Royal Rumble Count-Up: 1991 – Rockers vs. Orient Express And That’s About It

Royal Rumble 1991
Date: January 19, 1991
Location: Miami Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 16,000
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Roddy Piper

Well, there’s a few big things, but a lot is still the same. Warrior is champion here, defending against Sgt. Slaughter who is in the heel turn as the Iraqi sympathizer. Who cares if the war was already over? The other thing is that about two months ago, Undertaker debuted. This really is about the same as last year’s, but you can see a lot of the stuff that would shape the new era coming.

For one thing, Bret is featured at the opening of the Rumble, as his singles push was just around the corner. This show really is more designed to set up Mania, as the Rumble itself really didn’t know its purpose yet. The title shot at Mania wouldn’t become official until 1993. The card is considered underrated, so let’s see if it lives….up, I guess would be the right term.

We open with a shot of the American flag as it’s apparently one of those shows. It’s always cool to hear the Anthem though. The problem here though is simple: the war was less than a month from being over and that was fairly obvious. The angle should have ended here with Slaughter coming in as champion, maybe having won it at Summerslam or something like that. Three months later when Hogan beat him for it the war was already over.

That was just kind of pointless. Anyway, the regular intro is just that: regular. It’s the same old thing of the participants being listed, although this time it’s by Gene. I almost didn’t recognize his voice though. The first name: Hogan. The second: Bret. That’s saying a lot. Piper always ranted with the best of them.

Rockers vs. Orient Express

This apparently is an encounter, not a match. That’s the Fink for you. I’m still waiting on the explanation of how they’re tag team specialists, yet they had far more success as singles wrestlers. They start immediately when they hit the ring which says that this should be good. Oh and it’s Tanaka and Kato the masked man here as this is the NEW Orient Express despite them having been a team in the AWA and half of the NEW Orient Express being the same as the old Orient Express.

Marty is knocked out to the floor and therefore worthless about 4 seconds in. Well it’s good to know he’s improving. He redeems himself by throwing a superkick at Tanaka that misses by about 4 inches or so. Hey Marty’s ON tonight. The Rockers hit stereo suicide dives on the Express. That’s completely unheard of at this time as Gorilla doesn’t even have a name for it here, calling them cross bodies.

We get a HUGE USA chant as we’re finally in the corners for a regular tag match. To say the crowd is hot is like saying Norcal is a bit popular around here. They are moving ridiculously fast out there with some great chain wrestling. I feel sorry for Marty as he really was talented. His partner just happens to be one of the best of all time. Speaking of which, Shawn is in now and beating on Tanaka.

They’re never staying in one spot for long at all. The crowd is insane here too so that’s a major plus. This was around the time where you realized the Rockers really were good and not just two pretty boys. Their stuff was getting to a level that was just below the Harts and could even be compared to them. That’s appropriate too because the Harts would split after Mania of this year. Shawn uses a HHH leaping knee to the face. That’s gimmick infringement boy.

They use a decent amount of rest holds, but they’re moving out of them quickly which is all I ask for. To be fair they’re all over the place in this. A We Will Rock You sing a long starts up. That’s actually something I’ve never thought of.

A sleeper gets a pop. That’s just not something you see often at all. Piper goes into a weird discussion about what is a legal vs. illegal punch/strike. Good night this is fun. Shawn goes up for ten punches in the corner and comes off with a moonsault to take out Kato. Again, that doesn’t even have a name. We’re about ten minutes into this and they’re still all over the place.

Naturally the announcers say that it’s been fifteen or so but whatever. Shawn does a freaking 610! Ok so it was sloppy but it was the same move. They follow that up with stereo cross bodies from the top to the floor. This is AWESOME stuff. Double teaming and Fuji gets control for the Express. We get the inevitable “this is the first match!” line, which is wrestling speak for “we know the rest of this is going to suck and we’re sorry.”

The Express are using moves that were considered great when the World’s Greatest Tag Team was using them. On no. It’s a NERVE HOLD! This is the epitome of a weak rest hold as all you do is grab the other person’s neck. It allegedly cuts off the flow of blood or something and you lose feeling in your arm. Oh good it’s now a less bad chinlock. The crowd is still going nuts.

As per the Rockers’ formula, Shawn gets beaten up to set up the Jannetty tag. In a very cool and smart spot, the Express pull off their sash to use for a clothesline but Shawn avoids it. Instead he dives on it, pulling the Express together so they crash. That’s very smart. Marty comes in to get a paycheck so he can….uh…buy model trains. Yeah, that works.

He’s going to buy model trains with the money he makes tonight. Lots of them, in a dark alley. Yeah, that’s right. His dropkicks aren’t that good, mainly because at least one foot misses. He makes up for it with a jumping back elbow though so I’m fine. The Rockers “hit” a double superkick to put Kato down and go to the top.

They set for what I think was going to be a rocket launcher but it doesn’t get to launch thanks to Tanaka. The Express set for a move where Kato slingshots Marty into Tanaka for a chop. It works so naturally they do it again. This time though, Shawn hits Tanaka, allowing Marty to jump over him for a sunset flip to win it! That was SWEET looking.

Rating: A. This was greatness plain and simple. It was a bit sloppy, but this was one of the most fun matches I’ve ever seen. They were all over the place and doing stuff that wouldn’t become popular until WCW’s Cruiserweight days. The Rockers truly were greatness in tag wrestling. They would split in less than a year though, which might have been a shame. Excellent match here though and well worth going out of your way to see.

Randy Savage has a statement to make. He more or less declares himself the number one contender for the world title. He and Sean watch on the screen as Gene and Sherri come into the arena. She calls Warrior out, saying how honorable he is. More or less she tries to seduce him into giving Savage the next title shot. Naturally since he’s the Warrior and well past certifiable, he turns her down despite her being on her knees in front of him.

We do find out that Warrior’s eyes are hazel. This is just amusing to see as the acting is painfully bad. Warrior is the better of the two as the only thing he says is NO one time at the very end. To be fair though, I think this was meant to be awful. The pop for her getting down on her knees is WAY bigger than it should be.

Warrior looks odd in his gear, the belt and a leather jacket with a flag on the back. The belt is purple by the way. In the back, Savage is PISSED, destroying his locker room and sprinting off after Warrior.

Big Boss Man vs. Barbarian

This was during what was likely Boss Man’s biggest storyline as a face, as he was feuding with the Heenan Family one by one over comments that Rick Rude had made about Boss Man’s mother. It would culminate with Boss Man vs. Perfect at Mania, where for some reason that absolutely no one gets, Boss Man didn’t win the Intercontinental Title, which more or less ended him being an important character.

This is just another match so it’s likely going to be a glorified squash. Piper says Heenan is intelligent. I’m blown away. This is power vs. power obviously but they’re doing the right thing here and having them go back and forth with big shots. That’s the best way to do these if there is such a thing I guess. Bossman really was talented. Somehow this is probably the best Barbarian match ever.

Boss Man at least made you want to care about a match, which is a lot more than most characters from this time were able to do. After a decent display of back and forth stuff, we naturally hit the bearhug because it wouldn’t be a Barbarian match without one I guess. The crowd is staying in this one so I have to hand it to them. They do some more slow stuff but for some reason this is holding my interest very well.

Both hit their finishers but both opponents get the ropes. Or at least Barbarian was supposed to, but he never actually reached it. He goes for a piledriver and I think Boss Man slipped out of it or something but it looked pretty bad. Crowd is quiet now. Scratch that. I like Boss Man’s shirt coming open like it does. It gives him that working man look that I think was part of what they were going for with him. Little things like that can make a character so points for it.

In one of the weirdest endings I can ever remember, Barbarian goes up for a freaking cross body from the top but Boss Man rolls through it for the pin. Well that was odd. During the celebration they go slow motion on Boss Man on the ropes raising his arms which looks really cool.

Rating: B. This was a lot better than I expected. They took two guys of the same style and got a solid match out of them. That’s just flat out impressive. This could have been far worse but it really was entertaining. Boss Man had that it factor around this time that made you care about him and that’s exactly what happened here. For some reason all that got him was a Mania match with Perfect where he didn’t get the belt or a rematch but whatever. This was a lot better than I expected it to be.

Iron Sheik and Slaughter have a bit to say. Slaughter’s chin puts Jay Leno’s to shame. He’s just flat out creepy actually which is a good thing. He says that he’ll be the new leader and you haven’t even begun to see turmoil yet. So is he saying he’ll be an awful leader that causes turmoil? Apparently that’s an order.

Gene is with Warrior, who he calls orier. That just came out as odd. Speaking of odd, Gene tries his best to walk Warrior through a coherent promo but the guy whispers almost everything he says and it’s just hard to understand. He says he’ll win I think.

WWF Title: Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ultimate Warrior

Gorilla has to give a disclaimer about Slaughter’s views, saying they don’t reflect Arab Americans or the WWF. Piper goes nuts as a patriot, talking about how the troops are fighting for freedom. There’s a complete argument there that I’ll stay out of. Piper says we ain’t talking skim milk here. I love Piper’s complete insanity. How exactly does one go bananas? Warrior really was WAY over. How did he manage to screw this up?

Warrior beats up the likely senior citizen Sheik and rips up the Iraqi flag. You have to be interested in how war validates things that would otherwise never be allowed. Warrior hits a knee lift, which I’ve never seen him do otherwise. The commentators are so unbelievably biased here it’s unreal. Slaughter really was good as a bumper. For no apparent reason, here’s Sherri with her fine figure. That thing really is impressive.

Warrior’s isn’t bad either, but that could be because his tights are white which I have a bit of a thing for. She gets Warrior’s attention and he chases her back to the entrance where Savage is waiting on him. He beats Warrior up for a bit which of course the referee sees none of, despite Savage wearing BRIGHT PINK clothing against a black backdrop. Yeah that just blends in perfectly.

Ah but there’s the USA chants and the power of patriotism gets Warrior up again. Wisely, Slaughter keeps stopping the count. Roddy, being a decent analyst, points out that very thing. In a bit of forshaddowing, Slaughter does a version of the Hogan ear bit. It’s all Slaughter right now as he spits on Warrior. Yep that’s some great offense. He’s also rocking the curled up boots which are a fashion risk but I’d wear them.

A double clothesline takes both guys down. In a dumb looking spot, Slaughter follows Warrior around with his arms up for a double axe and then puts on a bear hug. You would have to see it to get why it was stupid. Ah, the powers of patriotism are rising up again! Apparently that only works for the yellow and red though as Warrior is still in trouble. Gorilla says Warrior is only half conscious right now.

Wow he’s in better shape than usual. Warrior gets out of the bear hug with a double axe that I don’t think actually hit. The comeback lasts just a bit though as Warrior obviously doesn’t love America enough. He must be a commie or something. Oh wait. He’s from Parts Unknown. Everything is explained now. The Cobra Clutch, which in this case means a camel clutch, is on put Warrior’s legs are hanging out. In a weird camera angle the referee is blocked by the guys so it looks like there’s no one there.

Why is the camel clutch used primarily by Arab themed wrestlers? Think about it: Sheik, Sultan, Muhammad Hassan, Slaughter in this gimmick. What’s the deal with that? Vince may not be racist but he tends to have a lot of racial stereotypes to his characters. Here comes Warrior’s Hulk impression as he can’t feel pain. Warrior hits a flying shoulder which Gorilla calls a heabutt. Well that wasn’t even close.

That’s by far the biggest mistake Gorilla has made that I can remember. Sherri is back again as you can see the screwjob coming. Being the genius that he is, Warrior does the same thing he did earlier which resulted in him getting beaten up. This time though he press slams Sherri as Savage runs out. Slaughter knees Warrior in the back to put him in position for a 619, but Savage blasts him with the scepter.

An elbow drop of all things gives Slaughter the title in a move that really should have come four months earlier to get maximum heat. Piper is FURIOUS. I love how the madder he got the higher pitched his voice got. Warrior runs to the back presumably to get Savage as Slaughter is awarded the title. Everyone is PISSED, with Piper being the most of them all. Slaughter the solider holding a purple belt is rather amusing looking.

Rating: D. This was all about the angle. As for the match: it was awful. Granted given the two guys out there, what were you really expecting? This was all about setting up Mania though, and it did a great job of that.

Still though, the timing of the war ending really hurt them, which is why having Hogan get it back here and then doing something else at Mania would have worked better. What that something else would have been is beyond me though. Maybe Hogan vs. Savage again or something like that, but as it turned out the moment was good, but not in the real world terms. As for this, the match was bad but the angle was good, simple as that.

Savage and Sherri are with Sean and say that this was because Warrior said no to Savage. Randy says that he’s the best ever as someone is trying to get in, presumably the Warrior.

Piper and Gorilla are mad. Monsoon is rocking some purple glasses.

Gene is with the new champion and Sheik. They cut him off as Slaughter says I told you so. That belt looks odd indeed.

Gorilla calls Slaughter the Ultimate Puke. WOW. Piper rips his own headset off so he can curse for a bit. That was one of the funniest bits I’ve ever seen and it was completely unintentional.

Mountie vs. Koko B. Ware

This is cut from the Coliseum Video version and incredibly rare, but I got lucky and found an original recording of the show. I’ll go with a very condensed version here though as it’s a ten minute squash. This is the debut of the Mountie character who was either a bad comedy bit or the results of a Vince coke binge. For those that have noticed I make a lot of cocaine references, think about it.

For one thing, it was the 80s when cocaine was running rampant. Second, there are a ton of stories of Vince being a coke head at times. Third, is there any way that he could come up with half of his ideas without drug use? I mean really, Repo Man? Anyway, let’s get to the Hall of Famer Koko’s latest masterpiece. WOW this is boring.

It’s a squash, but it’s the kind that’s supposed to let Mountie show off all of his stuff, but the problem is it’s just putting the people to sleep. I have a feeling I know how this is going to end, which makes it all the more stupid to have to go this long just to get to that one moment. Yep there it is: Mountie shocks him. That’s the whole point of this match: getting that into the Mountie’s system. Wow that was brutal.

Rating: D. This was pretty bad. It was a waste of 10 minutes in what should have been a 4-5 minute match. Why did we need to see all of Mountie’s stuff? Better yet, why did we need Koko’s? This was about the Mountie, but they gave Koko all of that offense. It makes him look like he has trouble beating a simple jobber which is the last thing you want to do with a heel character. I don’t get this.

Some people talk about their relatives in the war. Ok, we get it: the WWF supports the troops. Holy throat crammage Vince let it go. Note: saying guys and gals sounds freaking stupid. They’re girls or women, not gals. It’s not the freaking 50s anymore.

Children attempting to be sentimental should be dragged through the streets attached to a chariot and then set on fire as goats eat their flesh. Or even worse: be forced to listen to how annoying they sound. I don’t like kids on camera in case you couldn’t tell. Now regular kids I love spending time with as they’re cool, but not kids on a camera that are “so adorable.” No, they’re really not.

Apparently Hulk wanted to go to the Middle East and visit the troops but the Department of Defense stopped him so he’s going to bases in America. Not sure if that’s true, but if it is, that’s pretty cool even if it was the company’s idea and not Hulk’s.

Jake Roberts says he wants Martel.

Earthquake says a lot of people are going to come after him and he’s ready. He calls out some guys, including Hogan and Taker. Yeah that’s brilliant buddy.

Greg Valentine, sweating profusely for some reason, says bring them on.

Texas Tornado says he’ll win. I always liked him.

The LOD say that if life is a roller coaster you wouldn’t want to ride them. Um, ok?

Brother Love speaks for Taker, saying that he’ll bury 29 men. I love how so many people assume that there will be no eliminations by the time they get there.

Duggan says he’ll win. He punches his board for no reason.

Martel says he’ll look good while he wins. He’s ripped here.

Davey Boy Smith says he’s glad he’s a bulldog. Ok then.

Perfect and Heenan say that Perfect will be the last man standing.

Tugboat says he’ll jump right in the middle of things and if it comes down to him and Hulk, TOOT! That made less than zero sense.

Piper has been working with Virgil. Oh dear.

DiBiase says Virgil is more or less his slave. That looks like a face’s face to me on Virgil. Nah that could never happen though. Perish the thought!

Dustin/Dusty Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase/Virgil

Dusty and Ted had been feuding since Summerslam and Dustin had been in the crowd at SNME watching his dad when Ted went after him. The rest is about what you would expect. Dusty was gone less than a month after this, heading back to WCW though so there we are. No polka dots either darn the luck. Apparently they’re Americana. Oh great. If nothing else here the two theme songs are so awesome words can’t describe it.

They’re really building up the Virgil face turn here as they have been lately. My goodness Dusty is fat. Dustin is a complete rookie here with very little experience. He was naturally talented though so he’s not bad. A big brawl starts us out here as it occurs to me how little experience Virgil has in the ring. Dustin is WAY taller than Virgil and it looks quite funny.

It’s also amusing that of these four, Dustin would have by far the most successful WWF career. The future gold enthusiast has to duck under Virgil’s leapfrog. It never really occurred to me how tall Dustin is. DiBiase says Virgil is embarrassing him and Virgil is frustrated. You can feel the turn coming and you know it’s going to be awesome. We’re about five minutes in and Dusty hasn’t been in yet.

You know what, I’m not even going to bother typing the joke here. You all know what’s coming. Dusty, I’m begging you, either put a shirt on, hit a gym, or invest in blow away. You need it. After Virgil and Dustin come in, Dustin hits his knee on the buckle and is down. Naturally (oh I kill myself sometimes) the heels work it over. Just like Jesse used to, Piper gets a bit annoyed with Gorilla’s babbling about what body part is hurt.

He says Dustin’s leg is hurt, end of discussion, and that’s why Piper is awesome. Virgil accidentally hits DiBiase and gets punched and chopped for his efforts. Dustin and Dusty are really just placeholders for DiBiase and Virgil here. As I type this Dusty goes from being dominant to getting rolled up and pinned. Well that was pretty weak. However, we have a post match angle here. Roddy says that the father and son can come back.

Granted they both did but a good many years later. Ted says that Virgil has his price and that he needs to put the belt around his waist. Oh and he insults Dusty and Dustin. The Virgil chant is massive here and the countdown is on. Virgil really is built. Piper is disgusted by Virgil giving in again and washes his hands of him. That lasts all of about 20 seconds though as Virgil throws the belt down. He eventually gets on his knees after DiBiase orders him around even more.

DiBiase turns around and Virgil blasts him in the face with the belt. The crowd E-FREAKING-RUPTS over this. For years and years DiBiase had ordered him around and made him look pathetic and finally Virgil had enough. The payoff was completely worth it here in a very cool moment that had me smiling.

Rating: B. I’m going B here because this wasn’t as much of a match rather than an angle. The angle after the match was just flat out awesome. That needed to happen and they built it up beautifully. They had a match at Mania which Virgil won by count out. The problem was simple though: what in the world do you do with Virgil now? He had no gimmick and he just kind of floundered after this, but dang it was a great moment.

Time for more Rumble promos.

Tugboat uses a bunch of boat analogies which make me think Shockmaster was the better of his gimmicks.

Smash reminds me of the Joker for some reason.

Dino Bravo says he’s not afraid of Earthquake.

Crush says no one will be safe, not even Smash.

Perfect says he’s the only perfect athlete and he’ll win.

Hogan of course gets his own special interview where he says exactly what you would expect him to say. He dedicates the match to the troops. Say it with me: Hulk will win. In between the promo, Gene gets a message saying that Slaughter has just defaced the American flag. Yeah that’s not foreshadowing Mania at all.

In one of the absolute funniest things I can ever remember, Hogan forgets the name of the Iraqi leader (Sadaam Hussein). That was PRICELESS. He dedicates the match to the troops and freaks out over the flag issue, but wait, who are they fighting again? That was great.

Royal Rumble

It never ceases to amaze me how great the pops are for the Rumble. Bret is number one. That’s saying a lot for what they knew he had. Two is Bravo as we go over the rules. His hair is dark blond here and it looks bad. Naturally Bret looks great out there. This right here is why you need to keep an eye on your midcard and tag guys (the few that are left): you never know what kind of greatness you’ll be seeing.

The tag line of OVW is Tomorrow’s Superstars Today. Considering at a WWE house show in 2002 I saw two guys named Prototype and Leviathan go at it, truer words have never been spoken. Those two would later be known as John Cena and Batista, so there you are. Bret almost immediately gets Bravo out but not quite. They discuss the Iron Man record which is a by comparison pathetic 44 minutes at the moment.

Three is Greg Valentine. He goes after Bravo despite his being a heel at the time. Hammer puts him out, and Piper starts writing stuff down just as he did at Survivor Series. It was funny then and it’s still kind of funny now. In at four is Paul Roma. For the life of me, this guy was a Horsemen? I will never understand that no matter how long I think about it. Maybe I shouldn’t try to. Maybe that’s the secret to it.

Bret is really being pushed as a big deal here which is certainly a good thing. In a smart move, Bret just sits back and lets Hammer and Roma fight. See, that’s something almost no one does but Bret is smart enough to do it. Kerry Von Erich is fifth, giving us two faces and two heels. Piper apparently has issues with calling so much action at once. There’s two fights. How is that hard? Martel is in next, which is pretty lackluster.

I guess we’re setting up the jobbers for the big name to come in and clean house. We get some heel on heel violence as this is just boring. Saba Simba comes in at seven to dead silence. Even Gorilla isn’t sure of his name. He’s cut up pretty well though. You guys know him better as Tony Atlas. In a dumb thing, all six guys are in one corner. That’s just not right. Tornado has the claw on Roma for no apparent reason.

In at 8 is Butch to up the level of talent out there. Simba and Model both go over but Martel saves himself so we’re still at 6. In case you’re wondering, it’s Hart, Valentine, Von Erich, Martel, Butch and Roma. Despite commentating on it a second ago, Gorilla has forgotten about Saba being tossed. These matches go a lot faster when I’m reviewing them.

Jake comes in at 9 and of course goes right for Martel who had tried to blind him recently. This led to the blindfold match at Mania which just gets dumber and dumber every time I see it.

In a funny spot, Martel tries to eliminate himself but isn’t allowed to. We hit double digits with Hercules. The ring is WAY too full right now as we need someone to come in and clear out some of these guys. This is a lot of punching and kicking and bad attempts to throw someone out. There are eight guys out there at the moment and there’s the clock.

The eleventh entrant is Tito Santana to even further overfill the ring. Roma goes out to get us back down to eight. After about a minute the clock is up again for number twelve, which is THANK GOODNESS the Undertaker. We needed a monster to clear out some of these guys, so let’s see what he’s got. He dumps Hart in about four seconds. Taker no sells the Tornado Punch as Von Erich is a pure jobber at this point despite being IC Champion very recently.

About a minute and a half after Taker gets in, Snuka comes in at 13. Ring is WAY too full. Butch is thrown out by Taker as well to get us to eight guys out there. To recap, it’s Taker, Valentine, Martel, Hercules, Von Erich, Snuka, Santana and Roberts. Valentine and Von Erich are trying to get rid of Taker. The huge amount of people in the ring is just killing this thing. Again with the shortchanging of the clock! It’s British Bulldog to get us to 9 people in the ring. That’s just absurd.

Snuka just doesn’t look right with an afro and long tights. That’s just odd. It’s the soon to be gone Smash in at 15. Well if nothing else the ending should be good. Jake goes out to get us back down to nine in there as that just sounds stupid. Martel has a freaking scary look on his face. Hawk is the first of the second half as this match is just bad. There are too many people and there’s been more or less no story at all.

All we have here is a bunch of people leaning on the ropes and punching each other. To make this even BETTER, Shane freaking Douglas is in at 17. Dang what were they thinking on this show? It’s awful. Yes he was in WWF for awhile. We finally get rid of a bit of the crap out there as Von Erich and Superfly both go out within about 5 seconds of each other. Note: I don’t think they’re bad wrestlers, but they’re just filler here and everyone knows it.

There’s no 18, and Gorilla speculates that someone was afraid to come in. It was supposed to be Savage but he was running from the Warrior so there’s your explanation that comes at the end of the match. Piper says that the 18th entrant has until the clock starts to still come in. Doesn’t the clock always run but we just don’t see it? Why am I trying to make sense of him? 19 is Animal so we have the LOD in there together.

Apparently 18 has forfeited his spot according to the great and mighty Gorilla. Hawk and Animal put out Taker and then Hercules and Martel put out Hawk just afterwards. At least the numbers are going down a bit. There’s only eight in there now with 11 more to come. Crush of Demolition cracks the twenties.

At the moment we have Crush, Smash, Martel, Valentine, Animal, Santana, Davey Boy, Shane and Hercules and all of them are joined by Duggan at 21. He throws the board down and I guess we’ll call it runs to the ring.

Twenty two is Earthquake. Please, I beg of you, get rid of some of these guys! He takes out Animal pretty quickly. About maybe 80 seconds after Quake comes out, the Perfect entrant is in at 23. Even Piper thinks something is wrong with the clock. Perfect is more or less crawling to the ring. It took about 30 seconds to get there. That’s saying a lot. He does take out Duggan so that’s better than nothing I guess.

Wow we’re running low on people left to come in. They’re talkinga bout how long some of the people have been in there and it really is impressive. The twenty fourth is HOGAN! Yep, he should get a few people out. He gets a massive pop, so naturally he gets beaten on by Smash and Perfect. Never mind as Smash is gone almost immediately. He’s on Earthquake now as I don’t remember seeing a crowd freak out that fast after being dead for so long before.

The twenty fifth is Haku as we’re really getting close here. Hogan puts out Valentine who was in there for forty four minutes, just shy of DiBiase’s record. Martel just looks dead out there. Neidhart comes in next to get us down to four to go. Tito punches the tar out of Earthquake and is then thrown over with ease. Oh look. It’s Luke in at 27. Bets on how bad this will go anyone? He steps in, Quake grabs him and takes him to the other side of the ring and he’s gone in four seconds.

Well then there you go. To his credit he never stopped marching. Quake actually uses a full nelson on Hogan. Wow that’s like, a real wrestling move. That’s surprising. Nasty Boy Knobbs is the first of the final three. Man was the Brawler busy or something tonight? The penultimate spot goes to Warlord as absolutely nothing of note is going on here. Hercules is dumped out. Hogan tosses Crush as I just want to get to the end of this now.

Martel has the Iron Man record. Hogan knocks out Warlord as we’re at the last countdown of the match, and number 30 is Tugboat, thereby confirming that Savage no showed. Ok, so remaining in the match we have Hogan, Earthquake, Tugboat, Martel, Perfect, Douglas, Knobbs, Bulldog, Haku and Neidhart. See what I mean when I say this isn’t much of a Rumble? They figure out that Warrior ran Savage off. Knobbs throws out Douglas.

Wow that kind of shows where his career was at. Tugboat picks up Hogan and dumps him to the apron, so Hogan throws him out. He would turn heel in a few months based mainly on this, becoming Typhoon and more or less saving his career, before a good bit of electrocution ended that. Bulldog hits an amazing dropkick on Perfect to put him out. Perfect was sitting on the top rope and Smith caught him with at least one foot square in the face. That was impressive.

Martel actually puts Neidhart out clean. That’s very surprising. Smith puts Haku out with a backdrop as we’re trying to get rid of the jobbers. Smith follows that up with a clothesline to put Martel out to a pop. That’s saying a lot that the fans noticed that. I’m proud of them for that one. That gets us to the final four of Smith, Hogan (there’s a pairing that could have been interesting to say the least), Earthquake and…..Brian Knobbs?

And people say Hogan didn’t do good stuff for his friends. The heels team up and knock out Smith to get us to three. Hmm, I never thought I’d see this: Hogan stuck against two heels. I mean, this could never happen! How could he possibly get out of this one??? To further secure the Hogan victory, Earthquake hits the Earthquake and of course pops up. Piper cheering Hogan is just flat out wrong on so many levels. A boot takes out Knobbs and it’s Hogan vs. Earthquake.

Surprisingly they go at it for awhile with Quake dominating. And of course Hogan winds up winning it. After another Hulk Up, Hogan knocks out Quake with a clothesline. A HUGE celebration ends with Hogan waving the flag to emphasize America is Great angle of the show.

Rating: D+. This was just bad. It was boring for the most part with Hogan’s winning being about as obvious as you could possibly imagine. Martel was the only running story and you knew he wouldn’t stand a chance at all. Seriously, Brian freaking Knobbs was in the final three. How does that make a good match? It felt like a bunch of jobbers just killing time for Hogan, which is exactly what it was. That doesn’t make a good Rumble at all.

Overall Rating: C-. We have a great opening match, a decent match, a bad squash, a very bad title match that was all about building up Mania, another bad match and a very lackluster Rumble. My goodness that Rockers/Express match carried a lot of this show, and that’s just not a good thing.

It’s just not that good overall and while it has some moments, it’s just not there. I think Vince started realizing that this formula wasn’t working and he needed to change a thing or two, and DANG did he ever for next year. This show isn’t worth seeing, but the Rockers vs. Express match is must see stuff.

 

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