1991 Royal Rumble
American national anthem to start things off because this takes place during the Gulf War. Someone other than Vince announces the name for the RR. He sucks. He also announces all the other matches that take place. For Warrior Vs Slaughter, it just shows a close-up of Slaughter caressing a boot. Awesome.
Match 1 – The Orient Express Vs The Rockers – Fuck yes. A tremendous tag match to kick off the RR. If you haven’t seen this one yet, then watch it. Now. Stop reading this and go fucking watch it. NOW. Don’t bother with their WM match a couple of months later, THIS is the one you need to see. Plenty of time given to this, and we kinda get 2 tag matches in one. The STF (Southern Tag Formula) that most tag matches follow (because it works) can be simplified down to: Babyface shine period at the start, heel control segment, hot tag, finish. In this match, we get the babyface shine period, heel control segment, hot tag… and then they go back into a heel control segment. And I fucking love it. Just when you think the match is starting to finish, they go back a step and add some unpredictability to the whole thing so we will never be sure when the match will actually end. It’s still using the STF, but making it so it isn’t the exact same as other tag matches. Shawn takes a great beating which is no surprise because he’s a great FIP (face in peril), and when the hot tag comes, MARTY GO BANANAS and so do the fans. And guess what? The heels still manage to get back control of the match! More awesome tag action :D. Finally the Rockers pick up the win. Incredible tag match, possibly a top 10 tag match in company history. Can think of 5 better off the top of my head… no 6… might be missing one or two though. ****1/4.
Savage backstage, saying he doesn’t care who wins the WWF Title match. If Slaughter wins, he guarantees Savage will be #1 contender. Warrior hasn’t made the same commitment, but Sensational Sherri is gonna try and bate Warrior into doing the same. She tries to come on to him. He wants nothing to do with her. Even when she gets down on her knees in front of him. Savage is pissed. He runs to attack Warrior but he’s long gone.
Match 2 – The Barbarian Vs The Big Bossman – BOSSMAN’S OLD THEME!!! That’s a good start. Wonder if I’ll enjoy this match, since I hated it before, but ended up loving the Hacksaw match from the previous year. Barb is one of those few guys in the wrestling business that are usually mentioned as being a tough bastard you wouldn’t want to mess with. Not as much as Meng, but he’s up there. FACES OF FEAR. Bossman looks like he’s lost a TON of weight, especially if you were to look at him from 2 years ago in the RR match as part of the Twin Towers team. Well, it’s no Duggan/Bossman from last year. Starts off enjoyable, then Barb controls and well, he’s a little dull. BEAR HUG. Followed by a BEAR HUG. They do some spots near the end where Barb looks to have Bossman finished, but he gets his foot on the rope. Then Bossman looks to have things won and Barb… can’t quite reach the ropes LOL. He barely touches the bottom rope so they just say it counts. Bossman wins. Started good, ended alright, middle part was dull. **.
Slaughter promo. Then Warrior made loud noises.
Match 3 – The Ultimate Warrior Vs Sgt Slaughter – WWF Title is on the line. Early parts are good, because Slaughter is a great bumper. Then he gains control, and Warrior is a terrible bumper and terrible seller. BEAR HUG. That’s all I fucking need. Camel Clutch at one point is the most stupid thing ever, as Warrior is half under the bloody ropes. And the ref doesn’t notice for about 20 seconds. Somehow being in the Camel Clutch (one of the most devastating submission holds back in the day) enables Warrior to make a comeback and act like nothing happened. WRESTLING. LOGIC. FUCK YEAH. Sherri comes down, gets launched onto Savage. Savage wallops Warrior with his sceptre and… NEW WORLD CHAMPION. NEW WORLD CHAMPION. Do the fans feel for Warrior? Nah, HOGAN chants instead. This match was bad. *.
Match 4 – Koko B. Ware Vs The Mountie – CLASSIC. That’s a word that should never, ever, ever be used to describe this match. Best part of this match is Jimmy Hart taunting Koko’s bird. DUD.
Savage is being interviewed. Warrior tries to break his door down. Savage runs.
Usual RR competitors do promos thing. Could you imagine them doing this today? Fuck, we’d get about 29 god awful promos lol. Hmmm… seems like a lot of time left still for just the RR match. Have I forgotten something?
Match 5 – Dusty & Dustin Rhodes Vs Ted DiBiase & Virgil – Yeah, I forgot this. Hopefully I can forget it again. *.
Hogan promo, and LMFAO, half way in Mean Gene “gets an exclusive scoop” that Slaughter has defaced the American Flag. OMG NOOOOO NOT A FLAG! THINK OF ALL THE PEOPLE IT HURTS! THERE’S… UMMM… AND THAT OTHER… ITS A FUCKING FLAG.
Match 6 – 30 Man Royal Rumble Match – Bret Hart and Dino Bravo are #1 and #2. Canada Vs Canada. Bret gets entrance music. Bravo gets entrance music. Could THIS be the Rumble where everyone gets entrance music? We’ll see. No idea why I care so much about that lol. But I do. Aaaannnnd… nobody else gets entrance music. Bah! SAMBA SIMBA! What a legend. Tony Atlas for those who don’t remember. Or want to remember. What a gimmick lol. Jake Roberts is fucking OVER. And he didn’t get a main event run with Hogan because of that fact. Yeah, someone DIDN’T get a main event run because they were over. Fucking Hogan. Oh noes someone is getting cheered over me. CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN. So instead Jake is having to feud with guys lower on the card, and during this time its Martel. Martel isn’t bad, but his model gimmick was shit. And this all leads to a blindfold match at WM. It’s not terrible, but it isn’t good either. THE UNDERTAKER. His first RR match. 16 years later he’d finally win one. He enters and immediately throws out Bret Hart. Texas Tornado seems obsessed with taking out Undertaker. Eventually Undertaker gets away from him and goes to work on Snuka, who would be his WM opponent in a few months, where Undertaker would begin the EPIC Streak. Shane Douglas! He’s not a teacher though, so he’ll never be a star. They count down for another entry and… nobody. Didn’t know Benoit was part of the company at this time! Just kidding, it was supposed to be Savage, but he ran out of the area cos Warrior was after him. Funny though, you could see someone ABOUT to come out, and he had red on him, perhaps Animal of the LOD. And who actually does come out next? Animal. Of LOD. Ha. With both LOD in the ring they can no doubt cause some chaos, and they actually manage to eliminate Undertaker! Probably the most credible way for him to go out other than being eliminated by Hogan. Earthquake is again a big threat in this match, bigger than last year because he’s just coming off a big feud with Hogan (they actually had a singles match at SummerSlam). Bushwhacker Luke comes in at #27 and is involved in one of my all time favourite eliminations ever. He does that Bushwhacker march down to the ring…gets in, gets grabbed by Earthquake who walks him to the other side, throws him out, and he continues marching to the back like nothing happened! WARLORD. I’ve said it in the past and I’ll say it again; he looks like a roided up Steve Austin. #30 is… TUGBOAT. More like TUGOAT, right? I’m betting money on this guy. He’s the last guy in and he’s big and fat. Definitely in line for a monster push towards the title, yeah? Hogan eliminates him. TO START THEIR EPIC FEUD, RIGHT? Nah, tag team with Earthquake. WHO IS JUST FINISHING HIS FEUD WITH HOGAN, SO HOGAN TEAMS WITH WARRIOR, RIGHT? Nah. Martel finally gets eliminated by Bulldog. He lasted over 50 minutes, a new record, beating DiBiase from last year. And Bulldog’s reward for finally eliminating him? Being thrown out straight after. LOL. Hogan is now left with Knobbs and Earthquake. Hogan eventually overcomes the odds and wins of course. He’s the big American hero and this was during the Gulf War. Awesome match anyway. One of my all time favourites. I didn’t really start watching until 1993, but I still have fond memories of so many of the guys in this one because they were either still going in 1993, or were in the WWF Annual 1992 book that I had (and still have) and would constantly read through lol. ****.