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On the Marc Reviews: 1990 Royal Rumble

January 7, 2012 | Posted by Marc Elusive
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On the Marc Reviews: 1990 Royal Rumble  

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Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida; January 21, 1990

Commentators: Tony Schiavone and Jessie “The Body” Ventura

The intro is fantastic as the entire Royal Rumble roster scrolls across the screen set to Vince McMahon’s over-the-top announcer voice.

Bushwhackers vs. Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (w/Jimmy Hart):   Opening tag matches at early Royal Rumbles ALWAYS seem to be highly entertaining. It must be reiterated that I LOVE the Rougeaus entrance theme. Why does the WWF continue to put the Rougeaus in there with the Bushwhackers? Jacques Rougeau looks weird with that Kenny Loggins beard. Raymond Rougeau works over Butch and Luke breaks up a double team attempt. Ray locks in a sleeper; Butch counters by ramming him into the top turnbuckle and biting his ass. Then he bites recently reinstated referee Danny Davis in the ass. Um, DQ? The Rougeaus avoid a battering ram by heading to the floor. Jacques tags in as does Luke more biting. The Whackers outsmart the Rougeaus and stomp around a little more. You know, I’ve watched hundreds of Bushwhackers’ matches and I still get Luke and Butch confused. The Rougeaus turn the tables and stomp away; Jacques distracts Butch and that allows Ray to choke Luke in the corner with the tag rope. Raymond tags in and lands his savate kick; he punches away and tosses Luke viciously into the other corner. Jimmy Hart distracts Luke on the floor allowing more double teaming. Luke tries to bite his way out but Jacques stops him that time. Bait-and-switch with Butch and it allows a double whip into a reverse elbow on Luke. The Rougeau Brothers quick tag in and out on Luke; double clothesline dropping Luke off the top rope. Luke bites but Jacques cuts off another tag. Jacques applies an abdominal stretch and Ray tags and punched Luke while still in the hold. Double reverse chinlock by Raymond. Luke gets his knees up on a Jacques splash and Butch finally tags in. Butch destroys everyone in his path. All hell breaks loose and the Whackers get a double noggin knocker. Jimmy Hart grabs the Bushwhackers’ legs to stop a battering ram, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REFEREE. Um, DQ? They abuse him and almost split his legs but the Rougeaus stop it with double dropkicks. The Bushwhackers break up the Boston crab/legdrop double team tripping Jacques. Raymond goes to check on Jacques and they both get nailed with the battering ram for three. 7.5/10 How do you pull a great match out of the Bushwhackers? Keep them barely on offense. Which is a good thing and it allowed the Rougeaus to unload all of their classic double teams.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund accosts Ted Dibiase about buying the #30 in the 1989 Rumble (full review, chick here). Dibiase reveals Virgil drew #1 for him this year. IRONY.

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. The Genius:   The Genius is Lanny Poffo, Randy Savage’s younger brother, who reads his traditional pre-match poem insulting Beefcake. Genius acts very flamboyant as he jogs around the ring and cartwheels on the floor. They tie-up and Beefcake gives a clean break but Genius rakes the eyes. Genius gets caught on the top rope and gets an inverted atomic drop. Genius stalls, as usual. Genius punches and chops but misses a corner dropkick. They lock up in a test of strength that Beefcake wins instantly. Beefcake catches the Genius trying to escape and hangs him on the top rope and crotches him. Genius stalls on the floor more. Genius punches and head-butts in the corner but telegraphs a backdrop and gets kicked; Brutus rings the bell. Genius comes back with a dropkick and sledges Bruti down. Big slam plants Brutus. Genius goes up but gets crotched on his way down; knee lift by Brutus sends Genius for a flip. Brutus slams Genius and applies the sleeper but he reverses and Brutus accidently shoves him into the referee who tumbles to the floor. Brutus applies the sleeper now; Genius passes out. Brutus cuts his hair until Mr. Perfect, Genius’ running buddy, makes the save. The referee finally comes to and DQ’s both guys. Post-match Perfect beats up Brutus with a chair in the midsection and sets up their WrestleMania VI (full review, click here) match a few months later. 2.5/10 Genius was better wrestler when he was a face; Genius was a better entertainer when he was a heel. It is all about entertainment, isn’t it?

In the interview room, Sean Mooney causes dissention within the Heenan Family.

“Rugged” Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) submission match:   Late in 1989 Valentine and Garvin feuded with a retirement match culminating the angle. Valentine cost Garvin his WWF career but Garvin was rehired as a referee (and cost Valentine matches) and then a ring announcer just to mess with Valentine to the point he begged for his reinstatement to get even. This is the conclusion of the entire storyline. Each guy had a medically cleared brace on their leg as well to counter each other’s submission finishers. They STIFFLY chop throughout the match and each goes for pins early to sell the submission stipulation. Garvin picks up his leg allowing a shot by Valentine and drops elbows. He misses one but Valentine stays on top and loosens up the hamstrings for the figure-four. They exchange stiff chops and Garvin head-butts it sends both guys down. Valentine counters a Garvin piledriver into a useless nearfall sequence. Both guys collide and both go down. Valentine is up first and readjusts his leg brace, named the Hart Breaker, to amplify the figure-four leglock but Garvin kicks him off. Valentine measures Garvin with forearm drops. Valentine applies the figure-four leglock. Garvin, wearing his brace, named the Hammer Jammer, feels no pain and makes faces a Valentine. Nice. Greg Valentine is now pissed that his finisher is useless goes to a secondary submission hold, the Canadian backbreaker. Hammer drops elbows but they choke each other. Garvin lights up Valentine’s chest with chops. Garvin drop-toe holds into the drop-back Indian deathlock. Valentine eventually makes the ropes. Valentine retreats to the floor and drags Garvin to the floor with him. The chop the hell out of each other there; Garvin tries a piledriver on the floor but Valentine backdrops out. Back in the ring, Garvin misses a corner dropkick and ties himself to the tree of woe. They beat the crap out of each other some more and hit head to head and knock each other out. Garvin lands near the ropes where Jimmy Hart is able to remove the Hammer Jammer. Smart. Jimmy shows Valentine; who applies a backbreaker into the figure-four. Garvin is in pain now. Garvin reverses but Valentine rolls over again and grabs the rope for desperation extra damage. Valentine works over Garvin’s leg more. Valentine climbs the buckle but Garvin hops on one leg over to the ropes and Flairs Valentine off. Garvin collapses but has the wherewithal to remove Valentine’s leg brace. They both get up and chop more. Garvin ties the Hammer in the ropes and grabs the Hart Breaker. Jimmy Hart distracts him allowing Valentine to get the Hammer Jammer and stalk Garvin. Ronnie notices at the last second and BLASTS Valentine with his own leg brace. Garvin applies the reverse figure-four (Sharpshooter) for the submission. 8.5/10 What a brutal, stiff match! Vicious, with two legitimate tough guys involved. This is another instance where Valentine played up his Ric Flair-esque persona whom Garvin had his best matches with in the NWA. This is also Valentine’s last grasp at awesome as the age, Rhythm and Blues stuff and subsequent babyface run hurt him.

Mr. Perfect insults Brutus Beefcake and admits he drew the perfect number #30.

The Brother Love Show: The guests are Sensational Queen Sherri and Sapphire. Sherri and Brother Love insult Sapphire calling her a peasant and fat, ugly and classless. Sapphire rolls to the ring. Sherri runs her mouth at her. Brother Love asks questions then whisks the microphone away when she tries to answer. Eventually Sapphire gets tired of the insults and slaps Sherri out of the ring. Dusty Rhodes and “Macho King” Randy Savage get involved and a huge brawl erupts, setting off their mixed-tag match at WrestleMania VI. Rhodes slams Brother Love and holds him for Sapphire to slap. 3/10 The segment dragged on for a while and was a little tedious.

Sean Mooney and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan discusses him beating the Big Bossman tonight.

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Big Bossman (w/Slick):   This was just before Bossman turned face and hit his peak as one of the best big men in the business. He has even lost a lot of weight and looks more like the face Bossman instead of the big fat heel version. Damn WWE music dub over, no Jive Soul Bro. They punch away in the outset; Duggan knocks Bossman to the floor. Bossman drags Duggan out there with him and posts him. Bossman misses a charge and sails into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Duggan tosses Bossman into the buckle but Bossman reverses and hits an avalanche; does not have the same effect as when he was fatter. Duggan catches a boot off the ropes but Bossman enziguris him. Bossman works over Duggan as he stomps around the ring. Bossman hangs Duggan on the ropes and leg splashes him but he makes the mistake of going for his head and Duggan briefly comes back. Bossman keeps the advantage with a sledge to his back. Bossman runs interference so Slick can choke him with his tie. Bossman sits on Duggan in the ropes but Duggan keeps getting up. Neck crank by the Bossman; Duggan punches his way out but a knee keeps Bossman on top. Bossman clubs Duggan and reapplies the neck crank. Bossman slaps on a bearhug; Duggan tries to clap his way out but it does not work. Falling near the ropes does though. They exchange choke holds on the ropes. Bossman is getting frustrated that he cannot keep Duggan down. Duggan manages to knock him to the floor with a clothesline. Bossman gets the advantage again and they both brawl. Duggan misses a charge and Bossman goes to the top but misses a splash. They collide and both go down. Slick grabs Duggan but he moves and Big Bossman takes out his manager. Bossman gets frustrated and grabs the nightstick and nails Duggan for the DQ. Post-match Duggan clobbers the Bossman and Slick with a 2×4. 4.5/10 Duggan was a punching bag for ten minutes, not bad but too long given the DQ ending.

A whole bunch of Royal Rumble promos including; Dino Bravo, Canadian Earthquake, Demolition, Bad News Brown, Dusty Rhodes, Rockers, Hercules, Rick “The Model” Martel (who cuts a promo like Bill Lumbergh), Tito Santana, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Akeem and the Ultimate Warrior

Then, Randy Savage, Powers of Pain, Jake “The Snake” Roberts (who analyzes the actual Rumble concept), Hart Foundation, Honky Tonk Man and Hulk Hogan, man that’s a lot of promos.

The Royal Rumble:   #1 Ted Dibiase and #2 Koko B. Ware starts us off; even Howard Finkel rubs it in to Dibiase mentioning he drew #30 last year during his ring announcement. Dibiase attacks Koko as he is entering and never looks back. Chops and punches; Dibiase rams Koko’s head into the buckle to no affect. Koko nails a dropkick and head-butt that sets Dibiase up on the ropes. Koko charges but Dibiase backdrops him out ELIMINATING him. Just in time for #3 Marty Jannetty to run out. Dibiase jumps him but Jannetty counters and hits dropkicks. Dibiase boots him in the corner, though. Dibiase flips Jannetty with a clothesline but gets caught trying a second-rope double axe. Jannetty charges at the ropes; Dibiase drops down and Marty sails over the top rope ELIMINATING him. How convenient that #4 Jake “The Snake” Roberts comes out and Dibiase is not happy. He jumps him and attacks him on the floor slamming him there. Dibiase locks in the Million Dollar Dream but Snake counters and posts Dibiase; back in the ring Jake gets a big backdrop and a short clothesline. Dibiase counters the DDT twice. Here’s #5 “Macho King” Randy Savage and he attacks Jake immediately. Snake gets his knee lift counters and crashes into the turnbuckle. Savage attacks him immediately and he and Dibiase tee off on him. They tie Jake in the ropes however #6 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper runs to the ring like a madman; he nails Dibiase and Savage then unties Jake Roberts. Jake battles Dibiase while Piper and Savage go at it. They go back to back and almost nail each other; they decide to attack the heels in lieu of each other. Piper pokes Savage in the eye. Savage and Piper take turns almost eliminating each other. Now #7 Warlord shows up and beats on everyone. Piper works on the Warlord; meanwhile Dibiase and Savage try to toss Roberts. #8 Bret “Hitman” Hart jogs to the ring and gets caught by Savage but ducks and Dibiase nails him. Bret works over the Warlord as the crowd is really amped up for this. Bret Hart and Piper team up to drop the Warlord. Savage and Bret battle in the corner; that’s a match I’d have liked to have seen more often. Welcome to the Rumble #9 Bad News Brown you have no friends therefore this is your type of match. He goes right for Bret Hart nodding their feuds in Stampede in 1985 and in the WWF in 1988. Jake hits another short clothesline and goes for the DDT on Dibiase again but Savage saves him ELIMINATING Jake Roberts, youdon’tsaynototheMachoKingdigit. Dibiase and Warlord work over Piper; Dibiase almost goes over again but Savage saves him again. Hmm.

#10 Dusty Rhodes to a huge ovation who goes right for Macho King and knocks him down. Bad News floors Dusty for Savage to charge at him but Savage goes soaring over the top rope via a Rhodes backdrop ELIMINATING the Macho King. Everyone battles on the ropes and try to eliminate each other. Uh oh, here’s #11 André the Giant. Warlord valiantly attacks André but gets hiptossed out immediately ELIMINATING him. Mr. Fuji, not happy, hops up on the apron to yell at André but Bobby Heenan pulls him off; every manager for himself! André beats on Piper and Dusty in the corner and shoulderblocks them; they get a brief advantage on him but André turns that right around. #12 Red Rooster jogs down with his silly spiked, dyed red hair, at least he tried with the gimmick. Bad News almost eliminates Roddy Piper; Bad News misses a clothesline and Piper dips the shoulder ELIMINATING Bad News Brown. Bad News the poor sport pulls Roddy Piper over the top ELIMINATING him from the floor. Piper and Bad News battle all of the way back to the locker room and set up their match at WrestleMania VI. Back in the ring André stomps on Bret Hart and abuses the Red Rooster. #13 Demolition Ax runs down as André ELIMINATES the Red Rooster. Ax goes right for André since the Colossal Connection had just won the tag team championship from Demolition. Ax drives André down to the mat; André counters with his choke hold. Bret and Dusty almost eliminate Dibiase. Ax and Dusty tie André in the ropes and elbow his head. They free his arms to eliminate and André nails them both. #14 Haku jogs down to help André that puts both of the Colossal Connection in there together. Haku stomps Rhodes as André sits on Ax. Dusty jabs away and floors Haku then collapses himself. Haku chops Bret Hart then Ax; André holds Ax for Haku to measure him with the superkick. #15 Demolition Smash sprints to the ring; putting Demolition in there together to work over André on the ropes. André flings Demolition together; Demolition recoups and beat on Dibiase. Here comes #16 Akeem who goes after the Giant. Demolition go back to work on Haku and then they ELIMINATE André the Giant via a double clothesline. During the fracas Bret Hart was also ELIMINATED by Dusty Rhodes; completely ignored by the commentators and camera crew. Now #17 “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka to the ring; crowd is really hot for every competitor. Snuka goes right after Akeem and ELIMINATES him with a flying head-butt. Snuka and Haku team up verses Demolition. Dibiase hits a double axe handle on Rhodes as #18 Dino Bravo comes down. Snuka rams Bravo’s head into Haku’s. Smash tries to toss Dibiase but her counters with an eye rake. Everyone battles on the ropes. #19 Canadian Earthquake comes out really early on his career. He beats on Dusty and ELIMINATES Rhodes. Ax and Smash try their hand at Quake but he lifts up Ax and ELIMINATES him. Earthquake goes for Haku and tries to toss him.

Smash sledges Dino Bravo in the middle of the ring as #20 Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart sprints to the ring and goes for Earthquake. Everyone in the ring realize Quake is a huge threat so they all (except Dino Bravo) gang up on Earthquake and ELIMINATE him. Smash and Anvil team up and double atomic drop Dibiase who has been in there for about thirty minutes now. #21 Ultimate Warrior runs down to a huge ovation and immediately ELIMINATES Dino Bravo whom he was feuding with at the time. Warrior goes after Snuka and Haku the two islanders work him over. Warrior and Neidhart beat on each other. Here is #22 “The Model” Rick Martel who goes right for Demolition Smash for injuring him and putting him out of action for six months in 1988. Warrior tries to eliminate people who have him on the top rope. Haku puts Smash onto the apron and superkicks him to the floor ELIMINATING him. Neidhart clotheslines Martel over but he does not hit the floor and slides back in. #23 Tito Santana he goes for Rick Martel, duh. Warrior levels Haku with a running clothesline. Tito and Martel continue their battle in the corner. Snuka and Anvil try to eliminate Dibiase; Virgil gives him an assist preventing his elimination. #24 Honky Tonk Man arrives; Warrior beats on him. A whole bunch of guys battle on the ropes and Jim Neidhart spills to the floor ELIMINATING him. Warrior gets the honor of ELIMINATING Ted Dibiase after forty minutes of battling. #25 Hulk Hogan comes down and the fit is going to hit the shan, now. Hogan comes in and immediately ELIMINATES both Jimmy Snuka and Haku. Santana and Martel battle on the ropes and Warrior ELIMINATES Tito. Hogan battles Honky Tonk Man and Warrior fights with Martel. #26 Shawn Michaels runs down. Hogan ELIMINATES the Honky Tonk Man and Warrior ELIMINATES Shawn Michaels and then ELIMINATES Rick Martel and we have Hogan verses the Warrior as the fans (and Jessie Ventura) go bat shit. They charge at each other twice with neither going down; they double clothesline each other. #27 Barbarian runs down and has free picking on either champion. He drops elbows on both of them. Big boot to Hogan and he works over the Warrior. #28 “Ravishing” Rick Rude does not even wait for the buzzer; slides in and goes after compromised perpetual rival Ultimate Warrior. Nice dropkick by Rude. Hogan almost goes out but Warrior saves him. Barbarian and Rude have Warrior on the ropes but Hogan helps ELIMINATE him. Warrior runs back in and lays out Rude and Barbarian for no discernable reason. #29 Hercules runs to the ring. Herc goes for Rude because he is managed by Bobby Heenan and Hercules holds a grudge for a long time. Hercules whips both Rude and Barbarian into Hogan’s boot in the corner. Hogan slams the Barbarian and almost eliminates him but he goes to Hulk’s eyes. Pair off on the ropes and clothesline by Hogan on the Barbarian and scratches his back. Finally, #30 Mr. Perfect runs to the ring drawing the perfect number. Heel miscommunication involving Rude, Hercules and Barbarian gets Rick Rude booted in the face; Hercules backdrops Barbarian out ELIMINATING him. The final four for the 1990 Royal Rumble are; Mr. Perfect, Hulk Hogan, Hercules and Rick Rude. Rude ELIMINATES Hercules. Rude and Perfect double team Hogan; a heel miscommunication sees Perfect land on the apron but when he tries to reenter he accidently low bridges Rude to the floor ELIMINATING him. Hogan slingshots Perfect back into the ring but Perfect, the fresher one of the two, gets the advantage. Mr. Perfect tries a Perfect-plex; not a perfect move there as it serves to hulk up Hogan and ELIMINATE Mr. Perfect to win his first Royal Rumble. Bleh, I liked Hogan but I liked Mr. Perfect more. 5.5/10 Once Warrior was eliminated Hogan was the obvious winner. It was a good Rumble though that set up a lot of future storylines; which is what the Royal Rumble is for kicking off the Road to WrestleMania.

The 411

Fun Rumble that Mr. Perfect was supposed to win but (rumor says) Hogan put the kibosh on that. Sucked as Hogan won next year anyway, could have given Mr. Perfect something else to brag about considering he never got the WWF title. The undercard is unsung and there are some hidden gems there especially Valentine/Garvin. This is a good Royal Rumble that set up a lot of the matches for WrestleMania VI (full review, click here) .

Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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