Royal Rumble 1992
This is the biggest Royal Rumble card ever, and will never be surpassed simply for what was at stake. What we had here was a case of numerous immense talents getting a shot at a world title, and the setting and match format was perfect for it. Of course, the WWF had to fill the rest of the card as well. They did so in a way that still preserved the integrity of the Rumble and made sure that all the heavy hitters were in the match. That’s good booking. I’ve watched this show so many times, and the Royal Rumble on this show even more times. It has been quite a few years since checking this show out, so let’s see what’s up.
– January 19th, 1992, from Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York
The Royal Rumble opening video this year is excellent, as it was in 1991. No surprise there. No surprises on the list of participants either. There were some guys who hadn’t been on TV much, if at all, but they were still advertised as being part of the match. Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are the hosts and commentators, and this may be their best show of all as commentators. They surprised the fans by telling them about the Mountie beating Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship, which I’ve elaborated on the reasons for in my last article.
The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. The New Foundation
Pre-Match Thoughts: Once again the Orient Express opens the Royal Rumble, even though they’d done absolutely nothing in the months before this. The New Foundation only got a few chances to prove themselves, and this was one of those chances. I still cannot believe their outfits. They did have a good entrance theme.
Match Review: Owen gets the crowd into it at the start, right as he locks up with Kato. Owen flips out of a wristlock and puts one on him, then he flips out of a hammerlock that Kato puts on him and Owen arm drags him. He keeps the armbar on for a bit, until Kato grabs onto both of his arms and pushes him to the canvas with a knucklelock. Gorilla and Heenan aren’t really talking about the match. Owen does his backflip and hip toss counter, then takes Kato down with a hurricanrana. Neidhart tags in for the first time, and slaps on the armbar. He hip tosses Kato as well, and pushes him down with a choke. Tanaka makes his way in there, and tries a bodyslam that the Anvil blocks. Neidhart shoulderblocks Tanaka too, and Tanaka takes great bumps off those. Owen tags in, and after a Neidhart spinebuster, he flies off the top with an elbow drop that gets 2. Owen gives Tanaka a backbreaker for another 2 count, and dodges a charge with a backflip, leading to a backdrop. Owen hits Tanaka with an enzuigiri, and Neidhart makes a tag in. Neidhart shoulders Tanaka in the corner, and Kato finally gets tired of it, running in there for a double team. Neidhart hits them with a double clothesline, and in comes Owen for a cross body that takes them both out. Owen hits Kato with a spinning wheel kick for 2, and suplexes him for 2 again. Now Owen goes to a chinlock, and begins to attempt to take Kato’s mask off. Kato rolls to the outside, and gets back in to provide a distraction that allows Tanaka to kick Owen in the back. Fuji gets a cane shot in on the throat of Owen, and Kato goes to a choke. Tanaka switches in for a chinlock, then brings Kato in for a superkick that gets 2. He hits Owen with a back elbow to get 2 again, and tags back out. Owen takes his brother’s turnbuckle bump for 2, and gets kicked right in the face for 2 once more. Kato gets in there, and locks on the chinlock. Owen uses a crucifix for 2, but he can’t get out of there. Tanaka comes in for another thrust kick, and he headbutts Owen down low. Now he puts a chinlock on Owen, who fights out and gets hit with a big flying forearm for 2. Tanaka misses a charge to the corner and Owen drops him with a facebuster, but he gets cut off from the tag. As a result, the Express throws Owen into Fuji’s cane, which was set up in the corner. Owen gets his foot on the rope at 2, then Kato gives him a hammerlock slam. Tanaka tags in and headbutts Owen’s arm, while working the hammerlock. Owen does a belly to belly suplex for 2, but still can’t get out of there. The Express hits Owen with a double clothesline, but there’s another kick from Tanaka. Tanaka jumps on Owen’s back next, it gets 2 as well. Owen hits them with a double dropkick, and now he makes the tag!
Neidhart slingshots in with a shoulderblock to both guys, and slams them both too. Neidhart follows that with a backdrop, and a clothesline of Tanaka. A shoulderblock knocks Kato to the outside, and Owen does a dive through the ropes onto him! After a bodyslam by Neidhart, it’s time for the ROCKET LAUNCHER, and Owen covers for the win at 17:17.
My Thoughts: This was a good way to start the show even though the heat sequence was far too long. In any case, I thought this was a good display of tag wrestling and they couldn’t have picked a better match to open the show. The wrestling was crisp and the crowd reacted very strongly to Owen’s aerial moves. As I’ve seen here, there was just about nothing spectacular done in the air by anyone else in the WWF. Owen was different in that regard. ***.
It’s now time for the Mountie’s championship win to be explained. The story sold was that Bret was sick and took on this challenge even though he shouldn’t have. In reality, he was going to leave and go to WCW. They had the Mountie cradle Bret up, and beat him down with the belt until Roddy Piper showed up. Piper got in the ring and told the Mountie to leave, and when Piper turns his back and thinks the Mountie had left, the Mountie attacks Piper too. After a celebration, Piper gets up and knocks him out of the ring.
Roddy Piper vs. The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is one of my favorite matches. Before this starts, we have a promo from the Mountie and his manager. They trash talk Bret, and the Mountie has a problem with having to defend his title against Piper. A very big problem. Piper’s response was classic. He wanted to win two titles here, and said the Mountie was having a wet dream of sorts. You know, if they had Piper win both titles on this show, I think people would have bought it. Piper got a hero’s welcome, and if anyone could be called a people’s champion, it would be him.
Match Review: Piper attacks to start, which is a nice way to get this going. He smacks the Mountie around, and the Mountie ducks to the outside. Piper chases and belts him with a right hand, then they brawl on the outside for a bit. Back on the inside, Piper drops a fist on the Mountie to stop a monkey flip. Piper then bulldogs him, only getting 2 on the cover. He pokes Mountie in the eye, but Hart grabs him and Mountie attacks from behind. They trade punches for a bit, and Piper misses a dropkick. Mountie locks Piper up and drives him into the buckle a whole lot, then he hits Piper with a flying back elbow for 2. Mountie tosses Piper out of the ring, but Piper comes back in with a sunset flip that gets 2. Mountie tosses Piper to the outside again, but this time Piper ops right back up and gets in the ring. Piper then hits Mountie with a clothesline, and backdrops him. An atomic drop follows that, then Mountie skins the cat in from the outside. He hits his manager on accident after Piper dodgs a charge, so Piper locks on the SLEEPER! OUT HE GOES, AND PIPER IS THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION AFTER 5:20! Piper then gets the shock stick, and zaps Mountie with it to a huge pop.
My Thoughts: This is still one of my favorite matches, and instead of looking at it with profound sadness, going to look at it with happiness. This was a well deserved title for Piper, even though the match brought nothing to the table at all. Good idea to put it on him, *.
Lord Alfred Hayes wants to talk to Hogan, and actually gets inside the dressing room. Usually people get kicked out at that point. Hogan cuts a COLISEUM VIDEO EXCLUSIVE PROMO, and this wasn’t a bad one at all. He wasn’t too hyped up and did a lot of normal talking.
The Beverly Brothers (w/the Genius) vs. The Bushwhackers (w/Jamison)
Pre-Match Thoughts: I didn’t like this match as a kid, in fact I hated it. Kill me now. Watching this again is like a worst nightmare. Luke’s promo before this match was absolutely insane and made no sense at all. Jamison is a dork of the worst sort. They picked the right spot for this match too. Good chance for fans to take a piss before the LOD/Disasters match and the Rumble. The Genius always had fun poems, though. Heenan is on point for this one, had me laughing before it started.
Match Review: The Bushwhackers were stalling big time in order to kill as much time as possible, but eventually the match started with the Bushwhackers chasing the Beverly’s from the ring. Beau gives Luke a slap, then locks up with him and gets a clothesline from Blake to help him out. Beau runs in for a clothesline and gets bitten on the ass, which is not good. Then, the Bushwhackers knock these heels to the outside with forearms. The level of stalling here is painful. Blake makes a legal tag in, and there’s MORE stalling. The crowd is chanting that the match is boring, and I don’t blame them. This Jamison gimmick is really disgusting. Blake attacks Butch from behind, but Butch comes back with some knees and a bulldog. All four guys are in there now, and the Beverlys get thrown into each other and tripped. After double clotheslines, the ring is cleared again. Now Blake crawls under the ring, and they play an incredibly stupid distraction game that ends with a big pile of nothing. This is so awful. Eventually they team up on Luke and Beau hits him with a double axehandle, then drives an elbow into his back for 2. Blake gets in there and drives Luke back into the corner, then jumps on Luke’s back for a while. He gives Luke a backbreaker, then hits him with a diving headbutt for 2. Beau tags in for a knee drop, as Heenan and Gorilla keep me entertained with their shtick. Blake tags in there and drops an elbow, then drops Luke throat-first on the top rope. Blake clotheslines Luke after that, and tags out of there for a cover that gets 2. Beau throws Luke out of the ring, then the Genius gets in a slap on that dope Jamison. Beau takes Luke and throws him across the ring, then climbs up top for a double axehandle that gets 2. A neckbreaker by Blake is followed by a leg drop, then Beau switches back in. Luke hits Beau with a clothesline, and FINALLY makes the tag out. Butch hits Blake with clotheslines, then Beau gets one too. Now the Beverly Brothers take the BATTERING RAM , and Butch headbutts Blake for 2. Luke then knocks Beau over the top, and Beau’s able to trip Butch. Blake elbow drops Butch for 2, then Beau heads up top for a double axehandle. Blake covers, and hilariously, a double axehandle gets the win at 14:56.
Sadly, this segment still isn’t over. I wish it was. The Bushwhackers attacked after the bell, and hit them both with the BATTERING RAM. They went after the Genius next, and brought Jamison in to beat him up. Oh no. He kicks the Genius in the shin, and then out of the ring. Awful.
My Thoughts: This was a house show match brought to PPV in pretty much every way, including how terrible it was. This one cannot be sugarcoated at all. Look how long it was! What a joke of a match. Obviously, they were sent out to kill time and did exactly that. I don’t rate based on achieved objectives, so this is quite clearly a -* match to me. I hated it, and the commentary was the only thing that kept me able to watch it without typing about how stupid it was for the entirety of the review.
The Natural Disasters (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Legion of Doom for the WWF Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: Before the match, we have an interview from the champions. I’ve never paid attention to this match at all. I can’t really explain why, but maybe this match is simply boring. This also seems like a bad place to show the biggest tag team matchup that they had. At the same time, with Brian Knobbs having been stabbed, they couldn’t have had LOD face somebody else. The tag team division had been ruined, and resembled the current state of the WWE now that I think about it.
Match Review: Hawk and Typhoon kick it off, but their locking up amounts to nothing. Hawk’s shoulderblocks do nothing as well, but a forearm did something. He hits Typhoon with a flying clothesline from the top to knock him down, and Hawk gets in a shoving match with the Disasters. Earthquake tags in there, and gets hit with a dropkick that does nothing. Quake misses a dropkick of his own, and Hawk drops a fist on him. Animal tags in there, and these guys start trading bombs with nobody going down. Animal and Quake clothesline each other, and now they both go down. Animal gets up and tries a bodyslam, but Quake falls on top for 2. Typhoon tags in there, and Quake sends him in for an avalanche that crushes Animal. The second one misses, so Animal nearly takes Typhoon’s head off with a clothesline. Hawk tags in and lands punches too, but his clotheslines do nothing. Hawk goes for a cross body, and Typhoon catches him for a backbreaker. Typhoon tags out of there, and Quake sets Hawk up for a big elbow drop that gets 2. Typhoon tags back in, and jumps on Hawk’s back repeatedly. Typhoon then applies a bear hug, and Hawk has to sell while trying not to laugh. Hawk gets out of the hold and Typhoon catches him again, so Quake tags in once more. He starts walking on Hawk, then goes to his own bear hug. Quake misses a splash in the corner, so Hawk hits him with an elbow from the second rope. Animal finally tags back in, and he drops Earthquake with a flying shoulderblock. Typhoon runs in there, and the Disasters go for a double back suplex, but Animal flips through and clotheslines them both. Now all four guys are on the outside, and Hawk clotheslines Typhoon from the apron. Quake slams Animal on the floor, and puts Hawk in a bear hug, as the bell rings at 9:22. The Disasters won via count-out, as Typhoon had gotten back in the ring. So, Hawk and Animal beat them up with a chair to end the whole deal.
My Thoughts: This wasn’t good, but in comparison to the last match, it felt good. I do not think these four could have had a better match than this either. Big against bigger wasn’t such a great mix for LOD, and even with the Skyscrapers those matches weren’t spectacular. Also, they were having to carry someone really bad in Typhoon. I feel sorry about saying that. *1/2. The finish was weaker than weak and I don’t know why they did it.
With that match over, Jimmy Hart is there to cut a promo on behalf of his team. He is very unhappy. The Disasters said they were going to get attorneys involved, even though they didn’t win the match in a way that should have won them the titles.
I suppose it’s intermission, so Roddy Piper is with Mean Gene to talk about his title win. Another good promo from him.
Sean Mooney is in the locker room for a promo by Shawn Michaels, who appears to be calling himself the Heartbreak Kid. The Barber Shop with Marty Jannetty was shown too. Shawn doesn’t see the big deal in what he’s done. He’s rocking a sick mullet.
Lord Alfred is with Ric Flair, who says he drew #3 in a Coliseum Video exclusive promo. These were measured comments on his part, and he said he’d win the WWF Championship. He was not wrong.
Mean Gene says it’s time to hear thoughts from the participants.
First, the Macho Man. He said he wanted to get after Jake Roberts at some point, and said he was going to be the WWF Champion again.
There’s Sid Justice! He’s back from his bicep injury.
Repo Man did a funny bit, where he said he’d take the WWF Championship in the end. Good gimmick.
The British Bulldog talked about winning the battle royal in London, he did fine.
Jake Roberts did far better than that in his promo, and he said he’ll be there when Randy Savage enters the match. Trust him.
Ric Flair has another promo, this time assisted by Mr. Perfect. Also, much louder.
Undertaker said a few things, if only he got his title back here. He’d have to wait five more years instead.
Hulk Hogan has what I assume to be the last promo, and said he was going to prove the power of Hulkamania. He had a battle plan and was going to RUMBLE ALL OVER YOU.
THE ROYAL RUMBLE FOR THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is the Rumble with the most starpower of them all, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t think of a bigger one than this. It is funny that they resorted to bringing in Nikolai Volkoff and Haku as substitutes, but in any case, this is something great to watch and I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. Also, now that I think about it, this has to be the last WWF show that I feel like I’ve watched too many times. WrestleMania 8 is close, but I’m feeling good about this now. Howard Finkel was there to explain the rules, then Jack Tunney walked out to explain what was at stake. He bumbled through his speech and nobody cared.
Match Review: First up, as #1, we have the British Bulldog! #2 is Ted DiBiase! Sherri’s outfit was…something. DiBiase dives into the ring, so here we go. Bulldog has a charge to the corner blocked, and DiBiase chops away at him. A clothesline follows that, then DiBiase suplexes him. He then uses a gutwrench suplex, and drops some fists. That’s hard work he’s doing in there. DiBiase takes Bulldog over with another suplex, and goes to throw Bulldog out only for him to land on the apron and clothesline DiBiase over the top at 1:19! #3 comes out, and as everyone knows…IT’S RIC FLAIR! He walks that aisle, and gets in the ring to an excellent reaction. Bulldog shoves him to the canvas, and press slams him. He clotheslines Flair too, and gets poked in the eye. After another clothesline, #4 walks to the ring, and it is Jerry Sags. Bulldog beats Flair up a little more, but Sags runs in and clotheslines Bulldog to stop that. Bulldog clotheslines them both in return, after getting his chest chopped relentlessly. Sags nearly gets thrown out by Davey, grabs the ropes, and Davey has to run over to dropkick him out at 5:25. #5 is Haku, who gets in there after Bulldog powerslams Flair. Haku attacks Bulldog, and turns his attention to Flair next. Flair hits him back, and ducks to the outside to run away from him. Haku PILEDRIVES Bulldog, and Flair goes to rake Haku’s eyes right after. Flair drops a knee on Haku, but Bulldog smashes him into the buckle. Bulldog dumps Haku out, and #6 enters…it’s THE HEARTBREAK KID! Michaels gets resoundly booed, and Flair attacks him. They trade chops, and Michaels gives flair a backdrop. After a superkick, Michaels turns his attention to Bulldog, who press slams him. After a clothesline by Michaels on Buldlog, Michaels clutches onto the ropes to stay in the Rumble. This is fantastic. Flair tries to throw Michaels out, but HBK rakes the eyes. Bulldog then kicks Michaels into a crotched position on the ropes, and shakes them up and down to hurt him more. #7 is El Matador! Flair goes after him too, and nearly gets thrown over the top. Bulldog goes after Michaels, and Flair drops El Matador with a back suplex. Flair then hits Bulldog in the balls, and El Matador stops him from throwing Bulldog over the top. Santana hits Flair with the FLYING FOREARM, and #8 is the Barbarian.
Flair hits Santana with a shotgun-like chop, and Barbarian goes to eliminate Bulldog while Flair punches Bulldog over and over. This was a bit of a dead period, but it’s time for #9. That man is the Texas Tornado, another guy who has history with Flair! Tornado goes right after him and hits him with the TORNADO PUNCH, knocking him down. He hits Michaels with one too, then Michaels eats a turnbuckle after a slingshot from Bulldog. Bulldog tries to put Michaels out of the ring again, but it isn’t happening yet. #10 is REPO MAN! He slinks down to the ring, as Barbarian gives Santana an atomic drop. Flair nearly eliminates Bulldog again, as Santana takes Barbarian down with a cross body. Flair throws Santana through the second rope, but that doesn’t get an elimination in this match. #11 is Greg Valentine, this is a good spot for him. He hits all the heels with some elbows, and trades chops with Flair! These were ridiculously hard chops too. Flair goes low on Repo Man, as #12 comes out. Nikolai Volkoff got no reaction, even getting boos after having turned face a year and a half before. He and Repo Man go to battle, as Flair and Valentine continue to do. Valentine slaps the FIGURE-FOUR on Flair, until Barbarian breaks it. Repo Man backdrops Volkoff out at 21:27, first elimination in some time. #13 is the BIG BOSS MAN, who enters the ring in a fury. He goes to work on everyone, and Repo Man throws Valentine out in the middle of that. Boss Man belts Michaels and tries to throw him out, but that’s not happening. Boss Man dumps Repo Man to the outside, eliminating him. Flair backdrops Davey over the top, eliminating him after 23:37. Tornado goes out next with a backdrop from Flair, and Michaels tumbles out with El Matador. Hercules enters at #14, and for some reason he goes at Flair too. Hercules looks bloated and in bad shape here. Flair turns on Barbarian and chops him, but Barbarian press slams him too. Barbarian tries to throw Flair out, but Hercules throws him out instead. Boss Man throws Hercules out too, and Flair thinks he’s alone in the ring, but he isn’t. Flair pokes Boss Man in the eye, but Boss Man levels him with a clothesline. Boss Man charges at Flair, but wrecks himself on the ropes when Flair moves out of the way and flies out at 25:53.
#15 is ROWDY RODDY PIPER! This got such a big pop, and the crowd was on FIRE. Piper beats Flair up and backdrops him too, then hits Flair with a knee lift. Flair rolls to the outside, but Piper follows and clotheslines him. Back in they go, and Piper no-sells a rope choke. He beats Flair up in the corner, and pokes him in the eye. Piper clotheslines Flair again, and goes for an AIRPLANE SPIN! The SLEEPER is locked on, and I guess if Flair goes to sleep, it’ll be easy to put him out. #16 turns out to be JAKE ROBERTS! Roberts rolls into the corner and lets Piper keep the sleeper on Flair, and when Piper turns his back, Roberts attacks him. Roberts chokes Piper with his boot, and when Flair shakes hands with Roberts, the snake man drops him with a short clothesline. He goes for the DDT, but Piper gets up and clotheslines him. Flair locks Roberts in the FIGURE-FOUR, but Piper walks over and kicks them both. This rules. The psychology in this match is PERFECT. #17 is HACKSAW! He charges into the ring and goes after Flair too, clotheslining him. He beats up Roberts next, and Piper turns on ol’ Hacksaw to beat him up too. Flair gives Piper a back suplex, and Roberts drops Hacksaw with an inverted atomic drop. #18 is Irwin R. Schyster, who takes his time getting to the arena. The commentary in this match is good, but I can’t transcribe any of it as the action is tough enough to keep up with. Hacksaw and IRS trade shots, then Roberts and Flair try to get rid of Piper. Hacksaw gives those two a noggin-knocker, as everyone works over everyone at this point. #19 is the SUPERFLY, who doesn’t get a real positive reaction either. He headbutts Flair, then he and Hacksaw team up on Roberts. Snuka nearly chops IRS over the top, as Flair gets destroyed by some chops from Piper. Piper nearly throws Flair out, but again he stops it. #20 is THE UNDERTAKER!
He slowly walks to the ring, and when he gets in there, he grabs Snuka and throws him out at 37:13. Next up, Taker goes after Flair and chokes the lights out of him to a huge pop. Test for his face turn, perhaps. Taker kicks Hacksaw down low, and teams up with IRS to beat Hacksaw up. #21 is the MACHO MAN, who guns it down to the ring and runs right for Roberts! Jake ducks to the outside and hides, like a true snake would do. Savage can’t find him, so Taker attacks him from behind and puts a choke on him. Roberts gets up and gets back into the ring, and helps his buddy beat Savage up. That’s cold. Savage ducks out of the short clothesline, then starts beating Roberts up! He heads up top, and down he comes with a double axehandle. A running knee to the back follows that, and out Jake goes at 39:30! Savage jumps over the top to attack, which was quite a mistake seeing as they’d have to come up with a bogus explanation to cover it. Taker follows and pulls Savage off Roberts, then throws Savage back in there. That being said, Savage crawls back to the outside and gets beaten up a little more. Savage gets back in the ring, because Savage had to be propelled by something else and couldn’t eliminate himself. Sure. Hacksaw tries to dump Taker over the top, but that gets blocked and he gets choked. Flair tries to hit Taker in the balls, but that doesn’t get sold too much. #22 is the Berzerker, who goes after the Undertaker. Hacksaw gives Berzerker an atomic drop, and Flair’s on the apron for some reason. He tries to suplex Savage over the top, but Savage reverses that into his own. Piper and Taker then choke Flair, only for Taker to wind up choking them both. #23 is Virgil, who goes after IRS for some reason. Virgil takes a big beating from the heels, as Heenan accuses him of stealing from the boys. THAT’S RACIST. Taker grabs Flair with a choke and drags him to the canvas, then tries to dump him out. Somehow, Flair holds on and gets back into the ring. #24 is Col. Mustafa, yet another WWF Champion! Berzerker gives Virgil a PILEDRIVER, and IRS hits Virgil with a leg drop to the nuts. Why are these guys teaming up on Virgil? This is ridiculous. Savage and Flair are going after each other, as it’s time for #25…Rick Martel. He got a good draw. He goes after Virgil too, and looks completely different after his hiatus from the WWF. He tries to throw Flair out, and Savage backdrops Mustafa over the top at 48:48. Hacksaw gets a USA chant going for no reason, as #26 shows up…
IT’S THE HULKSTER! The building explodes, and he goes for the Undertaker. We have a mini-match between the two, after the remaining heels work Hogan over, he takes Taker and clotheslines him over the top at 50:58. Berzerker takes a backdrop right after that, and out he goes! Virgil and Hacksaw then eliminate each other, we’ve only got a few guys in there now. #27 is Skinner, who gets no reaction. Hogan picks Flair up and tries to get rid of him, but IRS stops that. Flair and Piper trade chops yet again, as Skinner tries to choke Hogan out. Martel and Flair nearly throw Piper out, then Hogan hits Flair with a clothesline. #28 enters the arena, and it’s Sgt. Slaughter. He got a mixed reaction. Martel throws Skinner out at 54:18, as Slaughter goes after Flair. The match has settled down some, before the big climax. #29 is SID JUSTICE! He got a pop rivaling Hogan’s, but it wasn’t sustained like Hogan’s. He goes to work on IRS, but can’t even throw the guy over the top. That makes him look bad. Flair chops at Hogan now, and Sid decides to grab Flair. Bad news for the Nature Boy. Sid picks him up, but I don’t see him going out. Sid does a kip-up and clothesline on Flair, which makes no sense. No big deal. #30 is the Warlord, who doesn’t even matter to me. Sid takes Slaughter and throws him into the corner, where Sarge does his big corner bump and flies over the top at 58:56. Meanwhile, Hogan gives Flair a suplex on the outside. They get back in there and Flair eats a big boot, as Sid works on IRS. IRS tries to throw out Piper, but Piper grabs the tie of IRS and out he goes at 59:50. Sid and Hogan then throw Warlord out at 1:00:13, no surprise there. Piper and Martel try to get rid of each other, so Sid walks over and pushes them both out at 1:00:38.
We’re down to the final four! We have Savage, Sid, Hogan, and Flair! Sid tries to get rid of Savage, and Flair runs over with a knee that knocks Savage to the outside at 1:01:02! Flair then nearly does his upside down bump, but fails and winds up on the apron as Sid watches Hogan pound on him. Sid throws Hogan out of the ring at 1:01:32, which was a massive surprise for the fans! Couldn’t believe that the first time I saw this either. Sid was also resoundingly cheered for doing it. Sid laughs at Hogan and says it’s EVERYONE FOR HIMSELF. He shouldn’t have been taunting. Hogan grabs Sid and gets booed for doing it, then Flair walks over and WINS THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP BY THROWING SID OUT AT 1:02:02! To have Hogan help Flair win the match made him look so bad. Heenan’s celebration after the match is one of the best things ever. Looks like a lot of the boys hung out in the aisle to see the finish too. Heenan and Perfect wound up meeting Flair in the aisle, which was really as good as it gets. What a moment. Now we have Sid and Hogan pushing each other in the ring, with Hogan getting booed when trying to play to the crowd. That’s really incredible to me, and certainly was to everyone else I’m sure. Sid even got chants of his own! The WWF learned from this, and for a little while, all potentially controversial turns, or builds to turns were done where they could control the crowd reaction. To me, this is still the best moment in the history of the WWE. I can’t ever see that changing.
My Thoughts: Much like the Piper/Mountie match earlier, this is one of my favorite matches, although for entirely different reasons. This is the greatest one man performance in the history of wrestling as far as I’m concerned. Flair did absolutely everything to make sure that the entirety of the match was interesting and entertaining. To me, outside of a few slight moments, it really was. ***** is my rating, not that it matters. Flair had so many issues over the years with so many people in the Rumble, that was a factor too. Like I said, I’m sure they were surprised by the reaction to the Sid and Hogan bit at the end. I’m glad the WWE Network version of this did not edit the crowd into cheering for Hogan. Also of note was seeing Piper in the match for so long. I can’t recall him being in any other match for this period of time. This is also the last Rumble I’ve watched more than 2 or 3 times, so I’m excited to see what’s ahead.
Lastly, we get a promo from Ric Flair in the back. Jack Tunney was there to present him with his newly won title, and he said that he WAS AND IS THE REAL WORLD’S CHAMPION. He puts over the WWF Championship, and did his best promo where he said this was the title that made you THE REAL #1. Heenan puts Flair over some too, and Perfect is sure to say that they told everyone this would happen. He then put over his competition, and said THEY BETTER PAY HOMAGE TO THE MAN. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
One thing I was thinking about during the Rumble, and during the show in general, was the amount of roster turnover between this and the Rumble the following year. I have never watched the 1993 Rumble event. There are actually quite a few of these I haven’t seen. Look at the difference in rosters, though. It’s amazing and not in a good way. This show, however, was amazing in a good way. Despite how not good some of the matches are, that doesn’t really bother me at all. It’s a time capsule show, and in many ways the difference between one era and the era that followed. I could talk about the Rumble match for the better part of an hour, I think. Next up will be a double dose of WCW, with matches between Starrcade and Clash 18, and Clash 18.
Wrestling Time: 1:48:57. Like all other Rumble shows, there was a lot of wrestling on it. That’s the format.
Best: Royal Rumble. Clearly. It must be the best one of them all.
Worst: Bushwhackers vs. Beverly Brothers. This was disgusting. Jamison chewing on his tie and all that was sick shit.
Card Rating: 8/10. Loved it, match quality isn’t there to put it higher, and it is a one match show. A great one match show.