Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Royal Rumble 1993

Live from Sacramento, CA

Airdate:  January 24, 1993

Attendance:  16,000 (sold out)

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Who will win the Rumble match to become the #1 contender to the WWF title? Will the “Bad Guy” become WWF champion? Can Jannetty exact revenge against former tag partner Michaels and gain the IC title? Let’s find out!

Match 1: Steiners versus Beverly Brothers

Highlights:

  • Scott reversed an Irish whip and gave Beau a tilt-a-whirl slam.
  • When tags were exchanged on both sides, Blake powerslammed Rick.
  • Rick then returned the favor on a leap frog attempt by Blake.
  • As Scott tagged in, he gave Blake an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
  • Beau then disrupted a double underhook powerbomb attempt by Scott.
  • After Blake delivered a backbreaker, Beau tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and lowered the boom to Scott.
  • Beau then gave Scott another backbreaker and tagged in Blake.
  • When Beau tagged in, he distracted referee Bill Alfonso so that Blake could give Scott the business.
  • Beau then delivered a double underhook suplex to Scott for a 1-count.
  • As Blake tagged in, he hooked a Boston crab, but Scott mocked him by performing push-ups.
  • A clever clip segued into a Blake vertical suplex attempt that Scott reversed.
  • After Beau tagged in, he gave Scott a cross corner whip, but Scott rebounded with a double underhook powerbomb.
  • Hot tag Rick.
  • When he backdropped Blake, Rick followed with a release German suplex.
  • He then placed Blake atop the top turnbuckle, but Beau intervened.
  • As Rick double-clotheslined the Beverlies, he hit a Steinerline to Blake for 2.
  • Scott tagged in and gave Beau the ten-punch count-along.
  • After Scott escaped a Doomsday Device attempt, he hooked a victory roll on Blake for another 2.
  • He then reversed an Irish whip and PLANTED Blake with a Frankensteiner. OUCH!
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Steiners won.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Successful WWF PPV debut for the Steiners and a solid opener with the Sac-town faithful firmly in the Steiners’ corner. This would be the final supershow appearance for the Beverlies as Wayne Bloom sought semi-retirement in April.

Video airs featuring the Rockers and their break-up. Included is Jannetty’s return on 10/12/92 where he inadvertently CREAMED Sherri instead of Michaels with the mirror.

Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: The “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels versus Marty Jannetty

Highlights:

  • In whose corner will Sensational Sherri stand?
  • Jannetty face-planted and gave Michaels a cross corner whip. The latter resulted in a Michaels flip.
  • As he delivered an inverted atomic drop, Jannetty followed with a knee lift sending Michaels over the top rope to the floor.
  • With Michaels on the apron, Jannetty brought him in the hard way.
  • He then clotheslined Michaels over the opposite top rope to the floor.
  • Upon hitting a tope suicida, Jannetty leaped from the apron to nail Michaels.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle, jumped, but Michaels caught him in the midsection.
  • Although he rammed Jannetty shoulder-first into the ring post twice, Michaels actually rammed the right shoulder rather than the left.
  • Back in the ring, he delivered a shoulder breaker on the left shoulder, but Jannetty sought refuge outside the ring.
  • Michaels then joined and hit a double axe handle.
  • After he slammed Jannetty on the floor, Michaels mounted the top turnbuckle and gave him another double axe handle.
  • He then hit a single-arm DDT for 2.
  • As he slammed Jannetty, Michaels mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate boot.
  • He then whipped Jannetty into the corner but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
  • When Michaels charged again, he came up empty and rammed his own shoulder into the ring post. Karma!
  • He then used momentum to send Jannetty to the floor.
  • With Jannetty on the apron, Michaels tried to suplex Jannetty back into the ring.
  • On the other hand, Jannetty blocked it and suplexed Michaels to the floor.
  • Sherri then feigned concern and slapped the bejeezus out of Michaels. Attagirl!
  • While Michaels stood on the apron, Jannetty returned him to the ring with a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
  • He then gave Michaels a cross corner whip that resulted in another Michaels flip—this time to the floor.
  • After Jannetty joined him, he rammed Michaels face-first into the steps.
  • He then powerslammed Michaels and mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • As Michaels evaded him, Jannetty landed on his feet and delivered a DDT for another 2.
  • He then gave Michaels another cross corner whip, but Michaels floated over.
  • When Michaels attempted a superkick, he missed, but Jannetty didn’t.
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • Although Michaels hooked a sunset flip, Jannetty sat down yet couldn’t get 3.
  • After he catapulted Michaels into the ring post, Jannetty rolled him up for another 2.
  • Michaels then reared back to nail Jannetty but CLOBBERED referee Joey Marella instead.
  • As Jannetty hooked a full nelson, Sherri entered the ring.
  • She then removed her right shoe but mistakenly HAMMERED Jannetty instead of Michaels.
  • When Michaels sauntered after her, he took his time berating her. Either that, or he gave her directions to K Street.
  • He then delivered a superkick causing a 360° sell by Jannetty.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Michaels retained.

Rating: ****

Summary: Interesting story here as Michaels and Jannetty supposedly tore the house down two nights earlier in Denver, CO. However, the next day, they performed a matinee in Reno, NV. Needless to say, but Reno has quite the party atmosphere with its share of casinos. According to both Michaels and Jannetty, neither man got a decent night’s sleep (hungover perhaps?) before this show which began at 1pm PST. While Vince McMahon was unimpressed with the quality of the match, allegedly Ray Stevens fingered Jannetty for sleeping/being comatose during the San Jose TV taping the following night. Subsequently, Jannetty was fired. As far as the match goes, the Sherri factor affected the finish to an otherwise terrific match.

After the match, Sherri runs backstage while “Mean” Gene Okerlund tries to calm her. Michaels sees her on the video wall and runs backstage. Okerlund then yells at her to “settle down” while Michaels confronts her. Suddenly, Jannetty jumps on Michaels’ back to protect Sherri. He and Michaels brawl until officials separate them. Obviously, this feud was supposed to continue.

Match 3: Big Bossman versus Bam Bam Bigelow

Highlights:

  • Look who’s back in the WWF!
  • Bigelow gave Bossman a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
  • When he gave Bossman another cross corner whip, Bigelow continued to pound on the back.
  • He then joined Bossman on the floor and rammed him face-first into the apron.
  • As Bossman came back with a pair of clotheslines, he delivered the ten-punch count-along.
  • He then took Bigelow to the corner for another ten-punch count-along.
  • After Bigelow countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex, he missed a diving head butt.
  • I can’t count how many times Monsoon has asked Heenan “Will you stop?” thus far. Does anyone have a tally?
  • Regardless, Bossman gave Bigelow a cross corner whip followed by a shot to the mush.
  • He then face-planted Bigelow, charged, but got vaulted over the top rope to the floor.
  • Shortly after, Bigelow delivered a stungun for 2.
  • He then attempted a vertical suplex, but Bossman blocked it.
  • When Bossman hit his own vertical suplex, Bigelow missed a cross body block.
  • Bossman then backdropped him before giving Bigelow a running guillotine.
  • As he gave Bigelow a cross corner whip, Bossman ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Bigelow then clotheslined him, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a diving head butt.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Bigelow won.

Rating: **

Summary: Showcase match for the newcomer Bigelow. This was Bossman’s last WWF PPV appearance until 1998.

We then revisit WWF Mania from two weeks ago when Ramon attacked Owen Hart.

Next, a pre-recorded interview by Ramon airs during a Sacramento Kings game. I’m surprised Spud Webb didn’t make a surprise appearance and dunk on the “Bad Guy.” Shockingly, the Kings actually beat the Minnesota Timberwolves that night.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Bret who will make Ramon pay.

Match 4 for the WWF title: Bret “Hitman” Hart (champion) versus Razor Ramon

Highlights:

  • As Bret bestowed his trademark sunglasses upon a kid in the front row, Ramon answered with a toothpick throw. HA!
  • Ramon gave Bret a HARD cross corner whip injuring the back.
  • Upon giving Bret another one, Ramon came up empty on his follow-through and hurt his previously-injured left knee.
  • Bret then hooked a figure-four leg lock, but Ramon made the ropes.
  • After Bret rammed Ramon’s knee into the ring post, Ramon whipped Bret sternum-first into the post. You don’t see that every day.
  • Ramon then joined Bret on the floor and delivered a pair of backbreakers.
  • After he rammed Bret back-first into the ring post, Ramon hit a pair of elbow drops to the back.
  • He then gave Bret a fallaway slam for 2, while Bret’s mother, Helen, couldn’t bear to watch.
  • As Ramon gave him another cross corner whip, Bret took a sternum-first bump. Ramon then got 2.
  • He then hooked an abdominal stretch until Bret countered with one of his own.
  • When Ramon escaped, he missed an elbow drop.
  • Bret rebounded with a cross body block for 2.
  • After Ramon’s kick-out sent him to the floor, Bret re-entered via sunset flip for another 2.
  • Ramon then secured a bear hug, but Bret bit him to escape.
  • As he vaulted Ramon over the top rope to the floor, Bret hit a tope suicida. Woohoo!
  • He then rammed Ramon face-first into the steps and followed with a ten-punch count-along.
  • When Bret delivered an inverted atomic drop, he clotheslined Ramon for 2.
  • He then gave Ramon a backbreaker, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit a clothesline for another 2.
  • After he bulldogged Ramon, Bret couldn’t get 3.
  • He then gave Ramon a side-Russian leg sweep for yet another 2.
  • As he attempted a Sharpshooter, Ramon blocked it. In the process, referee Earl Hebner fell atop Bret.
  • Ramon then placed him atop the top turnbuckle, but Bret flipped over him.
  • Upon delivering a belly-to-back suplex, Bret mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate boot.
  • Ramon then attempted the Razor’s Edge, but Bret escaped and hooked a backslide for 2.
  • After another HARD cross corner whip by Ramon, Bret cradled him for another 2.
  • He then hooked the Sharpshooter, and Ramon submitted.
  • Bret retained.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Great psychology by both wrestlers, and Bret’s uncanny yet unpredictable ability to hook his finisher make this match worthwhile.

Heenan then unveils Narcissus a.k.a. The “Narcissist” Lex Luger. His fawning over Luger is unsettling to say the least. Next, Luger claims to be the “most dominant force the WWF has ever seen” and cuts a promo on Mr. Perfect.

Caesar and Cleopatra come to the ring and invite everyone to WrestleMania IX on April 4. As he shills Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Caesar states that the winner of the Rumble match will face the WWF champion at the event. But will he walk away the WWF champion? Stay tuned!

Match 5 (Royal Rumble):

Participants:

Berzerker, Bob Backlund, Carlos Colon, Damien Demento, The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Earthquake, Fatu, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Owen Hart, Brian Knobbs, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Rick “The Model” Martel, Max Moon, Mr. Perfect, Repo Man, Jerry Sags, Samu, Tito Santana, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, IRS, Papa Shango, Skinner, Tatanka, Terry Taylor, Genichiro Tenryu, Typhoon, Undertaker, Virgil, Koko B. Ware, Yokozuna

Highlights:

  • Flair drew #1 while Backlund drew #2. It’s 1982 all over again!
  • When Backlund reversed a cross corner whip, he backdropped Flair.
  • He then gave Flair an atomic drop resulting in a Flair flop.
  • As Papa Shango entered at #3, he tried to eliminate Backlund.
  • However, Flair eliminated him instead.
  • He then tossed Backlund over the opposite top rope, but Backlund landed on the apron.
  • After DiBiase came in at #4, he gave Backlund a back elbow.
  • Flair and DiBiase then delivered a double back elbow to Backlund but couldn’t eliminate him.
  • When Knobbs entered at #5, he double-clotheslined Flair and DiBiase.
  • He then gave Flair and DiBiase a double noggin knocker.
  • As Knobbs tossed Flair over the top rope, Flair only landed on the apron.
  • Backlund then gave Flair the ten-punch count-along.
  • After Virgil came in at #6, he delivered an inverted atomic drop to DiBiase.
  • He then clotheslined DiBiase before he and Knobbs double-backdropped him.
  • When Knobbs charged, DiBiase ducked. Knobbs then sailed over the top rope to the floor.
  • Lawler entered at #7 while Max Moon came in at #8.
  • Upon dropkicking Lawler, Moon reversed a cross corner whip and backdropped Flair.
  • Speaking of Flair, he tried to eliminate Moon. Conversely, Moon skinned the cat back into the ring.
  • He then gave Lawler a cross corner whip followed by a spinning heel kick.
  • Upon a second attempt, Moon was eliminated by Lawler.
  • Tenryu entered at #9 and traded chops with Flair. Ultimately, it led to another Flair flop.
  • With Virgil on the apron, Flair brought him in the hard way.
  • After Mr. Perfect came in at #10 to a raucous ovation, he brawled with Flair.
  • He then delivered a knee lift to Flair who unwisely decided to mount the top turnbuckle.
  • As you’d expect, Perfect caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • He then gave Flair a neck snap while Monsoon shilled the loser-leaves-the WWF match tomorrow night on RAW.
  • When Perfect delivered the ten-punch count-along to Flair, Skinner entered at #11.
  • Perfect then eliminated Flair, and the Sac-town faithful rejoiced!
  • After Ware came in at #12, he gave Lawler the ten-punch count-along.
  • Perfect then tried to eliminate Skinner. On the contrary, Skinner skinned the cat back into the ring. Ahem…
  • As Perfect dropkicked him, Skinner was eliminated.
  • Ware then mounted the second turnbuckle and head-butted DiBiase.
  • When Samu entered at #13, Lawler mounted the second turnbuckle and nailed Perfect.
  • DiBiase then gave Virgil a knee lift while Lawler hit a DDT on Perfect.
  • After Berzerker came in at #14, Lawler charged, but Perfect eliminated him.
  • Lawler, along with DiBiase, then eliminated Perfect.
  • As Perfect and Lawler brawled at ringside, Monsoon mentioned that Virgil was eliminated.
  • Undertaker entered at #15 much to the delight of the Sac-town faithful.
  • When Berzerker WALLOPED Backlund with a chair at ringside, Undertaker eliminated Samu.
  • Berzerker then removed the mat at ringside and slammed Backlund on the concrete floor. How dastardly!
  • After Tenryu gave him an enziguri, Undertaker backdropped him over the top rope to the floor.
  • Berzerker then gave Ware a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • As Taylor came in at #16, DiBiase eliminated him and Ware together.
  • Undertaker then chokeslammed and eliminated DiBiase.
  • When Berzerker head-butted Undertaker down I-5 near Stockton, Giant Gonzalez headed to the ring.
  • Undertaker then eliminated Berzerker while Gonzalez entered the ring.
  • Despite Demento’s number being called, he hesitated while the giants battled.
  • Gonzalez then chopped Undertaker over the top rope to the floor.
  • After Gonzalez joined him on the floor, he rammed Undertaker knees-first into the steps.
  • Back in the ring, Gonzalez chokeslammed Undertaker.
  • IRS entered at #18 while Gonzalez rammed Undertaker’s right knee into the ring post numerous times.
  • As Demento and IRS double-teamed Backlund, Undertaker laid comatose in the far-left corner.
  • Tatanka came in at #19, and Bearer returned to provide Undertaker with some urn mojo.
  • When Undertaker finally went backstage, Monsoon marveled at Backlund’s endurance.
  • Sags entered at #20 while IRS delivered an inverted atomic drop to Tatanka.
  • After Sags gave him his own inverted atomic drop, he clotheslined IRS.
  • Typhoon came in at #21 and sandwiched Demento in the corner.
  • As Fatu entered at #22, he hit a thrust kick to Typhoon.
  • Backlund then gave IRS and Demento a double noggin knocker.
  • When Earthquake came in at #23, Typhoon reversed an Irish whip and clotheslined him.
  • He then gave Earthquake a cross corner whip followed by an avalanche.
  • During a second attempt, Earthquake evaded him causing Typhoon to eliminate himself.
  • Colon entered at #24 while Tatanka failed to eliminate Demento.
  • After Monsoon’s favorite “youngster” eliminated Demento, Santana came in at #25.
  • Backlund then eliminated Fatu while the Sacramento faithful clamored for Hogan.
  • As Martel entered at #26, Santana gave him the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • IRS then charged at Earthquake, missed, and sailed over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Santana mounted the second turnbuckle, he leaped but ate a shot to the midsection from Backlund.
  • Yokozuna came in at #27 and eliminated Tatanka.
  • After he eliminated Colon, Yokozuna received a challenge from Earthquake.
  • Owen entered at #28 while Earthquake delivered an avalanche to Yokozuna.
  • As he made a second attempt, Earthquake came up empty.
  • Yokozuna then used a belly-to-belly suplex to eliminate Earthquake.
  • When Santana clotheslined him, he couldn’t take Yokozuna off his feet.
  • Repo Man came in at #29, and the entire Rumble contingent tried to extricate Yokozuna to no avail.
  • After Savage entered at #30, he attacked Repo Man in preparation for their match tomorrow night on RAW.
  • Yokozuna then eliminated Santana causing him to taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Fried Wing Thing at Sandra Dee’s.
  • As Owen dropkicked Sags to eliminate him, Martel tried to eliminate Owen.
  • Speaking of Owen, he skinned the cat back into the ring, but Yokozuna hip-tossed him out.
  • When Savage eliminated Repo Man, only he, Yokozuna, Martel, and Backlund remained.
  • Martel then attempted to suplex him, but Backlund blocked it.
  • After he suplexed Martel atop the top turnbuckle, Backlund nailed and eliminated him.
  • He then dropkicked Yokozuna twice, charged, and got eliminated. In the process, he eclipsed Flair’s longevity record from last year.
  • As Fuji brought the Japanese flag to ringside, Savage mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle.
  • He then mounted the adjacent top turnbuckle and delivered another one.
  • Upon giving Savage a thrust kick, Yokozuna hit a belly-to-belly suplex.
  • He then delivered a leg drop while the Sac-town faithful chanted “U-S-A.”
  • When he gave Savage a cross corner whip, Yokozuna sandwiched him in the corner.
  • He then made a second attempt but came up empty.
  • As Savage mounted the top turnbuckle, Yokozuna fell down to the mat.
  • Savage then hit the big elbow and covered Yokozuna.
  • When Yokozuna kicked out, he vaulted Savage over the top rope to the floor.
  • Yokozuna won.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Despite a severely dry spot in the middle, the Backlund run, the Flair-Perfect chemistry, and Savage’s late-inning rally made for an extremely entertaining Rumble.

After the match, Caesar and Cleopatra re-emerge to offer their praise for the #1 contender to the WWF title. The still highlights then roll, and Bret stands face-to-face with Yokozuna backstage to finish the show.

Conclusion: While it would be nearly impossible to compare the Rumble match to last year’s version, this show’s quality is better from top-to-bottom than its most recent predecessor. The Steiners-Beverly Brothers match set a good tone while the IC title match was extremely good. Furthermore, the WWF title match gave us Bret at his best, and the Rumble was truly entertaining.

Finally, this show marked the last time Monsoon and Heenan called a supershow together. I guess Heenan finally stopped. Check the entire show out if you’ve either not seen it or haven’t seen it lately.

Buyrate: 1.25

Stay tuned for WWF Monday Night RAW 1-25-93!

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