Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble continues with a look back at one from the past!
Open: Everyone rises for the playing of our National Anthem, which takes on much more significance during this time when troops are in Iraq for Operation Desert Storm.
Video: A highlight package is played in which Vince McMahon runs down the participants in tonight’s Royal Rumble Match, then goes over the rest of the card. “It’s every man for himself in the Royal Rumble!”
Match #1: The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) w/Mr. Fuji vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
Tanaka ambushes Jannetty on the 2nd rope prior to the bell knocking him to the outside, the bell rings and Michaels delivers right hands to Kato, only to get attacked from behind by Tanaka. The Orient Express shoots Shawn in for a double back body drop, they set for another double team move, Marty slides in and prevents it with a dropkick to Kato, then a superkick for Tanaka. The Rockers do the double teaming now, whips Tanaka in for a double press slam, then climbs opposite turnbuckles for the double diving fist drop. Kato quickly drags his partner to the outside, The Rockers hit the ropes and take them out with synchronized suicide dives.
Order is finally restored, Kato & Jannetty take the ring, Marty with a side headlock out of the lock-up. Kato tries to push Jannetty away unsuccessfully, attempts a back suplex to break the hold and Marty hangs on, taking Kato to the canvas. Kato finally pushes Marty away to the ropes, back and forth they go, Kato with a hiptoss into an armbar, Jannetty counters, Kato countering back and both men bridge to their feet, Marty with a backslide for a count of 2. There’s a brief stand-off, Kato backs Jannetty into his corner out of the lock-up, irish whip into the ropes, Marty reverses as Tanaka steps in, leapfrogs Kato and The Orient Express run into one another.
Tanaka stays in and is caught in an armdrag into an armbar, Jannetty wearing him down to the mat, then tagging Michaels who delivers a fist off the top to the shoulder. Shawn keeps the punishment on the arm, utilizing an armbar and driving his knee into the shoulder joint. Tanaka gains a vertical base, sends Michaels off to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder. Shawn back into the ropes, Tanaka ducks down and catches him with a flying forearm for a 2 count, then goes to a rear chinlock to grind Michaels down. Shawn finds his footing, Kato with a blind tag as Tanaka is pushed into the ropes, The Orient Express almost collide again, but instead Michaels brings them together with a double noggin knocker.
He sends Tanaka into the ropes for a high knee, snapmares him over and covers for 2, then uses a rear chinlock of his own. Tanaka fights to his feet, hits the ropes, ducks a clothesline and gets caught in a sleeper. Kato eggs Jannetty into the ring, the referee is distracted and Kato comes off the 2nd rope with a chop to Shawn to break the hold. Michaels is taken down by a Tanaka leg sweep, hands out overhand chops to the head, fires away with rights in the corner and Shawn turns the table, dishing out fists of his own. He climbs to the 2nd rope to reign down more knuckles, Kato steps into the ring and is met by Marty and a right hand.
The referee gets Jannetty back to the apron, Shawn climbs to the top and hits Kato with a standing moonsault, then turns his attention back to Tanaka in the corner. Marty comes back in and works over Kato in the opposite corner, The Rockers attempt to whip The Orient Express into one another, but they counter. They look to do the same to The Rockers, another counter and The Orient Express is sent to the outside for synchronized dropkicks. The Rockers feign outside dives, head to the top and take out The Orient Express with crossbody blocks to the floor on opposite sides of the ring. Order’s restored once again, Michaels gets a cover on Kato for a 2 count, Jannetty tags and The Rockers with a double back elbow for another near fall.
Marty going back to the rear chinlock, Michaels re-enters the match and hits a delayed vertical suplex, Tanaka breaking up the count at 2. Shawn sends Kato into the corner for a monkey flip, Tanaka drops Michaels across the top rope from the apron, giving his partner the advantage. Jannetty again steps into the ring and takes the ref’s attention, Tanaka drops to the floor and drags Shawn to the apron, Fuji hammering him with his cane. Tanaka makes the tag and goes with a chop to the throat, drops Shawn with a reverse knife-edge and brings Kato back in, planking Michaels on the top for a seated senton to the back.
Kato makes a cover and Marty breaks it up, The Orient Express swap without a tag as the ref gets Jannetty back to his corner, Tanaka going back to the throat of Michaels and locking in a nerve hold. Tanaka breaks the hold on his own, drives down right hands and tags out, Kato whipping Shawn hard into the corner, sending him to the apron. Tanaka with a cheap shot behind the ref’s back, makes a tag and they level Michaels with a double clothesline for a near fall. Tanaka attempts a back body drop, Michaels has it scouted and drives him head-first into the canvas, Shawn crawls toward his corner, but Kato hits the ring and drops Marty on the apron.
They send Shawn into the ropes and look to clothesline him with Kato’s karate belt, Michaels hops onto it instead and it pulls The Orient Express into one another and they bang heads. Jannetty finally gets the hot tag, dishes out heavy rights and slams to Kato & Tanaka, then scores on both with dropkicks, Tanaka falling to the outside. He sends Kato to the ropes and plants him with a powerslam for a count of 2, shoots him back in and connects with a back elbow, Tanaka breaking the count at 1. Michaels clears Tanaka to the outside and they brawl at ringside, Kato whips Marty in for a hiptoss, Jannetty blocks and looks for a backslide, but can’t power Kato over.
Tanaka assists his partner with a kick, Kato taking Marty to the mat for a 2 count. He shoots Jannetty into the ropes, Marty ducks a clothesline, Shawn drops to the floor and trips Kato for another 2 count. All 4 men hit the ring, The Rockers dispose of Tanaka, drill Kato with a double superkick, Michaels heading upstairs for an assisted top rope splash, but Tanaka’s quick to get back in and drop Shawn all the way to the floor. Kato with a slam to Jannetty, catapults him into a Tanaka chop, they set for it again, Marty counters into a sunset flip on Tanaka and gets the 1-2-3.
Winners: The Rockers (Jannetty/Sunset Flip)
- EA’s Take: A very entertaining match that had a couple of sloppy spots here and there. It was a bit long for my taste, but the mix between slow pacing and high flying was just right. These two teams worked very well together and rightfully so, as they had been working together previously. When Sato decided to leave the American wrestling scene, the WWF brought in Paul Diamond (who had been Tanaka’s partner previously in the AWA) and put him under a mask, calling him Kato. Collectively known as Badd Company, the pairing had previously been involved with The Rockers in the AWA (The Midnight Rockers at the time). Obviously working together previously helped the match, but it also made me question the mix-ups a little more.
Backstage: Sean Mooney is in the locker room with ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage who has a statement to make, proclaiming he doesn’t care who wins the WWF Championship tonight, although Sgt. Slaughter gave him a commitment to give him a shot when he wins the title. Savage doesn’t have the same commitment from the champion Ultimate Warrior, but Sherri has a plan. Queen Sherri drags ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund with her out to the arena and makes a public challenge to the champion. The Ultimate Warrior makes his way out, but doesn’t give Sherri any answers. She attempts to seduce him to get it while Macho watches on a monitor from the locker room. The Queen resorts to getting on her knees and begging, but the champion refuses, Savage losing his cool.
Match #2: The Barbarian w/Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan vs. Big Boss Man
The bell rings and Barbarian is still on the outside having a conference with The Brain. He finally steps into the ring and a loud “Weasel” chant breaks out, Boss Man & Barbarian lock-up and Barbarian buries knees to the mid-section, following with uppercuts. Boss Man reverses an irish whip to the ropes, staggers Barbarian with a big boot, then dumps him to the outside with a clothesline. Heenan has another chat with his guy, Boss Man slides to the floor to break the huddle and fires away with rights, then drives Barbarian shoulder-first into the ring post before rolling back inside. He pulls Barbarian up to the apron, tries to suplex him back in, Barbarian goes to the eyes and scales to the top rope.
Boss Man catches him coming down with a right hand, Barbarian staggers toward the ropes and Boss Man delivers a clothesline, both guys spilling to the floor. Big Boss Man is back in the ring quickly, The Brain with some words of wisdom to his man. Barbarian rolls back in, reverses an irish whip, Boss Man blocks a hip toss, but gets planted with a suplex instead. The Barbarian decapitates Boss Man with a clothesline, delivers a heavy right hand and Boss Man gets his foot caught in the ropes. Barbarian grabs the opening and doles out punishment to the helpless Boss Man, he finally untangles him and Boss Man drops to the floor, then gets rammed into the ring post back-first The Barbarian distracts the official for Heenan to deliver a cheap shot, Boss Man struggles into the squared circle and gets cracked with a backbreaker for a near fall.
The Barbarian utilizes a bearhug to punish the lower back, Boss Man finds some adrenaline and breaks the hold, but gets dropped by a chop to the throat. Barbarian drops multiple elbow drops for a count of 2, then goes right back to the bear hug. Big Boss Man starts to fade, finds another shot of energy and fights out with headbutts, then bites Barbarian’s nose. He shoots Barbarian in for a boot, gets his foot caught and connects with an enzuigiri instead, rolls into a cover and nearly gets a 3 count. Boss Man shoots Barbarian into the corner, follows in for a splash, Barbarian side-steps, uses a schoolboy and gets a near fall.
Boss Man looks for a back elbow out of the ropes, Barbarian ducks, gets hanged with a hot shot coming back through, Big Boss Man hooks the leg and Barbarian grabs the bottom rope at 2. Boss Man shoots Barbarian in again, this time they collide heads and they double down. Barbarian is up first and he heads upstairs, scores with a top rope clothesline, Boss Man getting a foot on the rope at a count of 2. Barbarian looks to send Boss Man into the ropes this time, it’s reversed, Barbarian gets planted with a Boss Man Slam, again gaining the bottom rope after a 2 count. Boss Man picks him up and takes a shot to the eye, Barbarian spikes him with a piledriver, doesn’t go for a cover and climbs to the top rope. He comes off with a crossbody, Boss Man uses the momentum to roll through, hooks the leg and gets the victory.
Winner: Big Boss Man (Top Rope Crossbody Counter)
- EA’s Take: A much better contest than I anticipated, you just have to go into it knowing there will be little technical wrestling. Oddly enough it was much cleaner than the opening tag contest, but the tag was a better match. Big Boss Man continues to come out on the winning end of his rivalry with The Heenan Family, moving up the ranks to face the diamond of The Heenan Family next. The Barbarian’s run as a singles competitor would be brief after splitting from The Powers Of Pain in early 1990, this time hooking up with a fellow Heenan Family member that would become his most notable tag partner.
Backstage: Joining Sean Mooney in the locker room is Sgt. Slaughter & General Adnan. The General goes off in arabic, Sarge speaks about the turmoil in the Middle East being nothing compared to when he faces Ultimate Warrior. Slaughter promises to walk away with the WWF Championship and become the leader that our nation needs. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is in the interview area with WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior, the champion telling Slaughter that all of his orders are falling on deaf ears. The turmoil that’s been created will only lead to Sarge’s defeat and only the demented would ever follow his rule.
Match #3 for the WWF Championship: Sgt. Slaughter w/General Adnan vs. WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior
Adnan & Slaughter try to behead the champion with their flag before the bell, he drops them both with a double clothesline and and the bell rings. Warrior knocks them both to the outside with clotheslines, breaks the flagstaff in half and shreds the Iraqi flag. Adnan limps off to the back and Slaughter gets clocked in the ring, then hit with a piece of the flag pole. He shoves a piece of the flag in Sarge’s mouth, squashes him with a corner clothesline and rams him head-first into the top turnbuckle. The champion choking the challenger with more remnants of the flag, shoots him into the corner and elevates him with a back body drop.
Warrior sends Sarge back into the corner sternum-first, hits another clothesline, whips him across and Slaughter goes flying over the top to the floor. Queen Sherri comes out to ringside as the champion continues to put a beating on Sarge, tosses him into the ring and hits the ropes for multiple shoulder knockdowns, Sherri grabbing his foot as he goes to the ropes again. The Ultimate One chases The Queen around ringside and towards the back, ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage comes from out of nowhere with a clothesline, then hammers the champion with a light fixture. The Warrior struggles to get back to the ring, Sarge forcing the referee to stop the 10 count since he can’t win the title on a count-out.
The challenger finally goes out to get Warrior, sends him inside and goes to work on the lower back with clubbing shots. He hits a backbreaker, spits in disgust at The Ultimate One, then drives his head into the spiked toes of his boots. Slaughter whips the champion to the ropes, Warrior ducks a right hand, both guys score with a clothesline and they double down. Sarge is up first, stalks Warrior and applies a bearhug to sap The Ultimate One’s energy. Warrior finds the strength to fight his way out, slams the challenger and pays for it, hurting his back. Slaughter takes advantage and drops elbows to the lower back, splits the champion with another backbreaker, then locks in the Camel Clutch, Warrior’s legs dangling under the bottom rope.
The referee finally notices and calls for a break, Slaughter mistakenly thinks he won, targets the back again and The Ultimate One finds a rush of adrenaline. He levels the challenger with clotheslines off the ropes, connects with a flying shoulder tackle and calls for the finish. Sherri is back out now and she jumps on the apron, gaining the attention of the champion. Warrior flips her into the ring, presses her over his head and throws her over the top onto Savage who’s back out. Slaughter attacks from behind with a knee that hangs The Ultimate One across the 2nd rope, the referee seperates them and Macho smashes his sceptor on the champion’s skull. Sarge drags him into the ring, drops an elbow and steals the championship.
Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Sgt. Slaughter (Outside Interference)
- EA’s Take: The crowd with a very loud “Bullshit” chant because of the finish, as Slaughter has the definition of nuclear heat. Sarge had very little offense, but this is an era where heels winning clean was a rare feat. Unusual placement on the card for a WWF Championship match, I bet the energy dies a little for the next couple before the Rumble. The Warrior’s near year long reign comes to an end, dropping the championship to the top heel in the business at the time and setting up for arguably his greatest match of all-time against Savage. The slow burn between these two was done beautifully over the months prior and in the process you are able to put the title on a red hot Superstar, giving yourself another main event level matchup for WrestleMania.
Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Chairshot Classics: WCW Slamboree 1995 – A Legends’ Reunion
Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with Slamboree ’95!
Following a brutally cheesy inaugural Uncensored event in March, what would WCW do to follow-up? Let’s not waste any time and get to the action!
Match #1 for the WCW World Tag Team Championships: The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags) vs. WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) w/Sister Sherri
Jerry Sags makes his way down to the ring by himself at the open. Brian Knobs was previously injured and they’re not sure what his status is. The “Nasty” chants break out for Sags who is by himself. Booker T will start it off for Harlem Heat. He lectures the chanting crowd and rounds the ring. They exchange slaps and strikes, Sags takes the advantage and hits an inside out clothesline. Booker eats turnbuckle, Irish whip and Sags comes in with another big lariat. Stevie rushes the ring, but Sags takes it to both champions with a double DDT.
Sherri is on the apron and she eats a right from the Nasty Boy. Sags sets up a pumphandle slam on Booker and lands it. He makes a cover and Booker kicks out at two. Sags pursues in the corner, but Booker lands a right. The champs double team Sags and Stevie is tagged in. He tries an elbow, but Sags moves. Double leg takedown by Sags and he hits a low blow head butt. Sags sets up again and he drops a leg across the mid section. He makes a cover and Booker T comes in for the save. Scoop slam by Sags and he heads up the turnbuckles. Double ax from the top rope and Booker is forced to make the save once again. Sags tries a cover but Sherri pulls his leg.
Jerry pursues the valet who baits him into a beat down from Stevie Ray. The ref pulls him off and Sags rolls to the floor, where he’s double teamed by Booker and Sherri. Stevie heads out, drives him into the steel and rolls him back into the ring. Double team in the ring by the champs and Booker grabs a reverse chin lock. Back to vertical, Sags tries to go to the eyes but Booker stays in control. He misses an elbow, but with a spin-a-roonie comes back to his feet and hits a heel kick. Tag is made to Stevie, Sags is sent for the ride and he eats a drop kick. Side slam by Stevie and Sags is set up for a senton by Booker. He’s slow to make a cover and Sags gets his shoulder up.
A quick tag is made back to Stevie who lands a leg drop and a big forearm. Another fast tag back to Booker who lifts Sags and sends him to the ropes. Sags reverses a back drop into a piledriver, and finally from the back, here comes a taped up Brian Knobs. Sags makes the hot tag and Knobs cleans house. Scoop slams and back elbows for both. He hits a bulldog on Booker and back drops Stevie over the top. Sherri climbs to the top rope and leaps but Knobs catches her out of the air and drops her hard on the canvass before dumping her to the floor. Knobs tags in Sags, hits a powerslam, Jerry hits a top rope elbow and we have new champs!
Winners and NEW WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Nasty Boys (Sags/Top Rope Elbow Drop)
- After The Bell: The Blue Bloods are standing at the top of the ramp in suits, looking disgusted with the new champions. They seem to want a piece of them, but they shake their heads and head to the back. The Nasty Boys join Eric Bischoff after, and if The Blue Bloods want an opportunity, they’re going to get one.
- EA’s Take: Very good opening match between two teams who are no strangers. The story of Knobs escaping from the back after being kayfabe injured was a nice touch and it popped the crowd when he came rushing down. I continue to respect Sherri’s bumping as a valet. The introduction of The Blue Bloods (Regal and Eaton) will help a pretty thin tag team division.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined by Kevin Sullivan. He’ll be facing the man formerly known as The Butcher. He told him not to show up, and he hasn’t slept in the last 5 days. The problem is that ‘The Man With No Name’ still believes in Hulkamania, and he heads for the ring after some deranged musings.
Match #2: Kevin Sullivan vs. The Man With No Name
A brawl breaks out immediately, and a big knee lift sends Sullivan to the floor. TMWNN follows him immediately and continues his assault. Back in the ring, a countoff series of rights is delivered to Sullivan and he gets his eyes rakes. Uppercut by TMWNN and Sullivan eats turnbuckle. A whip to the ropes and TMWNN locks in a sleeper, Sullivan drops to the mat to reverse it and dumps him to the floor. TMWNN hits the steel and they exchange chops. Sullivan is rolled back into the ring, TMWNN takes position in the corner with a splash. Sullivan has a knee driven his neck and gets an eye rake, but he fights back with chops.
It only wakes up TMWNN and he fires back with rights. A big chop between the eyes knocks Sullivan down and he gets a two count. TMWNN sets up for and hits a piledriver. TMWNN is slow to cover and Sullivan barely escapes. He pursues but Sullivan goes to the eyes. TMWNN is smashed into the turnbuckle and dumped outside for a shot on the ring post. Sullivan rakes his back and rolls him back in. TMWNN blocks a chop and fires back. To the ropes they go, TMWNN hits a big lariat. He tries a running splash, but Sullivan moves out of the way. Sullivan sets him up for the tree of woe and he hits a running knee. Double stomp by Sullivan and we have a winner.
Winner: Kevin Sullivan (Devil Stomp)
- After The Bell: A strange voice starts yelling and an image of a creepy man appears on the big screen. He summons Sullivan, but Kevin bails out through the crowd.
- EA’s Take: How many monikers has the man best known as Brutus Beefcake had? Clearly the post-match is planting the seeds for the proper Dungeon of Doom and things are about to get even MORE weird. Hard to imagine after Uncensored, eh?
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage & Jimmy Hart. They were late showing up tonight because Macho Man was dog paddling from the beach, his dad Angelo was doing the backstroke, and he wishes that he ran into Vader and Flair in the parking lot. With all the power on their side, there is no way they’re making it out alive. Savage says the monster maniacs will not be denied, nothing is raining on their parade. Whatcha gonna do? Ooohhh Yea!
Match #3: Dick Murdoch vs. Wahoo McDaniel
Gordon Solie has joined commentary for this legends match. Both men measure and lock up, McDaniel takes position in the corner and it’s a messy break. Another collar and elbow, McDaniel with an arm drag. A third tie up and McDaniel scores another arm drag. Murdoch blocks a strike and drops an elbow on the head. Murdoch charges into the midsection on McDaniel and grabs a wristlock. McDaniel fires back with a slap across the face and Murdoch falls on the canvass. Collar and elbow tie up, Murdoch hits some knee lifts and a big elbow. McDaniels fights back and chops Murdoch between the eyes. McDaniels gets the top wristlock, he takes position in the corner and the ref calls for a break.
Murdoch doesn’t oblige, he hits some short range rights but McDaniels strikes back and Murdoch falls to the mat. Murdoch’s head hits the turnbuckle multiple times and he eats another chop. Murdoch almost buckles but he hits some knees and stomps. Murdoch bails to the floor and lays an elbow across McDaniel’s throat on the apron. Irish whip by Murdoch, he climbs to the top rope and he hits a modified bulldog. McDaniels is sent for the ride, he eats a back elbow and an elbow drop for a two count. Big elbows across McDaniel’s forehead. Wahoo reverses a whip to the ropes, hits a backhand chop across Murdoch’s throat and that’s good for 3.
Winner: Wahoo McDaniel (Backhand Chop)
- EA’s Take: I get the whole legends thing, but broadcasting the match in black and white was a little cheesy, in my opinion. I love Solie’s voice, though. Due to both men’s age and old style, this match was obviously slow. I fear the modern crowd with their boring chants and ability to get more fired up by beachballs wouldn’t give legends like this the respect they should get if WWE did something like this now.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined at this time by Big Bubba Rogers. He recognizes that Sting is one of the best wrestlers in the world today, but he is one of the few who has a pinfall victory over him. What people don’t know is that when the referee counted 1-2-3, he knows the faith in him disappeared. He plans to do it again because he’s big enough, bad enough, and because he can.
Match #4 for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship: ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff vs. IWGP Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta
The “Paula” chants inevitably come out and Mr. Wonderful takes it out by yelling at Nick Patrick. The official blows right back up to him and let’s him know who is in charge. Muta backs him up swinging with some kicks, Orndorff wants space. Collar and elbow tie up, they reverse wristlocks and Muta takes advantage. Drop toe hold by Orndorff but he can’t grab a headlock, Muta reversing with a hammerlock by Orndorff is on the ropes. Muta motions that he’s going to kill him and Orndorff tells him where to stick it. Collar and elbow, chain wrestling with Orndorff into a hammerlock. Muta flips out with a single leg and a stomp and both men back up and feel each other out.
Collar and elbow, side headlock by Muta, they hit the ropes and Muta hits a shoulder tackle. He ducks a clothesline and hits a spin kick, Orndorff rolls out. Muta teases a leap from the top rope but Mr. Wonderful sees him and walks away. Collar and elbow hookup, Muta with the side headlock and a takeover. Orndorff counters with a roll up, Muta kicks out and gets back in control. Orndorff escapes and wrestles his way into a hammerlock. He drives the knees into Muta’s shoulder and really cranks the arm. Back to vertical, it’s knee lifts and rights from Orndorff. Muta is on the receiving end of a short clothesline but Muta moves away from an elbow drop, scores with a dropkick, a snapmare, and a theatrical elbow drop.
Another snapmare and Muta goes into a reverse chin lock. Orndorff works back to vertical, tries a reversal but it’s quickly countered by Muta with a head scissor. Orndorff rolls to his knees, Muta tries cranking back and he strikes Wonderful in the eyes. Desperation belly to back suplex by Orndorff and he’s slow to get up. Stomps to the back of the head by Orndorff and he dumps Muta to the floor. He follows and chokes the IWGP champ with a camera chord. He returns to the ring and poses as the crowd boos. He pulls Muta back to the apron and hits a vertical suplex. He comes in with an elbow drop and cranks on Muta’s chin.
He keeps the knee at the top of the back for leverage. The crowd gets behind Muta as he works his way to his feet. He hits some body shots, breaks the hold and knocks Orndorff down with rights. To the ropes, Muta tries a dropkick but Orndorff puts on the brakes. Wonderful drops an elbow across the back and tries a front facelock. They’re on their feet, Orndorff hanging on. Muta counters by lifting with an inverted atompic drop. Short clothesline by Muta, he heads for the 2nd rope and drops an elbow but Orndorff moves. Wonderful hits some forearms and drives Muta’s head into the mat.
Vicious kicks by Orndorff and he hits a snapmare before driving a fist between the eyes, Muta kicks out at two. Orndorff wants a piledriver but it’s reversed with a backdrop. They exchange rights before Muta hits a spin kick. Big back elbow in the corner by Muta and he follows with a bulldog. Muta with a lateral press and Orndorff kicks out. Shoulder block by Muta and he follows with a side breaker. Muta scores with a moonsault from the top rope and he retains the title.
Winner and STILL IWGP Heavyweight Champion: The Great Muta (Moonsault)
- EA’s Take: Great to see Muta again. He’s a guy who deserves to go in the Hall of Fame, but I’m not sure if or when that will happen due to his lack of WWE ties. Just a solid, smart match by two pros here. You had to know the New Japan champion was retaining, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. You also will get a new appreciation for Orndorff through all of these Chairshot Classics as well, as unfortunately he’s almost remembered more for his injury and weak arm than anything else.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene gets a word with WCW World Television Champion Arn Anderson, ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Vader. What The Enforcer is going to do tonight is going to show Alex Wright why people his age call him Mr. Anderson. Flair is already planning to celebrate his and Vader’s victory, Hogan and Savage have run roughshod long enough. When Hogan looks at Vader, he’s looking at the most powerful wrestler in the world today. He can run, but he can’t hide because it’s Vader time.
Match #5 for the WCW World Television Championship: ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright vs. WCW World Television Champion ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson
Collar and elbow tie up, they jockey for position and Wright hits an arm drag. They lock up, Wright grabs the headlock, Anderson throws him to the ropes but he puts on the brakes and drops down to re-grab the headlock on the mat. Back to vertical, they hit the ropes again, Wright confuses Anderson by flipping around, hits a drop kick and goes back to the headlock. Anderson tries countering with a roll up but Das Wunderkind stays in control. Back to their feet, Anderson powers into position on the ropes and drives his shoulder again.
Wright reverses a whip, Anderson catches the boot but Wright hits an enzigure. Back to the mat with the headlock and he cranks away. Left hand body shots by The Enforcer, he grabs the leg but Wright hits a backflip and a dropkick. European uppercut and a side headlock takeover by the kid and he hangs on. Back to vertical, Anderson lifts the knee and lays in a punch. He sends Wright for the ride, Wunderkind grabs a boot, Anderson tries an enzigure but misses and Wright moves into complex crossface submission. Anderson pulls himself to the ropes to break the hold and he bails out for some regroup. He takes too long and Wright hits him with a baseball slide before flying over the top rope with a crossbody.
He fires in some rights, Enforcer fights back but Wright makes him eat the ring post. Back in the ring, Wright tries hyperextending the arm and he works down to the mat for some submission work. With leverage, Wright drives his knees into Anderson’s arm. Up to their feet, Anderson is trapped in a hammerlock but breaks it with an elbow to the side of the head. Some kicks and a headbutt by Arn before dragging Wright’s eyes across the top rope. Wunderkind fights back with European uppercuts. Anderson misses with an atomic drop, but the vintage spinebuster is on point. Double ax handle by Anderson and he stomps away before slingshotting Wright into the bottom rope.
Blatant choke by The Enforcer and the ref has to call for a break. He uses the ropes for leverage to drop the boot across Wright’s throat. Anderson cranks with a wrist lock and works over the shoulder. Single leg sweep by Anderson, he appears to try a Figure Four but Wright boots him away. From the 2nd rope, Wright counters with a right to the midsection. Snap suplex by Wright and he heads for the top. He leaps with missile dropkick and Double A is forced to kick out. They hit the ropes, Anderson grabs a front facelock and they exchange inside cradles. On their feet, Anderson pokes the eyes, Irish whip but Anderson runs into elbows. Wright ducks a punch, but Anderson takes advantage of the positioning and scores a DDT out of nowhere to retain his belt.
Winner and STILL WCW World Television Champion: ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson (DDT)
- EA’s Take: I was looking forward to this one as soon as I did the template. It’s also the first time I remember hearing the Arn music, later adapted in general 4 Horsemen matches. I love how many clean finishes there are in this show so far. As Scott Hall has explained, that’s ‘Curt Hennig Booking — if you’re going to make someone, make them and take their finish”.
Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’90 – Every Man For Himself
Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble continues with a look back at one from the past!
It’s the third annual Royal Rumble, for the first time ever the January WWF tradition would play a major part in the buildup to WrestleMania. The concept of giving the Royal Rumble winner a title shot at WrestleMania hadn’t been introduced yet. However, this would mark the first time the Rumble match would be used to advance and begin feuds heading into the big event, thus you could call this show the inaugural Road To WrestleMania! It’s every man for himself in the Royal Rumble, so let’s head back to the Orlando Arena in 1990….
Open: Vince McMahon voices over a video running down tonight’s Royal Rumble participants, in addition to the great singles matches we have tonight.
Match #1: The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch)
Butch & Raymond will kick off the action, Raymond offers a handshake, then goes to the midsection with a boot and delivers right hands. Jimmy Hart jumps on the apron to distract the ref, Jacques hops in the ring for a double team, but Luke comes in to thwart the attempt. Butch shoots Raymond into the ropes, Raymond grabs a sleeper, Butch driving him into the turnbuckle to break it and biting him on the backside. Butch bites the ref now, Jacques comes in after him and Luke follows suit, delivering a double clothesline to Raymond. The Bushwhackers go for the Battering Ram on Jacques, he rolls outside to avoid it and The Rougeaus have a pow-wow with Jimmy on the outside.
Order is restored, Jacques takes the ring as Luke tags in, Jacques with right hands and some words for the crowd. Luke fires back with lefts and rights, biting Jacques on the bridge of the nose. Jacques reverses a whip into the ropes, leapfrogs over, Luke hangs on, Jacques taunting him and Luke charges, missing Jacques with a clothesline, but hitting Raymond on the apron. Butch comes in from behind Jacques, drops him with a clothesline and The Rougeaus convene with Jimmy on the floor again. Jacques taunts Butch on the apron, drawing the referee’s attention, Raymond clobbers Luke from behind and Jacques takes the advantage.
He drives Luke into the corner, goads Butch into the ring again, allowing Raymond to choke Luke with the tag rope. Jacques covers for a count of 2, tags in Raymond and he connects with a savat kick for another 2 count. Raymond unloads right hands to the breadbasket, sends Luke into the corner with a hard irish whip, then dumps him on the outside and distracts the ref. Jacques hops off the apron, sends Luke spine-first into the ring apron, prompting Butch to march after Jimmy on the outside. Luke rolls back inside, Raymond gets a 2 count, Luke with more biting of the leg and Jacques steps in to stop it. Raymond with a shot to Butch on the apron, preventing the tag, more double teaming from The Rougeaus and Raymond gets another count of 2.
Jacques back in, hits a jumping back elbow out of the ropes, then kips up to a chorus of boos. Quick tags from The Rougeaus, driving Luke back-first into the turnbuckles multiple times, again Butch steps in and distracts the ref, allowing The Rougeaus to press Luke and drop him throat-first across the top rope. Raymond snapmares Luke over, grabs a rear chinlock, Luke fights to his feet, biting the nose to break the hold. Jacques gets the tag and drops Butch off the apron again, puts Luke in the wrong part of town and locks in an abdominal stretch. Raymond offers a hand for leverage from the apron, tags in and fires a right hand to the breadbasket before going back to a chinlock.
Tag back to Jacques, Raymond slams Luke and Jacques looks to follow with a splash, but Luke gets the knees up. Butch gets the tag, unloads with lefts and rights, shoots Jacques into the ropes and buries a right hand to the midsection. Raymond steps in and immediately gets dropped, Butch with a knee lift for Jacques, covers, then bails out to go back after Raymond. Butch with a flurry of lefts and rights, all 4 men in the ring now, they pair off in opposite corners and The Bushwhackers whip The Rougeaus into one another. They set for the Battering Ram, Jimmy Hart grabs Luke’s leg, Butch lays Raymond out with a clothesline and Luke gets ahold of Jimmy.
They go for a wishbone split on the Mouth Of The South, The Rougeaus slide in with double dropkicks, Jacques with a schoolboy on Butch and he gets a 2 count. Raymond puts Butch in a Boston crab, Jacques hits the ropes and Luke trips him from the outside. Raymond breaks the hold, checks on Jacques and The Bushwhackers hit them from behind with the Battering Ram, Butch covering Jacques and getting the count of 3.
Winners: The Bushwhackers (Butch/Battering Ram)
- EA’s Take: Lots of sloppy shenanigans as is generally the case with The Bushwhackers, but a fairly entertaining match only because of the characters involved. The crowd was hot for The Bushwhackers, which I remember them being over when I was a kid, but not THAT over. This would mark the finale of their almost year-long feud with The Rougeaus, after defeating them now 4 consecutive times on PPV/TV. Raymond’s time was winding down quickly and would ultimately come to an end a little later in the year.
Backstage: Joining Gene Okerlund is ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase with his bodyguard, Virgil. DiBiase doesn’t look very happy, as there was added security this year when it came to drawing entry numbers in the Royal Rumble. Last year, DiBiase paid somebody off for a better number and that wasn’t going to be allowed this year. MDM shows Okerlund his number, which is #1. DiBiase just says that means he’ll be the first man in the ring and the last to leave.
Match #2: The Genius vs. Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake
Brutus stalks The Genius, backing him into the corner and Genius hops to the outside to get away. Back inside they lock-up, Beefcake backs Genius into the corner and we get a clean break. The Barber mocks The Genius, Genius with a front handspring and they taunt each other. They tie-up again, Brutus backs Genius into the corner and gets his eyes raked. The Genius takes control with heavy right hands, goes back to the eyes and chokes The Barber in the corner. Beefcake powers out and hits The Genius with an inverted atomic drop, Genius taking a time-out on the floor.
He regroups and flips back into the ring, they tie-up once again and Genius goes back to the eyes, delivering right hands and driving Beefcake into the top turnbuckle. He shoots Brutus into the corner, charges in for a dropkick and The Barber avoids it. They lock knuckles in a test of strength, Beefcake with the clear power edge brings The Genius to his knees and drops an elbow on his head. Genius tries to bail out over the top, Brutus stops him and he gets crotched on the top rope, jumping to the outside again to take a walk. He climbs back inside, they lock-up and Genius backs Beefcake into the corner, driving shoulders to the midsection and delivering a flurry of boots. He sends Brutus into the ropes, ducks his head and The Barber with a kick.
Genius fires out of the corner with a kick, shoots Beefcake back into the ropes and scores with a dropkick for a count of 2. Genius with more right hands and a rake of the eyes, gets a schoolboy for a 2 count, then slams Brutus and climbs to the 2nd rope. Beefcake buries a right hand to the breadbasket, catching The Genius coming down, sends him into the ropes for another right hand to the midsection. The Barber slams Genius, whip into the ropes and he locks in the Sleeper Hold. The Genius reverses, grabs a side headlock, Beefcake pushes him off and the referee gets knocked to the floor.
More stiff right hands from Genius, Brutus reverses an irish whip and gets him in the Sleeper Hold again, The Genius fades out. Brutus motions for his scissors, grabbing them at the timekeeper’s table and then cutting Genius’s hair. Mr. Perfect hits the ring and unloads on Beefcake, plants him with a PerfectPlex and the bell rings.
Winner: Double Disqualification
- After The Bell: Perfect grabs a chair, The Genius holds Brutus up and Perfect drives the edge of the chair to the breadbasket, then delivers another shot before a bevy of refs get involved.
- EA’s Take: I had completely forgotten just how flamboyant The Genius was, that character was very light in the feet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The Genius is the younger brother of Randy Savage, but was more known for his promos that were poems than his in-ring work. He wrestled sparingly and would gain his most notoriety after being paired with Mr. Perfect as his ‘executive consultant’ and occasional tag partner. Beefcake and Perfect’s rivalry would lead them into WrestleMania.
Backstage: Sean Mooney is standing by with Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, Haku, ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Andre The Giant as they get ready for the Royal Rumble. Heenan tells Mooney it’s not every man for himself, but every family for themselves. Mooney wonders what happens if Rude & Haku are the last two left, Rude saying he’ll do what he has to do to win. The Brain tries to argue with them that they need to stick together, but they can’t seem to get on the same page.
Match #3 is a Submission Match: Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. ‘Rugged’ Ronnie Garvin
Valentine leaves the ring at the bell, complaining to the ref about Garvin’s shin guard, then having words with Jimmy Hart. Rugged Ronnie jumps him from behind, firing away with right hands and rolling The Hammer back inside. Valentine tries to beg off, but Garvin’s not having any of it, dropping The Hammer with chops. He drives Valentine’s head into the top turnbuckle, The Hammer turns the tables and serves a plate of chops of his own. They exchange shots, Garvin connects with a big right hand and Valentine slides to the outside to grab a breather.
Back in the ring now, Rugged Ronnie with more punches, tries to pick the leg and The Hammer prevents it, drops elbows until Garvin rolls away from one. Valentine drops a headbutt to the breadbasket, scores with left hand jabs, Rugged Ronnie fights his way out of the corner, hits a headbutt and both men drop to the canvas. Garvin recovers first, sets for a piledriver, Valentine flips him out of it, Rugged Ronnie hanging on for a sunset flip, but this is a submission match. Collar & elbow tie-up, The Hammer backs Garvin into the corner, unleashes a flurry of chops, Rugged Ronnie pushes Valentine into the ropes and collide heads. Valentine looks for the Figure Four, Garvin kicks him off into the turnbuckle and gets a schoolboy, but again there are no pinfalls.
The Hammer comes right back with a back elbow that drops Rugged Ronnie, locks in the Figure Four and it has no affect due to Garvin’s shinguard. Valentine immediately goes back to the chops, elevates Garvin in a modified torture rack, releases and attempts the Figure Four again, getting kicked off and going into a choke. Garvin gains his footing, connects with lefts and rights in the corner, takes Valentine down with a drop toehold and goes into an indian deathlock. The Hammer gets to the bottom rope to force the break, rolls out to the floor and regroups with Jimmy Hart. Valentine drags Rugged Ronnie to the outside, they exchange chops, Garvin sets for a piledriver and again The Hammer flips Garvin over.
Back inside, Valentine drives his shoulder into the midsection in the corner, Garvin reverses a whip across, follows in and gets caught up in the tree of woe. The Hammer delivers punishment as the ref untangles Rugged Ronnie, grabs a headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and they collide heads again. Jimmy Hart removes Garvin’s shinguard, Valentine with a backbreaker and goes back to the Figure Four. Rugged Ronnie battles through the pain, rolls over to counter and Valentine flips back over, grabbing the ropes for leverage. The ref forces him to break, The Hammer going right to work on the damaged knee. Valentine goes for the Figure Four again, Rugged Ronnie counters into a small package to avoid it, but immediately gets dropped by a Valentine right hand.
The Hammer heads to the top, Garvin sees it coming, hopping on one leg and slamming Valentine to the mat. Rugged Ronnie removes The Hammer’s shinguard now, Valentine with a schoolboy, but they didn’t get the memo that this is a submission match. The Hammer shoots Garvin into the ropes, Rugged Ronnie ducks a clothesline, lays in a right hand and ties Valentine up in the ropes. He gets The Hammer’s shinguard, Jimmy Hart to the apron to break Valentine loose, Rugged Ronnie grabs him and brings him into the ring the hard way. Garvin stalks Jimmy with the shinguard, The Hammer comes up from behind with Garvin’s shinguard, Rugged Ronnie turns around and decks Valentine with it, locking in a sharpshooter and Valentine submits.
Winner: ‘Rugged’ Ronnie Garvin (Sharpshooter)
- EA’s Take: The big blow-off to this long-running rivalry fell flat, in my opinion. This seemed like more of a boxing match with countless amounts of punches being thrown. The idea of guys going for numerous pin attempts in a submission match is a bit absurd in and of itself also. This would mark the end for Garvin’s WWF run and essentially his career, after setting up a feud with Rick Martel to follow, nothing ever came of it and Rugged Ronnie would only work indies on a semi-retired basis. The Hammer’s days of being a singles star were numbered as well, forming an alliance with another of Jimmy Hart’s clients The Honky Tonk Man.