Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Royal Rumble 1992

WWF Royal Rumble 1992

Live from Albany, NY

Airdate:  January 19, 1992

Attendance:  17,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

The WWF title stands as the prize for the Rumble winner this year? Will it be fair to Flair? Let’s find out!

Match 1: The New Foundation versus the Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji)

Highlights:

  • For the second consecutive year, the Orient Express jerked the curtain for this PPV series.
  • For those unaware, the New Foundation consisted of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and the “Rocket” Owen Hart.
  • Question for the masses: what was the thinking behind the baggy pants for the New Foundation? Fashion statement or did Owen not do enough leg lifts in the gym?
  • According to Monsoon, Marty Jannetty will not appear in the Rumble match. Why, you ask (aired 1/12, taped 12/3)?
  • Owen took down Kato with a springboard followed by a hip toss.
  • Next, he delivered a huracanrana for 2.
  • Neidhart tagged in and hip-tossed Kato across the ring.
  • Upon giving Kato a cross corner whip, Neidhart shoved Kato out of a hip toss counter spot.
  • Tanaka tagged in, failed to slam Neidhart, and got shoved down too.
  • When Owen tagged in, the New Foundation hit a spinebuster/second rope elbow drop combo for 2.
  • Owen then gave Tanaka a backbreaker for another 2.
  • As Tanaka gave him a cross corner whip, Owen leaped to the top turnbuckle, flipped over Tanaka, and delivered a back drop.
  • Owen then hit an enziguri causing a 360° sell by Tanaka. Woohoo!
  • After Neidhart tagged in, he gave Tanaka an Owen-assisted shoulder block in the corner.
  • Kato came in, and the Orient Express gave Neidhart a cross corner whip but ate a double clothesline.
  • When Owen tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a double cross body block on the Orient Express for 2.
  • He then leap-frogged Kato and delivered a spinning heel kick for another 2.
  • Upon giving Kato a vertical suplex, Owen couldn’t get 3.
  • He then tried to remove Kato’s mask, but Kato sought refuge outside the ring.
  • As Owen came off the ropes, Tanaka put a knee into his back. SNEAKY!
  • While Neidhart distracted referee Jon Bonello, Fuji jabbed Owen in the throat with his cane. Devious!
  • Kato tagged in, delivered a superkick, and got 2.
  • Afterward, he hit a back elbow for another 2.
  • Neidhart distracted Bonello again, so the Orient Express double-teamed Owen in their corner.
  • When Tanaka guillotined Owen using the top rope, he gave Owen a cross corner whip resulting in a sternum-first bump. That got 2.
  • Owen then reversed a cross corner whip but ate a thrust kick on his follow-through. That got another 2 for Tanaka.
  • As Owen hooked a crucifix, he got 2 on Kato.
  • Tanaka tagged in and hit a crescent kick. Not to be confused with the crescent roll.
  • After Tanaka hit a flying forearm, he got 2.
  • He then gave Owen a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • When Owen face-planted Tanaka, a false tag occurred.
  • The Orient Express then gave Owen a cross corner whip straight into Fuji’s cane. OUCH!
  • When Kato delivered an Anderson slam, Tanaka tagged in but ate a BEAUTIFUL belly-to-belly suplex by Owen for 2.
  • Kato tagged in and baited Neidhart. In the meantime, the Orient Express gave Owen a double clothesline.
  • As Tanaka tagged in, he gave Owen another thrust kick.
  • When Neidhart distracted Bonello again, the Orient Express delivered an aided leap frog body guillotine for 2.
  • Owen then ducked a double clothesline and hit a double dropkick.
  • Hot tag Neidhart.
  • Owen then slingshot Neidhart into the ring resulting in a Neidhart double clothesline.
  • Upon backdropping Tanaka, Neidhart clotheslined him.
  • The New Foundation then sent Kato flying between the ropes to the floor which led to Owen hitting a tope suicida. Woohoo!
  • As Neidhart slammed Tanaka, the New Foundation hit the Rocket Launcher.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The New Foundation won.

Rating: ****

Summary:  All hail Owen as he carried this match with great workrate, selling, and high-flying. In addition, the tag formula kept the Albany faithful glued to the match while enjoying it immensely.

Backstage, Lord Alfred Hayes narrates a video where Mountie defeated Bret for the IC title on 1/17 in Springfield, MA. Allegedly, Bret had a 104° fever, but I smell a contract dispute instead. After the match, Mountie WALLOPED Bret in the back with the belt, but Piper came to the ring. When Mountie exited the ring, Piper aided Bret. That allowed Mountie to sneak back into the ring and HAMMER Piper with the belt. Afterward, Piper nailed Mountie chasing him from the ring.

In the gold locker room, Sean Mooney interviews Mountie with Hart.

Elsewhere backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Piper who spoke about winning not one but two titles today.

Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: The Mountie (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

Highlights:

  • While the Albany faithful chanted “Rod-dy,” Piper used his kilt to distract Mountie and beat him up.
  • When Mountie sought refuge outside the ring, Piper joined and SOCKED him.
  • After a pair of leap frogs, Mountie attempted a monkey flip, but Piper countered with a fist drop.
  • He then delivered a bulldog for 2.
  • As Piper came off the ropes, Hart grabbed his ankle allowing Mountie to hit a double axe handle.
  • Piper then missed a dropkick, and Mountie got 2.
  • When Mountie hit a flying back elbow, he got another 2.
  • He then tossed Piper outside the ring.
  • After Piper used a sunset flip to re-enter the ring, he got 2.
  • He then gave Mountie a back drop and nailed him in the midsection.
  • As Piper executed an atomic drop, Mountie went over the top rope but skinned the cat back in.
  • Hart then got up on the apron, but heel miscommunication caused Mountie to nail him instead of Piper.
  • When Piper hooked a sleeper, Mountie lost consciousness.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: **

Summary: The rating is based upon the Albany faithful’s love for Piper and the historic moment of Piper’s first championship in the WWF. Nothing else matters.

After the match, Hart runs in with the cattle prod, but Piper steals it from him. Piper then wakes up Mountie with it.

Backstage, Hayes stands outside Hogan’s dressing room. As Hayes enters, Hogan cuts a promo about winning the Rumble. Three years in a row?

Elsewhere backstage, Okerlund interviews the Bushwhackers and Jameson.

Match 3: The Beverly Brothers (w/ the Genius) versus the Bushwhackers (w/ Jameson)

Highlights:

  • As the Beverly Brothers made their entrance, Genius recited a poem.
  • Jameson? The WWF created a character named after Irish whiskey? Should I be anticipating the arrival of the Kahlua Warrior any day now?
  • Butch reversed an Irish whip and put a knee into Blake’s midsection.
  • With all four wrestlers in the ring, the Bushwhackers rammed the Beverly Brothers into one another.
  • Upon school-boying each Beverly, the Bushwhackers double-clotheslined them consecutively. The second one sent Beau over the top rope to the floor.
  • While Blake draped Luke across the top rope, Beau leaped from the top rope to deliver a double axe handle.
  • Butch then distracted referee Danny Davis; thus, the Beverly Brothers double-teamed Luke in their corner.
  • As Blake gave him a backbreaker, he head-butted Luke in the back for 2.
  • Again, Butch distracted Davis so the Beverly Brothers delivered an aided leap frog body guillotine to Luke.
  • Beau then gave Luke a knee drop and tagged in Blake.
  • After Blake guillotined Luke using the top rope, Heenan continuously insulted Jameson albeit humorously.
  • Blake then clotheslined Luke and tagged in Beau.
  • When Beau attempted an arrogant cover, Luke rolled him up for 2.
  • Meanwhile, Genius walked around the ring and slapped the taste from Jameson’s mouth. How dastardly!
  • In the ring, Beau gave Luke a hard cross corner whip injuring the back.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit another double axe handle for 2.
  • As Blake tagged in, he delivered a hangman’s neckbreaker to Luke.
  • Beau tagged in, gave Luke a cross corner whip, but ate a clothesline on his follow-through.
  • Hot tag Butch.
  • After Butch gave Beau a clothesline, Beau celebrated with a 360° sell. Woohoo!
  • He then clotheslined an incoming Blake and used Beau as a battering ram against him.
  • When Butch hit a flying forearm on Beau, he got 2.
  • Luke then came in and knocked Beau over the top rope to the floor.
  • As Butch came off the ropes, Beau tripped him.
  • Blake then hit an elbow drop for 2.
  • After Beau mounted the top turnbuckle, Butch tried to catch him, but Blake grabbed him from behind.
  • Beau then hit another double axe handle from the top rope on Butch.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Beverly Brothers won.

Rating: **

Summary:  Pure comedy match that gave the Albany faithful plenty of time for a bathroom break and some popcorn. I suggest that you do the same during this match. At least the Bushwhackers can energize a crowd.

After the match, the Bushwhackers ambush the Beverly Brothers from behind and deliver stereo back elbows. They then give each Beverly a battering ram and bring Genius into the ring the hard way. While Luke holds Genius, Jameson comes in and kicks Genius in the shin. He then punts Genius out of the ring to put this match out of its misery.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the Road Warriors.

Match 4 for the WWF tag team titles: The Road Warriors (champions) versus the Natural Disasters (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Highlights:

  • After Hawk gave Typhoon a forearm, he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying clothesline for 2.
  • Earthquake tagged in and shook off a standing dropkick by Hawk.
  • When Earthquake attempted his own standing dropkick, Hawk evaded him.
  • Animal tagged in, and a double clothesline put both wrestlers down on the mat.
  • As Animal tried to slam him, Earthquake fell on top for 2.
  • Typhoon tagged in and gave Animal a cross corner whip followed by an Earthquake-assisted avalanche.
  • Upon giving Animal a second cross corner whip, Typhoon ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Animal then clotheslined Typhoon and tagged in Hawk.
  • After Hawk mounted the top turnbuckle, he lowered the boom on Typhoon.
  • He then attempted a cross body block, but Typhoon caught and gave him a series of backbreakers.
  • When he gave Hawk a hard cross corner whip to injure the back, Typhoon tagged in Earthquake.
  • An elbow drop by Earthquake to Hawk’s back then drew an “ooh” from the Albany faithful and got 2.
  • As Typhoon tagged in, he gave Hawk a running guillotine.
  • He then applied a bear hug, but Hawk escaped with a head butt.
  • Next, Hawk mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but Typhoon hooked a second bear hug.
  • Earthquake tagged in and secured his own bear hug on Hawk.
  • After he gave Hawk a cross corner whip, Earthquake came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Hawk then mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered an elbow smash that took Earthquake down like a falling tree.
  • Hot tag Animal.
  • When Animal gave Earthquake a flying shoulder block, he double-clotheslined the Natural Disasters.
  • Hawk then leaped from the apron and clotheslined Typhoon on the floor.
  • As Earthquake slammed Animal on the floor, referee Earl Hebner called for the bell.
  • Apparently, Typhoon snuck back into the ring because only the Road Warriors were counted out.
  • The Natural Disasters won, but the Road Warriors retained.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Despite the awful decision, the psychology by the Natural Disasters made sense and improved the match. Methinks this feud must continue.

After the match, Earthquake rams Hawk back-first into the ring post. Hawk then re-enters the ring with a steel chair and WALLOPS each Natural Disaster with it. While he gave Earthquake an Irish whip, Animal SMACKS Earthquake with the chair.

Back in the gold locker room, Mooney interviews the angry Natural Disasters who declare themselves champions.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the NEW Intercontinental champion. An elated Piper has his “eyes on the prize” and dedicates the match to his son, Colt. Aw.

From the gold locker room, Mooney interviews Michaels. We then revisit the break-up of the Rockers. Ever so confident, Michaels is ready to win the title.

Backstage, Hayes interviews Flair who reveals that he’s #3 in the Rumble yet is prepared to win the title. Thanks for the spoiler, Coliseum Home Video.

Savage not only sets his sights on Roberts but also the WWF title.

Dripping wet, Justice cuts an intense promo. Perhaps he needs a squeegee.

Repo Man’s ready to secure the title away from other WWF superstars.

Reminiscing about winning a battle royal at Royal Albert Hall on 10/3/91, Smith’s ready to maintain the Rumble’s royalty.

Roberts is ready for Savage and the title. Do you trust him?

As Mr. Perfect promotes him, Flair misquotes the evil queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Undertaker, standing alongside Paul Bearer, prepares to regain the WWF title.

Speaking of regaining the title, Hogan cuts a promo on doing just that.

Match 5 (Royal Rumble):

Participants:

Barbarian, Berzerker, Big Bossman, The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Haku, Hercules, Hulk Hogan, IRS, Sid Justice, The “Model” Rick Martel, Shawn Michaels, Colonel Mustafa, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Jerry Sags, “El Matador” Tito Santana, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Skinner, Sergeant Slaughter, The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Texas Tornado, Undertaker, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Virgil, Nikolai Volkoff, Warlord

Highlights:

  • Ring announcer Howard “The Fink” Finkel listed the rules of the match and introduced WWF President Jack Tunney.
  • While the Albany faithful booed him, Tunney held the belt and emphasized the importance of winning the match and the title.
  • Smith was #1, and DiBiase drew #2 as Sensational Sherri led him to the ring.
  • As Smith gave DiBiase a cross corner whip, he ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
  • DiBiase then clotheslined Smith and delivered a vertical suplex.
  • Upon giving Smith a gutwrench suplex, DiBiase hit a fist drop.
  • He then delivered another vertical suplex, tossed Smith over the top rope, but Smith landed on the apron.
  • Not realizing he hadn’t eliminated Smith, DiBiase received a clothesline over the top rope to the floor.
  • As Flair came in at #3 with Mr. Perfect, Monsoon mentioned that no WWF superstar who had drawn numbers 1-5 had been in the final four of the Rumble to date. As you’d expect, Heenan was beside himself.
  • Smith then reversed an Irish whip and gave Flair a military press slam.
  • When Flair gave Smith a cross corner whip, he ate a clothesline on his follow-through.
  • Sags was #4 while Hart accompanied him to the ring.
  • After Smith gave Flair the ten-punch count-along, Sags and Flair double-teamed him.
  • They then gave Smith a cross corner whip but ate a double clothesline.
  • As Smith tossed him to the apron, Sags had a few choice words for the Albany faithful.
  • That earned him a dropkick from Smith sending him to the floor.
  • With just Smith and Flair in the ring, Heenan exclaims “this is not fair to Flair.”
  • Smith then reversed a cross corner whip and powerslammed Flair.
  • When Haku entered at #5, he and Flair double-teamed Smith.
  • Haku then went after Flair who sought refuge outside the ring.
  • Next, Haku piledrove Smith, but Flair raked his eyes afterward.
  • He then gave Haku a knee drop, and Smith eliminated Haku moments later.
  • After Michaels entered at #6, he gave Flair a cross corner whip followed by a back drop.
  • He then delivered a superkick, but Smith gorilla-press-slammed him.
  • As Smith gave him a series of clotheslines, he almost eliminated Michaels.
  • Speaking of Michaels, he responded with another superkick but received a cross corner whip from Smith.
  • While Heenan subtly begged for some booze, Smith punted MIchaels causing him to crotch himself on the top rope. OUCH!
  • Flair then almost eliminated Michaels when Santana entered at #7.
  • After Santana attacked Flair, Michaels came to Flair’s rescue in an effort to eliminate Santana.
  • Flair then gave Santana a belly-to-back suplex and a trip down I-87 SOUTH to Smith.
  • As Flair missed a chop, Santana hit a flying forearm.
  • Barbarian then entered at #8 while Santana almost eliminated Michaels.
  • When Tornado entered at #9, he reunited his long-time feud with Flair.
  • He then gave Flair a discus punch that resulted in a Flair flop.
  • After Michaels confronted him, Tornado delivered another discus punch. Michaels sold it with a 360° spin.
  • Smith then catapulted Michaels face-first into the top turnbuckle while Flair gave Tornado an inverted atomic drop.
  • As Repo Man entered at #10, Barbarian gave Santana an atomic drop.
  • Santana then ducked a clothesline and hit a cross body block to Barbarian.
  • When Valentine entered at #11, he exchanged chops with Flair.
  • Flair’s trick knee then acted up with Repo Man as the recipient.
  • After Volkoff entered at #12, Santana face-planted Michaels.
  • Meanwhile, Valentine hooked a figure-four leg lock on Flair much to Heenan’s dismay.
  • Repo Man then eliminated Volkoff.
  • As Bossman entered at #13, Repo Man eliminated Valentine.
  • An uppercut by Bossman almost eliminated Michaels.
  • Bossman then eliminated Repo Man.
  • When Flair eliminated Smith, he also eliminated Tornado. This would be Kerry Von Erich’s final supershow appearance.
  • Nonetheless, Bossman gave Barbarian a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche
  • Santana and Michaels then eliminated one another.
  • After Hercules entered at #14, Barbarian gave Bossman a Mafia kick.
  • He then gave Flair a gorilla press slam but got eliminated by Hercules.
  • As Bossman eliminated Barbarian, he clotheslined Flair.
  • He then charged at Flair and eliminated himself.
  • With Flair alone in the ring, he took a quick respite with another Flair flop.
  • When Piper entered at #15, the Knickerbocker Arena shook on its foundation.
  • Piper then gave Flair a cross corner whip followed by a back drop.
  • Upon giving Flair a knee lift, Piper followed Flair to the floor.
  • He then made Flair taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Hawaiian Parrot at Junior’s.
  • When Flair attempted to guillotine Piper using the top rope, Piper no-sold it.
  • He then gave Flair the ten-punch count-along.
  • After Flair tried an inverted atomic drop, Piper blocked it and poked Flair in the eye.
  • He then clotheslined and gave Flair an airplane spin.
  • As Piper hooked a sleeper, Roberts entered at #16.
  • Roberts then worked over Piper and gave Flair a short-arm clothesline.
  • When Roberts attempted a DDT on Flair, Piper clotheslined him.
  • Heenan then thanked Piper and touted his Scottish kilt.
  • In the meantime, Flair hooked a rope-assisted figure-four leg lock on Roberts.
  • After Piper broke the hold, Heenan turned on him calling him a “skirt-wearing freak.” HA!
  • Duggan entered at #17 to a MONSTROUS response from his fellow upstate New Yorkers.
  • As he gave Flair a cross corner whip, Duggan followed with a clothesline.
  • The Albany faithful then chanted “U-S-A” while Heenan claimed conspiracy regarding Flair.
  • When Flair gave Piper a belly-to-back suplex, Roberts delivered an inverted atomic drop to Duggan.
  • IRS entered at #18, and Duggan gave Flair and Roberts a double noggin knocker.
  • After Snuka entered at #19, he head-butted Flair.
  • Duggan then gave IRS the ten-punch count-along while Undertaker entered at #20 with Bearer.
  • As Undertaker entered the ring, he dispatched Snuka immediately.
  • He then went after Flair until Duggan grabbed him.
  • To thwart Duggan, Undertaker used his trick knee.
  • Savage entered at #21 and brawled with Roberts.
  • When Savage mounted the top turnbuckle, he gave Roberts a double axe handle.
  • He then eliminated Roberts with a high knee and himself by leaping over the top rope to the floor. Whoops, that rule doesn’t apply this year.
  • Despite Undertaker’s interference, Savage continued to attack Roberts.
  • Flair then gave Undertaker a blatant low blow which only caused him to stagger.
  • After Berzerker entered at #22, Duggan gave him an atomic drop.
  • Heenan’s anxiety grew while Savage suplexed Flair from the apron into the ring.
  • As Virgil entered at #23, Berzerker knocked him down to the mat.
  • Mustafa entered at #24 and was accompanied by Adnan.
  • Bartender, I’ll have what Monsoon’s having. He just referred to Flair as Martel.
  • When Piper gave Flair the ten-punch count-along, Undertaker nailed him.
  • Martel entered at #25 as Monsoon’s favorite.
  • After Savage eliminated Mustafa, Martel and Flair revisited their title unification days from 1985.
  • Hogan entered at #26 and gave Undertaker and Flair a double noggin knocker.
  • As Hogan rammed Undertaker and IRS’ heads together, Heenan pleaded for Flair to win.
  • Hogan then clotheslined Undertaker over the top rope to the floor.
  • Next, Hogan eliminated Berzerker.
  • Duggan and Virgil then eliminated one another.
  • When Skinner entered at #27, Flair chopped Hogan to zero effect.
  • Hogan then hoisted Flair over the top rope, but IRS saved Flair’s bacon.
  • OK, now I’m hungry.
  • Nevertheless, after Flair gave Hogan a cross corner whip, he ate a clothesline.
  • Slaughter entered at #28 while Martel eliminated Skinner.
  • As Justice entered at #29, Martel mounted the second turnbuckle and gave him a double axe handle.
  • Warlord entered at #30 with Wippleman while Hogan caught Flair on the top rope. Hogan then slammed Flair down to the mat.
  • When Flair dragged Hogan to the floor with him, he tried a vertical suplex but received one instead.
  • IRS then reversed a cross corner whip from Savage but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Afterward, Martel mounted the second turnbuckle and hit another double axe handle.
  • Justice then gave Slaughter a cross corner whip, and Slaughter sailed over the top turnbuckle to the floor.
  • Upon re-entering the ring, Hogan gave Flair the big boot.
  • As IRS tossed Piper over the top rope to the apron, Piper grabbed him by the tie and eliminated him. Clever!
  • Hogan and Justice then eliminated Warlord.
  • When Martel tried to eliminate Piper, Justice eliminated both of them.
  • Final four: Hogan, Flair, Justice, and Savage.
  • Justice tried to eliminate Savage, and when Flair put a knee into Justice’s back, Savage fell to the floor.
  • After Hogan gave Flair a cross corner whip, Flair’s flip would have eliminated him. Instead, Hogan nailed Flair who landed on the apron.
  • Justice then eliminated Hogan.
  • While Justice taunted him, Hogan grabbed him by the hand.
  • That enabled Flair to eliminate Justice.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: *****

Summary:  Best Rumble match thus far and will be hard to top going forward. Numerous workhorses kept the match rolling while the workhorse with the most stamina won it.

After the match, Hogan chases Flair from the ring as Perfect raises Flair’s hand. Meanwhile, Heenan leaves the broadcast table to join Flair. Justice then stands behind Hogan while antagonizing him. Before any shenanigans occur, officials separate them. Leaving the ring, Justice informs Hogan: “I’ll kill you.”

Backstage, Okerlund hosts the presentation of the WWF title to Flair. Tunney then shakes Flair’s hand and gives him the belt. In a famous promo, Flair gives the “with a tear in my eye” speech and calls this victory “the greatest moment in (his) life.” If that wasn’t a potshot at Jim Herd, I don’t know what is. He then states “(the WWF title) is the only title in the wrestling world that makes you number one.”

Afterward, Perfect, Heenan, and Flair share some “woo” and “told ya so” with anyone who’s watching. Okerlund then instructs a crew member to put out a cigarette as Flair relishes his moment in the sun.

Conclusion: While I love the opener and Piper’s victory, the selling point of the show is certainly the Rumble match. After all, the match is required viewing for any and all wrestling fans. It may not convert a neophyte, but it’s definitely worth trying. Gather your friends, fire up the WWE Network, and enjoy!

Stay tuned for NWA Clash XVIII!

Buyrate: 1.80

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