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411’s This is Awesome Report: Most Awesome Royal Rumble Moments

January 27, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE This Is Awesome Image Credit: WWE

-Since it is Royal Rumble season here is a plug for my latest Retro Review (Royal Rumble 1996). This is Awesome has returned with season two and fittingly this episode is all about The Royal Rumble. For many this is their favorite show of the year. This should be fun! Let’s get to it!

-Season 2: Episode 1
-Run Time: 56:21
-Host: Greg Miller

-They have upped the production as Miller is in an actual studio this year. The studio is located in San Francisco (Go Niners!). I am digging the 80s vive of the studio look. Miller mentions there have been over 1000 participants in Royal Rumble matches over the years.

-Hype video to start with the classic Royal Rumble music and audio of The Fink going over the rules. Tyler Breeze puts over the mystery of the Rumble as you never know who is going to be next. Bubba Ray talks about his surprise return and how he was hit with a wall of sound he had never heard. They talk about how now you can get NXT debuts and Legends returning. EDGE! LISTEN TO THAT POP! Edge says that is his greatest memory as a performer as a wrestler and you can just see in his eyes how it felt. AX VS SMASH! EDDIE STEALING FLAIR’S NUMBER! SOCKO VS THE COBRA! RIKISHI DANCING! Solo says he taught Rikishi that dance. Ha! Beth Phoenix making out with Khali. Hurricane trying to double chokeslam HHH and Austin. TITUS O’NEIL AND HIS FALL AT THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE. STOP THE SHOW NOW! Taker and Shawn delivering a preview of their two Mania matches to end The Rumble. DREW ELIMINATING BROCK! Dawkins brings up having the dog in you to be able to do The Mania Point! Got to practice The Point!

Shawn Michaels Wins From #1: Royal Rumble 1995

-JBL says with a straight face that WWF had one of the strongest rosters of all time in 1995. Shawn enters #1 and Bulldog at #2. At some point they had to have someone win from #1, but this is less impressive as this was the lone year the intervals were 60 seconds. So Shawn only had to last 28 minutes to get to the end. The talking heads put over Pamela Anderson as she was there to congratulate the winner and then escort them at Mania. Shawn and Bulldog go wire to wire and Shawn gets tossed, but only one foot touches the floor. Bulldog thinks he has won and Shawn tosses him from behind. They should have saved Shawn winning from #1 for the following year when it was a foregone conclusion that he was winning. Winning from #1 works better for a babyface and he deserved to go the full hour vs 30 minutes.

Ric Flair Wins The WWF Title: Royal Rumble 1992

-Duh! This is often considered the greatest Rumble of All Time and just look at the roster. It was stacked! The WWF Title was on the line due to the controversy surrounding Hulk Hogan’s win over The Undertaker at This Tuesday in Texas. Ric Flair enters at 3 and Bobby Heenan loses his mind. Heenan and Monsoon deserve all the credit for calling this match. Karrion Kross mentions that same point and other talking heads put over what Heenan did that night. Heenan pleaded with God and begged anyone to get Flair through the match. “This is not fair to Flair.” It comes down to Sid, Hogan and Flair and Sid dumps Hogan. Well, that doesn’t work for Hulk and he grabs Sid which lets Flair dump him to claim his first WWF Title. Just an amazing match with a stacked roster and perfect commentary. Then Flair cuts an amazing promo backstage. “With a tear in my eye, this is the greatest moment in my life.” INJECTING ALL THIS IN MY VEINS!

Chyna Makes History: Royal Rumble 1999

-Montez Ford says he was always afraid of Chyna and he believed she was the 9th Wonder of The World. Chyna wins The Corporate Rumble and gets the #30 Spot. Vince McMahon: “I was eliminated by a woman.” There is a joke there somewhere. Chyna enters the Rumble at 30 and is the first woman to ever enter the match. Lita mentions Chyna was far ahead of her time and it took nearly two decades before the women got their own Rumble match. Asuka wins that first Rumble and Lita knows Chyna would be honored to know she paved the road for that moment. True talk there and sadly, had she not passed the pop for returning at one of these past few Rumbles would have been amazing and a deserved honor.

Bianca Belair: Royal Rumble 2021

-Bianca enters at Ric Flair’s lucky number 3. THUNDERDOME ERA! Bianca goes nearly 57 minutes and wins by last eliminating Rhea Ripley, who put in 39 minutes. Bianca’s time is still the current record for the Woman’s Rumble. Liv says nobody can do what Bianca does in the ring and calls her generational. Montez talking about Bianca is great as you can see the pride and love he has for her. That’s awesome! They show footage of her family watching and home and celebrating. Also cool!

-Miller mentions Bianca beat Sasha Banks at WrestleMania. SASHA IS COMING BACK! Isn’t that how this works?

Kofi Kingston

-Kofi is a freak athlete and would do crazy things to avoid elimination. It happened every year and became a tradition and I am sure it got to the point he was having a hard time topping himself. 2014 he walks on his hands on the floor to the stairs where he gets his feet. 2019 was a silly one as one foot lands on the floor and the other on Xavier Woods. That’s stretching it a bit and then it goes to him standing on pancakes. 2014 (I was there) he lands on Rusev and then uses the railing to jump to the apron. Ford says there is no way he could have done that. I think he could have done that. 2015 he lands on The Rosebuds and they carry him back to the apron. In 2016 he lands on Big E’s shoulder and 2019 he neck rolls with his feet in the air to the steps. 2017 he takes a crazy bump off the LED post, but hangs on to avoid elimination. In 2013 he lands on Albert’s back and then uses JBL’s chair to bounce his way to the steps. Kofi says he used to work at Staples and knows a lot about those chairs and how they lock in place. Not sure if he is in the Rumble this year, but if so, I am sure he has thought of something.

John Cena’s Return: Royal Rumble 2008

-In 2007 John Cena tore his pec and word was that he would be lucky to make WrestleMania. Cena is an alien though and was ready by The Rumble. He makes his surprise return as entrant 30 and MSG explodes. Fans forgot they hated him for a few minutes. Gargano: “He was three months removed from tearing his pec.” We see how it happened as he ate an RKO from Orton on a table. Cody is about to come back after 8 months and Cena did it in 3. That is insane! Again, he is an alien! I forgot about the days when there were 6 announcers calling matches that had all 3 brands. The match comes down to Cena and HHH and of course Cena wins because once he is in there you have to pay off the surprise. Elias calls Cena the Superman of the WWE.

Rey Mysterio Honors Eddie Guerrero: Royal Rumble 2006

-Rey enters at 2 and Triple H enters at 1 and they pull a Bulldog/Shawn as they go wire to wire. Well, almost as I forgot HHH was eliminated second to last. Both men lasted over an hour (HHH went 1:00:16) I think Rey’s 1:02:12 is still the record in a regular Rumble. I know Daniel Bryan blew that record away in The Greatest Royal Rumble. Rey dedicated this match to Eddie’s memory after his passing and they had to pay it off. Wonderful moment and thankfully they also paid it off at Mania as Rey won The World Title. Orton ends up being the last man eliminated to give Rey the win. Fun fact: This match didn’t close the show as it was a Mark Henry/Kurt Angle match just so Taker could return and use his magic to destroy the ring.

Santino Marella Sets a Record: Royal Rumble 2009

-The talking heads bring up the cardio factor and yet every year someone gets eliminated quick. The Warlord held the record for 20 years as Hogan eliminated him in just a tick over two seconds. Santino pops up and says he was ready to make an Impact! Ha, I see what he did there. Not sure if that was intentional though as I don’t know when that was filmed. I appreciated it though! Santino power walks to the ring and is clotheslined out by Kane a second later. JBL says that record will never be broken. “I wasn’t ready.” Everyone busts on him for that line. Santino said he had chicken earlier in the day and Kane was going for the same chicken. His fork was faster and he told Kane he was too slow. Then Kane just happens to be there to send him packing. Dawkins says history is history and Corbin notes he made an impact in that one second. It will always be played! Santino: “I don’t know if I will ever be ready.”

Maven Eliminates The Undertaker: Royal Rumble 2002

– I loved the original MTV Tough Enough series so much! For those wondering who is Maven. He was the male winner of the very first season of Tough Enough. We get Tough Enough highlights and again, I can’t state enough how much I loved that show. Taker enters early and dominates and is alone in the ring when Maven makes his entrance. Maven is screwed as Lawler asks JR if he has a watch on. The Hardys attack Taker after being eliminated and Taker dumps both of them again. He tells them to get their asses out of there and Maven hits a dropkick from behind to eliminate Taker. Insane pop from the crowd and the look on Taker’s face is great. Maven is thrilled and then it sinks in and he knows he is toast. Of course Bikertaker can’t take a loss like that and he beats the fire out of Maven including putting his head through the glass of a popcorn maker. Everyone talks about Hogan being a poor sport when Sid eliminated him, but this was worse.

Three Faces of Foley: Royal Rumble 1999

-Mick Foley had been Mankind in the WWF and after a bit brought out his alter egos with Dude Love and finally, Cactus Jack. Cactus Jack enters #1 and that would only be the start of Foley’s night. Breeze calls it the smartest tactic in Rumble history. Jack gets eliminated and then Mankind enters at 16. JR and Lawler are confused. Gulak says Foley was exploiting a loophole. Goldust eliminates Mankind and then Dude Love enters at 28. JBL was eliminated by Dude Love and he hates him for that. Breeze brings up the math that Mick had a 1 in 10 chance instead of a 1 in 30. Elias: “Nobody would believe that someone could be more than one person.” I see what you did there!

Steve Austin’s Rumble Hat Trick: 1997, 1998, 2001

-Austin holds the record with three Royal Rumble wins and he says his favorite was 1997. I prefer 2001 as the best match, but Austin had a great performance in 1997 as he was booked like a future star. Austin checking his wrist as he eliminates man after man before Bret Hart enters. Great sell from awesome there. At the final four, Bret tosses Austin, but the refs never saw it and he heads back in and tosses Bret and then Taker/Vader to get the win. The following year Austin the target of everyone as he attacked the entire roster in the build to the show. Austin’s music hits and he enters from the crowd was everyone was waiting on him. Austin says 98 was fun as anytime it’s him and Rock it’s a good time. Rock takes his great sell of The Stunner and gets tossed to give Austin his second win. Now we jump to 2001 and Austin is a bloody mess thanks to HHH. There were only 2 choices to win that one (Austin or Rock) and they went with Austin as he eliminates Kane to get the win. We have a whole list of people at two Rumble wins and I am not sure if anyone is going to catch Austin.

-Miller wraps things up and we get a preview of the next episode as it will be all about The Most Awesome Monday Night RAW moments! Lots of Jericho in the highlights. You know what that means!

-Fun show with lots of great moments. I was waiting for the to bring up The Hogan/Warrior showdown from the 1990 Rumble, but it never happened. They included AJ’s debut in the opening package so I figured that wouldn’t get much discussion either. I am sure there are many others I am forgetting, but that got the main ones you would expect. Nostalgia is fun and that’s what this show has going for it. Thanks for reading!