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NotBAMF watched all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to! (2017!)

Not BAMF

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I figured in advance of the 2015 edition of the Royal Rumble, I would start watching all the Rumble matches in history and share my thoughts with you. Keep in mind... this is just the Rumble itself; not any other match on the card.

1988: The Debut

The Participants
1. Bret Hart (the very first Royal Rumble combatant, still working as a Hart Foundation heel with Jimmy as his manager)
2. Tito Santana (NOT El Matador yet!)
3. Butch Reed (the very first man ever eliminated from a Royal Rumble match, by Jake Roberts)
4. Jim Neidhart
5. Jake Roberts
6. Harley Race (and this was hilarious to me to see because whereas I KNOW Race was a wrestler, I've personally never SEEN him as anything other than "Vader's manager")
7. Jumpin' Jim Brunzell
8. Sam Houston (I seriously spent ten minutes thinking this was The Red Rooster because the announcers kept saying his name lazily and he had a red thing hanging from his chin. And who the hell was Sam Houston?)
9. Danny Davis (who had Black and White striped pants! I don't know why, but I loved that. He had evil referee pants)
10. Boris Zhukov
11. Don Muraco (Who they kept calling The Rock, and that amused me)
12. Nikolai Volkoff (Who ran down to the ring with Muraco, but was kept from entering before his turn by the outside refs. Did he not understand the point of this match?)
13. Jim Duggan
14. Ron Bass
15. B. Brian Blair
16. Hillbilly Jim (a guy I haven't seen since I was a little kid, and damn... I had no idea how HUGE he was!)
17. Dino Bravo
18. Ultimate Warrior (who... somehow doesn't win against this murderer's row of talent)
19. One Man Gang
20. Junkyard Dog

Final Four
4. Don Muraco
3. Dino Bravo
2. One Man Gang
1. Jim Duggan (WINNER)
0. Wow, seriously? I mean... I knew Duggan won the first Rumble, but... Muraco and Bravo in the final four of a Rumble?

Notes/Thoughts
-They did not have the classic Royal Rumble font for this... it was more of a regal type. They would get the branding down in advance of the 1989 edition, though.

-The announcers (Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura, IIRC... I've already watched up to 1991, and each Rumble had a different announce team), basically drop all pretense of "Every Man For Himself" and start just counting out the "good guys" vs the "bad guys". At one point, Ventura even says "It's 3 on 3 right now!" when there are three heels and three faces in the ring, even though they hadn't squared off as anything resembling two separate units.

-Seriously... Danny Davis' pants. Jesus.

-In one of my favorite acts of Babyface Apologizing, Vince McMahon blames "bugs flying around the arena" after Sam Houston sticks a thumb in Boris Zhukov's eye.

-This Rumble is noteworthy to me because... I've never seen half of these guys in person before! Actually, maybe more than half if I actually counted. I was vaguely aware of WWF as a kid, but I did not start watching until 1992, and most of these jabroneys were LONG gone by then.

-Bret Hart gets the Rumble's first ever Iron Man treatment, setting up that they always saw something in him. He was the very first man in, and Ventura repeatedly mentioned how long he has lasted until he finally gets pitched by Muraco.

-Not that there ever was any, but IF there had been any doubt as to how over Jake's DDT was, this match should end that. He keeps teasing it and almost getting it, and every time the crowds gives a huge pop. Even when he isn't signaling or teasing it, the arena kept chanting "DDT! DDT!" while he was in the match.

-Speaking of Jake, he and Danny Davis basically wrestle each other for what feels like forever while everyone else does their own thing. Did these two have an angle? The announcers don't mention it.

-Surprisingly, Ultimate Warrior is pretty casually tossed by Dino and One Man Gang.

-Near the end, One Man Gang accidentally hits Dino with a clothesline to eliminate him, but Bravo doesn't go over the ropes. Gang then blatantly shoves Bravo over and IMMEDIATELY acts like "Oh noes! I did not mean to clothesline you over!". It's funny from a botch standpoint, but actually even funnier if you assume it was kayfabe.

-Of course, Duggan fucking wins because why the hell not? This Rumble felt like it was just shit thrown at a wall to see if it would stick. There was no prize or reward or benefit announced for the winner, and it just kind of... happened. There was no classic logo yet... it was 20 guys instead of 30... and this marks the end of this "generation" of guys. The 1989 Rumble has quite a different lineup with more people everyone would recognize.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 02:14:27 AM by Not BAMF »

Propeus The Fallen

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 08:21:14 AM »
Yeah, that has to be the worst final four in a rumble ever.

Just Dino Bravo is enough but throw in Murraco. Wow.

Jabroniville

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2015, 08:51:15 AM »
Yeah, Hillbilly Jim surprises me with his sheer size- he's like Hogan-Big. It's funny, because he never got anywhere past "Midcard Comedy Act". Henry Godwinn, his future "client", has the same sort of deal, being a giant guy whom I didn't think was huge at the time.

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 12:46:19 PM »
Muraco actually had a quite successful career. Notable feuds with Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat. He had two fairly nice IC title reigns back when that belt was sometimes held by the #2 guy in the fed. As Morales was for some time.

Looking at that weak field it's not that big of a stretch for him to be in toward the end. Course it would be different in most of the RR's that followed given the larger and more stacked group of participants. It is surprising that neither Bret nor Warrior made that final four. Especially Warrior given his late entry.
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Propeus The Fallen

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2015, 03:50:34 PM »
Muraco actually had a quite successful career. Notable feuds with Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat. He had two fairly nice IC title reigns back when that belt was sometimes held by the #2 guy in the fed. As Morales was for some time.

Looking at that weak field it's not that big of a stretch for him to be in toward the end. Course it would be different in most of the RR's that followed given the larger and more stacked group of participants. It is surprising that neither Bret nor Warrior made that final four. Especially Warrior given his late entry.

Yeah, but at this point The Rock was done. Heck, I think him and Dino Bravo had one of the most boring matches ever at SummerSlam of that year.
But he used to be awesome. Especially Fuji Vice.

And I always took the first Rumble as McMahon seeing how it works and not caring too much who won.

Not BAMF

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2015, 07:09:29 PM »
1989: The Set-Up

The Participants
1. Ax
2. Smash (And already the RR had found an early gimmick by having the tag champs draw 1 and 2)
3. Andre The Giant
4. Mr. Perfect
5. Ronnie Garvin
6. Greg  Valentine
7. Jake Roberts
8. Ron Bass (And here I thought I was done with Guys I've Never Heard Of Before after 1988)
9. Shawn Michaels
10. Bushwhacker Butch
11. The Honky Tonk Man
12. Tito Santana (STILL not a matador!)
13. Bad News Brown (who gets the infamous "This guy is MADE for this match!" commentary for a midcarder who has no chance)
14. Marty Janetty
15. Randy Savage
16. Arn Anderson
17. Tully Blanchard ("Oh, the Brainbusters are in this? Fuck it, just have them come in consecutively")
18. Hulk Hogan
19. Bushwhacker Luke
20. Koko B Ware
21. The Warlord (in his infamous 2 second elimination after eating a Hogan clothesline as soon as he entered)
22. Big Bossman
23. Akeem
24. Brutus Beefcake
25. Red Rooster
26. The Barbarian
27. Big John Studd
28. Hercules
29. Rick Martel
30. Ted Dibiase (having greased some wheels to get the 30th slot after having a bad initial draw)

Final Four
4. Rick Martel (eliminated by Akeem)
3. Akeem (eliminated by Studd)
2. Ted Dibiase (eliminated by Studd)
1. Big John Studd (WINNER)

Notes/Thoughts

-This is really the "establishment" Rumble. After the first year's experiment proved successful enough, this is the Rumble that would establish the stereotype of Rumbles going forward. The negative to that is that this is kind of a generic Rumble without all that much excitement of anything unusual, but there are some high points regardless.

-In a fairly famous opening, the two members of Demolition draw 1 and 2 and, instead of just chilling out and waiting for #3, they start the match off by wailing on each other for two minutes. It's a pretty solid, entertaining mini-match between the two partners. It makes you realize how different the modern era is because nowadays there'd INSTANTLY be a "Well, they're going to split up now" reaction.

-Andre comes in at #3, and Demolition IMMEDIATELY starts wailing on him. Demo maintains a pretty solid advantage on Andre for a while before he is able to gain any traction. In another stark contrast to the modern era... imagine any pure tag team from the present being allowed to look strong against a main event monster heel. Seems laughable, right?

-CLASSIC Mr. Perfect, who sells Andre's punches like they are touches from the Grim Reaper... holding a grenade.

-There is a smart early dynamic where the classic face/heel interaction gets blown to heck, and EVERYONE goes after Andre. It falls apart after a while and people start breaking off to do their own thing against each other, but it's a good idea while it lasts.

-Jake The Snake's tenure initially seems pretty innocuous. He hits the ring, spends about two minutes getting the hell beaten out of him by Andre, and then he is eliminated by the giant. It seems like a head-scratcher until Jake returns a few minutes later with Damien in tow. He chucks the constrictor into the ring, causing Andre to jump over the ropes in panic. I had actually forgotten Jake and Andre had a feud over Andre being afraid of snakes...

-Savage has the biggest impact at #15 of anyone since Andre. He enters to a HUGE pop, chucks a few midcarders, and picks up the pace of a match that had settled into a lull.

-Hogan is something of a surprise entrant at #18 because, Savage aside, the ring is full of midcarders when he enters. It's hardly like someone was flashing the H symbol on a passing cloud to help deal with the threats of Arn and Tully and Marty Janetty.

-Bushwhacker Luke is the next guy after Hogan, and he and Hogan spend a solid minute or so fighting. I don't think I could ever express how much glee I felt watching Hulk Hogan do battle with Bushwhacker Luke. I would buy every Pay Per View on the planet if you could advertise Hulk Hogan vs Bushwhacker Luke for them. It's just the most ludicrous matchup I can think of.

-In what would be the first step in a trend of Hogan Is A God Damn A-Hole In Royal Rumble matches, Hogan dumps his tag partner, Macho Man, while the latter's back is turned. Savage storms back into the ring and teases a pre-Explosion of the Mega Powers. They face off for a bit before Elizabeth runs down and tries to smooth things over. Hogan extends a hand and, after some consideration, Savage shakes it. In kind of a hilarious moment, after they shake hands, Savage KEEPS EXTENDING HIS HAND TO HOGAN so they can shake over and over and over. For anybody else, it'd be dumb, but... it just works for Randy. You can almost hear his inner monologue. "Yeah! We're friends! Mega Powers, Yeah! Yeah! Still friends! Partners, yeah! Bury it, Randy. Bury the pain down deep. Don't think about it. Don't think about dropping the elbow on him. Bury it deep. Friends! Yeah! Still friends, oh yeah!"

-The continued adventures of Jerk Hogan: Hogan is alone in the ring with both of the Twin Towers, and they eliminate him. So OF COURSE he throws a big temper tantrum and pulls Bossman out of the ring after he's been told he is out of the match.

-Here's what I don't get. At some point, it is announced in passing that the prize for the Rumble is a cash reward. And yet, Dibiase is rumored to have spent a good chunk of money on the #30 spot. So... what was the point of that? I guess you spend money to make money and all, but... what could the net gain possibly have been?

-Oh, huh. Big John Studd won? I honestly did not know he ever won a Rumble. I thought Hogan won the next several rumbles after Hacksaw, but... nope. So at least this 20-some year old Pay Per View got to surprise me.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 08:58:46 PM by Not BAMF »

Jabroniville

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2015, 08:45:31 PM »
The best part of DiBiase buying one of Slick's guys' numbers is that the only possible numbers he could've gotten were 22 and 23. Those are GREAT NUMBERS. But anything less than 30 wasn't good enough for Ted. Great character moment.

And it's still funny that Hulk debuted the Hulk Hogan Bitch Elimination so early. No wonder all the Smarts turned on him.

Not BAMF

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2015, 09:01:54 PM »
The best part of DiBiase buying one of Slick's guys' numbers is that the only possible numbers he could've gotten were 22 and 23. Those are GREAT NUMBERS. But anything less than 30 wasn't good enough for Ted. Great character moment.

And it's still funny that Hulk debuted the Hulk Hogan Bitch Elimination so early. No wonder all the Smarts turned on him.

Yeah, and it's even remarkable that he has TWO petulant moments in one Rumble. Just eliminating his friend isn't good enough; he has to whine about how he was eliminated (even when it was perfectly fair) and cheat Bossman.

Propeus The Fallen

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 01:16:45 AM »
Eh, Karma caught up with Hogan in WCW during WWIII where he got dragged out along with a group that went over and the ref kicked him out of the match and Savage won the title.

...of course Hogan acted like Savage cheated him somehow and acted like a jerk, but it's Hogan. If he's not hitting women or beating up people far weaker than him, he's being a creep to his friends. :)

Not BAMF

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 08:25:18 PM »
1990: The Hogan, Part 1

Participants

1. Ted Dibiase (given #1 as a punishment for his buying #30 the year before)
2. Koko B. Ware
3. Marty Janetty
4. Jake Roberts
5. Macho King Randy Savage
6. Roddy Piper
7. The Warlord
8. Bret Hart
9. Bad News Brown (AGAIN heralded as the guy who is MADE for Royal Rumble matches)
10. Dusty Rhodes
11. Andre The Giant
12. Red Rooster
13. Ax
14. Haku
15. Smash (Lazy booking means that two entire tag teams that are feuding draw their numbers within 5 spots, from Andre to Smash)
16. Akeem
17. Jimmy Snuka
18. Dino Bravo
19. Earthquake (CANADIAN Earthquake. Different from that other wrestler, UNITED STATES EARTHQUAKE)
20. Jim Neidhart
21. The Ultimate Warrior
22. Rick Martel
23. Tito Santana (STILL not... oh, forget it)
24. The Honky Tonk Man
25. Hulk Hogan
26. Shawn Michaels
27. The Barbarian
28. Rick Rude
29. Hercules
30 Mr. Perfect (with the PERFECT draw, of course)

Final Four
4. Hercules (elim by Rick Rude)
3. Rick Rude (elim by Hogan with Perfect accidentally holding the top rope down)
2. Mr. Perfect
1. Hulk Hogan (HOLY SHIT, we've had TWO of these things and Hulk hasn't won yet? Better fix that!)

Notes/Thoughts

-First off... god damn! Tony Schiavone doing commentary on a WWE match? Yeah, that'll put butts in the seats... so they don't have to hear him at home!

-Jesse Ventura has some astute commentary on why #1 is slightly advantageous over #2. Because DiBiase got the #1 spot, he was in the ring first, so he got to assault Koko as he entered the ring. It was a good point, and one I'd never really considered. (Oh yeah... this is commentary team #3: Schiavone/Ventura!)

-Dibiase starts out like a house of fire, and eliminates Koko before Janetty hits the ring, and then he takes out Janetty before Jake's number is up. After embarrassingly losing in 1989 after buying the last spot, Ted goes on a tear from the #1 spot here with the match's big Iron Man run. I forget whereabouts in the match Ted was eliminated, but when he was tossed, the guy in the ring with the second-longest tenure at that point was Haku (#14).

-In a reversal of how most Rumbles work, there is a lot of star power early. For a while, the only fours guys in the ring are Ted, Jake, Savage, and Piper. Those are some heavy hitters for the first 12 minutes of a Rumble. Especially without any filler crowding them.

-Savage and Dibiase are basically partners here, but in more than a "heels stick together" kind of mentality. The entire time they're both in the ring, they are constantly working together and directing each other. Dibiase and Savage. Two guys that feuded over the title less than two years before. And we thought continuity was bad in the modern era!

-Oddly enough, when Andre comes out, the guys already in the match basically IGNORE HIM. There is no big "come to Jesus, converge on Andre" moment. In a sobering thought, I'm reminded that this is 1990. Andre looked pretty bad out there, but he'd also be dead within three years. When you think of it like that, I guess it's good to just see him out there and still giving whatever he has left for the fans.

-Piper eliminates Bad News Brown in short order, and then BNB (...heh) revenge-elims him. They brawl angrily back to the curtain and OH GOD is this the start that awful "Half-blackface" thing Piper did?

-So DUSTY RHODES of all people does a little "Hulk Up" when getting attacked by Haku? Who in the fucking universe decided that DUSTY RHODES deserved a superface "Hulk Up" gimmick? Did he always do that? I remember very little of Rhodes' matches from my childhood (which is odd because I distinctly remember Rhodes saying that he was one of only 5 or 6 guys in ALL OF WRESTLING HISTORY that non-fans would be able to identify. God, what an ass. At least he had good genes).

-I don't know why I got such a kick out of it, but at one point, Bret Hart tries to Goozle Andre. It looks like a kitten trying to choke out a grown man.

-One of the biggest pops of the match is definitely for Demolition when they're both in the ring and pitch Andre.

-Earthquake hits the ring at #19, and BY GOD... was he ALWAYS that tall? I knew he was a big fat guy, but he is dwarfing most of the guys in the ring. I honestly never recalled him being so large. Hey, remember that WWE arcade game? WrestleFest or whatever? Earthquake was tits in that game, and it's one of the reasons he was one of my first ever favorites. Good memories. Anyway, Earthquake becomes the first guy in Rumble history that really requires an armada to get out, as 5 or 6 guys finally swarm him and power him over the top.

-Around #19 or #20--and I don't know if this is just me or what--but it seems like the delay between new superstars starts shrinking drastically. I swear that barely a minute passes between entrances at some point. I should keep a stop watch handy for future Rumbles.

-This week in The Adventures of Jerk Hogan: Not very long at all after Warrior SAVES Hogan from elimination when two heels (Barbarian and Rick Rude) have the Hulkster half-over, Hogan sees Warrior in the SAME SITUATION, and uses the opportunity to toss Warrior (the funny things is that he DOESN'T EVEN GET RUDE OR BARBARIAN IN THE PROCESS. He JUST tosses Warrior). I'm starting to think Hogan was ALWAYS supposed to be a heel, because he was clearly booked as such.

-The final two are Mr. Perfect and Hulk Hogan, and Perfect decides to use a Perfect-Plex in a Royal Rumble because... you know. It doesn't even have time to be a bad decision because Hulk no-sells it, Hulks Up, and effortlessly tosses him for his first Royal Rumble win.

The Rankings Thus Far
1. Royal Rumble 1989 (HULK VS BUSHWHACKER LUKE, GUYS)
2. Royal Rumble 1990
3. Royal Rumble 1988
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 08:29:02 PM by Not BAMF »

Propeus The Fallen

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 10:49:43 PM »
I think I'd actually put this one ahead of 89. A much better final four and I can live with Hogan winning. Plus you had much better action and the managers at ringside helped out a lot. Plus you had a lot of storylines going on that lead up to WrestleMania. Plus karma finally catching up to The Million Dollar Man for last year's shenanigans was fun.

Like when Andre eliminates Warlord and Fuji tries to whack Bobby Heenan with his cane.

Jabroniville

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2015, 03:17:05 AM »
This one's the best of the early Rumbles, in my book. Just amazing booking, great booking periods (DiBiase dumping the first two opponents, then getting JAKE; Andre's bit, etc.), the Hulk/Warrior stand-off (where the crowd goes APE SHIT over the thought of them duking it out), and more.

Not BAMF

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2015, 07:00:36 AM »
I thought the Hogan/Warrior dynamic from 1990 just felt like a rip-off of Hogan/Savage from 1989 (except Warrior is more forgiving and just leaves after Hulk takes him out).

And the manager stuff is funny, because the Rumbles can not seem to decide whether managers are legal or not. In 1989, they were banned from ringside. Back for 1990 and 1991, but at 1992, they were banned again. I'll start watching 1993 this morning and see what their status is there.

Not BAMF

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2015, 09:47:09 AM »
1991: The 29 Men

Participants
1. Bret Hart (man, he drew for shit in these early ones)
2. Dino Bravo
3. Greg Valentine
4. Paul Roma (Without whom, we'd never have heard of those Four Horsemen jobbers!)
5. Kerry Von Erich (Without whom, I wouldn't have learned about suicide)
6. Rick Martel
7. Saba Simba (I had his name written down as "Sam Simba" until I looked it up)
8. Bushwhacker Butch
9. Jake Roberts
10. Hercules
11. Tito Santana (SERIOUSLY... Y U no Matadoring yet?)
12. The Undertaker (WITH BROTHER LOVE! Who thought that pairing made sense?)
13. Jimmy Snuka
14. The British Bulldog
15. Smash
16. Hawk
17. Shane Douglas
18 [no show]
19. Animal
20. Crush (So... AGAIN with two entire feuding tag teams entering in the span of just a few minutes)
21. Jim Duggan
22. Earthquake
23. Mr. Perfect
24. Hulk Hogan
25. Haku
26. Jim Neidhart
27. Bushwhacker Luke (In his awesome, "in one side, out the other, keep on 'whackin'" appearance)
28. Brian Knobbs (Why is only ONE Nasty Boy in this?)
29. Warlord
30. Tugboat (toot toot!)

Final Four
4th - The British Bulldog (eliminated by Earthquake)
3rd - Brian Knobbs (eliminated by Hogan)
2nd - Earthquake (eliminated by Hogan)
Winner - Hulk Hogan

Notes/Thoughts

-Year four gives us the fourth different Royal Rumble commentary team: Gorilla Monsoon and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. And... WOW, is Piper a disappointment as an announcer. He is just terrible. He's either absolutely frantic and yelling indecipherably, or he's making inane, nonsense comments. As much as I love Piper, he is positively grating to listen to here.

-Early on, Gorilla Monsoon arbitrarily decides what entrants are right out when he says something to the effect of "Well, the first five guys in the match have no chance". I bet Rick Martel was feeling really good about his chances right then! I wonder what, in Monsoon's mind, gives #6 such an advantage.

-Apropos of nothing, can I point out that one of the best names in wrestling history is "Gorilla Monsoon"? I mean... roll that name around your brain for a while. It's one of the 5 best names in professional wrestling, no doubt.

-The early going of the match: So. Many. Midcarders. You don't really have an entrant who draws a substantial reaction until #9 (Jake The Snake). He continues a Royal Rumble trend he'd developed of teasing the DDT early and often to get the fans hot. He did it in every Rumble except 1989 where Andre just battered him for a minute before pitching him. Despite all of Jake's charms, you have to wonder how over he'd have gotten without the DDT. Maybe the exact same, but... maybe not.

-Another trend I've kind of become an enamored of--and it's not an intentional one, but it's unavoidable by the match's nature--is seeing the fans get jacked every time the countdown starts, whip their heads to see who is coming... and then basically let out audible disappointment when it's some jabroney like Sam Simba or whatever.

-The Undertaker makes his Royal Rumble debut at #12! He is red hot already, and upon entering becomes the immediate focal point of the match. The camera follows him around and just ignores everyone else more-or-less. What I had forgotten was just how abominable young Taker was as a wrestler. Literally 90% of his offense was just... "chokehold". 

-So Hawk enters at #16 and proceeds to no-sell The Undertaker's offense. The Undertaker ends up having to ally with JIMMY SNUKA to take down Hawk for a bit. Excuse the hell out me, Hawk; too good to sell for the brand new monster heel? When Hawk finally unites with Animal, they eliminate Undertaker from the match. If this happened nowadays, you'd have the entire IWC bitching about how Hawk "buried" 'Taker and how Taker will never get to be taken seriously again.

-No one appears for #18, but no reason is ever given for this. The announcers speculate on it for a little bit before deciding it must have been Randy Savage's number since he did not come out for any other spot. It's never outright said, but I'm assuming this is kayfabe because Warrior ran backstage to find Savage after the world title match.

-ENORMOUS eruption for Hogan at #24. The fans are still all over him in 1991, with a massive "HOGAN! HOGAN!" chant for several seconds after The Hulkster has hit the ring. I kind of thought by 1991 the worm had already begun to turn on Hogan, but... not here, at least.

-We are told by the commentators that Hogan has dedicated this match to the troops in the middle east, just in case you thought Jim Neidhart might have a chance of pulling out the victory.

-There are two big Iron Man pushes in this one: Greg Valentine lasts from the #3 spot until after Haku comes in at #25. And Rick Martel sets the longevity record by lasting from the #6 spot to being one of the Final Five (Aw, just one more, and he'd have gotten Final Four billing).

-Did I miss some big Brian Knobbs singles push? He gets ganged up on in a manner usually reserved for guys like Earthquake or Andre. Neidhart, Hercules, Shane Douglas, and Rick Martel all swarm him like he's The Big Show).

-Ultimately, this builds to an Earthquake/Hogan showdown because the two were feuding at the time. It was the feud that would turn me against Hogan as a youngster because, even as a ten year old, I wanted to see Earthquake whoop him. Of course, 'Quake gained no traction in this feud, but he also wasn't buried and discarded like so many other monsters Hogan had vanquished (Zeus, King Kong Bundy, etc). Earthquake gets as decent of a showing here as possible (and I would say this is the longest/best "match" between the final two that the Rumble would have to this point), but... Hulkamania runs wild. Brother.

Rankings
1. 1989 (Big John Studd)
2. 1990 (Hogan I)
3. 1991 (Hogan II)
4. 1988 (Jim Duggan

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Re: Not BAMF watches all the Royal Rumble matches... so you don't have to!
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2015, 04:44:30 PM »
Brian Knobbs is of course a Hogan Friend, so that's how he ended up getting such a big run in this Rumble. Thankfully, that push only extended to making the Nasties Tag Champs for a few months.

This is the PPV that sent my High School best friend's brother from wrestling- like a lot of teenagers, he was getting suck of Hogan. "If fucking Hogan wins this, I'm never watching wrestling again!" Sure enough...