1. The Orient Express vs. The New Foundation
Lose your more popular tag partner? No problem! Just tap his brother on the shoulder and you’re back in business!
Owen Hart finally starts his run in the WWE under his own name. He starts off the match with some high flying moves that leave Kato disoriented
Well that’s certainly a move you won’t see from Bret Hart! This match is a lot of fun and it accomplishes what it was meant to – it’s a good introduction to both the New Foundation and Owen Hart. Most of it is just Owen putting a bunch of moves on the Orient Express.
It goes on much longer than I ever expected. There’s some great back and forth with the Orient Express going on quite an offensive run. Owen Hart ends up getting the pin with his finishing move “the rocket launcher” (a splash off the top ropes).
Overall: Great start to the event
2. Intercontinental Championship Match: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. The Mountie
Right after Bret Hart won the belt from Mr. Perfect at Summerslam he dropped it to the Mountie. This pissed off Piper (for some reason), hence the title shot.
The crowd obviously goes nuts for Piper and the match begins with him taking control before the Mountie gets his turn.
I don’t have much to recap on this. It’s a very fast quick that ends abruptly when Piper slaps the Sleeper Hold on the Mountie
It’s so jarring when someone actually wins with a clean Sleeper Hold considering how many people (*cough* Hogan) break out of it
Overall: A fine, quick match, and Piper is always entertaining to watch
Interlude: Hogan is in a bathroom
I don’t usually include the backstage stuff of these videos, but this one is special. It’s an interview between Lord Alfred Hayes and Hogan in his dressing room.
Just so we’re clear, that’s a piece of paper taped over a door. Then when he enters the “dressing room”…
that’s just clearly the men’s washroom. I’m not clear why this was the best place they could come up with, but it’s fantastic. Early 90’s wrestling was just an odd mix of hopeless optimism and insanity
3. The Beverly Brothers with The Genius Lanny Poffo vs. The Bushwhackers with some random guy
Yeah, I’m not going to watch this. I hate the Bushwhackers.
Overall: Beats me
4. Tag Team Title Match: The Legion of Doom vs. The Natural Disasters
I never find these sort of matches too interesting. While all wrestling generally follows a template, these matches are identical
The big guy is surprised he can’t knock down the giant fat guy and then he eventually knocks down the giant fat guy.
The Legion of Doom kind of plays with the template a little, but this match is pretty by the numbers. Lots of power moves, followed by lots of rest moves.
The whole thing ends with a count out which is super unsatisfying (the crowd agreed with their immediate boos) and the Legion of Doom keeps the belts
Overall: So so match, nothing fantastic
5. The Royal Rumble
Here we go, the big one. Rated by many, many, many, many people as one of the top 5 Royal Rumbles, if not the best Royal Rumble ever. The stakes are much higher than normal as the winner gets the WWE belt
The first 10 minutes: 1. Davey Boy Smith / 2. Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase / 3. Ric Flair / 4. Jerry Sags (Nasty Boy) / 5. Haku / 6. Shawn Michaels
Dibiase takes it right to Davey Boy at the start of the match, but gets cocky and gets eliminated right away. That was a bit of a surprise. And next up at number 3 – Ric Flair.
For context, Ric Flair was fresh to the WWE from the NWA and no one expected McMahon to put him over to the extent he did. He threw just about everything behind Flair, it was nuts.
As I’m typing, Davey Boy eliminates Sags and goes back at Flair. Next out is Haku – the dullest man in wrestling – and the crowd welcomes the breather. He’s eliminated really quickly and next out is Shawn Michaels
Tito Santana is out next. I wonder if I’ll get an opportunity to screen cap the sweet, sweet flying forearm before he’s eliminated?
One of the great things about the Royal Rumble is you get to see some match ups that never had a chance to get booked as straight matches. For example:
Tito Santana vs. Shawn Michaels. I’d watch the shit out of that.
Minutes 10 – 20: 7. Tito Santana / 8. The Barbarian / 9. Texas Tornado / 10. The Repo Man / 11. Greg Valentine
The next three guys come in with no eliminations. One of them in the Repo Man, who I learn is Smash from Demolition. Huh. Wow, did his star ever drop. Greg Valentine is next and they’re just stacking the ring with trash at this point.
Volkoff is out next and the run of lower-mid card talent continues. I guess they’re going to stack the later half of this. Volkoff is eliminated pretty quickly by the Repo Man of all people.
Minutes 20 – 30: / 12. Nikolai Volkoff / 13. Big Boss Man / 14. Hercules / 15. Rowdy Roddy Piper / 16. Jake the Snake Roberts
The Boss Man runs in and attacks everyone, while the Repo Man (!!) throws out Valentine. While he’s not looking, Big Boss Man whips him over the top. Surprisingly, Flair then eliminates Davey Boy and Texas Tornado one after the other. As I’m typing this, Shawn Michaels and Tito Santana eliminate each other as Hercules enters.
Hercules and Barbarian eliminate each other and then it’s just Flair and Boss Man. Flair ducks under a flying tackle from Boss Man and then it’s just him left!
That was actually a pretty good run.
Piper is out at 15, followed by Jake Roberts and Hacksuck.
Minutes 30 – 40: 17. Hacksuck Jim Duggan 18. IRS / 19. Superfly Jimmy Snuka / 20. The Undertaker / 21. Macho Man
IRS and Superfly come out and who cares really, because at #20 is the Undertaker. His first move eliminates Superfly.
Savage is out next and he immediately goes after Jake. After a crazy attack, he throws him over the top ropes and goes right after him. For some reason the Undertaker follows along and fights Macho on the floor
Minutes 40 – 50: 22. The Beserker / 23. Virgil / 24. Col. Mustafa / 25. Rick Martel / 26. Hulk Hogan
The action spills back inside and the Beserker enters to a resounding yawn. Piper and Undertaker and Flair have an interesting exchange where they all try to choke each other in some kind of choke-stand off
Col. Mustafa is next, followed by Rick Martel. Nothing much happens. I’m shocked Hacksaw is still in the ring.
Hogan gets 26 and comes in a house of fire. He manages to eliminate the Undertaker and the Beserker one after the other. At the same time, Hacksaw and Virgil eliminate themselves. Mustafa was also eliminated at some point, but it was so quick I missed it
Minutes 50 – end: 27. Skinner / 28. Sgt. Slaughter / 29. Sid Justice / 30. The Warlord
The final four make their appearance we get to business throwing people out quickly so the match can move to the climax. Piper eliminates IRS and the Warlord gets tossed out by Hogan. Justice eliminates Slaughter by throwing him at the corner as hard as it is possible to throw another human being
It comes down to Flair, Hogan and Justice. Just as it seems like Flair is gone, Justice turns on Hogan and tosses him out. Because Hogan is horrible, he cheats and pulls out Justice from the outside. Flair wins!!
Interestingly, Flair gets a massive cheer for winning the match.
Hogan and Justice get back into the ring and yell at each other to set the stage for Wrestlemania VIII.
Overall: A great Royal Rumble, and a great performance by Flair.