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: NWA-TNA Episode 24 – December 4, 2002
The next installment of Tiffany MC’s weekly Classic IMPACT!
We open with a recap of the ending of last week’s episode, but with some after show footage of Killings and Russo getting into a fight and the Harris Brothers breaking it up. While this was going on, Russo was still demanding an answer from Jarrett and Jarrett wasn’t saying anything.
After that, we hear some very familiar bagpipes and after a few minutes, the Hot Rod comes out with a young man I’m ASSUMING is his son because I have no other explanation for why this kid is here.
Piper got on the mic to cut a promo, but because the promo was so long, I’m not going to go through the whole thing here. Piper UNLOADED on Russo, saying that the NWA was the only thing Russo hadn’t killed. He said Russo was a ‘hump’ (I’m assuming he meant ‘hunk’, but you never know) of 300lbs that failed to become a wrestler and became a sport entertainer, but never had any talent, though the fact that Piper himself made a VERY good living being a sports entertainer should be pointed out. He said that Russo was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and would kill the dreams of all the young guys in the locker room. He then says he’s there to challenge Russo.
He also plugs his book, which is part of the reason he was in Nashville to start with, saying it was about a boy and his dreams. In his usual, controversial style, Piper accused Russo of all the sins in the calendar, including being the Osama Bin Laden of wrestling (YES, he said that a year after 9/11) and of killing Owen Hart, who Piper claimed to be related to (he’s not to the best of my understanding). He then, without naming names, trashed some of Russo’s ideas in WWE.
Piper then calls out Russo, who tries to pull one over, but this is Roddy Piper we’re talking about and that didn’t work. In what can best be described as a drunken rant, Piper asked Russo, who he had just PUBLICLY accused of killing Owen Hart, if he killed Owen Hart, and asked how he’d bankrupted WCW so fast. I guess Piper didn’t get the memo that WCW was having financial troubles before Russo got there.
To his credit, Russo tried to defend himself, but Piper is DEFINITELY drunk, and is a loud and stubborn drunk at that. Finally, the Harris boys come out to try and save this mess and at least get Russo out of the ring. This was NOT a great start to the show. After that mess was over, we were given an update on the Lynn/Siaki X-Division title match that was randomly announced last week: It will NOT be happening this week because Jerry Lynn is injured again.
Spanish Announce Team vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): Maximos get a good pop. Apparently, SAT and Divine Storm trained together in Brooklyn. To add some more pressure to this, the winners get a shot at the Tag Team Champions, the New Church.
How’d it go? Well…the start was something to be seen rather than described. Honestly, these guys didn’t give the appearance of people who trained together, unless they all had very short-term memories. The match was awkward, especially for the Maximos. It actually looked like two teams that were still in training. Divine Storm got the win with a big assist from Trinity, so they will be fed…er, working with the New Church for the Tag Team Championship.
Harris comes out to a great pop. The whole point to the singles matches Harris and Storm will be having against the New Church is to have a chance to get their hands on James Mitchell.
Russo interrupts, claiming that he doesn’t have an issue with Harris. He then berates Piper for the opening segment and tells him that he’s going to hell for bringing up Owen Hart’s death. He also berates the TNA fans for supporting the NWA, an organization that he claims doesn’t care about them because it’s run by old men. Showing that he has no real understanding that the fans know full well what his ‘accomplishments’ are and that’s why they’re jeering, he claims the fans don’t know what they want.
To prove just why the fans are right to jeer, Russo calls attention to the Athena signs in the crowd. It turns out that Athena is the girl who takes the wrestlers’ gear to the back for them and she is very loved by the crowd. Russo calls her into the ring and proceeds to insult, bully, and degrade Athena, to the outrage of the crowd. When Athena, rightly, slaps the shit out of him, Russo has the Harris brothers, who aren’t happy with their treatment by the NWA, attack Athena, who can’t defend herself.
Backstage, an enraged Bob Armstrong let the Harris twins have it. He reminds them that the NWA, not Vince Russo, is paying them. He also points out that he gave them shots, despite neither of them being good wrestlers and that all Russo’s going to give them is a joy ride. The Harrises aren’t listening and call Armstrong’s warning ‘Bullshit’.
At ringside, an enraged Chris Harris is also calling ‘Bullshit’ on what just happened, but he’s saying it Tenay and West. Tenay will only say that this is what happens when Russo is around and he’s not happy.
Chris Harris vs Brian Lee (with New Church): Well, we finally got to see this match. The match starts off in a brawl, but that was about the highlight of the match. Lee might bear a resemblance to Undertaker, but he’s not nearly as good of a wrestler as the Dead Man. Harris would pull out the win with a spear, so AMW is one match away from getting their hands on James Mitchell.
Backstage, Goldy finds Ron Killings talking to a subtly pleased Bob Armstrong. Killings wants Russo’s ass for robbing him of the NWA Title. Armstrong is very understanding but tells him that he has to deal with the Harris twins first, by tagging with Jeff Jarrett.
James Storm vs Slash (with New Church): Round two of this starts with a sneak attack by Slash. Sensing that the Church was in trouble. Mitchell, Lee, and Bella Donna all did their part to try and help Slash win, but Storm was more determined. That said, this was a much better match than the previous one. Slash is definitely the breakout star of the New Church.
I will say that Bella Donna finally seems to be getting the hang of being a valet and getting her timing right, which is nice to see. She doesn’t seem to be very evil, compared with other members of the Church, more like a lost soul that’s being exploited by Mitchell. In the end, Storm would get the win, with an assist from Harris and the Death Sentence, when the New Church’s antics backfired on them. So James Mitchell will face America’s Most Wanted in a bullrope match.
Tenay and West go over the rules of the Bullrope match: Storm, Harris, and Mitchell will be joined at the wrist and there will be a STEEL cowbell in this somewhere.
In the locker room, Bob Armstrong is trying fire up Jeff Jarrett and Ron Killings, but Jarrett still isn’t saying anything. Jarrett still hasn’t responded to anyone’s question about his loyalty, though Killings getting in his face probably didn’t help.
Double Elimination Match: EZ Money vs Kid Kash vs AJ Styles vs Joel Maximo: Styles is determined to get back to the title match, because he takes out Joel Maximo before the match officially starts. The match pretty good. It had it’s slow spots, but Styles and Kash were easily the highlights of the match. However, to everyone’s surprise, EZ Money pulled out the win with a pin on Joel Maximo, with an assist from AJ Styles.
We get word through Tenay that Jarrett and Killings WILL team up against the Harris Twins later in the show.
Backstage, Goldy is with Sonny Siaki and she’s not happy about it. Siaki is looking like LL Cool J. Goldy tries to be a good sport and wishes Siaki luck, despite the fact that she looked like she wanted to gag rather than say anything nice to him.
Siaki seems to have dropped the speaking in the third person thing, thank heavens. He doesn’t need Goldy’s well-wishes, he’s waited a long time for this match and it doesn’t really matter when his match with Lynn happens because he’s going to walk away with the gold. I applaud them for letting Siaki try and be himself, but it seems a little too late.
Tenay introduces Jerry Lynn, who explains that he’s got a partially torn pectoral muscle, but he WILL be competing next week against Sonny Siaki. The segment is interrupted by the Harris twins bringing out a table and putting Bill Behrens, the boring as beige NWA official, on it. Lynn tries to save Behrens’ bacon, but ends up being powerbombed THROUGH Behrens and the table. Ron Killings runs out to make the save, but suffers a pretty nasty beat down for his troubles.
Backstage, Goldy finds Bob Armstrong and BG James. Armstrong is pleading with James to put aside his issues with Jarrett and team up to face the Harris twins. James finally agrees and addresses Armstrong as ‘Dad’ for the first time since he’s appeared on TNA.
Bullrope Match – AMW vs Bella Donna: James Mitchell comes out and claims that he can’t compete because he has double pneumonia, though that claim falls a little flat all things considered. He then offers up Bella Donna instead, which AMW are less than impressed with.
Unfortunately, Slash and Lee get the jump on AMW, softening them up for Mitchell to get in some eye gouges and shots with the cowbell. Mitchell then offers to let Bella Donna finish things up, but AMW pull her off the top rope in a spot that looked really awful for Bella’s knee, and set her up for the Catatonic and Eight Second Ride. Still not satisfied, but not wanting to take their frustrations out on the helpless Bella Donna, AMW leave her in the ring and go after Mitchell, who runs for his life.
Tenay shows us a pre-show interview he did with Curt Hennig, who still seems to believe that it’s 1991 and he’s still the best wrestler in the world. In his mind, he’s the better option to carry TNA than Jeff Jarrett, who has nearly broken his back trying to carry Hennig on several occasions. As for Russo, Hennig says that Russo gave him a chance in WCW, but put the belt on David Arquette, which is all that needs to be said to explain why Vince Russo should never be allowed around professional wrestling. Hennig is still bragging about taking down Lesnar, but that still hasn’t been confirmed by any reliable, or sober, witness.
In present time, BG James is found out cold under some metal chairs. Looks like Jarrett’s going to have to deal with the Harrises and Russo on his own.
Harris Brothers vs BG James and Jeff Jarrett: Remember Bash at the Beach 1996 when there was genuine interest and suspense about the NWO and the third man? Remember the shock when it turned out that Hulk Hogan, still one of the biggest stars in wrestling, had turned on the fans?
This was not that match. Jarrett did a good job, but the Harris twins were a load to carry on his own. Ron Killings, limping, and with taped ribs, came to the rescue, letting Jarrett beat the Harrises with a Stroke.
However, the real shock came AFTER the match. Ron Killings still wanted Russo, but suffered another severe beatdown as Russo came in from the crowd. BG James came from the back an appeared to be helping Killings, just before he laid him out with a chairshot, to the crowd’s fury. Then, just to add surrealism to this mess, Percy Pringle, aka, Paul Bearer is on the ramp as Russo, James, and the Harrises celebrate and that’s where the show ends.
Overall Comments: I don’t have much to say about this show other than there were okay matches and an awful story. I didn’t watch much of WCW as a kid, so I didn’t see the real affects of Vince Russo’s ‘writing’ until later and it’s easy to see why his ideas took off in the Attitude Era because he gave the mostly male wrestling demographic what they wanted.
However, watching it back now, and I’ve said this before: It is clear that Russo has a serious problem with women and takes any opportunity to try and humiliate and degrade them and the fact that many people still wish Russo was writing for WWE shows that people either don’t remember how badly the women were treated or they don’t care.
I will say that I was happy to hear the Nashville crowd letting Russo know what they thought of him and it wasn’t friendly.
The whole plotline about Jarrett’s loyalties was so blatantly ripped off from the original NWO storyline, I’m surprised Vince didn’t sue, plus it was just awful. What made the NWO work were the original three guys involved. It’s another example of Russo thinking you can just plug anyone into a storyline or a character type and it’ll work and the audience will buy it, not thinking that 1. The NWO storyline, with all the twists and turns, only ended a couple of years before and fans remember it very vividly. And 2. All three guys were top stars in their primes. BG James and the Harris Twins were past their primes, and Paul Bearer’s glory days of being a manager were largely behind him, not a great formula for rebooting the NWO.
The Piper thing was another storyline from the NWO years, but it was in awful taste and not a great showing for Piper, who came across as an angry drunk using the death of a friend to sell a book.
I didn’t enjoy this episode and I hope this isn’t the precursor to worse things down the road.
Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’88
Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble begins with a look back at the inaugural event!
This was originally not a PPV, but actually a special which aired on the USA Network. It would however, create the 3rd in WWF’s ‘Big 4’ PPV’s and become the annual January tradition that a lot of fans look forward to even more so than WrestleMania. A little known fact is that in late 1987, WWF experimented with the Royal Rumble idea, holding one in St. Louis, Missouri that saw One Man Gang victorious. This is never referred to though, as WWF considers this the first for historical purposes. It’s every man for himself and luck of the draw, let’s get to the action!
Open: Photos featuring all the matchups for tonights event are shown, as Vince McMahon runs down the card that includes the contract signing for the biggest rematch in WWF history between Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant. In the arena are Vince & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, there’s no time to waste and we go right to the ring and Howard Finkel.
Match #1: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
They tie-up and Rude doesn’t hesitate to throw hands, Steamboat fires back with chops and Rude goes to the eyes. He tries to throw Ricky over the top, Steamboat hangs on, skinning the cat back inside and tossing Rude out to the floor. The Ravishing One collects himself, telling the ref Steamboat grabbed the tights back inside. Rude wants a test of strength, stops to have a conversation with the fans at ringside and then they lock hands. Rude gets wrist control, driving The Dragon to his knees. Steamboat to his feet, gets out, taking Rude down with a top wristlock and going into an armbar. The Dragon works over the arm, wrenching at the joint and putting Rude to the canvas.
Rude breaks it with a right hand, into the ropes, Steamboat slides through the legs and gets an armdrag, going back into the armbar. Steamboat relentless on the shoulder joint, Rude with forearms and Ricky fires back with chops. Into the ropes, back and forth and Steamboat with another chop, gaining control over Rude’s arm once more. Rude gets to a vertical base, breaking the hold with boots and right hands. Whips The Dragon in and lands a back elbow, finally getting something going. The Ravishing One smashing Steamboat’s head into the turnbuckles, Rude continuing to hammer away.
In the ropes again, Ricky slides through Rude’s legs and hits another armdrag, grabbing an armbar and driving his knee into the shoulder. Rude gets to his feet, sending Steamboat into the ropes and driving an elbow into the chin. More heavy shots from Rude, Steamboat fires back, into the ropes, Rude reverses and drives a knee to the midsection. Steamboat falls out to the floor, Rude giving chase and driving his back into the apron, then slamming Ricky on the floor. Rude drags The Dragon to the apron, bringing him in the hard way with a vertical suplex for a count of 2, then locks in a variation of a Camel Clutch.
The Dragon attempts getting up, but Rude jumps down on the back numberous times. Steamboat gets up again, this time lifting Rude on his shoulders and then dropping him to the mat. Ricky to his feet first, goes for a splash, but Rude gets the knees up, following with an atomic drop for a 2 count. Rude goes back to the Camel Clutch, Steamboat propels him into the corner and then drives his head into the top turnbuckle. The Dragon with a snapmare and a falling chop for 2, Rude goes to the midsection and gets a side headlock takedown, they float over into a bridge and Ricky gains a backslide for a near fall.
He ducks a right, grabs a roll-up for another. Both guys go back and forth with small packages for 2 counts, Rude flooring Ricky with a clothesline for another. Rude attempts a vertical suplex, Steamboat blocks and hits one of his own, then climbs up top. The Dragon jumps off with a crossbody, Rude pulling the referee in front of him and Steamboat takes him out. Rude gets Steamboat up in a Rack, the ref gets to his feet and calls for the bell.
Winner: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Rack)
- After The Bell: Finkel announces that the winner is by disqualification and it’s Ricky Steamboat. Rude hits the ring again after a premature celebration and berates the ref.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Disqualification)
- EA’s Take: Two great workers here, but definitely not as quality of a match as you’d expect. Lots of rest holds and the pace didn’t pick up until the last 15-20 seconds of the match. Rick Rude is easily one of the most underrated WWF Superstars of all-time, after arriving from the NWA in the summer of 1987. No real feud between these two here, as they had limited interactions. Steamboat was one of the company’s hottest babyfaces after his WrestleMania III bout with Randy Savage, but a few weeks after Steamboat asked for time off to be with his wife, who was expecting the birth of their first child. It didn’t sit well with management, as a lot of time had been put into grooming Ricky to be a top babyface. When he would return in late 1987, he was not pushed or really put into any meaningful storylines.
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is with Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. Tonight, Canadian strongman Dino Bravo will attempt to break the world benchpress record of 705 lbs. They introduce Dino Bravo along with his manager Frenchy Martin. Dino calls it a big challenge, but he feels up to the task. Frenchy says something in French, of course. Ventura goes over some of the technicalities, as Dino goes for a warmup rep at 415 lbs. Dino stops and says it requires total concentration, asking the crowd to be silent. Using Ventura as his spotter, Bravo lifts it and reps it with no problems. They rip through 505, 555, 595 and 655. The crowd keeps making noise and Bravo feigns leaving with 715 lbs. Dino comes back and attempts it, Ventura helps Bravo get it up and they proclaim it legit.
- EA’s Take: I know they were trying to gain heat for the newly repackaged Dino Bravo, but this was just brutally long. The fans were clapping in support of him breaking the record, until he walked off. Dino would return to singles competition when his alliance with Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine as The Dream Team was phased out, joining up with his new manager Frenchy Martin as the French-Canadian Strongman.
Match #2 for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships 2/3 Falls: WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Toteno & Itsuki Yamazaki)
The bell rings and The Angels hit the The Glamour Girls with dropkicks. Noriyo & Leilani are left in the ring, Noriyo missing another dropkick as Leilani hangs onto the ropes. Leilani tosses her across the ring by the hair and then drives her into Martin’s knee before she tags in. Martin with a slam, covering and Noriyo bridges out, grabbing a roll-up for 2. Itsuki tags, sends Martin into the ropes and hits a rolling headbutt, followed by a piledriver. Noriyo back in, she gets taken to the ground, but grabs a body scissors.
Martin fights out of it, Noriyo attempts a crossbody and gets caught, then dropped to the canvas. Martin misses an elbow drop, then quickly crawls over and tags Leilani. She enters and takes a knee out of the ropes, Itsuki back in with a flying forearm and a dropkick. The Angels strike back and forth in the corner, Itsuki covering a count of 2, then lock in an octopus stretch. Martin comes in the ring to try and break it, but kicks her own partner. Noriyo back in to deliver a dropkick to Martin, then we get synchronized figure four’s from The Angels. The legal participants are left in the ring, Itsuki breaks the hold and wishbones Leilani’s legs, then tags Noriyo. She comes in and cross the legs, grabbing a modified surfboard.
Itsuki back in, she continues to work the leg, Martin comes in to help her partner and they pull on Leilani by her hands and legs. Martin is dropped to the mat and rolls outside going back to the apron, Leilani crawls to try and tag, finally making it. Martin fires a kick to the midsection, whips Noriyo into the corner and she hops on the turnbuckle, putting the boots up to a charging Martin. Judy catches the feet, pulling Noriyo off the turnbuckle and slamming her to the mat. She delivers a shot to Itsuki on the apron, whips Noriyo into the ropes and Leilani with a cheap shot from the apron. Martin plants Itsuki with a reverse powerbomb, covers and gets the first fall.
First Fall: The Glamour Girls
Martin tosses Itsuki by the hair, putting her in the wrong part of town, then whips her into the ropes for a flying forearm and a count of 1. She slams Itsuki, attempts a splash and misses, allowing Noriyo to tag in and hit a dropkick. Into the ropes, Noriyo with a jumping clothesling, heads to the 2nd rope and connects with another for a near fall. She hits the ropes, landinga crossbody for another 2, then tags Itsuki for a double team suplex. Martin enters the ring to break it up, but gets caught and The Angels attempt to whips The Glamour Girls into one another. The Angels stop short, Glamour Girls charging with clotheslines and end up hitting one another. Order is restored and Leilani flattens Itsuki, lifts her to her shoulder, Itsuki rolls through into a pin and picks up a 3 count.
Second Fall: The Jumping Bomb Angels
The Angels rush Leilani and deliver double knees, then a double clothesline before the ring clears to a one on one situation. Itsuki with a running knee, but Leilani uses her size to force Itsuki into her corner and Martin makes a tag. Into the ropes, Martin catches a kick attempt, Itsuki countering with an enzuigiri and Noriyo enters. Noriyo attempts a fisherman suplex, Martin counters and drives a knee to the midsection, then whips Noriyo hard into the corner. Martin charges, Noriyo hops up and over, grabbing a backslide, but Martin rolls through. Judy grabs the legs, catapulting Noriyo into her corner and tagging out.
Leilani wrenches the neck, then stomps away at Noriyo and hangs her across the top rope by the hair. Double underhook suplex plants Noriyo and Leilani gets a count of 2. Leilani maintains the advantage, Martin in off the tag with a big boot that sends Noriyo into a tag. Itsuki comes in and is immediately tossed across the ring by the hair, then distracts the ref for Leilani to get in an illegal choke. Leilani makes a cover for multiple 1 counts, sends Itsuki in for a double axe handle and it’s blocked. She drops Leilani keyster first on the canvas a couple times and gets a 2 count. She tosses Leilani into her own corner, then brings Martin in the hard way and tags Noriyo.
She climbs upstairs, Itsuki with a slam and Noriyo follows off the top with a knee drop for 2. Noriyo hits a double underhook suplex into a bridge, gaining another 2 count, then brings Itsuki back in for a crossbody and another 2. Martin is slammed to the mat, Itsuki comes off the 2nd rope with a senton and misses, Martin covering and only getting 2. Itsuki with a leg takedown, Noriyo with the tag and a 2nd rope clothesline, but Leilani breaks up the pinfall. The ref’s tied up with Leilani, The Angels climb opposing turnbuckles and hit a tandem dropkick for the 1-2-3.
Winners and NEW WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo/Tandem Top Rope Dropkick)
- EA’s Take: The crowd was quite into this contest and a lot of the style of The Angels is ahead of it’s time, however the pacing of the contest was a bit too hectic at times. Women’s wrestling isn’t quite as clean and smooth as the men at this point, it would take a number of years for it to get to that point. The WWF Women’s Tag Team Titles are a forgotten relic in the annals of WWE history and this is the last major appearance they’d ever see. The Glamour Girls would go on to regain the championships in June before the titles were dropped completely in early 1989.
Video: Footage from WrestleMania III is shown, when Andre The Giant took on Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. At one point, Hogan attempted to slam Andre, but The Giant’s weight came crashing down onto the champion for what some claim was a 3 count. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ has plans to buy the championship, but Hulk Hogan refused to sell it. DiBiase promises to get what he wants, no matter the cost. Andre would accept DiBiase’s offer, attacking the champion on Saturday Night’s Main Event. The Giant has agreed to hand the title over.
In The Ring: It’s time for the contract signing for the biggest rematch in history, as Andre The Giant along with ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Virgil make their way to the ring. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund will oversee the proceedings and he introduces WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, then WWF President Jack Tunney.Tunney & Hogan sit down at the table, but Andre refuses as Gene urges him to sign the contract. DiBiase gives Andre a few words and he slowly makes his way to the table, staring down the champion. The Giant finally takes a seat, then DiBiase takes the mic and begs Hogan to sign. Hulk appears to be having doubts, but then signs after some more prodding by The Million Dollar Man. Andre reviews the contract and Hulk grows impatient. The Giant finally puts his name on the dotted line and DiBiase tells him to put his ‘stamp of approval on it’. Hogan lunges at DiBiase and Andre grabs the champion, slamming his head into the table.
- EA’s Take: This segment is a stark contrast to the one earlier tonight. Yes, it was also long, but that was supposed to be the effect and it worked perfectly. Even almost 30 years later, you could feel the tension as Hogan’s blood boiled at Andre toying around with him. DiBiase was the perfect foil to add a new layer to the Hulk/Andre rivalry, giving it new life with the ‘purchasing of the title’ story. This contract was signed for a match to come on Saturday Night’s Main Event and would lead to the biggest moment in the shows history.