Reviewing The Rumbles: 1995
1995: The Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Roster
Oh man. I’ve been waiting for this one… Some Royal Rumbles are full on elite WWE talent grinding out important feuds and angles while multiple likely winners enthrall the viewer. And then sometimes… not so much.
1. Shawn Michaels
2. Davey Boy Smith
3. Eli Blu
4. Duke Droese
5. Jimmy Del Ray
6. Seone (The Headshrinkers’ version of Crush in Demolition. Also… The Barbarian. Like, just The Barbarian. He’s The Barbarian)
7. Dr. Tom Prichard
8. Doink The Clown
10. Rick Martel (He was still around at this point? God, wow).
11. Owen Hart
12. Timothy Well
13. Bushwhacker Luke (Kinda surprised these guys were still floating around, too. And without even Hulk Hogan to fight)
14. Jacob Blu
15. King Kong Bundy
18. Bushwhacker Butch (Lord Jesus, deliver us from these shitty midcard tag teams)
19. Lex Luger
20. Mantaur (who I more remember from Santino Marella making a funny joke about a few years ago than I do as a wrestler)
21. Aldo Montoya
22. Henry Godwinn
23. Billy Gunn
24. Bart Gunn (Jesus, bookers. Everone gets one, but come on. That’s twice with the consecutive tag partners)
25. Mr. Backlund
26. Steven Dunn
27. Dick Murdoch
28. Adam Bomb
Yeah. Those are really the 30 entrants this year. You might think I made some of them up, but… nope.
The Final Four
4th – Lex Luger (elim by Shawn)
3rd – Crush (elim by Bulldog)
2nd – The British Bulldog (elim by Shawn)
WINNER – Shawn Michaels
Actually a decent Final Four, all things considered.
-The wait time between entrances here is down to 60 seconds, which is just ludicrously short. Even when the ring is full of absolute drek, you still get overwhelmed when more of it comes seeping in so fast. Let’s put this in perspective: Shawn and Davey Boy last from the beginning to the final two spots, and their final in-ring time is less than 40 minutes. They probably, even at this point, were BARELY in the top ten longest Rumble tenures ever, and they lasted the whole match.
-Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler on commentary, and it isn’t long into this Rumble that I grow completely weary of Vince’s “AND HE’S OUT! No he’s not”. He does it about 20 times per Rumble. Maybe more, if I bothered to count them. But that means I’d have to listen to his commentary here again; no thanks.
-Funny moment early on (and you take what you can get from this Royal Rumble) where Shawn slams Seone’s head into the turnbuckle to no effect (because ISLANDERS HAVE IMMORTAL HEADS is Official WWE Gimmick #15), and then Shawn comically looks back-and-forth from Seone to the turnbuckle like a god damn cartoon character.
-It is safe to say that entrants #3 through #10 are just the pits. I mean… wow. Just bad. It isn’t until Owen comes out at #11 that we get a legitimate threat besides Shawn and Bulldog.
-Owen, having interfered in Bret Hart’s match earlier in the evening (boy did that feud last a long time. It started a whole year prior to this), gets assaulted by Bret en route to the ring and is then eliminated in 3 seconds. That’s a proper use of one of the four relevant guys in this entire match, yep.
-Duke Droese is eliminated right on top of Earl Hebner. I chuckled because it’s that kind of match.
-Bushwhacker Luke is the last entrant before Davey and Shawn clear the ring back to where we started (just the two of them). And then, reminiscent of the #3 entrance, they are eventually joined by a Blu Brother. I can’t help but wonder if that was on purpose.
-It’s actually pretty impressive just how easily Lex tosses Mabel out of the ring. Good show of sheer power there.
-Yeah, the last few years may have had some of the worst writing and creative in WWE history, but… the roster is a immeasurably better than this. We should really be more thankful we have guys like Rollins and Owens and Styles and Zayn, etc.
-Oh, and Bret Hart decides to attack Mr. Backlund, as well. Good for him, I guess.
-And yeah… that’s it. I mean… wow. I’ll save this Rumble the indignity of being last place because we had the great win by Shawn, but… damn. This was REALLY BAD. Even the ending isn’t great in retrospect, because Davey Boy looks back like an idiot after throwing Shawn over to make sure Michaels has himself caught. But as a Shawn fan, I was all about this ending as an early teen. I really recalled this Rumble being… NOT insipidly bad. But that most have been all rose-colored glasses for Shawn’s win.
1. 1992 (Flair) – 9/10
2. 1989 (Studd) – 5/10
3. 1993 (Yokozuna) – 4/10
4. 1990 (Hogan I) – 4/10
5. 1994 (Hart/Luger) – 4/10
6. 1991 (Hogan II) – 3/10
7. 1995 (Michaels I) – 2/10
8. 1988 (Duggan) – 2/10