WWF 1990 Royal Rumble

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January 21, 1990

From the Orlando Arena in Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

 

Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/ Jimmy Hart vs. The Bushwhackers

Jacques now has a beard. Jesse reminds us that he calls The Bushwhackers the “Marching Morons.” The fans are into the Bushwhackers as the Rougeaus wait for them to settle down before starting things off. Raymond beats on Butch but Luke runs in to break up a double-team. Butch runs Raymond into the corner to break up a sleeper then bites Raymond and the referee in the ass. The Bushwhackers clear the ring and march around as the fans cheer. We get some comedy before the Bushwhackers once again clear the ring. Jacques then calls Butch a “chicken” and turns his back but that allows Raymond to attack from behind. Raymond chokes out Luke behind the ref’s back then lets go as Jacques covers for a two count. The Rougeaus cut off the ring and use quick tags to stay in control. Luke tries to bite again then tries to make a tag but the Rougeaus run interference to regain control. Jacques kips-up after an elbow smash while the crowd boos then they work over Luke in the corner. They drop Luke throat-first on the top rope then Raymond works a chinlock. Luke bites to escape but the Rougeaus cut off a tag attempt. Luke crawls his way to his partner while in a reverse chinlock but Jacques pulls him back. Jacques then tries a splash but Luke gets his knees up then makes the tag as Butch runs wild. The match completely breaks down now but the Bushwhackers use a double noggin-knocker and set up for the battering ram but Jimmy grabs Luke’s leg. The Bushwhackers catch Hart as the crowd goes mental but the Rougeaus make the save with a double dropkick then almost pin Butch. Luke trips up Jacques as the Rougeaus were about to hit their finisher then Jacques checks on his brother but that allows the Bushwhackers to hit the battering ram and cover Jacques for the win (13:35) **.

Thoughts: This match was fine. Actually, what we saw was probably the best possible scenario. They played it smart with The Rougeaus spending most of it on offense while letting The Bushwhackers get over by using their wacky antics. Also, this was the final match for The Rougeaus. Raymond was pissed over the team getting passed over for the Tag Team Titles (According to Jacques, they were supposed to get the Tag Team Titles instead of The Brainbusters) and decided to retire while Jacques took time off then came back the following year as The Mountie.

 

Gene Okerlund is with Ted DiBiase & Virgil. He lets us know the drawing just took place and brings up how DiBiase possibly bought off number #30 as DiBiase said he drew it himself. DiBiase likens WWF President Jack Tunney’s policy to the “Gestapo” then Okerlund asks DiBiase for his number and reveals that he has #1. DiBiase says it doesnt matter as he can show all of the 9-5 “nickel and dimers” that he can go through everyone and win the match. Another thing to notice here is that DiBiase is wearing the Million Dollar Belt, which was stolen by Jake Roberts on the episode of “Superstars of Wrestling” just prior to this show.

 

The Genius vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

The Genius takes his time before locking up with Beefcake as he stretches then does cartwheels outside of the ring. Beefcake breaks cleanly in the corner then taunts The Genius and makes fun of his movements but The Genius ends up raking the eyes in the corner. The Genius hammers away and tries mounted punches but Beefcake catches him with an inverted atomic drop as The Genius heads outside for a breather. The crowd rallies behind Beefcake but The Genius once again uses illegal tactics to take control. Beefcake avoids a charge then takes The Genius to his knees during a test-of-strength and stomps his hands. Beefcake crotches The Genius on the top rope as he tried to escape then The Genius finally is able to leave as a “faggot” chant breaks out. Back inside, Genius backs Beefcake into the corner and hammers away. Beefcake boots Genius in the face then rings his bell but walks into a kick in the corner. The Genius gets two with a dropkick then stomps away. He rakes the eyes and gets a nearfall with a rollup then follows with a slam. He then takes his time heading up top and ends up getting punched in midair as Beefcake takes control. Beefcake calls for the sleeper and catches The Genius in the hold but The Genius escapes. Beefcake shoves Genius against the ropes but he ended up colliding with the referee as he spills out to the floor. Beefcake then catches The Genius in another sleeper and puts him out. He then starts strutting around then grabs his scissors as Jesse goes on about how he hasn’t won the match. Beefcake starts cutting the hair but Mr. Perfect runs out for the save. Perfect starts hammering away then hits a Perfect Plex as the bell rings. Perfect tries to wake up The Genius then grabs a chair and uses that to hit Beefcake in the ribs. A few other officials run out to stop Perfect as the crowd boos while Beefcake rolls around in agony on the mat. The ref then lets us know the match has been ruled a double disqualification (11:03) *.

Thoughts: Not much of a match at all. Plus, the run-in was telegraphed and Beefcake was facing the ramp as it happened so Perfect had to run around the ring then attack Beefcake as a result. However, they did set up for a Mr. Perfect vs. Brutus Beefcake feud as this signals Perfect’s feud against Hogan would be short-lived. I liked the feud but at the same time it was doing poorly at the box office so I can see why it didnt last all that long.

 

Sean Mooney is with the Heenan Family. Heenan says everything will go fine for his family and the match is all about family. Mooney then brings up scenarios in which they are the only ones left in the match as they all start bickering over who will win.

 

WrestleMania VI will take place on April 1st at the Sky Dome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is the first announcement of WrestleMania VI.

 

Submission Match: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin

Valentine tries to head up the aisle but Garvin stops him and chops away. Garvin rolls Valentine back inside and chops him down then tries a pin but the ref reminds him of the stipulations. Valentine lures Garvin into the corner and starts laying into him with chops. Garvin fights back and knocks Valentine down as these two are laying into each other. Valentine heads outside for a breather then returns and starts beating on Garvin then it turns into a slugfest as they knock each other down after Garvin delivers a headbutt. Valentine counters a backdrop attempt then Garvin tries a sunset flip as Valentine blocks that. Valentine chops Garvin in the corner then both men collide and end up on the mat. Garvin blocks a figure four attempt then tries to cover him with a cradle but once again has to be reminded of the match stipulations. Valentine knocks Garvin down then hooks on the figure four but the Hammer Jammer helps Garvin, who taunts Valentine. Garvin tries a small package then Valentine puts him in a backbreaker submission and drops him down. He drops an elbow and tries another figure four but that fails so he starts choking him out. Garvin gets up and hits some vicious chops before firing away in the corner. Garvin now uses an Indian Death Lock but Valentine eventually makes it to the ropes. Valentine rolls outside then pulls Garvin out and they start chopping each other hard. Valentine blocks a piledriver on the floor with a backdrop then rolls inside. Back inside, Garvin tries to fight back but misses a charge in the corner and ends up in the tree-of-woe. The ref unhooks Garvin then both men collide and are on the mat. Hart then takes off Garvin’s shinguard and parades around with that in his hand as Valentine hits a backbreaker then locks on the figure four. Garvin is in pain now as the crowd is behind him. Garvin tries to reverse the hold and does but Valentine is able to reach the ropes. Garvin falls down as Valentine stomps the leg. Garvin tries another small package then Valentine knocks him back down and heads up top. Garvin hops over to the corner and slams Valentine off then yanks off Valentine’s shinguard but Valentine rolls him up and grabs the tights. Valentine ends up tied in the ropes as Hart tries to untie him. Garvin yanks Hart inside and tries to hit him with the shinguard. Valentine grabs the other shinguard and sneaks up but Garvin turns around and waffles Valentine then puts on the Hammer Jammer as Valentine eventually gives up (16:52) ***1/4.

Thoughts: A brutal, hard-hitting match. My one complaint was Garvin going for several pinfall attempts during this match. It made him look like an idiot. I get it happening once or even twice to put over the stipulation but it was too much here and took away from the drama. With that aside, the storytelling was tight too as Garvin was able to overcome Valentine & Hart and get the win to put their long feud to rest. It made sense for Garvin to win too since Valentine was going to be teaming with Honky but this turned out being the last meaningful feud of their careers.

 

Okerlund is backstage with Mr. Perfect, who is sick and tired of Beefcake taking advantage of people while they are asleep. Okerlund then calls out Perfect for beating Beefcake with a chair as Perfect says he has victory on his mind Okerlund is reacting to the replay of the attack. Okerlund tries to get Perfect to reveal his number as Perfect said he picked the Perfect number, which is #30. So now we know who drew #1 and #30.

 

Brother Love Show with guests Queen Sherri and Sapphire. Sherri comes out first as her and Brother Love trade compliments. Brother Love then brings up the word “peasant” and how its a woman with no class as they laugh about that and say there was a picture of Sapphire next to the word in the dictionary. Jesse refers to Sapphire as “tons of fun” and ask Schiavone who he would chose for a date as Jesse replies “you have to think about that.” Brother Love & Sherri make fun of Sapphire’s appearance and clothes as Sherri asks where she gets her clothes so she doesnt end up looking like her. Brother Love refuses to let Sapphire speak as she continues to get bullied with Sherri doing a superb job at heeling on everyone. Sherri makes fun of Sapphire for being the same size as Dusty and that he needs a forklift to put her in the back then Sapphire says she has had enough and slaps Sheri down. Brother Love backs up Sapphire then Randy Savage runs out but so does Dusty and they fight. Sapphire jumps on Savage’s back to save Dusty then Savage & Sherri are ordered to the back. Brother Love makes fun of Dusty & Sapphire for losing the battle then tries to run away but that fails as Dusty hits a slam then holds him so Sapphire can slap him across the face. Dusty then tosses Brother Love outside as Dusty & Sapphire dance in the ring. Really good segment. Brother Love & Sherri came off as complete jerks and Sapphire finally had enough and stood up for herself. This now sets up for a Dusty/Savage feud, which was obvious the minute this segment was announced.

 

Mooney is backstage with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who promises to stand up for himself and he is not some ordinary punk at the convenience store.

 

Big Bossman w/ Slick vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

These two slug it out to start. Duggan reverses an Irish whip and hits a clothesline then knocks Bossman out of the ring. Bossman pulls Duggan outside and they brawl again until Duggan is pushed into the post. Bossman misses a shoulder tackle and collides with the post himself before the action heads back into the ring. Duggan takes control until Bossman comes back with a corner splash. Duggan catches Bossman’s leg but gets hit with an enziguiri as Bossman is back on the attack. He rakes the back then hammers away but Duggan starts to pump up then fights back. Duggan drops his head then Bossman hits a double ax handle and is now back in control. Bossman targets the back and neck then cuts off another comeback attempt with a knee smash. Duggan tries to break out of a bearhug with headbutts but Bossman falls on top. They both choke each other out in the corner then Duggan gets out and clotheslines Bossman over the top rope. Back inside, Duggan hammers away in the corner but misses a charge and gets clotheslined. Bossman heads up top now but misses a splash as both men are down. They collide in a goofy spot then Slick is up on the apron to distract Duggan but gets knocked off by Bossman. Slick slips Bossman the nightstick and he uses it to whack Duggan but the ref saw the nightstick and calls for the DQ (10:23) **1/4. After the match, Slick argues with the referee then Duggan grabs his 2×4 and whacks Bossman in the back. Duggan then sits in a chair that was thrown into the ring as Bossman is irate.

Thoughts: This match started out good but Duggan appeared to be gassed towards the end. Slick cost his client the match and Bossman did not appear too happy about losing. Its a situation to monitor over the next few weeks.

 

Another reminder that WrestleMania takes place on April 1st.

 

We now hear comments from some of the Royal Rumble participants. They were from those that had very little chance of winning the match.

 

30 Man Royal Rumble Match

We all know that Ted DiBiase is #1 then Koko B. Ware is announced as #2. Koko gets attacked as soon as he enters the ring. DiBiase hammers away but Koko no-sells a few turnbuckle smashes and makes his comeback. He fires away then charges at DiBiase but is backdropped to the floor and eliminated. #3 is Marty Jannetty as DiBiase hammers away. Jannetty ducks underneath and hits a pair of dropkicks but then eats boot on a charge. DiBiase turns Jannetty inside-out with a clothesline but gets caught with a punch coming off the top rope. Jannetty fires away then tries a crossbody but DiBiase ducks as Jannetty goes over the top rope and is eliminated. Jake Roberts is #4 and gets a great reaction as he points at DiBiase, who is going nuts. DiBiase knees Roberts out of the ring through the bottom rope and goes out to put on the Million Dollar Dream but is run into the post. Back inside, Jake hits a backdrop then follows with a short-arm clothesline before signaling for the DDT but DiBiase counters that with a backdrop of his own. #5 is Macho King Randy Savage as Jake tries to fight off both men but misses a knee lift on DiBiase. Savage beats on Jake as Queen Sherri is screaming on the outside. Jake gets double-teamed until #6 Roddy Piper comes out and beats on Savage and DiBiase as Jake is tied up in the ropes. Piper unties Jake as Jesse asks why he did that since its every man for himself as those two take control. We have some near eliminations then #7 is the Warlord as he comes in and beats Jake down before going after Piper, who fights back. DiBiase & Savage try to eliminate Jake but fail then #8 comes out and is Bret Hart, who goes after DiBiase. Savage holds up Bret, who ducks, and gets hit by DiBiase. The action slows down a little bit then #9 comes out and is Bad News Brown. Jake tries to DDT DiBiase but gets driven into the ropes then Savage eliminates Jake with a clothesline. Piper almost eliminates DiBiase but Savage makes the save as Jesse applauds Savage as Schiavone brings up what he said earlier about it being every man for himself. #10 is Dusty Rhodes and the crowd goes nuts. Dusty goes right after Savage until he gets raked across the eyes. Bad News tries to go after Dusty then Savage charges but Dusty eliminates him with a backdrop. Savage is irate on the outside as the officials force him back to the locker room.

 

#11 is Andre the Giant and mixes it up with the Warlord and ends up tossing him out with one arm. Fuji and Heenan then go at it briefly then we see Andre beat on Dusty and Piper in the corner. #12 is the Red Rooster, who was not advertised for the match but taking the place of The Widowmaker, who they finally stopped advertising as appearing two weeks before the show. Rooster tries to dump Dusty then Piper eliminates Bad News with a backdrop. However, Bad News then yanks Piper over the top rope as they brawl on the outside and up the aisle. The crowd is chanting for Piper here then we head back to the ring where Andre is beating on the Rooster. #13 is Ax of Demolition as Rooster gets eliminated by Andre. Ax then goes right after Andre and beats him down as Dusty & Bret work over DiBiase. Andre is then tied up in the ropes as Dusty & Ax beat him down while Bret almost has DiBiase out of the ring. Andre nails both men then Haku comes out at #14. Haku makes the save for his partner and goes right after Ax. #15 is Smash of Demolition as he helps his partner beat on Andre. Jesse puts over DiBiase for still being in the match despite drawing #1. Not much going on now then Akeem enters at #16 and just blends in with the rest of the action. Demolition then manage to eliminate Andre and get a good pop from the crowd. They know try to dump Haku but Andre makes the save for his partner. Bret is then eliminated off camera by Dusty before Jimmy Snuka comes out at #17. Snuka and Akeem go at it then Snuka eliminates him with a flying chop from behind after Akeem was celebrating. #18 is Dino Bravo and he goes after Ax then Haku. Snuka stops him from trying to eliminate Haku then goes after Haku himself as Demolition are beating on DiBiase. #19 is the Canadian Earthquake and he jumps up and down before going after Dusty and eliminates him. Earthquake then dumps Ax before backing Haku into the corner. #20 is Jim Neidhart and he goes after Earthquake. Smash, Haku, Snuka, and DiBiase help Neidhart out and dump Earthquake before Bravo could make the save.

 

The action slows down a bit but instantly pick up when #21 the Ultimate Warrior comes out as the place explodes. He goes right after Bravo and eliminates him with a backdrop in a completely mistimed spot. Warrior then beats on Snuka until Haku makes the save then Warrior goes after Smash and they battle in the corner. Warrior & Neidhart now work over DiBiase until Warrior beats on Neidhart. #22 is Rick Martel as he slugs it out with Smash. Warrior then helps him out on the corner then tries to dump out both until Haku makes the save. Haku then eliminates Smash with a thrust kick as Neidhart almost eliminates Martel, who was able to stay on the apron. #23 is Tito Santana and he goes right after Martel, his former partner. DiBiase remains in the match as Snuka & Neidhart work him over in the corner while Virgil pushes on his back to save him from elimination. #24 is the Honky Tonk Man and he mixes it up with Warrior. Martel & Warrior then dump Neidhart and shortly after that Warrior then eliminates DiBiase with a clothesline as the crowd loudly cheers. #25 is Hulk Hogan as the crowd goes mental. Snuka tries to beat on Hogan but is quickly eliminated with a clothesline. Hogan then eliminates Haku with a big boot. He rips off his shirt then we see Tito get eliminated by Martel, who was holding down the ropes from the apron as Warrior was flipping him over. Honky chokes out Hogan with the shirt then #26 Shawn Michaels comes out and goes after Martel. Hogan dumps Honky then the Warrior quickly dumps Shawn then Martel as we are down to Hogan and Warrior. These two men have a stare down as the crowd goes nuts. They have a shoving match then try to knock each other down before working a criss-cross spot that ends with a double clothesline. #27 is the Barbarian and he hits them both with elbow drops. #28 is Rick Rude, coming out quicker than he was supposed to, and he immediately beats on the Ultimate Warrior then helps Barbarian try to eliminate Hogan but Warrior makes the save as Jesse wants to know why he did that since they were fighting earlier. Rude & Barbarian now try to eliminate Warrior as Hogan tries to break it up with a double clothesline but it just ends up eliminating Warrior, who runs back in and beats down Rude before leaving. #29 is Hercules and he slugs it out with the Barbarian before trying to eliminate Rude in the corner. #30 is Mr. Perfect as Jesse calls out Hogan for intentionally eliminating the Ultimate Warrior. He beats down Hogan then Hercules eliminates Barbarian with a backdrop.

 

The last four men are Hogan, Rude, Hercules, and Mr. Perfect. Rude eliminates Hercules then helps Mr.Perfect beat down Hogan. Rude inadvertently knocks Perfect through the middle rope and onto the apron. Perfect pulls himself up by the ropes but as that happens he accidentally low-bridges Rude for the elimination as we are down to Hogan and Perfect. They go at it as Perfect is in control then hits the Perfect Plex but Hogan immediately hulks up and no-sells a few punches. Hogan then rams Perfect into the corner and into the post before tossing him out for the elimination and the win as Schavione yells that Hulkamania will live forever (58:46) ***3/4. After the match, Jesse yells about Hogan being lucky he won after double-crossing the Ultimate Warrior as Hogan poses to the crowd. Jesse then tells us that WrestleMania VI is right around the corner as Schiavone signs off.

Thoughts: A really good match with some great storytelling. DiBiase trying to win after drawing #1 was a good one but the Hogan/Warrior confrontation, with Hogan accidentally eliminating Warrior, was great and something you can see the company building towards for a future match. It also helped that they planted the seeds on TV the same weekend as this show. Also, they started the Piper/Bad News feud here as they had a good brawl on the outside. This was the first Rumble match too that had a lot more of the “every man for himself” dynamic as you saw more faces going after each other and even faces and heels teaming up at times. There were some dead spots in the middle of the match but the first-third of this was great and the Hogan/Warrior confrontation was incredible. And people cared about Hogan winning unlike last year when Big John Studd won the match.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall, a good show. Nothing was outright terrible and we had some awesome action here. Plus, with the announcement of WrestleMania VI you could see what their plans for that show would be after this ended. The Rumble match and Garvin vs. Valentine are both worth seeking out. One of the better Rumble PPV’s for this time.

 

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/27/90

Wednesday: EVOLVE 84 5/20/17

Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries Presents: YouShoot with 2 Cold Scorpio

Friday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 1/27/90

Sunday: Mid-South Wrestling 10/13/82

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/28/90

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/3/90