Royal Rumble 1993, 30 men in an over the top rope Royal Rumble which the winner, for the first ever time, will get a WWF title match at Wrestlemania IX. The rumble is lacking in talent but there are five big favourites in the form of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Mr Perfect, The Undertaker and Yokozuna. The winner will face either Bret Hart or Razor Ramon, the two men that meet on this show for the WWF title. So we’re looking at either Bret Hart/Ric Flair, Bret Hart/Yokozuna, Razor Ramon/Undertaker, Razor Ramon/Mr Perfect or Razor Ramon/Randy Savage. Any of those would make for an awesome Wrestlemania main event.
Also tonight we have new tag team The Steiner Brothers against The Beverly Brothers, Bam Bam Bigelow returns to the WWF to take on The Big Boss Man and in a match between former partners for the Intercontinental title Shawn Michaels defends against Marty Jannetty. The wildcard in that one is Sensational Sherri as it’s unknown who’s corner she’ll be in.
Since the last pay per view, Survivor Series 92 we’ve only had Nailz leave the company. He got into a punch up with Vince McMahon when he wasn’t happy with the pay off he received for his match with Virgil at Summerslam. So Nailz is gone. As I said before Bam Bam Bigelow returns to the WWF and on this show we’ll also see PPV debuts for The Steiner Brothers, Bob Backlund, Papa Shango, Max Moon, Jerry Lawler, Damien Demento and Carlos Colon.
Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to The Royal Rumble with his broadcast partner, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. They run us down the card but they’re quite eager to start the show as The Beverly Brothers music hits in the background!
The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott)
Big pop for The Steiners who are making their pay per view debut. The Beverly’s are looking for their first PPV win since last years Royal Rumble event when they beat The Bushwhackers. Scott, who is a big old unit starts the match against Beau. I quite like The Beverly Brothers, I don’t know what it is but something appeals. Scott throws Beau across the ring much to the fans delight. Scott and Rick have very 90’s ring gear, bright colours galore. After a tilt-a-whirl slam from Scott, Beau tags Blake. Blake the cheeky scamp slaps Rick upside the head and Scott tags in his brother. Rick doesn’t have much luck though and Blake hits a nice powerslam. That powerslam is soon returned by Rick though. Rick tags in Scott who hits a nice belly to belly suplex. The Beverly’s soon get the advantage though after Beau runs in and takes down Scott. And in comes Beau. There’s no Genius in the corner of The Beverly’s for this one. Blake back in and there’s plenty of double teaming on Scott. Lots of quick tags between the Beverly’s.
The Beverly Brothers biggest match to date was at Summerslam 92 when they had a tag team title opportunity against The Natural Disasters. They couldn’t bring home the gold in that one though. Beau leaves his head down and Scott hits a double underhook suplex. This allows him to tag in Rick who hits german suplex’s for fun! He takes both Beverlys down with clotheslines. Wow Scott comes in at one point and just pushes Beau into the corner. Scott then hits the Frankensteiner on Blake for the big win! A very agile move for a guy the size of Scott. A good debut for The Steiner Brothers.
We get some history now of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. What a team they were. Until that fateful day that Michaels threw Jannetty through the Barber Shop window. Then we see the return of Marty Jannetty and his attack on Michaels. And then when Jannetty went to hit Michaels in the head with a mirror, Shawn pulled Sensational Sherri in the way! Disgusting behaviour. So which corner will Sherri be in tonight?
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Marty Jannetty – Intercontinental Championship Match
Shawn Michaels first defence of the Intercontinental title tonight. Jannetty comes out to The Rockers old music. Michaels is looking for his first win since Wrestlemania VIII last year. Jannetty is looking for his first PPV victory since UK Rampage 91 which was nearly 2 years ago. That night The Rockers beat The Orient Express. Michaels starts the match running away from Jannetty. When Marty catches him he throws Michaels from pillar to post. He throws him out of the ring twice. Sensational Sherri has the twins out tonight. Marty flies outside the ring with a suicide dive. First time I’ve seen one of those. The Rockers actually have a 57% loss record on PPV. They fought and lost to the likes of The Nasty Boys, Power & Glory and The Orient Express. Outside of the ring Michaels rams Jannettys shoulder into the post. Michaels is in the top 10 for PPV matches wrestled. Sadly, he’s also in the top 10 for matches lost, having lost 15 of his 20 PPV matches.
Michaels slams Jannetty in the entrance way and Jannetty sells the shoulder. The Intercontinental title has changed hands 3 of the last 4 times it has been defended on PPV. At last years Royal Rumble event Rowdy Roddy Piper defeated The Mountie for the gold. Back in the ring and Michaels has an armbar locked on. Jannetty and Michaels have fought on every Royal Rumble PPV except the first. Shawn goes for a shoulder barge in the corner but Marty gets out of the way causing Michaels to go straight into the ringpost. Both men get back up to their feet but it’s Jannetty in control, knocking Michaels down with rights and left. That is until Michaels manages to throw Jannetty out the ring. The camera keeps cutting to Sensational Sherri who looks concerned for both men. Jannetty suplex’s Michaels out of the ring and Sherri walks over and slaps the Intercontinental champion!
Michaels can’t believe it as Jannetty suplex’s him back in and then throws him back out the other side of the ring. Back in the ring and Jannetty hits a big powerslam before going up top. Michaels gets up but Jannetty lands on his feet and hits a DDT which gets him a near fall. Michaels goes for a crescent kick but Jannetty hits one of his own for another near fall. Jannetty slingshots his former tag team partner into the ringpost then gets another near fall. Michaels then accidentally elbows the referee to the floor. Jannetty then holds Michaels and Sensational Sherri comes in and tries to clobber Michaels with her shoe but Michaels ducks and Sherri clobbers Jannetty! Michaels gets Jannetty back up to his feet and hits the crescent kick which causes Jannetty to do a 1080 flip. Michaels pins Jannetty and it’s all over! Shawn Michaels wins and retains his Intercontinental championship! Sherri runs backstage and we see how unhappy she is. Michaels runs after her and she screams “you said you loved me!”. Jannetty follows him and they have to be split up backstage.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Big Boss Man
Bam Bam Bigelows returns to PPV! His last PPV appearance was at Wrestlemania IV in the World title tournament against One Man Gang. He’s only had 2 matches on PPV before and he lost them both. The Big Boss Man had a fairly decent 1992 recording wins at Survivor Series over Nailz and at Wrestlemania VIII in an 8 man tag. Bigelow doesn’t let him get out the blocks though, hitting him with a big avalanche in the corner. Boss Man is another guy who has wrestled on every Royal Rumble PPV except the first. Bam Bam sends him to the outside and the crowd boo The Beast from the East. Bam Bam was a face last time we saw him in 1988. Boss Man soon gets the advantage though, hitting Bam Bam with right hands. Boss Man is actually in the top 10 for most PPV wins up to now. He’s only scored 8 victories but it’s enough to be up there. He beat The Barbarian in a preliminary match at Royal Rumble 1991. He’s not having much luck tonight though as Bam Bam once again throws him to the outside. Monsoon claims that Bam Bam isn’t a bright guy. Harsh. He kicks away at Boss Man slow and methodically. He goes after the law enforcers lower back.
Boss Man tries for a comeback but Bam Bam flapjacks him on the top rope. He then locks on a bearhug but from behind. Boss Man just lies on the ground like a wounded trout. Bam Bam gets him back up to his feet and tries for a suplex but Boss Man reverses it into one of his own. He’s hurt his back though and Bigelow is first up to his feet and he goes straight after his back. Bam Bam then goes for a high cross body but Boss Man ducks and Bigelow goes flying over the top of him. Boss Man is in control now and winds up a big uppercut. Boss Man slides out of the ring and nails Bam Bam right a right hand! Bam Bam gets the advantage with a clothesline though then goes up top and hits a flying headbutt. He hooks the leg and the referee count 3. A great return to PPV for Bam Bam Bigelow who gives the Boss Man his first loss since the last Royal Rumble.
We see some footage from Mania now which started as an interview with a smiling Owen Hart but out of nowhere Razor Ramon takes him out! Sending a message to his brother Bret Hart.
Now we see an interview with Razor Ramon. He says that after his match with Bret Hart he’ll have gold on his fingers, gold around his neck and gold around his waist. Raymond Rougeau was the interviewer.
Bret Hart (c) vs. Razor Ramon – WWF Championship Match
Razor Ramon dressed in red comes out for his second main event in as many PPVs. He’s had a good push since debuting. Bret Hart defends his title for a second PPV in a row. Bret Hart comes out to a good ovation and his parents Helen and Stu are at ringside. Hart has fought on every Rumble PPV except last years. Hart gives his sunglasses to a boy at ringside, then Razor throws his toothpick at the kid. Brilliant. It’s a back and forth start to the match with Razor throwing Hart hard into the corner. Ramon looking for his first PPV victory following his loss at Survivor Series. Hart quickly locks on a figurefour leg lock but Razor gets to the ropes. Hart goes after the left leg in the early going. He wraps it around the ring post and ties it up in the corner. Hart had a pretty good 1992 on PPV, beating the likes of Rick Martel, Roddy Piper and Shawn Michaels but he suffered a defeat to The British Bulldog.
It’s Ramons turn to wrap Hart around the ring post now and the bad guy has the advantage. The WWF title has been defended twice at The Rumble PPV before and both times a new champion was declared. Sgt Slaughter defeated The Ultimate Warrior in 1991 and Ric Flair won the title in the 1992 Royal Rumble match. Razor hits a nice fallaway slam. The winner of this match faces the winner of the Royal Rumble match. Razor locks on an abdominal stretch but as Hart reverses it, Razor manages to throw him over his shoulder. I haven’t been too impressed with the set for the this PPV and the last. Very basic entrance ramps. Only Hulk hogan has wrestled on more PPVs than Bret Hart. And after this one, they’ll be neck and neck. Razor locks on a bearhug now which slow the match down. Hart is also joint 4th for most wins with 10 and 4th for most losses! He bites his way out of the bearhug, sends Razor to the outside then hits an awesome suicide dive. That’s the second one tonight!
Back in the ring and Hart hits some headbutts until he drops the big man. The champion hits an atomic drop and clothesline and gets a near fall. He nails a backbreaker then a clothesline off the middle rope. Hart is in full control of the match as he hits a backbreaker and a Russian Leg Sweep. He still can’t get the three count though. Bret looks to lock on the Sharpshooter but Razor gets to the ropes before he can. Hart drags him to the middle of the ring and tries again but this time Ramon pulls the referee in the way, stopping Hart from locking it on. Razor pops Hart on the top rope now but The Hitman elbows him off before hitting a back suplex. Hart then goes for his elbow off the second rope but Ramon gets his foot up. Monsoon then refers to Razor as “The Bad Man”. The Bad Man motions for The Razors Edge but Hart gets out of it and gets a near fall off a backslide. These two have been given plenty of time and it’s been a pretty entertaining match. Hart manages to twist his legs around Razor on the canvas into the Sharpshooter and the challenger submits! Out of nowhere Bret Hart wins and retains his title!
Rating: 7/10* Match Of The Night
Bobby Heenan heads backstage now. I take that back, he’s down at the arena floor. He’s got a microphone and he’s down there to introduce The Narcissist Lex Luger. In one of the campest scenes I’ve ever seen (possibly camper than the posedown at Royal Rumble 89) Luger flexes his muscles whilst Heenan showers him with compliments. Is this Heenans new weapon to take on Mr Perfect? Heenan then interviews Luger, who sounds a bit like Ric Flair. Lex then says that he is beyond Perfection. He has a few words for Perfect. Which is interesting because the next night on Raw Perfect and Flair put their careers on the line against each other. Why build to a Luger/Perfect confrontation if Perfect is going to lose.
The Fink then introduces Caeser and Cleopatra. If this were 2015, they would get boo’d out the building. These two are here because the next PPV Wrestlemania IX is from Caesers Palace, Las Vegas. Caeser then reads some script inviting everyone to Wrestlemania IX. The fans don’t want this, they want the rumble. Let the games begin.
The 1993 Royal Rumble Match
Well it’s time for my favourite match of the year. Who drew #1? It’s last years winner, Ric Flair! Bobby Heenan isn’t happy but he’s got a new man now. Flair drew #3 last year and won the match, can he do it again from #1? Time for #2 and it’s Bob Backlund at age 43, this is his PPV debut! Both Flair and Backlund are former WWF Champions. Backlund still looks about 15. He knocks Flair down and dances around. Who will face Bret Hart at Wrestlemania IX? Flair hits some chops but Backlund nails a back body drop then a big atomic drop. The countdown is on and in comes #3 Papa Shango who despite debuting at Wrestlemania VIII is actually making his in-ring PPV debut tonight. He comes in and tries to eliminate Bob Backlund but Ric Flair lifts up Shango’s leg and eliminates him! Papa Shango is the first man outta here. Flair goes back to work on Backlund now. Ric Flair is one of the favourites to win this match but it’s going to be difficult coming in at number 1. Time for #4 now and it’s Ted Dibiase, one half of the tag team champions. He was runner up in the 1989 Royal Rumble before trying to bribe Big John Studd but got thrown out for his efforts. Dibiase and Flair double team Bob Backlund. They were on the same team at Survivor Series 1991. These two men are two of the best heels of all time. They can’t eliminate Backlund though. Number 5 now and it’s Brian Knobbs who has had his problems with Dibiase as of late. He takes both Flair and Dibiase down and he’s on fire.
Backlund is paired off with Flair now as Knobbs goes to work on Dibiase. Knobbs with the Pit Stop on the Million Dollar Man and it’s time for #6 which is Virgil. And he goes right after Dibiase. No love loss between those two. Konbbs then tries to clothesline Dibiase out of there but he ducks and Brian Knobbs goes flying over the top rope and is the second man eliminated. Time for another man and at #7 it’s Jerry “The King” Lawler making his PPV debut. He’s a commentator on Superstars but this is his first in ring match. Flair goes after Lawler continuing their old rivalry in Memphis Championship Wrestling. Lawler has a good mullet. Time for #8 Max Moon making his PPV debut from the moon. He goes after The King, knocking him down with a dropkick. Only Papa Shango and Brian Knobbs eliminated so far.Flair tries to eliminate Max Moon but the masked man skins the cat. Backlund and Dibiase are still going at it in one corner. Max Moon goes for a spinning heel kick on Jerry Lawler but Lawler ducks and eliminates him. #9 now and it’s Tenryu. He’s not been seen since Wrestlemania VII. A ring full of veterans at the moment, assuming you’d consider Virgil a vet. A third of the way through now as #10 Mr Perfect comes out! And the crowd go nuts! He runs down and him and Flair get right into it. You’ve got to consider Perfect another one of the favourites.
Perfect throws Flair across the ring and goes to town on the former WWF Champion. Those two men meet in a loser leaves town match on Raw. This’ll be the last time we see one of them on PPV for a while. Like Monsoon says, if one of them wins the rumble then loses the loser leaves town match then they won’t make it to Wrestlemania! Skinner comes in at #11 and just as he does Mr Perfect eliminates Ric Flair which causes the crowd to go nuts. Flair won’t be going to Wrestlemania. Not the greatest talent pool left in the ring with the likes of Virgil, Tenyru, Lawler, Skinner and Backlund. #12 looks to improve the pool but it’s Koko B Ware who on his 11th PPV appearance is looking for his first win. He goes after Lawler and probably has history with him, most people tend to. Skinner, who is also looking for his first PPV win is on the ropes. Not today though as Perfect dropkicks him over the top rope and out of the match. #13 unlucky for some is Samu one half of The Headshrinkers goes after Koko B Ware. Lawler takes down Perfect. Perfect was runner up in the 1991 Royal Rumble which is the closest he’s come to winning the big match. Perfect and Dibiase are the only two in there at the moment with any chance of winning. The Bezerker comes in at #14 and doesn’t change that last statement. I quite like The Bezerker to be honest. He’s not a bad worker. Perfect then eliminates Jerry Lawler then Dibiase pounces and throws Perfect over the top. Lawler gives Dibiase a hand, as does Koko and between them, they eliminate Mr Perfect! Shame, I would have liked to see Perfect win. In the commotion, Virgil is eliminated. No idea who by, the cameras didn’t pick it up. Half way through now as #15 The Undertaker comes out. He’s definitely a big favourite. The crowd give him a good reaction.
The Bezerker throws Backlund through the middle ropes then hits him with some (pretty weak looking) chair shots. Undertaker then eliminates Samu and Tenyru. We’ve just got Undertaker, Dibiase, Koko and Bezerker in the ring now with Backlund on the outside. #16 Terry Taylor who hasn’t been seen since he was The Red Rooster enters the match. Koko tries to eliminate Taylor but Dibiase comes from behind and eliminates both guys! Undertaker then chokeslams Dibiase before eliminating him! It’s just Undertaker and The Bezerker in there now! But wait, who’s this? Some massive giant makes his way to the ring, led by Harvey Wippleman. Undertaker eliminates The Bezerker! We’ve just got Undertaker and this giant in the ring, staring at one another. The buzzer goes off though and at #17 it’s Damien Demento making his PPV debut. Undertaker just stares up at the giant. But the giant attacks him and slaps him over the top rope! Referee Hebner motions that Undertaker has been eliminated! The giant then manhandles The Undertaker throwing him around the ring then hitting a big chokeslam in the middle of the ring! He’s not an official entry in the rumble but his elimination of The Undertaker will count. I.R.S is entry #18 and he slowly saunters down to the ring. The giant leaves Undertaker on his back and I.R.S, Damien Demento and Bob Backlund get into the ring. #19 Tatanka is next out. He’s undefeated in the WWF but I can’t see him winning this one. Paul Bearer comes out and helps Undertaker to the back. With the likes of Undertaker, Perfect, Flair and Dibiase eliminated, who’s going to win? Damien Demento? Unlikely, but he goes to work on Bob Backlund who’s been in there for a while now.
We have had some drama in this match. #20 Jerry Saggs is next out and he’s having problems with I.R.S at the moment. Heenan uses the standard “tongue” gag as Saggs pulls on Shysters tie. Backlund has been in there 36 minutes. Could Backlund win the Rumble? Doubt it. He double teams Demento with Tatanka. #21 Typhoon is next out. Lots of tag team members out there. Typhoon takes down Demento. Could it be Typhoons time for a main event run? I doubt it, I always preferred Earthquake. #22 Fatu is next. He goes after Typhoon. Like I said, lots of tag team competitors. You take them out the equation and you’re left with Bob Backlund, Damien Demento and Tatanka. The ring starts to fill up now as #23 Earthquake makes his way out. He was runner up in 1991 and he goes straight after Typhoon! The Natural Disasters combust in front of our very eyes! Typhoon with an irish whip and avalanche on his tag partner. Typhoon then goes for another one but Quake ducks and sends Typhoon over the top rope out of the match! The tag team involved in this, Natural Disasters, Nasty Boys, Money Inc, Headshrinkers and High Energy. Five teams that all seem to be filler. #24 is Carlos Colon who isn’t going to win this Royal Rumble. Bob Backlund is still out there but getting clobbered by Fatu. Colon then eliminates Damien Demento. The star power in this rumble is really lacking. #25 “El Matador” Tito Santana is next out.
Bob Backlund eliminates Fatu! Tito Santana has been in every single Royal Rumble match so far. That’s impressive. So this’ll be his sixth. The only other man to have been in the previous 5 is Jake Roberts. Jim Neidhart and Jim Duggan have wrestled on every Royal Rumble PPV but haven’t appeared on this one yet. #26 is one of my favourites, “The Model” Rick Martel and he goes right after Santana. Nice to see they still have beef. Shame we never had a one on one match between the two on PPV. Earthquake eliminates I.R.S. Could Martel win the rumble and go on to fight Bret Hart at Wrestlemania in a UK Rampage 92 rematch? He’s still in there with Tito Santana, Bob Backlund, Earthquake, Carlos Colon, Tatanka and Jerry Saggs. #27 Yokozuna is out next. The big man is another of the favourites in this one. Tatanka goes toe to toe with Yoko but it ends badly as the big man eliminates Tatanka from the match. And then he eliminates Carlos Colon. We then have a big face off between Yokozuna and Earthquake and the crowd love it. #28 “The Rocket” Owen Hart is next out. He took a beating for his brother. Earthquake avalanches Yokozuna in the corner but he misses the second and Yokozuna hits a belly to belly suplex on Earthquake eliminating the big man! Imagine Bret vs. Owen at Wrestlemania 9. That’d be good. #29 The Repo Man is next. He goes after Yokozuna, big mistake.
Jerry Saggs and Santana try to double team Yokozuna but they can’t get the big man out. Backlund now comes over to help and Repo Man, then Martel and Owen Hart. Every man in the ring tries to get out Yokozuna but the big man fights them off! Well besides Yokozuna and Jerry Saggs, it’s been a long time since any of these men won a match on PPV. #30 and it’s “Macho Man” Randy Savage who goes straight after the man who stole his hat on Raw, The Repo Man! Yokozuna eliminates Tito Santana and Owen Hart accidentally eliminates Jerry Saggs. So left in there we’ve got The Repo Man, Bob Backlund, Rick Martel, Owen Hart and the two favourties Yokozuna and Randy Savage. Well, we did have, Yokozuna eliminates Owen Hart and Randy Savage eliminates Repo Man. So we have the final 4. Yokozuna, Randy Savage, Rick Martel and Bob Backlund. Yokozuna as the main heel in there will be the favourite to go on and face Bret Hart, although Savage/Hart could be money. Backlund suplex’s Martel onto the top turnbuckle then pushes him out! We are down to the final 3. The crowd are right behind Backlund in this one as he dropkicks Yokozuna but as he goes to clothesline him out, Yoko side steps him and throws him out! Bob broke the longest time in a rumble record at 1:01:10 beating Ric Flairs previous record by a minute.
There are two men left. Yokozuna and Randy Savage. Yokozuna dominates Savage, keeping him grounded. This is only Yokozuna’s second pay per view appearence, the last one being a victory over Virgil at Survivor Series. Savage comesback though, hitting Yoko with jabs. The former WWF champion then goes up top and hits a double axe handle but Yoko doesn’t go down. Savage tries again and this time the big guy goes down to one knee. The crowd go nuts for Randy but Yokozuna kicks him in the face. It’s #27 against #30 which just shows the luck of the draw in this. Unless you’re Bob Backlund. Yoko hits a big legdrop on Savage. He throws Savage into the corner then goes for an avalanche but Savage gets out of the way and Yoko hits the deck. Savage then goes up top and hits the Big Elbow before diving on top of Yokozuna to pin him? He must be confused, anyway Yokozuna lifts Savage up off the deck, pushing him over the top for the victory! Yokozuna wins The Royal Rumble 1993 and goes on to fight for the WWF Title at Wrestlemania IX.
And that was The Royal Rumble 1993. Five matches, most of which were fairly good quality. Bret Hart and Razor Ramons bout for the WWF title was match of the night and exceeded all expectations. It’ll stand Ramon in good stead in the future. Hart retains for the second time though on back to back PPVs. His quality of opponent hasn’t been as good as champions in the past but he’s a good champ none the less.
The Royal Rumble was one of the weakest in history. There wasn’t a lot of good contenders. You take out the jobbers and the tag teams and you’re only left with Yokozuna, Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Ric Flair and Mr Perfect. The likes of Ted Dibiase and Earthquake would have been good contenders in the past but not for this rumble. Bob Backlund came out of the match looking like a superstar. And who was the mystery man that attacked The Undertaker? I’m sure we’ll find out soon. It’ll be interesting to see more of Yokozuna and how his character evolves over time. Gorilla Monsoon didn’t seem to know anything about what happened on Raw and the history between the likes of Repo Man and Randy Savage.
Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty put on an alright mate but I felt it could have been a lot better. Obviously that one was centred around Sensational Sherri much like Michaels match at Summerslam with Rick Martel. The opener was a steady match between The Steiners and Beverly Brothers but the weakest match of the night was between The Big Boss Man and Bam Bam Bigelow.
It definitely seems like a transitional stage in the WWF with a lot of the big stars from the 80’s gone or on their way out. Talent like Bret Hart, Razor Ramon and Yokozuna as well as Mr Perfect and Shawn Michaels seem to be dominating the main event scene as the promotion heads in a new direction.
Overall Rating: 54/100 (ranked 7th out of 31)