In anticipation of the next watch-along episode of the 2MB Wrestling Podcast, I thought it might be fun to give them a plug and look back at my Royal Rumble ’92 review! Clearly, this will always be remembered for Ric Flair’s historic WWF Championship win, but how did the rest of the card stack up? Let’s get to the action!
Match #1: The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) w/Mr. Fuji vs. The New Foundation (Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart & ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart)
Owen & Kato will kick things off, The Rocket with a wristlock out of the lock-up, Kato counters to one of his own and Owen flips out to recapture the hold. Kato switches to a hammerlock, Owen flips himself up and over, pushes into the ropes for a roll-up, Kato hangs on and The Rocket rolls through. Kato charges and Owen leapfrogs over, scores with an armdrag and begins to work over the limb with an armbar. He switches back to a wristlock, they lock knuckles and Kato takes The Rocket down to the canvas for 2 counts, Owen bridges to his feet, springs off the ropes and hits another arm drag.
The Rocket with a hurricanrana for a count of 2, catches Kato in an another armdrag and tags out, The Anvil maintaining control with an armbar of his own. Kato tries to punch his way out of it, gets backed into the corner and then tossed across the ring, Neidhart shooting him across for a hiptoss off the rebound, Kato blocks and attempts his own, but gets shoved to the mat. Tanaka tags in and tries to slam The Anvil, can’t get him up and gets shoved away, Tanaka to the ropes for a shoulder block, but doesn’t budge Neidhart and he hits the mat.
Tanaka goes back to the well again and it still isn’t working, The Rocket re-enters and drops a 2nd rope elbow following a Neidhart spinebuster for a 2 count. Owen gets another 2 off a backbreaker, Tanaka goes to the eyes to get an opening, whips The Rocket to the corner and charges in, Owen hopping up and flipping over to avoid it and elevates Tanaka with a back body drop. He looks to follow with a boot, Tanaka catches the foot and The Rocket brings the other around with an enzuigiri before bringing Neidhart back in. Owen sends Tanaka to the corner, whips The Anvil at him with a spear, Kato hits the ring and The Orient Express look to double team sending Neidhart to the corner, but getting leveled by a double clothesline.
Owen gets a tag and climbs up top, The Anvil with a double noggin knocker and The Rocket follows with a double crossbody for a near fall. Kato stays in and gets sent to the ropes for a spinning heel kick that gets 2, Owen follows with a snap suplex for another near fall, then tries to unmask his opponent. Kato rolls to the outside to escape, slides back in and they tie-up, The Rocket with a side headlock, gets pushed off into the ropes and Tanaka delivers a cheap shot. Kato baits Neidhart into the ring to distract the official, Tanaka drapes Owen over the 2nd rope and Fuji delivers a cane shot to the throat.
Tanaka keeps the ring and grabs a rear chinlock, delivers open-hand shots to the neck, Kato with a superkick off the tag and he gains a count of 2. He shoots The Rocket in for a back elbow for another 2, Fuji getting the ref’s attention which allows his guys to double team in the corner, Tanaka stepping back in and whipping Owen sternum-first into the turnbuckles for a near fall. He looks to send him back across, The Rocket reverses, rushes in and meets a superkick that gets a 2 count, Kato tagging in and grounding the high flyer with a rear chinlock. Owen battles to his feet to break the hold, hits the ropes and ducks a couple of shots, scores with a crucifix and nearly gets a pinfall, Kato stopping the momentum quickly and bringing Tanaka in.
He drops a headbutt to the lower abdomen and slaps on a rear chinlock, The Rocket fights his way up again, hits the ropes and scores with a shoulder knockdown, goes back to the ropes and Tanaka levels him with a flying forearm that gets 2. He sends Owen into the corner and charges in, The Rocket gets a boot up, crawls to make a tag, but Kato comes in and holds the referee as it happens. Neidhart isn’t allowed in, Fuji stands his cane up in the corner, The Orient Express shoot The Rocket into it behind the official’s back and Kato covers, but still can’t finish him off.
Kato starts to work over the arm, plants Owen with a hammerlock slam, tag to Tanaka and he drops a headbutt to the shoulder before grabbing a hammerlock. Owen gains his footing and pushes Tanaka off to the ropes, Tanaka with a shoulder knockdown, back to the ropes and The Rocket catches him with an overhead belly to belly suplex, Kato breaking up the count at 2. Tanaka tags out, Kato draws The Anvil in to hold the referee, Tanaka steps in and The Orient Express send Owen to the ropes for a double clothesline.
Kato covers and only gets 1 by the time the ref gets there, grabs an armbar and makes a tag, Tanaka with a superkick and he baits Neidhart back in. The Orient Express with an elevated seated senton for a near fall, Kato tags back in and they shoot The Rocket to the ropes, he ducks a double clothesline and takes them both out with a dropkick. The Anvil finally gets a tag, Owen slingshots him into the ring with a double shoulder tackle, Neidhart slamming Tanaka & Kato, then elevating Tanaka with a back body drop.
The Rocket comes in and whips Neidhart into Kato with a shoulder, Kato spills to the outside, The Anvil returns the favor and shoots Owen into a suicide dive on Kato. Neidhart slams Tanaka back in the ring, Owen scales the turnbuckle and The New Foundation hits the Rocket Launcher for the victory.
Winners: The New Foundation (Owen/Rocket Launcher)
- EA’s Take: An exciting opening contest between four veterans that really showcased the strong points of both teams. After The Anvil had fallen victim to Ric Flair’s Figure Four during a match 2 months prior, he exited as The Beverly Brothers made their way to the ring. The Beverlys would take advantage of a weakened Neidhart and ambush him, causing him to miss a month with ‘injury’. Upon his return, he sought revenge on The Beverlys, returning with backup in the form of the returning Owen Hart. The Rocket previously worked as The Blue Blazer under a mask, briefly working for WCW before coming back to the WWF as himself. The youngest Hart brother shows in this match that he’s every bit as talented as Bret in the ring, arguably more talented with his high flying offense to go with the technical wrestling. The New Foundation showed a little promise, but are mostly remembered for their horrible bright ‘Hammer pants’ ring gear, breaking up just a few weeks later when The Anvil would be fired for unprofessional conduct.
Backstage: Lord Alfred Hayes shows us video, explaining what happened two days ago at an event in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bret Hart would defend his IC Title against doctors orders, losing the championship to The Mountie. The new champion would attack The Hitman following the win, drawing out Roddy Piper to make the save. The Mountie would appear to leave, but as Piper checked on Bret he would get clobbered with the title, setting up our title match tonight. Sean Mooney is in the locker room with The Mountie & Jimmy Hart, The Mouth Of The South claiming Bret Hart isn’t actually sick from the flu, but from losing his title. The Mountie isn’t happy to be defending his title on two days notice, but he’s a man and will proudly defeat Roddy Piper. “Because The Mountie always gets his man.” ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is with the challenger ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper in the interview area. Hot Rod talks about the champion wanting to take his integrity, but unfortunately he doesn’t have any. He’s come here to win two titles tonight and he can’t do that until he wins the first one.
Match #2 for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: WWF Intercontinental Champion The Mountie w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper
Hot Rod throws his kilt over the champion’s eyes and goes on the attack, the bell rings and we’re underway with Piper unloading on Mountie with rights and lefts. The Mountie gets sent into the ropes, he hangs on and slides out under the bottom rope, Roddy heads out on the other side and blindsides the champion on the floor, then stalks him around ringside. Mountie puts Jimmy in front of him, uses the distraction to score with right hands, rolls Piper back in and chokes him against the ropes. He whips the challenger to the ropes, leapfrogs over him and looks for a monkey toss, Hot Rod has it scouted and stomps him between the eyes.
He drives The Mountie head-first into the top turnbuckle, plants him with a running bulldog, the champion getting his foot on the ropes at a count of 2. Hot Rod pulls Mountie to his feet and pokes him in the eye, grabs a side headlock, the champion pushes him to the ropes and Jimmy Hart grabs Piper’s leg. The distraction doesn’t help and the two guys exchange right hands, Roddy sending Mountie to the ropes for a dropkick, but the champion avoids it and hooks the leg for a 2 count. The Mountie rams Piper head-first into the turnbuckle multiple times, bites him on the forehead and whips him to the ropes for a jumping back elbow, gaining another count of 2.
He dumps the challenger on the outside, Piper pulls himself to the apron, buries a shoulder to the midsection and sunset flips in for a near fall, then unleashes a flurry of fists on the champion. Mountie attempts to pull Hot Rod outside by the tights, Roddy hangs onto the apron and keeps the pressure on with more right hands, then sends The Mountie to the ropes for a back body drop. He whips the champion in again and buries a punch to the midsection, Mountie swings wildly with a right hand, Hot Rod ducks it and splits him with an atomic drop, then tosses The Mountie over the top.
The champion hangs onto the ropes and pulls himself back in as Jimmy gets to the apron to distract the challenger, Mountie looks to ambush Roddy from behind, but Hot Rod side-steps it. Jimmy Hart gets drilled and drops to the floor, Piper slaps the Sleeper Hold on The Mountie, the official checks the arm and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (Sleeper Hold)
- After The Bell: The Mouth Of The South has the Shock Stick and looks to attack Piper from behind, Hot Rod avoids it and grabs the prod, Jimmy squirming away and leaving Mountie in the ring. Roddy gives the now-former champion a taste of his own medicine and zaps The Mountie.
- EA’s Take: Piper’s matches are always just…semi-controlled chaos would be the best way to describe it. A really quick set-up to this contest as Bret dropped the title due to being in contract negotiations with the company. The Mountie would receive a rematch on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event, but was unsuccessful leading to a big WrestleMania match for the championship between Bret & Piper. This would serve as Roddy’s only title win of his illustrious career in the WWF for many years, as he was one of the very few guys that didn’t need a championship. Being Roddy Piper was kind of it’s own title.
Backstage: Lord Alfred Hayes enters into Hulk Hogan’s locker room for a quick word, The Immortal One speaking about how he will have no friends in tonight’s Royal Rumble to get the WWF title back around his waist. ‘Mean’ Gene is in the interview area standing by with The Bushwhackers & Jamison. Luke says this is the final plane for ‘The Beverly Sisters’ and they have a surprise for The Genius. Butch says when they’re finished with all 3 of them they will feed the rest to Jamison.
Match #3: The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) w/The Genius vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) w/Jamison
The Bushwhackers do a lot of posturing to the crowd before chasing The Beverlys out of the ring and starting a “Sissy” chant for The Genius. Beau and Luke finally get things started, Beau with a stiff right that draws Butch in, The Beverlys immediately taking advantage with a double team. Beau hammers Luke across the middle rope, Blake chokes him behind the ref’s back and Beau shoots Luke to the ropes. He misses a right hand, Luke with a kick to the midsection and he bites Beau on the backside. Blake steps in to stop it and is met by Butch, The Bushwhackers clear the ring with double forearms and march around the delight of the fans.
The Beverlys regroup, Butch takes the ring and Beau slides in to tag out. Blake offers a handshake and Butch looks to the crowd to make a decision, allowing Blake the opportunity to attack him from behind. Blake stomps away, Butch pulls himself to his feet, reverses an irish whip to the ropes and buries a knee to the breadbasket. He plants Blake with a bulldog, all 4 guys are in now and The Bushwhackers shoot The Beverlys into one another from opposite corners, then score with double clotheslines to clean out the ring again. Blake Beverly ducks underneath the ring, Beau to the apron on the other side to provide a distraction, Blake slides in from behind and gets caught.
Beau tries the same thing to no avail, Luke catches Blake and sinks his teeth into hey keyster, reverses a whip to the ropes and Beau unsuccessfully attempts a cheap shot. Blake gets caught coming from behind with a shot to the ribs, gets sent to the ropes, hangs on and ducks to the outside. Butch drops off the apron and pokes him in the eyes, it draws the official’s attention and Beau clocks Luke from behind in the ring. Blake slides in and hangs Luke across the top rope, Beau delivers a double axe to the lower back and stays in, dropping an elbow for a 1 count. Blake re-enters and The Beverlys drive Luke spine-first into the turnbuckles, Blake cracking him with a backbreaker and dropping a headbutt to the spine for a count of 2.
He baits Butch into the ring, makes a tag and hangs Luke across the top again, Beau landing on the lower back with a seated senton. Beau sends Luke in for a back body drop and gets caught with a kick, hooks Luke’s leg and drags him to his corner to make a tag, Blake coming in and hanging Luke with a hotshot. Blake hits the ropes and scores with a clothesline, Beau tags in and makes a nonchalant cover for 2, Luke countering with a schoolboy and he almost steals a victory, but gets tossed outside for his troubles. The Genius comes around ringside and slaps Jamison across the face, Beau shooting Luke hard into the turnbuckles back inside.
He heads to the 2nd rope and connects with a double axe handle, Butch saves the match, The Beverlys switch without a tag and Blake hits Luke with a neckbreaker, following up with a leg drop. He tags out and Beau shoots Luke into the corner, charges in, but Luke rebounds out with a clothesline, crawling to his corner to make a tag as Blake comes in. Butch with a flurry of shots, turns Blake inside out with a clothesline, Beau steps in and gets dropped. He hooks Blake in a side headlock and rams him into his partner, sending Beau to the outside.
Butch hits the ropes for a flying forearm on Blake, covers and Beau slides in to stop the count at 2, but gets dumped back out for his troubles. Luke attempts to get involved and is stopped by the referee, Butch with an irish whip, Blake reverses and Beau trips Butch from the outside. Blake covers for 2 with Luke making the save, the official works him back to his corner allowing The Beverlys to double team, Blake holding Butch as Beau comes off the top with a double axe, Blake with the cover for the 3 count.
Winners: The Beverly Brothers (Blake/Interference)
- After The Bell: The Bushwhackers aren’t finished and they send The Beverlys to the ropes for double back elbows, then hit them each with the Battering Ram to clear the ring. The Genius yells at them from the apron, gets dragged into the ring and Luke holds The Genius for Jamison to deliver shot, but he merely kicks him in the shin and then the backside.
- EA’s Take: A lot of pre-match antics got this one started slowly, eventually boiling down to what I recall almost every Bushwhackers match being. The Beverly Brothers are higher on the pecking order and continue to ascend so they get the duke here, but Jamison gets the last laugh in the end. I don’t know a whole lot about Jamison, I remember him as a character from The Bobby Heenan Show. He was a total buffoon and fit right in with The Bushwhackers, but is really a forgettable personality that never really amounted to anything. These two teams would continue to collide until the Summer, when The Beverlys would set target tag team gold.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by WWF Tag Team Champions The Legion Of Doom in the interview area. Animal spouts off about how they will face all challengers and that includes The Natural Disasters tonight. Hawk asks if Gene knows what makes them sick, answering that Earthquake & Typhoon throwing their weight around disgusts him.
Match #4 for the WWF Tag Team Championships: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. WWF Tag Team Champions The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal)
Hawk & Typhoon lock-up and we’re underway, each guy holds their own, they tie-up again and there’s no advantage. Hawk grabs a side headlock, gets pushed off to the ropes, tries a shoulder block and Typhoon doesn’t budge. Hawk goes back to the well getting the same result, hits the ropes again and staggers him with a forearm. He goes upstairs and finally takes the big man off his feet with another forearm shot, covers and Earthquake breaks the count at 2. Quake tags in and goes nose to nose with Hawk, Hawk with a standing dropkick and it barely budges Earthquake.
The big guy looks to comeback with his own dropkick, Hawk side-steps it and follows with a fist drop before tagging out. Animal gets in Quake’s face now, they exchange shots with neither getting the advantage, Earthquake using a kick to the ribs to get the edge. He shoots Animal to the ropes, Animal ducks a couple shots, both guys thinking clothesline and connect, doubling down. Animal up first, lifts Quake for a slam, but can’t hold the weight and Earthquake falls on top for a near fall.
Typhoon tags in, The Natural Disasters send Animal to the corner, Quake whipping Typhoon in for a splash. He calls for another, this time Animal sticks his boot up, then explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. He tags out, Hawk in from the top with a shot to the shoulder, pummels Typhoon with right hands, the big man turns the tide and sends him to the ropes, both attempting a clothesline and they both hold their ground. Hawk finds no success off a 2nd attempt and the third is no better, getting caught in the air and split with a backbreaker. Typhoon whips Hawk hard into the corner, Quake re-enters and drops a big elbow to the lower back, gaining a 2 count.
Earthquake makes the tag, Typhoon using his body weight to punish the lower back, then grabs a bearhug, Hawk fights out and goes to the 2nd rope, but gets caught back in the hold. He tags out and Quake keeps on the spine area, then goes back to the bearhug and drives him spine-first into the turnbuckles. Earthquake shoots him across, rushes in for a splash, Hawk side-steps it, comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow and the big man topples over. Animal gets the hot tag, Earthquake reverses a whip to the ropes, misses a right hand and Animal scores with a shoulder tackle.
Typhoon steps in to stop the momentum, The Natural Disasters try a double back suplex, Animal flips out, lands on his feet and knocks them both to the outside with a double clothesline. The brawl is on with all 4 guys going at it on the outside, the referee counts, Typhoon sliding into the ring just before the 10 count.
Winners: The Natural Disasters (Count-Out)
- After The Bell: The Natural Disasters grabs the titles and hold them up as if they’ve won them, Hawk grabs a chair on the outside and comes in from behind, clocking them in the back. Typhoon spills to the outside, Hawk tosses Animal the chair, whips Earthquake at him and Animal whacks him over the head to clear the ring.
- EA’s Take: Another subpar tag team match here, after the showing we got from The New Foundation & Orient Express in the opener, it was going to be hard to top. It was definitely watchable, but these 4 don’t exactly fit the bill of what you’d call a “good worker”. The count-out victory seems a little unusual, but moving forward it would be the start of a change in the division. The LOD would lose the titles just a few short weeks later to Ted DiBiase & IRS, now known as Money Inc. Jimmy Hart had taken the team on and used The Natural Disasters’ rematch to get Money Inc. the title shot, angering The Disasters and leading to a face turn. The LOD would take a very brief hiatus from the company following the title loss, returning at WrestleMania with a face from their past by their side.
Backstage: In the locker room is Sean Mooney who welcomes in The Natural Disasters & Jimmy Hart. Jimmy claims that they should be the champions and he’s going to get his lawyer to deal with this. The Disasters are incensed that eventhough they won, they didn’t gain the titles and promise to next time the teams collide.
Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the interview area with the new WWF Intercontinental Champion ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Hot Rod says only in America can a guy win the IC Title and still have a shot at the world title in the same night. He’s dedicating this one to Colt. We go back to Sean Mooney in the locker room and he speaks about the opportunity coming up in the Royal Rumble. He comes across Shawn Michaels and talks about the opportunity that was taken away from Marty Jannetty, directing us to the video of Shawn turning on Marty on Brutus Beefcake’s Barber Shop. Michaels says he doesn’t know what the big deal is, he saved him from getting 29 other beatings in the Rumble. It’s time that everyone finds out what he’s known all along and that’s that he is the hottest thing the WWF has ever had.
Backstage: Lord Alfred Hayes joins Ric Flair outside his dressing room, Flair telling us that he’s drawn #3 in the Rumble match. He knows it’s not a great number and he’ll have to last close to an hour to become WWF Champion, but that makes no difference to him. We go back to ‘Mean’ Gene who introduces us to pre-recorded comments from some of the participants in the Royal Rumble including ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Sid Justice, The British Bulldog, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan and more.
Match #5 – Royal Rumble for the WWF Championship
- Entry #1 is The British Bulldog. Entry #2 is ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase. The MDM slides right in and goes after Davey, Bulldog catches him with right hands, shoots him into the corner and charges in, running into a back elbow. DiBiase takes the opening and hammers The Bulldog, sends him to the ropes for a clothesline, then plants him with a vertical suplex. He follows it up with a gutbuster, another vertical suplex and tries to toss him over, Davey Boy hanging onto the apron, MDM doesn’t realize it, turns around and gets clotheslined over the top. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase has been eliminated…
- Entry #3 is Ric Flair. He steps in and lets out a “Woo!”, locks up with Bulldog and gets powered to the canvas. Flair looks to shoot Davey to the ropes, it’s reversed and Bulldog lifts Flair with a military press. Flair sneaks in a boot, sends Bulldog to the corner, Davey Boy rebounds out with a clothesline and flattens him. Ric goes to the eyes to create an opening, irish whip to the ropes and The Bulldog drops him with another clothesline as the clock counts down….
- Entry #4 is Nasty Boy Jerry Sags. Sags comes in and gives Flair a hand with Bulldog. They send Davey Boy into the corner for a double clothesline, he explodes back out with one of his own, throws Sags over the top. Sags hangs onto the apron, turns to the crowd and has some words with the front row, The Bulldog dropkicks him from behind and he falls to the floor. Nasty Boy Jerry Sags has been eliminated….
- Entry #5 is Haku. The British Bulldog has to deal with another 2 on 1 situation, Haku holding him up for Flair chops, but then Haku goes after Ric, chasing him out of the ring under the bottom rope. Haku turns his attention back to Davey Boy as Flair slides back in, Bulldog gets spiked with a piledriver, Flair going to Haku’s eyes right after and drops a knee. Haku turns the tables, works over Flair in the corner, goes back to The Bulldog and gets elevated to the outside as the clock ticks away. Haku has been eliminated.
- Entry #6 is Shawn Michaels. Shawn slides in and Flair cuts him off at the pass, Michaels fires back, shoots him into the corner and flips him with a back body drop. He lays Flair out with a superkick, Davey Boy clobbers him, whips him to the ropes and slams him with a military press, then flattens Shawn with multiple clotheslines, nearly eliminating him. No allies here as everyone’s after everyone, 10…9…8…7….
- Entry #7 is ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana. Bulldog finally has some sort of ally, Tito hitting the ring and delivering a series of rights and lefts to Flair. The 4 pair off, Flair planting El Matador with a back suplex, then drills The Bulldog with a low blow. He turns back to Tito, sends him to the ropes, Santana ducks a shot and connects with the Flying Forearm as the timer hits zero….
- Entry #8 is The Barbarian. The heels have a 3-2 advantage now, Barbarian & Flair trying to dump Bulldog out, but he’s able to remain on the apron, clutching to the ropes for dear life….
- Entry #9 is ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich. Now the sides are even and Von Erich is right on Flair, dropping him with a Tornado Punch. Michaels gets clocked with one for his troubles, then gets catapulted into the top turnbuckle by Davey Boy. The faces and heels split-off into pairs as the next entrant makes his way out….
- Entry #10 is Repo Man. Repo sneaks his way around ringside and picks his moment to slide into the squared circle, ambushing The Tornado from behind as Santana hits Barbarian with a crossbody. Punches and chops get thrown from every which direction as the 10 count ticks down….
- Entry #11 is Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine. The Hammer goes right after the other master of the Figure Four, exchanging chops with Flair….
- Entry #12 is Nikolai Volkoff. The ring’s really starting to full up now with 9 guys in the ring., Flair tries to drop a knee on Valentine, The Hammer blocks it and slaps on the Figure Four as Repo Man back body drops Nikolai over the top rope. Nikolai Volkoff has been eliminated….
- Entry #13 is Big Boss Man. The Boss Man a house of fire with right hangs for everyone in the ring as Repo Man tosses out The Hammer. Greg ‘The Hammer Valentine has been eliminated. Boss Man nearly uppercuts Michaels over the top, Repo tries to attack from behind and Boss Man subsequently ends his evening. Repo Man has been eliminated. The Bulldog pummels Flair in the corner, Flair ducks a clothesline and elevates Davey Boy over the top. The British Bulldog has been eliminated. The Tornado goes immediately after Flair, tries a heavy right hand and suffers the same fate as Bulldog. ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich has been eliminated. Michaels & El Matador duke it out on the other side as the timer starts, they jockey for position with neither getting the edge, forcing each other to fall out to the floor. Shawn Michaels & ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana have been eliminated….
- Entry #14 is Hercules. The ring has quickly trimmed down from 9 to 4, Flair & Barbarian high-five, Flair turning on him with a chop that has little affect. Barbarian sends him to the ropes and plants him after a military press, looks to eliminate him, but Hercules comes up from behind and dumps him over, Flair hanging onto the ropes. The Barbarian has been eliminated. Boss Man clobbers Hercules from behind immediately, both guys spill over the top, Flair thinks he’s left alone, but Big Boss Man hangs on and slides in under the bottom rope. Hercules has been eliminated.Flair turns to see Boss Man, pokes him in the eye and sends him to the ropes, Boss Man ducking a clothesline and delivering one of his own. He scores with right hands, staggers Flair near the ropes, charges in for a splash and misses, spilling over the top to the apron, then down to the floor. Big Boss Man has been eliminated….
- Entry #15 is WWF Intercontinental Champion ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Flair is not thrilled that Piper’s out, trying to beg off to no avail. Hot Rod unleashes a barrage of shots in the corner, whips him across and tosses him with a back body drop. He sends Flair out through the ropes following a dropkick, Piper is out after him, drives his head off the barricade and throws Flair back in the squared circle. Roddy’s onslaught continues with punches from the 2nd rope, Flair tries to power out with an inverted atomic drop, Piper blocks and levels him with a clothesline. He puts Flair in an airplane spin, slaps on the Sleeper Hold and Flair fades away as the next man hits the ring….
- Entry #16 is Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. The Snake rolls in and sits in the corner, watches Hot Rod put Flair out and then attacks him from behind. Roberts puts a beating in Roddy in the corner, chokes him on the bottom rope and helps Flair up, only to deliver a short-arm clothesline. He calls for the DDT, Piper explodes out of the corner with a clothesline to prevent it, Flair locking Jake in the Figure Four. Hot Rod attacks them both and it costs him, The Snake and Flair now teaming up on him as #17 comes to the ring….
- Entry #17 is ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan. Hacksaw evens the odds for Piper, decapitates Flair with a clothesline out of the corner, turns his attention to Jake and then brawls with Piper. Flair gets involved drawing Roddy’s attention, plants Piper with a back suplex as Roberts splits Duggan with an inverted atomic drop….
- Entry #18 is Irwin R. Schyster. IRS takes his time getting to the squared circle, Hacksaw grabs his tie and hammers away with heavy rights, Schyster going to the eyes to stop the momentum….
- Entry #19 is ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka. The Superfly steps in and cracks Flair with a headbutt, sends him to the ropes and fires away with knife-edge chop….
- Entry #20 is The Undertaker. The Deadman creeps his way to the ring, slides in and tosses Snuka out with one big shot. ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka has been eliminated. Taker chokes Flair in the corner, Hacksaw tries to intervene and gets caught with a low blow….
- Entry #21 is ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Macho sprints to the ring looking for Roberts, but The Snake escapes under the bottom rope, Undertaker grabbing Savage by the throat. The Snake attempts a short-arm clothesline to Macho, Savage avoids it and drives an elbow between the eyes, unleashing a flurry of stiff punches to the forehead. He climbs up top and drills Jake with a double axe handle, delivers a knee to the back that sends him flying to the outside, then hops over the top to the floor after him. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts has been eliminated. Savage chokes the life out of The Snake, Undertaker comes outside through the ropes, grabs Macho and throws him back inside, the officials allowing it as Savage wasn’t thrown over the top, but went out on his own accord….
- Entry #22 is The Berzerker. Berzerker takes shots at everyone as he enters the ring, Hacksaw ducks one, splits him with an atomic drop and scores with a clothesline, Flair hooking Macho on the apron to suplex him out, Savage blocks and brings Flair in the hard way….
- Entry #23 is Virgil. Virgil can’t wait to get his hands on IRS, walks right into a double team and gets caught by the throat by Undertaker. Flair gets involved and draws The Deadman’s attention, Berzerker shoots Virgil to the ropes and floors him with a big boot as the countdown begins….
- Entry #24 is Colonel Mustafa. The Colonel enters and chokes Hot Rod on the top rope, Berzerker spikes Virgil on his head with a piledriver as the battle rages on….
- Entry #25 is ‘The Model’ Rick Martel. The ring’s filling up again, Macho & Mustafa exchanging shots near the ropes, Savage ducks down and lifts him up and over. Colonel Mustafa has been eliminated….
- Entry #26 is Hulk Hogan. The arena erupts as Hulkster enters the ring, cracks Taker & Berzkerer with a double noggin knocker, then another for Undertaker & IRS. All 3 team up and trap Hogan in the corner, Hulk fights his way out, clotheslines The Undertaker and he flips over the top, landing on his feet outside. The Undertaker has been eliminated. The Berzerker looks to ambush Hulk and pays for it, getting back body dropped and joining Undertaker on the floor. The Berzerker has been eliminated. Hogan shreds his shirt, wraps it around The Model’s neck and tosses him across the ring, Virgil scores with a crossbody on Duggan near the ropes and they both tumble over the top rope. Virgil & ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan have been eliminated….
- Entry #27 is Skinner. The Alligator Man rips at Piper’s eyes on the way in as Hogan attempts to toss Flair, Schyster making the save. Hulk drops Flair & Skinner with clotheslines as the buzzer sounds….
- Entry #28 is Sgt. Slaughter. Skinner has Hot Rod in trouble near the ropes as Slaughter walks to the ring, Martel picks him up from behind and sends Skinner packing. Skinner has been eliminated. Piper & Hogan duel reminding us of years past, The Model gets involved and suffers for it as the clock starts the countdown….
- Entry #29 is Sid Justice. Sid comes in and hammers IRS with boots, The Hulkster stalks Flair and ends up caught in a double team, giving Flair the advantage….
- Entry #30 is The Warlord. The final entry is in now, Flair ducks outside under the bottom rope, drags Hulk out with him and attempts a vertical suplex on the floor. Hogan blocks and delivers one of his own, back in the ring Sarge is hammering Sid in the corner, whips him across, Justice reverses and Slaughter’s momentum takes him up and over. Sgt. Slaughter has been eliminated. Hulk throws Flair back in, whips him to the ropes and plants the big boot to the chin, Schyster tosses Piper on the other side, Roddy hangs onto the apron, grabs IRS’ tie and pulls him over the top. Irwin R. Schyster has been eliminated. Hogan & Sid team up and dump The Warlord over. The Warlord has been eliminated. Piper & The Model jockey for position against the ropes, neither man can gain control, Justice comes from behind and shoves them both, sending them spilling to the outside. ‘The Model’ Rick Martel & ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper have been eliminated. We’re down to the final four, Hogan/Flair & Sid/Macho pairing off, Justice picks Savage up, Flair escapes Hulk by going to the eyes, drives a knee in Sid’s back and Macho falls out to the floor. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage has been eliminated. Justice & Hogan go 2 on 1 against Flair, sending him into the corner, Flair’s turned inside-out and nearly gets eliminated. The Hulkster tries to kick him off the apron, Sid grabs Hogan from behind and sends him to the outside. Hulk Hogan has been eliminated. Hogan can’t believe Justice turned on him, arguing with Sid from the floor. He grabs Justice by the wrist and pulls him towards the ropes, Flair comes to and flips Justice over to become the new champion.
Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Ric Flair
- After The Bell: Hulk chases the new champion out of the ring as Heenan is going crazy on commentary and leaves to go celebrate, Sid is back in the ring behind Hogan and shoves him. The Hulkster pushes back and they go face to face, WWF referees and officials swarm the ring to step in between them and prevent them from going at it. We go the interview area with Gene Okerlund, WWF President Jack Tunney presenting Ric Flair the title with Mr. Perfect & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan standing behind him. Flair speaks about this being the greatest moment of his career, stating that the WWF Title is the most prestigious in wrestling and holding it means you rule the world. People can talk about Hogan, Savage, Sid or anyone else, but now it’s Flair and we can all pay homage to the man. “Wooooo!”
- EA’s Take: Now this is how the Royal Rumble should be booked every year, a great Rumble match that was entertaining from beginning to end. The title was on the line for the first time in history making the contest the more important and star-studded than it had ever been. This goes down as arguably one the best Rumble matches in history with the list of Hall Of Famers involved, the excellent booking and weaving of storylines. Ric Flair gains his first WWF Title and cuts one of the most memorable promos of his career and for once the last few guys standing in the match actually made sense with Savage, Hogan, Sid & Flair. This is also the first time I remember Hogan actually getting some boos, a good portion of the crowd was on Sid’s side in all the aftermath. You’d think that after all this time the WWF would go with Flair/Hogan heading to WrestleMania, it was the dream match years in the making and everyone wanted to see it, it only made sense. That wouldn’t be the case however as Sid would make a full-fledged heel turn and clash with Hogan, while Flair would prod Macho Man with accusations about Elizabeth. To this day no real reason has ever been given as to why Flair/Hogan never happened, looking back it was a big blunder for the company not to capitalize on the opportunity and the match would never take place in the WWF.
EA’s Finisher: This card goes down in history as one of the most remembered in WWF history, obviously all due to the Royal Rumble and Ric Flair’s 1st WWF Championship. The undercard did what it needed to do, but was loaded with tag matches. Our opener was excellent and featured a lot of innovation from Owen Hart, making it hard for the following tag contests to impress in the same way. Roddy Piper gains his first title in the WWF as well, just adding to the historical impact of the event. This would really become the benchmark for other Royal Rumble matches going forward and although the title wouldn’t be up for grabs in it for another 24 years, another stipulation would be added going forward, cementing the Rumble as must-see for all fans in the future.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Royal Rumble Match
2 – The New Foundation vs. The Orient Express
3 – The Mountie vs. Roddy Piper
Chairshot Classics: WWE SummerSlam 2016
Kickoff Match #1: The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch), The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) & Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley), The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) & American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable)
Breeze & Gable to kickoff the action, collar & elbow tie-up to start out, Prince Pretty backs Gable towards his corner, Chad goes to a waistlock and takes him down to the canvas. Tyler with a back elbow to break the grip and gains a wristlock, Gable rolls through, scores with a forearm, brings him back down with a spinning drop toe hold and slaps on an armbad. Tag to Jey who regains the wristlock, Breeze with a handful of hair to work him to the corner, Aiden gets the tag, drives Jey face-first into the top turnbuckle, then connects with heavy right hands. He shoots Jey across, Jey slides to a stop, drills him with an uppercut, delivers a body slam and makes a tag to Mojo.
Rawley with big fists to the breadbasket, drives his shoulder into English’s and locks in an armwringer, Aiden breaks it with a right hand, but a whip to the ropes is reversed for a back body drop. Mojo tags out and Ryder comes off the 2nd rope for a combination suplex/dropkick. Long Island Iced Z unloads with forearms in the corner, sets for the Broski Boot, every hits the ring now and the melee is on with The Ascension left standing.
American Alpha ascends the same turnbuckle for in-sync top rope clotheslines and shoulder blocks, Breezango pulls them to the outside, Zack comes running in with a baseball slide to them both, gets dragged under the bottom rope and Aiden rams him into the ring post as we hit a break….We come back from commercial and Gotch covers Ryder for a count of 2 before utilizing a chinlock, switches to an armbar, Long Island Iced Z works to his feet, gets backed to the wrong corner and Viktor tags in to put the boots to him in the corner for a 1 count. He grounds Zack with a rear chinlock, Ryder finds his footing again, escapes after a jawbreaker, reaches for a tag, but gets driven back into the wrong corner again.
Konnor tags in and crushes Zack with a corner clothesline, sends him into a high knee from Viktor for a count of 2, Prince Pretty tags back in, snapmares Ryder over for an elbow drop and hooks the leg for another 2. He grinds Long Island Iced Z down with a rear chinlock, The Broski battles up, gets taken down into a single leg crab, Fandango gets the tag and comes in with a slingshot leg drop for a near fall. Viktor re-enters the match and puts the bad mouth on Ryder in the corner, Long Island Iced Z tries scurrying to his corner and gets caught in a front facelock, gets pushed back to the wrong corner, Konnor tags in and The Ascension knocks all of Ryder’s partners off the apron.
The Ascension looks for another double team, Zack thwarts it off, crawls to his corner as Jimmy climbs back to the apron, Konnor slides in to cut him off with a Canadian backbreaker, but Ryder slips out of it into a neckbreaker. Tags on both sides now, Jimmy delivers clotheslines to Tyler, keels him over with a kick, scores with an uppercut, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline, Breeze ducks it, but gets planted by a Samoan Drop instead. He lines Prince Pretty up for the corner hip attack, Konnor rolls in and cuts him off, blocks a kick, swings the leg around and Jimmy decks him with an uppercut.
He goes to send Breeze to the ropes, irish whip is reversed, Jordan with a blind tag as Jimmy attempts a crossbody that misses the mark, Jordan tossing Tyler with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Fandango comes off the top rope to help his partner, gets caught by a belly-to-belly for his troubles, Gotch makes a tag, steps into the ring and gets thrown with a leg-trapped suplex, covers, but Aiden breaks it up at 2. Gable slides into the ring and goes for a kick to English, it’s countered and Gable gets planted by a sit-out powerbomb. Rawley hits the ring next with a discus punch to Aiden, turns around and Breeze lays him out with the Beauty Shot, Prince Pretty catches Zack coming in looking for the Rough Ryder, elevates him into the air and Viktor flattens him with a clothesline.
He props Ryder on the top turnbuckle, Breeze & Viktor climb up for a double superplex, Mojo rolls in and plants them both with a powerbomb, Long Island Iced Z following with the ElBro Drop off the top. Fandango climbs the opposite corner and connects with the Last Dance to Ryder, Jimmy rolls in and disposes of Fandango with a superkick, turns around and Konnor’s there to elevate him up, Viktor coming off the 2nd rope with a knee to the jaw.
Gable comes in and low-bridges Konnor over the top, elevates Viktor to the apron, Viktor hangs on, The Ascension set him up for a double suplex, but The Usos slide in to prevent it with in-sync superkicks. Jimmy & Jey take flight to the outside with crossbody planchas, Simon rolls into the ring and peppers Gable with a stiff forearm, turns around and Jordan is there to spear him in the corner. Gable tags in, American Alpha hits Grand Amplitude, Jey with a blind tag and he comes off the top with the Uso Splash to Simon for the win.
Winners: The Hype Bros, The Usos & American Alpha (Jey/Uso Splash)
- EA’s Take: Solid contest that was eerily similar to the one we saw on SmackDown. Only difference here is the heels got in some more offense and Jey tagged himself in to “steal” the pinfall. I don’t mind it, but there was nothing spectacular really. We get some teased tension between Alpha and The Usos at the end, I don’t see The Usos turning heel, but more building up the competition with these teams vying for the top spot.
Kickoff Match #2: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) vs. Neville & Sami Zayn
Neville & D-Von to start out, D-Von goes to a wristlock off the tie-up, The Man That Gravity Forgot uses the ropes to flip over and counter to one of his own, then tags out. Sami maintains the hold and delivers shots to the shoulder, quick tags between Neville & Zayn now, trading off blows to the left arm. The Underdog from the Underground plants D-Von with a body slam, gets on all fours, Neville jumps off his back into a standing corkscrew moonsault, then they dump Bubba over the top and look for synchronized outside dives.
Bubba trips Neville up from the floor, D-Von takes the opening, puts The Man That Gravity Forgot in the corner and puts the boots to him, shoots him to the ropes for a spinning back elbow, covers for a 1 count and we go to a commercial….We come back and Bubba props Neville on the top turnbuckle, plants him into the canvas with an elevated neckbreaker, D-Von re-enters the match and covers for a count of 2. He locks on a nerve hold to the trap muscle, The Man That Gravity Forgot fights to his feet, gets clocked by a right hand, D-Von snapmares him over and drops a leg for another 2 count.
He puts Neville into the corner and unleashes a flurry of fists, Bubba tags back in and buries a punch into the ribs, rams The Man That Gravity Forgot into the top turnbuckle and talks trash as he pummels him with more right hands. Neville starts to fire up and gets clocked by a back elbow, Bubba goes to the 2nd rope for a senton, Neville avoids it, crawls toward his corner and we get tags on both sides.
The Underdog from the Underground with clotheslines for D-Von, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, D-Von tosses Sami into the air for a flapjack, Zayn clobbers him with a dropkick, ducks a clothesline and scores with the Blue Thunder Bomb, Bubba breaking the count up at 2. D-Von tags out, Sami battles off both Dudleys initially, he misses a wild right hand, The Dudleys plant him with 3D II, Bubba hooks the leg and now Neville saves the match at a 2 count.
The half-brothers take the 2-on-1 advantage and set Neville up for 3D, The Man That Gravity Forgot slips out of it, ducks a clothesline, Bubba levels D-Von instead, turns around and gets decked by the Helluva Kick. Neville tags in, connects with the Red Arrow and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: Neville & Sami Zayn (Neville/Red Arrow)
- EA’s Take: More pretty standard stuff here, Neville’s corkscrew moonsault off of Sami’s back was impressive, but I’ve seen it before. Not that it makes it any less exciting. The Dudleys continue to have communication problems and although I don’t agree with it if that’s what’s going to happen, it looks as if a split is inevitable.
Kickoff Match #3 – Best Of 7 Series Match #1: Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Both guys a little tentative to begin, they lock-up and jostle for position in the corner, the official steps in to force a break, Sheamus tries an early Brogue Kick and misses, Cesaro following him into the opposite corner with a running uppercut. He pulls The Celtic Warrior out, Sheamus missing a wild right hand, The Swiss Superman springs off the 2nd rope for another uppercut, gets caught in the air, battles out of it and uses a double leg takedown to set for the Swing.
The Great White kicks his way free, Cesaro comes back with a double stomp to the chest, clotheslines Sheamus over the top to the floor, hits the ropes for an outside dive, but The Celtic Warrior surprises him with a right hand from the floor. He rolls into the ring and gets caught by a dropkick for a count of 2, The Great White staggers to the corner, uses the tights to pull Cesaro face-first into the turnbuckles, unleashes a flurry of uppercuts, irish whip across is reversed, The Swiss Superman follows in and gets elevated to the apron, landing on his feet.
Sheamus scores with a forearm shot and ties him in the ropes for the Beats Of The Bodhren, The King Of Swing blocks it, delivers uppercuts to the shoulder, Sheamus rips at the left arm in the ropes, drives him into the top turnbuckle and drops Cesaro with a clothesline. He drags Cesaro back into the ring and hits a vertical suplex for a count of 2, starts targeting the left arm with a top wristlock, The Swiss Superman finds his way to a standing position, powers Sheamus up into an alpamare waterslide, scores with a snap suplex and floats into a cover for 1.
The Celtic Warrior surprises him with a mule kick to the midsection, punts Cesaro in the face, shoots him to the corner and buries a shoulder into the ribs, then hits the ropes. Cesaro explodes out with an uppercut, The Great White fires back with a back elbow, sends him to the ropes for a tilt-a-whirl powerslam, hooks the leg and gains a count of 2 as we go to break….Sheamus has Cesaro grounded with a rear chinlock when we get back, The King Of Swing finds his footing, gets pushed to the ropes for a back body drop, prevents it with an uppercut, hits the ropes and gets cracked by an Irish Curse for a near fall.
The Great White lifts Cesaro up and they exchange shots, Sheamus gets the better of it, picks The Swiss Superman up for a rolling fireman’s carry, hooks him for a suplex, The King Of Swing blocking it and they both drop over the top to the floor. Both guys stagger to their feet and roll into the squared circle to just beat the count, The Celtic Warrior clobbers Cesaro with uppercuts and puts the bad-mouth on him, The Swiss Superman fires up with a barrage of uppercuts to back him to the corner, goes into the Uppercut Train, Sheamus reverses, gets propped on the top turnbuckle and then dropkicked to the apron.
The King Of Swing climbs to the 2nd rope and pulls Sheamus up for a suplex back into the ring, lateral press for a count of 2. Cesaro grabs the legs for the Swing, Sheamus kicks him away, rolls him up for a near fall, The King Of Swing charges in, nearly gets caught in another Irish Curse, flips through it for the Neutralizer, but it’s countered into White Noise for another near fall. Cesaro rolls to the apron and Sheamus clubs him across the chest, climbs to the 2nd rope, deadlifts The Swiss Superman up and plants him with a 2nd rope rolling fireman’s carry, but still can’t finish it. The Great White calls for the Brogue Kick to end it, runs into a big boot, gets flattened by a clothesline, Cesaro into the cover, but still only gets a 2 count.
He rolls to the apron and ascends to the top turnbuckle, stands on the ring post, springs off the top rope for a crossbody, hooks the leg and can still only gain a near fall. He looks to the crowd and puts Sheamus in the Swing, steps into the Sharpshooter, The Great White quickly grabs the bottom rope to force a break, the official steps in to create separation, Sheamus taking the opening to sneak in a back elbow. The Swiss Superman picks the legs and tries for another Sharpshooter, The Celtic Warrior with a thumb to the eye, rams him shoulder-first into the ring post, follows with a Brogue Kick and finishes it.
Winner: Sheamus (Brogue Kick)
- EA’s Take: No surprise here to me with Sheamus winning, it never really made sense to me for them to have a Best Of 7 when Cesaro has gotten the better of him 3 weeks in a row, so he needed it tonight. I don’t think there’s ever been a Best Of 7 Series in wrestling history that didn’t go the distance, so The Celtic Warrior had to pick up a win at some point. Not as good of a showing as their first match on RAW 3 weeks ago either, in my opinion.
Chairshot Classics: WCW Starrcade ’91 – BattleBowl & The Lethal Lottery
Open: The names of 40 top WCW Superstars were entered into a “Lethal Lottery” to randomly generate 20 tag teams. This created 10 tag team matches with the winners of each being entered into the main event: a 20 man battle royal to determine the sole winner of Battlebowl.
In The Arena: Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt and Magnum T.A. are standing by with all 40 participants are standing on the entrance stage. Hyatt and T.A. start to draw names, and Bischoff announces the first participants. We have our first surprise as The Fabulous Freebirds are on opposing teams.
Match #1: Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes & Tracy Smothers vs. Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin & Marcus Bagwell
Bagwell and Smothers start us out. Both Freebirds get the crowd clapping from the apron. There is a staredown and they exchange shoves. They hit the ropes and Bagwell takes Smothers down with a shoulder block. Smothers reevaluates his situation. The crowd chants for the DDT. Collar and elbow tie up and a deep arm drag by Bagwell. Another tie up, chain wrestling into a hammerlock by Smothers, reversed with a takedown by Bagwell. Smothers lectures a stalling Smothers. Collar and elbow, Smothers escapes a reverse waistlock with an elbow to the jaw and follows it with a shoulder block.
They run the ropes, Bagwell leapfrogs Smothers and delivers a hip toss. He follows with a drop kick and an arm drag, Smothers gets up and misses a drop kick before retreating. Smothers gets up and insists one or both Freebirds enter the match. Garvin is tagged in, Smothers taunts him, Garvin struts around and he is ambushed from behind. Smothers is shot into the ropes, they exchange leapfrogs before Garvin hits a hip toss and a drop kick. Smothers rolls to the apron, and he’s kicked in the face and out to the floor. Hayes checks in with his partner as the crowd cheers for the DDT. Smothers regroups in the ring, he offers a handshake but kicks Garvin in the gut.
Jimmy Jam lifts his cheap shotting opponent up for an atomic drop and he tumbles outside again. Back to the ring, Garvin grabs a wrist lock and tags in Bagwell. Bagwell enters with a double ax handle to the shoulder and locks in a wrist lock of his own. Smothers reverses with a knee to the gut and some clubbing fists. Hayes is finally tagged in, chop followed by an elbow off the ropes. Arm bar by Hayes is reversed with a take down by Bagwell. They jockey for position and Hayes uses a drop toe hold. He controls Bagwell with the arm bar and clubs Bagwell’s shoulder. Smothers is tagged back in and stays on the arm. Bagwell reverses, grabbing the other wrist, throwing Smothers over and landing a standing leg drop. Back to their feet and Bagwell stays on the shoulder. Smothers gets positioning in the corner, the referee calls for a break in the hold and The Young Pistol cheap shots Bagwell in the mid section.
The rookie escapes from the corner but Smothers is hot on his trail. Bagwell reverses a whip to the ropes and takes his opponent down with an arm drag. The fans get on the case of Smothers with some jeers. A knee to the gut off the tie up by Smothers, he lifts Bagwell but Marcus escapes and delivers a scoop slam. Garvin is tagged back in, and Smothers dives to his corner and forces a tag on Hayes. The partners smile as the crowd reacts. They shake hands and tie up. No one gets an advantage and it’s broken. Another collar and elbow and Hayes gets position on the ropes, the referee breaks them up. A fourth tie up and Hayes throws Garvin with the arm drag. Michael Struts. Garvin hits an arm drag of his own.
They tie up and Hayes goes for a quick schoolboy and a two count. Side headlock takedown by Garvin, countered with a leg scissor, broken quickly and they’re back to their feet. They each strut to their corners and tag in their respective partners as the fans cheer. Quick strikes and a superkick by Smothers. Bagwell is lifted for a scoop slam but he dodges the elbow. Garvin is tagged back in and hits Smothers with a back body drop. Garvin confuses his dazed opponent with some fast running across the ring and a running forearm. He tags in Bagwell who heads for the top rope, Garvin holds Smothers in place with a wrist lock and Bagwell gets two on a flying cross body.
Marcus gives Hayes a shot on the apron before turning to Smothers. Hayes takes offense and enters the ring to knock him with a right. Garvin turns Hayes around and Michael unknowingly clocks him with a big left. Scoop slam by Smothers in the middle of the ring as the Freebirds argue. Smothers goes for a high risk move but Bagwell gets the knees up. Bagwell hits a Fisherman’s Suplex and picks up the win. The Freebirds make up and shake hands.
Winners: Jimmy ‘Jam’ Garvin & Marcus Bagwell (Bagwell/Fisherman’s Suplex)
- EA’s Take: I don’t think I’ve seen more than two consecutive PPVs where the Freebirds remain either heels or faces. They’re sort of the ‘Ric Flair’ of tag teams – you either love them or love to hate them. This was obviously a curious match of “will they/won’t they” in terms of fighting one another. Two times I thought they were going in a particular direction, but both times it turned out to be nothing. When the Birds were in the ring, I started laughing each time they locked up and broke it off on the ropes. I would have stuck with that, exaggerating the excursion from each tie-up and adding some more comedy before making the tags back after no moves were thrown. They ended up hitting one another with some arm drags, so the whole, “sure, we’ll fight each other… just kidding”, wasn’t as good as it could have been. When they got into it at the end, you thought maybe it was friction within the team, but instead they immediately made up. Oh well, decent match. The Birds know how to entertain.
Match #2: WCW Television Champion ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin & WCW United States Champion ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude w/Paul E. Dangerously vs. Van Hammer & Big Josh
Hammer and Austin start with a tie up and quick break. Another tie up, Austin takes position and it’s broken in the corner. Hammer lifts Austin for a scoop slam and Austin looks “Stunned”. Kick to the gut and rights by Austin. Hammer reverses a back body drop with a kick to the face, but Austin is right back up with a kick and an attempted vertical suplex. The big Hammer blocks and lifts the TV champ for one instead. Austin kicks out at two and jumps back up with a drop toe hold and a reverse chin lock on the mat.
Hammer reverses into a hammerlock on the mat and follows it with knees to the ribs. They work back to their feet and Austin takes him down with a series of snapmare takedowns. Hammer reverses the Irish whip, Austin moves and Hammer collides with the turn buckle. Strikes and another snapmare by Austin who tags in Rude to a sea of boos. Rude sends him for the ride and a clothesline before taunting the crowd. Knee to the mid section and clubbing forearms by the US Champ. Hammer tries to fight back with rights, but Rude rakes his eyes. Hammer is sent to the ropes and is flipped over by a knee to the gut. Rude holds him in place with his boot as he tags in Austin.
Clothesline by Austin followed by a side salto suplex. Rude gets the quick tag, and he clubs the back of Hammer’s neck. Reverse side head lock by Rude as Hammer tries to strength his way over to Big Josh. He’s able to make it, and Josh is fired up, giving a few strikes and sending Rude for a power slam. He stands on Rude for a log roll, but the US champ points out his abs are invincible to that move. Josh unsuccessfully tries striking his mid section, but he’s had enough and just clotheslines him. A quick kick out by Rude, but he goes down just as fast with a shoulder block. Rude kicks out of another lateral press, Austin rushes the ring but Josh takes him out. The Dangerous Alliance reels on the outside after having their heads knocked together.
Rude is back in, and Dangerously screams on his phone. Josh reverses a hammerlock with an elbow to the jaw, arm drag take down, Rude desperately reaches for a tag. He gets it, and Austin meets a similar fate. Austin works back to his feet, he breaks the hold with some rights. Josh reverses the Irish whip to the ropes, Austin takes him down with a shoulder tackle, but the second time Big Josh catches him and slingshots him across the top rope. A clothesline and a lateral press gets two and Van Hammer is tagged back in. Austin is worked down with the hammerlock. He adjusts to a wrist lock and makes the quick tag to Josh who hangs onto it. Austin breaks it with rights and breaks up Josh’s attempt at a back body drop.
Reverse waist lock by Josh, Austin ducks and runs toward the ropes and Rude clocks the outdoorsman. Legal tag is made to Rude and he goes for the top rope. Double ax handle knocks Josh to the mat, but there’s a kick out at two. Strikes from Rude and another tag to Austin. Boots in the corner by Austin and he holds his opponent on the middle rope. The ref pulls him away, Rude jumps down to the floor to keep him in place and Austin comes back with a leaping bronco buster. Austin gets two and a half on Josh. Front face lock and a tag back to Rude. Clubbing forearms and a snap mare. Rude holds on with a modified reverse chin lock, Josh manages to get back to his feet and Paul E. immediately gets on the apron.
Josh fights out of the hold but he’s blind sided by Austin’s boot. Dangerously is lectured down to the floor, and the referee questions is a tag was made to Austin while he wasn’t looking. Big Josh is dumped to the floor for abuse by Rude while Austin ties up the ref. Snapmare and a reverse chinlock by Austin. Josh is slow to get back to his feet as Hammer leads the cheering. The hold is broken with elbows to the gut, and he catches a leaping Austin with a power slam. Josh goes for the elbow but Austin moves. Josh is once again draped on the middle rope, Dangerously holds him in place while Rude provides the distraction.
Austin goes for another bronco buster, but Josh moves and pulls his manager in the way. Josh crawls across the ring to make the hot tag who goes right after Austin. Power slam by Hammer followed by a belly to back suplex. Austin is sent for the ride and eats a diving shoulder block. Rude makes the save and Josh takes offense. Back to the apron, Rude makes a blind tag as Austin hits the ropes. Hammer lifts the TV champ for the back body drop but doesn’t realize the US champ in the legal man. Rude spins Hammer around and hits the Rude Awakening for the win.
Winners: ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin & ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Rude/Rude Awakening)
- EA’s Take: In two matches, they’ve already achieved my expectation to have some partners on opposite corners and others conveniently together with Austin and Rude. The Ravishing One’s debut at Halloween Havoc not only brought him into WCW, but opened the door for him to become leader of The Dangerous Alliance, one of the better factions that is often forgotten in time. With Rude and Paul E as the figureheads, being flanked by Arn Anderson, Larry Zbysko, Bobby Eaton, a young Steve Austin and Madusa was a pretty formidable. On top of that, Austin would quickly become Television Champion, Rude would pull off a tremendous ruse to get the US Title off of Sting and they had all the momentum in the world. Obvious winners just by reading the card.
Chairshot Classics: WCW Monday Nitro Episode 12 – Sting vs. Hogan
Here is the go-home Nitro for World War 3!
WCW Nitro: Episode 12
November 20, 1995
Macon Coliseum, Macon, GA
Bischoff, Heenan and McMichael are on commentary as usual getting us hyped for Hulk Hogan vs Sting in the main event. Bischoff is calling it the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, interesting they gave it away on free television.
Scott “Flash” Norton vs The Shark
The Shark attacks Norton on the entrance ramp and they brawl outside the ring. Bobby Heenan says that Shark is well over 500 pounds, who believes that??? The Shark gets control with a belly to belly suplex, but Norton starts no selling his strikes. Norton hits a scoop powerslam and gets the victory. This was a very lackluster match and seemed to be filler for a few minutes. John Tenta was so talented, it’s sad that he never caught on like he really could have.
Winner: Scott Norton via pinfall
Mean Gene interviews Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart at the entrance ramp. Hart is trying to rally Sting for his match against Hogan later, focusing on Hogan not being behind Sting as a talent. Taskmaster hypes up World War 3 and how the Dungeon of Doom has strength in numbers.
Disco Inferno is out to dance until Eddie Guerrero’s music hits and he runs off.
Eddie Guerrero vs Brian Pillman
This was supposed to be Ric Flair but he came out in street clothes with Brian Pillman in his ring gear. Flair cuts a promo about being so focused on Sting, that he’s having Pillman take his place. Replace one amazing competitor with another, I’m not mad. Guerrero in control early with a neck tie head scissors, big dropkick and belly to back suplex. He goes off the top rope but Pillman catches him with a dropkick to halt the momentum. Pillman hits his own belly to back suplex for a near fall. The two trade chops before Brian sticks a finger in Eddie’s eye and hits a snap powerslam for another near fall. Pillman suplexes Eddie out of the ring and misses a cross body on the railing. Eddie counters with his own MASSIVE cross body and brings Brian back in the ring. Eddie hits the brainbuster and goes to the top rope but Pillman crotches him up there. Eddie pushes Brian off the top rope and hits the frog splash to get the victory. A very fun match, I’m sure these two could seriously tear the roof off the place.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall
We take a look back at Nitro from the previous week where the Dungeon of Doom and Lex Luger attacked Randy Savage and worked over his arm. Commentary is saying it is a serious arm injury that will need surgery. Eric Bischoff wonders if Macho Man is faking the injury to plot against Hulk Hogan.
Big Bubba vs Road Warrior Hawk
A rare singles match for Hawk and a younger Ray Traylor, I’m good with this. Hawk attacks Bubba to start and is in control after a back body drop. Hawk hits a scoop slam but misses a splash off the top rope. Bubba is in control now with strikes and a clothesline. Hawk makes a comeback but Bubba cuts him off with a big spinebuster before eating a right fist outside the ring. The men knock heads and Hawk goes to the top rope but Bubba counters it into a facebuster. Bubba pulls something from his pocket(maybe a roll of quarters?) and tapes up his hand. He goes to come off the ropes but Jim Duggan comes out of nowhere to trip Bubba who falls face first on the foreign object. Hawk makes the cover for the victory. Big hoss match, fun stuff.
Winner: Hawk via pinfall
Sting vs Hulk Hogan
This match has been hyped up all show as the be all and end all of professional wrestling. Sting comes out in red and yellow, fitting considering Hogan’s recent move to the “dark side.” We went to commercial before Sting’s entrance and apparently right after. Interesting television choices there.
Hogan’s music hit and there’s some boos in the crowd. Macho Man Randy Savage comes out and is motioning to the entrance for Hogan to come out for an uncomfortably long time. Hogan comes in through the crowd and postures to the crowd to mostly boos. Hogan is still clean shaven and dressed in black.
After the bell, Sting is on the offensive early with lots of strikes. Hulk takes control with strikes of his own and is getting a good amount of boos. Hulk misses a clothesline and tumbles over the top rope after 2 dropkicks. Hulk pulls Stinger out of the ring, puts his head into the guardrail and suplexes him at ringside.
Sting comes back in the ring with a running cross body and we are back on even ground. Hulk goes for a spinning toe drop and it looks awful and slow, same with his attempt at an armbar takedown. It’s obvious that he is wrestling out of his comfort zone. Sting takes control with crisp looking holds and transitions. Hulk rides a side headlock for a lengthy time before inexplicably just letting Sting go. Sting goes for a Stinger Splash and Hogan counters it into a bearhug for a few seconds before again letting him go.
Belly to back suplex garners a near fall for Hulkster and he hits a suplex for another near fall. Sting comes back and starts working over the leg before locking on the Scorpion Death Lock-that is good storytelling and psychology. Hogan powers out of it and starts his traditional hulk up comeback. Three punches, big boot to Sting’s face, but Sting avoids the leg drop. Hogan’s leg is hurting, Sting locks on the Scorpion Death Lock again.
The Dungeon of Doom comes down and attacks everyone but Sting and Hogan seem to overcome the 6 on 2 odds. The Giant comes down and goes to chokeslam Hogan and Sting. Macho Man hits Giant with a chair but eats a chokelsam for his effort. Hogan and Sting use a chair to clothesline The Giant over the top rope as we go to break.
Winner: No Contest via interference on both men
After the break, Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart are at the commentary table and are sent away by Bischoff. This is being billed as an appetizer to World War 3. Bischoff pushes the narrative that WCW is unpredictable and anyone could walk out of World War 3 as WCW Heavyweight Champion as Nitro goes off the air.
The build to World War 3 has been fun, it’ll be interesting to see how it progresses and changes the show going forward!