The WWE’s Royal Rumble is by far my favorite WWE event of the year. For the record, I’m not a huge WWE fan to begin with. Yes, I was absolutely obsessed with it from about 1989-2001, but people grow up and shows also begin to suck sometimes after awhile (LOOKING AT YOU WWE!).
Even though I don’t watch much current WWE programming, I still consider myself a pro wrestling fan. I can enjoy a good match when someone recommends one for me and I also can get behind a character who is fascinating. However, I can’t watch 8+ hours of WWE programming a week. No adult male has time to do that unless they are getting paid to do so. What I can watch though is the FREAKING ROYAL RUMBLE!
BECAUSE THE ROYAL RUMBLE IS AWESOME!
30 WWE superstars. 1 ring. 1 title shot. Anything can happen. Battle royales are awesome as it is in wrestling, but the Royal Rumble is the king of them all.
Join me as I go back and review each and every single Royal Rumble that has blessed our screens. It’s going to be a fascinating journey for sure (if I can manage to keep it up). Let me know if you like these and it will definitely fuel my fire to keep them coming….
Royal Rumble 1 (1988)
We get things started with our first two entries;
#1 – Bret “The Hitman” Hart
#2 – Tito Santana
Bret is joined by Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart. Even though he’s a heel, he gets a nice reaction from the fans. His reaction isn’t as good as Tito’s though. That must have pissed Bret off as he starts by putting the beat down on “Chico” as Jesse Ventura likes to call him. Santana eventually turns things around though and punches Bret’s face for about a minute straight. That doesn’t last long though as Bret reverses and starts hitting his patented signature moves. We have a new entry though and it’s…..
#3 – “The Natural” Butch Reed
Reed comes in and starts hammering on Santana and we have our VERY FIRST “OH MY GOD HE’S ABOUT TO BE ELIMINATED” Royal Rumble moment as Reed hangs Santana over the rope. Not for long though as Santana gets the comeback going, but is outnumbered as Reed and Hart team up to make him suffer. And now it’s time for another entry though and it’s……
#4 – Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Of course it is. Anyway, he jumps in the ring and it’s now 3-on-1. The odds don’t look good for Tito here man. And I’m absolutely right as he gets destroyed and is almost thrown out, but there’s another entry and this time it’s……
#5 – Jake “The Snake” Roberts
And he comes in and starts RAISING FUCKING HELL! He eliminates “The Natural” Butch Reed (elimination #1) making Reed the first ever Royal Rumble elimination (there’s some trivia for you). Jake’s still on fire though and starts putting a hurting on The Hart Foundation. Tito Santana has recovered and we have ourselves a little mini tag team match. The fans are chanting for the “DDT” and Jake gives them their wi…..NEVERMIND! “The Anvil” clotheslines Roberts stopping the “DDT” from happening and The Hart Foundation is back in control. And now it’s time for another entry and it’s……
#6 – “King” Harley Race
Yes, it’s Harley Race’s old ass. Anyone remember his WWE run? Ya, me neither. Race comes in and helps The Hart Foundation of course. This is 1980’s WWE when the heels worked with the heels and the faces worked with the faces. There was no mixing people! The 3-on-2 beatdown goes on for awhile, but now it’s time for another entry and it’s…..
#7 – “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
Yay? Jim Brunzell of “The Killer Bees” comes in to even things up and immediately tries to eliminate Bret Hart. “The Anvil” does his best to prevent that from happening though. Brunzell then turns his attention to Race and has him on the ropes now. There’s not a whole lot of action going on right now, but that’s OK because it’s time for another entry and it’s……
#8 – Sam Houston
No, not the college. This was an actual wrestler named “Sam Houston”. He’s actually Jake Roberts’ brother and was kind of a disappointment as a wrestler. But that’s a story for a different day. Houston comes in full of energy and starts beating on the Hart’s. We now have seven people in the ring and someone has to go because it’s getting extremely difficult to follow everything going on. And let’s face it, half of these guys are shit anyway. And just as I say that, the Hart Foundation eliminates Tito Santana (elimination #2). He was actually one of the only guys in the ring I liked. Oh well. It’s time for another entry and it’s……
#9 “Dangerous” Danny Davis
The “evil” referee turned wrestler! Let’s not beat around the bush here. Danny Davis sucks. Minus Bret Hart and Jake Roberts, this ring is filled with crap right now and Davis comes in looking like an evil candy cane. Davis and Houston are battling it out because apparently they have some kind of feud going. Jake Roberts has Harley Race against the ropes and he’s struggling. Both to breathe and to stay in the ring. Jake is now beating up Davis to the delight of everyone. No one is eliminated and yet we have ANOTHER entry and it’s…….
#10 – Boris Zhukov
Great. Even more crap. Here comes one half of The Bolsheviks, unfortunately it’s the weaker half. There’s a whole lot of stalling going on because it’s hard to work with 8 guys in the ring at once and it’s even harder to work because most of these guys are stiffs. Jesse Ventura is going off about how amazing it is that Bret Hart is still in the ring. Oh Jesse. If you only knew. And now it’s time for another entry and it’s…….
#11 – Don Muraco & Nikolai Volkoff
Yes. For some reason we get two entries. The announcers aren’t even sure what’s going on, but Muraco hops in the ring while Volkoff gets held back by the refs. Apparently Muraco stole Volkoff’s spot? And at about the same time, Jake Roberts and Jim Brunzell eliminate Volkoff’s fellow Russian Zhukov (elimination #3) to add even more fuel to the fire. TAKE THAT YOU STUPID RUSSIANS! Sam Houston currently has Harley Race on the ropes and for the love of god, let’s hope he goes out. Nope. He manages to stay in. Nikolai Volkoff is STILL arguing with the refs as it’s time for another entry and it’s………
#12 – Nikolai Volkoff
What the hell was all that arguing about if Volkoff is just allowed in at #12? How stupid. What’s not stupid is DON MURACO THROWING HARLEY RACE OUT (elimination #4)! That gets a nice little pop from the fans and myself as well. Harley Race wants back in the ring though and let’s hope they keep him out. They do, but it’s time for yet another entry and it’s……
#13 – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! “Hacksaw” drops his hacksaw on the way to the ring and looks confused as to where to go. I always really wondered about Duggan’s intelligence factor. Was it all a gimmick or was he really that stupid? Duggan comes in and starts CLOBBERING Neidhart while giving out “HOOOOOOOs”. The ring is still extremely cluttered and it’s really hard to keep tabs on all of the “action”. But that’s OK, because someone else is coming and it’s……
#14 – “Outlaw” Ron Bass
Ron Bass is here and he looks pissed. Let’s hope he throws some of this dead weight out. Nope. He immediately starts rolling around with Don Muraco. But that’s OK because Nikolai Volkoff does us all a favor and throws Jim Brunzell out (elimination #5). At the same moment, Bass throws Muraco into the corner and Muraco almost flips out of the ring. And here comes #15 and it’s……
#15 – B. Brian Blair
The other half of the Killer Bees, “Triple B”. Yes, the guy who had the same three initials in his name before Hunter Hearst Helmsley was holding everyone down. He gets a MASSIVE pop from the crowd for some reason. It doesn’t last long though because the Hart Foundation starts putting a beatdown on him. He eventually turns the page though and almost eliminates Neidhart. Jake “The Snake” almost eliminates Danny Davis and I’m not sure why he’s still even in the ring to be honest with you. No one gets eliminated and yet, we have another entry…….
#16 – Hillbilly Jim
HILLBILLY JIM! Better known as the former manager of The Godwins! Hillbilly comes in and gets a huge pop for throwing out Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart (elimination #6)! He then puts Danny Davis on the corner and threatens to punch him, but changes his mind? OK. Ron Bass almost throws “Triple B” out, but he manages to stay in. That’s good because #17 is on his way down and it’s…….
#17 – Dino Bravo
The “Strongest Man in the World” Dino Bravo! Some of this dead weight is definitely hitting the showers soon. Bravo is not a guy that plays around. You know who else doesn’t play around? Ron Bass as he DROPS Sam Houston out of the ring (elimination #7). Adios Houston! Unfortunately there is still A LOT of people in the ring. And yet, here comes another one……
#18 – Ultimate Warrior
BUSINESS HAS OFFICIALLY PICKED UP! It’s the youngest version of the Ultimate Warrior that I can honestly remember and the crowd is jacked. He comes in and starts hammering on Ron Bass. At the same moment, Muraco throws Bret Hart out of the ring (elimination #8) and we have officially lost the #1 guy in the Rumble. Bret Hart is arguing his case at ringside, but I think we have pretty good evidence that he was eliminated. And now, here comes #19 and it’s…….
#19 – One Man Gang
There is a whole lot of beef in the ring man. The One Man Gang takes up 1/3 of the ring by himself and he’s surrounded by at least 10 other guys. This could get ridiculous real fast. And almost as soon as I say that, OMG throws “Triple B” out of the ring (elimination #9) and the Killer Bees have officially been squashed. That’s not all though. OMG turns his attention to Jake “The Snake” and throws his ass out of the ring as well (elimination #10). You talk about your Psalms and your John 3:16’s. Well One Man Gang 3:16 just whooped your ass. We are finally clearing room just in time for another guy to hit the ring and it’s……
#20 – Junkyard Dog
JYD gets the last number of the Royal Rumble. Maybe it’ll be lucky for him? Probably not. Jim Duggan does the world a favor and throws out Nikolai Volkoff (elimination #11). It’s OK Volkoff. In about 7 years, Ted DiBiase will make you a semi-rich man. And now the One Man Gang sends Hillbilly Jim back to Mudlick, Kentucky (elimination #12). He then turns his attention to The Ultimate Warrior who has been a big fat disappointment so far in this match. Duggan then clotheslines Danny Davis out of the ring (elimination #13) and the crowd loves that. Who doesn’t though? OMG and Dino Bravo then toss the Ultimate Warrior over (elimination #14) and NOW people are flying out of here. Unfortunately the Warrior was tossed before he managed to do anything in this match. JYD and OMG are battling in the corner and Ron Bass comes over and casually throws JYD over (elimination #15). That was actually pretty funny. JYD looks confused. Don Muraco then throws Ron Bass over (elimination #16) and we have our VERY FIRST FINAL FOUR IN ROYAL RUMBLE HISTORY……
The Final Four
One Man Gang
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Who wants it?
Bravo and Duggan are fighting it out while Muraco and Gang are stiffing each other. Bravo and OMG then team up and take out Duggan. They turn their attention to Muraco who is doing a pretty good job of fighting them off. He almost dropkicks OMG out of the ring, but Frenchy Martin gets on the apron. That’s fine because Muraco dropkicks his ass off. Bravo didn’t like that though and puts a beating on Muraco. Bravo then holds Muraco as OMG comes over and clotheslines him out of the ring (elimination #17). We now have a two-on-one situation with Bravo and One Man Gang against Duggan. Duggan does a FLYING CHOP to One Man Gang and is fighting both guys off, but that doesn’t last long. Bravo and OMG get the double clothesline on Duggan and this doesn’t look good for “Hacksaw”. Bravo goes to hold Duggan so One Man Gang can clothesline him out of the ring and DUGGAN MOVES! Bravo goes out of the ring (elimination #18) and the TIDES HAVE TURNED! Duggan now has the upper hand over OMG, but not for long. OMG is just too big of a man for Duggan to handle. OMG is now toying with a defeated Duggan and playing with him like a cat plays with a dead mouse. One Man Gang then hits the ropes to clothesline Duggan out and DUGGAN MOVES AGAIN! One Man Gang goes out (elimination #19) and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan officially wins the first ever Royal Rumble.
This Royal Rumble sucks. You really should only watch it for historical purposes. The only exciting part is the end, and even that wasn’t that good.
Royal Rumble Rating: *