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On the Marc Reviews: 1992 Royal Rumble

January 9, 2012 | Posted by Marc Elusive
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On the Marc Reviews: 1992 Royal Rumble  

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Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, New York; January 19, 1992

Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan (who were both ON FIRE throughout the entire show)

Quick recap: The WWF Title was held up and vacant due to controversy from the 1991 Survivor Series (full review, click here) between Undertaker, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. So the winner of the Royal Rumble gets the WWF Title. Elsewhere, The Mountie beat an injured Bret “Hitman” Hart for the Intercontinental Title a few nights earlier; “Rowdy” Roddy Piper came to Bret’s aide post-match so he gets a title shot tonight. Giving Piper a WWF first; a shot at both the Intercontinental Championship and the WWF Championship in one night.

New Foundation vs. Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji):   The New Foundation is Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and “The Rocket” Owen Hart. Kato tries an arm wringer but he flips out of it. Owen also flips off of a backdrop and nails Kato with an arm drag. Test of strength ends with Owen springing of the top rope with a backflip into a hiptoss. Back to the armbar, Anvil comes in now and reapplies the armbar. Kato tries to slug his way out but Anvil hiptosses him across the ring. Neidhart tries another hiptoss, Kato block this time so Anvil just clotheslines him down. Pat Tanaka tags in and tires a slam to no avail; Neidhart just shoves him down quite forcefully. Tanaka tries shoulderblocks that does not work either. Neidhart Alabama Slams Tanaka and Rocket lands a second-rope elbow. Owen flips over Tanaka off the top in the corner and then backdrops him. Owen hits am enziguri and then whips the Anvil into Tanaka in the corner. The Express try a double whip on Neidhart but he steamrolls them and tags Owen. Owen mounts the turnbuckles as Neidhart rams the Orient Express together and Owen flies off the top with cross body on both Kato and Tanaka for two counts. Spinning wheel kick segues into a chinlock. Tanaka nails Owen from the apron and he and Mr. Fuji whack Owen with Fuji’s cane to give the Express the advantage. Kato adds a crescent kick and a spinning back elbow. Anvil accidently distracts the official so the Express can hang Owen on the top rope and drop down off of it. Owen flies into the corner and hits hard chest first and rams him into the buckle. Owen reverses a corner whip but runs right into a crescent kick. Kato slaps on a reverse chinlock; Owen comes out and hits a desperation crucifix for two. Owen tries a comeback but gets nailed by Tanaka’s twisting cross chop. Owen desperately hits a face breaker; Owen tags but the referee was distracted and does not allow it. While the official is dealing with Neidhart, the Orient Express hangs Fuji’s cane off the turnbuckles and whips Owen into it snapping it off his shoulder. Ouch. Owen has the wherewithal to get his foot on the ropes to prevent a pin. Kato hits an armbar slam onto Owen’s bad shoulder; Kato then hammerlocks Owen’s arm and Tanaka head-butt splashes onto it. Owen hits a beautiful off-the-ropes belly-to-belly suplex and still cannot make the tag. The Express hit a double clothesline for two; Kato hammerlocks Owen’s arm again. The Express hit the AWA Special on Owen; a double dropkick FINALLY gets Owen the tag and slingshot shoulderblocks Anvil into the Express. Anvil slams everyone and has “gone nuts” according to Bobby Heenan. Kato winds up on the floor so Anvil slingshot suicide dives Owen into him; they drop the Rocket Launcher onto Tanaka for three. 8.5/10 On par with the excellent opening tag matches in Rumbles past. Not as good as last year but still quite awesome. Great heat segment featured here by the Orient Express; textbook.

Lord Alfred Hayes shows the footage of the Mountie beating Bret Hart for the IC title and Roddy Piper coming to his aide and then getting his ass kicked by the Mountie as well. Sean Mooney talks to the Mountie and they make fun of Bret Hart’s “illness”. Mountie is pissed he has to face Piper but says he will still beat him. “Mean” Gene Okerlund gets the rebuttal from Piper. He calls Mountie a member of the Village people. He questions the Mountie’s motives and guts.

WWF Intercontinental Championship The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper:   Piper complains about Mountie’s cattle prod; Piper then punches away and the Mountie slides to the floor to break the momentum. Piper follows him out and nails him. Piper uses Jimmy Hart as a shield to get the advantage for the Mountie; he tries a leapfrog dropdown into a monkey flip but Piper just drops a fist on his face. Nice bulldog by Piper. Roddy Piper then pulls up the Mountie and pokes him in the eyes. Bobby Heenan tries to bribe Gorilla Monsoon into letting him leave to check on Ric Flair’s Rumble number by offering to buy him a hotdog. Funny. Piper misses a dropkick. The Mountie uses a chicken-wing to ram Piper into the buckle and bites him. Mountie drills a reverse elbow and tosses Piper over the top rope to the floor; since this is not the Rumble he is not ELIMINATED.  Sunset flip gets two for Piper on the way back in and he explodes with punches and a backdrop. Piper atomic drops the Mountie over the top; Jimmy Hart distracts Piper as the Mountie skins-the-cat back in. Piper sees him and sidesteps him right into Jimmy; Piper slaps on the sleeper. Mountie passes out to give Piper his first ever title in the WWF. Post-match Piper shocks Mountie with the cattle prod and celebrates with the belt. 5/10 Nice moment to see Piper get his first singles gold in the WWF; bland match though.

Lord Alfred Hayes talks to Hulk Hogan about the Rumble in his locker room that looks like the men’s room. Hulk says (quietly) he is going to win. “Mean” Gene Okerlund talks to the Bushwhackers and Jamison usual Bushwhacker zaniness.

Bushwhackers (w/Jamison) vs. Beverly Brothers (w/The Genius):   I for the life of me I cannot remember the genesis of this feud; except maybe the Genius is sick of Jamison. Bobby Heenan is already more entertaining than the match; during the Bushwhackers’ entrance “don’t touch‘em children you don’t know where they’ve been!” he then follow up with Jamison’s parents never got divorced since no one wanted custody; THEY ran away from home. The match takes forever to start. The Beverlys take over on Luke and choke him on the bottom rope. Luke bites Blake on the bottom and the Whackers hit double forearms and clear the ring. The crowd is surprisingly wild for this match. Jamison blows his nose in his sock; the Beau tries to shake hands and attacks Butch when he is screaming at the fans. All four get in again and the Bushwhackers hit double schoolboy trips and double clotheslines and they clear the ring again. The Beverlys try to sucker the Luke in but he OUTSMARTS them. What the hell does that make the Beverly Brothers? Blake blindsides Luke and now that the Beverlys are on offense the crowd is silent. They ram Luke into the corner a few times. Beau hits a backbreaker and a diving head-butt. The Beverlys keep attacking Butch on the apron allowing them to double team when he charges in the ring; like the AWA Special. Luke knees Blake but cannot make a tag. Beau clotheslines Luke on the top rope. They toss Luke to the floor and the Genius SLAPS Jamison in the face. Gross. Blake lands a second-rope double axe. Neckbreaker by Blake followed by a legdrop; Luke comes back with a clothesline out of the corner. Butch gets a tag and clotheslines everyone; he uses Beau’s head to hit Blake with a battering ram. Flying head-butt by Butch; everyone is in there again. Blake trips Luke as he comes off the ropes. The Beverlys team up for a top rope double axe handle for three. Post-match the Bushwhackers battering ram the Beverlys and beat on the Genius; Jamison kicks him in the shin. 1/10 Ugh, everything is painful in this match sans commentary. The best part of this match is the Beverly Brothers’ entrance music.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund talks to the Legion of Doom about defending the WWF tag titles. Animal shouts a lot; Hawk says “wwweellll” and then says they will throw THEIR weight around.

WWF Tag Team Championship Legion of Doom vs. Natural Disasters (w/Jimmy Hart):   Typhoon does not move off a pair of Hawk shoulderblocks; Hawk uses a top-rope clothesline to floor Typhoon. Quake tags in; Hawk tries a standing dropkick to no effect. Hawk goads Earthquake into a dropkick but he misses. Animal tags in. They punch each other a lot; Quake flings him into the rope and they hit double clotheslines. Animal gets Quake up for a slam but he falls back onto him. Typhoon returns and hits an avalanche; a second attempt meets a boot followed by a clothesline. Hawk returns and they both no-sell a double clothesline. Hawk tries a cross body and Typhoon catches him and hits a few backbreakers. Typhoon TOSSES into the buckle and Quake tags back in and drops a few huge elbows. Typhoon splashes Hawk between the ropes and applies a bearhug. Quake returns and squashes Hawk in the corner, WALKS over him and reapplies the bearhug. Quake misses an avalanche and hits a second-rope forearm to slowly floor Earthquake. Animal gets the tag and hits a really high flying shoulderblock. The Disasters try a double team atomic drop; Animal flips over and floors them with double clotheslines. They all brawl on the floor but Typhoon rolls back in to beat the count and the Natural Disasters win via count out. Post-match the LOD nail them with chairs. 2.5/10 Boring. Not much selling in this one; they just beat the crap of each other for ten minutes. Not a great ending though.

Jimmy Hart is mad and thinks the Natural Disasters are the tag team champions. How long have you been in the WWF, Jimmy? How do they not know the rules about count out non-title switches? Elsewhere, Roddy Piper is ecstatic about becoming a champion. Sean Mooney is in the locker room and talks to Shawn Michaels they show the Rockers’ breakup on the Barber Shop only one week earlier. Bobby Heenan’s “He don’t need… Jannetty!” became somewhat of a meme within my circle of friends at the time. Shawn clams himself the greatest thing in the WWF.

Alfred Hayes is with Ric Flair who reveals his #3 draw and guarantees victory and the WWF title. This must be an DVD exclusive because I do not recall it and was surprised when he came out #3.

Here are the Rumble rapid fire promos; “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Sid Justice, Repo Man, British Bulldog, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Ric Flair, Undertaker and Hulk Hogan.

WWF Heavyweight Championship The Royal Rumble:   Pre-match Jack Tunney, with the WWF Title, and babbles on about may the best man win. Hulk Hogan and Undertaker got draws between 20-30 because they had the last claims to the title. #1 British Bulldog and #2 “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase; boy Dibiase got shit luck since buying #30. Bobby Heenan is at his best in this event gasping when the music hits for #1 and #2. They brawl at the bell and Dibiase chops in the corner and clotheslines him. Nice suplex by Dibiase followed by a gut wrench suplex then another vertical suplex. Dibiase tosses Davy Boy over the top but he hold on and clotheslines Dibiase to the floor ELIMINATING him. Now the fun starts as #3 Ric Flair comes down; Bobby Heenan has cardiac arrest. Gorilla Monsoon is having loads of fun at Heenan’s plight. Bulldog pushes Flair over and press-slams him in the ring. Smart. Bulldog gets caught with an eye poke by Flair but he comes back with a clothesline. Here’s #4 Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys who temporarily saves Flair. They double team each Bulldog. Wooo! Bulldog comes back with a double clothesline. Sags gets tossed over the top and hangs on; he takes the time to shout at people while still on the apron and gets dropkicked off by Davy Boy ELIMINATING him. #5 Haku runs down replacing Brian Knobbs who separated his shoulder. Heenan is hopeful Haku will help Flair from his previous acquaintances with Bobby Heenan. Nope, he chops Flair. Haku stomps Davy Boy and Flair begs off. Haku kills Bulldog with a jumping piledriver. Flair rakes his eyes from behind. Haku comes back and beats on Flair. Bulldog ELIMINATES Haku as #6 Shawn Michaels debuts as a heel. Shawn superkicks Flair and thinks to himself, “I’ll love him and retire him with that move sixteen years from now”. Bulldog presses-slams Shawn down and thinks to himself, “I’ll almost win this thing a few years from now but he’ll use some unknown obscure rule to eliminate me at the end”. Shawn goes over the top but scampers in and superkicks Bulldog. Shawn gets sent into the corner and lands on the top rope then gets kicked onto the top rope crotching himself. Now newly gimmicked #7 “El Matador” Tito Santana runs in and goes for Flair and almost eliminates him. Flair hits a nice backdrop suplex on Tito. Shawn goes over the top about a dozen times. Flair ends Davy Boy with a low blow. Tito hits the flying forearm on Flair just as #8 Barbarian jogs in and he goes for the Bulldog. Flair comes over to help try to toss the Bulldog. Flair knees Shawn’s back and chops Tito. Everyone battles on the ropes. #9 “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich he goes for Flair in a nod to their NWA past; spinning tornado punch gets a walking Flair Flop. Bulldog slingshots Shawn into the post and clotheslines him.

I loved his over-the-top gimmick for #10 Repo Man as he stalks to the ring. Tito hits a flying crossbody on the Barbarian. Bulldog and the Tornado team up to chop Shawn Michaels. Barbarian holds the Tornado for Flair to chop him. Now #11 Greg “The Hammer” Valentine sprints to the ring; he finds Flair because he was tired of being called a “poor man’s Ric Flair”, I believe he was also in a tag team with Flair many moons ago. They chop each other; Valentine gets the better of it.  Flair, in one motion, rakes Greg Valentine’s eyes and low blows Repo Man who was sneaking up on him. Nice. Shawn holds on by his toes. #12 Nikolai Volkoff jogs down, subbing for Marty Jannetty who went through a Barber Shop window. There are a ton of guys in there. Valentine lights Flair up with really stiff chops. Valentine manages a figure-four leglock on Flair as Heenan loses his mind. Repo Man dips his shoulder ELIMINATING Nikolai. Flair and Valentine keep engaging in the corner; here comes #13 Big Bossman sprints to the ring, I’m sure there is history between him and Flair at some point. Bossman tees off on everyone as Repo Man ELIMINATES the Hammer. Bossman uppercuts Shawn almost over the top; Repo Man begins to sneak around the ring so Bossman catches him from behind and ELIMINATES him. People are going out rapid-fire now. There goes the British Bulldog ELIMINATED by a Flair backdrop; same for the Texas Tornado ELIMINATED by Flair. Shawn Michaels and Tito Santana eliminate each other to set up their match at WrestleMania VIII (full review, click here). Now #14 Hercules runs to the ring. Flair holds Bossman for a Barbarian big boot. Hercules goes after Flair for revenge of how Heenan mistreated him in 1988. Flair and Barbarian share a high five and then Flair chops him. That was not smart. Barbarian press-slams Ric down but not out; he gets Flair over the top but Hercules sneaks in and ELIMINATES Barbarian. Flair slides back in under the bottom rope. Bossman clotheslines Hercules out ELIMINATING him and goes over the top himself but not to the floor. Flair celebrates prematurely and Bossman hits a flying clothesline. Bossman tries another but Flair is too close to the ropes and sails over the top ELIMINATING himself. Flair, all alone in the ring, Flair Flops just as #15 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper goes to the ring. Flair’s facial reactions are great. Piper dives in with a million punches and a backdrop. Flair heads to the floor but Piper clotheslines him there. Back in the ring, Piper avoids an inverted atomic drop and pokes Flair in the eyes. Piper spins Flair with the airplane spin and segues into a sleeper. Evil #16 Jake “The Snake” Roberts runs down while Piper still has the sleeper. Jake attacks and chokes him with his boot in the corner. Jake helps Ric up right into a short-clothesline. Piper breaks up a DDT and Flair locks in the figure-four leglock on Jake. #17 “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan who does not like Flair from back in the territory days; he clobbers Flair. Piper and Duggan duke it out, they must shop at the same wrestling gear stores; both in blue trunks. All four guys go down via various moves. Here comes #18 Irwin R. Shyster who walks so slow #19 will be on his way shortly thereafter. Duggan and IRS go at it as Piper, Jake and Flair brawl. Piper and Flair renew acquaintances on the ropes. #19 “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka jogs to the ring and goes for Flair with head-butts. Piper chops the hell out of Flair in the corner. Jake trades off with him and works Flair over.

#20 Undertaker, who got a pretty crappy rigged draw (20-30), slowly walks to the ring. Undertaker choke tosses Superfly over the top ELIMINATING him; Taker chokes Flair thinking to himself “I’ll beat up your kid to goad you into a match ten years from now”. Duggan tries to interfere but gets low blowed. Undertaker choke grabs both Flair and Duggan as #21 “Macho Man” Randy Savage runs five hundred miles an hour to get to Jake Roberts for giving him a snake for a wedding present. Jake has vacated the ring by the time Savage gets there; Savage searches around for him but finds the Undertaker. Jake sneaks back in and blindsides Savage. Macho Man regains the advantage with a top rope double axe handle and ELIMINATES the Snake with a high knee to the back. Savage vaults himself over the top to get to Jake but they let him continue. Undertaker slides to the floor and tosses Savage back in but Savage sneaks back out to get to Jake; Taker comes for him again. Back in the ring, everyone brawls with each other. Now #22 The Berzerker who has a distinct advantage, his finisher is throwing people over the top for a count out, he goes for the Undertaker. Savage and Flair work each other over. Heenan actually says fro Flair to “weasel” his way out. Awesome. Flair winds up on the apron and Savage suplexes him back in. Piper chokes Flair on the canvas so Undertaker chokes Piper and Flair. #23 Virgil runs to the ring and goes for IRS whom he was feuding with. Flair rakes Undertaker’s eyes so Taker chokes him back and gets him over the ropes. Berzerker and Duggan battle on the ropes next to them; Berzerker’s fuzzy white boots look like a pair of Uggs. Piper and Virgil go at it. #24 Colonel Mustafa marches to the ring. Everyone clashes at and on the ropes trying to eliminate each other. #25 “The Model” Rick Martel runs down to the ring and tries to eliminate Flair to preserve his longevity record from last year. Savage ELIMINATES Col. Mustafa. Everyone brawls and #26 Hulk Hogan blows the roof off the place; he beats on Flair and Undertaker. They gang up on Hogan as IRS joins them but Hogan fends them all off. Hogan clotheslines Undertaker over the top ELIMINATING him and then backdrops Berzerker out ELIMINATING him as the place comes unglued. Virgil high-cross bodies Duggan too close to the ropes and they both spill over the top ELIMINATING each other. Here comes FBI Assistant Director #27 Skinner… oh wait, this isn’t The X-Files and that isn’t Mitch Pileggi it’s just Steve Keirn. Hogan has Ric Flair over the top but IRS saves him. Piper and Flair battle again as Flair sets the Royal Rumble record at fifty-four minutes. Re-face turned #28 Sgt. Slaughter strides to the ring. IRS and Martel team up to ELIMINATE Skinner so he can go back and yell at Agent Mulder for a while. Hogan and Piper battle remembering back to a simple time when Ronnie Regan ran the country; Nikolai Volkoff was a pinko Commie heel… ah the good old days. Meanwhile Slaughter tries to toss Flair. Everyone battles on the same side of the ring. Here comes #29 Sid Justice sprinting to the ring to a decent pop; weird seeing him in neon cerulean trunks. Sid goes for Flair. Horseman. #30 Warlord moseys to the ring accompanied by Harvey Wippleman, I have no recollection of him ever managing the Warlord, but I guess he did. Flair and Hogan battle on the floor where Hogan suplexes him there. Sid whip Slaughter so hard into the corner he bounces out to the floor in spectacular fashion ELIMINATING him. Hogan and Flair return to the ring where Flair eats a big boot. Flair has been in the ring for over an hour. Roddy Piper uses IRS’s tie to ELIMINATE him. Hogan and Sid team up to ELIMINATE the Warlord. Piper and Martel battle on the ropes so Sid pushes them both out ELIMINATING both of them. The final four for the WWF Title at the 1992 Royal Rumble are; Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sid Justice and Randy Savage. That’s quite the final four. Savage who was dead in the corner gets hoisted up by Sid, and with a Flair knee, is ELIMINATED. Flair goes for Hogan and they chop each other. Hogan gets Flair over the top rope but Sid sneaks up and ELIMINATES Hogan! Shocking. Hogan, ever the sportsman, grabs Sid’s arm allowing Flair to topple him over the top rope ELIMINATING him and winning the 1992 Royal Rumble and becoming the undisputed WWF Champion. Bobby Heenan’s head explodes with joy and runs to the back to be with Flair. Post-match a whole bunch of referees separate Hogan and Sid setting up the main event for WrestleMania VIII (full review, click here). 10/10 One of the best booked Rumbles ever. Flair puts on quite a show; not much else I can say.

In the back “Mean” Gene Okerlund is with WWF President Jack Tunney as he presents the WWF title to Ric Flair who calls it the only title in the world. A lot of woos follow. Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect are ecstatic. He tells us all to pay homage to the man… woooo!

The 411

What a showing by Ric Flair! The show is predicated on the Rumble (which delivered) but there was a great opening tag match as well and Roddy Piper won his only singles title in the WWF here as well. The rest of the undercard is painful.

411 Elite Award
Final Score:  9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend

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