It's time once again to cross another Rumble off the list. I've been working hard to acquire the Rumbles I'm currently missing, searching local video stores, eBay, et cetera. Luckily, I have an understanding wife on that subject. Earlier this week, I received another video in the mail, and although the quality isn't the best (age is starting to set in), it's still very viewable, which is exactly what I wanted. So let's take a trip back to 1993, when Bret "The Hitman" Hart was taking over as the top face, while the threat of Yokozuna was growing (as well as his waistline). It's the Rumble that no one wants to remember, but let's get to it anyways...
WWE Royal Rumble '93 |
Posted by the Accelerator, September 19th, 2007
- The box for this one is pretty simple, just showing Bret Hart and Razor Ramon standing next to each other. Of course, it DOES proclaim that "every top WWF superstar" will be involved. What does this tell me? It says that the Rumble itself, for the first time, won't be the match to watch here. That's worrisome.
- Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are on commentary. Monsoon runs down the entire card, even making the opening tag-team match sound exciting. Heenan mentions something about an unveiling, to which Monsoon replies "Who cares?"
The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) vs. the Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott):
This is the Steiner Brothers' first appearence in the WWF, which automatically makes me sure that the Beverlys have no chance, especially since this is their LAST appearance in the WWF. Scott is dair-haired and a lot less "Pumped" up. Interestingly enough, Bill Alfonzo is the referee for this match. There's a slightly obscure ECW reference for you guys. The Beverlys are actually allowed to get in some offense, surprisingly enough, working over Scott for a while before he can get the hot tag to Rick. As usual with WWF tag-team matches, we break down into a four-man brawl, with the Steiners winning out after Scott hits the Frankensteiner on Blake and gets the pin.
Ace Thoughts: This wasn't a terrible contest, but it was definitely hurt by the crowd reaction. They just didn't care about the Beverly Brothers at this point, so it didn't matter how over the Steiners were. As I said, this was the end of the line for the Beverlys, and really the end of both men's careers, although Mike Enos(Blake) and Wayne Bloom(Beau) would make appearances in WCW later on. As for the Steiners, this was just the start of a pretty good year for them in the WWF, as they would manage to fit in two reigns with the WWF World Tag-Team Titles.
- A video talks about the feud between former Rocker partners Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. That plunge through the windows by Jannetty stills looks painful to me.
Shawn Michaels(c) vs. Marty Jannetty, WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title Match:
The big storyline at this point (besides the blood brothers feud) is where Sensational Sherri stands. She was managing Michaels for a while, but took a shot from Michaels' mirror, causing her to apparently stand behind Jannetty in this one. This one's actually a pretty good match, although Jannetty's flying a little too fast at some points and misses a few moves. Jannetty was together enough to hit his own version of the Super Kick, nearly winning the match. Soon after, though, a ref bump allows Sherri to get involved. Jannetty holds Michaels to allow Sherri to swing her shoe, which of course backfires, causing Jannetty to be hit. We then take forever to wrap things up, as Michaels yells at Sherri for a long while, before turning around and catching Jannetty with his Super Kick for the victory.
Ace Thoughts: Great match up until the ref bump, as everything suddenly started focusing around Sherri instead of the wrestlers. That shoe must have been loaded with something, as Jannetty was taken completely out for several minutes before getting himself up in time for the Super Kick. It just took too long to resolve this one, which took a lot away from it. Michaels would continue to defend the IC Title for the next year, while Jannetty never managed to get any gold around his waist. Poor Marty.
- Backstage, Sherri has a screaming fit with "Mean Gene" Okerlund, followed by another brawl from the former Rockers.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. the Big Boss Man:
I'm starting to wonder if Vince saw New Japan Pro Wrestling as a threat here, because this is Bigelow's re-debut on the PPV scene after wrestling in NJPW for a few years (just like the Steiners). It's also similar to the earlier match in that the Boss Man would be leaving the WWF soon after this match as well. Not surprisingly, this match is really slow. It doesn't help that the big men are going on after the high-flying Rockers brawl, but boy, this is a hard one to watch. After some back and forth 'action', Bigelow takes down the Boss Man with a clothesline, then pulls out his Flying Headbutt for the victory.
Ace Thoughts: Yeah. Not really one of my all-time favorite matches. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I just couldn't get into this one at all. The Boss Man had lost all heat after his dreadful "Revenge" feud with Nailz, and was definitely on his way out. Bigelow might have been hurt by the roughness of this match as well, as he wouldn't appear at Wrestlemania. He would rebound later on, though, for a very successful 'feud' with Lawrence Taylor a few years later.
Bret Hart(c) vs. Razor Ramon, WWF World Heavyweight Title Match:
Hart was enjoying his first World Title reign at this point, which he got mainly because Ric Flair had an inner ear disorder that kept him from being balanced, leading to a dropping of the title to Hart at a house show. Hart had managed to defend the belt against Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series, and now was facing another threat from the devious Razor Ramon (who had taken out Hart's brother, Owen, to send a message). Bret's parents, Helen & Stu, are at ringside to cheer him on. Although Razor is still an unknown at this point, he does a pretty good job of staying with Hart. After some nice sequences at the end (and a ref bump), Hart applies the Sharpshooter from the ground and rolls over, forcing Razor to tap out and allowing Hart to stay the champion.
Ace Thoughts: While I've seen better Hart matches, and I've seen much better Razor matches, this still wasn't that bad a contest. I definitely approved of the finish, as it's always cool to see Hart bring the Sharpshooter from nowhere for the win. Sadly, Hart didn't have too many other opponents at this point that could keep up with him, so a match with Razor was better than nothing.
- Heenan finally reveals his 'surprise', bringing out the Narcissist Lex Luger. Luger, of course, would be a heel for only a short time, before transforming into the All-American Hero who went to war against Yokozuna.
- 'Caesar' and 'Cleopatra' announce the invitation for Wrestlemania IX. Yep, the worst Wrestlemania ever started here. The only important thing here is that they announce that the winner of the Rumble becomes the #1 Contender for Wrestlemania. I believe that's the first time the Rumble Winner gets that honor. Afterwards, Heenan keeps talking about Luger, as Monsoon pushes for the Rumble.
30-Man Royal Rumble Match:
#1 is "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, which gets an "Oh, No" from Bobby Heenan. #2 is Bob Backlund, who gets no entrance music. Backlund tries for a handshake, but Flair just gives a "Woooo". The two former WWF champs went at it, with Flair landing a Flair Flop at one point, making Backlund look good in his return. #3 is Papa Shango (better known as the Godfather), who beats down Backlund. However, as Shango's distracted, Flair comes up from behind and tosses Shango out! Short night. Flair and Backlund continue to go at it for the next few minutes, taking up time. #4 is Ted DiBiase (w/ Jimmy Hart), and he immediately goes after Backlund as well. Backlund is not well-liked in the WWF locker room at this point, apparently. DiBiase & Flair double-team Backlund, as Monsoon threatens to beat up Heenan. #5 is "Nasty Boy" Brian Knobbs, who has a tag feud going with DiBiase and his partner, IRS. Knobbs nearly throws out Flair, but Flair saves himself with one foot and gets back in.
#6 is Virgil, who is quickly met by DiBiase. Yep, they're still feuding at this point, years after the turning. That's how wrestling used to be. Virgil & Knobbs double-team DiBiase for a while, but Knobbs misses a charge and heads out, ending his night. Meanwhile, Backlund & Flair are still going at it. #7 is Jerry "The King" Lawler, and I have to say, we're sure seeing a lot of champions early on here, aren't we? Lawler goes after Virgil, then goes at it with Flair, and we've got another legendary confrontation. Flair bails out from the fight, though, surviving by going under the ropes. #8 is Max Moon, who shows off some ariel moves, including skinning the cat when Flair nearly threw him out. I have this Max Moon listed as Konnan, but I'm not sure on that one. I don't think Konnan was this agile at this point in his career. Anyway, Moon misses a roll on Lawler in the corner, sending him out, so I don't have to worry about it anyway. #9 is Genichiro Tenryu, and we've got Tenryu vs. Flair. Six men in the ring right now, as Monsoon informs us that Flair and Backlund have 20 minutes in there now. #10 is Mr. Perfect, elicting a scream of fear from Heenan, as Perfect and Flair go at it. Perfect's a major face at this point, having left Flair & Heenan behind. Monsoon mentions the career-ending match between the two taking place on Raw (which was Flair's last match with the WWF for a while).
#11 is Skinner, who never really took off in the WWF. Mr. Perfect, meanwhile, catches Flair on the ropes and manages to shove him out, ending Flair's run! Heenan is not happy, although Perfect gets to celebrate with the crowd for a second. Monsoon also wins some money. #12 is Koko B. Ware (sans Frankie). He was part of High Energy at this point with Owen Hart (a run that didn't go very far). Skinner actually skins the cat, but Perfect was ready for him, dropkicking him out of the Rumble. #13 is Headshrinker Samu, with Afa throwing him into the ring. I believe we have eight in the ring right now, and no one goes out for the next few minutes. #14 is the Berzerker, who hits on everyone. Meanwhile, Mr Perfect fools Lawler into charging, then eliminates him (with Lawler taking a bad bump). But Perfect himself gets caught by DiBiase, and although he fights like crazy, Lawler comes back to help out, taking Perfect out of the match. Lawler and Perfect fight on the outside, with the refs trying to break them up. BTW, if you look closely during the Perfect elimination, you can see the Berzerker send out Virgil with a big boot. In a manner of seconds, we go from 9 to 6.
#15 is the Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer, with Monsoon calling him the odds-on favorite. Samu greets him with shots on his way in. Meanwhile, outside the ring (with neither eliminated), the Berzerker nails Backlund with repeated chair shots, destorying the former champion. In the ring, Samu is sent flying out of the Rumble by the Dead Man. Tenryu's next to try his luck, and he, too, gets tossed after a charge. The Undertaker is cleaning out the dead wood. Four men are fighting in the ring, while Backlund lies nearly unconscious outside. #16 is the Red Rooster, er, make that Terry Taylor (going by what the announcers say), and the crowd could care less. Not surprisingly, Koko starts to toss out Taylor, and DiBiase takes advantage, grabbing both men and sending them out! DiBiase celebrates too much, though, and gets tossed out by the Undertaker! We're down to 3, with the Berzerker beating on the Undertaker. The camera then switches to a big man coming to the ring w/ Harvey Whippleman (Giant Gonzales). A distracted Berzerker gets tossed by the Undertaker, who then turns to face the massive giant with the weird body-like outfit. The two men stand there, staring at each other, as the clock sounds.
#17 is Damian Demento, who has the smarts to stay out of the ring while the two big men fight. With a few chops, Giant Gonzales eliminates the Dead Man! I keep forgetting about Gonzales. Really, the Great Khali's not that bad, guys. This, yes, THIS is bad. Giant Gonzales beats down the Dead Man, apparently in revenge for the Dead Man's destruction of Kamala (Whippleman's wrestler). With Demento watching outside, Gonzales brings the Undertaker back in and Chokeslams him, leaving him laid out. In the meantime, the clock's still running, as #18 Irwin R. Schyster (w/ Jimmy Hart) comes down. Gonzales continues to beat on the Dead Man, smashing his knees into the ringpost, with an army of refs (and Sgt Slaughter) trying to stop him. The crowd is booing, but I'm not sure if it's because of what he did, or how bad he looks doing it. Back to the Rumble, DeMento, IRS, and a struggling Backlund start going at it in the ring. The Undertaker's still there, but he's not moving very much. I'm pretty sure he was eliminated, too.
#19 is Tatanka, who revives the crowd by going after IRS. In the mean time, Paul Bearer comes back down and uses the urn to revive the beaten Undertaker, getting him moving. They head to the back, with the Dead Man limping, but still alive. Er, check that. Can we get back to the Rumble? Ok, then. IRS is still going at it with Tatanka, while DeMento beats on Backlund. #20 is "Nasty Boy" Jerry Sags, and he surprisingly goes after DeMento at first. Luckily for him, IRS seeks him out to continue their feud, leaving the others to fight amongst themselves. #21 is Typhoon, adding some weight to the ring. Typhoon immediately starts crushing DeMento in the corner, using that "muscle" of his.
#22 is Fatu w/ Afa, and boy, does the future Rikishi look thin. He immediately gives that big kick to Typhoon, then starts attacking everyone. We have more fighting among the 7 men, without much happening. #23 is Earthquake, uniting the Natural Disasters. However, Earthquake stupidly goes after Typhoon!! What a moron. The two massive men fight each other in the corner, when they could be throwing out everyone else together. Typhoon charges Earthquake in the corner, with Earthquake (predictably) ducking, sending Typhoon flipping up and out of the ring, eliminated from the Rumble. Earthquake shrugs it off (as in, these things happen) and gets back to work on the other wrestlers. #24 is Carlos Colon, and, well, the crowd doesn't seem to know who he is. He goes after IRS, as DeMento nearly gets eliminated by Tatanka. He gets back in, surviving for a few more seconds before he charges Colon, who dips a shoulder and throws DeMento out. #25 is "El Matador" Tito Santana, waking up the crowd a little bit as he goes after Earthquake. In the background, Fatu goes flying out thanks to Backlund dodging a charge. Santana then tries to eliminate Backlund, with the fans actually cheering. Are they behind Backlund, or just want to see the old man out of there?
#26 is "The Model" Rick Martel, and he goes right after Santana (former partners fight it out again!). IRS goes flying out, missing a charge on Earthquake. Is it just me, or is almost every elimination tonight a missed charge? Oh well. Earthquake and Sags have a war of words before fighting it out, at least showing some continuity with the tag-team feuds. #27 is Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji), earning some boos from the crowd. Yokozuna slowly comes in, immediately standing toe-to-toe with Tatanka and chopping him down before throwing Tatanka out. Next, Carlos Colon attacks. This lasts a few seconds, before Yokozuna throws Colon over the ropes, then knocks him down when he tries to save himself. This leads to Yokozuna and Earthquake locking eyes and coming together. The heavyweights meet! Earthquake goes off the ropes, but can't move Yokozuna. As they continue to go at it, #28, "The Rocket" Owen Hart runs in and attacks the smaller guys. Earthquake gives Yokozuna an Avalanche, but then goes back to the well, missing and squashing his ribs. Yokozuna then gives Earthquake basically a Belly-To-Belly Suplex out of the ring, eliminating him. Yokozuna stands tall.
#29 is Repo Man, one of my least-favorite gimmicks in WWF history. Repo Man (aka Barry Darsow) used to be Demolition Smash. What a fall from grace. Anyway, after some more fighting, everyone gangs up on Yokozuna, trying to toss him out. But Yokozuna manages to fight them all off, escaping. Six men aren't enough to get rid of the heavyweight, so everyone goes back to fighting each other. #30 is "The Macho Man" Randy Savage, bringing the crowd to its feet. Savage beats down Repo Man, as Yokozuna throws out Santana. A dropkick from Hart sends out Sags. Martel nearly throws out Hart, but Hart 'barely' skins the cat, staying in it. But Hart then charges Yokozuna and takes one of the worst falls I've seen to the outside. Seriously, it's up there with John Cena's knee-bender. As the refs rush to check on Owen, Savage gets rid of Repo Man, bringing us down to four wrestlers: Backlund, Martel, Savage, and Yokozuna.
Ace Thoughts: I would definitely call this one of the worst Rumble endings in history, if not THE worst. It's comparable to Luger/Hart's same elimination the next year. The crowd got excited when Savage landed the elbow. To then have him stupidly go for the pinfall really killed things, and Yokozuna winning it all deflated the crowd. I have to wonder what they were thinking, when they had a red-hot Mr. Perfect, a hugely popular Undertaker, and even a few other stars like Savage and Tanaka, and yet they chose a massive push for Yokozuna. It's not often I can say this, but several parts of this Rumble were unenjoyable. This was really the start of a bad time for the WWF, that's for sure.
- Afterwards, we get a clip show of what went down during the night, followed by Yokozuna and Bret Hart having a confrontation in the backstage area. Hart holds the title up to Yokozuna's face, as Bobby Heenan's voice can be heard, yelling "Monsoon? Are we on? Hello?"
Final Thoughts: The World Title Match and the Intercontinental Title matches both have their moments, while the Boss Man/Bigelow match still haunts me. The Rumble is marred by several events, including the Natural Disasters fighting each other (when the ring is full of wrestlers), Giant Gonzales and his scary suit making his first appearance (stopping the Rumble dead), and Savage's stupidity in trying a pinfall in his fourth Rumble (not counting the one he no-showed). Overall, this is a PPV that I probably will not go out of my way to see again.