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Random Network Reviews: Royal Rumble 1993

January 25, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: Royal Rumble 1993  

Royal Rumble 1993
January 24th, 1993 – ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California – Attendance: 16,000

I watched the first few episodes of Raw, to build up to this Royal Rumble spectacular. The previous year, Ric Flair won the WWF Title in what is widely considered the greatest Royal Rumble of all time. This year marks the first time that the winner is awarded a shot at the WWF Title in the main event of WrestleMania. Going into this show, only three matches were announced so I’m interested in what the rest of the card looks like.

Unlike Raw, commentary tonight consists of one of my favorite combinations ever, Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. They announce an opening tag match featuring the Steiners and a battle of the brutes pitting the Big Boss Man against Bam Bam Bigelow.

The Beverly Brothers vs. The Steiner Brothers
The Beverly Brothers had cool music but terrible attire. Heenan instantly makes me want him on Raw by calling Rick Steiner’s headgear earmuffs. I have no clue which Beverly Brother is which so I’ll just say that number one starts out against Scott. Scott gains the upper hand as I noticed that Bill Alfonso, the Manager of Champions, is the referee. Beverly One keeps complaining that Scott is pulling hair but he’s clearly not. He exits for a breather as Scott hits a tilt a whirl gut wrench. Rick gets the tag and runs around the ring, shoving Beverly One off the apron. Beverly Two hits a powerslam but then gets hit with a huge one mid leap frog. The Beverly Brothers get in the driver’s seat with some double team moves as they work on the lower back of Scott. I would think Rick would play face in peril. A Beverly locks in a Boston Crab so the other one comes in and drops an elbow on Scott. Scott hits a gut wrench suplex and makes the hot tag. Rick comes in hot and hits dual STEINERLINES! Scott ends up coming back in and hitting the Frankensteiner to win.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers in 10:34
Basic but boring stuff here. The Steiners got a win to continue their momentum as the new hot tag team. Nothing special though. *3/4

Bobby Heenan shows up highlights using the “Brain Cam” which I love. Gorilla Monsoon then takes us to the recap of the Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty feud.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Marty Jannetty

Sherri comes out first as promised. Marty Jannetty is wearing an absurd outfit. More ridiculous than most of the stuff he usually wears. Jannetty starts in control and we get an early Michaels corner bump before a knee lift takes him outside. Marty follows with a bad looking suicide dive that barely gets a reaction. He continues to give Shawn no chance to rest by going for a flying punch but HBK nails him. Shawn wastes time by beating on Marty outside and in the aisle, trying to earn the countout win. He goes to the arm for a bit as Sherri looks concerned. Marty taps out while in a submission, but this is before tap outs so it’s seen as him rallying. Jannetty turns the tide with a spot I hate as he kicks Shawn who was coming of the top rope. He suplexes Shawn to the outside, which I don’t remember seeing during this era. Sherri checks on Shawn and slaps him to a huge pop. Back inside, Marty sends Shawn in for another corner bump and he falls outside. That lasts all of five seconds as Marty brings things back in. He connects misses a fist drop but hits a poor looking DDT for two. Shawn goes for the Superkick but Marty ducks and hits one of his own for another near fall. A series of pin counters ends as Marty slingshots Shawn and gets a final two. Shawn goes to punch Marty but elbows the referee in the midst. Sherri goes to his Shawn with her heel but Shawn ducks and Marty gets hit. Shawn threatens Sherri before kicking Marty, who oversells HARD by flipping and this thing is over.

Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels in 14:20
Started very bland but picked up near the end. The finishing sequence was good but the actual ending seemed awkward. **3/4

Mean Gene tries to interview the hysterical Sherri as Shawn Michaels comes up to her. Marty Jannetty runs up and they continue to brawl proving that this feud is far from over.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Big Boss Man
Three named big guys go at it. I’ve always felt these were two relatively impressive and underrated guys for their size. However, I had no clue that Boss Man was in the WWF in 1993. Bigelow attacks at the start and knocks Boss Man outside. Boss Man retaliates with some shoulder blocks and a clothesline. I swear he has to be on the last legs of his WWF run. They botch a bulldog spot as Boss Man seems to not really care. Bigelow back body drops him outside so it’s time for more stalling. Bam Bam continues to target the back for a while. Heenan tells Gorilla that if he can’t handle this excitement he should take up collecting tropical fish. This wasn’t funny, only ironic as there is nothing exciting going on. Bam Bam and Boss Man basically spooned for about three minutes in the middle of the ring. Boss Man fights back and hits his signature offense. Bam Bam will have none of that as he hits the diving headbutt and wins.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 10:11
Slow, boring and disappointing. I didn’t like this at all. DUD

We then get clips of Razor Ramon attacking Owen Hart before they catch up with Razor at a Sacramento Kings game the day before. Like anyone wanted to pay to see early 90’s Kings games.

WWF Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. Razor Ramon

Bret Hart does his usual gimmick of giving his shades to a fan, so Razor Ramon throws his toothpick at the kid. Classic! Bret goes on the offensive but it backfires against the bigger Razor. Ever the technician, Bret targets the knee of his larger opponent. I love the psychology of a Bret Hart match. Bret applies a figure four but Razor reaches the ropes. I’m surprised to see Bret in control as normally the smaller face will be in trouble, but Bret just keeps working the leg. Razor sells the leg work but we have a turning point as he sends Bret rib first into the turnbuckle. He furthers the damage with rib breakers outside. Razor continues to focus on it and does an abdominal stretch which actually makes sense in the match and isn’t a rest hold for the sake of rest holds. Bret tries to rally but Razor goes to a rest hold, this one was quick though. Forget what I said, he goes for a bearhug, one of my least favorite moves in all of pro wrestling. Bret bites Razor to break it as Gorilla Monsoon blatantly says that’s fine, yet if Ric Flair or a heel did it, they would be despicable. Bret knocks Razor outside and follows with a suicide dive that’s a thousand times better than Marty’s earlier. I’d like to point out that I dig Bret’s attire here. The most 90’s move possible, the atomic drop is hit by Bret followed by his picture perfect backbreaker. Bret doesn’t try the Sharpshooter because, as Heenan puts it, Razor’s legs are too long. When he finally tries it, it fails because Razor’s legs are indeed, too long. Razor gets on the offensive for a bit until Bret hits a back suplex. He goes for the second rope elbow but Razor gets his foot up. The Razor’s Edge is signaled but Bret wriggles out and backslides Razor for a close near fall. Bret manages to counter a Razor move into a pin for two and while they lay on the ground, he intertwines the legs and applies the Sharpshooter! Razor gives up and it’s over.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Bret Hart in 17:52
Really good match from a psychological standpoint. Razor targeted the ribs and Bret worked the legs. The story of Razor being too lanky for the Sharpshooter played into the finish and I loved that. The main gripe is that nobody really bought a newcomer like Razor as a threat. ***1/2

Bobby Heenan goes to the entrance to finally reveal the Narcissist and it’s Lex Luger. Luger shows off his body in front of three mirrors as Heenan orgasms over it. This segment goes for far too long. Next, Caesar and Cleopatra are introduced to promote WrestleMania IX which will take place at Caesar’s Palace. Caesar reads from a scroll and it’s lame.

Royal Rumble Match
After drawing number three and winning last year, Ric Flair enters at number one. Bob Backlund draws number two with no music and no one really cares. Monsoon says neither guy will be there at the end, and he made that mistake with Flair last year. Backlund does a ton of old school moves during this interval, proving that no matter the year, he works like it’s the 80s. Papa Shango draws three and he’s another guy I forgot was on the roster here. He goes after Backlund but Flair comes from behind and eliminates him quickly. Flair and Backlund continue to do battle until Ted Dibiase enters at number four because along with Flair, he has the worst luck with Rumble numbers. They pound on Backlund for the entire interval. Number five arrives in the form of Brian Knobbs, who nearly dumps Flair out. Dibiase eats the Pit Stop as number six, Virgil, runs in. He goes right after Ted as he and Knobbs double back drop him. Now, the three faces work over the two heels but Dibiase pulls down the rope to eliminate Knobbs. The man who drew seven is Jerry Lawler, one of my least favorite wrestlers ever. Flair rolls under the ropes for a breather. He gets back in shortly before eight, Max Moon comes out. Moon works over Flair and the eliminations are coming slowly. Moon skins the cat two years before HBK would make it famous. Number nine joins the fray and it’s Tenyru, who gets zero pop from the fans. He chops Flair about a thousand times in the corner, leading to the Flair fall, to highlight this interval.

The buzzer sounds and Mr. Perfect sprints to the ring, causing Bobby Heenan to lose his mind. Perfect goes right after Flair and hits his signature spots. Also, I somehow missed it but Max Moon is gone. Monsoon promotes the Loser Leaves WWF match between Perfect and Flair scheduled for tomorrow night on Raw. Skinner, another on the “He’s Still Employed?” list enters at 11, instantly attacking faces. Perfect surprises by tossing out Flair, who is livid. “THATS NOT FAIR TO FLAIR!” Koko B. ware draws 12 and his pants are RIDICULOUSLY high. Like, Urkel would be jealous. Skinner skins the cat, pun intended, but gets dropkicked by Perfect over and out anyway. Samu arrives at lucky number thirteen or, he’s more dragged out by his hair by Afa. I’d like to point out, that with Flair gone, the only potential winner in there is Mr. Perfect. Fourteen appears and its The Berzerker. “HUSS!” Heenan gets upset that Monsoon is informed of the length that competitors have been in so far and he’s not. Lawler is dumped out and Perfect comes close and ends up triple teamed out. Lawler is the final straw as he pulls Perfect out, further cementing my hatred of Lawler. For the way that Perfect has been built, he should’ve lasted until the end. The Undertaker enters at the halfway mark to a standing ovation. We have a new favorite. Berzerker slams Backlund on the outside but they went through the ropes. Undertaker cleans some house by dumping out Samu and Tenyru. At sixteen, Terrific Terry Taylor runs out and works over Koko. Ted Dibiase dumps out Koko and Taylor at the same time before eating a Chokeslam and getting eliminated himself. Undertaker and Berzerker do battle as the Giant Gonzalez walks out in his god awful attire. He’s not in the Rumble though. Undertaker eliminates the Berzerker before turning towards Gonzalez. Heenan says he’s 20 feet tall. Damien Damento draws seventeen while Taker and Gonzalez face off and Gonzalez knocks him over the top. They continue to fight as Damento waits patiently outside. IRS is eighteen but is in no hurry to join the fray. As Gonzalez exits and Taker is hurt, IRS and Damento beat up on Backlund before fighting each other. The final entrant of this paragraph, 19, is the undefeated Tatanka, who gets a decent pop. Undertaker keeps trying to get up and can barely do it.

With four guys in still, number twenty is Jerry Saggs. Ho hum. They begin to discuss Bob Backlund being this year’s iron man, which I dislike. I feel like that spot should’ve gone to Mr. Perfect. Typhoon draws twenty-one and goes straight for Damento. I can’t believe Damento is still in. Fatu enters at twenty-two, also being dragged by his hair by Afa. Saggs forgets Wrestling Rule #2 as he headbutts Fatu, which has zero effect on him. 23 arrives in the form of Earthquake and he surprisingly targets Typhoon. THE NATURAL DISASTERS EXPLODE! Typhoon charges at Earthquake who drops his shoulder and eliminates him. Carlos Colon draws twenty-four to no crowd reaction and rightfully so. He enters and barely does anything. Twenty-five is El Matador and Fatu gets dumped out off camera. Heenan says that Fatu threw himself out and Monsoon says nobody would do that even though Macho Man did it the previous year. The Model enters at twenty-six and goes right for Matador. STRIKE FORCE IMPLODES! Earthquake again ducks down, causing IRS to fly out of the ring. At lucky number 27 comes all 500 pounds of Yokozuna. Heenan says he’s heavier because he’s been eating rice and sushi non-stop. Tatanka tries his hand at attacking Yokozuna but gets tossed out and so does Colon. Earthquake faces off with Yokozuna but he’s nowhere near the size of Yoko. The crowd is into it though. He tries to knock down Yoko but fails as Owen Hart comes in at 28. Earthquake avalanches him in the corner but Yoko moves on the second one and sends Earthquake over but it’s sloppy. Repo Man draws 29, laughing on his way to the ring but then he stupidly targets Yokozuna and gets dropped. The whole ring tries to gang up and throw out Yokozuna but it’s to no avail. The last entrant arrives and the crowd goes nuts for Macho Man! He beats up Repo Man for stealing his hat on Raw though commentary ignores that. Yokozuna tosses El Matador out. Owen dumps out Saggs before struggling to skin the cat after Martel throws him over. He survives only to get hip tossed hard by Yokozuna. Repo goes out too leaving the final four as Martel, Savage, Backlund and Yokozuna. Backlund dumps out Martel with a right hand while he’s on the top. He then makes the mistake of targeting Yokozuna which quickly ends his hour long performance. Commentary keeps discussing the “ovation” Backlund is getting, but it’s nonexistent. Savage rallies by making Yokozuna stagger and he gets him on the ropes. He hits two double axe handles and gets him to his knees but runs into a thrust kick. Savage rallies again and gets him to the floor before hitting the Elbow Drop! He goes for the cover like an idiot and Yokozuna powers out, sending him over the top.

Winner: Yokozuna in 56:35
Not the worst Royal Rumble, but not the best. Going with Bob Backlund as the Iron Man was a strange choice as his push didn’t happen until 1994. That spot should’ve have been for Mr. Perfect. A final four of Perfect, Flair, Savage and Yokozuna made the most sense. There were too many boring spots to make this really good. **1/2

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
It was a tale of good match, bad match. The opener was boring while the Intercontinental Title was solid. The Bigelow bout sucked but the WWF Title was really good. The Rumble itself lacked and could've been better which caused this to be a middle of the pack show.