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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Royal Rumble 1991 Take Two

September 22, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Royal Rumble 1991 Take Two  

Royal Rumble 1991
by J.D. Dunn

This show comes right in the middle of Operation: Desert Storm, the military action to drive Iraq from Kuwait. So, do you drop all the angles and make it a tribute show to the troops? Do you donate much of the proceeds to the families or a veteran’s hospital? Or do you have a traitor win the title and burn the American flag so you can get heat for your entertainment show?

  • January 19, 1991
  • Live from Miami, Fla.
  • Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper.

  • Opening Match: The Rockers vs. The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji).
    This is the Orient Express 2.0 with Paul Diamond reuniting with his former Bad Company cohort Pat Tanaka. These two teams had dozens of matches in the AWA, so their chemistry is down pat, and it shows here. In fact, these two teams go so far back that Shawn Michaels and Paul Diamond used to be in a tag team known as the American Force back in Texas. The Express attack at the bell and go for their crescent kick/German suplex early, but Janetty makes the save. The Express bail out to think things over, so the Rockers follow them out with stereo topes. The match settles down with a highly motivated Janetty doing some good stuff with Kato. Janetty leapfrogs Kato, and the OE collide. Michaels tags in, but Tanaka hits his AWESOME twisting crosschop. The Express puts on the breaks before they collide again, so Michaels slams them together. All four guys wind up in the ring, and Michaels moonsaults on Kato. A tremendous sequence of tandem offence sees the Rockers get stereo crossbody blocks to the floor. Back in, Shawn suplexes Kato, but Tanaka snaps his throat on the top rope to block a monkey flip. The Express take over and hit the AWA Special. Michaels works in the Flair Flip to get to the apron, but Tanaka sends him right back into the ring with a crescent kick. The Express tires to doubleteam him with a belt, but he ducks under their clothesline and splashes the belt, knocking both of their heads together. You really have to see that one to believe it. HOT TAG TO MARTY! Marty gets two off a powerslam and fights with Kato over a backslide. Tanaka provides a kick, allowing Kato to get two. The Rockers hit stereo crescent kicks, and Marty is about to press slam Michaels onto Kato, but Tanaka makes the save, knocking Michaels to the floor. Kato tries to catapult Marty into a Tanaka chop, but Michaels recovers and messes them up, allowing Marty to slingshot himself into a sunset flip at 19:15. One of my favorite tag matches of all time. ****1/2

  • Queen Sherri comes out to convince the Ultimate Warrior to give Macho Man a title shot, thus guaranteeing him a shot because Slaughter has already agreed to give him one. Warrior refuses, which is really kind of a dick move on his part because Savage would have to be a top contender. Warrior incurs the wrath of the Macho Man.
  • The Barbarian (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. The Big Bossman.
    Barbarian stalls for a while before getting in. He slugs away at Bossman, but Bossie comes back with a big boot and a reverse elbow. Bossman slugs his way out of a bearhug, but Barbarian goes right back to it. That forces Bossman to bite his way out and hit an enzuigiri(!). Barbarian avoids an avalanche and schoolboys Bossman for two. A hotshot gets two for the man from Cobb County. They collide for a double KO spot. Barbarian recovers first and hits the flying clothesline, but it only gets two! Ouch! That’s not good for him. Bossman hits the Bossman slam, but Barbarian gets his hand on the ropes. Barbarian piledrives Bossman and goes up for the crossbody, but Bossman rolls through at 10:05. I don’t know what they said to Barbarian, but he had his work mukluks on here. Bossman was reaching his peak as a worker too, so this was better than it looked on paper. **1/4

  • WWF Heavyweight Title: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter (w/General Adnan).
    Warrior snaps the Iraqi flag pole in half and chokes Slaughter with it. He shoves the flag in Slaughter’s mouth, I guess as some kind of metaphor. Warrior delivers a total ass-kicking until Sherri comes down. Warrior chases her down the aisle where Randy Savage pounces and blindsides him. That allows Slaughter to take over for the next few minutes. Warrior chops his way out of a bearhug, but Slaughter cuts off the comeback and tries to end things with the Camel Clutch. Warrior makes the big comeback and hits Slaughter with the shoulderblock. Sherri comes down again but gets press slammed onto the Macho Man. Savage waits until the ref’s back is turned and BLASTS Warrior with the scepter, giving Slaughter the win at 12:44. The crowd does not like that *at all.* The crowd was hot throughout, but the match was horrible. 3/4*

  • Ted Dibiase tells us why his bodyguard Virgil washes his dick for him at night and cleans the toilet after a particularly messy case of diarrhea. It’s because of MONEY. Virgil doesn’t seem so happy about it.
  • Ted Dibiase & Virgil vs. Dusty Rhodes & Dustin Rhodes.
    In one of those little ironic twists, this is Virgil’s big moment, and it comes as he faces the man he was named after – Dusty Rhodes (Virgil Runnels). Dustin debuted by lasting 10 minutes in a match with Dibiase, so now Dibiase wants to humiliate him. The whole thing started, of course, when Dibiase bought Sapphire out from under Rhodes. Virgil has some trouble early because it turns out the Rhodeses are decent wrestlers, so Dibiase smacks him around and tells him to get back out there. When Virgil still can’t get anything going, Dibiase demands to tag in so he can show him how it’s done. Dibiase dominates Dustin but gets pinballed in between Dusty and Dustin. Dusty gets a sleeper, but Virgil makes the save. Virgil tags in and avoids a Dustin charge. Dustin appears to mess up his knee, so Virgil goes right after it. The heels target the leg, but Virgil accidentally nails Dibiase with a clothesline. Dibiase punches Virgil and throws him out of the ring. Dusty misses a charge and gets schoolboyed by Dibiase at 9:57. That’s an odd finish, but Dusty already had a deal to return to WCW as their booker, so they weren’t going to put him over. I should also point out that a lot of people in the WWF were upset with him at the time because he promised them jobs when he got hired and then ignored them when they called. *3/4

  • But that’s not why you care about the match. After the match, Dibiase DEMANDS that Virgil put the belt around his waist because that’s all Virgil’s good for. Virgil throws it down at Dibiase’s feet, but Dibiase reminds Virgil that he has to work because of his poor mother. Virgil gets down on his knees as Piper begs him to show some dignity on commentary. Dibiase starts to gloat, but it’s a little premature. Virgil pops up and NAILS Dibiase in the face with the Million Dollar Belt! The crowd EXPLODES for Virgil finally standing up to Dibiase. It was a great moment, even if Virgil wound up as a jobber to the stars in the long run.
  • Interviews! Here’s a classic from Tugboat:

    I’m gonna tear ’em apart — piece by piece — I got life preservers for all of them. Life preservers and a big rubber boat as they toss ’em out. They catch you with that big rubber boat, and they can all go back to port where they belong because I’ll be the sole survivor.


    Stan Marsh: Holy shit, dude!

  • Gene Okerlund interrupts a Hulk Hogan to let us know that someone who may or may not be Sgt. Slaughter may or may not be defacing something which may or may not be an American flag. That’s the kind of journalistic integrity that should be reserved for Gene’s WCW hotline.
  • Royal Rumble Match.

    Bret Hart is #1. Dino Bravo is #2. Bret nearly gets him over, but takes an atomic drop. Bravo misses an elbow drop as Greg Valentine comes in at #3. Valentine attacks former Dream Teammate Bravo over the protests of Jimmy Hart. Valentine dumps Bravo pretty easily. Paul Roma is #4 and doublecrosses Valentine. Not a whole lot happens. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich is #5 and takes down Roma and Valentine with discus punches. Roma comes back with a dropkick on Von Erich.

    Rick Martel is #6 and goes right after Bret Hart. Hart nearly eliminates him, but Roma makes the save. Roma then doublecrosses Martel. Saba Simba is #7. I will *never* look at Tony Atlas the same after Missy Hyatt’s stories about his foot fetishes. Tornado misses the discus punch on Roma but snags him with “The Claw.” Bushwhacker Butch is #8 and just stomps around the ring like an idiot. Martel grabs the ropes, sending Simba out to the floor. HAKUNA MATATA, BITCH! #9 is Jake Roberts. He goes right after Rick Martel for spraying him in the face with Arrogance perfume, costing him his vision for several months…no really. No. Seriously. That was the angle. Hercules is #10, making the save for his partner Roma. Power & Glory doubleteam Butch. Martel ties Jake in the ropes, but Von Erich makes the save.

    Tito Santana is #11 as Roma misses a charge and eliminates himself. Tito goes after Martel for the second year in a row. Tito has worse breakup issues than OJ Simpson. What? Too soon? The Undertaker is #12, back when he was managed by Brother Love. He tosses Bret Hart right away. Taker shrugs off the Discus Punch from Von Erich. Jimmy Snuka is #13 as Undertaker tosses Butch. Tornado and Valentine decide to doubleteam Taker, but it backfires. The British Bulldog is #14, and he goes after Valentine. Undertaker turns his attention to Tito Santana. Snuka headbutts Taker as Smash comes in at #15. Everyone just kind of mills around. Martel ducks out of a DDT and eliminates Jake with a snapmare.

    Road Warrior Hawk is #16. He goes after everyone, but all the heels swarm him. Shane Douglas is #17, years before that meant anything. Tornado and Superfly Snuka are tossed. Douglas and Santana doubleteam Martel as Taker chokes DBS down in the corner. No one comes out at #18. It was supposed to be Randy Savage, but, after the World Title match, he didn’t come out for his own safety. Road Warrior Animal is #19. The LOD eliminates the Undertaker to wake up the crowd. Martel and Hercules team up to clothesline Hawk out. Referee Shane McMahon yells at Taker to go to the back peacefully. Taker responds with a look that says, “Okay, I’ll go. But eight years from now, I’ll kidnap your sister and force her to marry me.” You know. That look. Crush is #20, and Demolition unites to doubleteam the Bulldog. Valentine rams Martel into the corner.

    Hacksaw Jim Duggan is #21. He goes after Demolition. Earthquake is #22 as the crowd gives an ominous “oooh.” Earthquake backdrops Animal out. Jim Duggan calls out Earthquake, and they go toe-to-toe. Mr. Perfect is #23. Nice catch of the towel by Heenan! Perfect dumps Duggan but everyone comes after him. Hulk Hogan is #24. The crowd goes wild! Hogan tosses Smash and goes after Earthquake. Mr. Perfect (last year’s runner-up) jumps Hogan from behind. Big “Hogan” chant. Haku comes in at #25 as Hogan eliminates Valentine after 45 minutes. That leaves Martel with seniority. Perfect makes the mistake of going after the Earthquake.

    Jim Neidhart is #26. Earthquake tosses Tito. IT’S NOT MY FAULT! Ha ha! Get it? He’s…he’s the earthquake…earthquake and fault. No? Okay. Perfect has Hogan on the ropes, but Haku makes the save. Bushwhacker Luke is #27 and immediately gets tossed by Earthquake. It’s supposed to be a record, but I’m pretty sure Warlord set the record in 1989, and it hasn’t been surpassed. Brian Knobbs is #28. Everyone goes after him for being such a douche. Knobbs dumps Hercules. Warlord is #29, starting a two-year streak of good luck for him. Hogan tosses Crush. Warlord and Perfect doubleteam Hogan. Hogan clotheslines Warlord out. Tugboat is #30 and goes after future teammate Earthquake. Douglas gets eliminated off-camera. Hogan punches Tugboat in the corner, but Tugboat turns the tide and tosses Hogan over the top. Hogan lands on the apron and eliminates Tugboat. RUBBER BOATS MY ASS! Perfect goes out via a Bulldog dropkick. Neidhart gets tossed by Martel. There goes Haku. Martel goes up, but Davey Boy crotches him and clotheslines him out.

    So, we have Hogan, Earthquake, Davey Boy and Knobbs as our final four. Knobbs and Quake team up to eliminate Davey Boy right away. They team up against Hogan, but Hogan no-sells the Earthquake’s vertical splash and eliminates Knobbs with a big boot. It’s down to Earthquake and Hogan. Hogan collapses on a bodyslam attempt just to tease the fact that he might lose. Earthquake powerslams Hogan, but he no-sells and hulks up. Punch. Punch. Punch. Big boot. BODYSLAM! Hogan clotheslines Earthquake out to win his second Rumble in a row. After the match, Hogan thanks God and waves the American flag. I liked this one a lot more this time around than I did in the first review. ***

  • The 411: The Iraq War angle sours a lot of people, and perhaps rightly so, but there is an outstanding Rockers match, a shocking title change, the Virgil turn, and a decent Rumble. Sadly, the Rockers match would mean nothing in the long run as the WWF decided to break them up before giving them a title run.

    Thumbs up, mostly for the undercard.

    Final Score:  6.5   [ Average ]  legend

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