WWE Royal Rumble '90
January 21st, 1990

I have every intention of doing a review for the '07 Royal Rumble today, as I went out to my favorite drinking establishment to watch the show. There I found that the show wasn't going to be shown. I checked a couple of other places, but they weren't showing it, either, dangit. Therefore, I'll have to figure out another method of watching one of my favorite events.

Of course, you didn't come here to read that, you came here to see a review of another Royal Rumble, didn't you? Well, then, let's go back in time to 1990, so I can at least feel the love for one Rumble match.

WWF Royal Rumble '90
Posted by the Accelerator, January 29th, 2007

- The opening video simply shows all 30 competitors of the Royal Rumble in action, with Vince McMahon saying each man's name. McMahon also says the other matches before sending it to the announcers: Tony Schiavone and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Man, that's a strange pairing when you think about it.

Jesse Ventura: "What a crowd here, though, Orlando, Florida, filled to capacity... Not even Mickey and Goofy could get in, and I made sure they couldn't. Do you have a ticket, Shiavone?"

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond Rougeau) w/ Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart vs. the Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch):

This was not exactly a wrestling classic. It's weird to see Jacques with a beard, as I remember him better as the clean-cut Mountie. The match takes a while to even start, with the Bushwhackers playing to the fans. The Rougeaus tried to use headlocks. The Bushwhackers decided to bite people (especially the referee). Luke & Butch dominated at first, with Hart having to rally his team outside the ring. The Rougeaus finally got the advantage when Jacques distracted the ref, while Raymond choked Luke out. In typical '90s fashion, the Rougeaus dominated Luke for a long while, until Jacques messed up and took some knees while trying a splash. Luke got the hot tag to Butch, leading to everyone in the ring. The Bushwhackers won the exchange, throwing both Rougeaus against each other. They then prepared for the Battering Ram, but Hart grabbed a leg, preventing it. This led to the Bushwhackers to grab Jimmy, but the Rougeaus made the save, nearly winning the match with a double dropkick. Things then end a little strangely, with Raymond getting the Boston Crab on Butch, while Jacques, for some reason, runs to the ropes, with Luke tripping him from the outside. Raymond then decides to release the hold and check on Jacques, allowing the Bushwhackers to hit BOTH Rougeaus with the Battering Ram, getting the pin. Then it was licks for everyone (ewww).

Ace Thoughts: The ending was so disjointed, it takes a lot away from the match itself. Personally, I probably would have liked this match back when I was a kid, but now that I have a different taste for wrestling, it just doesn't work for me. It was simply too slow.

- "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, along with Virgil, was interviewed by "Mean Gene" Okerlund. Last year, DiBiase supposedly bought #30 for the Rumble (wasted money, as Studd won the Rumble). Okerlund finds out this year, though, that DiBiase drew #1. DiBiase blames it on Virgil drawing it. I still can't believe that DiBiase was never the WWF Champion.

DiBiase - "What it means is that I'll be the first man in the ring and the last man in the ring... I'll be there at the end, and I'll win it!"

Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. the Genius:

The Genius was actually Randy Savage's brother, earning him a run in the federation. Of course, Lanny Poffo was a pretty good wrestler, but he got saddled with a horrendous gimmick. What would have been wrong to make him Randy's brother on TV? Before the match, the Genius did some poetry, calling Beefcake "double dumb". I keep having flashbacks as to how wrestling used to be family-oriented. The announcers talk about how the Genius 'defeated' Hulk Hogan at a recent show, thanks to Mr. Perfect. Hey, remember when Hulk vs. Perfect was going to be a big-time feud? Instead, the Ultimate Warrior took out Hogan. That worked out great, huh? Oh well. Back to the match.

This, really, seemed like another joke match at first, with the Barber mocking the Genius' feminine ways. Beefcake dominated with his strength for a while, as the Genius had to go to the outside. The Genius managed to get back on track for a while, punching, kicking, and even headbutting Beefcake, but Beefcake came back with a big knee, followed by a neck cracker. The Genius came back with a 2 count after a dropkick, but Bruti's great strength threw him off. After some more heel offense, the Genius went for a aingle axehandle (yep, single) off the 2nd rope, and Beefcake caught him with a punch to the ribs. Brutus then took control, and got the Genius in his Sleeper hold. The Genius managed to escape, with the ref getting taken out in the ensuing struggle. With the ref down, Beefcake got another sleeper, this time knocking the Genius out. The match, of course, doesn't end, because the ref got squashed. Beefcake, though, doesn't care, instead going for his scissors to clip the Genius' hair. After a few clips, Mr. Perfect (RIP) ran in, attacking Beefcake and beating on him with a chair. The bell rings, which should mean a DQ win for Beefcake, but it's later announced as a double disqualification. I suppose because Beefcake used the scissors? Strange decision.

Ace Thoughts: Really, the only purpose to this match was to set up a feud for Wrestlemania between Beefcake and Perfect, since Perfect was not going to be main-eventing against Hogan (a travesty). It got the fans happy to see the Genius lose some hair, but that's about it.

- Sean Mooney interviewed the Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan, "Ravishing" Rick Rude(RIP), Andre the Giant(RIP), and Haku). Mooney quickly turns the Heenan Family against each other, getting them to want to throw each other out, while Bobby tries to calm things down. Way to go, Mooney. Breaking up families. That ain't right.

"Rugged" Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine w/ Jimmy "Mouth of the South Hart", Submission Match:

This was the battle of the Figure Four leglocks, with both men wearing shinguards to protect their legs. Valentine isn't happy about Garvin having a shinguard on (Garvin calls it the Hammer Jammer), while Ventura excuses Valentine's shinguard (known as the Hartbreaker), since he had a leg injury almost a year ago. Things fall apart early, as Garvin goes for a pin. The two wrestlers hit each other repeatedly, letting loose.

Jesse Ventura: "It's shots like that that make me glad I'm retired!"

Valentine soon goes to the outside for a pep talk, as Garvin waits for him. He reenters, for more fists flying. Very little technical wrestling so far. Heck, there's barely been any this PPV. Valentine gets control, then again goes for a pinfall, with the ref telling him to try something else. Ventura quickly says that these guys are so used to pins, they'll try it on instinct. Makes sense. A headbutt sends both men to the mat, showing that both have hard heads. We then see a pinning combination of an attempted sunset flip, followed by two other reverse pins. Ok, we get it, no pins allowed, give it a break! Valentine comes back and reverses his Hartbreaker to go for the Figure Four, but Garvin dodges it and, sigh, goes for another pin. Valentine stayed in control, though, and later got the Figure Four on. However, Garvin has his Hammer Jammer on still, so he starts to make faces at Valentine, showing that he's not in pain. Silly, but the fans love it.

Valentine got up and quickly beat down Garvin again, trying a Backbreaker over the shoulder, but Garvin didn't submit. Soon, Ronnie came back with an Indian Deathlock (which isn't, apparently, protected by the Hartbreaker). Valentine, though, made it the ropes, and Garvin was forced to break, or else be disqualified. Hey, wait a minute. There IS no disqualification, ref! Argh. The two men fought to the outside, beating on each other, with Valentine backdropping Garvin on the floor. Back in the ring, both men nail each other again, laying on the mat, and Hart quickly grabbed Garvin's leg and took off the Hammer Jammer. Valentine, alerted to the new advantage by his manager, got the Figure Four, causing Garvin to yell in pain. Eventually, Garvin reversed the hold, escaping it, but his leg was in bad shape, with Valentine concentrating on it. Valentine tried to go back to the Figure Four, but Garvin reversed into another pin attempt. Wow. Garvin eventually manages to slam Valentine off the turnbuckle (with one leg) and removes the Hammer Jammer, making things equal. Garvin then tangled Valentine in the ropes, preparing to hit him with the shinguard. Hart gets involved, trying to distract Garvin, but Garvin turned at the right moment to clock Valentine with the Hammer Jammer (which must have something rigged in it), then applied the Reverse Figure Four, forcing Valentine to give up.

Ace Thoughts: Not a bad match, all-told, but the pinfalls and other nonsense going against the "Submissions Only" requirement bugged me. I know it was all part of the "this is real" phenomenon and all, but it's hard to get past that many attempts. Still, another fan favorite won, so the crowd's in good spirits.

- Mr. Perfect, with "Mean Gene", talked about the assault on Brutus Beefcake, while also saying that he got the Perfect number, #30. Coincidence? Sure.

- A horrible segment follows, with Brother Love praising "Sensational Queen" Sherri, then bashing Sapphire. After so many insults, Sapphire attacks Sherri, with "Macho King" Randy Savage coming to pull Sapphire off. "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes (spots and all) runs out to make the save, with Rhodes & Sapphire getting some slaps on Brother Love before dancing for the crowd. This took about 20 minutes or so, although it feels like more. If you have this tape, save yourself the time and do some fast-forwarding.

- Sean Mooney interviewed "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan about his match with the Big Boss Man, with Mooney tripping over his own words, saying "You have to approase (instead of approach) this match.." Hacksaw quickly goes "I don't have to approase, apprach, approach anything!" with a smile on his face. You have to love spontaneous interviews.

The Big Boss Man(RIP) w/ Slick vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan:

At this point, Hacksaw has no theme music. Instead, he makes his own, yelling "HOOOOOOO" and banging his 2x4 on the steps. The two men punch and hammer each other, just like the last match. Still, the Boss Man takes a nice bump to the outside from Hacksaw's shoulder block, so I'm happy so far. We're on the outside, with more hard hits. Back in the ring, more hitting and throwing around. The first major wrestling move comes up soon, as Hacksaw catches the Boss Man's boot, but the Boss Man does an enziguiri! I'm impressed. The Boss Man is quickly sweating through his uniform. BTW, Danny Davis, former 'wrestler', is the referee. He subsequently misses some cheating from Slick to wear down Hacksaw some more.

After more domination from the Boss Man, Hacksaw comes back, clotheslining the Boss Man over the ropes (the Boss Man's neck bends dangerously on the apron, but he gets through it ok). We get back into fighting, with the Boss Man missing a Top-Rope Splash. The two men kept beating on each other, with Slick trying to grab Hacksaw to hold him. Of course, Hacksaw moved, with the Boss Man hitting Slick. This didn't stop the Boss Man from getting his nightstick and hitting Hacksaw. Unfortunately, the ref saw it, calling for the DQ. As the Boss Man pleaded his case, Hacksaw came up from behind and nailed the Boss Man behind with the 2x4, followed by a hit on Slick. An angry Boss Man throws chairs into the ring (long before ECW), but Hacksaw simply grabs one and sits down, celebrating. A "USA" chant soon follows.

Ace Thoughts: Pretty good match, with some impressive moves/bumps from the Big Boss Man. The ending was kind of sudden, but I guess it allowed both men to keep their heat, which is what they were going for. Ironically, the Boss Man would turn against Slick and become a fan favorite not long afterwards, while Hacksaw stayed Hacksaw.

- Several wrestlers get interview time: Dino Bravo & the Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart, Demolition, Bad News Brown, Dusty Rhodes, the Rockers, the Mighty Hercules, "The Model" Rick Martel, Tito Santana, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, "The African Dream" Akeem, and finally, the Ultimate Warrior.

The Ultimate Warrior: "If they refuse to understand that the power of the Ultimate Warrior has spread like a virus amongst the WWF, then let them continue to walk as normal as they seem. But if those 28 normal men want to have special attractions such as Royal Rumble, then you and I as the Warrior, the most powerful force in the WWF, will continue to see it only as another challenge, only as another day of combat. Twenty-eight of those normal men, stacked one on top of another, can't come close to the feelings and the destinations from parts unknown. You realize as I do that the 29th man, you, Hulk Hogan, walk with a different force field around you, walk on horizons that are close to where I've been. But no one in the Royal Rumble shall form a team. Every man shall fight for what he feels is in himself. And I, the Ultimate Warrior, will fulfill another destiny!" (Sorry, had to put all of this in here, I couldn't help myself)

- Sean Mooney, in an exclusive Coliseum video segment, talked to various fans on who would win. Votes go for the Warrior(2), Hogan(2), Mr. Perfect(3), Jake Roberts, Demolition Axe, Bret Hart, Roddy Piper (because of his legs), Jimmy Snuka, Randy Savage, and Dusty Rhodes (because he has a good manager *gulp*).

- We return to more interviews, this time with "Macho King" Randy Savage, the Powers of Pain w/ Mr. Fuji, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, the Hart Foundation, the Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart, and finally, the other favorite, Hulk Hogan. So we had 22 wrestlers giving their comments. We also had Perfect, DiBiase, Andre, Haku, & Rude give some comments earlier, so that's 27. For some reason, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Koko B. Ware, and the Red Rooster didn't talk. I mean, c'mon, it's like not we got unbelievable interviews out of most of these guys, why leave three out? Piper must have done something wild to get his clip cut, I assume.

The Royal Rumble Match:

Howard Finkle does the special ring announcing, explaining the rules. Ted DiBiase, as expected, comes out at #1, with the crowd happy to see him so early. Interestingly enough, DiBiase didn't get his music, but #1 "The Birdman" Koko B. Ware got to dance out to his song. Payback for not getting an interview segment, perhaps? It doesn't matter, as Koko doesn't last long, charging at the wrong time and getting backdropped out by DiBiase. #3 Marty Jannetty comes down next (also with music, huh) and took it to DiBiase, but the Million Dollar Man soon comes back, flipping Jannetty around with a clothesline. After a few more moves, Jannetty makes the same mistake as Koko, running forward for a crossbody. DiBiase ducked, sending Jannetty out of the ring. #4, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, comes out next, bringing the crowd to its feet. Incidentally, managers were allowed at ringside this year, so Roberts brought out Damian (his bagged snake) with him. Both men put on a show in the ring for the next few minutes, leading to #5, "The Macho King" Randy Savage, coming down and joining DiBiase in a double-team of Roberts. Faces against heels still goes this year.

#6 is "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, who runs down to come to Roberts' aid. It becomes team against team, altough Piper and Roberts almost slugged each other at one point. Next came #7, the Warlord, who, of course, went after Roberts, then Piper. Right now, we've got Virgil, Sensational Sherri, and Mr. Fuji at ringside. It's crowded out there. #8 is Bret "The Hit Man" Hart, making it 3-on-3. Next up was #9 Bad News Brown, making it 3-on-3-on-1, since Bad News hates everybody. It didn't stop Bad News from going after Hart, though (a nod back to Wrestlemania IV). Roberts tried to go for his DDT on DiBiase, but he got caught by Savage and thrown out, ending his night. Piper then nearly tossed out DiBiase, with Savage again making the save, causing Schiavone to speculate that Savage had been bought off. #10 was "the American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, who immediately went after his rival, Savage. It didn't take long, as Rhodes gave Savage an incredible backdrop (Savage went vertical, for pete's sake) to eliminate him.

The big man, #11 Andre the Giant (RIP), one of the favorites, comes next, along with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Andre quickly tossed out the biggest man, the Warlord, with Mr. Fuji and Heenan getting into it because of the elimination. #12, the Red Rooster, doesn't quite fit as much of a favorite, but he comes down anyway. Meanwhile, Piper eliminates Bad News Brown, and a ticked-off Bad News grabs Piper and pulled him out as well. The two fought to the back (leading to a battle at Wrestlemania VI). BTW, one of the referees trying to break them up, if I'm not mistaken, is a young Shane McMahon. Not sure, but it looks like him. Danny Davis is one of the others. #13 is Demolition Axe, even as Andre tosses out the Red Rooster. Short night, Terry, go spend your paycheck. Axe quickly attacks Andre, continuing their tag-team battles (Demolition vs. Colossal Connection) in the Rumble. #14 is Haku, who I always thought was shorter than most, simply because I always saw him next to the Giant. Perception is everything, right? The Colossal Connection takes down Axe, working together. To keep coincidence at bay, #15 is Demolition Smash, pitting the Tag-Team Champs against the #1 Contenders in the Rumble. Er, along with DiBiase, Hart, & Rhodes.

#16 is "The African Dream" Akeem, making it 8 men in the ring. You have to look fast in the background at one point to see Hart get eliminated by Dusty Rhodes. Certainly, the announcers miss it. Demolition soon got the advantage of the Connection, with a double clothesline sending Andre to the outside. Andre slugged Axe from the outside (barely having to stretch), then went off. Meanwhile, Ventura finally noticed that Hart was gone, saying that they were distracted by Andre's elimination and missed it. Guys, it came before Andre. Oh well. #17 "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka enters next, getting some Whoo's from the crowd, or whatever it is he does. Snuka went right after Akeem, but Akeem got the advantage. However, Akeem then decided to celebrate for some reason, which allowed Snuka to run and hit him from behind to send him over the top rope. #18 is Dino Bravo (RIP), amazingly going after Haku, with Snuka saving Haku from elimination. Islanders stick together, I suppose. Everytime somone tries to eliminate DiBiase now, the crowd goes crazy. They want him outta there. #19 is the Canadian Earthquake (RIP), who takes out Rhodes and Axe to thin out the crowd a little. #20 is Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, who immediately goes after Earthquake, attacking the toughest man. Soon, everyone but Bravo is grabbing the Earthquake, and they all manage to toss him out.

#21 is the Ultimate Warrior, and soon Bravo's out, thanks to a slow toss from the Warrior. #22 is "The Model" Rick Martel, immediately fighting with Smash, among others. Haku also goes after Smash, kicking him right out of the ring. Six men left in the ring. #23 is Tito Santana, and of course, he goes after Martel (the two had a years-long grudge after the break-up of Strike Force). #24 is the Honky Tonk Man, as the fans boo him like crazy. Neidhart gets eliminated by a strange combination of Martel & the Warrior. Seconds later, the Warrior eliminated DiBiase, ending DiBiase's run in the Rumble at close to 45 minutes. Next up is #25, the WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Hulk Hogan. This is long before the Rumble gave a guy a #1 Contendership at Wrestlemania. The bodies start to fly, with Snuka and Haku going out from Hogan's power. The Warrior tossed out Santana (who was still trying to toss Martel). #26 is Shawn Michaels, as Hogan tosses out the Honky Tonk Man. The Warrior throws out Michaels (amazing how quick he used to go), and Hogan sent out Martel, making it Hogan vs. the Warrior.

The two huge stars do the Criss-Cross and manage to clothesline each other, with both going down (they'd do a similar spot at Wrestlemania). With both down, #27 the Barbarian runs down and attacks both men. Smart, but he should pick one up and toss him quick. Of course, the fans wouldn't like that. For some reason, #28 "Ravishing" Rick Rude runs in early, attacking his old rival, the Warrior. Rude & the Barbarian double-teamed the Hulkster, trying to toss him, with the Warrior making the save. Soon after, Rude & the Barbarian have the Warrior close to elimination, and the Hulkster charges, basically tossing out the Warrior. What a guy. Showing how stupid the Warrior is, he charges back into the ring and takes out both Rude & the Barbarian, then races to the back, to the cheers of the crowd. #29 is the Mighty Hercules (RIP), who comes to Hogan's aid to cause a 2-on-2 battle. Finally, #30, Mr. Perfect(RIP) comes out to make the final five. Sadly, 3 of those 5 are no longer with us as of this writing. Hercules sends the Barbarian out, then follows soon after, thanks to Rude. Perfect & Rude double-teamed Hogan, but a miscue by Perfect (holding down the ropes without knowing it) allows Hogan to get rid of Rude. Perfect got in some offense, even hitting his Perfect-Plex (which, of course, means nothing in a Rumble). And, as expected, Hogan Hulks Up, beating on Perfect and throwing him out to take the victory.

Ace Thoughts: I remember a story I read, a while back, I think told by Scott Keith, where Mr. Perfect was set to win the Rumble here, which would have immediately made him a main-event threat for Hogan and led to some great matches. Word has it, though, that Hogan wanted the win, and thanks to his popularity, was able to make it happen. So instead of a Rumble victory, Perfect gets tossed and goes on to Wrestlemania to lose to Hogan's friend, Brutus Beefcake. Just think how different things would have been had Perfect become the champion? So many great matches. But that's ancient history, as Hogan got the un-needed Rumble win and went to Wrestlemania to lose to the Warrior, a loss that Hogan apparently never lived down. Such is life.

I basically love all Rumble matches (with the possible exception of when McMahon won), so I certainly recommend the match for viewing, especially since you'll get to see 6 wrestlers in their primes who are no longer with us today. The fans definitely were a big part of the match, cheering for everything they could. Very good match.

The Accelerator