Heading into this Royal Rumble is a major throwback for me. I haven’t seen this event in about 20 years, and it was the first wrestling event that I ever watched. I remember really enjoying the WWF Championship match, as well as thinking the Royal Rumble was cool. If I’d watched a show that wasn’t a Rumble, it’s entirely possible I wouldn’t be writing this article right now. It’s fair to say the WWF did a good job disguising their plans. Anyway, it’s time to get to the show. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.
– January 22nd, 1994, from the Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island
Vince McMahon was alone at the commentary position, but it’s very unlikely he’d ever commentate on a show by himself in that era. Here comes Ted DiBiase to join him! That’s a good surprise.
Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Luna Vachon) vs. Tatanka
Pre-Match Thoughts: It’s surreal to see this knowing it’s the first wrestling match that I ever watched. Doesn’t hold any importance to me besides that. Anyway, Bigelow stepped in for Ludvig Borga, who’d injured his ankle. The roster was so thin that almost everyone on the undercard would be pulling double duty. Tatanka didn’t have red hair anymore!
Match Review: Bigelow tries to crush Tatanka in the corner, but Tatanka moves out of the way. So Bigelow dropkicks him instead, then runs straight into a clothesline. Tatanka knocks Bigelow down with his own dropkick, then a cross body gets 2. He arm drags Bigelow, then gets up and drops him with a DDT. Tatanka heads up top, then misses a cross body. This crowd is hot. Bigelow then splashes Tatanka in the corner, and misses a charge to the other side. Tatanka goes up top again, and this time he comes down with a sunset flip that Bigelow blocks with a butt splash. They get up again, and Bigelow hits Tatanka with a dropkick for 2. Bigelow goes to a bear hug, until Tatanka fights out and runs into a shoulderblock. Bigelow does that again, then Tatanka comes back with a powerslam for 2. Tatanka and Bigelow run into each other, then Tatanka starts no-selling everything until Bigelow kicks him in the back of the head. The crowd liked that. Bigelow goes up top now, but he misses a moonsault. Now Tatanka goes up top, and flies down with a cross body that gets the three count at 8:12.
My Thoughts: If not for the super long bear hug, I would have liked this match much more. They packed quite a bit into the finish, and what happened there was pretty good. There’s not a lot to say about this other than that a Ludvig Borga match would definitely have been worse. **.
The Hart Brothers vs. The Quebecers (w/Johnny Polo) for the WWF Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: This match has really stuck with me for the duration of my time watching wrestling. I can’t think of any heel turn that resonated with me more and felt more important. It’s funny to say that when Owen was a nothing on WWF TV until they were ready to start his turn. I know that now, but I didn’t know that then. It feels like the whole reason the Quebecers lost their titles was to sell some tickets for the card at the Garden. Owen’s promos were very subtly hinting at this heel turn as well. Constantly saying Bret would be behind him.
Match Review: Bret and Pierre lock up, and Pierre bodyslams him. Bret comes back with a knee to the gut, then tags in Owen for a double axehandle from the top. Pierre shoulders Owen down, but Owen comes back with a hip toss for 2. Jacques makes a tag in, and Owen doesn’t want to shake hands with him. Owen and Jacques then blow a spot, and Owen has to suplex him instead. Owen dropkicks him, then Jacques retreats to his corner. Jacques teases a nut shot, but instead Owen hits him with an enzuigiri for 2. Bret tags in there, and hits Jacques with an elbow smash from the second rope for 2. A small package gets 2, then Bret sunset flips Jacques for 2. A rolling cradle gets 2, then Pierre runs in to break the cover and ram Owen into the buckle. With all four in there, they do a spot where Owen gets thrown into rolling up Jacques for 2. The Quebecers take a break, and when they get ready to go again, it’s Jacques getting an inverted atomic drop from Bret. Bret hits him with a gut shot, then Pierre gets brought in the hard way. Owen tags in, boots Pierre in the face, and nails him with a clothesline for 2. Owen gutwrench suplexes Pierre for 2, then he drops a leg for 2. Very impressed with the Quebecers bumping here. Bret tags back in again, and this time Pierre powerslams him for 2. Jacques switches in, and he draws Owen into the ring so Pierre can choke Bret with the tag rope. Jacques boots Bret for 2, then tags back out. They hit Bret with a double chop, then Pierre jumps and lands on Bret’s back. That looked like it hurt. Jacques covers for 2, then hits Bret with a back elbow. Pierre gets back in, and goes to the second rope only to eat Bret’s foot on the way down.
Owen makes the tag in, and hits both guys with dropkicks. He backdrops Jacques, then takes Pierre out with a belly to belly. Owen hits Jacques with a spinning wheel kick, then locks the SHARPSHOOTER on him. Pierre bulldogs Owen to break it, then they pick Owen up for a double hot shot that gets 2. Owen comes back with a double dropkick, then makes the tag to Bret. Bret dropkicks Pierre to start off his offense. He follows up with a Russian leg sweep on Jacques, then gives Pierre a backbreaker. The pace of this match is incredible. Bret gives them a noggin-knocker, then goes for a double team and Johnny Polo pulls the ropes down on him so he falls out of the ring. BRET HAS HURT HIS KNEE. Pierre jumps off the steps and lands on it, then they just keep kicking him with the referee isn’t paying attention. Jacques grabs a chair and whacks Bret with it, then Owen gets thrown into the rail. Bret’s been outside of the ring for a long time. Jacques whacks Bret’s knee with a putter, then Owen chases him off. Bret essentially has just had to sit there for the last couple minutes. Owen puts Bret in the ring, and now Jacques and Pierre really go to work on the knee. Jacques slaps a half crab on him, but Owen kicks him in the face. Pierre comes in with a leg drop from the top onto the back of Bret’s neck, and Bret sells that by not even moving. Pierre then flies off the top with a senton bomb, but Bret rolls out of the way. Bret tries to lock the SHARPSHOOTER on Pierre, but he can’t stand up anymore. Jacques tags in, and now the referee stops the match. That was abrupt. The referee awarded the match to the Quebecers because Bret cannot continue after 16:48. Like I said, that was abrupt.
Owen is really upset. He feels like he could have tagged in. Now he focuses his attention on berating Bret. The crowd is getting angry, but that pales in comparison to when…OWEN KICKS HIS LEG OUT OF HIS LEG. That got a lot of boos. Owen said that Bret was too damn selfish as he walked to the back. How mean! As Bret gets put on a stretcher, we have Todd Pettengill with Owen Hart, where the infamous line is delivered. Hilarious promo. Couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. THERE’S NOT A SELFISH BONE IN MY BODY.
My Thoughts: This was going spectacularly as a match until the angle happened. Trending towards a top match. It didn’t quite finish that way, but this was still great. The match itself is probably underrated. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this. Why wouldn’t you like this? It was ultimately beneficial for the WWF to have gone through with this whole scenario, as in doing so they took a rare step of elevating somebody from unimportant on the card to quite important. It was funny that they made it look so obvious Bret wouldn’t participate in the Rumble, which would clear the way for Lex Luger to win it. In theory, anyway. ***1/2. One of my favorite angles.
Irwin R. Schyster vs. Razor Ramon for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: This feud and match was set up a long time ago, but they did nothing with it on television and it doesn’t feel important at all. By contrast, HBK/Razor did feel important, but they didn’t want to do that match on this show. Why would they? No reason to. IRS having no music at this juncture of WWF history is amusing. Instead he had a microphone and did his usual bit. Why did they switch over to Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross for this match?
Match Review: IRS slaps Razor, which makes him angry and leads to Razor knocking him out of the ring. I nearly forgot that IRS stole Razor’s gold necklaces. IRS gets back in there and rams Razor into the buckle, but Razor comes back with some right hands to send IRS to the outside. When it starts again, Razor takes IRS out with an atomic drop and clothesline for 2. IRS comes back by throwing Razor over the top, then throws him into the post and clotheslines him. IRS follows with a bodyslam, then goes up top and comes down with an elbow drop for 2. That was neat. He was going to eat Razor’s boot, and instead moved out of the way. IRS drops a leg low on Razor, then another leg drop gets 2. IRS goes to a chinlock, and it’s a long one. Razor fights out of it, then picks IRS up for a fallaway slam that gets 2. Razor then gets whipped into the referee, knocking him out. IRS grabs his briefcase, but instead Razor gets it and clocks him with it. There’s nobody to count the cover, at which point Razor decides to take IRS up top for the back superplex. That one didn’t look too bad. Razor goes for the RAZOR’S EDGE, but out runs Shawn Michaels to hit Razor with his fake IC title. This crowd is still super hot. IRS crawls over for the cover not knowing what happened, and he covers Razor for the title victory at 10:46!
Now a referee comes out from the back, and he points out what happened. So, THE MATCH WILL CONTINUE. Razor grabs IRS and drops him with the RAZOR’S EDGE, then pins him for the real victory at 11:47. The crowd absolutely loved that.
My Thoughts: The match was nothing special, and really there wasn’t much about this that was very good. The resthold segment was way too long, and there was tons of dead time between Razor losing the match and subsequently winning the match. I’m not a fan of IRS as any follower of this series would know, and obviously I feel like it was difficult for anyone to have a good match with him. *1/4. Michaels running out there was slick but he shouldn’t have left his belt.
The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) in a CASKET MATCH for the WWF Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: This is quite the controversial one among some people. I don’t know what I think of it now because I haven’t seen it in ages. Who knows? The build to this match was really good. I went over it in my last article. As a kid, I feel like this really helped everything stick for me. In hindsight this is extremely creepy. They’re talking about Yokozuna dying, and well, he did. The way these videos are presented makes this feel like 1990 WWF still. Jim Cornette did a hell of a job selling this match. He’s previously said that he didn’t care much for managing Yokozuna, but put a microphone in front of someone like that and they’ll do great work anyway. Yokozuna was looking even fatter than the last time I saw him. Not exaggerating.
Match Review: Yoko misses a charge to the corner at the start, and that leads to Taker hitting him with a series of clotheslines to knock him down. Taker then knocks Yoko out of the ring, and Yoko runs himself into the post. Yoko comes back with a steps shot, but Taker no-sells it and rams him into them instead. Yoko runs back into the ring, and Taker goes up for OLD SCHOOL. Taker misses a clothesline, and now he rolls to the outside. Yoko grabs a chair, and Taker blocks his attempt. Then Taker whacks him across his fat back and right on the head. This crowd is HYPED, feeling a potential title change. Taker grabs another chair to hit Yoko with, but afterward Yoko grabs some salt and throws it in his face. Yoko rams Taker into the steps again, and now it’s his turn to hit Taker with the chair. One of the shots is to the back of the head, which obviously doesn’t look very good these days. Yoko keeps ramming him into the steps, then we go back into the ring. Yoko runs Taker over with a clothesline, then goes to roll him into the casket for the first time. Taker grabs Yoko’s feet though, then gets back into the ring and they trade shots until Yokozuna drops Taker with a belly to belly suplex. Taker sits up and grabs onto a choke, which leads to a chokeslam. Undertaker follows with a DDT, then rolls Yokozuna into the casket. Before he can close it, out comes CRUSH to stop him. The match was great until this point I should note.
Crush throws Taker back into the ring, and Taker wallops him with a clothesline. Now the Great Kabuki runs out there, and so does Genichiro Tenryu. Haha. Taker clotheslines them both, and then it’s Bam Bam Bigelow out there. Finally all the heels take over and beat Taker up. They try to throw Taker into the casket with Yokozuna, and Bearer runs around and hits Fuji and Cornette with the urn. I don’t even know how he lost it. Taker starts throwing everyone into the casket, until Bigelow grabs Fuji’s salt bucket and hits Crush with it on accident. Adam Bomb is out there, and he and Bigelow get clocked with the bucklet a lot. THERE’S DOUBLE J. Taker fights him off too, and out come the Headshrinkers. LOL. Yokozuna finally crawls back into the ring, as two of his family members and six other guys try to get rid of the Undertaker for good. Taker gets up as they all celebrate, but he can’t fight al these people off. Then Diesel walks out there for good measure just to stand there as Taker gets rolled into the casket. Was Diesel taking a shit? Taker fights his way out of the casket, but then Diesel takes part by attacking Taker from behind. Yokozuna gets the urn and knocks Bearer off the apron, then busts it over Taker’s head. The logic gaps here are totally astounding. Then they take the lid off the urn and some green gimmick comes out of it. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. A bunch of the guys hit Taker with their big moves, and this time he doesn’t get up. Eventually he’s rolled into the casket and loses the bout after 14:20.
My Thoughts: There’s so much ground to go over as it pertains to this match. I guess I’ll do everything in order. The sequence of the bout when it was just Taker and Yokozuna was excellent. They worked very hard and the pace was really fast. The build to this match was great too. I don’t know how anyone could watch this and not like those two parts at least. Once the heels entered the match, it seemed like a pathetic attempt to get some of them the heat they had previously been lacking. It didn’t really work either. I don’t recall any of them having more heat as a result of this than they did before. You can also argue that Diesel got his heat from what happened later in the Rumble and by being pushed down everyone’s throat once Vince saw something in him. I don’t think this was properly booked at all. They could have had two or three guys walk out there and hold Taker down as Yokozuna hit him with some banzai drops to get rid of him. This didn’t make Yokozuna look good either. He was effectively beaten, and it made it mean less when he eventually lost the title. The Undertaker also had his gimmick killed in a way both by this and how he returned to the WWF. I don’t really know how to rate this because I liked half of it a lot and hated the other half. *.
As the heels wheel Taker to the back, more of the green gimmick comes out of the casket as the bell tolls, which is clearly leading nowhere good. They show a video on the big screen with Taker inside the casket, then he wakes up and gives a speech. Then “the Undertaker” raises up from the big screen and floats there. Dude. Marty Jannetty is a good actor.
Starting off our series of Royal Rumble promos was the Macho Man. Jeff Jarrett did one next, then Tatanka. I don’t associate these people with these promos. Diesel followed, then Doink, Shawn Michaels, and Lex Luger. Mixing Luger in with everyone else makes him feel unimportant, even though he was the last one.
THE ROYAL RUMBLE
Pre-Match Thoughts: I believe they effectively killed the crowd, so I’ll be shocked if it was as hot for this as it was the other matches. The fans didn’t know what to make of this. The assumption was that Savage would be in it and that Luger would win it. It seemed obvious that Bret Hart would not be in it. All hands were on deck for this match, they needed everyone in the Rumble that could be in it. They didn’t tell the crowd they were shaving time.
Match Review: Our #1 is Scott Steiner, who enters to minimal reaction. Don’t know if that indicates anything about the crowd just yet. #2 is Samu, and that’s because the Steiners didn’t want to fight each other. Vince announces that people will enter the match every 90 seconds, as Samu clotheslines Scott in the corner. Scott comes back with a STEINERLINE, then a double underhook powerbomb. There’s no reaction to any of this stuff. Samu clotheslines Scott again, and it’s time for #3, who is Rick Steiner. He walks down to the ring so slowly even though his brother is nearly eliminated, then gets in and clobbers Samu. Rick looks like the very example of demotivated. He takes Samu down with a belly to belly, then Scott suplexes Samu. This is not a good start. Rick hits Samu with a STEINERLINE, then it’s time for #4 right as Samu does the hangman’s spot and drops down to the floor at 3:15. #4 is KWANG, who enters before the Steiners can fight each other. Kwang spits green mist into Rick’s face, and that’s not the most hilarious thing about this gimmick. You can tell Kwang isn’t Asian just by looking at him. Scott takes him down with a belly to belly suplex, and #5 is Owen Hart. Big negative reaction for him! He attacks Rick Steiner, who has bad eyes because of the mist. Owen picks Rick up, and Rick topples over the top and gets eliminated at 5:49.
#6 is Bart Gunn, who also enters to no reaction. He attacks Owen, who nearly eliminates him while Scott is working on Kwang. Apparently something’s happened in the back. First we see #7, who is DIESEL. Diesel goes after everyone, including Owen Hart. Diesel throws Bart over the top at 8:56, and Scott Steiner goes out right after. So does Owen Hart. Diesel then takes Kwang and clotheslines him over the top, getting quite the babyface reaction. Bob Backlund runs out there as #8, and tries to crawl under Diesel, pick him up, and eliminate him. This is the best thing so far. Diesel punches him to stop that, then dumps Backlund to the outside at 10:19. Hilarious that anyone would cheer Diesel for any reason after his participation in getting rid of the Undertaker. #9 is Billy Gunn, who runs straight into a big boot and gets tossed over the top. This is fun. In the back, apparently Tenryu and Kabuki are beating up Lex Luger! MY GOODNESS. #10 is Virgil, and I expect he won’t be there long. Diesel throws him into the corner repeatedly, but misses a charge to the other side. Virgil tries to get rid of him, but instead Diesel hits him with some sick elbows and throws him out at 13:14. I think Virgil stiffed Diesel, because now Diesel is bleeding. #11 is THE MACHO MAN, who walks out to a massive pop. Savage goes right after the big man, and chokes him in the corner. He rams him into the buckle, pops him with an elbow, and clotheslines him too. Savage tries to eliminate Diesel, but that’s not going to happen yet. Jeff Jarrett runs out as #12, and he makes the save to keep Diesel in the match. The logic there, man. Jarrett picks Savage up and slams him, then goes to the second rope for a fist drop. Jarrett follows with a dropkick, then goes up top for a clothesline. Double J knows how to get some heat. He nearly eliminates Savage, but Savage crawls back in and knees him into Diesel. Then Savage throws Jarrett over the top at 17:13. I don’t really understand that.
#13 is Crush, who comes out at the perfect time. Savage attacks him, but he’s overmatched by these two. He hits Crush with a running elbow, then goes up top for a double axehandle. A bodyslam follows that, then Savage goes up again for a double axehandle. Crush attacks Savage from behind thanks to Diesel’s distraction, then gives him a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Diesel drops an elbow on Savage, then #14 runs out. It’s…DOINK. Come on. Crush picks Savage up and deposits him over the top at 18:51. The crowd is finally back. Doink gets in the ring and watches Diesel and Crush slug it out, which is for the best because this Doink can’t work. Doink squirts water in their faces, then kicks them in the shins and pokes them in the eyes. Diesel and Crush now team up on Doink, hitting him with a double clothesline. Diesel and Crush would be a sick big man tag team, I think. Bam Bam Bigelow is #15, and he goes after Doink too. Why wouldn’t he? He picks Doink up for a gorilla press, and throws him out of the ring at 20:35. Diesel and Crush summarily try to get rid of Bigelow, but it isn’t happening. The babyface side of the roster is really bad, by the look of this Rumble. #16 is Mabel, which should liven things up. Four huge men in the ring. Mabel wants Diesel, who beats him up in the corner for a bit. Mabel turns the tables and crushes Diesel in the corner, then crushes Crush too. No pun intended. Mabel runs Bigelow over too, then it’s time for #17. It’s SPARKY PLUGG. He replaced the 1-2-3 Kid, who hurt his knee. That’s hilarious. Crush kicks Plugg in the face, so nobody cares about him. I think Plugg and Kwang are the first examples of their gimmicks being too excessive and dull. #18 is Shawn Michaels, so we’re into the part of the match where quality shows up.
Diesel and Michaels size each other up, but HBK doesn’t want any of that. Bigelow and Mabel attack Diesel from behind, and now it’s a gang beatdown. They get rid of Diesel at 25:58, as Michaels just stands there. Haha. Plugg and Bigelow try to get rid of HBK, as some people in the crowd start chanting for Diesel. And that’s how it all started. #19 is Mo, who should have entered the match at a different point, I think. He attacks Crush, but doesn’t get the reaction of his tag partner at all. Mo nearly throws Michaels over the top, but Crush kicks him in the stomach. Michaels skins the cat in when Plugg nearly throws him over the top, and Mabel bodyslams HBK for good measure. #20 is for some reason Greg Valentine. He hits Mabel with some elbows, until Mo and Bigelow team up on him. Whoops. Mabel attacks Bigelow from behind, then takes a turn chopping Valentine for a while. Lots of jabronis in the ring right now. #21 is Tatanka, so that’s a little better. Tatanka goes after HBK, and knocks him around the ring until Mabel helps HBK beat him up. HBK accidentally hits Mabel, and I hope that leads somewhere. Valentine nearly gets rid of HBK, but that would never happen. #22 is the Great Kabuki, so the importance continues to fade. We need a Diesel to clean out this trash. Plugg takes HBK over with a snap suplex, then everyone tries to get rid of Mabel. Everyone but Mo picks him up, and out Mabel goes at 32:30.
#23 is LEX LUGER, who gets the crowd going for a few seconds. He goes right after Kabuki, and tosses him right out of the ring. It’s funny to see the difference when Hogan would enter these matches and when Luger would. Everyone would immediately run over to Hogan for Hogan to hit them. Not the same here. He nails Bigelow with a clothesline, and now the crowd is dead again. This is quite surprising to me. #24 is Genichiro Tenryu, who gets minimal heat. That’s sad to see such a great worker get that kind of reaction. I think Crush got hurt somehow. He was holding his wrist oddly and not really selling it. Tenryu chops away at Luger for a bit, then HBK is nearly gotten rid of by Tatanka. #25 is nobody. They’re making it sound like that was supposed to be Bret Hart. That’s smart. The crowd was probably thinking the same thing. #26 is Rick Martel, who runs out there to continue filling the ring up with jobbers. Lots of the brawling at this point is uninteresting. Crush is still acting strange. #27 is BRET HART. A LIMPING BRET HART. I think that moment is the catalyst for my being a Bret Hart fan. Bret crawls into the ring, and Crush goes right after his knee. Tenryu helps him with it, and it’s time for #28, who is Fatu. Crush picks Bret up for a press slam, but Luger attacks Crush from behind. Who of the heels are we supposed to believe is going to win the Rumble? Luger tries to get rid of Crush, and Bigelow decides to help him. Plugg goes over there too, as does Bret, and now Crush is out after 42:36. #29 is Marty Jannetty, who inspires confidence from the crowd for some reason. He and HBK go right after each other, and Jannetty clobbers him, following up with a superkick after Tenryu gets in the way. Shawn’s fake eliminations haven’t been a big part of this Rumble, but when they happen they’re always very good. Marty tries to suplex him out, but instead HBK suplexes him. Our last entrant at #30 is Adam Bomb, who doesn’t exactly get people hyped up for the finish.
There are WAY too many people in the ring. Bret tosses Sparky Plugg out of there at 45:29, as everyone continues their poor brawling. Bret and Adam Bomb slug it out for a bit, and I think part of the problem with Luger was in these scenarios where he just looked too ordinary. HBK goes after Bret now, who keeps selling his knee very well. Bret kicks HBK through the turnbuckles and into the post, after which Martel eliminates Valentine at 49:14. Now it’s rapid fire elimination time. Tatanka backdrops Martel out, and Luger ducks, causing Adam Bomb to charge out of the ring at 49:47. Fatu immediately hits Mo with a superkick to send him out too, as Tenryu keeps working on Bret Hart’s knee. Bigelow gets rid of Tatanka to get some heat back from earlier, then Jannetty hits HBK with a clothesline. He tries to get rid of him too, and while that’s going on Bigelow takes a goofy corner bump and Luger nails him with the LOADED FOREARM to eliminate him at 51:03. Jannetty gets dispatched by Michaels right after that, and there’s a few people who feel out of place. Michaels and Fatu are given a noggin-knocker by Tenryu, but Fatu doesn’t sell it and headbutts Tenryu instead. Michaels and Fatu get violently thrown into each other, and then Hart and Luger throw Tenryu out at 52:28.
Our final four is now Fatu, Lex Luger, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels. This should have been Diesel in there. Michaels jumps Bret Hart, and Fatu goes after Luger. Michaels flips out of a backbreaker, then nearly throws Bret out. Bret returns the favor, but Michaels elbows him. Luger goes for a facebuster on Fatu, but instead Fatu hits him with a superkick. I love that. Fatu goes to the second rope, and down he comes with a diving headbutt on Luger. Fatu and HBK then try to dump Luger over the top, but Luger fights back and throws HBK into the buckle for some hilarious selling. He clotheslines Fatu for the same selling, and then we get a cool spot. Michaels and Fatu are thrown towards each other, Michaels leaps over Fatu, and Luger eliminates Michaels with a backdrop as Bret eliminates Fatu with the same at 54:40. The crowd doesn’t know who to cheer for, so they make this brief. Bret and Luger slug it out, and Luger picks Bret up. Instead of that, they both tumble over the top at the same time, ending the match at 55:08.
At first, they play Luger’s music as the winner. People IMMEDIATELY started booing and didn’t stop. Second, they play Bret’s music as the winner. There are no such boos. One referee says Luger won, and another says that Bret won. Bret gets far more cheers when his hand is raised. Jack Tunney makes his way down to the ring, and now they finally show a replay of the event. They don’t show the feet of either man, though. The second time of trying, they show their legs and not the feet. So, Howard Finkel gets instructions from Jack Tunney, at which point Finkel announces the winner as…nobody. He starts again, and says that the winner is BOTH OF THEM. That’s the shits. In the end, Bret and Luger shake hands before they leave.
My Thoughts: I don’t know how wrestlers even do a spot like that in a way where fans in the front row can’t tell who won. I assume they practiced it a few times, but even then they couldn’t do it well enough to get a replay they could show on television. This is the kind of finish you do when you don’t really know what to do, I feel like. Felt like they wanted to know who should be pushed and decided that the crowd would make their decision for them. The match as a whole wasn’t very good. The start of the match was poor, the middle portion was fantastic, and everything else leading to the final four was really dull. Some of the talent in it felt wasted, and others should have made entrances later in the match so that the end had more star power. It didn’t feel as well put together as some of the Rumbles that preceded this one or the ones that followed. Diesel was obviously the star of the match, but Bret came out of it looking like the guy who should be the champion. ***1/4. I’d put this about even with the ’88 Rumble, and just ahead of ’89 and ’91. Well ahead of ’93. Really liked the touch of Bastion Booger no-showing and Bret coming out afterward with them presenting it as being him who no-showed. Very smart.
Well, that was an interesting show, and in some ways it’s difficult to get a read on the whole thing. I imagine that anyone who paid to see who would get the title shot at WrestleMania felt completely ripped off. The Undertaker stuff was just as bad in that respect. It’s easy to look at the WWF as a whole and see exactly how things went down the tubes. They booked the show in a way that forced that to happen, and coupled with WCW signing Hulk Hogan, it was awful for their business. This show had a lot of parts in it that were awful, and other short bursts where everything was going great. Ted DiBiase’s commentary was not very good, I should note. Overall I’d sadly have to say this was not a good show, but not that bad of one either. Next up, it’s going to be Clash of the Champions 26!
Wrestling Time: 1:46:15. Not as much as you’d think for a Royal Rumble. A fair bit of nonsense on here too.
Best: Owen Hart’s heel turn. Nothing compares and nothing will.
Worst: It’s tough, but I think I’ll say the heels running out to help Yokozuna. The leap in logic to explain why nobody showed up to help the Undertaker is just too much.
Card Rating: 4.5/10. I can’t hate this show too much. For its warts, it was entertaining.