Welcome to the Sunday Edition of the Phat Daily Column. Today, we examine the Royal Rumble, which is tonight's WWF Pay Per View spectacular. Lots of history behind the show, which I'm going to painstakingly recap here. I plan on doing that for every card, or at least try. On to the PDC.
Ricky Steamboat defeated Rick Rude(DQ)
Jumping Bomb Angels defeated Judy Martin/Leilani Kai
Royal Rumble Winner: Jim Duggan
Islanders defeated Young Stallions
This is a very weak card for back then, with no real star power (besides Steamboat) here. Hoooooooo! Who would have expected that Jim Duggan would win the first ever Royal Rumble? Not much of a push followed Duggan after this, as he was just an undercard wrestler for the rest of his WWF career, besides winning the WWF King honor.
Royal Rumble 1989
First Royal Rumble on Pay Per View, since it was decided to make more money of their product, especially since it was very hot this year. The rule about winning the Royal Rumble getting you a title shot was not in place yet, as we'll see here:
Hart Foundation/Jim Duggan defeated Dino Bravo/Rougeau brothers(screwjob)
Rockin' Robin defeated Judy Martin
Haku defeated Harley Race
Royal Rumble Winner: Big John Studd
The Royal Rumble was used as a lasting tribute to Big John Studd. I believe he was starting to suffer from some health problems, so I believe this was a way to show recognition for the big man, which he deserved for a lot of years in wrestling. Haku (or Meng now) became the "King" of the WWF after his win. It should be noted that the hype between Rick Rude and Ultimate Warrior's match at WM 5 was a Posedown contest on this card. Oh lord.
Royal Rumble 1990
This is the mega show heading into the peak of the WWF, which was Wrestlemania 6 back then. This is an interesting show with a good story behind it, reportedly. Here's the card:
Bushwackers defeated Rougeau brothers
Brutus Beefcake vs. Genius(no contest)
Greg "the hammer" Valentine defeated Rugged Ronnie Garvin
Jim Duggan defeated Big Bossman(DQ)
Royal Rumble Winner: Hulk Hogan
You see that Hogan won the Rumble? Legend has it that Curt Hennig was originally supposed to win this event. But nooo, Hogan began using some creative power in the WWF, and he wanted to win it. So instead of getting a push off of winning the Rumble, Curt Hennig would then win the IC title. Again, no rule for the Title Shot yet, since Hogan was the champion back then.
Royal Rumble 1991
Rockers defeated Oriental Express
Mountie defeated Brooklyn Brawler
Big Bossman defeated Barbarian
Sgt. Slaughter defeated Ultimate Warrior (screwjob)
Ted Dibiase/Virgil defeated Dusty and Dustin Rhodes
Royal Rumble Winner: Hulk Hogan
Hogan wins again! I guess this win set the standard for future ones, since he would go on to fight Sgt. Slaughter in Wrestlemania 7, where the WWF played with fans's hearts since we were in the middle of the Gulf War. It should also be noted that Macho Man screwed Warrior out of the title, thus setting up their strange match at WM. Amazing, that without booking power, the Rhodes duo gets jobbed cleanly!
Royal Rumble 1992
I love this card. As the story goes, Hogan was screwed out of the title at Survivor Series to the Undertaker. At the following Tuesday (in Texas), Hogan beat the Undertaker back, cheaply. Jack Tunney(sp?) declared that both victories were bad, so he put the title up at the Rumble... WWF just picked up Ric Flair from the ignorant WCW at the time...
New Foundation defeated Oriental Express
Roddy Piper defeated the Mountie
Beverly Brothers defeated Bushwackers
Natural Disasters defeated the Legion of Doom(countout)
Royal Rumble Winner and NEW World Champion: Ric Flair
Ric Flair's monumental Title win here will always be remembered on my part. Spectacular moment in wrestling. It should be noted that Sid Justice was the last man before Flair, and that he was ROBBED of the title shot in my opinion, to the 3rd man out, Hulk Hogan. Hogan even helped to get Sid out of the competition, damn it. Hogan would later turn down the title shot to get some off of Sid at Wrestlemania 8.
Royal Rumble 1993
This is a bad year for the WWF. WCW was going down the tubes, and the WWF was starting to also. But it had a few promising moments, like the great push of Yokozuna and Bret Hart as the champ. Hogan was "retired" at this moment, but the WWF panic button brought him back a few months later to win the title, damn it.
Steiner Brothers defeated Beverly Brothers
Shawn Michaels defeated Marty Jannetty
Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Big Bossman
Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon
Royal Rumble Winner: Yokozuna
Bret vs. Razor? Amazing. There were no other wrestlers for Hart to wrestle at the time, so they through a former WCW big guy at him. Yokozuna's win of the Rumble made him the #1 contender for Wrestlemania, where he defeated Bret Hart.... and then lost to Hulk Hogan! AHH!
Royal Rumble 1994
This is a rather interesting card, which would hype Wrestlemania 10 pretty well. It had its moments though, that many wrestling fans would rather forget. Here's the card:
Tatanka defeated Bam Bam Bigelow
Quebecers defeated Bret and Owen Hart (match called by ref)
Razor Ramon defeated IRS
Yokozuna defeated Undertaker (very cheaply!)
Royal Rumble Winner(s): Bret Hart and Lex Luger
During the first tag match, Owen kicked Bret's injured leg afterward. Selfish Bret didn't tag his brother when he was hurt, and he collapsed in the ring while applying the sharpshooter. That set up their match at WM 10, which was a great one! Shawn Michaels tried to screw Razor out of the title by drilling him during his match with IRS. That match was restarted, with Razor getting the win. HBK did the angle where he claimed that he was still the IC Champion, and he would attack Razor no matter what. That set up the famous ladder match. If you need a good laugh, watch this card for the Yokozuna and Undertaker match. So F'N ridiculous. Bret and Luger landed at the same time, or so they claim, to make the double main event match at Wrestlemania 10.
Royal Rumble 1995
Are we there yet? Welcome to WWF hell. By this year, the Clique ruled everything backstage, which therefore, flushed Bret down the toilet. Well, he got a title shot here, but that would be his last until Survivor Series that year. This is in the early stages of the Diesel era. Yuck!
Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon (in their 2nd match?)
Undertaker defeated IRS
123 Kid/Bob Holly defeated Bam Bam/Tatanka(didn't they fight last year?)
Royal Rumble Winner: Shawn Michaels
Wow, 3 out of 4 matches won by Clique members. Razor lost a cheaply though, so 4 out of 4 Clique members look good! This card also features Bam Bam pushing Lawrence Taylor, who would fight Bam Bam at Wrestlemania 11. Shawn's win let him fight his good buddy, Diesel, at WM. Funny how stuff like that happened back then. Bret Hart who?
Royal Rumble 1996
To Quote Dana on the funny movie Moving Violations: "Dad... are we there yet? I'm hungry!" Well, I'm only saying that because these are the BAD years of the WWF. But this provided a good set up for the monumental Ironman match, which I'm the only person who didn't like it. Can we say BORING?
Jeff Jarrett defeated Ahmed Johnson (DQ)
Smokin' Gunns defeated Body Donnas
Goldust defeated Razor Ramon(screwjob)
Royal Rumble Winner: Shawn Michaels
Undertaker vs. Bret Hart (No contest)
Razor Ramon was in the middle of his early drug problems, so he lost his IC title. He would be informed about a month or two later that his contract would NOT be renewed. Shawn won the Rumble, so he would face Bret at WM. Diesel ran down for the Undertaker vs. Hart match, which led to Undertaker vs. Diesel at Wrestlemania. See how the booking goes? Oh wait, for interfering, Nash got a title shot. Didn't Triple H interfere with Austin's recent match with World Champion Angle, to get a title shot? I guess having booking power does wonders. Nash wasn't quite done with WWF yet, but by the time Wrestlemania rolled around, he was talking to WCW. Amazing to see the Body Donnas as tag contenders, eh?
Royal Rumble 1997
If you didn't notice, I'm not too fond of the WWF during the years 1995 - 1997. But this show had its spots, which led to a decent Wrestlemania that year. On to the card:
Triple H vs. Goldust(screwjob)
Ahmed Johnson defeated Farooq(DQ)
Vader defeated Undertaker(screwjob)
Perry Aguayo/Hector Garza/Canek Garza defeated Jerry Estrada/Heavy Metal/Fuerza Guerrera
Royal Rumble Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin(cheaply I might add)
Shawn Michaels defeated Psycho Sid
This was Austin's rise to heel fame, as he got a huge cheap win for the Royal Rumble. He was tossed out, but nobody saw it. WWF also went out and bought some Mexican talent, which was working in WCW. HBK gets his second World Title here. BUT, Shawn Michaels would claim a "knee injury" to avoid him to do the job to Bret Hart at Wrestlemania. What a guy.
Royal Rumble 1998
We're getting there, I swear. This was the slow Rise of Steve Austin, along with the other crazy storylines that the WWF was attempting here.
Vader defeated Goldust
Midget Match: I won't try spelling their names
Rock defeated Ken Shamrock (screwjob)
Legion of Doom defeated New Age Outlaws (DQ)
Royal Rumble Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Shawn Michaels defeated the Undertaker (screwjob)
Not a clean match on the card.... This was during the great early heel days of the Rock. Man, I miss THAT Rock. Kane ruined the Undertaker's chances for winning the WWF title, which set up their match at Wrestlemania 14, which is their best match. Austin won the Rumble, therefore, fighting HBK at RR. New Age Outlaws were coming into their own here, pissing off fans for escaping defeats.
Royal Rumble 1999
The WWF was slowly growing into an empire, where they peaked at Wrestlemania 15. Rock was the evil Corporation heel here, as he would try to do the heat drawing things to Mankind... but the fans kept cheering "Rocky!" "Rocky!"
Big Bossman defeated Road Dogg
Ken Shamrock defeated Billy Gunn
X-Pac defeated Gangrel
Sable defeated Luna (screwjob)
Rock defeated Mick Foley (screwjob)
Royal Rumble Winner: Vince McMahon(?!?)
Yes, Vince's ego was out of control here. Good thing he gave up his spot to wrestle at Wrestlemania's main event for the title. The Rock vs. Mankind match is sooo brutal! I can see why Mick's family was crying during the match. The Undercard sucked in this show, featuring DX members to bore us. Sable tried to wrestle here, but she got some help from Tori! For the hot year 1999 was for the WWF, this wasn't a great show.
Royal Rumble 2000
Ah yes, one of the bests here. The WWF was sort of in a rut after Vince Russo left the company in late 1999, and nobody had confidence in Triple H as the champion. It all changed after this night...
Tazz defeated Kurt Angle
Hardy Boyz defeated the Dudley Boyz
Chris Jericho defeated Bob Holly and Chyna
New Age Outlaws defeated the Acolytes
Triple H defeated Cactus Jack
Royal Rumble Winner: Rock(but reversed later)
AWESOME matches on this card. First off all, we had the Dudley Boyz and Hardys match. Great brawl, with a devastating finished. Then, we have the Tito Award winning match of Triple H vs. Cactus Jack. Next, we have the surprising victory of Tazz over Kurt Angle. See where Tazz is today after this? See where Angle is after this? Nice one WWF. Rumble was decent, although I hated it when I saw it at first. Probably because the Rock won it.
Which, finally, brings us to this year's Pay Per View after over 2 hours of typing.
Lord knows Chyna can't degrade herself by wrestling her own gender.
Tag Titles: Dudleys vs. Edge/Christian
My instinct tells me that the Dudleys are in for a big win at Wrestlemania 17, but that's a few months away. Dudleys are overdue for the titles, therefore, I'll choose them!
Tito's Pick: Dudley Boyz
European Title: Test vs. Lord William Regal
Regal's actually hurt for this one, so I see him in the need of taking some time off. Besides, wouldn't you just cream over a Test vs. Albert feud for the European title?
Tito's Pick: This is a Test
Ladder Match for IC title: Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
Instant FINGER OF SHAME if this match isn't given at least 20 minutes. Seriously. This could be the match of the year if and only if the booking is right and the time is right. Let's hope for the best. It's hard to choose this one, you know, with that big glass ceiling sealing their fates. I'll go with Jericho. Jericho and Benoit have the potential to make a better ladder match than Shawn and Razor.... but things must be right for it to happen.
Tito's Pick: Chris Jericho
World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Triple H
Triple H has booking power, and Kurt Angle doesn't. I believe we're going to see Triple H vs. Austin at the next Pay Per View for the World Title, to you know, force marks to buy it. Did I just say that?
Tito's Pick: Triple H
OHHHHH, Rikishi is #30. Yeah, like he'd ever win something important. I like how the WWF tries to push him as a "bad man", but yet nobody cares. Anyway, I see the Rock getting his second Royal Rumble victory in a row, but this time, no controversy! He'll probably fight the winner of Triple H vs. Austin at Wrestlemania.
Tito's Pick: Rocky
GIVE BENOIT VS. JERICHO TIME!!!!!!
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Wrestle Palooza Audio Show: Listen to the Preview show of Royal Rumble!!!
@That's all for today. I shall be back, tomorrow, to give some thoughts about the WWF's first attempt at a Pay Per View this year, and more.
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Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.