The Royal Rumble Review carries on with a look at the 1990 Royal Rumble. We are officially in the era when I first started watching WWE as a young tyke and it forever changed my life. This is also about the time where the WWE started taking the Royal Rumble a little more seriously. The previous two winners (“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Big John Studd) were both extremely underwhelming. Who will win this time?




Royal Rumble 1990

Our first two entries are;


#1 – Ted DiBiase


#2 – Koko B. Ware

Ted DiBiase bought got #30 last year and this year he draws #1. It’s called karma, Mr. DiBiase. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Anyway, the good news is Koko B. Ware draws #2 and we all know he doesn’t stand a chance to eliminate anyone. DiBiase doesn’t get any entrance music, but Koko does. This obviously pisses the “Million Dollar Man” off as he starts beating on Koko as soon as he enters the ring. DiBiase is absolutely making a joke out of Koko so far. Koko is finally mounting a comeback and the crowd loves it. A headbutt almost sends DiBiase out, but Koko gets cocky and decides to hit the ropes instead. That’s not a smart move as DiBiase just flips Koko right out of the ring (elimination #1). Just in time for #3…..


#3 – Marty Jannetty

Jannetty runs down to a waiting DiBiase who starts the beatdown as soon as Marty enters the ring. Say what you want about DiBiase, but the guy knows what he’s doing. Jannetty quickly reverses things though and hits a nice little move set. That doesn’t last long though as DiBiase hits him with the big boot in the corner. DiBiase throws Jannetty into the ring and hits him with a weak clothesline. Now DiBiase is hitting the top rope and Jannetty reverses that and the crowd goes insane. Jannetty whips DiBiase into the ropes, but DiBiase grabs the rope and sends Marty rolling. Jannetty then goes for a flying splash, but the “Million Dollar Man” moves and it’s bye-bye Jannetty (elimination #2). DiBiase is now gloating in the ring. That’s OK though because here comes #4……


#4 – Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Jake “The Snake” is here and the crowd is OFF THE CHAIN!!!!! DiBiase and Roberts start brawling on the outside and things have gone off the rails already. Jake throws DiBiase into the steel post and then finally throws him back in the ring. Jake hits him with the short clothesline and it’s DDT time at the Royal Rumble! However, DiBiase reverses it and that’s a no go. DiBiase is now in control as we get another entry…….


#5 – “Macho King” Randy Savage

OOOOOOOHHHHHH YEAAAAAHHHHHH! It’s the “Macho King”! Savage hits the ring and immediately starts beating on Roberts. He’s choking Jake “The Snake” while DiBiase gets some much-needed rest. Savage is now holding Roberts while DiBiase punches his face. Dibiase hits the rope and nails Jake with a flying axe handle. Savage does the same thing. Jake obviously needs some help. Savage & DiBiase are just beating on him. They now have him tied in the ropes as we get another entry and it’s……..


#6 – “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

OREGON’S OWN “ROWDY” RODDY PIPER! PIPER IS JACKED UP! THE CROWD IS JACKED UP! SHIT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN! Piper hits the ring and starts beating on BOTH DiBiase and Savage! That doesn’t last long though as the heels quickly reverse things and whip Piper into the ropes. That was a mistake because DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE! Piper is now helping Roberts escape from the ropes and it’s ON LIKE DONKEY KONG! Piper and Roberts are so energized from beating on DiBiase and Savage that they almost punch each other! Piper is now BITING Savage! What the hell? Roberts and Piper are now trying to eliminate Savage while Sensational Sherri shrieks at ringside. Piper and Savage start trying to eliminate each other just in time for another entry…….


#7 – The Warlord

OK. Hopefully The Warlord can last longer than the three seconds he did last year. Yep. He starts beating on Roberts and then Piper. Piper starts punching Warlord though and the crowd loves it. DiBiase and Savage have Roberts on the brink of elimination. Meanwhile, Piper almost has Warlord out. That was all for nothing though because no one goes out. It’s now time for another entry……


#8 – Bret “The Hitman” Hart

Bret hits the ring and immediately starts beating on all the heels. Savage and Jake Roberts are on the mat and are hugging each other in a weird little exchange. I don’t know exactly what’s going on there. Piper and Bret team-up and give Warlord the old double clothesline. Piper is now going for the elimination on the Warlord, but it doesn’t happen. And we are reaching the part in the Royal Rumble where nothing really happens as the ring fills up and no one can really wrestle anymore. That’s OK though because #9 is about to hit the ring……..


#9 – Bad News Brown

While I would LOVE to see Bad News Brown come down and eliminate everyone. We all know it’s not going to happen. Brown enters the ring and immediately goes after Hart. DiBiase and Roberts are still going at it and once again it’s DDT time! Welp. Never mind. Roberts ends up getting clotheslined out of the ring by Savage (elimination #3) and once again we don’t get a DDT in the Royal Rumble. Bummer. Savage now turns his sights on Hart while DiBiase goes after Piper. Piper has DiBiase on the brink of elimination but Savage saves DiBiase. Bad News Brown gives no fucks and just starts beating on DiBiase. It’s now time for #1o to hit the ring……


#10 – Dusty Rhodes

The crowd explodes for Dusty. Vince hated Dusty Rhodes back in the day, but you can’t deny that the crowd loved him, polka dots and all. Dusty hits the ring and goes right after Savage. These two do not get along. Bad News Brown still gives no fucks though and starts beating on Dusty. Savage tries to help, but Dusty ends up eliminating him and it’s bye-bye “Macho King” (elimination #4). Savage is not happy, but the crowd is. Piper and Rhodes are now trying to eliminate Warlord, but I think the three of them are just really stalling. Another entry is about to hit the ring and it’s…….


#11 – Andre The Giant

Oy vey. If you thought Andre couldn’t move last year. What are we in for this year? Warlord stupidly goes after Andre as soon as he enters the ring and Andre just hip tosses him out (elimination #5). The good news for the Warlord is, he beat his time last year by A LOT. Mr. Fuji is not happy about Andre eliminating the Warlord and he goes after Andre. Bobby Heenan pulls Fuji down and the two exchange words. Andre now has Rhodes and Piper in the corner and is squashing the both of them. Meanwhile Bad News and DiBiase are putting a beatdown on Hart. And #12 is about to come down and we get…..


#12 – Red Rooster

YAAAAAA BABY!!!!! He got screwed last year, but the Rooster is back for revenge son! Rooster and Dusty start going at it as soon as he hits the ring. Bad News almost eliminates Piper. However Piper flips the script on him and sends him back to the locker room (elimination #6). Bad News is obviously pissed off about that and hops back on the apron and drags Piper out of the ring by his hair (elimination #7). This won’t end well. Nope. Piper and Bad News end up brawling all the way back to the dressing room. Something tells me they will likely end up facing each other real soon. Rhodes meanwhile has DiBiase on the edge of elimination, but Virgil saves him. It’s now time for another entry……


#13 – Ax

The Red Rooster ends up getting eliminated before Ax even gets in the ring (elimination #8). BOOOOOOOOOO! As soon as Ax gets in the ring though, he starts beating on Andre. Andre is not doing good and this is an impressive showing by Ax. Andre gets the tables turned though and starts choking Ax. We get a “weasel” chant aimed towards Bobby Heenan. Rhodes and Hart have DiBiase on the edge of elimination. Dusty turns his attention towards Andre though. Andre is now tied up in the ropes in his infamous spot while Ax and Rhodes punch his pretty face. They decide to unhook him, but that was a mistake. It’s time for another entry and it’s……..


#14 – Haku

Andre’s tag team partner in “The Colossal Connection”! Talk about perfect timing. How much you want to bet Smash is coming out soon? Haku immediately starts helping his tag team partner. He then turns his attention to Rhodes while Andre just sits on Ax. Rhodes is now doing his little routine on Haku as the crowd explodes. #15 is about to hit the ring and it’s…..


#15 – Smash

Well duh. Smash hits the ring and starts beating on Andre with his tag team partner. We now have a mini tag team match as it’s Demolition vs. The Colossal Connection. How convenient. DiBiase is still in the ring somehow and is almost eliminated by Hart, but Haku saves him for some reason. Demolition is now attacking DiBiase. I don’t understand why everyone in the ring (including Haku) don’t team together and throw Andre’s ass out. As long as he’s in the ring, no one can do anything. It’s time for #16 though and we get……


#16 – Akeem

AKEEM! Akeem is the Royal Rumble stud for those of you who haven’t been paying attention. He’s been in the Final Four of the first two Royal Rumbles. Can he make it a third straight appearance? Probably not since he attacks Andre right away. Demolition is back to attacking Andre and they almost eliminate him. Scratch that. They DO eliminate him (elimination #9). Haku obviously isn’t happy about this and goes right after Demolition. While all that was happening, Bret Hart was a victim of the phantom elimination (elimination #10). It’s time for another entry though……


#17 – Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka

It’s the “Superfly” making his Royal Rumble debut! Akeem decides to greet him with some punches right away. Rhodes almost eliminates DiBiase, but Virgil once again interferes. Snuka doesn’t care about Akeem’s previous Royal Rumble accolades and sends him flying out of the ring (elimination #11). C’mon man! Demolition now team up on Snuka. Haku comes to his rescue though. Snuka and Haku now start brawling. Rhodes and DiBiase are still going at it. It’s now time for #18……


#18 – Dino Bravo

Dino Bravo comes out and the crowd doesn’t give a shit. This has been a pretty good crowd to, but Bravo gets no reaction. Bravo enters the ring and almost eliminates Haku. Demolition are working on DiBiase and I’m shocked he’s still in. They have him on the brink of elimination, but Bravo comes over for the help. Now we have a whole lot of nothing going on. Just in time for someone else to come to the ring……


#19 – Earthquake

YES! I LOVE EARTHQUAKE! BUSINESS IS ABOUT TO PICK UP! Earthquake goes right after Rhodes and sends Dusty home for the night (elimination #12). Demolition don’t like that though and start double-teaming the Earthquake. He gives no fucks though and just tosses Ax out (elimination #13). Haku locks up with Earthquake but he doesn’t look happy about it. Snuka meanwhile has DiBiase almost out. Virgil is lurking though and we all know that story. Maybe the next guy will be the guy to eliminate DiBiase?………


#20 – Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart

Neidhart hits the ring and goes right after Earthquake. That’s not wise. However, Haku and Smash join him as they all try to eliminate the Earthquake. Now EVERYONE in the ring is trying to eliminate the Earthquake and unfortunately they are successful (elimination #14). Well that blows. Neidhart and Smash pick up DiBiase and could have dropped him out, but they decide to smash his ass against their knee instead. We have another entry coming……


#21 – Ultimate Warrior

OOOOHHHHHH SHIIIIIITTTTT! Warrior runs to the ring of course and goes right after Dino Brave. This isn’t going to end well for Bravo. Bravo reverses him, but Warrior just no-sells him and eliminates Dino in one of the ugliest eliminations I’ve ever seen (elimination #15). Warrior now turns his attention to Snuka. And now he turns his attention to Smash because he doesn’t give no shits. Warrior and Neidhart start beating on DiBiase, who is still in the ring somehow. Warrior gets tired of beating on DiBiase and starts beating on Neidhart instead. Every man for himself guys. It’s time for another entry though…..


#22 – Rick “The Model” Martel

Rick Martel comes down to the ring to the delight of the female fans I’m sure. He gets welcomed by Smash who immediately starts bashing on Martel’s back like Demolition ALWAYS does. Martel turns the tables though and almost gets Smash out with the help of the Warrior. Warrior says “fuck it” and tries eliminating both of them at the same time while Jesse Ventura calls him an “idiot”. Haku almost flips Smash out of the ring, but Smash saves himself. Wellllll, until Haku hits him with a savate kick that ends his night (elimination #16). Neidhart throws Martel out, but he somehow saves himself. The crowd is pissed now. It’s time for #23 however……


#23 – Tito Santana

Rick Martel is in trouble. Here comes his old tag team partner and he’s pissed! Santana goes immediately after Martel. The two former tag team partners exchange blows much to the crowd’s delight. Snuka and Neidhart are double-teaming DiBiase who is probably wishing he could take a nap right about now. They have him on the brink of elimination, but once again Virgil is there to make the save. Santana is now holding Haku while Neidhart tags him. We have another guy heading to the ring though…..


#24 – Honky Tonk Man

This is about the time when people really stopped caring about the Honky Tonk  Man. He went from one of the WWE’s top heels, to a guy who’s gimmick was quickly out of style once the 90’s hit. Honky comes in and gets beaten on by the Warrior, until DiBiase comes to his help and they team up on Warrior. Neidhart tries eliminating Martel with Warrior’s help. DiBiase meanwhile comes over and dumps Neidhart’s ass instead (elimination #17). Well, that didn’t work out for “The Anvil”. DiBiase and Warrior are throwing each other into the ropes. Warrior gets a reverse on DiBiase and whips him into the rope. DiBiase grabs the rope though and holds on. That doesn’t matter because Warrior comes over with a clothesline and it’s BYE “MILLION DOLLAR MAN (elimination #18)!!! The crowd obviously loves that. Warrior is so jacked up now that he picks up Honky by the neck and just throws him. Here comes #25 and it’s…….


#25 – Hulk Hogan

WATTTTTTTTCHHHHHHH OUUUUUUTTTTTTT! Hogan runs down to the ring! The crowd is going absolutely ballistic! Snuka greets him with some punches, but Hulk reverses things and whips Snuka into the ropes. He follows that up with a clothesline and Snuka’s night is over (elimination #19)! Haku makes a stupid decision to after Hogan and that doesn’t work out. Hogan gives him the BIG BOOT right out of the ring (elimination #20). Warrior and Santana are double-teaming “The Model”. Martel somehow escapes elimination, but eliminates Santana in the process because that’s what a good heel does (elimination #21). It’s now Warrior vs. Martel and Hogan vs. Honky. Honky is choking Hogan with his own t-shirt. Not cool bro. We get another guy to come break up this love fest……


#26 – Shawn Michaels 

Michaels runs down to a ring where he obviously doesn’t belong with the current crop of guys. That’s OK though because Hogan goes ahead and throws Honky out of the ring (elimination #22). Warrior says “fuck it” and just throws Shawn Michaels out (elimination #23). Thirty seconds in the Royal Rumble for Shawn Michaels and that didn’t make him lose his smile? Warrior just gives no fucks at all and hurls Martel out of the ring as well (elimination #24). And now we have the MUCH ANTICIPATED SHOWDOWN BETWEEN HULK HOGAN AND THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR! SHIT IS ABOUT TO HIT THE FAN FOLKS!  The crowd isn’t sure how to react to this. They are just screaming, which is probably what I was doing back then as well. Instead of actually fighting, Warrior and Hogan do a bunch of posing. Now they are just running the ropes for some reason and crisscrossing each other. Seriously though. What the hell is going on? Hogan drops. He tries to hit the Warrior as the Warrior comes back around, but Warrior ducks. Warrior then comes off the rope and they hit each other with a DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE that knocks them both out! Oops. Warrior and Hogan are down and just in time for #27…..


#27 – The Barbarian

The Barbarian hits the ring and just starts beating on the defeated Warrior and Hogan. Barbarian definitely has a huge advantage here. Barbarian is just toying with the two of them. For some reason, “Ravishing” Rick Rude comes down to the ring though and starts attacking Warrior. Tony Schiavone points out the Rick Rude is actually the 28th guy so……


#28 – “Ravishing” Rick Rude

Who cares about rules, right? Rude is still putting a beatdown on his enemy Warrior. That’s one feud that I LOVED! Barbarian has Hogan in the corner while Rude is beating on Warrior in the other corner. Rude and Barbarian have Hogan almost eliminated. Warrior finally comes over and helps though. That doesn’t last long as Rude gets his advantage back. Rude calls Barbarian over and they double-team Warrior. Warrior is almost out but HOGAN IS HULKING UP! OH SHIT! Hogan runs over to “help” save the Warrior, but ends up knocking him out of the ring instead (elimination #25). OOPS!  Something tells me Warrior isn’t going to like that. Nope. He runs back in the ring and starts beating on everyone. And then runs back to the locker room. HAHAHAHA! That was extremely comical and falls right in line with the Warrior being stupid. It’s time for #29…..


#29 – Hercules

Hercules is here and no one cares. He comes in to help Hogan, which is kind of nice of him. His appearance definitely evens things up. Herc is taking care of Rude in one corner, while Hogan takes on the Barbarian in the other corner. Hogan picks up Barbarian and throws him on top of the ring post. Barbarian gets the eye poke though and saves himself. Hogan whips Barbarian into the ropes and hits him with a clothesline. It’s time for #30 and of course it’s……


#30 – Mr. Perfect

Perfect hits the ring and starts helping out his buddy Rick Rude right away as they beat on Hogan. Hercules does everyone a favor and throws out the Barbarian (elimination #26). AND WE ARE DOWN TO THE FINAL FOUR!!!!

The Final Four:

Hulk Hogan

Rick Rude


Mr. Perfect

Who wants it??????

Perfect starts tagging on Hercules right away. Now he’s going after Hogan. Perfect and Rude go to whip Hercules into the corner and Perfect hits him with a dropkick that makes him wobbly. Rude follows it up with a clothesline that ends Herc’s Royal Rumble dreams (elimination #27). We now have a two-on-one situation with Rude & Perfect vs. Hogan. I think we all know how this is going to end. The heels start beating on Hogan as it’s obvious “The Hulkster” is in a lot of trouble. This is prime Perfect and Rude folks. These guys were amazing in the early-90’s. A slip-up between Perfect and Rude sends Mr. Perfect to the outside, but he saves himself by staying on the ring apron. Hulk hits Rude with some punches and whips him into the ropes. Meanwhile, Perfect “accidentally” pulls the ropes down while Rude is coming and it’s BYE RICK RUDE (elimination #28). We are down to Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Perfect! Perfect is still on the outside of the ring though on the apron. Hulk smashes his head into a turnbuckle. And for some reason decides to bring him BACK INTO THE RING! ARE YOU DUMB? You had Perfect eliminated and you bring BACK INTO THE RING? C’MON MAN! Hogan hits Perfect with some punches. Perfect reverses course though with an eye rake. Perfect now has the advantage as Hogan is on his knees. PERFECT PLEX TO HOGAN! Hulkster is done! NEVERMIND! He’s hulking up now! Perfect is hitting Hogan with punches, but Hogan doesn’t feel anything because he’s a super hero!  Hogan hits Perfect with a clothesline. He points to the corner to call his shot and proceeds to throw Perfect over to end the Royal Rumble (elimination #29).

The Verdict:

I obviously love this Royal Rumble because it’s right in my wheel house. I lived and breathed WWF wrestling in the early-90’s. Watching this Royal Rumble definitely brings back a lot of nostalgia. However, on a pure enjoyment basis, it’s not a very good Rumble compared to the really good ones. The WWE finally got the winner correct, which set the stage for the Royal Rumble becoming even more important to the ultimate landscape of WrestleMania. As far as a good match though? It’s decent, but nothing great.

Royal Rumble Review Grade: **1/2