Its my favourite time of the year wrestling wise; THE ROYAL RUMBLE. So to kick start my Road to Royal Rumble, every single day starting now up until the 27th (date for the 2013 RR) I will be posting my ramblings on each RR event! 25 days, 25 RR events! Then on the 28th, I will post my review of the 2013 Royal Rumble event! Of course I’ll also have some videos up between now and then as well :).
So to kick start the RTRR, my ramblings on the first ever RR event in 1988 (please note, these “ramblings” aren’t like my usual reviews. They originally started out as notes for a video I wanted to do, but I ended up fleshing them out so I could post them as written content instead lol)!!!
1988 Royal Rumble
Not a PPV, instead a TV special on the USA Network.
Match 1 – Rick Rude Vs Ricky Steamboat – There is a women in the front row with a megaphone screaming abuse at Rude all throughout the match, with the “Rudey Rudey Rudey” chant being my favourite. Nice arm work from Steamboat, Rude sells very well, especially once he regains control of the match and tries to pose but can’t raise his left arm. He attempts to pose a couple of times before he is able to do it. Match ends with a DQ after Rude pulls the referee in front of Steamboat who is coming off the ropes with a cross body. Rude gets Steamboat in the Rude Awakening submission hold and believes he wins when the bell rings, and even leaves the ring believing he has won until they finally announce that he got DQ’d. Good lengthy match between the two, though I can see people not enjoying it as much as me because it is a little slow, but never dull imo. ***1/4.
Dino Bravo attempts to break a world record with a Bench Press of 715lb. He starts off at 415, then goes to 505, 555, 595, 655 and does it easily. Then he gets to the record weight of 715lb and does it with help from Jesse Ventura who was his spotter. Frenchy, Bravo’s manager just saying shit in French all the time was somewhat amusing, but this segment lasted 17 minutes. The same amount of time as the Steamboat/Rude match. It was terrible. Good job this wasn’t a PPV because people would have probably demanded a refund.
Match 2 – Glamour Girls Vs Jumping Bomb Angels – 2 out of 3 falls – LMAO McMahon and Ventura don’t even know the names of the Jumping Bomb Angels from Japan. They call them “Red and Pink” for most of the match because of the colour of their outfits. Gotta love when the announcers don’t even know the names of the competitors in a match. Really gets you into it… That being said, this match is genuinely really good. I’d put it as a top 5 women’s match in WWF/E history. It’s THAT good. Well ok, even having it as a top 5 women’s match in WWF/E isn’t saying too much because outside of some matches involving Trish, Lita and Mickie, the division has sucked for the better part of forever. Women’s tag titles are on the line here too. No idea when women’s title tiles came about or where they went. Kinda like the actual women’s title. Sometimes it would show up, sometimes it would disappear for a decade. Shame, because if they could have found more teams like these two, they could have had a really good division. Ah well, I’ll just be happy that we got this. Nice change from Rude/Steamboat’s slower match, with both teams running around and jumping around etc. Plus the crowd needed something to get them going again after 17 minutes of Dino Bravo weightlifting. Plenty of great moves in this match too, including a lot of things I’ve rarely ever seen since, by women OR men. Love 2 out of 3 tag matches. Should happen more… but then again I don’t want to see the majority of tag teams go 1 fall these days. This gets 15 minutes, so again another lengthy match. Something that not only do we never get with diva matches nowadays, but something I don’t think I’d WANT to see these days. ***1/4.
Another segment now to break up the matches, and it’s a contract signing between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant for their WM 3 rematch that will take place on Feb 5th (Saturday Night’s Main Event? I forget, and they NEVER actually mention the name of the show, just the date lol). Gotta say, this might be one of the better contract signings ever… and neither man even cut a promo on each other. You have Jack Tunney (LMFAO at Tunney, what a fucking waste of space he is) making sure both men sign the contract, Mean Gene giving running commentary in the ring and Ted DiBiase mocking Hogan and saying how he’s gonna buy the title. Andre is an absolute fucking BOSS throughout this whole thing too. He comes out first and while waiting for Hogan to come out, just leans on the ropes and starts bouncing on them, hands in his pockets looking like the coolest guy ever. Then Hogan comes into the ring, sits down and waits for Andre, meanwhile Andre just keeps on bouncing on DEM ROPES. Finally he sits down, Hogan signs, and Andre… takes his time and reads the entire thing while DiBiase taunts Hogan who really puts Andre over as the biggest threat ever by looking pretty terrified that he’s actually signed to face him again. Andre signs, and smashes Hogan’s head into the table for good measure. Yeah, really enjoyed this tbh. Far better than the “Vince McMahon Masturbation Weight Lifting Segment” from before. Seriously, it probably lasted that long because Vince was jerking off to it.
Match 3 – 20 Man Royal Rumble Match – The first RR match! Sort of. They did a tryout of sorts on a house show the year before I believe, and it absolutely BOMBED, so they changed and tweaked some shit before putting the match on TV. I’d assume they tried the newer format out on a house show too… but yeah, who knows. One Man Gang was the winner of the 1987 Royal Rumble Match! Bret Hart and Tito Santana are #1 and #2. Oh man, there’s a kid on camera while THE FINK runs down the rules of the match, and he looks like he’s going to legit CRY out of confusion. Awesome. The match isn’t a classic Rumble, but it’s certainly fun. Starts off pretty good with talent like the Hart Foundation, Harley Race, Jake Roberts, Tito Santana, Butch Reed… then starts to go downhill with the likes of Danny Dangerous, One Man Gang, Sam Houston, Nikolai Volkoff and others. Good job this only lasted half an hour and was only 20 guys. Imagine another 10 jobbers and another 30 minutes! Oh yeah Duggan wins. **3/4.
Hogan promo! LMFAO at Hogan ripping off his shirt as he’s saying “When I think about you Andre”. Dirty Hogan! Bad Hogan! As bad as their matches together were, dammit, the build up and promos and whatnot we SO FUCKING GOOOOOOD. Makes me want to watch them even though I KNOW they suck.
Match 4 – The Islanders Vs The Young Stallions – 2 out of 3 falls – Urgh. Paul fucking Roma. I seriously despise him. He’s the Chavo Guerrero Jr of the 80’s/early 90’s. Except Roma was a Four Horseman. Chavo remained an absolute nobody. Jim Powers is also a nobody. The Islanders are Haku (aka the toughest bastard ever) and Tama, one of the lesser known/remembered Samoan wrestlers. He’s actually the brother of Umaga and Rikishi. Remember how I mentioned earlier about not wanting to see current teams in 2 out of 3 falls matches because they suck? Well the same can be said for this match. It’s terrible and aside from Haku, everyone in it fucking sucks. At least it’s the shortest match on the card, though still only 1 minute less than the women’s tag match which is infinitely better. Roma screws up a hip toss/arm drag move (not entirely sure what was supposed to happen), and Haku literally just powers him fucking over and slams him anyway. Nobody botches on Haku’s watch! Roma gets counted out for… first fall? Second fall? I don’t remember nor care. Anyway, Ventura always mocks referees about not being able to count past 3, so when the ref counts to 10 for a countout… Ventura claims he used his toes to go that far. I’m not sure Jesse realises how many FINGERS we have!
Oh man, this is classic. They actually STOP the tag match and have an interview with Andre and Ted DiBiase! You can see The Islanders in the ring in the background just waiting! That’s how fucking shitty the tag match is. They literally need to take a break in between so we can listen to Andre attempting a promo!
So we’re back for the second fall it seems… with Roma and Powers returning from the back! They seriously went backstage between falls? LOL. Roma is a retard. He has a bad knee that he injured when getting thrown out of the ring for the countout finish… so what does he do to block a splash? Gets his knees up. HUR DUH I PAUL ROMA I FOR HORSEYMAN. JESSE VENTURA SAY I NEED USE TOES TU COUNT TU FOR. Roma submits because his knee is fucked, and The Islanders win this one 2 straight falls. *1/4.