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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF Royal Rumble 1996

January 24, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Royal Rumble 1996 Image Credit: WWE
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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF Royal Rumble 1996  

-After listening to some suggestions, I have decided to go back to 1996 and finish out that year since I have the Fall of 96 already covered.  I also plan to hit some historic shows celebrating a 25th anniversary this year as well.  For now, we go back to Jan of 1996 and the start on the Road to WrestleMania 12.  Let’s get to it!

-Announce Team: Vince McMahon and Mr. Perfect
-Date: Jan 21, 1996
-Selland Arena, Fresno, CA
-Attendance: 9600
-PPV Buys: 260,000

Jeff Jarrett vs. Ahmed Johnson

-The previous month Jarrett smashed a Gold Record over Ahmed’s head and then posted him a few times.  Ahmed is a little pissed because of it and sprints to the ring.  They start quick, but Jarrett realizes that’s a mistake and bails to the floor.  Ahmed gives chase and gets caught coming back in the ring.  Jarrett buries some knees in the corner, but Ahmed uses his power to toss JJ across the ring.  Jarrett hooks a side headlock as he promises to give Ahmed a wrestling lesson.  Ahmed just casually tosses Jarrett across the ring again.  Clothesline from Ahmed followed by a shoulder tackle and then another.  Powerslam from Ahmed gets two.  Leaping clothesline as the crowd is popping for everything Ahmed is doing.  Even when he misses a charge and gets tangled in the ropes, the crowd reacts.  Mr. Perfect shows he learned well from Bobby Heenan as he notes the best time to kick a man is when he is down.  On the floor Ahmed gets tossed into the ring steps.  Jarrett uses the middle rope to choke and then drops his weight on Ahmed’s back.  He struts and then comes off the top with a double axe.  Ahmed no sells and starts firing up.  Jarrett goes around to every corner and comes off with a double axe, but gets caught in a bear hug on the 4th try.  Reverse atomic drop from Ahmed followed by another clothesline.  Nice spinebuster from Ahmed and again, the crowd is digging everything he is doing.  Jarrett bails to the floor, but Ahmed clears the top rope with a dive.  He goes up top and tries what is basically a Swanton Bomb, but misses and lands on his knee.  JJ goes right after the knee and hooks a figure-four as the crowd is roaring trying to get Ahmed back into this one.  Ahmed reverses the pressure to force a break.  JJ drops some elbows on the knee and goes for another figure-four, but Ahmed kicks him out of the ring.  JJ grabs his guitar and comes off the top with an El Kabong to cause a DQ at 6:38. 

Winner: Ahmed Johnson via DQ at 6:38
-Ahmed looked like a star here as he hit what he knew and looked impressive doing it.  The ending sucked but apparently they didn’t want either man doing a JOB.  *1/2

-Diesel cuts an interview backstage with Todd.  Diesel checked his watch and it doesn’t look like Vader Time.  Diesel says if he wins, he has no problem with Taker and he doesn’t care if it is Bret or Taker at WrestleMania.  He just wants his belt back! 

WWF Tag Team Championship: The Smoking Gunns (c) vs. The Bodydonnas (w/ Sunny)

-Again, respectfully, Sunny was a smoke show!  Skip starts things off with Billy Gunn.  Skip gets a side headlock but gets shoved off and knocked down with a shoulder.  Skip back with a head scissors, but runs into a backdrop.  Gunn charges, but Skips drops down and Billy crashes over the top to the floor.  Bart in and he gets tossed to the floor.  The Bodydonnas team up and slingshot Billy back into the ring.  They try the same with Bart, but he pulls the rope and sends both Donnas to the floor.  Billy flies over the top with a dive and things settle as Skip and Zip regroup on the floor.  We start again and Skip gets double teamed in the corner.  Zip tries to save, but eats a right hand.  Sunny flirts with The Gunns to get their attention and it works as they lose focus.  Zip in and he wants a piece of Bart so the tag is made.  Zip throws some chops, which Bart no sells and then fires off chops of his own in the corner.  Perfect: “Thye will rearrange your nipple.”  Skip gets a blind tag and cuts off Bart with a clothesline.  Gunns do the same with a blind tag and hit a version of The Hart Attack.  Sunny on the apron and she distracts Billy, but ends up getting knocked off the apron as Billy gets tossed into the ropes.  Billy heads out and checks on Sunny and that would be paid off in a few months.  The Donnas attack Billy on the floor as now Sunny seems okay.  Perfect: “She’s not like a lot of women.  She’s smart.”  Skip hits a dive over the top onto Billy as the ref gets Bart back into his corner.  Skip drops Zip onto Bart with a front suplex and that gets two.  Zip gets a slam and then basically powerbombs Skip onto Billy for another two count.  Billy eats a right hand to draw him into the ring which gets the ref’s attention and that lets The Donnas double team Billy.  Classic tag wrestling!  Billy breaks out of a chinlock with a jawbreaker, but Skip gets the tag and gets a slam.  He comes off the second rope with a fist-drop for two.  Tag to Zip and we get a double team flapjack.  Weird spot that looked like a botch as everyone collides and even Vince calls it unusual.  Hot tag is made to Bart and he runs wild with left hands.  Backdrop to Skin and a clothesline to Zip gets two.  All four men in the ring and The Gunns connect with The Sidewinder, but Sunny has the ref, which lets Skip break up the count with a leg drop from the top.  That gets two and then Billy gets dumped to the floor.  The Donnas use some double team offense, but a double suplex goes wrong as Billy comes in with a chop block and that lets Bart fall on top for the pin at 11:14. 

Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: The Smoking Gunns via pin at 11:14
-Just your basic tag match which is fine.  You could easily see Sunny was becoming the biggest star of the act.  **

-Vince throws to a compilation of Billionaire Ted’s Wrasslin War Room.  Billionaire Ted wants to know why he can’t buy WWF.  So many jokes with that set up now.  Fire away!  Vince Russo pops up as one of Ted’s advisors.  We also have appearances by The Nacho Man and The Huckster.  I was Team WCW at this point so I found this really stupid. 

-Video Package covering Goldust’s mind games with Razor Ramon.  Goldust showed off a Razor heart tattoo which leads to a high quality brawl between the two in the backstage area and then in the parking lot.  This was leading to a Backlot Brawl at WrestleMania 12, but Piper took Razor’s place by the time we got there. 

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Razor Ramon (c) vs. Goldust (w/ Marlena)

-This is the debut of Marlena and there is an usher with her.  The usher gimmick would be dropped eventually.  Razor is rocking the white version of The IC Title here.  Goldust gets a toothpick thrown in his face and Razor wants him to bring it.  Goldust teases a lockup and then feels himself up to continue the mind games.  He repeats and then pretends to moon Razor.  Razor grabs an arm and rag dolls Goldust around the ring before slapping him around a bit.  More mind games from Goldust which cause Razor to back off.  Goldust gets a go behind and feels up Ramon as the mind games continue.  Another lockup as we get a replay of Goldust rubbing Razor’s chest.  In the corner Goldust rubs Razor’s head and Razor responds by shoving Goldust across the ring.  Goldust with a slap to the face and that fires Razor up as he slaps Goldust around and then spanks his ass.  Goldust likes that apparently as the crowd loses it.  Goldust bails to the floor and hides behind Marlena as Razor gives chase.  Razor just opts to get back into the ring.  Goldust joins him and we have another go.  Lockup and Goldust gets a side headlock, but Razor gets a head scissors.  They trade that for a bit until Razor lands a right hand.  Goldust to the floor and he hides behind Marlena again.  Things slow down as Goldust blows Razor a kiss.  Goldust avoids a clothesline and feels himself up, which lets Razor hit a running clothesline that sends Goldust to the floor.  More chasing on the floor and again, Goldust hides behind Marlena.  Razor has had enough as he picks Marlena up and moves her out of the way.  Goldust attacks from behind as he shoves Razor into the steps and uses the apron to do damage to the back.  Goldust comes off the top with a double axe to the back.  He whips Razor from one corner to the other and then hits a running bulldog for two.  Goldust gets a slingshot suplex for two and then Marlena blows some gold dust into Razor’s face.  Razor mounts a brief comeback, but sets too early on a backdrop and gets slammed face first into the mat.  Swinging neckbreaker gets two for Goldust!  Sleeper from Goldust as Perfect wonders what all Goldust will do to Razor if he is put out by the sleeper.  Razor fights to his feet and shields off the ref so he can get a mule kick to Goldust’s Golden Globes.  Goldust still gets a cover for two as each man struggles to his feet.  Razor with the comeback with right hands and the discus punch.  Chokeslam from Razor gets two!  SOS Slam gets two!  Goldust lands a right hand and heads up top, but gets dropped on his balls.  Marlena on the apron to distract the ref as Razor gets a top rope belly to back suplex.  Marlena pretends to twist her ankle to distract the ref.  The (1-2-3) Kid comes in through the crowd and comes off the top with a spinning heel kick.  That lets Goldust gets the pin and Title at 14:17. 

Winner and New WWF Intercontinental Champion: Goldust via pin at 14:17
-Once they got through the mind games things got pretty good here.  A slower paced match, but they were trying to get over the Goldust character and the story they were telling.  Goldust winning The IC Title made sense and it was the right time to make the switch.  **1/4

-We get short interviews from various men in The Royal Rumble.  These were always fun!
30 Man Royal Rumble Match

-Hunter Hearst Helmsley is #1 due to a match earlier on the Free For All (first one ever). Hunter got the win over Duke Droese to win the 30th spot, but the decision was reversed and instead he is now #1 and Droese will enter at 30. Henry Godwin is out at #2 to continue their past rivalry. They trade punches to start and Hunter works Henry over in the corner. Henry explodes out of the corner with a clothesline and sends Hunter flying with a backdrop. HHH tries a version of a Flair corner bump and nearly gets press slammed but works in a thumb to the eye. Timer is dead on as Bob Backlund enters at 3 and Vince mentions Bob owns the longevity record in the Rumble. Vince and Perfect talk about the long odds Shawn has of winning back to back Rumbles, but it has already been done by Hogan in 1990 and 1991. Nothing of note happens as Jerry “The King” Lawler enters at 4. Perfect calls Lawler a cagey veteran and this was 27 years ago and he is still wrestling. Lawler goes through the ropes and grabs Godwin’s slop bucket to use on Henry. He fights off everyone in the match, grabs the bucket and the heels bails through the ropes. Lawler has his back turned and gets the slop dumped on him with Hunter and Bob getting some splatter affect. Bob Holly is next at 5 to give Henry some help. Hunter nearly tosses Henry, but he hangs on and pulls himself back inside the ring. King Mabel enters at 6 as he is on his way down the card after his SummerSlam Main Event push. He chokes Henry in the corner as we are getting a lot of people laying on the ropes early in this one. Hunter provides a high spot as he gets a backdrop on Holly, but then they fight on the ropes. Jake “The Snake” Roberts is 7 and he clears the ring by pulling his snake out of the bag. Lawler gets trapped and the python gets wrapped over him before it’s put back in the bag. Mabel gets tied up in the ropes which lets everyone tee off on him. Dory Funk is 8 as the timer is still pretty much every two minutes and in some cases run a second or two late. Vince mentions Dory is a former NWA Champion and that Terry Funk was invited, but has matches in Germany. We finally see that Lawler is hiding under the ring which is brilliant as you can’t be tossed out of the ring. Yokozuna is next at 9 as things are really filling up in the ring now and we are due for some eliminations. Yoko tosses Backlund to make him the first man eliminated. Mabel and Yoko have a showdown and poor Henry gets squashed in the corner by both men. The crowd would really like Jake to plant someone with a DDT. The (1-2-3) Kid is next, but Razor is right on his heels. The chase is on and The Kid does a good job of remembering not to go over the top rope. The officials are able to get Razor to the back and he gets the biggest reaction so far and he’s not in the match. Takao Omori is 11 and the crowd has no clue. Oh, Godwin was eliminated at some point though I’m not sure who tossed him. Savio Vega is #12 and goes right after Mabel. Yokozuna dumps Mabel to a big pop. Big man getting eliminated always wakes up the crowd. Jake tosses Omori to end his short night. Vader, making is WWF debut, is in at 13 and he has Jim Cornette with him. He mauls Bob Holly in the corner. Dory and Savio battle on the apron and that ends badly for Dory as he gets dumped. Savio gets destroyed in the corner by Vader as Doug Gilbert enters at 14. Vince mentions he is from the USWA. VINCE BREAKING DOWN THE FORBIDDEN DOOR! TAKE THAT TONY KHAN! Vader puts Jake out and then beats on Gilbert as he is the closest thing to a JOBBER he can find. Someone from the Squat Team makes his WWE debut as I forget about that team. With the people they are dragging out for this match you can see why WCW was about to destroy them for 18 or so months. Vader press slams Gilbert to the floor as this has become the Vader show as he is the most interesting thing happening. He throws out the Swat Team jobber. Vader and Yoko fight as Cornette tries to separate them. The other Squat Team member is in at 16 and his twin, who was eliminated, comes down with him. They try to use Twin Magic years before The Bella Twins. Vader and Yoko just beat both their asses and each eliminates a member. What was the point of that? For those keeping track, Hunter has just hit the 30 minute mark in this match. Owen Hart is 17 as that is a little more star power after the string of jobbers. Vader and Yoko are now on the same team as they abuse Savio. He gets flattened with a splash from Yoko and then one from Vader in the corner. Someone scrape him off the mat and dump him over the top. I guess he hasn’t had enough as Vader hits another splash and Yoko follows with a leg drop. Shawn Michaels is in at 18 and the girls won’t stop screaming. Yoko and Vader comes to blows again and Yoko wins the exchange as Cornette tries to talk sense into them. They fight near the ropes and Shawn dumps both of them to a massive pop from the crowd. He then press slams The Kid to the floor as I guess I should call him Hulk Michaels at this point. Hakushi enters at 19 as Yoko and Vader continue to beat on each other. Vader comes back into the match and beats the piss out of Shawn. He tosses Shawn over the top to the floor and in years past that would be an elimination, but not here as the rules have been changed. Vader tosses everyone else out (though Owen went through the ropes) to get himself over without actually winning the match. Gorilla Monsoon and a host of officials plus Jim Cornette talk Vader into leaving. Tatanka is 20 as Shawn throws Jim Cornette out of the ring. Hakushi hits a sweet Hand Spring Elbow on Owen and I assume they faced each other somewhere and it probably ruled. Vince tries to tell us Hunter has been out there forty minutes, but he must be rounding up as we just went over 38 minutes. Shawn flies all over the place off right hands from Hunter. Aldo Montoya is in at 21 and Perfect busts on his mask as he compares it to a jockstrap. Perfect is great! Hakushi was tossed at some point as Shawn is back on the floor, but it seems he went through the ropes. Shawn crawls under the ring and brings out Jerry Lawler who has been hiding there for nearly 30 minutes. Shawn puts Lawler in the ring and then dumps him. Diesel is #22 and that gives us some more star power. Hunter has no problem feeding for him though he doesn’t get dumped. Shawn continues to tease being eliminated in dramatic ways as he bounces all over the ropes without actually going over to the floor. Kama is 23 and the crowd doesn’t care. Maybe they should put some women with him. Getting a lay of the fiend it looks like we have Hunter, Owen, Shawn, Diesel, Kama, and Holly. The Ringmaster is 24 and thankfully Vince refers to him as Steve Austin and that means I can call him by that as well. Diesel and Austin battle in the corner as The Monday Night Wars come to life though nobody knew it at the time. Austin them eliminates Holly who put in 41 minutes for a strong showing. Barry Horowitz is 25 as Perfect calls him a nerd that has no chance. He vows to get back in the ring if Horowitz wins this. Owen skins the cat to avoid elimination. Hunter and Austin torment each other for a bit as The Attitude Era explodes even though we didn’t know it. Diesel gets the honor of tossing Hunter who lasted 48:10. What a selfish jerk! He couldn’t even let his friend get 50:00? Fatu is making a difference at 26 and he goes after Kama. Austin and Diesel continue to battle each other and I am sure that could have been a fun match. Speaking of fun matches, Shawn and Owen also continue to go at each other. Isaac Yankem is 27 as Owen tosses Barry Horowitz. Diesel and future Fake Diesel do battle in the corner in a fun moment for fans watching years later. Owen gets tossed by Shawn, so Austin decks Shawn for fun and then mocks his pose. Marty Jannetty is 28 and it saddens me he doesn’t go right after Shawn. I mean, the crowd loves Shawn now, but he punked his ass out bu tossing him through a window. That’s for life and should always be on sight. Thankfully they do start punching each other in the face and the crowd appreciates it. They collide as Perfect makes a Rockers joke that Vince just blows off. After drawing 2 last year, The British Bulldog is in at 29 this year and goes right after Shawn to play off them going wire to wire in last year’s Rumble. We get a shot of Diana in the crowd as Marty gets tossed. Austin gets dumped and as Austin has stated since, that was an accident. He was supposed to be part of the Final Four and the baby oil on the ropes caused him to slip and hit the floor. Oh and Duke The Dumpster enters at 30. Go find Austin telling the story of his elimination on YouTube. He had to relay to the ref what happened so they could tell Shawn and they could change what they needed. Shawn and Bulldog end up on the floor and Owen returns to get some of Shawn. Give it a year and a half and the hate between those three will only intensify. Future Kane gets sent over the top from a Shawn dropkick. We are down to four: Shawn, Diesel, Bulldog and Kama. I assume Kama took Austin’s spot. It’s rapid fire elimination as Shawn tosses Bulldog and Diesel tosses Kama seconds later. Diesel turns around and eats Sweet Chin Music to send him over the top and Shawn wins at 58:50.

Winner Shawn Michaels via eliminating Diesel at 58:50
-Not a good Rumble as they struggled to find 30 men to fill every spot. It was also a bunch of laying on the ropes and then I have no idea how much the finish was messed up by Austin being eliminated early. I don’t think it changed much and I wasn’t a fan of the Final 4 sequence taking all of 20 seconds to get to Shawn winning. Add in that Shawn winning was a foregone conclusion at the time and they didn’t do much to add any kind of drama. Had they not used it up the previous year, this is where Shawn should have won from the #1 spot. It’s more of a babyface story than one for a heel anyway. **1/4

-Diesel takes out his frustration on Bulldog and then threatens Dock, who tried to get an interview. Diesel heads back into the ring as Shawn was stripping off parts of his ring gear. Diesel gives Shawn his props as Perfect says he would have sucker punched Shawn.

WWF Championship: Bret Hart (c) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

-Diesel is still at ringside and gets into with Taker as he makes his entrance. Oh sweet, it’s Phantom Taker! I forgot he was still rocking the mask here. Diesel gets escorted away to many boos from the crowd as he tells Taker he isn’t afraid of the dark. Vince is all about the stats as he mentions this is Bret’s 43rd PPV appearance. Taker stalks Bret early, so Bret just keeps moving out of the way and then starts firing off rights in the corner. Taker no sells and fires Bret into the corner for some strikes. Bret gets bounced from one corner to the other and then Taker lifts him off the mat with a choke. He breaks on at 4 and then stares down the ref. Taker slowly beats on Bret from one side of the ring to other and gets a version of a claw hold as he smothers Bret. Taker gets several two counts off the smother before Bret gets his legs to the rope to force a break. Taker connects with Old School and goes back to the claw hold/smother hold. Taker releases and throws Bret into the corner with authority, but runs into a boot from Bret. A clothesline sends Taker over the top to the floor, but he lands on his feet. Bret slingshots out with a dive and then tries a dive off the apron, but gets caught by Taker who runs him back first into the steel post. Taker tries to run Bret into the post again, but Bret slides off and Taker gets posted. Bret charges and eats a bit boot to the face. Taker fires Bret into the railing and tries again, but Bret reverses and Taker crashes into the ring steps. Bret sees an opening as Taker starts limping around and he goes right after Taker’s left knee. He bangs the knee of the ring steps and then throws some more kicks. The crowd is split here as you can hear the Taker fans booing Bret as he goes to work on the knee. Bret hooks a figure-four as the crowd is hanging with them. Taker gets counted down for two a couple times as he has to rise off his back. Taker uses the power of the urn and is able to roll on his stomach to reverse the pressure. Bret is able to get to the bottom rope to cause a break. Taker goes right after Bret again, but Bret smartly goes right back to the knee. Perfect channels his inner Jerry Lawler this time as he makes jokes about Helen’s age. Each time Taker tries to rally, Bret works in a kick to the damaged knee to snuff out the rally. Bret bends the knee and then grapevines it as he continues to apply pressure. Taker is able to roll Bret on his back and smashes Bret in the face with his good leg to break the hold. Taker sends Bret to the floor just to get a few moments to regroup. Taker follows out and sends Bret into the ring steps and then uses a camera cord to choke and that draws boos from the crowd. We see that Bearer had the ref distracted as Taker is cheating to win, which is fine! Taker sends Bret crashing into the time keeper’s table and then uses a chair on the knee as Paul distracts the ref again. Back in the ring Taker misses a big boot and Bret goes right back to the knee. Again that draws a loud mix of boos and cheers. Cool! Bret takes Taker to the corner and rams the bad knee off the ring post and then yells at Paul Bearer for good measure. Bret goes back to the knee-bar and breaks a few times just to drop a knee on Taker’s knee. Taker escapes as we get a wide shot of the crowd. Headbutt from Taker followed by a leg drop. Taker looks for The Tombstone, but his knee buckles and Bret is able to escape to the floor. He drapes Taker throat first across the top rope and then hits a sweet DDT for two. Taker sits up and gets to his feet, but Bret is there with a Side Russian Leg Sweep. Taker sits up again and beats Bret to a standing position. Bret gets the running bulldog and Taker sits up once again. Bret continues with the 5 moves of Doom as he gets the back breaker and comes off the middle rope with the elbow drop. The crowd is pissed as the boos are starting to drown out the cheers. Taker blocks The Sharpshooter with a choke and we get a double clothesline to leave both men down. Bret is up first and removes the padding from the turnbuckle to expose the steel ring. Bret rips “the facial appliance” (Vince’s words) off and Taker is rather annoyed. He fires Bret into the corner, but gets caught with a boot to the face. Bret sends Taker face first into the exposed steel and now the crowd is really pissed! Screw em Bret! They are all Americans and you’ll learn you don’t need them anyway. Bret gets caught and absolutely drilled with a Tombstone. Diesel is here and he pulls the ref out of the ring to break the count and that causes a DQ at 28:30. Bull!

Winner: The Undertaker via DQ at 28:30
-Awful ending to a match that was getting really good in the second half. It was a little too long as Taker wasn’t in matches like this up to this point, but it turned into a good deal before the ending. This did nothing to help Bret’s lame duck champion status as it comes off like he was a beaten man that was saved by Diesel. ***

-Diesel’s smirk as it’s announced that Taker can’t win the title is pretty funny and then he flips Taker the middle finger. Somewhere The Ringmaster was watching backstage I bet.

-Royal Rumble Plus: We still have 10 minutes so we go backstage to Todd with President Gorilla Monsoon. He announces Bret will defend The WWF Title against Diesel next month at In Your House.

-Dok is backstage with Shawn Michaels and he takes a veiled shot at Hulk Hogan. Man, it had to suck that when Shawn finally got his big run as WWF Champion that the company feel behind WCW, who had Hulk Hogan as their champion thanks to the nWo and his heel turn. Shawn mentions Diesel has cleaned his clock before but is still his friend and it doesn’t matter to him, who he sees at WrestleMania.

-We go back to Todd with Gorilla Monsoon and Taker interrupts. He tells Gorilla it will be a Cold Day in Hell before Diesel ever holds the WWF Title again. Gorilla decides to put Bret/Diesel inside a Steel Cage so there can be no interference.

-Back to Dok and this time he is with Diesel. He tells Bret that he lives and breathes because he allows it. He tells Taker he was only letting him know he was number one. He isn’t afraid of the dark, Taker, or anyone. “The only thing I am afraid of is The Tax Man.” Man, they missed out on Diesel vs IRS on PPV apparently. He finishes by letting us know the WWF is running on Diesel power and he yells at a stage hand trying to count him down.

-Back to Todd and Vader is destroying the locker room. Cornette hypes up Vader as Todd throws to a highlight package of tonight’s show. I miss WWE doing those at the end of PPVs.

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Not the best show as only Taker/Bret is really worth seeing even though spending 30 minutes on that match just have it end in a DQ is not cool. The Rumble match wasn't a good entry, but it's still a Rumble Match and even the bad ones can be a fun watch. Everything else was average to below average. The WWF was in a state of change here as they were bringing in new faces from WCW and we on the verge of losing some big-name players as well. Had the Rumble been a bit better I would call this a good show, but the DQ ending in the WWF Title Match and a less than stellar Rumble with a bad roster hurt a good bit.