Royal Rumble 98

Pain! Just a 4 Lettered Word. That’s what 30 of the WWFs finest have got to remember going into what will be some of their biggest matches of the year. Tonight the 30 man Royal Rumble is centred around “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. He has made an enemy out of everyone in the match, stunnering his way through the competition. And now he is a marked man going into what is essentially a 30 man number one contenders match for the WWF title. Not many of the other 30 competitors have had a look in but there are honourable mentions for Kurrgan, Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart. None the less, the PPV poster features “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and he’s going to be the man to watch.

The winner of the Royal Rumble match will go on to face the WWF champion whoever that may be and tonight the title will be on the line as Shawn Michaels defends the belt against The Undertaker in a Casket Match. This will be the third match between the two on PPV. Previously they have drawn at In Your House: Ground Zero and Michaels defeated The Undertaker in Hell In A Cell at In Your House: Badd Blood. For the first time the WWF title is on the line and Michaels will undoubedly joined by Triple H and Chyna. On Raw we saw Undertakers brother Kane save The Undertaker from a beatdown, could Kane be joining his brother? Undertaker has only lost one Casket Match before and that was at the 1994 Royal Rumble against Yokozuna.

Also tonight, The Rock defends his Intercontinental title against Ken Shamrock. Steve Austin was supposed to defend the Intercontinental title against The Rock but refused to so vacated the title making The Rock (Rocky Maivia) a two time champ. He then very kindly offered Shamrock a title match at the Royal Rumble which Shamrock accepted. En-route, Ken defeated D-lo Brown, Kama Mustafa and Faarooq before Mark Henry turned on Shamrock and joined the Nation. We’ll also get a rematch between The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) and The Legion Of Doom for the tag team titles. LOD were granted a rematch after the way their match ended at In Your House: D-Generation X but they haven’t been around much recently. Gunn and Road Dogg tok them out on an episode of Raw and even shaved one of Hawks mohawks.

Goldust also returns to the ring tonight to take on Vader in a feud that began back at the Survivor Series when Goldust turned his back on Vader. Since then, Goldust has gone very weird, even weirder than before and taken on Luna as his manager. This’ll be the sixth time she has managed a match on PPV, could it be sixth time lucky? Let’s get to it.

We kick off the show with a video package outlining the various Royal Rumble competitors. The Headbangers? Tom Brandi? Steve Blackman? Who knows. There are a few shots of Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker who battle for the WWF title tonight too. Jim Ross then welcomes everyone to the 11th annual Royal Rumble in San Jose, California. Time to kick things off.

The Artist Formally Known as Goldust vs. Vader

Goldust is going through a very strange phase in his life. He’s dressed in a green and purple singlet and is managed by Luna for the first time on PPV tonight. Vader is pretty much the same guy as he has been since turning face. His mate The Patriot isn’t around anymore though. This feud started at Survivor Series when Goldust turned his back on Vader. The two men get into it before the bell. Vader starts well crushing Goldust into the corner then attacking the bizarre one outside of the ring. The last PPV win for Goldust came at Summerslam but for Vader you’d have to go back to the Royal Rumble last year! Goldust takes the advantage in this one with a little help from Luna. Luna is looking for her first PPV victory as a manager. She’s previously managed Shawn Michaels, Bam Bam Bigelow and Bull Nakano. Vader heads to the outside and Goldust hits some right hands then throws Vader into the steps. This is a first time PPV meeting between these two. With Goldust distracting the referee, Luna chokes Vader with her shoe!

The crowd are definitely behind Vader in this one as Goldust lays in some right hands in the corner then gives him a kiss! But from nowhere Vader hits a clothesline. Goldust hits a thumb to the eye then goes for a scoop slam but he can’t get the big man up. Vader hits a suplex then splashes the former Intercontinental champion for the first near fall of the night. Vader then drags Goldust to the corner and goes to the middle rope but Luna gets up on the apron and Goldust hits a low blow! Both men are up and Goldust goes for a sunset flip and Vader sits down on his chest. Once again he drags Goldust over to the corner but in comes Luna and she jumps on Vaders back! But that doesn’t stop Vader, he goes up to the middle rope and hits The Vader Bomb with Luna on his back! He covers Goldust and gets the three! Vader wins the match! I expected Goldust to win so this is a bit of a surprise. Not a bad way to start the show.

Rating: 6/10

Michael Cole tries to get some words with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin who has just arrived but Austin isn’t up for talking. The Godwinns then show up looking for Stine Cold.

Battallion, Tarantula & El Torito vs. Max Mini, Nova & Mosaic

Well it seems that Mosaic is now a babyface mini. We’ve seen five of these before, it’s a PPV debut for Battallion. Sunny is the special guest referee for this one. Nova and Tarantula kick things off. Nova dropkicks Tarantula out of the ring then tags in Max Mini who is the face of the minis division. Battallion comes in and Max Mini throws him around the ring. Tags are made and in come El Torito and Mosaic. Torito is a lot bigger than Mosaic and he gorilla press slams him. Mosaic hits loads of arm drags and arm drags him out of the ring. Tarantula comes in and hits a clothesline then tags Battallion. Nova comes in and dropkicks Battallion out of the ring. El Torito comes in and the action is fast paced. These guys love an arm drag. Mike Tyson is up in a box, I wonder what he thinks of this. Mosaic hits a hurricanrrana on Battallion and more arm drags. Max Mini and Tarantula are tagged in and Tarantula hits some clotheslines. Max hits a headscissors from the top rope then more arm drags.

El Torito is in and hits a flying kick on Max Mini. Torito and Battallion hit some double teams moves while Sunny tries to steal the spotlight. Sunny then uses Max Mini to kick away the heels. Mosaic is tagged in and flies out of the ring and then all of the minis take it in turns to fly out on one another. Back in the ring El Torito and Max Mini go at it. Max Mini hits a hurricanrana type thing off the top then pins Torito for the win. Max Mini, Nova and Mosaic win the match! There was lots of fast paced action in this one. It was quite an entertaining match actually.

Rating: 6.25/10

The Nation Of Domination are outside Stone Cold locker room. They rush in but Austin is nowhere to be seen!

We then get a shot of Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and Mike Tyson up in the skybox.

Now to a video package about Ken Shamrock defeating D-lo Brown, Kama Mustafa and Faarooq all with the ankle lock. Then we see Mark Henry turning on Ken Shamrock.

Michael Cole is with The Rock backstage. Then we see some footage from the Free For All where all members of The Nation said they are going to win the Royal Rumble. Back to The Rock who is very entertaining. He says he’s alone tonight.

The Rock (c) vs. Ken Shamrock – Intercontinental Title Match

The Rock gets on the microphone before the bell and says that he is the best Intercontinental champion there ever was. Shamrock is receiving back to back title shots on PPV, he of course fought in the main event to the last show, In Your House: D-Generation X. Shamrock was the sole Survivor in the Survivor Series match against The Rocks Nation Of Domination. They always like to make a point of saying that thousands of fans have been turned away from the arena because it’s a sell-out. Both of these men will be competing in the Royal Rumble match later. It’s a slow start to the match, a first on PPV between these two. Shamrock hits a nice kick then sends Rock to the outside. The Rock has come across really well in this feud so far. He gave Shamrock a title shot for no reason and then has come out with the Nation for the match. If he wasn’t such a cocky bastard then you’d think he’s the face.

Back in the ring and Rock lays in the right hands and a clothesline in the corner. Shamrock goes for a standing hurricanrana and The Rock throws him onto the ropes for a two count. Shamrock hits a cross body for a two then a fishermans suplex for another near fall. The Rock throws the challenger to the outside then smashes his face into the ring steps before chucking him back into the ring. The Rock hits a tremendous spinning DDT before going to the sleeper. Shamrock gets out of it and The Rock once again goes for his spinning DDT but this time Shamrock counters it and hits a suplex. Shamrock hits a big powerslam for a two and a half before laying in some right hands. Ken then hits his trademark hurricanrana but here comes Kama and D-lo! With the referee distracted, The Rock levels Shamrock with some brass knucks! He cover Shamrock puts the knucks in the challengers tights! The referee counts but only a two!

Shamrock is up and hits a belly to belly on The Rock! He covers The Rock and the referee counts the three! We’ve got a new Intercontinental champion. Shamrock celebrates with the gold but The Rock motions that Shamrock hit him with knucks! The referee demands that Shamrock pull out the knucks and to his surprise he does! The referee then reverses the decision! The Rock wins the match by disqualification! Shamrock snaps and hits a belly to belly suplex on the referee before locking on the ankle lock! Other referees come out to break it up. This one is definitely not over between these two, Ken Shamrock was screwed out of a victory tonight.

Rating: 7/10

We go backstage now where Los Boricuas have found Steve Austin. They rush into the locker room but its one of DOA which ends in a brawl between the Boricuas and DOA!

We get a video package next for LOD and The New Age Outlaws. The Legion Of Doom are legends in the WWF but the Outlaws have had the better of them.

The New Age Outlaws (Road Dog & Billy Gunn) (c) vs. The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal) – WWF Tag Team Championship Match

Animal sustained a back injury after he got thrown through a table by The New Age Outlaws and D-Generation X. This is a big rematch from In Your House: D-Generation X. Road Dogg (who seems to have longer hair than before) and Billy Gunn attempt to tattack LOD before the bell but that backfires. It doesn’t take long for the champion to make their way to the back. Hawk and Animal take them back to the ring where Hawk and The Road Dog kick things off. Hawk hits a shoulderblock and a clothesline. Hawk tags Animal who locks a chinlock on Road Dog. The Dog is bleeding from the mouth now as Animal tags Hawk back in. Hawk hits a neckbreaker then hammer Billy Gunn which gives Road Dog chance to get up and tag Bully. Billy doesn’t have much luck either though as Hawk lays in some right hands. Hawk tags Animal who hits a suplex but misses with an elbow drop. Animal comes back with powerslams on both champions then locks a camel clutch on Gunn.

Hawk tags himself in and locks on an STF. He doesn’t keep it on for long oddly though and tags Anmal. Animal comes in but finds himself double teamed by the champions. Road Dog throws Animal into the steps on the outside. Road Dog and Billy Gunn then double team Hawk but Hawk comes back at them with clotheslines. Road Dog then grabs some handcuffs and cuffs Hawk to the ringpost! Billy and Road Dog double team Animal but Animal knocks both men down with a clothesline. He then hits a shoulderbarge on Billy for a two. Billy hits a powerslam then goes to the top but Animal catches him with a powerslam! Animal covers Billy but Road Dog comes in and nails him with a chair! The referee calls for the bell, this one is a disqualification! Road Dog continues to smash Animal with a chair whilst Hawk is still handcuffed to the ringpost. They both double team Animals back but Hawk breaks the handcuffs and clears the ring with a chair! This one is over and it’s LOD that win the match but it’s by disqualification! The Outlaws are still the champions though as much like the last match, the titles can’t change by a disqualification.

Rating: 6.5/10

We then find out that Mildred Bowers has won Stone Cold Steve Austins truck. Well done Mildred.

Now to a video package about “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and why he is a marked man in the Royal Rumble. He’s basically been stunnering everyone. Marc Mero, The Godwinns, Mankind, Goldust, The Rock, Vader, Ken Shamrock, all stunnered.

The 1998 Royal Rumble Match

Here we go. My favourite match of the year. The Fink goes over the rules, same old, over the top rope, both feet much touch the floor. Number 1 is Cactus Jack who is probably one of the favourites. Cactus Jack comes out with a couple of metal bins. Number 2 is then his good buddy Chainsaw Charlie! These two men have had their problems with the New Age Outlaws as of late. Terry Funk looks and moves like an old person. Charlie comes out with his chainsaw and Cactus throws chairs at him. The two battle each other with chairs then Charlie asks for a chair shot! And boy does he get it. He wants another one! Cactus Jack hands him the chair and asks for one back and Charlie obliges! Ouch. Chainsaw tries to eliminate Cactus Jack but it’s time for number 3 which is Tom Brandi who is Salvatore Sincere. Brandi gets thrown straight out of there, lasting all of 10 seconds. Charlie and Cactus Jack go back at it and Jack suplex’s Chainsaw through two steel chairs! #4 comes in now and it’s The Rock. The Intercontinental champion might be considered another favourite. I can’t really look past Austin to win it though. The Rock lays in boots to both men who are both struggling at the moment.

Cactus Jack nails The Rock with a trash can before putting him in it! Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack both take shots of The Rock in a trash can who then falls out of the ring through the middle rope. Number 5 now and it’s Mosh of The Headbangers. This is a Royal Rumble debut for Mosh. Terry Funk hasn’t been on PPV since last years Royal Rumble match. I believe this is a first PPV match for Cactus Jack. He chokes The Rock whilst Chainsaw Charlie (sort of) hits a moonsault on Mosh. Only one elimination so far. Number 3 never does well. #6 is Phineas Godwinn who has only ever won one PPV match. Him and Mosh get into it. Chainsaw Charlie goes at it with The Rock until Phineas jumps Chainsaw. Cactus Jack and Mosh go at it then The Rock slaps Phineas around. #7 is 8 Ball from The Disciples Of Apocalypse and he goes after The Rock. Chainsaw Charlie then eliminates Cactus Jack! That’s a shocker, I thought Jack would last a lot longer.

#8 is Bradshaw and he goes after Mosh. There are a lot of stables and tag teams at the moment. In fact every man in the ring is either part of a tag team (if you could Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack) or a stable. Nobody can eliminate Chainsaw Charlie, he manages to get his legs wrapped around the ropes every time. #9 is Owen Hart who we see Mike Tyson cheering for! But Jeff Jarrett comes out and attacks Owen! Cornette is there smashing Hart with his tennis racket. This is a random attack, we’ve not seen any rivalry building between these two. Owen is another favourite in this. He doesn’t even make it to the ring. #10 is Steve Blackman who is wrestling his second PPV match following his quick exit at Survivor Series. Blackman goes after Chainsaw Charlie then The Rock. 8 Ball hits Charlie with a piledriver. Lawler tells us that his reliable source is telling him that Steve Austin has been taken out backstage, maybe by Ken Shamrock. #11 is D-lo Brown from the Nation Of Domination. D-lo and 8 Ball go at it. The Rock stomps away at Steve Blackman. Mosh and Phineas go at it in one corner. All 8 men are paired off. The Rock and D-lo double team Bradshaw but it doesn’t take long for The Rock and D-lo to exchange blows!

#12 is Kurrgan who could be a dark horse. He is a big old unit. Mosh goes after Kurrgan but gets eliminated! D-lo stomps away at Chainsaw Charlie whilst Phineas and Steve Blackman go at it. #13 is Marc Mero who comes out with the lovely Sable. Sable gets a good reaction. Kurrgen then eliminates Steve Blackman which Marc Mero enjoys. Once again The Rock goes after D-lo. Mero and Chainsaw Charlie go at it. Bradshaw tries to get the better of Kurrgan. #14 is Ken Shamrock who gets a big cheer. Shamrock and Kurrgen get into it then everyone comes over and helps eliminate Kurrgen! Mero sneaks around the ring not really doing anything. Bradshaw hits a big boot on D-lo. Half way through now as #15 Thrasher comes out. Mosh was eliminated by Kurrgen. D-lo chokes The Rock in the corner. Ken Shamrock goes after 8 Ball. #16 is Mankind! We’ve already seen Cactus Jack but it seems Mick Foley is back as Mankind! He goes right after Chainsaw Charlie and eliminates him from the match! Maybe Mankind will win the Royal Rumble! He goes at it with The Rock now. 8 Ball goes after Thrasher. Shamrock now lays some rights and lefts into The Rock.

So we’ve got Thrasher, Bradshaw, Phineas, The Rock, Mankind, 8 Ball, Ken Shamrock, Marc Mero, D-lo and #17 Goldust. Goldust and Mankind get into it. This is Goldusts first Royal Rumble match following Intercontinental title matches at the previous two Royal Rumble PPVs. Marc Mero continues to do nothing as Goldust eliminates Mankind. I can see where this might be going. #18 now and it’s Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett comes out to his awful music and struts down the aisle. Jarrett is the NWA champion don’t you know. Owen Hart then returns and lays it into Jeff Jarrett as Marc Mero watches. Owen hits a spinning heel kick on Jeff. The Rock and Ken Shamrock go at it and Jarrett gets eliminated by Owen Hart! #19 is The Honky Tonk Man and he’s followed by Triple H and Chyna. The Rock then eliminates Ken Shamrock! That’s somebody else I thought would last longer. Triple H then smashes Owen Hart with his crutch and eliminates him from the match! That’s another shocker. We’re left with a ring full of jobbers and The Rock. #20 now and it’s Ahmed Johnson, I didn’t realise he was still about. Phineas Godwinn meets Ahmed and receives a headbutt.

We see a replay of Ken Shamrocks elimination. He received a low blow before The Rock chucked him out. #21 is the third member of the Nation Of Domination Mark Henry. This is his first Royal Rumble match. He goes right for Ahmed Johnson. Honky Tonk Man still in there going for 8 Ball. The Rock and Bradshaw exchange blows. Thrasher and Marc Mero double team Goldust. Luna and Sable are both at ringside. Mark Henry throws powder in Ahmed Johnsons face then #22 is….nobody! Nobody comes out at 22. D-lo and Mark Henry then eliminate Ahmed Johnson and Mark Henry eliminates Phineas Godwinn. Johnson and Phineas battle to the back. D-lo goes after Mark Henry now! #23 is Kama Mustafa who pushes Ahmed Johnson as he comes out. Kama Mustafa has fought in Royal Rumbles before as both Kama and Papa Shango. Honky Tonk Man looks to eliminate The Rock. Kama and Bradshaw go at it. The Rock has been in there some time now. Goldust and Mark Henry go at it. #24 is Stone Cold Steve Austin and the place erupts! The whole ring stops and waits for him! But Austin comes out through the back and eliminates Mark Mero and then 8 Ball!

Austin is in there with D-lo, Mark Henry, The Rock, Kama, Thrasher, Bradshaw, Honky Tonk Man and Goldust. The Rock tries to eliminate Bradshaw and it’s time for #25 Henry Godwinn. He goes right after Austin, choking him in the corner. Bradshaw has been in there over 38 minutes now. Henry botches a hiptoss on Goldust. Bradshaw hits Honky Tonk Man with some big right hands. #26 Savio Vega comes out with all of Los Boricuas! They all go after Steve Austin but Austin clears the ring of all The Boricus! Except Savio who is the official entrant. Former stablemates Savio Vega and D-lo go at it now. Bradshaw hits a big slam on Thrasher. The Rock nails D-lo. #27 now and it’s Faarooq, the final member of the Nation. All of The Nation are in there now. Faarooq goes after the other Nation members whilst The Rock and Steve Austin fight out on the floor. Well there aren’t many in there now I can see winning. Austin? The Rock? Faarooq? Number 28 is Dude Love! The third time Foley has entered! He comes in and eliminates Bradshaw. The Rock hits the Peoples Elbow on D-lo then Austin attacks the Intercontinental champion. Thrasher and Mark Henry go at it.

#29 is Chainz from DOA. This is his Royal Rumble debut. We haven’t seen Skull yet. Faarooq eliminates D-lo from the match. Henry Godwinn lays in some right hands to Austin. #30 now is Vader who wrestles in his third Royal Rumble match. Vader and Goldust get right into it. Vader then eliminates The Honky Tonk Man! Kama and Savio Vega go at it. Chainz and Austin, Mark Henry and Thrasher. One of these men will be going to Wrestlemania. Vader knocks down The Rock. Dude Love headbutts Henry Godwinn then Steve Austin eliminates Thrasher and Kama Mustafa. Savio knocks down Austin, they’ve had their matches over the years. Jim Ross tells us D-lo Brown has been there a long time but he’s long gone. Austin then eliminates Savio Vega, Goldust eliminates Vader, Dude Love eliminates Henry Godwinn and Chainz eliminates Goldust. Faarooq eliminates Mark Henry and Austin eliminates Chainz. 

We’re down to the final four. Steve Austin, Dude Love, The Rock and Faarooq. Austin and Dude send The Rock and Faarooq into one another then Dude hits a double armed DDT on The Rock! Dude locks on The Mandible Claw on Austin but the rattlesnake gets out of it with a low blow. Faarooq then eliminates Dude Love and we’re down to three! The Rock eliminates Faarooq! It’s The Rock and Austin! Austin hits the Stone Cold Stunner on The Rock and throws him out to win the match! “Stone Cold” Steve Austin wins the Royal Rumble and is going to Wrestlemania! Even Mike Tyson is up and applauding. He was the favourite going in and he lived up to it by winning the Rumble.

Rating: 8/10

Michael Cole is up with Mike Tyson now. He says how much of a fan of Cold Stone he is then describes Shawn Michaels as an up and comer. Brilliant. Jim Ross then tells us how much of a big fan Mike Tyson is of the WWF.

Now to a video package about Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. We see footage from Badd Blood when the two men destroyed each other. Kane made his debut that night and cost Undertaker the match. This match is next.

Shawn Michaels (c) vs. The Undertaker – Casket Match For The WWF Title

This is the third PPV meeting between these two. The first, at Ground Zero, was a draw, the second at Badd Blood, Shawn Michaels won. The interesting thing about this one is that Kane helped his brother on Raw last week, apparently leaving Paul Bearer. So how will Kane play into this match? You can’t help but think he’ll get involved. Austin meets the winner at Wrestlemania. Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin certainly seems the more likely match up at this point. Michaels hits lefts and rights in the early going, he’s got the speed advantage. Undertaker backdrops Shawn Michaels onto the casket and that looks painful. Michaels struggles to stand and Undertaker throws him into the ring post. Undertaker then boots Michaels into the casket but the champion is quick to jump back out. Back in the ring and Undertaker knocks down Michaels with a big right hands. He misses with an elbow but Michaels can’t keep the advantage.

This is a match between the two most experienced men on the roster. It’s the right main event based on that. Two bonafied main eventers. Michaels gets thrown out of the ring and into a cameraman. Back in the ring and Undertaker catches Shawn off the top and slams him into the mat. Undertaker rolls Michaels into the casket but Undertaker can’t quite close the lid. Shawn then throws some powder into Undertakers eyes. Knowing Michaels that could have been…well. It’s advantage Michaels now as he hits some jabs and then a moonsault. The two men then go at it on the outside. Undertaker smashes Michaels into the security railing. Only The Legion Of Doom have fought in more PPVs consecutively at the moment. He throws Undertaker into the steps before picking them up and hitting The Undertaker with them. Wow, Shawn Michaels piledrives The Undertaker into the steel steps. Helmsley gets involved for the first time now, choking The Undertaker with his crutch. Michaels uses the steel chair now before dragging Undertaker back into the ring. The champ rolls Undertaker into the casket for the first time but the dead man fights his way out of it.

Back in the ring and Michaels hits a neckbreaker. He then locks on a sleeper which Undertaker eventually gets out of with a suplex. Michaels regains the advantage and goes to the top where he leaps off with an elbow drop. He then motions for Sweet Chin Music! And he nails it! Undertaker hits the deck and surely that is it. Michaels rolls Undertaker across the ring and into the casket. Michaels stands over the casket and Undertaker grabs his crotch and throws him back into the ring! Undertaker hits right hands and a back body drop. It’s all Undertaker now as he hits a big boot and then goes for his flying clothesline but Michaels gets out of the way and Undertaker rolls into the casket! Michaels then goes up top and hits an elbow drop into the casket! The lid closes and both men are in there! Michaels gets out but Undertaker drags him right back in. They get up and both men get out. Back in the ring and Undertaker hits a huge chokeslam. The challenger motions for The Tombstone, he scoops Michaels up and Tombstones him right into the casket! But here comes The New Age Outlaws and Los Boricuas! They all attacks The Undertaker like it’s Royal Rumble 1994 all over again!

The lights go out and Kanes music hits! Kane comes out from the back and he takes out all six of the Outlaws and Boricuas, helping his brother. Michaels gets out of the casket with some help from Triple H and Chyna. Kane then attacks The Undertaker! He chokeslams The Undertaker into the casket and Michaels closes the lid! Paul Bearer comes out and locks the casket! They wheel the casket up to the entrance way and Kane lays into the casket with an axe! He then pours petrol all over the casket before setting it alight! The burning image of the casket is what we’re left as the show comes to a close.

Rating: 8/10

And that was the 1998 Royal Rumble event. A really good way to kick off the year. It kicked off with Vaders annual PPV win, this one over Goldust in a feud that has been going on for a few months now. I was surprised Vader won as it was Goldusts first PPV match under his new gimmick and a win would have helped catapult it. Maybe this shows how much faith they have in the gimmick. Either that or they have something in mind for Vader. Maybe a feud with Kurrgan? Goldust could literally go in any direction. He’s very much a midcarder, maybe a feud with the likes of hmmm Ahmed Johnson? Anyway, this match was followed by a midgets match. The match was good but what’s the point? Are they going to introduce a midgets title? I’m not really sure where they’re going with it. Max Mini is getting  good push though.

The Rock then defeated Ken Shamrock after the referee reversed his decision. That suggests that this feud isn’t over yet and I could definitely see it go all the way to Wrestlemania. The Rock is so good right now, his heel turn has elevated him so much. His mic work is brilliant. Shamrock is the perfect foil and a great contender for the Intercontinental title. The Rock out-smarted him in this one and later on eliminated him from the Royal Rumble. Shamrock will definitely be looking for retribution. Speaking of which, The Legion Of Doom won their match by disqualification having had the tag titles as good as won. Road Dog and Billy Gunn have been a great addition to the tag team title scene and I like them with the belts. They’re technically one all one PPV victories now with both teams winning by disqualification.

Then came the Royal Rumble match. This was an interesting one. There were A LOT of tag teams and stables. In fact, if you take them all out then you’re only left with 12 guys and that’s including Kurrgan who is technically part of a stable and Jeff Jarrett who is the founding member of a stable. Steve Austin was the favourite going into the match and true to form he won it. But he was definitely the right man for the job, he is over as hell and him against Shawn Michaels in the Wrestlemania XIV main event could be awesome. Mick Foley was certainly a highlight of the match, entering it three times. Marc Mero provided some funny moments whilst D-lo and Bradshaw both lasted over half an hour. It also makes you wonder whether this is the end of the Nation being that all but Kama were eliminated by fellow Nation members. The man at #22 who didn’t appear was Skull who was attacked by Los Boricuas earlier in the night. Austin becomes the third man to win back to back Rumbles.

And then came the main event between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. It was interesting how this came after the Royal Rumble match. But then it did last year too. Maybe that’s just what Shawn Michaels demands. Of course last year off the back of the Royal Rumble PPV the main event for Wrestlemania looked like it would be Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin but ended up as Sycho Sid vs. The Undertaker so I won’t jump to any conclusions. This main event was really good. Both of these men are pros and know how to entertain the audience. There were a lot of good spots and false finishes. I like the Royal Rumble 94 similarities with Los Boricuas and The New Age Outlaws coming out to help Michaels but the Kane twist was a good one. He cost his brother the title and you’d think Undertaker vs. Kane would be a lock for Wrestlemania.

Overall a really solid show with 6 decent matches. Hopefully the rest of 1998 follows suit because there was some great chemistry on this show which serves as a lead on to Wrestlemania. Good stuff.

Overall Rating: 69.5/100 (Ranked 2nd out of 77)

Match Of The Night: The Royal Rumble Match/WWF Title Match
Worst Match Of The Night: Goldust vs. Vader
Surprise Of The Night: Vader wins
Worst Booking Of The Night: Back to back DQ finishes
Superstar Of The Night: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Royal Rumble 98 Will Be Remembered For: Austin winning The Royal Rumble Match

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