes to the roster. The Ultimate Warrior was first following Summerslam for holding up the main event for more money. Former Intercontinental champion Mr Perfect was put on the shelf after picking up an injury. Aside from that, the roster is the same, except this show will be the PPV debut of Ric Flair who takes on Tito Santana.
Unlike UK Rampage, we won’t see the likes of Jim Neidhart vs The Warlord, Greg Valentine vs Haku or the likes of The Orient Express and Jimmy Snuka. So let’s get to it.
We open up to the crowd in The Royal Albert Hall. Lots of Legion Of Doom facepaint. We then go to Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan who let us know about the 20 man battle royal plus seven other matches throughout the night. And it’s time to get started!
The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
Like a lot of recent shows, we open with a tag team match. Former tag team champions The Nasty Boys take on tag team specialists The Rockers. The Rockers were absent from Summerslam which was a suprise as they’re usually on the card. They have recorded three big wins on pay per view this year though. The Nasty Boys start by tainting the crowd. It’s a good way to get the crowd warmed up at the start of the show. The Rockers get a big reaction. This one takes a while to get underway as The Nasty Boys stall and taunt the crowd. Eventually though we have Michaels and Saggs in the ring. Saggs starts with some big right hands in the corner but Michaels speed gets the better of the bigger guy. Knobbs is in now and Jannetty off the top sends both men to the outside!
Jimmy Hart is out with The Nasty Boys, it’s nice to see him over in the UK. Saggs officially tags in Knobbs and he wants a piece of Jannetty. Shawn tags in Marty and the two men lock up. It’s back and forth and once again all four men are in the ring and The Nasties are sent packing. Not only that but they retreat up the entrance way until Jimmy Hart can convince them to come back. The Nasty Boys weren’t on the UK Rampage 91 trip to the UK which is a shame because they were the tag team champions at the time. The Rockers of course beat The Orient Express. Back in the ring now and Marty floors Knobbs and then gets a near fall. Knobbs tags Saggs who is also floored. Jannetty hits a beautiful deep arm drag and then stretches out the arm. I love this arm bar that has Jannettys boot right up in Saggs’ face. Jannetty swaps with Michaels when the referee is distracted much to Knobbs disdain. And then they swap again and Jannetty is back in!
With Knobbs getting more angry on the outside they swap again! But Saggs eventually gets out of it and floors Michaels. But it’s back and forth as Shawn drives Saggs into the ringpost. AS Michaels bounces off the ropes, Knobbs pulls the top rope down which sends Shawn sprawling to the outside. As expected Knobbs gives Michaels a cheap shot on the outside. This has got a big fight feel to it as I would say that these two teams are just below The Legion Of Doom and The Natural Disasters in the tag team pecking order at the moment. Knobbs is in now and he takes it to Michaels. But Michaels fights back and it’s back and forth until Knobbs tags Saggs. Being that the tag team champions are faces at the moment I think it would make more sense for The Nasty Boys to win this so LOD have more strong contenders.
Saggs locks Michaels in a bear hug but Shawn fights out of it before trying to slam Jerry unsuccessfully. Knobbs in and he locks in Camel Clutch on Shawn. The crowd are definitely behind The Rockers though and Shawn gets himself out of it. He crawls over to his corner just as Saggs climbs into the ring meaning the referee doesn’t see the tag! But The Nasty Boys don’t make the most of the advantage and this time Michaels does tag Jannetty who takes down anything that moves! Knobbs runs into Saggs and Jannetty gets a two count! All four men in now and The Nasty Boys are sent running into each other. There seems to be a three count but it’s actually not but due to a distraction from Jimmy Hart, Knobbs nails Jannetty with the megaphone and The Nasty Boys get a three count! The Nasty Boys win the opening contest are back to winning ways! An ok opener from two good tag teams. I think the right team won though.
Backstage now to Ric Flair! He’s a newcomer to the WWF and this is actually his WWF PPV debut! Flair has his World Heavyweight title around his waist. He first has some words for his opponent tonight, Tito Santana and then he has some words for “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who Flair says will find out that he;s the best wrestler in the world. Looking forward to seeing Flair.
Tito Santana vs. Ric Flair
Looking forward to seeing Flair in action. He should steamroll over Santana pretty easily. This is Ric Flairs PPV debut whilst Tito returns to action having not been in PPV action since Wrestlemania where he lost to The Mountie. Two experienced veterans in this one. Heenan sings Flairs praises as he passes his shiny green robe over. A few “woo”s to start as Tito backs Flair into the corner. Tito knocks Ric down and Flair regroups to the outside. Flair looks a perfect for the WWF at this point due to his showmanship. Flair with a good start now, locking in an arm bar and taking Tito down by his hair. This is repeated a few times, none of which the referee sees. It’s Santana with the advantage now, hitting some beautiful dropkicks and Flair oversells as he falls to the mat. On the outside now and Flair sends Santana into the barricade.
Santana looking for his first win Survivor Series last year where he was the sole survivor in his first match that night. He sunset flips Flair now but it’s a near fall. Flair is very vocal in the ring as Tito throws him around. Lots of “nooooooo!” as Santana lays the boots in. Flair manages to trip Santana up and pins him for a two count with his feet on the rope whilst he does. Danny Davis is the referee for this one which is interested because he feuded with Santana back in 1987. Flair with a diving knee drop now keep Santana down. Flair once again gets a two count with his feet on the ropes but this time Davis catches him. The commentators do a good job of hyping up The Battle Royal match later on tonight. Flair is a top heel that they needed right now. Tito on the attack now with lefts and rights and then an Irish whip sending Flair up and over and onto the apron. Tito suplex’s Flair back in.
Flair with an eye poke gives him the advantage. Flair with one his awesome chops gets a two count and then Flair locks in the figure four! Flair asks the referee to check Santana and whilst he does, Flair grabs the ropes! The referee catches Flair though and Santana reverses the hold! It gets broken up and both men are walking with a limp. Tito has actually lost more matches on PPV than any other wrestler up to now. Flair goes up top now but Santana is up and throws him across the ring. Tito then hits his running forearm! It looks to be a three count but Flair gets his foot on the rope. Tito rolls Flair up but Ric reverses it and with a handful of tights gets the three count! Flair wins on his pay per view debut! Tito adds another loss to his record! Solid match.
Backstage to Mene Gene Okerland who is backstage with The Big Boss Man. Boss Man meets Earthquake tonight. Boss Man says the law will be there tonight. Boss Man says after he beats Earthquake he’ll win the Battle Royal.
Earthquake vs. The Big Boss Man
Earthquake has recently been fighting in tag team action with Typhoon as The Natural Disasters but tonight he’s in singles action against The Boss Man. The Big Boss Man has had a great year on PPV, winning matches against The Barbarian, Mr Perfect and The Mountie. Quake hasn’t had a bad year himself. On the last three PPVs he’s beaten The Bushwhackers, Jake Roberts and Greg Valentine. This is the first one one one meeting between The Big Boss Man and Earthquake on PPV though. Jimmy Hart is out with his man Earthquake. I would class both of these guys as upper midcarders, just out of the main event scene but always in good storylines. Quake throws Boss Man around which isn’t seen often. They were on opposite Survivor Series teams last year, a match in which Hulk Hogan was the sole survivor.
Earthquake with a big scoop slam on The Boss Man but misses the follow up elbow. Boss Man goes after Jimmy Hart and then back to Quake. He gets the first near fall of the match. Boss Man with a headlock now gets Earthquake down to one knee. I think being that Earthquake is concentrating more on tag team action, it would make sense for the Boss Man to win this one. Boss Man is on the list for most wins on PPV. He hits a double axe handle off the bottom rope and then off the middle rope and finally Quake hits the deck. He then goes up to the top but Earthquake catches him and slams him down to the canvas. Both of these guys were successful at Summerslam and are looking to continue that momentum. A small “Big Boss Man” chant breaks out on the front row but Earthquake has the advantage.
Both of these men are yet to win a title in the WWF. Earthquake locks in a bear hug now as The Boss Man runs out of steam. Boss Man can’t get the advantage despite getting out of Earthquakes best efforts. Quake rolls Boss Man outside of the ring. Jimmy Hart is having a good night having already notched up a win with The Nasty Boys. Earthquake throws Boss Man into the steps. Earthquake just plays with The Boss Man, throwing him around the ring and hitting a big avalanche in the corner. Reminiscent of King Kong Bundy. Boss Man starts a comeback with an enzeguri though! Jimmy Hart up on the apron now and Earthquake accidentally nails him! And looks who comes out to help him, it’s The Mountie! Boss Man has Earthquake tied up and he hits a big splash. But as he goes for a second, The Mountie trips him up!
Earthquake drops an elbow on The Boss Man and rolls him over for the three count! Earthquake with a huge win which makes it four pay per views in a row for the big man! The Boss Man then chases The Mountie to the back. An ok match between the two big men in which Earthquake dominated.
Backstage to Mene Gene who is stood by the trophy that the battle royal winner will win tonight. And then in walks The Texas Tornado who says that the battle royal is the toughest match the WWF has to offer. Tornado takes on The Mountie and Tornado says The Mountie isn’t so tough without his stick.
And now Mene Gene is at ringside introducing Jimmy Hart and The Mountie. Jimmy Hart says The Hart Organisation sticks together and The Mountie always gets his man, Mountie says he is the only law and order in the WWF and he’ll beat Tornado and go on to win the battle royal.
The Mountie vs. The Texas Tornado
Two mid-carders who meet on PPV for the first ever time. Tornado comes off a win as part of a six man tag team at Summerslam whilst The Mountie lost to The Boss Man at the last PPV. Both got big wins at Wrestlemania VII earlier this year over Dino Bravo and Koko B Ware respectively. We’ve had three heels win so far tonight so does Tornado win this one as the first babyface? I like this match actually, a solid babyface and a solid heel. Tornado sends The Mountie to the outside to start the match. Jimmy Hart out with The Mountie following two wins out of two for his men. The Mountie is another man vocal in the ring as Tornado twists his arm round. Tornado who is a very tall guy nails Mountie sending him hightailing to the outside. Lots os “Jailbird” chants directed at The Mountie who spent a night in the slammer following his loss to The Big Boss Man at Summerslam. Mountie contemplates walking to the back but decides against it.
It’s a slow one to get underway as The Mountie keeps exiting the ring. Back in though and The Mountie locks in a sleeper. As Tornado gets out of it, Mountie locks in another! Tornado manages to get out of this one properly, sending The Mountie into the top turnbuckle. Tornado now locks in a sleeper of his own! Danny Davis is the referee, a man that Jimmy Hart once managed. Tornado misses a shoulder barge and goes flying into the ringpost. The Mountie has the advantage and he sends Tornado to the outside. Mountie follows him out and throws Tornado into the steel steps. The Canadian Law enforcer doesn’t let Tornado back in the ring as he smashes him off the apron. But the former Intercontinental Champion drags The Mountie out and floors him! He then goes for his spinning Tornado punch but Mountie gets out of the way and Tornado hits the steel post!
Mountie goes after Tornado’s bad hand now but Tornado hits a big clothesline. He then goes for a monkey flip for Mountie stops him and rolls him up! The Mountie gets his feet on the rope for more leverage and gets the three count! The Mountie wins! But wait, the match continues! Or does it? Mountie runs to the back and Tornado’s music plays. But this’ll go down as a Mountie win! Not a great match between these two. It can basically be described as slow to get going, two long sleepers, some back and forth on the outside and a confusing ending. Not great. But four wins for four heels so far!
The Undertaker vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Well following two no shows at UK Rampage and Summerslam, The Undertaker returns to PPV. Jim Duggan has also been absent from PPV since The Royal Rumble and it’s his first singles match on PPV since Wrestlemania VI. It’s a back and forth start until Duggan sends The Undertaker over the top rope. The big man lands on his feet though. Duggan starts a “USA” chant which is interesting considering they’re in the UK. Undertaker guillotines Duggan on the top rope and then steps back inside the ring. He chokes Duggan until the referee breaks it up. Duggan is a man quite high up on the “most wins” list so he’ll be looking to add to that. Undertaker twists the arm round and then goes up to the top and jumps off with a big single axe handle to Duggan.
Undertaker chokes Hacksaw in the corner now. Duggan hits an atomic drop but it doesn’t seem to phase Undertaker. Some big right hands from Jim now but he makes the mistake of going after Paul Bearer who has stolen Duggans 2×4! Undertaker from behind though and he rolls Duggan back in. Undertaker with a huge clothesline takes Duggan off his feet. Bearer raises the urn and Duggan has his 2×4! He turns around and smashes Undertaker with it! It’s a disqualification and The Undertaker wins, making it five heel wins out of five! Duggan smashes Taker with the wood again sending him to the outside! Undertaker wins another disappointing match.
Backstage now to Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mene Gene. Piper is happy to be back in the UK.Piper says Heenan lies more than the government. Piper then says he’s going to get his hands on Flair and throw him out of there.
A quick sting and we’re back to Mene Gene who is now joined by Jimmy Hart and Typhoon. Jimmy Hart says he has five chances to win The Battle Royal, he’s having a great night. Typhoon says if it comes down to him and Earthquake then they’ll decide what to do.
Mene Gene says two close friends come be the final two, conveniently timed in walk Power and Glory. Hercules is sporting quite the tash these days. They say that LOD ran all the way to the UK to avoid them. They get a chance at the belts tonight. Hercules looks a lot bigger these days but he was known for pushing various pills around the WWF locker room so that’ll have something to do with it.
And now Mene Gene is joined by Hawk and Animal, The Legion Of Doom. Animal calls Power and Glory geeks and he says they’ll be champions for a long long time. Hawk says Power & Glory will soon be renamed Sour & Gory because of what they;re going to do to them. What would Hawk and Animal do if they’re the last two men in the Battle Royal? One way to sum it up…..whaaaaat a rush!
The Legion Of Doom (c) (Hawk & Animal) vs. Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) – Tag Team Championship Match
Big tag team title match up next. It’s worth bearing in mind that at Wrestlemania, Legion Of Doom defeated Power & Glory in less than a minute. No Slick at ringside for this one. LOD are very popular champions in the UK. There has been no title change in the UK up to now. The Legion Of Doom are coming off big wins at Wrestlemania and Summerslam over Power & Glory and The Nasty Boys. Power and Glory haven’t won a match since their Survivor Series match in 1991 as part of The Visionaries. Interesting that Monsoon and Heenan bring up Bobby Heenan selling Hercules to Ted Dibiase back in 1988.
Hawk and Roma start off the match and Hawk takes down the challenger with a big dropkick. He then hits a big neckbreaker and a diving fist followed by a near fall. Animal and Hercules tagged in. This one has already gone longer than their Wrestlemania match. Hercules takes Animal down with a clothesline but the favour is returned soon after. Hawk back in but Hercules hits an atomic drop. Hawk soon with the advantage though after smashing Hercules’ head off the turnbuckle ten times. Paul Roma tagged back in and he manages to drag Hawk over to his corner where he and Hercules get some double teaming in. Roma then hits a piledriver but Hawk gets straight back up! Hawk with a gorilla press slam in Roma and he throws him right into Hercules!
All four men in now until Animal gets rid of Hercules. Hawk goes up top but misses! Hawk goes all the way to the outside and Hercules slams Hawk on the outside. Roma then rams Hawk into the side of the ring. It’s Hercules tagged in as a “Hawk” chant breaks out. Hercules lays in the boots. So far we’ve had five heel wins out of five. A sixth heel win would mean new tag team champions. Hercules runs into the back of Hawk and both men are down. Roma tagged in and so is Animal! Animal hits a huge shoulder barge and clothesline! He dropkicks Hercules out of the ring and then hits a powerbomb on Roma but Hercules breaks the pinfall, Roma slams Animal and goes up top! But animal catches him and hits a huge powerslam, getting the three count as he does! Big win for The Legion Of Doom who retain their titles!
Backstage now to Mene Gene and The British Bulldog. The Bulldog is excited to be home and smells victory. In his home town?! He’s from Leeds despite being announced from Manchester. Bulldog says he’ll beat The Barbarian and then The Battle Royal.
The British Bulldog vs. The Barbarian
It’s Lord Alfred Hayes that ring announces this match to a big cheer. He’s back home too. The Bulldog gets a huge ovation as he enters. He’s been on a good role recently, winning at Summerslam, UK Rampage and Wrestlemania over the likes of The Warlord, The Bezerker and Power & Glory. The Barbarian hasn’t won a match since Wrestlemania VI when he beat Tito Santana. It’s a big battle to start the match as neither man can floor the other. The Barbarian hasn’t had a lot of success since the early days of the Powers Of Pain. Bulldog with a nice arm ringer and an arm drag takes the big man down. After reversing an Irish whip The Barbarian takes Bulldog down with a big boot.
Both men on the outside and Barbarian rams Bulldogs back into the ringpost. Barbarian didn’t feature at Summerslam but he was defeated by Jimmy Snuka at UK Rampage 1991 and was unsuccessful at Wrestlemania VII teaming with Haku against The Rockers. The Barbarian has the advantage now though with a snapmare and a sleeper. He then hits a powerslam and goes up to the second rope but he misses an elbow! Bulldog starts the comeback and clotheslines his opponent over the top rope. He goes after him but The Barbarian gets the advantage until he misses a clothesline and goes into the ring post. Back in the ring a d big clothesline and near fall from Davey Boy.
Bulldog then hits a big stalling suplex on Barbarian and gets a near fall. Bulldog then has Barbarian up and hits the running powerslam! He gets the three count and makes it four wins in a row on pay per view!
Backstage to The Nasty Boys who say they’ll be winning the Battle Royal as they go out to destroy everybody!
20 Man Battle Royal featuring Texas Tornado, The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon), Tito Santana, The Mountie, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty), The Barbarian, The Big Boss Man, Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs), Ric Flair, The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal), The British Bulldog, The Undertaker & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
This has the feel of an old school Madison Square Garden card with a big battle royal to finish the show. You’ve got to look at Roddy Piper, The Undertaker, Ric Flair, The British Bulldog and The Natural Disasters as the favourites. Piper is the last man out and this is his first match on pay per view since Wrestlemania VI! He spits at Flair and goes right after him! Piper and Flair fight on the outside whilst The Mountie chases The Boss Man outside too! Earthquake and Typhoon crush Santana and Tornado in one corner. Only one former Royal Rumble winner in this one and that’s Jim Duggan. Hawk eliminates Hercules whilst Brian Knobbs eliminates The Texas Tornado. Piper then pushes Brian Knobbs out and Typhoon throws out Marty Jannetty. Tito eliminates The Barbarian whilst Undertaker has Roddy Piper teetering.
Earthquake eliminates Tito Santana. That’s six men out, none of which were favourites. Jerry Saggs then eliminates Hawk and Animal eliminates Saggs! Undertaker chokes Animal and The Mountie eliminates Shawn Michaels! Ric Flair and Piper back on each other. Duggan celebrates with the crowd and Earthquake eliminates him! That’s ten out and we’re half way through. We’ve still got British Bulldog, Animal, Paul Roma, The Undertaker, Typhoon, Big Boss Man, The Mountie, Ric Flair and Roddy Piper as Jim Duggan comes back in to eliminate Earthquake! Piper then eliminates Flair! Boss Man has Mountie up but Roma makes the save. Bulldog and Typhoon go at it whilst Piper goes after Undertaker. Bulldog then eliminates Paul Roma and Undertaker eliminates Animal.
We’re down to 6. Undertaker, Typhoon, The Mountie and there goes Undertaker! Eliminated by Roddy Piper. We’ve also got British Bulldog and The Big Boss Man in there. Typhoon and The Mountie discuss in the corner as The Undertaker eliminates Roddy Piper. Final 4. British Bulldog, Big Boss Man, The Mountie and Typhoon. The Mountie runs to the outside and Boss Man is in pursuit. Back in the ring though and The Boss Man takes it to The Mountie. He runs at him but The Mountie pulls down the top rope and out he goes! The crowd are behind The British Bulldog as he has both Typhoon and The Mountie to deal with! Typhoon goes to splash the Bulldog but he pulls Mountie in the way! Not long before it’s advantage Jimmy Hart Organisation though. Double clothesline on the Bulldog sends him down. Mountie now holds Bulldog for Typhoon but Bulldog gets out of the way and Typhoon clotheslines The Mountie out of there!
We’re down to The British Bulldog and Typhoon! Bulldog with a big dropkick on Typhoon. But Typhoon with an avalanche on Bulldog and clothesline to follow it up. Typhoon goes for a clothesline to eliminate Bulldog but the fan favourite ducks and Typhoon goes sprawling over the top rope to the outside! British Bulldog wins! But Earthquake comes back and The Natural Disasters double team Bulldog. Quake goes for the Earthquake splash but Bulldog slides out of the way. And look who’s here! It’s Andre The Giant! One on crutch and he saves The Bulldog. The UK Native then celebrates in the ring!
Rating: 7/10* Match Of The Night
And that was the 1991 Battle Royal in the Albert Hall. It felt like a much stronger card than the UK Rampage although the lack of World Heavyweight champion affected the main event. As well as Hulk Hogan, this show was also missing Bret Hart, Sgt Slaughter, Ricky Steamboat and Ted Dibiase. Four big names that would have improved this card. Saying that, the card wasn’t that bad. The Nasty Boys and Rockers match was alright and featured two of the hottest tag teams in the company. It was good to have Ric Flair on the card and he had a good match with Santana. The three middle matches were pretty weak with Tornado and Mountie not having a lot of chemistry and Undertaker/Duggan being rushed.
From there the show got better with the tag team title match and battle royal match itself being two good matches. The crowd helped the Bulldog/Barbarian match too supporting the hometown hero. It was nice to have the tag team title match although a singles title match would have been good too.
Overall Rating: 51/100 (Ranked #8 out of 23)