Royal Rumble ’91

The Royal Rumble is easily my favorite of all big PPVs. I’m immediately excited to watch this and then immediately disappointing when I hear it’s Piper and Gorilla doing the commentating.  They were… not an electric duo

1. The Rockers vs. The Orient Express

One of the Orient Express is in a mask and I have no idea why.  What does Wikipedia say?  Oh, it’s actually Paul Diamond who is very much not Asian.  Hence the mask

The crowd immediately gets into the head of the Orient Express with a rousing chant of “USA!  USA!”

Rockers Rumble
What should I do? They’re chanting the place they live!

Generally this decent match, that includes about 7 perfectly choreographed double team moves by the Rockers.  Just when you think the Rockers have this in the bag, the Orient Express gets the assist from Fuji’s cane when the ref isn’t looking.

The momentum turns, but the Rockers manage to get the win with an out-of-nowhere sunset flip

Overall: Gotta love any PPV that starts off with the Rockers

2. Big Boss Man vs. The Barbarian

Well I don’t care about this match at all.  Let’s just skim through this one.

Most of the match is just punching and kicking, with the Barbarian on offense for most of it.  My sense is that Boss Man does not enjoy being beaten for a solid 14 minutes.

It's just a guess
It’s just a guess

The match ends with a bunch of power moves with both wrestlers barely on their feet.  Barbarian hits with a clothesline off the top rope, but Boss Man kicks out.  Boss man hits his side suplex, but Barbarian kicks out.

Eventually Barbarian goes for a flying press off the top ropes, but Boss Man roles it over and gets the pin

Overall: That was surprisingly a very, very good match.  I think if I liked either wrestler, I would have enjoyed it more.

3. World Championship Title Match – Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ultimate Warrior

When the Warrior was first introduced he had a series of matches against Rick Rude that were actually pretty spectacular (See Wrestlemania V, and Summer Slam ’89 for examples).

I bring this up because Warrior is one of those wrestlers (see Ted Dibiase) who rises or sinks to the level of the person he’s fighting  – meaning a great wrestler can get a good match out of him, but a shitty wrestler will get a horrible match out of him.

I suspect this is going to be horrible.

The match is mostly standard Warrior stuff, just him shoulder blocking and punching, until Scary Sherri interferes and Warrior chases her down the runway.  Then Macho pops out!

I'm a crazy, pink lunatic!
I’m a crazy, sprinting, pink lunatic!

Ha!  Man, I forgot all about this.  I could watch that gif all day.

With Warrior all beaten up, he barely makes it back to the ring.  Slaughter mostly dominates for the rest of the match with the Warrior only offering up a very tepid offense

Eventually Warrior starts on his “John Cena 5 moves of doom” (shoulder block, shoulder block, shoulder block, press slam, body press) when Sherri comes in to interfere.  While Warrior is busy entertaining himself by assaulting a woman, Slaughter uses the opportunity to blindside him and Macho Man then runs out and hits him with a giant stick.  Slaughter gets the pin and the belt

Warrior Hero

Overall: This whole thing is a setup for Wrestlemania VII, so they can put the strap back on Hogan.  Either way, I’m glad the Warrior’s run is over.  He just didn’t work out

4. The Mountie vs. Koko B Ware

Why is this match even?

Overall: Beats me, I skipped it

5. Ted Dibiase and Virgil vs. Dusty Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes

Before this match starts, they cut to the announcers booth where Gorilla and Piper are recounting the events of the night:

sexy sexy piper

I just want to point out that Piper always, always looks like he’s just finished having sex.

Anyhoo, onto this match.  It’s really only notable for 3 things.

  1. Right after this match, both Dustin and Dusty Rhodes left the WWE
  2. This match set up the feud between Virgil and Dibiase
  3. It’s barely, marginally interesting to watch Dustin Rhodes wrestle without the Golddust facepaint

The match ends when Dibiase gets the pin on Dusty Rhodes.  After the match, Virgil attacks him and the feud is full force.

Overall: This match is nothing spectacular.

6. The Royal Rumble

The first 10 minutes: 1. Bret Hart  / 2. Dino Bravo / 3. Greg Valentine / 4. Paul Roma / 5. The Texas Tornado / 6. Rick Martel / 7. Saba Simba

On to the Royal Rumble!

Bret Hart and Dino Bravo start the match off in what ends up being a very, very mediocre opening 10 minutes.  There’s honestly not a ton to recap when your most electric wrestler in the group (next to Bret Hart) is the Texas Tornado.

Historians take note – Saba Simba, AKA Tony Atlas makes his first and only PPV appearance

Minutes 10 – 20: 8. One of the Fucking Bushwhackers / 9. Jake the Snake Roberts / 10. Hercules / 11. Tito Santana / 12. The Undertaker

Saba Simba gets eliminated by the Model, making him the second elimination in like 12 minutes.  This is a sloooowwwww Royal Rumble.  Jake comes out to a huge pop and goes right after the Model.  It’s a moment of brief excitement

snake royal rumble
Sweaty, angry, mustachioed excitement

I yawn my way through next series of entrants and eliminations (Roma gets thrown out by the Snake) until the Undertaker (!!) comes out.  He immediately eliminates Bret Hart which made me think he was going to go on a run, but nope.  He gets caught up in a bullshit choking match against the Texas Tornado.

Undertaker Rumble
What do you mean “I need more tattoos”?

Minutes 20 – 30: 13. Jimm Snuka / 14. The British Bulldog / 15. Smash / 16. Hawk / 17. Shane Douglas (who?)

Undertaker eliminates One Of The Fucking Bushwhakers and then goes right back to his yawn-inducing attack on the Texas Tornado.  Davey Boy runs in next (nothing happens), followed by Smash (nothing happens), Hawk (nothing happens) and Shane Douglas (nothing happens).

Without much fanfare, Model manages to eliminate Jake and Hawk throws out Snuka.  There’s still a ton of guys in the ring, we’re 30 minutes in and this is shaping up to be an incredibly dull Royal Rumble

Minutes 31 – 40: 18. Macho Man (did not come out) / 19. Animal / 20. Crush / 21. Hacksaw Jim Duggan / 22. Earthquake

Entrant 18 was Macho Man but they decided to no-show him to make it seem like he was worried about the Ultimate Warrior.  Now that’s excitement!  An empty runway!

Macho No Show

After Animal comes out, the combined Road Warriors team up to eliminate the Undertaker.

Huh.  So that was it.  That was Undertaker’s Royal Rumble debut.  One elimination and then just… standing around.   Yet Shane Douglas remains.

Royal Rumble 91
“This is totally worth it” – thousands of sarcastic spectators

Minutes 41 – 50: 23. Mr. Perfect / 24. Hulk Hogan / 25. Haku / 26. Jim the Anvil Neidhart / 27. The Other Fucking Bushwhacker

Animal is quickly eliminated by Earthquake followed by Mr. Perfect eliminating Hacksuck.  Hogan comes out and the crowd wakes up, finally having something to cheer about.  Hogan quickly eliminates Smash before getting mired in Earthquake’s crotch

Earthquake Hogan.png
A position many strippers have found themselves in as well

As Haku comes out, Valentine is eliminated by Hogan and Tito is eliminated by Earthquake.  I had forgotten Tito was even in this match, he was so non-impactful.

In the highlight of the night, One Of The Fucking Bushwhackers gets immediately eliminated and walks right back out.  It’s hilarious.

Bushwhaker eliminated
Random physical comedy has always been the hallmark of a good Royal Rumble

Minutes 51 – finish: 28. The Nasty Boys / 29. The Warlord / 30. Tugboat

Well, there’s only about 15 minutes left in this match, I don’t think the boys are going to be able to turn this one around.  This was just a fundamentally boring and shitty Royal Rumble.  Very quickly, here’s the remaining beats in no particular order to get to the final three

– Nasty Boy eliminates Hercules, Shane Douglas and Davey Boy
– Hogan eliminates Crush, Warlord, Tugboat
– Davey Boy eliminates Mr. Perfect, Haku and the Model
– The Model eliminates Neidhart

Earthquake and the Nasty Boy are left with Hogan and beat him up for awhile.  Unsurprisingly, Hogan hulks the fuck out and wins.

Overall: This was a slow, boring Royal Rumble with tons of missed opportunities.  Total, dull garbage

Hogan Crotch
For giggles, here’s another picture of Hogan with his face in a random crotch