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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Royal Rumble 1990

Live from Orlando, FL

Airdate:  January 21, 1990

Attendance:  16,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Who will win the Rumble this year? Could it be a Perfect Rumble? Read on!

As the announcers open the show, Ventura ensures us that this show won’t be any Mickey Mouse operation.

Great outfit, Guvnor.

Match 1: The Fabulous Rougeaus (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Bushwhackers

Highlights:

  • Again?
  • After an infinite amount of stalling, Raymond hooked a sleeper.
  • Butch then used momentum to send Raymond head-first to the top turnbuckle.
  • Upon biting both Raymond and referee Danny Davis, Butch joined with Luke on a double clothesline of Raymond.
  • They then tried the battering ram, but Jacques escaped the ring to regroup.
  • Luke tagged in and bit Jacques’ nose.
  • After a leap frog, Jacques ducked a Luke clothesline, but Raymond didn’t.
  • As Jacques distracted Davis, Rougeau choked Luke in the heel corner.
  • That got 2.
  • Raymond tagged in and gave Luke a savate kick for 2.
  • He then gave Luke a HARD cross-corner whip injuring the back.
  • After Raymond tossed Luke outside the ring, Jacques rammed Luke back-first into the apron.
  • Upon distracting Davis again, Raymond sent Luke into a forearm by Jacques for 2.
  • Jacques tagged in and gave Luke a flying back elbow.
  • When Butch distracted Davis yet again, the Rougeaus guillotined Luke using the top rope.
  • Shortly after, Jacques hooked a Raymond-assisted abdominal stretch.
  • After a slam by Raymond, Jacques attempted a splash but ate knees.
  • Hot tag Butch.
  • With all four men were in the ring, the Bushwhackers rammed the Rougeaus into one another.
  • When they tried the battering ram, Hart grabbed Butch by the ankle.
  • He then got caught in the ring with both Bushwhackers.
  • Before the Bushwhackers could break Hart’s wishbone, the Rougeaus delivered simultaneous dropkicks.
  • Jacques then rolled up Butch and got 2.
  • As Raymond hooked a Boston crab on Butch, Luke tripped Jacques coming off the ropes.
  • The Bushwhackers then gave Jacques a battering ram.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Bushwhackers won.

Rating: *

Summary:  The Orlando faithful LOVED the Bushwhackers. Otherwise, it was a standard comedy tag match. Say farewell to the Rougeaus as this was their last WWF match together due to Raymond’s retirement.

Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews a perturbed DiBiase who drew #1 this year as opposed to last year when he “acquired” #30.

Match 2: Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake versus Genius

Highlights:

  • Before the match began, Genius enlightened us with a poem running down Beefcake.
  • Profoundly, Schiavone noted that Beefcake’s attire was the “style of the 90s.”
  • In his effort to stall, Genius leaped over the top rope, went to the floor, and performed a cartwheel.
  • When Genius attempted a ten-punch count-along, Beefcake countered with an inverted atomic drop. Allegedly afterward, his voice tightened to sound like this.
  • Genius then gave Beefcake a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • As Genius tried to escape over the top rope again, Beefcake caught and crotched him. OUCH!
  • After the Orlando faithful chastised Genius for his femininity, Beefcake rang Genius’ bell.
  • Genius came back with a dropkick and got 2 with a HUGE kick-out by Beefcake.
  • When the Orlando faithful chanted “Beef-cake,” Genius rolled him up for 2.
  • After a slam, Genius mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a shot to the midsection.
  • Beefcake then delivered another shot to the midsection causing a Genius somersault.
  • Upon slamming Genius, Beefcake attempted to hook the sleeper. However, Genius escaped immediately.
  • Beefcake then sent Genius directly into referee Earl Hebner.
  • With Hebner OUT COLD, Beefcake reversed an Irish whip and hooked the sleeper.
  • Genius passed out so Beefcake retrieved his scissors and cut his hair.
  • Suddenly, Perfect hit the ring and nailed Beefcake.
  • As Perfect delivered a Perfectplex, the bell rang.
  • According to ring announcer Howard Finkel, the match was ruled a double-disqualification.

Rating: *

Summary: This was more angle than match as Beefcake will seek revenge against Perfect.

After the match, Perfect grabs a chair and hammers Beefcake in the midsection with it. Officials, including Shane McMahon, shoo Perfect from the ring.

Backstage, Sean Mooney interviews the Heenan Family and mentions that the Colossal Connection (Haku and Andre) are the WWF tag team champions (aired 12/30/89, taped 12/13). He then stirs up dissension among them.

A promo for WrestleMania VI aired. It will emanate from the Skydome in Toronto, Ontario on April 1.

Match 3 (submission): “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin versus Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Highlights:

  • Each wrestler wore a shin guard on his left leg.
  • When Valentine exited the ring in protest to Garvin’s shin guard, Garvin joined him in the aisle and tossed him back into the ring.
  • A pair of chops by Garvin sent Valentine down to the mat. Garvin then made the cover, but pinfalls didn’t count.
  • Regardless, he gave Valentine the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • Valentine came back but ate the Hands of Stone causing a Valentine flop.
  • After an elbow drop, Valentine missed the second one.
  • Upon head-butting Garvin in the midsection, Valentine attempted his own pin, but referee Joey Marella notified him of the submission-only rule.
  • Garvin came back and delivered a head butt that put both wrestlers down on the mat.
  • He then attempted a piledriver, but Valentine countered with a back drop.
  • In turn, Garvin attempted a sunset flip but ate a chop to the head instead.
  • Afterward, a double shoulder block put both wrestlers down on the mat again.
  • Valentine then adjusted his shin guard (the “heartbreaker” according to Schiavone) and attempted the figure-four leg lock. Garvin escaped by sending Valentine head-first into the top turnbuckle.
  • Once again, Garvin attempted a rollup. I realize email wasn’t widely available back then, but SERIOUSLY?
  • After a pair of fist drops, Valentine hooked the figure-four leg lock, but Garvin’s shin guard (the “hammer jammer”) blocked the effects of the hold. In response, Garvin taunted Valentine.
  • Insanely, Garvin then hooked an inside cradle. Oh, brother.
  • Valentine then hooked an overhead backbreaker, but Garvin wouldn’t submit.
  • As Valentine made a third attempt at a figure-four leg lock, Garvin kicked him away.
  • Upon giving Valentine a drop toehold, Garvin used a leg bar, but Valentine wouldn’t submit.
  • After Valentine sought refuge outside the ring, he brought Garvin out with him.
  • Garvin then attempted a piledriver on the floor, but Valentine backdropped him again.
  • As Garvin reversed a cross-corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through tying himself to the Tree of Woe. Somewhere in Richmond, VA, Kevin Sullivan was drooling.
  • Another double shoulder block put both wrestlers down on the mat again.
  • Hart then removed the “hammer jammer” from Garvin’s leg and alerted Valentine to his nefariousness.
  • After a backbreaker, Valentine reapplied the figure-four leg lock, and Garvin anguished in pain.
  • Shortly after, Garvin reversed the hold, but Valentine made the ropes.
  • Upon attempting a fifth figure-four, Garvin hooked another inside cradle to no avail. Uh huh.
  • Valentine then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Garvin caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • Upon removing the “heartbreaker,” Valentine rolled Garvin up. Could someone PLEASE inform them that this is a SUBMISSION match?
  • After Valentine missed a clothesline, Garvin nailed him which led to Valentine being tied up in the ropes.
  • He then grabbed the “heartbreaker” and tossed Hart into the ring.
  • When Valentine tried to attack him from behind with the “hammer jammer,” Garvin nailed him with the “heartbreaker.”
  • He then applied the Sharpshooter.
  • Valentine submitted.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Despite the continuous nonsensical pin attempts, this somewhat resembled Flair-Garvin from Starrcade ’87, and the NWA fans among the Orlando faithful enjoyed it.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Mr. Perfect who cuts a promo on Beefcake and drew #30 for the Rumble. How fortuitous!

Brother Love: Queen Sherri is the special guest, and she and Love discuss the definition of peasant. Love then introduces Sapphire who Ventura sarcastically refers to as “tons of fun.” After Love and Queen Sherri run her and Rhodes down, Sapphire slaps the taste out of her mouth. Savage then runs into the ring to confront Sapphire, but Rhodes also arrives to save her bacon.

Before Rhodes enters the ring, Savage ambushes him, mounts the top turnbuckle, and gives him a double axe handle. Sapphire then jumps on Savage’s back, but Brother Love pulls her off. After Rhodes enters the ring, he catches and slams Brother Love. He then holds Brother Love so that Sapphire can slap him. Afterward, he dumps Brother Love between the ropes to the floor. The Orlando faithful ERUPTS as Rhodes and Sapphire dance to their approval.

Backstage, Mooney interviews Duggan.

Match 4: The Big Bossman (w/ Slick) versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Highlights:

  • Why do I get the feeling that I’ve seen this before?
  • Duggan reversed an Irish whip and clotheslined Bossman.
  • Next, he shoulder-blocked him between the ropes to the floor.
  • After Bossman dragged Duggan out with him, he made Duggan HIT THE POLE!
  • On the other hand, when Bossman charged at Duggan, he HIT THE ADJACENT POLE!
  • Back in the ring, Bossman reversed a cross-corner whip and gave Duggan an avalanche.
  • As Duggan caught Bossman by the leg, Bossman delivered an enziguri. Wow!
  • Upon giving Duggan a running guillotine, Bossman countered a back drop attempt with a double axe handle for 2.
  • While Bossman distracted referee Danny Davis, Slick choked Duggan with his tie.
  • After a brief Duggan comeback, Bossman put a knee into his midsection.
  • He then gave Duggan a knee drop for 2.
  • When he applied a bear hug, Duggan rang his bell twice, but Bossman didn’t release the hold.
  • A head butt by Duggan then sent both wrestlers to the mat, but Duggan put his foot on the bottom rope denying a pin.
  • Following that, Duggan clotheslined Bossman over the top rope to the floor.
  • Upon Bossman’s return, Duggan gave him the ten-punch count-along.
  • He then gave Bossman a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • After a clothesline, Bossman mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
  • As Slick got up on the apron to grab Duggan, Bossman nailed him accidentally.
  • Slick then gave Bossman the nightstick behind Davis’ back. SNEAKY!
  • While Slick tried to distract Davis, Bossman nailed Duggan.
  • Unfortunately for Bossman, Davis noticed the infraction and called for the bell.
  • Duggan won by DQ.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  Despite the cop-out finish, Bossman’s agility and stamina were showcased well here.

After the match, Duggan grabs his 2×4, re-enters the ring, and WALLOPS Bossman sending him over the top rope to the floor. He then hammers Slick sending him between the ropes to the floor. Bossman tries to nail Duggan by throwing in a pair of chairs but misses. To a raucous Orlando faithful, Duggan waves the American flag.

Promo #2 for WrestleMania VI aired.

In a pre-recorded set of interviews, Dino Bravo wants to face the Warrior while Earthquake wants to wreak havoc. Next, Demolition recalls their opening “match” at last year’s Rumble. Afterward, Brown’s ready to make the Orlando faithful cry. Rhodes is ready for Savage while the Rockers want to make their mark. As a warning, Hercules is ready to unleash his power on everyone. In a cocky way, Martel will protect his face and show off his stamina. To declare his lack of allegiance to anyone involved, Santana states that “friendship is over.” After Snuka woofs his promo, Slick shills Akeem’s tremendous size as an asset for the Rumble. Meanwhile, Ultimate Warrior spews his gibberish and calls out Hogan.

Savage then cuts a promo on Rhodes and claims to be the favorite to win the Rumble. As Mr. Fuji shills the Powers of Pain, Roberts uses wisdom as his key to victory. Laughing maniacally, the Hart Foundation is “ready to go the distance.” While tuning his guitar, Honkytonk Man will name his tune. Lastly, Hogan will use his “power of the pythons” to win.

Match 5 (Royal Rumble):

Participants:

Akeem, Andre the Giant, Barbarian, Dino Bravo, Demolition Ax, Bad News Brown,  “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Earthquake, Haku, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Hercules, WWF champion Hulk Hogan, Honkytonk Man, Marty Jannetty, “The Model” Rick Martel, Shawn Michaels, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Mr. Perfect, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Red Rooster, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Tito Santana, “Macho King” Randy Savage, Demolition Smash, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Koko B. Ware, Intercontinental champion Ultimate Warrior, Warlord

Highlights:

  • As we found out earlier, DiBiase drew #1.
  • At #2, Ware came out to new music.
  • After DiBiase delivered a back elbow, he gave Ware a cross-corner whip.
  • Ware came back and delivered a dropkick.
  • As DiBiase leaned against the ropes, Ware charged but received a back drop over the top rope to the floor.
  • Jannetty was #3 and gave DiBiase a pair of dropkicks.
  • Next, he gave DiBiase a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • DiBiase then delivered a clothesline that resulted in a 360° sell. Woohoo!
  • Upon mounting the second turnbuckle, DiBiase leaped but ate a shot to the midsection.
  • After a flying back elbow, Jannetty tried a cross body block, but DiBiase ducked. That sent Jannetty over the top rope to the floor.
  • Again, DiBiase stood alone in the ring.
  • Roberts was #4 and ready for revenge against DiBiase.
  • Before Roberts could enter, DiBiase joined him on the floor and slammed him.
  • DiBiase then attempted to hook the Million Dollar Dream, but Roberts made him HIT THE POLE!
  • In the ring, Roberts gave DiBiase a cross-corner whip followed by a back drop.
  • He then delivered a short-arm clothesline as the Orlando faithful was on the edge of its collective seat.
  • As Roberts attempted the DDT, DiBiase countered with a back drop.
  • After giving Roberts a pair of shoulder blocks in the corner, DiBiase ate a knee lift on his third try.
  • Savage was #5 but ate a clothesline from Roberts.
  • When Roberts attempted a knee lift, DiBiase sent him flying into the corner.
  • Savage then mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a knee drop.
  • During the Savage-DiBiase double-team, DiBiase mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Roberts an elbow smash.
  • Savage then remounted the top turnbuckle and gave Roberts a double axe handle.
  • After Savage and Roberts tied up Roberts in the ropes, Piper entered at #6.
  • Upon ducking a double clothesline, Piper delivered his own to Savage and DiBiase.
  • The Orlando faithful came UNGLUED!
  • After Roberts gave DiBiase an inverted atomic drop, Warlord was #7.
  • Yet again, Savage mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Roberts another double axe handle.
  • While Bret was #8, Savage grabbed him but got nailed by DiBiase by mistake.
  • After Warlord whipped Bret into the corner, he ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Piper and Hart then gave Warlord a double clothesline.
  • As Brown entered at #9, DiBiase mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but Piper caught him in the midsection.
  • After Roberts gave DiBiase a short-arm clothesline, he attempted the DDT, but Savage dumped him over the top rope.
  • Rhodes was #10 and gave Savage a bionic elbow.
  • Upon giving Savage a back elbow, Rhodes delivered a back drop sending Savage WAY over the top rope to the floor.
  • As André entered at #11, Rhodes gave DiBiase the ten-punch count-along and almost got eliminated.
  • After André eliminated Warlord, Mr. Fuji got up on the apron, but Heenan pulled him down.
  • Meanwhile, André gave Piper and Rhodes a double noggin knocker.
  • Rooster was #12 as Piper eliminated Brown.
  • Speaking of Brown, he returned to the apron and pulled out Piper. How dastardly!
  • Outside the ring, as Brown and Piper brawled, Piper made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Johnnie Mac’n’cheese sandwich at Gnarly Barley.
  • They then brawled in the aisle as the Orlando faithful chanted “Rod-dy.”
  • Back in the ring, Virgil kept DiBiase from being eliminated.
  • As Ax was #13, André eliminated Rooster. Eh…I don’t think anyone gave a cluck.
  • Ahem…
  • With André tied up in the ropes, Ax and Rhodes double-teamed him.
  • Next, Haku was #14 and gave Rhodes a head butt.
  • André then SQUISHED Ax.
  • After giving Bret an atomic drop, DiBiase remounted the second turnbuckle and gave him a double axe handle.
  • Rhodes came back and gave Haku the Flip, Flop, and Fly.
  • Upon giving Ax a thrust kick, Haku received a head butt that hurt Bret more than Haku.
  • Smash was #15, and Demolition double-teamed André.
  • They then gave Haku a double back elbow.
  • Afterward, Akeem entered at #16 as Demolition gave Andre a double clothesline.
  • As Rhodes eliminated Bret, Demolition used momentum to eliminate André.
  • DiBiase then gave Smash a clothesline followed by an inverted atomic drop.
  • When Snuka entered at #17, he eliminated Akeem. Impressive!
  • After Smash nailed DiBiase in the midsection, DiBiase followed with an elbow to him.
  • Once again, DiBiase mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Rhodes a double axe handle.
  • Bravo was #18, but Snuka gave him and Haku a double noggin knocker.
  • After Demolition gave DiBiase a double back elbow, Earthquake was #19.
  • Earthquake then eliminated both Rhodes and Ax.
  • As Haku mounted the second turnbuckle, he delivered a head butt to Earthquake.
  • Neidhart was #20 as it took five wrestlers to eliminate Earthquake. Good strategy!
  • Following that, Smash and Neidhart gave DiBiase a double atomic drop. OUCH!
  • Warrior was #21, but Bravo gave him an inverted atomic drop.
  • After Bravo missed a chop, Warrior eliminated him.
  • Martel entered at #22 as Haku eliminated Smash via a thrust kick.
  • As Santana came in at #23, he gave Martel the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • After Warrior nailed Haku in the midsection, Martel mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a shot to the midsection from Santana.
  • Honkytonk Man was #24 as Warrior eliminated Neidhart.
  • While Warrior reversed an Irish whip, he clotheslined DiBiase finally eliminating him.
  • To a HUGE ovation, Hogan entered at #25.
  • He then reversed an Irish whip and clotheslined Snuka out.
  • Afterward, he gave Haku a cross-corner whip followed by a back elbow.
  • Hogan’s big boot then eliminated Haku.
  • He then gave Honkytonk Man a back elbow while ripping off his t-shirt.
  • After Warrior eliminated Santana, Michaels entered at #26.
  • Suddenly, Hogan eliminated Honkytonk Man.
  • Ending a quick night, Michaels was eliminated by Warrior.
  • Warrior then eliminated Martel.
  • Only Hogan and Warrior stood in the ring.
  • In anticipation, the reaction from the Orlando faithful became MOLTEN!
  • After a criss-cross, a double clothesline put both wrestlers down on the mat.
  • Barbarian entered at #27 and gave elbow drops to both Hogan and Warrior.
  • Afterward, he gave Hogan a Mafia kick.
  • Rude snuck in at #28 and gave Warrior a dropkick. Wow!
  • As Rude and Barbarian tried to eliminate Warrior, Hogan nailed them causing Warrior’s elimination.
  • Illegally, Warrior re-entered and clotheslined Rude and Barbarian.
  • Hercules was #29 and whipped Barbarian and Rude into consecutive Hogan big boots.
  • After a slam, Hogan gave Barbarian a pair of elbow drops followed by a clothesline.
  • Perfect entered at #30 as Hercules ducked a Mafia kick from Barbarian.
  • He then eliminated Barbarian.
  • Final four: Hogan, Rude, Hercules, Perfect
  • After Perfect gave Hercules a dropkick, Rude eliminated him with a clothesline.
  • As the Orlando faithful chanted “Ho-gan,” Rude accidentally nailed Perfect sending him to the apron.
  • After an Irish whip by Hogan, Perfect mistakenly pulled down the top rope low-bridging Rude.
  • We’re down to Perfect and Hogan.
  • Speaking of Hogan, he brought Perfect in the hard way.
  • After a clothesline, Perfect hooked the Perfectplex, but it’s Hulk-up time!
  • Hogan then catapulted Perfect into the ring post.
  • Following that, he tossed Perfect toward the opposite ring post eliminating him.
  • Hogan won.

 

Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Tremendously exciting match with a fantastic effort from DiBiase. I’m torn on Hogan’s win because he didn’t need it. During Thanksgiving weekend, Perfect was built up to be the next big heel. Conversely, two months later, Perfect drew #30 and had the honor of being last man out. In my eyes, he should have won. Lastly, the Hogan-Warrior showdown is something to be seen to be believed.

After the match, Hogan grabs a fan’s sign that reads “Hulkamania will live forever” and poses for the Orlando faithful.

Conclusion:  Say it with me—ONE MATCH SHOW. With all the champions in the Rumble, the undercard didn’t contain any sizzle. Also, while the victory in the Rumble may have been Hogan’s whispers in McMahon’s ear, I believe the lack of a good undercard may have been as well. Regardless, if you’ve never seen the Rumble match, gather your friends and catch it. Hulkamaniacs will love it, and others won’t sour upon it.

Stay tuned for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXV!

Buyrate: 2.00

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