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On the Marc Reviews: 1994 Royal Rumble

January 11, 2012 | Posted by Marc Elusive
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On the Marc Reviews: 1994 Royal Rumble  

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Please follow Marc Elusive on Twitter or like Marc Elusive on Facebook or check out www.marcelusive.net for reviews and recaps (of current WWE and old WWF PPVs, DVDs and VHS tapes) and a little analysis; more of a play-by-play style, like my reviews here on 411mania.

Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island; January 22, 1994

Commentators: Vince McMahon and “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Luna Vachon):   Bam Bam is substituting for an injured Ludvig Borga who ended Tatanka’s two year undefeated streak. Bigelow looks weird clean shaven as he hits a dropkick. I like Bigelow for many reasons; he’s big, agile and can wrestle well plus he is from JERSEY! MY home state! Tatanka uses shoulderblocks and a high cross body to floor Bigelow. Armbar by Tatanka but Bigelow breaks free; Tatanka comes right back with a jumping DDT but he misses a top-rope cross body. Bigelow takes over and avalanches Tatanka; a second one finds a boot. Tatanka tries a top-rope sunset flip but Bam Bam sits on him. Tatanka tries a comeback with chops but Bigelow cuts it off with a dropkick bomb. Bigelow slows things down with a bearhug; Tatanka fires up and breaks free. Shoulderblocks send Tatanka back down; Tatanka hits a desperation powerslam for two. Both guys collide on a double high cross body; don’t see that one too often. Bigelow slams Tatanka into the corner but Tatanka fires himself up with his war dance; Bigelow cuts it off with a Ghetto Blaster and mocks the dance. Bigelow goes up but MISSES the Bam Bam-sault. Now, Tatanka goes up, he connects with a top-rope crossbody for the three. 4.5/10 Decent opening match; a little slow in the middle considering the one of the parties involved. Passable.

The history between Bret Hart and Owen Hart; it started at Survivor Series where Bret’s team won but Owen was the only one eliminated. Owen was sick and tired of being in Bret’s shadow so he challenged him. Bret refused and smoothed things over with his brother and they focused their energy on the tag team titles. Meanwhile, the Quebecers had their recent issues losing the tag titles to Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid on Monday Night Raw two weeks prior to the Rumble; they fixed things up and won the titles back at MSG the night before the Rumble. The Hart brothers say that there are no issues between them and they are going for the tag titles.

WWF Tag Team Championship Quebecers (w/Johnny Polo) vs. Hart Brothers:   It is still weird seeing Raven as Johnny Polo and he was Polo BEFORE he was Raven. Bret and Pierre start off; Bret tries a cross body but gets slammed and Pierre tries to run the ropes and catches a knee to the gut. Owen comes in off the top and uses his speed with a leapfrog into an arm drag. Jacques tags in and tries to stir up problems between Owen and Bret; does not work. Owen thinks about flipping off a Jacques backdrop attempt but just vertical suplexes him instead and follows up with a dropkick; Jacques collects himself and catches Owen’s foot, didn’t do your homework, enziguri follows. Bret tags in and the brothers Hart hit a Decapitator; Bret unloads all of his pinning moves in about ten seconds until Pierre comes in and all hell breaks loose. They try to whip the Harts together but they counter; Bret goes low and Owen goes high into a roll-up for two. Bret battles Jacques and then Pierre; he rams him into Owen’s boot and tags him in. A nice gutwrench suplex by Owen; Bret returns but gets caught in a powerslam. The Quebecers begin to double team Bret Hart in the corner. Some guys were born to be tag team wrestlers, Billy Gunn comes to mind, Jacques Rougeau shines in tag team matches; put him in a singles push and he becomes incredibly boring. The Quebecers try a second-rope move but Bret gets the boot up; Owen tags in and dropkicks every Eastern Canadian he sees. Owen belly-to-bellies Pierre off the ropes and spinning wheel kicks Jacques. Owen gets a Sharpshooter; Bret stops Pierre from interfering, but when referee Tim White is putting Bret out, Pierre bulldogs Owen out of the Sharpshooter. The Quebecers now unload on Owen including a double slingshot top-rope clothesline; Owen comes back with a double dropkick, one foot to each Quebecer. Here comes Bret; Russian leg sweep to Jacques and a pendulum backbreaker to Pierre. Johnny Polo pulls the ropes apart spilling Bret to the floor and injuring his perpetually injured leg. The Quebecers zero in on the leg of Bret Hart including a double team senton on the floor and stomp away on the floor. Owen keeps complaining to the referee allowing more and more double teaming. Pierre distracts Owen (and the referee) allowing Jacques to work Bret’s leg more with Johnny Polo’s putter. Jacques tells the referee to count Bret out but Owen tosses Bret back in the ring. Now the Quebecers target the leg and destroy it. Jacques holds Bret’s legs allowing Pierre to leg drop him from the second rope; they try to double team top-rope cannonball onto the leg but Bret moves. Bret tries to apply the Sharpshooter on the canvas in lieu of tagging Owen; his leg collapses so the referee rules Bret cannot continue. The Quebecers win. Post-match Owen berates Bret and kicks his bad leg injuring it further and completing his heel turn. Raymond Rougeau (Jacques’ brother) now in an interviewing capacity tries to talk to Bret but the officials block him; he believes Bret is “uncertain” for the Rumble. 8/10 The match was very good but the post-match stuff makes it great. This heel turn kick started Owen’s WWF career for real. Owen has a point though; why DIDN’T he tag Bret?

Owen Hart rants angrily (and slightly incoherently due to his extreme fury) at Bret Hart from the back “all you had to do was tag me, Bret!” He calls Bret selfish and explains “that’s why I kicked your leg outta your… leg”. Owen rules; this was the beginning of the whiny Owen Hart that everyone knows and loves.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Razor Ramon vs. Irwin R. Shyster:   Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon switch off from WWF Radio to commentate this match. The story here is that IRS sequestered Razor’s gold chains as a tax collection. IRS tries to anger Razor with a slap in the face because Razor makes mistakes when he is angry; Razor punches him in the face so IRS slides to the floor. Razor blocks a kick and spins IRS into an atomic drop and hits a clothesline. IRS gets a breather sending Razor over the top rope he follows up ramming him into the steps and clotheslines him on the floor. IRS goes to the top rope; Razor gets his boot up but IRS notices so he avoids it and drops an elbow. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that counter avoided before. Shyster applies a chinlock followed by a knee to the gut to cut off a comeback. IRS stops a few more comeback attempts and reapplies a reverse chinlock; IRS uses the bottom rope for illegal leverage. I just went upstairs to apply a third coat of paint to the molding of my wife’s craft room, came back downstairs and the chinlock is still on. Razor eventually fights back and punches Irwin in the face followed by the fall-away slam. IRS reverses a corner whip and referee Joey Marella gets sandwiched by Ramon. Irwin uses this opportunity to try to nail Razor with the briefcase but it backfires and IRS takes it in the face. No referee so, Razor sets up and nails the top-rope back superplex. Still no ref. Razor goes for the Razor’s Edge but Shawn Michaels appears and clobbers Razor with his version of the Intercontinental belt setting up their WrestleMania X (full review, click here) ladder match. All three men are down. IRS crawls to the cover and gets three. Senior referee Dave Hebner shows Marella the two IC title belts in the ring, meanwhile IRS is celebrating on the turnbuckles, Razor drops him off with the Razor’s Edge for three. I guess the match restarted; should maybe have told IRS that. 1.5/10 This was a painfully boring match with an equally dumb ending; it DID set up the ladder match at WrestleMania though.

Paul Bearer and Undertaker build a HUGE casket for Yokozuna; Yoko is rightly terrified. Bearer brings the casket to the Rumble via horse drawn carriage; I guess Taker is Amish. Jim Cornette complains about the stipulation and Undertaker tortures Yoko in the weeks leading up to the match.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) vs. Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) casket match:   They go snout to snout; Taker avoids Yoko and clotheslines him a bunch of times but the flying one floors him. Yoko flops to the floor where he wanders into the ringpost. Yokozuna rams Taker into the steel steps but gets no-sold. Back in the ring Undertaker hits the ropewalk forearm. Yoko ducks the flying clothesline and they wind up on the floor again where Yokozuna gets a chair; Taker seizes it and clobbers him with it. Taker rams Yoko’s head into the apron. Yokozuna finally gets some offense in via tossing salt into Undertaker’s eyes and uses the chair. Taker keeps getting up. Back in the ring Yoko levels Taker with a clothesline and try to roll him in the casket; Taker blocks and comes back. A Yokozuna belly-to-belly suplex puts Taker down… wait he immediately SITS UP and chokeslams Yokozuna and hits the running DDT. Taker gets Yokozuna in the casket but Crush; Mr. Fuji’s other charge, stops him and attacks the Undertaker. Taker casually destroys Crush so Genichiro Tenryu and Great Kabuki, guys Mr. Fuji brought in from Japan; offer their services attacking the Undertaker. Taker takes them out as well. Bam Bam Bigelow runs down and attacks the Undertaker. Yokozuna is still out in the casket as Mr. Fuji has stolen the urn from Paul Bearer. The four of them manage Undertaker to the casket but Paul Bearer gets the urn back and knocks out Fuji and Cornette with it; he raises it up and Undertaker wakes up and destroys all five men. Now, Adam Bomb slides in to offer help. Undertaker gets Yoko’s salt bucket and clobbers all six men with it. Jeff Jarrett tries to assist but he gets beat up too. The Headshrinkers come down and now there are nine guys beating on him… no wait Undertaker gets up and beats up NINE MEN all by himself. Here is Diesel to help and the Undertaker dispatches TEN TOP WWF SUPERSTARS rather handily. This is insane. Yoko FINALLY steals the urn from Paul Bearer and opens it and releases green smoke and the power of the Undertaker. Now all ten guys start hitting finishers and finally roll him into the casket for Yokozuna to retain the WWF title. Post-match, the fun begins… all of the heels wheel out the casket but green smoke bellows out of it. The Undertaker appears on the Titantron (in the casket) and rambles about how the spirit of the Undertaker cannot be extinguished and he will not rest in peace. The screen goes into reverse and the image explodes; the Undertaker levitates OUT OF THE TITANTRION and ascends up to the rafters of the building in the single most bizarre event in professional wrestling history. 3.5/10 The match was not so great; Undertaker beating up ten men like it was nothing. The post-match stuff left me dumbfounded when I watched this live. Now I find it sort of a guilty pleasure to watch; it cracks me up. This is the most over-the-top thing the WWF has ever done with the Undertaker or anyone for that matter.

The Royal Rumble:   #1 Scott Steiner and #2 Headshrinker Samu start us off this year. They shortened the time limits to ninety seconds due to time constraints or Undertaker levitating too slowly, or something. Scott tries to toss Samu but gets caught with a corner clothesline. Scott comes back with a butterfly bomb. Samu gets the advantage back with a clothesline. Here’s Scott’s brother #3 Rick Steiner, poor Samu; Rick saves Scott and they beat on Samu. Rick belly-to-bellies Samu and Scott follows up with a vertical one. Samu misses a dive and hangs his head on the top rope; Scott frees and ELIMINATES him as #4 Kwang walks in and smartly spews green mist into Rick’s face to neutralize him and works on Scott. Steiner gets the advantage and keeps checking on his brother; Kwang uses it to get the advantage from behind. Scott belly-to-belly suplexes Kwang but #5 “The Rocket” Owen Hart comes out getting booed mercilessly. Owen works over a blinded Rick Steiner while Kwang works over Scott. Owen ELIMINATES Rick Steiner and helps Kwang with Scott. #6 Bart Gunn of the Smoking Gunns sprints to the ring. The heels and face pair off and try to eliminate each other. Kwang superkicks Bart Gunn as #7 Diesel comes out and attacks everyone in sight. Diesel ELIMINATES Bart Gunn. Diesel ELIMINATES Scott Steiner. Diesel ELIMINATES Owen Hart. Sensing a pattern? Kwang misses a spinning wheel kick and Diesel ELIMINATES him. Diesel is all alone for former WWF Champion #8 Bob Backlund, still face, comes in. Backlund goes for the legs and almost eliminates him but Diesel destroys him and ELIMINATES him. #9 Billy Gunn, the other Smoking Gunn, he does not last long and Diesel ELIMINATES him in about ten seconds. During the dead time they show footage of Genichiro Tenryu and Great Kabuki doing Mr. Fuji’s bidding and destroying Lex Luger in what looks like a high school hallway. Wait, didn’t Mr. Fuji send Demolition to beat on Tenryu at WrestleMania VII (full review, click here)? I guess we have forgotten that.

Meanwhile, back in the ring, Diesel awaits #10 Virgil, subbing for Kamala; Ted Dibiase is disgusted, but enjoys Diesel beating on and ELIMINATING Virgil. #11 “Macho Man” Randy Savage comes out next; this should be fun. Savage avoids a Diesel onslaught and peppers him in the corner. Here comes #12 “Double J” Jeff Jarrett and he nails Savage. Jarrett hits a nice dropkick and struts; Jarrett comes off the top and hits a forearm clothesline. He tosses Savage over the top but Macho Man stays on the apron. Jarrett turns to Diesel but Savage knees him in the back into Diesel him and Savage ELIMINATES Jeff Jarrett. Savage attacks Diesel again as Randy Savage’s current rival #13 Crush runs down. Crush turned on Savage for not helping him during a Yokozuna beat down back in the summer of 1993. Savage attacks him immediately and hits a running elbow; double axe handle off the top. Savage slams Crush and hits another double axe. The two big guys collect themselves and beat on Savage. Crush hits his 360 backbreaker; #14 Doink the Clown this is the severely neutered face version. Crush ELIMINATES Randy Savage. Crush and Diesel try to eliminate each other as Doink laughs at them. They go after him so he squirts water in their faces. That serves to piss them off and they destroy him. #15 Bam Bam Bigelow comes in; Diesel and Crush hold the ropes open for him to clobber Doink, whom he was feuding with. Bam Bam press-slams Doink over the top ELIMINATING him; Diesel and Crush try to eliminate Bigelow. The three big guys all turn on each other and triple threat. #16 Mabel from Men on a Mission walks to the ring. Diesel and Mabel lock up in a Summerslam preview in a year or so. Mabel avalanches Diesel and attacks Bigelow then Crush. Mabel avalanches everyone in separate corners as a debuting #17 Thurman “Sparky” Plugg, replaces an injured 1-2-3 Kid, runs down. Plugg joins the crew of big men; well he is the big shot, you know. Crush beats on him. Crush whips Bam Bam into Mabel in the corner. Crush saves off gang elimination. Now, #18 Shawn Michaels trots to the ring; he runs right into Diesel, Shawn retreats to the second rope. Everyone gangs up on Diesel and ELIMINATES him; not certain if Shawn helped as the camera angle was inconclusive. Sparky works on Shawn. Fans chant “Diesel” on his exit. #19 Mo the forgotten member of Men on a Mission comes down. Crush works over Mabel so Mo comes to his rescue. Shawn almost goes out. Mo whips Mabel into an avalanche in Bigelow while Shawn goes over but skins-the-cat back inside. Everyone brawls on the ropes.

#20 Greg “The Hammer” Valentine returns to a nice ovation. He works over Bam Bam. Mo and Bigelow double team him. Everyone battles on the ropes. Bigelow avoids an avalanche from Mabel. Here is #21 Tatanka who goes right in and attacks Shawn. I guess revenge for WrestleMania IX (full review, click here). Shawn misses Tatanka and nails Mabel; Hammer hangs Shawn on the top rope and elbows him in the gut. Here is #22 Great Kabuki walking to the ring. Everyone starts to gang up on Mabel; Mo tries to save him and gets clobbered and the collection ELIMINATES Mabel. Mo takes his anger out on HBK but he survives as #23 Lex Luger flies down to the ring and beats on Kabuki. Luger ELIMINATES Great Kabuki then turns his attention to Crush. Luger clotheslines Bigelow. #24 Genichiro Tenryu slowly walks to the ring and attacks Luger at the request of Mr. Fuji. Shawn hangs on the ropes again; here comes… no one. #25 Bastion Booger was the entrant but he was “a little sick”, a.k.a. briefly suspend belief that Bret Hart is not coming into the Rumble. Vince McMahon believes that this was Bret’s spot. Everyone brawls on the ropes; Shawn works on Luger in the corner. There are a lot of guys in the ring now; let’s add one more #26 “The Model” Rick Martel. The usual “he lasted a long time in the ’91 Royal Rumble (full review, click here) and he got a late draw this year, how fortunate” follow; he works over Mo. Luger and Tatanka work over each other as Ted Dibiase watches, getting an idea to buy off Tatanka but accuse Luger. The crowd explodes as #27 Bret “Hitman” Hart limps to the ring; Vince is happy and Dibiase loses his mind. Bret runs right into Crush; Tenryu and Crush double team his bad leg. Sparky tries to help him but gets a head-butt. #28 Headshrinker Fatu gets tossed in by Afa. NOW, there are a lot of guys in there. Luger almost eliminates Crush. Bret is on the canvas as Plugg stomps on him. Finally, Luger ELIMINATES Crush just as #29 Marty Jannetty runs to the ring. Shawn and Marty go at it. Shawn misses a superkick and Jannetty hits his own. Literally everyone hangs on the ropes. #30 Adam Bomb walks to the ring as Vince declares him the winner. There are thirteen men in the ring; that is a ton of guys for a Rumble. Bret ELIMINATES Sparky as he was trying to eliminate HBK. Bret Hart works over Adam Bomb and almost gets eliminated. Shawn saves off elimination for the fiftieth time thus far. Bret posts Shawn as Martel ELIMINATES Greg Valentine. Tatanka dips his shoulder and ELIMINATES Rick Martel. Luger drops to all fours on a charging Adam Bomb and he is ELIMINATED to the amazement of the commentators; Fatu superkicks Mo over the top ELIMINATING him. Tenryu kicks Bret’s leg. Bigelow gets a measure of revenge ELIMINATING Tatanka. People are flying out left and right now. Bigelow collapses in the corner exhausted; he wrestled the opening match and has been in-ring for over thirty minutes; see… rules. Bam Bam charges Luger in the corner and goes upside down over the top to the apron. Luger knocks him off ELIMINTAING him. Shawn ELIMINATES Marty Jannetty. Shawn and Fatu double team Tenryu but he knocks their heads together; Shawn goes down but Fatu no-sells and attacks Tenryu. Bret and Luger send HBK and Fatu into each other. Tenryu uses the opening to attack Luger. Bret and Luger team up to ELIMINATE Tenryu. The final four for the 1994 Royal Rumble are; Bret Hart, Lex Luger, Headshrinker Fatu and Shawn Michaels. Shawn goes for Bret Hart and Luger and Fatu attack each other. Bret and Shawn tease eliminating each other. Luger slams Fatu’s head into the mat but he pops up and superkicks him he follows up with a second rope head-butt. HBK and Fatu get double suplex Luger to the apron but he fights off elimination. Luger clobbers Fatu with a clothesline sending him 360. Luger and Bret try to whip HBK and Fatu together again but they avoid each other; Shawn runs right into a backdrop over the top ELIMINATING him and Bret tosses Fatu over ELIMINATING him. Bret and Luger duke it out and both go over and hit at the same time. One referee says Bret Hart one; one referee says Lex Luger won. Confusing. WWF President Jack Tunney meanders down, yeah, that’ll help. Dibiase makes a good point, just restart the Rumble with Bret and Luger and let them finish it. Tunney declares both men winners to boos of the fans. 4/10 The bulk of the Rumble was boring as the WWF was lacking in creativity and full of silly gimmicks; a lot of people hung around on the ropes did not help either. The ending was kind of silly but it was a first and it also set up the whole WWF title picture for WrestleMania X.

The 411

Kind of a boring Rumble itself but a lot of important stuff happened here. Owen Hart finally turned on his brother and kick started his career. Undertaker died (for the FIRST time). Diesel immerged as a serious superstar. This was the first real controversial Royal Rumble finish involving Bret Hart and Lex Luger. Lots of WWF history was made here.

 
Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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