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On the Marc Reviews: 1995 Royal Rumble

January 12, 2012 | Posted by Marc Elusive
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On the Marc Reviews: 1995 Royal Rumble  


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USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida; January 22, 1995

Commentators: Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

WWF Intercontinental Championship Razor Ramon vs. “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/The Roadie):   Razor floors Jarrett with punches to start off, as do most of his babyface matches; Jarrett gets caught in a fall-away slam. Razor follows up with a chokeslam; Jarrett seeks refuge with the Roadie. Jarrett arm drags and reverses a waste lock both followed by struts. Jarrett outwrestles Razor via an armbar and messes with him, slapping the back of his head. Ramon clobbers Jarrett and forces him over the top by means of a clothesline. Jarrett asks for a test of strength and gets an armbar. Jarrett frees himself and hits THREE nice dropkicks and a diving clothesline. Razor catches his boot and ducks the enziguri but Ramon misses an elbow drop; Jarrett settles into a reverse chinlock. Razor gets a backslide, off a short series of reversals, for two. Razor counters a sunset flip by sitting on Jarrett; a brief nearfall sequence follows and Jarrett nails another dropkick for two. Double J gets a sleeper; then he runs the ropes and gets a swinging neckbreaker followed by a series of rope-assisted nearfalls. Razor slides out of the ring on a corner whip and pulls Jarrett’s legs on the floor crotching him against the ringpost. Razor hits a second-rope clothesline for a close two count. Jarrett uses his quickness to avoid a charge and sends Razor to the floor injuring his leg; Roadie confirms it with a chop block on the floor. Razor gets counted out. Jeff Jarrett, not happy about the count out win, goads Ramon back into the ring calling him a coward; Razor agrees to restart the match. Referee Tim White obliges and the match continues. Razor limps around the ring and schoolboys him for two. Jarrett immediately kicks the knee and a hits a shinbreaker. Jarrett slams the leg into the mat and hits rope-assisted sit-down splashes on the leg; Ramon counters sending Jarrett over the top. Jeff Jarrett slaps on the figure-four leglock. Ramon hangs on, tries to reverse the hold so he just punches his way out. Razor gets Jarrett onto the top rope for a super backdrop suplex; Jarrett reverses mid-air but Razor rolls over for a two count. Razor goes for the Razor’s Edge but the knee buckles under him and Jarrett inside cradles him for three and the title. 7/10 This was a fine entertaining match, these guys wrestled each other at almost every PPV in late 1994/early 1995, so they had good chemistry. Jarrett and the Roadie worked very well as a heel team as well.

Todd Pettingill drools all over Pamela Anderson and she shows off all the presents the WWF wrestlers got her.

Stephanie Wyand talks to new IC champ Jeff Jarrett he’s going to celebrate.

Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Irwin R. Shyster (w/Ted Dibiase):   This is all residual from Summerslam where Dibiase brought in the fake Undertaker, posing as the real one, to face the real one Paul Bearer brought back. Dibiase did not like Undertaker decimating his doppelganger so he directed his entire corporation against Undertaker. This is death versus taxes. IRS stalls, hits a drop kick, no-sold, so he hangs out on the floor with Dibiase for a while. IRS avoids Taker for a while and retreats to the floor again. When Undertaker finally catches him he boots him and methodically takes him apart. He flings Irwin across the ring by his tie and follows up with the ropewalk forearm. Dibiase gets on the apron; Taker catches him. IRS almost nails his manager but Undertaker clotheslines him over the top to the floor. I don’t know if it is coincidence or deliberate but EVERY undercard match at a Royal Rumble PPV has people getting thrown over the top rope more often than normal. IRS is NOT HAPPY with Dibiase for getting him into this so Dibiase calls for reinforcements in the form of the crooked Druids. Taker no-sells their presence and continued the beat down. The Druids finally pay dividends by shaking the ropes knocking Undertaker down so Irwin can finally get control clotheslining Taker to the floor where he grabs the Druids; IRS comes off the apron with a double axe and tosses Taker into the steps. Druids beat on the Undertaker as IRS distracts the referee. Shyster applies his classic cat-and-mouse, top rope, abdominal stretch. Taker hiptosses but misses an elbow; IRS stomps, elbows and drops a leg. IRS misses a splash and he and Taker collide head on. The Druids keep running interference so Undertaker runs IRS into them. Undertaker tries a Tombstone but the Druids distract long enough for Undertaker to counter with a flying clothesline. Undertaker has had enough of this insolence and chokeslams IRS for three. Post-match King Kong Bundy and the Druids attack the Undertaker allowing IRS to repossess the urn and set up the thrilling match at WrestleMania XI (full review, click here). 2.5/10 Not as boring as I remember it being; all the interference involving the Druids and Dibiase hid the boredom of usual IRS matches.

Diesel and Bret Hart both blow off Todd Pettingill in their separate interviews.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Diesel vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart:   Diesel won the title from Bob Backlund in about ten seconds, a few days after Backlund won it from Bret at Survivor Series. Diesel goes over to Lawrence Taylor, in the front row, and shakes his hand. Bret goes behind and they slug it out; Diesel wins that exchange and beats him down and catches a high cross body into a slam. Bret runs into an elbow and gets clotheslined over the top rope. Bret goes to plan B and takes Diesel’s legs out; he wraps them around the ringpost. Back in the ring, Bret knees the left leg and applies a leglock. Bret applies a figure-four leglock; Diesel reaches the rope but Bret waits and breaks on referee Earl Hebner’s four count. Bret slaps on the figure-four again. Jerry Lawler notes that when they are both on the canvas they are the same size; Bret has the advantage at this point. Diesel makes the ropes again but refuses to relinquish the hold again. Bret forces Diesel to the floor and drops him with a topé suicida. Diesel reverses a whip and sends Bret into the steps. Back into the ring, Diesel sends Bret into the turnbuckle and elbows in the corner. Diesel adds a side suplex and Diesel uses his power and retains strength in his leg. Diesel applies a backbreaker stretch and gets two. They battle it out in the corner and Diesel, the bigger and more powerful, gets the advantage. Diesel lifts Bret up into a Canadian backbreaker; Bret escapes but runs into a big boot. Bret comes back with a corner boot counter into a second rope clothesline. Bret Hart climbs but Diesel catches him in a press-slam; Bret wriggles free and lands on top for two. Bret winds up on the floor via the kick out so he wraps Diesel’s legs around the post again and uses his wrist tape to tie him there. Clever. Bret stomps away until Hebner frees Diesel. Bret goes through the usual comeback bulldog, Russian leg sweep, pendulum backbreaker into the second-rope driving elbow. Bret clotheslines Diesel to the floor and pescatos over but Diesel catches him and rams him into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Diesel drops Bret with the Jackknife powerbomb but Shawn Michaels slides in and interrupts the count. HBK works over Diesel’s knee until Hebner ejects him and continues the match. Bret zeros in on the knee and reapplies the figure-four leglock; Diesel pounds on Bret’s injures chest to break the hold. Bret keeps going to the leg to cut Diesel down to his size; he wraps his leg around the rope. Bret misses a corner charge and hurts the ribs more; Diesel capitalizes with a gutwrench suplex. Diesel misses a corner boot and hangs the leg on the top rope; Bret wraps the leg around the ringpost and uses a CHAIR! Um, DQ? Hebner lets it fly. Bret applies the Sharpshooter as the fans begin to boo Bret Hart. Owen Hart shows up and attacks Bret. Owen removes the turnbuckle pad and rams Bret into the exposed steel injuring Bret’s chest further. Hebner allows the match to continue. Diesel covers for two. Bret rams Diesel’s head into the unprotected turnbuckle. Bret floors Diesel but he gets up. They slug away and Bret gets tied upside down on the ropes. Diesel grabs a chair but Bret escapes; Bret feigns a knee injury and surprises Diesel with an inside cradle for two. They wipe out the referee on a rollup attempt. Shawn returns with Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie to attack Diesel and likewise with Owen and Bob Backlund on Bret. The referee gives up and disqualifies both men. Tons of WWF officials try to break it up; eventually Diesel clears the ring and he and Bret share a hug. 8/10 Great psychological match; Bret can tell a story in the ring. Diesel was no slouch here either playing his part well. Diesel was the bigger more powerful guy so Bret had to use chicanery to get advantages in and work the knee. All of the interference leads to a submission match and the WWF title match at WrestleMania XI.

Todd Pettingill assists Pam Anderson in changing. Elsewhere, Stephanie Wyand talks to the 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly about being the Cinderella team in the tag team tournament.

WWF Tag Team Championship Bob “Spark Plug” Holly & 1-2-3 Kid vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka (w/Ted Dibiase):   This is the finals in a tag team title tournament brought on by tag team champions Shawn Michaels and Diesel’s dissolution. Tatanka and Holly start off. Tatanka hits a side suplex; Holly counters another one into a hurracanrana and hits a few dropkicks. Holly and the Kid try to double team Bam Bam; he shrugs that off and floors them with a double clothesline. Bigelow tosses 1-2-3 Kid around the ring. He tries a really high backdrop faceplant but the Kid counters that into a hurracanrana. Bam Bam counters into a back-of-the-head enziguri. Tatanka returns and whips the Kid hard into the buckles over and over. Bigelow tags back in and Kid hits a desperation dropkick; Bam Bam stays on top though. The Kid backdrops Bigelow over the top but Tatanka tries to stop it and the Kid sends them together. Holly and the Kid ascend separate turnbuckles but Bam Bam and Tatanka catch both high cross body attempts. They try to ram them head to head but the babyface slip off their shoulders and ram them together. Holly hits a nice dropkick on Tatanka and runs over him. Bam Bam pulls low bridges spilling Holly to the floor. The heels work over Holly in the corner. Tatanka clotheslines Holly and allows Holly to slowly crawl to the corner and then cuts it off; powerslam by Tatanka. Kid tries to interfere but Tatanka moves and he accidently elbow drops Holly. Now the heels have a miscommunication as Tatanka chops Bigelow off the top. Tatanka goads the Kid into the other corner so Holly has no one to tag; Bigelow avalanches him and tosses him over the top rope. Holly tries to sunset flip back into the ring but Bigelow squashes him and hits a dropkick. Holly is so disoriented that he goes to the heel corner to tag and gets clobbered; Kid keeps trying to help but that allows more double teaming. Tatanka continues to dominate until Holly fires up countered with an eye rake; double cross bodies take both men out. Double tags are made and 1-2-3 Kid leg lariats Bigelow and sails off the top with a missile dropkick; somersault plancha on Tatanka. Kid covers Bam Bam but Tatanka interferes; Holly eliminates him with a dropkick. Bigelow then press-slams the 1-2-3 Kid over the top to the floor. Bigelow sets up for the Bam Bam-sault but Tatanka bounces off the ropes and knocks Bigelow to the floor knocking him out. Kid crawls over to the cover and gets the pin and the titles. Post-match Dibiase and Tatanka leave in disgust; Bam Bam finally comes to in the ring and yells at the fans in the front row. He gets in Lawrence Taylor’s face in the front row for laughing at him and shoves him down 5.5/10 This is the pro wrestling version of a Nebraska versus Nipple State NCAA football game or a Duke versus Jobber U in NCAA basketball (except for the ending). The big school dominates the whole match but the little school manages to squeak out a huge upset victory. Good tag match and good formula as the upstart team beat the older more veteran team. The post-match stuff set up the main event at WrestleMania IX (full review, click here).

Highlights from the 1994 Royal Rumble (full review, click here) involving Shawn Michaels and Diesel; HBK gloats about eliminating Diesel last year and says he is winning the Rumble. Then the double elimination ending is shown. Lex Luger says he is winning the 1995 Royal Rumble.

The Royal Rumble:   Pam Anderson comes out as she is going to escort the winner to his respective title match at WrestleMania XI. The intervals are only one minute this year. #1 Shawn Michaels and #2 British Bulldog begin the Rumble. Shawn immediately attacks. Bulldog gets his usual Rumble imbecile spot where he press-slams Shawn in the ring in lieu of over the top to the floor thus eliminating him. Davy Boy clobbers HBK with a clothesline. Here comes #3 Eli Blu already, damn those intervals are fast. He goes for the Bulldog; Shawn snags him from behind but gets tossed into the buckle. #4 Duke “The Dumpster” Droese runs down and immediately gets big booted by Eli. Everyone pairs off and Droese wears down HBK. Now #5 “Gigolo” Jimmy Del Ray, one of the Heavenly Bodies, runs in. Everyone battles; HBK and Bulldog pair off again. Del Ray gets Shawn on the top turnbuckle but cannot eliminate him just as #6 Headshrinker Seonne comes out, how people did not recognize him as the Barbarian is beyond me. HBK winds up on the apron and comes back in. Seonne tries to eliminate Shawn just as Bulldog ELIMINATES Del Ray with a clothesline. Seonne and Eli work over each other; here comes #7 Dr. Tom Pritchard, the other Heavenly Body. Seonne presses HBK overhead but he counters and Shawn rakes his face on the top rope. Babyface #8 Doink the Clown runs in and attacks Seonne on the ropes. Davy Boy tries to toss Prichard. Doink saves off elimination by head scissoring Seonne. Here’s #9 Kwang; I figured he’d have debuted as Savio Vega by now. Too much to describe; Rumble rope brawling.

#10 “The Model” Rick Martel he was still in the WWF in 1995? Wow. He also looks exactly the same as he did in 1988. Bulldog and Shawn Michaels keep crossing paths over and over. Kwang interferes with it and tries to eliminate HBK by himself. #11 “King of Harts” Owen Hart heads to the ring but Bret Hart returns and attacks him in the aisle. #12 Timothy Well of Well Dunn runs in as he is on his way Owen just gets in the ring and ELIMINATED immediately by his brother-in-law via backdrop. Shawn ELIMINATES Duke Droese, also by backdrop, he takes out referee Earl Hebner on his way down. British Bulldog ELIMINATES Timothy Well. Rick Martel is ELIMINATED. Shawn tosses Tom Pritchard, ELIMINATING him. People are flying out right and left now. Doink goes over the top but hangs there for a minute for Kwang to superkick him off ELIMINATING him. Kwang flies over the top via the Bulldog ELIMINATING him. #13 Bushwhacker Luke bounces down as Eli Blu Cactus clotheslines Seonne and both are ELIMINATED. HBK and the Bulldog are left when Luke gets there. Shawn dispatches him quickly ELIMINATING him. It is back to #1 and #2 HBK and British Bulldog. Davy Boy stall suplexes Shawn as… wait didn’t this happen already? Oh, it’s Eli’s twin #14 Jacob Blu. He kills HBK with a clothesline but Shawn regroups and backdrops Jacob Blu out, ELIMINATING him. Let’s try #15 King Kong Bundy he should stay for a little while. Bundy goes for the Bulldog. #16 Mo from Men on a Mission, just before their heel turn, runs in; he charges right at Bundy and gets immediately ELIMINATED. Bulldog cannot slam Bundy as HBK rests in the corner. #17 Mabel from Men on a Mission, just before their heel turn, walks to the ring; he goes right for Bundy… and they brawl. Mabel has Bundy on the ropes as #18 Bushwhacker Butch heads to the ring; Mabel finally ELIMINATES King Kong Bundy. Shawn ELIMINATES Butch almost as quick as he tossed Luke. Mabel almost eliminates Shawn; #19 Lex Luger shows up and quickly ELIMINATES Mabel. He clotheslines the hell out of Shawn.

The future Allied Powers try to toss HBK whilst #20 Mantaur ambles to the ring. Now we are getting to the real Wrestlecrap gimmicks; Mantaur sledges Luger down. Mantaur then turns his attention to the Bulldog, hip tossing and elbowing him. #21 Aldo Montoya shows up; he goes for Kliq member Shawn Michaels. The Allied Powers work over Mantaur. Here is #22 Henry Godwinn shortly after he debuted; he goes for the Bulldog. Mantaur and Montoya brawl in the corner in a battle of who has the crappier gimmick. #23 Billy Gunn runs to the ring. Everyone hang on the corners until #24 Bart Gunn shows up; putting both Smoking Gunns in together. Luger chokes Godwinn on the ropes. #25 Mr. Bob Backlund comes out but Bret Hart returns and attacks him too. #26 Steven Dunn comes out just as Backlund gets in the ring. Luger sends Backlund out immediately via a clothesline ELIMINATING him. Bret Hart shows up and gets him some more of Backlund setting up their submission match at WrestleMania XI. #27 Dick Murdoch surprises us all showing up. There are about twelve guys all hinging on the ropes in the ring. #28 Adam Bomb, now a babyface, heads to the ring. Shawn and the Bulldog are still in there; Mantaur avalanches Luger and here comes #29 Headshrinker Fatu getting a good draw again. Fatu always seems to get #29 or #30 every year. Luger ELIMINATES Mantaur; #30 Crush comes in. Billy and Bart battle on the ropes so Crush dumps both of them ELIMINATING them; Montoya backdrops Steven Dunn out ELIMINATING him. Crush works over Luger. Everyone battles on the ropes awaiting the next elimination flurry. Aldo Montoya beats Luger down in the corner. Murdoch imitates the Junk Yard Dog’s all-fours head-butts, problem he is doing it to Fatu. Crush finally ELIMINATES Adam Bomb as they had been battling the whole time. Crush tosses Fatu but he slides back in and beats on Crush. Shawn ELIMINATES Aldo Montoya. Crush clobbers Fatu with a clothesline and ELIMINATES him. Murdoch airplane spins Henry Godwinn but dizzies himself and flops over the top ELIMINATING himself. Godwinn holds on. Everyone stands off until HBK charges Luger. Everyone battles until Lex Luger backdrops Godwinn ELIMINATING him. The final four for the 1995 Royal Rumble are; British Bulldog, Lex Luger, Crush and Shawn Michaels. Luger hammers on Crush and Shawn but they hang him on in the corner. Luger stupidly climbs the ropes and gets knocked to the floor ELIMINATING him. Crush and HBK beat on the Bulldog until Crush turns on Michaels and presses him. Shawn wriggles free and avoids a charging Bulldog; there goes Crush, ELIMINATED via the Bulldog and it comes down to #1 and #2 in the end. They brawl and the Bulldog gets the upper hand and press-slams him onto the top rope and bounces him off the ropes. Bulldog clotheslines him over the top rope, however only one of Shawn Michaels’ feet touched the floor so he returns and knocks a celebrating Bulldog off the turnbuckle ELIMINATING him. Kind of a cheap ending with Bulldog’s music playing and not being aware the match was not over. Post-match Pamela Anderson declares HBK the winner and will escort him to the ring for his title match atWrestleMania IX. 2/10 Too fast and too cluttered too often. I have nothing against Shawn Michaels going from #1 to win it but the British Bulldog lasted the one second less. The ending with the one foot rule was kind of screwy. Nice storyline though with HBK and the Bulldog, the #1 and #2 entrant, crossing paths throughout the Rumble only to meet again in the end.

The 411

The WWF title match was the highlight of the show. The Rumble was too fast and with rapid-fire entrants the ring got cluttered quickly and often. Shawn winning the rumble at #1 is not as impressive as it appears. Bob Backlund, Greg Valentine and Rick Martel lasted longer than he did in previous Rumbles and both lost. Flair won at #3 but was in there for an hour. The tag title win for Bob Holly and the Kid would be much more memorable if they did not lose them the next night on Monday Night Raw to the Smoking Gunns; Ramon and Jarrett put on a good match too.

Final Score:  3.0   [ Bad ]  legend

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