WWF 1993 Royal Rumble

January 24th, 1993

From the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan

 

Beverly Brothers vs. Steiner Brothers

Scott and Beau start things off as Beau keeps reaching the ropes when Scott applies a hold. Beau cheap shots Scott after huddling with his partner but gets caught with an ugly-looking tilt-a-whirl slam. The Beverlys regroup on the outside as Heenan makes fun of Michigan University. Blake is now the legal man and pie-faces Rick before fleeing to the corner. Rick tags in and shoves Beau off of the apron then backs Blake into the corner. Rick even does the barking he used in WCW. Blake beats on Rick after a cheap shot and even catches him with a powerslam. Rick ducks a clothesline then catches Blake with a slam before working the arm. Scott tags in but Beau runs in and the Beverly Brothers use a double clothesline to take control. Gorilla now asks Heenan about his revealing and if its a scam but Heenan says it is not. The Beverly Brothers cut the ring in half then Beau hits a butterfly suplex for a nearfall. Beau turns Scott over for a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring but Rick comes in to break it up after Blake ran into the ring. Scott then blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as both men are down. Blake tags and cuts off Scott’s tag attempt but ducks his head and is hit with a double underhook powerbomb. Scott finally tags out as Rick runs wild on Blake, nearly breaking his neck with a German suplex. Beau runs in to save his partner but Rick drills them with clotheslines. Scott tags in and hammers away in the corner until Blake puts him on his shoulders. Scott avoids a Doomsday Device with a victory roll then pins Blake with a Frankensteiner (10:34) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid but also a somewhat disappointing match. The Beverly Brothers were a good team with a shit gimmick but so far down the totem pole that the Steiner Brothers should have gotten more shine than they did but this is what happens when Vince brings in a team from WCW, he has his team looked just as competitive. Anyway, the goal was to put the Steiners over as the company looks to revamp their tag team division but they did not get enough time to fully impress in front of a PPV audience.

 

Gene Okerlund narrates a video package on the Shawn Michaels/Marty Jannetty feud.

 

Sensational Sherri walks to ringside with an elaborate dress. She looks around and looks indecisive but get booed.

 

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Marty Jannetty vs. Shawn Michaels (c)

Marty is rocking different gear that features even more tassles. At least the color scheme is different. Sherri just stares into the ring and has yet to make any indication as to whose corner she is in for the match. Shawn shoves Marty a few times but gets decked. Marty chases Shawn around and uses a mat slam after a slightly awkward Irish whip sequence. Marty sends Shawn over the top rope with a knee lift that showed an awful lot of air. Marty slingshots Shawn back inside only to send him back over the top rope but this time with a clothesline. Sherri peaks over at Shawn from a distance then Marty flies out with a tope. Marty now tries a flying punch from the top but Shawn catches him with a punch of his own. Marty clutches his shoulder then Shawn rams it into the post. Shawn rolls back inside with the camera showing Sherri looking concerned. Shawn hits a shoulderbreaker then hammers away in the corner. Shawn continues to target the shoulder as Heenan goes on about Shawn carrying The Rockers. We get some more dramatic cuts towards Sherri as Marty tries to escape from an armbar. Shawn gets two with an armbreaker then goes back to damaging the shoulder. Shawn cuts off a comeback attempt with an eye poke then goes to the second rope after a slam but takes too long and ends up eating boot. Marty catches Shawn with a back elbow smash then avoids a charge as Shawn’s shoulder rams into the post. Both men are down but Marty is up first as he fires away. Shawn pulls Marty through the ropes by the trunks then tries to suplex him back inside but Marty reverses as Shawn crashes on the floor. Sherri gets close to Shawn then acts like she is going to help him but slaps him across the face as Heenan goes off on commentary. Marty then nearly put Shawn away with a bridging back suplex and sends Shawn up-and-over in the corner. Marty rolls Shawn back inside and catches him with a powerslam. Marty heads up top but unable to reach with the fist drop so he lands on his feet then uses a jumping DDT for a nearfall. Marty ducks a super kick and lands one of his own for two. Marty slingshots Shawn into the corner and gets two on that as the crowd is buying every nearfall. The ref gets decked by accident when Shawn tries to throw a punch. Marty holds up Shawn for Sherri as Sherri swings her shoe but Shawn moved away and Marty gets decked. Shawn then chastises Sherri for what she did as she is on the verge of tears. Shawn then picks Marty up and hits a super kick for the win (14:20) ***1/2. Sherri then runs backstage as Shawn holds up the IC Title. We see Sherri backstage flipping out with Okerlund trying to calm her down. Shawn now runs backstage as Okerlund yells at Sherri to settle down. Marty runs in from behind to attack Shawn then several officials break up the melee.

Thoughts: This started off messy and became slow-paced but towards the end it picked up and the crowd was invested. However, the ending was anticlimactic with Marty laying down for a long time after getting hit with a heel then having Shawn pick him up and hit the super kick for the win but it was designed to prolong this feud with Sherri’s involvement. Marty said that he partied all night and was exhausted when he arrived to the arena. Shawn and Marty also tore down the house in a match they had in Denver and were going to repeat it here but add Sherri to the mix. However, that did not end up happening as Marty was fired the following day at the “Superstars” tapings in San Jose when he was found sleeping/passed out in the locker room depending on who you believe. The “Wrestling Observer Newsletter” reported there was heat on agent Ray Stevens for reporting this to the office. And Marty said he heard from Mr. Perfect that Shawn went to Vince after their match at the Rumble and claimed Marty was drunk and that he had to carry Marty the entire time. Speaking of Shawn, his face was covered in cuts and they had to apply makeup as the rumor around the locker room was Marty beat him up before the day prior. Shawn claimed he tripped and fell in a parking lot but Marty said that Perfect told him later on that Shawn was seen passed out in his food at a restaurant after taking too many somas. Also, according to Bruce Prichard on the “Something to Wrestle With” podcast there were plans for a rematch at WrestleMania IX.

 

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Big Bossman

Bossman has a noticeable weight gain in his mid-section. Bigelow attacks Bossman before the bell then hammers away. Bigelow continues to beat on Bossman as Heenan plugs how he will be in Las Vegas with Okerlund for “All-American Wrestling.” Bossman drops Bigelow after a pair of clotheslines then hits some mounted punches. We get some back-and-forth that ends with Bossman using a bulldog. Bigelow dumps Bossman outside then hammers away when the action returns to the ring. Bigelow uses a waistlock then a hotshot as that gets two before going back to the waistlock. Bigelow drops Bossman but misses a crossbody and Bossman fights back. Bossman uses some punches but Bigelow clotheslines him in the corner then heads up top for the flying headbutt and the win (10:09) 3/4*.

Thoughts: This was a major disappointment. Bossman was out of shape and barely did anything while Bigelow did nothing to elevate the match himself. Bossman was also on his way out of the company as he was going to All-Japan Pro Wrestling.

 

Replay of Razor Ramon attacking Owen Hart from 1/9 Mania.

 

We see a promo from Razor Ramon, which took place yesterday. It is conducted by Raymond Rougeau. There is a Sacramento Kings game in the background. Razor says when he leaves the arena he’ll have gold around his waist.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: Razor Ramon (c) vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart

Bret’s parents are shown sitting ringside in the crowd. Razor flicks his toothpick near the kid who received Bret’s glasses. Bret fires away on Razor but that does not last as Razor is now in control. Bret targets the knee after Razor misses an attack in the corner. Heenan believes that Razor’s legs are too long for Bret to use the Sharpshooter as Bret continues to target the knee. Bret hammers away in the corner but Razor reveres an Irish whip and knees Bret in the gut before sliding Bret into the post as Bret’s ribs are hurt. Razor goes outside and rams Bret into the post after hitting a pair of backbreakers then brings him back inside for more punishment as Helen is worried. Razor now uses an abdominal stretch then takes Bret over after Bret tried to reverse. Razor knocks Bret down then slap him around as Heenan says the unveiling of Narcissus will happen after this match. Razor blocks a sunset flip but gets cocky and Bret takes him over for two. Razor now works a reverse chinlock then catches Bret with a bearhug. Bret claws out then dumps Razor outside with a back drop. Bret flies out with a tope then sends Razor into the steps before rolling him back inside. Bret hammers away and knocks Razor down as the crowd cheers. Bret gets two with a clothesline then tries for a Sharpshooter but Razor is able to reach the ropes. Bret tries it again but is able to position himself so the ref gets tied up and falls over with Bret. Razor now attacks the ribs but Bret flips off the top rope and hits Razor with a back suplex as both men are down. Bret then goes to the middle rope and ends up eating boot as Heenan is proclaiming Razor as the champ. Razor gets Bret up for the Razor’s Edge but Bret slips out and uses a backslide for a nearfall. Razor goes back on offense then uses a knuckle lock but Bret turns that into a cradle for two then Bret turns Razor over and gets up for the Sharpshooter and the win (17:59) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Considering that Razor’s knee was messed up they had a good match. In his Bret’s book he talked about being afraid to take the Razor’s Edge and that he came up with the spot where he would slip out and the finish. Dave Meltzer was live in attendance and reported that the setup for the Narcissus reveal took a lot of the crowd’s attention. The crowd got into this near the end and Bret winning was well received but

 

Heenan is now in the ring for the revealing of Narcissus. He then talks about how it is an honor to introduce the Narcissus, Lex Luger. Lex is in a robe and kneeling in front of three mirrors before taking off his robe as Heenan wants us to feast our eyes on this physique. Heenan keeps selling us on Lex’s physiques as we get all these closeups on Lex’s body. This is a WBF segment on a WWF PPV. Lex finally speaks and tells Heenan this is incredible and will be the most dominant force the WBF has ever seen and that all other wrestlers will bow down on their knees before him because he is beyond perfection as Heenan hypes him up even more, calling this the highlight of his career. Heenan acted like Vince McMahon describing Gary Strydom’s physique during this segment, which I’m sure was a direct order from Vince himself. This segment was long and did not seem to get over live though.

 

Howard Finkle now presents us Caesar and Cleopatra as they invite us to WrestleMania IX in Las Vegas and how the winner of the Rumble match would go on to get a title match at WrestleMania. This went on forever and was completely unnecessary, especially after the lengthy Narcissus reveal.

 

The announcers talk about the rules of the match with Heenan all excited over Lex.

 

30 Man Royal Rumble Match

#1 is Ric Flair and #2 is Bob Backlund. Heenan says he has faith in Flair that he can win this match despite being the first entrant. Backlund barely got a reaction for his entrance. Flair get some cheers after strutting around but Backlund knocks him over a few times then uses a sweep. Flair rakes the eyes and hits a hard chop in the corner but Backlund uses a back drop then an atomic drop. #3 is Papa Shango and he beats on Backlund but Backlund tries to get him out then Flair helps out as Shango gets eliminated. I believe Shango’s shoulder was hurt here and that was why he lasted only a minute. Flair stomps on Backlund but Backlund fights back then we see #4 Ted DiBiase run down to the ring. DiBiase beats on Backlund then Flair joins in on the fun. Backlund hangs onto the ropes to stay in the match then eats a double elbow smash as Heenan cracks retirement jokes about Backlund. #5 is Brian Knobbs and he goes after DiBiase but Flair & DiBiase beat him down. Knobbs comes back with a double clothesline then nearly tosses Flair out to the floor. Flair attacks Knobbs from behind but Backlund rams Flair into the corner. #6 is Virgil and he goes after DiBiase. Knobbs charges at DiBiase but misses and DiBiase use a low bridge for the elimination. Backlund goes to the middle rope and Flair attacks as #7 is Jerry Lawler, who goes helps DiBiase attack Virgil. Flair and Lawler mix it up then Flair rolls outside for a breather. Lawler goes after Flair again then #8 is revealed as Max Moon, who was not originally announced for this match. Moon dropkicks Lawler then beats on Flair. The action slows down as the crowd is dead and even the announcers struggle to fill time. #9 is Tenryu as Lawler eliminates Moon. Tenryu gets zero reaction and why would he since he has no exposure on American TV besides a lousy match at WrestleMania VII. Things remain stagnant until #10 is Mr. Perfect as he runs inside and attacks Flair as the crowd finally awakes for this match. Gorilla plugs the Loser Leaves WWF match between Flair and Perfect tomorrow night on “Monday Night RAW.”

#11 is Skinner and he attacks Perfect. Tenryu aimlessly wanders around the ring then we see Perfect eliminate Flair with a clothesline as Heenan is screaming. Lawler attacks Perfect but Perfect fights back. Lawler hits Tenryu with a mat slam then #12 comes out and its Koko B. Ware. Koko attacks Tenryu then Lawler as we see Perfect eliminate Skinner. #13 is Samu as Afa leads him out by the hair. Backlund and Perfect go at it in the corner then Lawler uses a DDT on Perfect. #14 is The Berzerker as the ring is getting crowded. Lawler has Perfect up against the ropes and sets up for a punch but misses and gets eliminated with a backdrop. Then, Lawler pulls Perfect out as Koko, DiBiase, and Samu kick him off of the apron with Lawler pulling Perfect off despite officials trying to intervene as Perfect is now gone. Virgil gets eliminated after Berzerker boots him over the top rope. #15 is The Undertaker as Heenan jokes it will be time for WrestleMania by the time he gets into the ring. Berzerker rolls out and drags Backlund outside and hits him with a chair. Undertaker eliminates Samu and Tenryu as Backlund is out on the floor. Man, was Tenryu useless in this match. #16 is Terry Taylor, who also was not originally announced for the match. He is then immediately dumped by DiBiase, along with Koko. Undertaker then dumps DiBiase but gets attacked by The Berzerker. We now see Harvey Whippleman walk this giant of a man wearing a body suit down to the ring. WCW fans would recognize him as El Gigante but the announcers do not know his name while marveling at his height. Undertaker eliminates Berzerker then turns around to see this giant man in the ring. This man takes one giant step and holds up his arms as #17 is Damien Demento. Undertaker stares down this man but is hit with an overhead punch then knocked over the top rope. This man beats on Undertaker outside of the ring as Gorilla says this is the “bomb” Whippleman was talking about. Demento looks on from the outside as the giant brings Undertaker back in for a chokeslam. #18 is IRS as this man continues to beat on Undertaker then finally leaves. Back to the ring as we see Demento & IRS stomp Backlund then turn on each other. Undertaker is still down in the corner as #19 Tatanka runs out to the ring. Paul Bearer comes out with the urn as Undertaker sits up but falls down and then stumbles around as he heads backstage. #20 is Jerry Sags as he goes after Demento then IRS as Gorilla announces that Backlund has been in the match for 36 minutes.

#21 is Typhoon as he goes after Demento. Nothing much happens then #22 Fatu comes out and kicks Typhoon in the face and after that we go back to slow-paced action. #23 is Earthquake as he attacks Typhoon, who was beating on IRS in the corner. The Natural Disasters beat on each other until Typhoon misses a charge and gets dumped outside for the elimination. The announcers talk about Yokozuna still not in the match yet as #24 is Carlos Colon, who Gorilla refers to as a “youngster.” Colon eliminates Demento then goes after Fatu as Backlund has been in this match for 46 minutes as Earthquake tries for the elimination. #25 is El Matador and he goes after a few different people. Backlund eliminates Fatu as we see Earthquake beat down that youngster Colon. #26 is Rick Martel and he goes right after Matador as there is a lot of dead weight clogging up the ring. IRS gets eliminated after whiffing on a running clothesline then Matador almost eliminates Backlund. #27 is Yokozuna as Gorilla said right now he has to be the odds on favorite to win. Tatanka tries to go hammer away but Yokozuna tosses him for the elimination. Yokozuna then knocks Colon off of the apron for the elimination then gets challenged by Earthquake. The crowd wants to see this showdown as Earthquake is unable to do any damage. #28 is Owen Hart then Earthquake hits an avalanche but misses a second attempt and after a struggle Yokozuna takes Earthquake over the top rope with a belly-to-belly suplex. #29 is Repo Man as he tries to beat on Yokozuna but gets dropped. Owen and Martel mix it up in the corner then everyone tries to gang up and eliminate Yokozuna but it fails as Yokozuna fights them off. #30 comes out and its Randy Savage as the announcers act like its a surprise despite the fact he has been announced for the match for weeks. Yokozuna tosses Matador then Owen accidentally eliminates Sags with a dropkick when Martel moved out of the way. Yokozuna then eliminates Owen and Repo Man.

The final four are Yokozuna, Backlund, Savage, and Martel. Martel and Backlund go at it in the corner as Yokozuna chokes out Savage. Gorilla notes that Backlund is one minute away from breaking Flair’s record for most amount of time in the rumble match then Backlund eliminates Martel. Yokozuna turns around and gets staggered after a pair of dropkicks but tries a charge and gets tossed outside as its just Yokozuna and Savage. Yokozuna hammers away in the corner. Savage fights back and tries everything he can and gets Yokozuna to one knee but runs into a thrust kick and after that Yokozuna uses a leg drop. Yokozuna then hits an avalanche but misses a second attempt and falls down then Savage hits a flying elbow drop and covers for some reason and that results in Yokozuna tossing him off and over the top rope for the win (66:35) **3/4.

Thoughts: The star power here was lacking and there was a lot of dead weight in the match. I liked the Perfect/Flair stuff and Undertaker getting taken out by this giant was a surprise and did not come off that bad (well, the bodysuit was atrocious) but other than those things and the end, which was hot, the match dragged. The Backlund storyline only seemed to get the fans attention the last few minutes he was in the match. The end was dumb I thought as there was no reason for Savage to go for a pin and the kickout over the top rope finish was not smooth enough to make it look impressive. I get wanting to protect Savage but come up with something more intelligent. We now have Yokozuna getting the title shot at WrestleMania, which is not a surprise since he was built up strongly as a favorite to win on TV.

 

Video montage of highlights from the show are shown.

 

Final Thoughts: Despite a lack of star power in the Rumble match (especially glaring considering the stakes) this was a solid show. The undercard delivered for the most part besides Bigelow vs. Bossman and it was easy to watch at least. The show also took place during an interesting time period as the company was transitioning but things would get even more interesting during the next few weeks.