Every man for himself! It’s time for another Royal Rumble PPV and this one is going to be special. The main event this year is once again the Royal Rumble match but for the first time ever the WWF World title is on the line. The title was vacated after two shady finishes to title matches on the last two PPV’s. Ric Flair was involved with both finishes when he shouldn’t have been involved and as a result the title was vacated. The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan have somewhat of an advantage as they were guaranteed a number in the final third.
Aside from that, we also have a new Intercontinental champion. On a house show a couple of weeks before this show The Mountie defeated Bret Hart, who apparently had a flu. The Mountie will defend his newly won title against Rowdy Roddy Piper tonight. It’s also worth noting that The Rockers split up when Shawn Michaels threw long time tag team partner Marty Jannetty through the Barber Shop window during an interview segment with Brutus Beefcake. Also tonight we’ll see a tag team title match between champions The Legion of Doom and The Natural Disasters, a tag match between The Bushwhackers and The Beverley Brothers and PPV debuts for Owen Hart and Sid Justice. So let’s get to it.
Vince McMahon does the voiceover and tells us that Jake Roberts, The Barbarian, Roddy Piper, Jim Duggan, Sgt Slaughter, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Colonel Mustafa, Haku, Shawn Michaels amongst others will be participating in The Royal Rumble match tonight. It’s time to Rumble, it’s time for The Royal Rumble. Vince grunts with his later trademark scream. We then go to ringside and it’s Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan on commentary. Heenan is confident Ric Flair will be the new champion. We also have a new Intercontinental champion in The Mountie and he’ll be defending against Roddy Piper. We’ve also got a tag team title match with The Legion Of Doom defending against The Natural Disasters! Three big title matches tonight in what should be the biggest Royal Rumble PPV ever!
The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) vs. The New Foundation (“The Rocket” Owen Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)
Well this is technically a pay per view debut for Owen Hart, certainly without a mask teaming up with tag team specialist and long term WWE roster member, Jim Neidhart. Neidhart teamed with Owens brother Bret for years as The Hart Foundation. And they take on pretty experienced team of The Orient Express. Two lower card tag teams. Owen starts with Kato. Monsoon lets us know that Brian Knobbs and Marty Jannetty are to be replaced in the Royal Rumble match by Nikolai Volkoff and Haku. Can’t see either of them winning. Kato and Tanaka haven’t teamed up on pay per view since Uk Rampage back in April of last year. Owen Hart hits some quick moves, bouncing off the top rope and such to take down Kato. Owen then tags in Neidhart who carries on where The Rocket left off.
Neidhart is actually in the top ten for PPV appearances and matches. And in comes Tanaka. Tanaka runs into Neidhart and can’t knock him down. Jim tags in Owen and the younger Hart hits an elbow off the middle rope. Owen had a couple of matches back at Survivor Series 88 and Wrestlemania V as The Blue Blazer. Neidhart hits a double noggin knocker on The Orient Express then Owen dives at them off the top! Neidhart is actually in the top five for most PPV losses since PPVs began in the WWF so he’ll be looking for a win tonight. Kato hasn’t actually won on PPV yet. He’s suffered two losses to The Rockers. Mr Fuji helps out his team now, smashing his cane into Owen Hart.
The Orient Express have the advantage now with lots of double teaming and keeping Owen Hart grounded. The New Foundation have some very jazzy parachute pants which I know were all the rave back in the early 90’s. Owen eventually makes the tag to Neidhart but of course the referee doesn’t see it and the big man is dragged out of the ring. Fuji then sets up the cane in the corner and the Express Irish whip him into it, breaking it in half! You’d have to go back to Wrestlemania VI nearly two years ago to find The last victory for The Orient Express although Kato wasn’t in the team then, it was Sato!
The Orient Express have had the advantage in this match for most of the match. Owen eventually hits a dropkick on both guys and crawls over to Neidhart and tags in the big man who slingshots in! Some great double team moves as Niedhart throws Owen out of the ring onto Kato then throws Owen off the top onto Tanaka, hitting The Rocket Launcher! The big finish gets the three count and it’s a big win for The New Foundation on their PPV debut!
Back to Lord Alfred Hayes who shows us some footage of The Mountie winning the Intercontinental championship from Bret Hart before attacking him after the bell. It was Roddy Piper that then made the save after the bell. But Mountie then attacked Piper! That leads us up to today.
Sean Mooney now stands by with Jimmy Hart and The Mountie. Hyperactive Jimmy Hart says that Bret wasn’t sick with the flu, he’s sick from losing. Mountie then brings up the point that Roddy Pipers win/loss record doesn’t earn him a title shot. Mountie is confident though because he always gets his man.
Mene Gene now stood by with Roddy Piper. Roddy says that he’s dealing with one of the village people. Piper says he’s here to win two titles.
The Mountie (c) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper – Intercontinental Title Match
Well as explained, The Mountie beat Bret Hart a mere few days ago and he defends his Intercontinental title against Roddy Piper. The Mountie last won on PPV against The Texas Tornado at Battle Royal at The Albert Hall whilst Piper hasn’t won on PPV since Wrestlemania III where he beat Adrian Adonis! Piper starts this one well though, throwing The Mountie from pillar to post. He hits his classic poke in the eye and it takes a distraction from Jimmy Hart for The Mountie to get the advantage. The Mountie hits an nice flying elbow and gets an near fall. I like The Mountie, he’s a decent heel. Really irritating. Much like he was when one half of The Fabulous Rougeaus.
Piper soon gets the advantage and he throws The Mountie into Jimmy Hart! Piper then locks on a the sleeper! The referee calls for the bell, Piper has won this one! He takes the time to zap The Mountie with his cattle prod after the match but the real story is that we have a new Intercontinental champion! Rowdy Roddy Piper wins his first ever title in the WWF and the crowd go mental!
Backstage now to Albert Hayes who is in Hulk Hogans locker room. Hogan says he’s going to win the World title in the Royal Rumble. He makes some analogies about drinking tea and that he’ll have no friends.
And now to Mene Gene who is with The Bushwhackers. They have some words for The Beverley Brothers and The Genius. Once they’re done with them, they’ll fed them to Jameson. Not really sure who Jameson is, he looks like a bit of an outcast!
The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) vs. The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke)
This is another lower card tag team match between two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. Both of these teams were on opposite teams at Survivor Series in a match won by The Nasty Boys and Blake Beverley. You’d have to go back two years to Royal Rumble 1990 to find the last time The Bushwhackers won on PPV. They beat The Fabulous Rougeaus back then. And they are extremely popular tonight. The Beverlys get some double teaming in to start the match with the advantage on their side. With The Legion of Doom currently holding the tag team titles, you’d think The Beverly Brothers would win this to build some credible heels teams. The Bushwhackers clear the ring and the people seem to like that. Outside the ring Jameson and The Genius wind each other up. The Genius, Lanny Poffo, has been around for a long time. He actually fought at The Royal Rumble PPV back in 1989 against Brutus Beefcake.
This one hasn’t seem to have got started properly as all four men keep piling in and The Bushwhackers keep clearing the ring! One of The Beverly’s goes under the ring but soon comes back out. We have some comedy moments now as The Bushwhackers chase The Beverley’s from one side of the ring to the other. The heel team get the advantage now though with some cheap tactics. Jameson is just irritating on the outside. There seems to be a lot of tag teams on the scene at the moment what with The Legion Of Doom, Natural Disasters, Beverly Brothers, Bushwhackers, Nasty Boys, Orient Express and New Foundation. The Beverley’s continue to take apart The Bushwhackers but some of the selling from the babyfaces is questionable. On the outside The Genius slaps Jameson across the chops!
The Bushwhackers eventually make the hot tag and it seems as though the commentators don’t know The Beverly’s or Bushwhackers apart so how am I suposed to know? The Bushwhackers hit the battering ram but it’s not good enough to end the match. The Beverley Brothers then double team the legal Bushwhackers and hit a double axe handle from the top which is good enough for the win! The Beverly Brothers win. After the match The Bushwhackers take out everyone then invite Jameson in to slap The Genius! He doesn’t though, he kicks him in the shin then punts him out of the ring. A pretty bad match. Not enjoyable. Didn’t really feel like it got started.
Backstage to Mene Gene now who is with The Legion of Doom. They have some words for The Natural Disasters. Hawk is so awesome on the mic. They’re looking forward to throwing the Natural Disasters weight around. Interestingly The Disasters looked like they were on the verge of a face turn last time we saw them. Obviously that’s not the case.
The Legion of Doom (c) (Hawk & Animal) vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) – Tag Team Title Match
Gorilla mentions that the tag titles can only change hands via pin or submission, not disqualification or count out. Which makes me think we’ll have a dodgy ending in this one. This is a big tag team title match. These two teams have been feuding wince Summerslam last year and it feels like this will come to a close tonight. Hawk goes up top early and hits a big clothesline off the top! LOD won their match at Survivor Series last year, whilst Earthquake won at the PPV before that. Typhoon has gone the longest without winning, his last PPV win being at Summerslam. Wow, Earthquake just went for a dropkick and missed. Animal darts across the ring at tremendous speed then he and Earthquake hit a clothesline on each others. Animal then goes for a powerslam but can’t keep the big man up. Earthquake tags Typhoon and Jesus, Animal almost takes his head off with a clothesline.
Hawk in now and he takes it to Typhoon. This is the third tag team match of the evening and there have only been four matches! The Disasters soon have the advantage and Typhoon locks in a bearhug on Hawk. This is definitely the biggest tag team match since LOD defeated The Nasty Boys at Summerslam last year. Earthquake had a decent main event run in 1990 but The Legion of Doom are one of if not the best tag teams of all time. Eventually Hawk makes the hot tag to Animal and he once again darts off the ropes and he takes down both Natural Disasters. I can’t see a Doomsday Device in this one! The action spills to the outside now and all four men battle in the entrance way! But wait, the referee counts everybody out except Typhoon who makes it back into the ring! The Natural Disasters win by count out but The Legion of Doom retain the titles! What did I say at the beginning of the match? A big win for the Disasters but a first loss on PPV for LOD in tag team action!
Sean Mooney backstage now with Jimmy Hart and The Natural Disasters. Typhoon and Earthquake are fuming at what happened. They think they should still be the champions.
Mene Gene then stood by with an excited Roddy Piper who quotes Martin Luther King. He wants to win two titles tonight!
Now back to Sean Mooney who talks about The Royal Rumble. The Barbarian grunts as he walks past in the background. Mooney then walks over to Shawn Michaels. We then see the infamous clip of Michaels throwing Jannetty through the Barber Shop window. Michaels has gone from having long hair to a mullet. He’s confident about winning the Royal Rumble.
Lord Alfred Hayes now backstage with Ric Flair. Flair tells us he’s drawn number three but he’s not phased.
And now Mene Gene who introduces a video package of Royal Rumble participants. Randy Savage has won it before and he’ll win it again oooh yeah. An intense Sid Justice talks through gritted teeth. British Bulldog reminds us that he won the battle royal at the Royal Albert Hall and he thinks he can do it again tonight. Jake Roberts says he’ll be saving some for Randy Savage but he’ll keep enough in his tank to win the Rumble. Paul Bearer says he’s prepared 29 caskets and standing above this carnage will be The Undertaker. Hulk Hogan has won the last two Royal Rumbles but he says that friends or foe, everyone is the same in the Royal Rumble. He also claims to have been cheap shotted by Jake Tunney!
The 1992 Royal Rumble Match
Well this is the big one. The winner of this wins the World Heavyweight title. And this of course is because of Ric Flairs involvement in the last two Hulk Hogan/Undertaker World title matches. we have Mene Gene tell us the rules and Jack Tunney wish luck to the winner. I’m with Bobby Heenan though, let’s get this thing started. Here we go, #1 British Bulldog makes his way down to ringside. He was in the last one for 36 minutes. #2 “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase makes his way down to start the match. Ted Dibiase did have the record at one point for longevity. He’s not going to go that far this year though, as Bulldog eliminates him! Dibiase is not going to be the next WWF Champion!
#3 Ric Flair is the next man out and he comes out to jeers. Bobby Heenan can’t believe it as Monsoon hits us with the stat that nobody in the past that has drawn numbers 1 to 5 has ever been there at the end. Bulldog over powers the Nature Boy to start with, lifting him high above his head. It’s time for a new entrant now and it’s #4 Jerry Saggs. Saggs comes in and helps out Flair. Knobbs of course is injured for this one. It was actually Knobbs in this match last year and Saggs that missed out. Bulldog takes down both men much to the fans enjoyment. Bulldog then eliminates Saggs! So we’re back to Bulldog and Flair. That is until #5 Haku enters the fray. We haven’t seen Haku since UK Rampage of last year where he lost to Greg Valentine. Haku looks a little out of shape and a bit scruffier. Flair turns his attention to Haku now hitting a knee drop on the former Tag Team Champion. But it’s The British Bulldog who eliminates Haku.
#6 Shawn Michaels on his way to join British Bulldog and Ric Flair now as we continue to only have three men in the ring at once. Michaels turned heel a couple of weeks ago and is now sussing out a singles career. Bulldog and Michaels go at it as Flair watches from the corner. #7 El Matador Tito Santana is the next man out there and he goes right after Flair. Santana and Flair met at Battle Royal 91 on Flairs PPV debut. for the first time in this match we have four guys in the ring at once. Flair hits a low blow on the Bulldog, dropping him down to his knees. Santana then hits his trademark flying elbow drop on Flair! #8 The Barbarian is next out. His last PPV match was a loss to The British Bulldog at Battle Royal. Imagine if he won the rumble. Unlikely. #9 The Texas Tornado is the next man out. He comes in fresh and takes down Flair and then Michaels. Tornado has previously teamed with both Santana and Bulldog on PPV so it’ll be interesting to see his dynamic with the guys in the ring.
We’ve got The British Bulldog, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, El Matador, The Barbarian and The Texas Tornado in there as the ring starts to fill up. And they are joined by #10 The Repo Man who makes his Royal Rumble debut under that mask. He has of course participated as Smash. Santana ducks a clothesline and hits his flying forearm on The Barbarian now! Tornado and The Bulldog nail Michaels. I’m pretty sure Tito Santana has been in every Royal Rumble so far. #11 Greg “The Hammer” Valentine is the next man in and he goes after Flair. We haven;t see Valentine since Summerslam last year where he lost to I.R.S. He was in last years Rumble for over 44 minutes. Unlucky for some now in comes #12 Nikolai Volkoff who is a last minute replacement for Marty Jannetty. Volkoff hasn’t actually been on PPV since Survivor Series 1990. And he didn’t last long tonight as Repo Man throws him out.
#13 The Big Boss Man joins the fray now and unloads on everybody! Repo Man eliminates Greg Valentine now and we’ve still got Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, The British Bulldog, El Matador, The Barbarian, The Texas Tornado and The Big Boss Man who eliminates The Repo Man! Some big names still in there. Could The Boss Man win? British Bulldog won’t as Flair has just eliminated him and The Texas Tornado! The ring starts to empty now as El Matador and Shawn Michaels eliminate each other! #14 Hercules joins the action now as The Barbarian and Ric Flair high five! Flair then chops the big man and Barbarian goes after the real World Champion. He looks certain to eliminate him but Hercules attacks Barbarian from behind and eliminates him! Boss Man then clotheslines Hercules and eliminates him! We’ve just got The Boss Man and Flair in there. Boss Man hits a hell of a roundhouse but then goes for a cross body, Flair ducks and Boss Man goes flying over the top rope!
Ric Flair is alone in the ring awaiting the next entrant. And it’s….#15 Roddy Piper! The new Intercontinental champion goes nuts on Flair throwing him from one side of the ring to the other! These two men have had quite the rivalry since Flair joined the WWF. We’re into the second half of the rumble match now and we’re starting afresh with Piper and Flair. Flair is looking far from fresh though as Piper hits him with everything except the kitchen sink! Piper with an airplane spin and then he locks on the sleeper! #16 Jake “The Snake” Roberts enters the rumble now and he leaves Piper and Flair to it. Heenan is hilarious with his support for Flair. Roberts goes after everyone and then motions for the DDT but Piper somewhat saves Flair. Flair then locks the figure four on Jake Roberts! Piper breaks it up though and we’ve got all three mone going after each other!
#17 “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan out now to join Roberts, Piper and Flair. He goes right after Flair and takes him down. The USA chants break out for Duggan now who is a popular choice. All four men take on each other, there are no friends in this Royal Rumble match. #18 Irwin R. Shyster is the next man out much to the crowds distain. I’m pretty sure Jake Roberts has been in every Royal Rumble match. Monsoon now makes a comment about Jake Roberts being nervous about Randy Savage coming out next. Which probably means he’s next. I.R.S and Duggan go at it in one corner. This is actually I.R.S’s Royal Rumble debut. Out next is #19 “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka who comes out to boos! Snuka is another man who hasn’t been in action since UK Rampage 1991. He’s very much a babyface but the fans don’t seem too interested. #20 The Undertaker is the next man out. And he’s the first former World Heavyweight champion to enter this one. The first of four I believe. He comes in and eliminates Jimmy Snuka right away! Undertaker then goes after Flair, choking him in the corner!
We’ve got Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, The Undertaker, I.R.S, Jake Roberts and Jim Duggan in there and they’re joined by #21 “Macho Man” Randy Savage who looks around for Jake Roberts but can’t find him because he hid outside the ring. Roberts slides in when Savage is in trouble. This rivalry has been awesome. Savage then eliminates Roberts before eliminating himself! Savage jumps over the top rope and surely he’s out of there! Undertaker helps out Roberts by grabbing Savage and throwing him back in the ring. Savage goes back after Roberts though! Piper hits some jabs on Flair in one corner whilst Duggan and I.R.S are in the other. Randy Savage is back in the ring and it looks like he’s allowed to continue! Flair low blows The Undertaker and it doesn’t effect him too much. #22 The Bezerker joins the fray now. He’s still looking for his first win on PPV. The Bezerker goes after Jim Duggan whilst Undertaker chokes Piper in one corner. Jim Duggan is one of two former Royal Rumble winners in this one. There have only been 3 and John Studd, who won it in 1989 isn’t in it.
#23 Virgil joins I.R.S, Jim Duggan, Ric Flair, The Undertaker, The Bezerker, Randy Savage and Roddy Piper. Him and Piper go at it, showing there are no friend sin The Royal Rumble. #24 is Colonal Mustafa who is a former World and Tag Team champion himself. He goes after Virgil and if you follow him on twitter you’ll know he isn’t a big fan of the former million dollar champion. #25 Ric “The Model” Martel is next out. He’s the current record holder for Royal Rumble time. Martel hasn’t been seen on PPV since Wrestlemania VII last year. It’s good to see him back. Savage then eliminates Mustafa. Martel goes after Flair. Maybe he doesn’t want him to break his record. Duggan starts a USA chant. #26 Hulk Hogan is the next man out and he gets quite the ovation. He’s a former four time World Heavyweight champion and two time Royal Rumble winner. Him and The Undertaker get straight into it and Hogan eliminates the dead man and then throws out The Bezerker! Jim Duggan and Virgil then go over the top rope together and they’re history!
#27 Skinner joins Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Rick Martel, I.R.S and Roddy Piper as only ten men can win the World Title now. Flair and Martel both try to eliminate Roddy Piper now but with no such luck. #28 Sgt Slaughter is the next man out and the final former World Heavyweight champions in there. Martel then eliminates Skinner! Ric Flair is now the official record holder for longest run in a Royal Rumble match. #29 Sid Justice is out there now and the crowd seem happy to see him. I like his bright blue trunks. Sid nips up and clothesline Flair down. #30 The Warlord is the last man out there. He actually has the record for shortest amount of time in a Royal Rumble match when Hogan clotheslined him out as soon as he came in one year.
So we’ve got The Warlord, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sid Justice, Roddy Piper, Rick Martel, I.R.S and Randy Savage as Sid eliminates Sgt Slaughter. I.R.S is then eliminated by Piper and The Warlord is thrown out by Hogan and Sid. Sid then eliminated both Roddy Piper and Rick Martel.
It’s the final four. Sid, Hogan, Savage and Flair. But Savage is eliminated by Sid and Flair. And then as Hogan is eliminating Flair, Sid throws him over! We’re down to Sid Justice and Ric Flair! Hogan then grabs the arm of Sid and Flair eliminates Sid to win the match! Ric Flair is the new WWF Champion! Hogan and Sid are still going at it in the ring as Flair hightales the gold!
Mene Gene backstage with Ric Flair, Mr Perfect, Bobby Heenan and Jack Tunney as Tunney present Flair with the title. The champion gives us the classic line “with a tear in my eye this is the greatest moment of my life!”. Perfect, Heenan and Flair are happy. Flair joins the list of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and The Undertaker as World champions in the PPV era!
Overall this was a good outing. The Royal Rumble match was the best in history. It had an all star roster with some of the biggest names in WWE history. It had the World title on the line, the only time this has ever happened and it really upped the stakes and made the match mean something. Flair was an awesome winner too and it really added the spark the WWF needed at the time. Apparently Hulk Hogan got boo’d a lot at the event and Sid was cheered when he threw Hogan out but it was edited for the video release.
The opener was solid enough and followed the WWF’s pattern at the time of having fast paced tag team matches open the show. I like Jim Neidhart taking Owen Hart under his wing as The New Foundation. They got a big win over The Orient Express who are mainly used for putting over the bigger teams now. It was a solid opener.
The next match between Roddy Piper and The Mountie was largely disappointing. I love The Mountie as a character and Jacques Rougeaus does such a good job with it but his matches never seem to be that good. This one was short and should’ve been given more time. It was great to see Roddy Piper finally win a title in the WWF and he’s a good choice for the Intercontinental title. This match was followed by a comedy match between The Bushwhacker and The Beverley Brothers. It was what it was. It shouldn’t have been on the card to be honest, I’d rather have seen Piper and Mountie have more time. The two lower card tag matches had more time than the Intercontinental and Tag Team title matches, go figure.
The other match on the card was between The Legion Of Doom and The Natural Disasters. It had the potential to be a great match between the top two teams in the WWF but it wasn’t given enough time and the ending wasn’t great either. I guess they want to keep the feud going to Wrestlemania but they could have done better.
Overall it wasn’t a bad show. The Beverley/Bushwhackers match really bought the overall rating down and could’ve been left off the card. The rest of it was average to very good. The rumble match itself is probably the most memorable in history. It’d definitely worth checking this show out.
Overall Rating: 55/100 (Ranked 3rd out of 26)