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WWF Royal Rumble 1992 Review

March 28, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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WWF Royal Rumble 1992 Review  

WWF Royal Rumble 1992
January 19th, 1992 | Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York | Attendance: 17,000

In previous reviews, I’ve spoken about the three events I rented a ton as a kid. SummerSlam 1991, Survivor Series 1992, and this one. In fact, I loved Royal Rumble 1992 so much that I rented it to the point where the guy who ran the video store just made me my own personal copy. Surprisingly, I haven’t watched the show in full since the WWE Network came out, so I’m excited to see it here. The big storyline here was that there was no WWF Champion due to controversial finishes in recent matches, so the title was put up in the Rumble match. This was the fifth Royal Rumble event.

The opening to show is awesome. Vince McMahon, in his wildest “Vince” voice, names every participant in the Royal Rumble match as graphics fly across the screen. It’s like, the most 90s intro ever and I love it.

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan were on commentary.

The New Foundation vs. The Orient Express w/ Mr. Fuji
The Orient Express had a dope theme. They opened the Rumble with a banger tag a year earlier. The New Foundation was Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart in some High Energy style parachute pants. Owen and Kato got this started with an opening exchange that was right out of the next decade. It was quick, agile, and a lot of fun. Owen was ahead of his time. The match kind of went the route of Owen doing his speed thing and Anvil wrecking fools with his power. In that sense, the New Foundation was the formula you often want in a team. Mr. Fuji’s cane got Owen in trouble, giving us our heat segment. It lasted a while, with Owen being a great face in peril. Anvil eventually got the tag and it led to the Rocket Launcher for the finish in 17:18. That was very good and way better than it probably had any right to be. The heat segment went on a bit too long, but other than that, it mostly worked. [***½]

Lord Alfred Hayes took us to footage from two days ago. Bret Hart competed with a temperature of over 100 degrees and lost the Intercontinental Title to the Mountie. Roddy Piper saved Bret from an attack and is now getting a title shot.

Sean Mooney interviewed the Mountie and Jimmy Hart, who made fun of Bret. Mean Gene then interviewed Piper, who gave one of the wildest promos ever. I love it. Seek it out. That’s all I’ll say about it.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: The Mountie [c] w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Roddy Piper
Piper was massively over. The story of this was that he was clearly superior to the Mountie. That meant the champion had to resort to whatever tricks he could think of. There wasn’t a lot of cheating, but Mountie was an opportunist throughout. At this point already in the show, Heenan was on fire with great comments about Ric Flair. It’s a theme of the evening. Anyway, the heel miscommunicated and Piper used the Sleeper Hold to win his first ever title at 5:22. There wasn’t much to this match, but it worked to perfection. It got the crowd reaction it needed (the fans erupted for the finish) and put the title on Piper while leaving him a lot of energy for the Rumble. [**]

Post-match, Piper gave Mountie a taste of his own medicine with the shocker.

Alfred Hayes got a word with Hulk Hogan, who talked about how he won’t have any friends in the Rumble.

Mean Gene spoke with the Bushwhackers and Jameson. It was their usual stuff.

The Beverly Brothers w/ The Genius vs. The Bushwhackers w/ Jameson
This is where the show loses me a bit. So far, we had a good opener and a historic title win. This is, uh, not either of those. It’s dreadful. I’m not even going to recap most of it, because it’s so bad. The Genius is the only character involved who is any good at all. The tag wrestling is bad, Jameson is terrible, and it never works. The one thing that saved this from negative stars is Bobby Heenan. He literally doesn’t miss on any joke during the match. He’s so entertaining, from talking about Flair to ripping on the Bushwhackers and Jameson. It’s outstanding. After an almost unfathomable 14:56, the Beverly Brothers won with an axe handle. It felt like 14 hours. [DUD]

After the match, the sore loser Bushwhackers beat up the winners and allowed Jameson to kick Genius in the shin.

Mean Gene interviewed the WWF Tag Team Champions, the Legion of Doom, who cut one of their usual promos. Hawk delivered his, “WELLL” and they said they were gonna throw their opponents’ weight around.

WWF Tag Team Championship: The Legion of Doom [c] vs. The Natural Disasters w/ Jimmy Hart
Gorilla Monsoon noted how we won’t see any head scissors or anything like that in this one. His way of nicely saying this was gonna be “bowling shoe ugly.” It was kind of what you’d expect from these teams. The Disasters used their size to put the LOD in trouble. Hawk took the heat segment, but wasn’t much into the idea of selling. He’s like, the worst seller to ever be the traditional heat taker. It’s why I never loved them as a team. Part of this segment saw Earthquake work a lengthy bear hug. Animal got the hot tag and hit a big shoulder block. A brawl broke out that took things to the outside. Typhoon beat the count, giving his team the win in 9:24, but not the titles. Slow, plodding, and kind of boring. [*½]

Backstage, Sean Mooney spoke with the Natural Disasters and Jimmy Hart. They were furious that they didn’t win the title and Jimmy threatened to call his lawyer. Like, do you guys not understand the rules of wrestling? Why is this such a foreign concept?

That kicked of a slew of interviews. I’ll give quick notes.

• Roddy Piper is excited at the prospect of being a double champion.
• Shawn Michaels hyped his time as a solo star and we got clips of the infamous Barber Shop scene.
• Ric Flair revealed that he drew #3, but still guaranteed victory.
• Then, we got the rapid fire Rumble promos where each guy says they’ll win. They came from Randy Savage, Sid Justice, Repo Man, British Bulldog, Jake Roberts, Ric Flair, Undertaker, and Hulk Hogan.

WWF Championship Royal Rumble Match
#1 and #2 were British Bulldog and Ted Dibiase. Surprisingly, Dibiase was eliminated before the next entrant even arrived. When Flair came out as #3, Heenan basically lost his shit. He was in full panic mode. According to Gorilla, no one who ever drew one of the first five numbers lasted until #30 to this point. Jerry Saggs (#4) and Haku (#5) were quickly disposed of to give us Flair/Bulldog. Shawn Michaels (#6) fared better. It was interesting to see him and Flair compete here considering Flair’s retirement in 2008. I loved how guys would come in and go straight for Flair. El Matador (#7) and Texas Tornado (#9) did that. Following that, we got a rare lull in the match as the ring filled up and nobody of real interest came out. Things emptied out and eventually, Flair was left all alone at the midway point. Of course, that perfectly timed the arrival of Roddy Piper (#15) to a thunderous ovation. Brilliantly laid out, as they had a rivalry. The facial expressions of both were perfect. Jake Roberts (#16) provided some relief as he went after Piper. Jake then hitting Flair with a short arm clothesline was masterfully met with Heenan changing his tune at the drop of a dime. Even better is, “It’s a kilt, not a skirt,” when Piper saved Flair, only to go back to, “You skirt wearing freak” seconds later when Roddy hit him. A few more kind of big names came in, but it picked up in a major way when The Undertaker (#20) entered. He was WWF Champion two months earlier and was part of the controversy that set this match up. Randy Savage (#21) went straight after Roberts and eliminated him. He then followed out with a plancha onto him. Surprisingly, the rules here said he couldn’t throw himself out, so he was allowed back in. Most guys stuck around until Hulk Hogan (#26) came in and went right for Flair. That was a trend during this match. He started tossing bodies, including Undertaker. The place erupted for Sid Justice (#29) and we were starting to get down to mostly the big names. It ultimately came down to Sid, Hogan, and Flair. Sid eliminated Hogan to shock the crowd. Hogan, ever the sore loser/jerk/heel, grabbed Sid’s arm, allowing Flair to sneak up and dump him out to win in 62:02. An all-time great Royal Rumble. It’s booked so well, with the right peaks. There is a lull or two that isn’t great, but most of this works so well. Flair’s performance is legendary. [****¾]

Since he has to have the spotlight, Hogan got in the ring with Sid and had security pull them apart.

Backstage, Flair, Mr. Perfect, and Bobby Heenan celebrated. Mean Gene interviewed them and Flair gave his famous “With a tear in my eye” promo. It’s some of the best stuff in history.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Look, I understand that the middle of the show has two dull matches. That’s what keeps this from being an all-time great show. The Rumble is incredible, there’s a hot opening tag match, we get a Ric Flair performance for the ages, and Roddy Piper wins his first title. There’s a lot to like here. The show is built around the Rumble and that delivers in spades.

article topics :

Royal Rumble, Kevin Pantoja