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On the Marc Reviews: 1993 Royal Rumble

January 10, 2012 | Posted by Marc Elusive
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On the Marc Reviews: 1993 Royal Rumble  

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ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California; January 24, 1993

Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

This is the first Royal Rumble where the winner faces the WWF Champion at WrestleMania.

Steiner Brothers vs. Beverly Brothers:   The Steiners just debuted in the WWF a month or so back this was their first big match. Blake starts off with Scott Steiner who single legs Blake; Scott then goes through a nice standing wristlock sequence. Blake complains about hair pulling. Hiptoss out of the corner gets Blake complaining about a tights pull. Blake then uses the hair to take Scott down. Scott almost drops Blake mid-move off a tilt-a-whirl sidewalk slam. Beau Beverly tags in and demands to face Rick Steiner. Rick comes in and pushes Blake off the apron. Beau gets the advantage as referee Bill Alfonso goes between them in the corner; it leads to a nice powerslam by Beau. Rick catches Beau in a leapfrog and turns him into a powerslam. Scott comes back and hits a mice belly-to-belly suplex. Scott tries the butterfly suplex but Blake runs in and breaks it up. The Beverlys take over and hit a backbreaker and a second-rope double axe. Beau gets another backbreaker and a tandem leg trip/jumping head-butt combo. They distract Rick and wrap the tag rope around Scott’s throat. Blake applies a Boston crab. Scott blocks a vertical suplex and reverses into his own. Scott still cannot tag but a butterfly bomb finally allows the tag. Rick comes in and backdrops Beau and a sick German release suplex. The Beverlys try a double team but Rick Steinerlines both of them. Scott tags back in and the Beverlys try a Doomsday Device but Scott rolls up Beau (for two) as Blake splats on the canvas. Scott SPIKES Beau with a Frankensteiner for three. 3.5/10 Below average match especially for the Steiners; the Beverlys were such a boring team, I’m sorry they just are. The Frankensteiner was deadly though.

The history of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty is shown; the Barbershop may be the most famous tag team break-up ever. Marty Jannetty eventually returned and attacked Shawn on WWF Superstars. He tries to nail Shawn with his own mirror but Shawn pulled Sensational Sherri in between and ran away.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty:   Sensational Sherri comes to the ring and the intrigue is which corner she is going to be in. Marty has the most bizarre tights I have ever seen; I really cannot describe it but it makes him look twenty pounds heavier. Shawn tries to run around but Jannetty is just as quick so he catches up to him easily. Marty knee lifts Shawn and sends him to the floor; Jannetty helps Shawn back into the ring with a slingshot then knocks him back out. Marty follows him out via suicide dive. Marty comes off the apron with a fist drop and then climbs to the top but Shawn catches him on the way down. Shawn posts Marty’s shoulder and then pulls him shoulder first back into the post. Back in the ring, Shawn works the shoulder per a shoulder breaker and slams him on the concrete floor. This is the opposite of what everyone thought this match would be; Shawn methodically works over a body part in lieu of flying all over the ring. Shawn hammerlocks the arm and tosses Marty into the buckle then comes off the top with a double axe handle. Shawn puts Marty in an armlock; a single-arm DDT cuts off a potential comeback. Marty gets a foot up off a second-rope double axe to buy him some time; Marty ducks a corner charge and now Shawn posts his shoulder. Marty battles back and psyches himself up but Shawn flings Marty through the ropes to slow him down. Shawn tries to suplex Marty back in but Jannetty reverses and suplexes Shawn to the floor. Sensational Sherri slaps Shawn on the floor. Marty backdrop suplexes Shawn back in, rolls the shoulder, but gets two. Marty chucks Shawn into the corner and he sails over the top; Marty follows up by ramming Shawn into the steel steps. Marty catches Shawn in a powerslam and climbs to the top. Shawn gets up to avoid the flying fist drop but Marty lands on his feet and spikes Shawn in a jumping DDT for two. Jannetty ducks a superkick and hits his own… for two! They go through a series of nearfalls that always winds up with Shawn getting slingshot into the post. Referee catches an inadvertent elbow and goes down. Marty holds Shawn for Sherri to nail him with her shoe but Shawn ducks and Jannetty takes the shoeshot in a rare babyface miscommunication. Shawn finishes with a superkick for three. Post-match Sherri runs away. 7.5/10 Good psychology based match but not what I was expecting; that would come a few months later on Raw when Marty surprised Shawn again and goaded him into a title match. They flew all around the building. That match (or the rematch) would be considered MOTY for 1993.

In the back Sensational Sherri talks to “Mean” Gene Okerlund; Shawn Michaels runs into the back and Marty Jannetty follows and they have a pull-apart battle.

Big Bossman vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:   Bigelow returned to the WWF as a nasty heel and started with the Bossman. Bam Bam attacks at the bell and hits an avalanche. Bigelow dominates and tosses Bossman to the floor. Bossman finally makes a comeback and floors him with a clothesline and punches away at Bigelow’s face prompting Gorilla Monsoon to say Bossman is reading him his rights. What? More punching, this time in the corner and a side headlock; Bigelow counters with a backdrop suplex but misses a falling head-butt. Bossman hits a diving forward bulldog but gets backdropped over the top hurting the Bossman’s back. That would constitute an ELIMINATION from the Royal Rumble later on. Bigelow stomps the back and locks in a reverse bearhug. Bossman comes out but runs right into a slingshot top rope clothesline; head-butts to Bossman’s back followed by forearms and the reverse bearhug. Lovely. Bigelow tries a vertical suplex but it is blocked and Bossman reverses into (barley) a vertical suplex; Bam Bam stays on top, though. Bossman ducks something and hits a backdrop. Bossman hits his slide-under-the-rope uppercut but Bigelow gets his boot up on a corner charge and drops the top-rope diving head-butt for three. 2.5/10 Boring match between two of the best big men ever; unfortunately neither of those personalities showed up for this match.

Razor Ramon attacks Owen Hart on WWF Mania and then says he is ready for Bret Hart. Bret, the fighting champion, says Ramon has crossed the line and will pay for attacking his family.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Razor Ramon:   Ramon had only been in the WWF for a few months at this point, making this title defense puzzling; no one thought Razor had a chance as he was “too new” to the WWF. As per tradition, Bret gives his shades to a youngster in the front row so Razor flicks his toothpick at the kid. Nice. Bret uses the distraction to nail Ramon from behind. Razor takes control quickly and flings Bret into the corner. Razor misses a high knee in the corner so Bret zeros in on it and drapes it off the ropes and drops down onto it. Bret Hart locks in the figure-four; Razor makes the ropes. Bobby Heenan calls Stu Hart and Helen Hart, who are seated at ringside, the Mertz’s. I love Bobby. Bret continues to work Razor’s leg including wrapping it around the ringpost. Heenan then one-ups himself doing a dead-on Stu impression. Razor flings Bret into the corner post chest first. Razor follows up with a double backbreaker on the floor and then rams him into the post. Back in the ring, Razor drops elbows on Bret’s back and adds a fall-away slam. Bret takes his chest first shot into the buckle for two. Razor locks in an abdominal stretch; Bret reverses so Razor hiptosses out. Razor slaps Bret around and slams his face into the canvas. Bret hits a high cross body but flings Bret to the floor. Razor blocks an apron-to-ring sunset flip but Bret reverses for two. Razor applies a Camel Clutch and then a bearhug working the back and ribs. Bret bites his way out, backdrops him over the top then follows Razor out there with topé suicida. Back in the ring, Bret works on Razor in the corner with a series of corner punches. Bret nails an inverted atomic drop, flying clothesline, backbreaker and then a second-rope diving clothesline for two. Bulldog by Bret Hart followed by the Russian leg-sweep; Bret tries for the Sharpshooter but Razor wriggles free using the referee as a shield. Razor gets a shot in on the ribs to regain the advantage. Razor props Bret on the top turnbuckle prepping for a backdrop superplex but Bret flips over the back and hits his own backdrop suplex; the second-rope elbow however is countered by a boot. Ramon tries the Razor’s Edge but Bret counters into a backslide. Razor tosses Bret into the corner back first; Bret counters a knuckle lock with a cradle for two. While they are both on the mat Bret seizes the opportunity and applies the Sharpshooter on the canvas for the submission victory. 7/10 Good match with excellent psychology from BOTH guys; ribs by Bret and legs for Razor. Bret used his ingenuity to beat the larger and more powerful Razor Ramon.

Bobby Heenan unveils the “Narcissist” Lex Luger to the WWF. Up until this point Heenan had been referring to him as just “Narcissus” so Luger was kind of a surprise; Luger debuts posing in front of a bunch of mirrors as Heenan adorations him. Luger claims he is beyond “perfection”.

Julius Cesar and Cleopatra hit the ring and invite everyone to WrestleMania IX (full review, click here) at Cesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. What happens at WrestleMania stays at WrestleMania. I wish that were true for WrestleMania IX.

The Royal Rumble:   #1 Ric Flair who has the world’s worst luck drawing Rumble numbers and #2 Bob Backlund just after he returned and long before he turned heel and went crazy; as two former WWF champions start us off. Flair sails through the air off a few leg sweeps from Backlund; gotta love Ric’s knack for selling anything. Flair chops in the corner but gets backdropped and atomic dropped. #3 Papa Shango rambles to the ring and attacks Backlund and tries to eliminate him. Flair sneaks up and ELIMINATES Papa Shango. Flair and Backlund battle on the ropes. Here is #4 Ted Dibiase, another one with consistently shitty luck since buying #30 back at the ’89 Rumble (full review, click here); even then he must have drew a crappy number, why else would he buy a better one? Dibiase is one half of the tag champions and he and Flair work over Backlund and try to eliminate him. #5 Brian Knobbs sprints to the ring for Ted Dibiase because the Nasty Boys and Money, Inc. were feuding over a promised title shot that Jimmy Hart sold to Money, Inc. Knobbs beats on both Dibiase and Flair; he dispenses with Flair and works on Dibiase. Backlund and Flair brawl wile Dibiase and Knobbs settle their score in the corner. Knobbs give Dibiase the Pit Stop and #6 Virgil comes down and beats up his former employer. Knobbs charges at Dibiase on the ropes; bad move in a Rumble and the Nasty Boy is ELIMINATED. #7 Jerry “The King” Lawler heads to the ring in crazy airbrushed tights; he and Flair battle. Flair gets Virgil on the ropes but Lawler, for some reason, saves him. Now, #8 Max Moon (Paul Diamond or Kato) shoots to the ring; he dropkicks Lawler and backdrops Flair. Everyone battles on the ropes. Max Moon rams Lawler into the corner. Dibiase and Backlund battle in the corner. Max Moon spin kicks Lawler in the corner he tries a second time but gets shoulder dipped and ELIMINATED just as #9 Genichiro Tenryu making his first random reappearance since WrestleMania VII (full review, click here). No one seems to know who he is but he and Flair chop each other rather stiffly. Flair gets Virgil over the top, to the apron, but for some odd reason Ric slingshots him back into the ring.

Now it is getting good as #10 Mr. Perfect sprints to the ring right for Flair; huge knee lift sends Flair for a flip. Perfect one day decided to turn face and help Randy Savage take on Flair and Razor Ramon at the Survivor Series when Ultimate Warrior deserted Savage (and the WWF); he and Flair had been feuding since. It culminated with a really good career match the very next night on Monday Night Raw. Flair goes to the top and gets tossed off into a perfect neck snap. Perfect and Flair chop in the corner; oh, yeah there is a Rumble still going on, meanwhile #11 Skinner jogs to the ring. Skinner holds Perfect for Flair to chop him. Flair misses a clothesline and Mr. Perfect ELIMINATES him for the first time in two years; that adds some fire to the career match tomorrow night. Lawler goes for Perfect immediately but gets chopped. #12 Koko B. Ware, in his High Energy phase, runs to the ring and attacks Tenryu. Koko goes for Lawler in a nod to their USWA feuds. Perfect tosses Skinner over but he skins-the-cat so a Mr. Perfect dropkick ELIMINATES him. Virgil hiptosses Backlund and Koko hits a second-rope head-butt to Dibiase. #13 Headshrinker Samu gets tosses in by his hair from his manger/handler/trainer Afa. Koko head-butts Samu to no effect, so he improvises and stomps his barefoot; meanwhile Lawler comes off the second-rope with a fist to Mr. Perfect. Backlund helps out by holding Lawler but Perfect chops both of them. Dibiase and Tenryu work over each other in the corner. Here is #14 Berzerker who husses all the way to the ring and hits everyone in sight. Perfect finally gets the better of Lawler ELIMINATING him. Dibiase and Koko get Mr. Perfect to the apron and, with the help of Lawler from the floor, ELIMINATE him. Perfect and Lawler brawl on the floor; during the fracas Virgil was also ELIMINATED off-camera. Death is on his way as #15 Undertaker heads to the ring; startling Lawler on his way to the back to the locker room. Taker ELIMINATES Samu via chokeslam. Berzerker and Backlund wind up on the floor (neither eliminated) where Berzerker hits him with a chair. Koko missile dropkicks Ted Dibiase. Meanwhile, on the floor, Berzerker exposes the concrete floor and slams Backlund onto it. Tenryu charges the Undertaker and gets backdropped (ELIMINATED) out. Here is #16 “Terrific” Terry Taylor. Koko and Taylor battle on the ropes so Ted Dibiase ELIMINATES both of them. Undertaker chokeslams Dibiase and then ELIMINATED. Berzerker and Undertaker battle in the corner as Harvey Wippleman brings the (unnamed) Giant Gonzalez towards the ring. Taker ELIMINATES Berzerker. Gonzalez gets in the ring and goes face to face with Undertaker. We do not get to see #17 Damien Demento come to the ring since the focus is on Gonzalez dwarfing the Undertaker. Demento arrives but has no intention of getting in the ring. Gonzalez attacks and ELIMINATES Taker and destroys him on the floor. This was freaky when it first happened since Undertaker had never sold much of anything up to this point and this was the first time anyone had dominated the Undertaker. Wippleman threatened to “drop a bomb” on the Undertaker for “ruining” Kamala in a casket match at Survivor Series. Gonzalez leaves Undertaker lying in the corner and leaves as #18 Irwin R. Shyster comes down. IRS and Demento stomp on Bob Backlund in the ring and then turn on each other. #19 Tatanka slides in the ring, still undefeated at this point, attacks IRS. Paul Bearer runs down to the ring with the urn to give the Undertaker the power to limp to the back. Everyone brawls in the ring again.

Now, #20 Jerry Saggs goes right for IRS in the other half of the Nasty Boys/Money, Inc. feud. Demento gets double teamed by Tatanka and Backlund. #21 Typhoon runs to the ring and attacks Demento. The six guys in-ring pair off and battle in separate corners. Typhoon chokebombs Demento; #22 Headshrinker Fatu (Rikishi) comes down. Fatu head-butts everyone and attacks Tatanka. Backlund rams Demento and IRS together. Here’s #23 Earthquake and attacks partner Typhoon; the Natural Disasters brawl and Typhoon splashes him in the corner a few times. Typhoon then avalanches his partner he tries a second one but Quake is waiting and ELIMINATES him. Saggs attacks the Earthquake in a nod to their Jimmy Hart feud of the past. #24 Carlos Colón, Sr., the father of Primo and Carlito, jogs to the ring. Tatanka almost eliminates Demento; Carlos Colón has better luck, ELIMINATING Demento and then goes for Fatu. Quake has Backlund dangling on the ropes as the fans start to root for him. #25 “El Matador” Tito Santana comes through the curtain and joins the fray. Backlund manages Fatu over the tope thus ELIMINATING him. Carlos Colón and Quake brawl in the ropes as Tito almost eliminates Backlund drawing a mild “Tito sucks” chant. A close up shows Bob Backlund looks exhausted. #26 “The Model” Rick Martel who goes for Santana as usual but Tito turns the tables on him and rams him in the corner. Earthquake ELIMINATES Irwin. Revenge. Quake and Saggs renew acquaintances as Tito tries to eliminate Backlund again. #27 Yokozuna comes out as the crowd gasps in horror. Yoko has not even been knocked off his feet at this point. Tatanka tries him and promptly gets ELIMINTAED. Carlos Colón gives it a go and gets ELIMINATED as well. Earthquake calls out Yokozuna they engage in a brief sumo battle. Out of nowhere #28 “Rocket” Owen Hart, the other half of High Energy, slides in the ring. Meanwhile Quake cannot drop Yokozuna he does avalanche him. Quake misses a second and Yokozuna ELIMINATES him with a belly-to-belly over the top rope. Tito tries to take out Yoko that goes as well as you’d think. #29 Repo Man runs to the ring and goes for Yokozuna and gets clobbered. Tito and Backlund try to eliminate Yoko; the rest of the ring comes over and tries to help. Yokozuna fights them all off and frees himself. Final entrant #30 “Macho Man” Randy Savage comes out to a huge pop considering he is the only other possibility to win this. Savage goes to work on Repo Man as they had a little mini-feud going on Monday Night Raw, where Repo Man repossessed his hat. Yokozuna finally ELIMINATES Tito Santana. Owen running dropkicks Jerry Saggs over on a miscommunication involving Martel. Owen skins-the-cat to save off elimination; Yoko ELIMINATES Owen Hart who lands badly on his knee. Ouch, that looked painful. Savage ELIMINATES Repo Man. The final four for the 1993 Royal Rumble are; Yokozuna, Rick Martel, Bob Backlund and Randy Savage. Gee, I wonder who is going to win. Backlund battles Martel and Savage gets choked by Yoko. Martel tries to suplex Backlund over he reverses and props Rick on the top rope and knocks him off ELIMINATING him to a huge ovation. Backlund dives on Yokozuna. Backlund hits a few dropkicks but Yoko shrugs him off and ELIMINATES Bob Backlund after about an hour in-ring. Mr. Fuji arrives waving the Japanese flag as Yokozuna shouts “Samoa” at the camera. Oops! Yoko continues to dominate until Savage makes a mini-comeback with a double axe handle; Yokozuna will not go down. A second double axe gets him to one knee but a crescent kick puts Yoko back on top. Belly-to-belly kills Savage; Yoko drops a huge leg. Yoko avalanches Savage; he misses a second and falls down. Savage climbs to the top and drops the elbow drop but for some inane reason he tries to cover. Yokozuna kicks out and sends Savage over the top rope ELIMINATING him. Yokozuna is going to WrestleMania. 3/10 Probably the dumbest ending to a Royal Rumble in the history of the event; a bland Rumble that only Bob Backlund’s iron-man streak made it interesting.

The 411

Average show; there weren’t any realistic WrestleMania main eventers in the Rumble save for one or two that made the ending quite predictable. The undercard is not so great save for Shawn Michaels/Marty Jannetty. Bret Hart/Razor Ramon was a good match but Ramon did not feel like he was at Bret Hart or the WWF title’s level yet; so it hurt the importance of the title defense.

 
Final Score:  4.5   [ Poor ]  legend

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