Royal Rumble Count-Up – 1992: Just Listen To It

Royal Rumble 1992
Date: January 19, 1992
Location: Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, New York
Attendance: 17,000
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan

Oh yes. OH YES. This right here is in mine and several other people’s opinion, the best Rumble of all time, and there is one man to thank for that: Ric Flair. Yes, the Nature Boy himself has arrived to save the company after WCW did the absolute dumbest thing of all time and allowed him to just walk into the open arms of Vince. Without going into the whole rant which is in my Survivor Series 1991 review, Flair was more or less told that he would become a completely new character or be fired.

Flair actually had a brain and realized he could be a main event star in WWF at a moment’s notice and that’s exactly what he did. The icing on the pizza (delicious, you should try it someday) was that he had legal possession of the NWA World Title belt, the one that is currently known as the World Heavyweight Championship. This led to Heenan showing up on WWF Television with the NWA Title.

The look on Gorilla and Neidhart’s faces were so priceless I don’t even know where to start. That would be like John Cena showing up on Impact. To say it was huge was an understatement as it rocked the wrestling world. Anyway, Flair claimed that he was the real world’s champion and helped Taker steal the world title at Survivor Series. Hogan threw the urn’s ashes at Taker and rolled him up to steal the title back.

Based on all that insanity, Jack Tunney vacated the title. We’ve had no champion in about two months here, and there just happens to be a huge battle royal coming up. So therefore, in one of the only things that Tunney EVER got right, he makes the 1992 Royal Rumble for the WWF Title. OH YES! Tell me that doesn’t sound completely awesome. For the entire build up to this, Heenan kept saying this is Flair’s chance to show that he’s the best.

Remember that, as it’s one of the most important things to the show. The only bad thing about this is that we have to put up with the rest of the card before we get to the Rumble. Dang I’m looking forward to this. Let’s go.

Naturally we go over half the entrants to the Rumble first. I like being surprised better though, but whatever. We hear that the Mountie took the IC Title from Hart over the weekend, which was simply done so we could save Hart vs. Piper for Mania.

Orient Express vs. New Foundation

The New Foundation is comprised of Owen and Neidhart. We get our first WILL YOU BE SERIOUS from Gorilla so I’m happy. This is the era of the baggy pants which were just flat out odd in my eyes. We hear about the substitutions. Brian Knobbs has a bad shoulder so he’s replaced by Haku. Jannetty is out as well. Something about a bad haircut I believe, and he’s replaced by Nikolai Volkoff. My goodness what a terrifying concept of a match that is.

Something tells me that this isn’t going to be as good as the other version of this match that had the Rockers in it last year. So far I’m right. We’re already doing far too much mat work here. In something you don’t see that often, the faces dominate the at least opening half of this thing. Ok, they’ve dominated most of this. The ending must be coming soon right? I mean it hasn’t been a bad match but they’ve had ten minutes already.

With guys like the Rockers going a long time is fine, but Anvil? Something doesn’t connect there. Tanaka is wearing a black shirt in here for no apparent reason. Naturally the commentators won’t shut up about the Rumble, which at least makes sense here. It does guarantee a new world champion, so at least there’s a reason to talk about it nonstop. After some interference (shocking I say, SHOCKING!) from Fuji, the Express take over.

This match is running long, and they’re in the deadly territory of being long for the sake of being long. That is never a good thing. The match is ok, but I don’t think it needs this much time. Finally we have the hot tag to Anvil, and the Rocket Launcher ends this one.

Rating: C+. This was a decent match, but there was no way this should have gone on this long. Last year’s stuff was great as they just went out there and went insane, but here it was Owen against two other guys and then a hot tag to Anvil. That’s fine for something like a ten minute match, but this didn’t do it for me. Again, not a bad match by any means, but it just didn’t work, at least in my eyes.

Alfred Hayes talks about Bret’s loss at a house show where he (kayfabe) had a 100+ degree fever. This was I think two or three days prior to the Rumble. Somehow this sets up Piper against Mountie. We get a long clip from the show. They really need to show more stuff from house shows as they’re a great way to save some TV time and still advance the shows. Oh apparently Piper came in for the save for Hart and Mountie beat him up, setting the match up. That makes sense at least.

Mountie says he’ll win.

Piper says he’ll win, but in a much funnier way.

Intercontinental Title: Mountie vs. Roddy Piper

The idea here is that Piper has never won a title, but can win two tonight. This is really just a formality as I don’t think anyone believed there was a chance in Mountie retaining. This is more or less the height of Piper’s face run as he’s been feuding with Flair for awhile. He’s living proof that you don’t need a title to be a major star. The pop is great here as he’s just massively over. Piper stars off hot here, beating Mountie up with relative ease.

Heenan is hilarious, plain and simple. He’s panicking over what number Flair has and is desparate to get to the back and find out, coming up with great ways to have to go check. He offers to go get a diet drink for Monsoon. It’s a lot funnier than it sounds. Why do I love the jumping back elbow so much? It just looks awesome. Hart interferes but Piper is FAR too smart for that. He hooks a sleeper about as casually as you can imagine and gets his first title.

He uses the shock stick afterwards which still sounds like a doorbell. The celebration is great here, as Piper really was over to say the least. He didn’t win another belt until a few years ago with Flair, but this was great. He deserved a belt, even though he didn’t need one. It’s a cool moment though.

Rating: B. The match was a complete squash but it was never about the match. This was giving Piper something for his years of work and that’s just fine. He would go on to have a great match with Bret at Mania, so there we go. This was a cool moment and that’s all it was supposed to be.

Hayes completely barges into Hogan’s locker room and asks for an interview. To be fair, at least he gives him one. He says he has no friends in the Rumble today. He’s off steroids here as his look is completely changing.

The Bushwackers say they have a surprise for the Beverly Sisters. Apparently they’re going to feed them to Jameson. Jameson was this nerd character that was just bad.

Beverly Brothers vs. Bushwackers

Still I wonder how these guys had jobs. My guess for this is a comedy match. That scares me to death. The Genius is managing the Beverlies here. Gorilla says that the Bushwackers have been licking their way through the competition. That line speaks for itself. The match gets going as Jameson has a sandwich. No one has ever gotten the point of this guy, so naturally he kept going on and on. This just goes on and on.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Luke and Butch actually did something. All they’re doing is going to the ropes after some bare bones offense and shouting to the crowd. The heels aren’t much help either as they’re just not that good. We are LIVE! I guess even the camera guy couldn’t take watching this for such a long time. I can’t say I blame him. This is just going on FAR too long here and nothing at all of note is happening.

It’s just generic stuff that isn’t interesting at all. They’re just beating on each other with no rhyme or reason. Oh and Jameson is nervous. That’s all there is here but it just keeps going. The fans are more or less dead here too. After literally almost 15 minutes, the Beverlies win it. Oh but wait! Jameson has to do something stupid! Apparently he doesn’t like the Genius so he kicks him in the shin. Yep, that’s about it.

Rating: F-. Do I even need to explain this?

Gene is with the LOD, who are the tag champions here. They just say they’re not afraid of the Natural Disasters. Hawk does have a good line where he says the Disasters want to throw their weight around. That’s ok, because the LOD want to throw the Natural Disasters’ weight around too.

Tag Titles: Legion of Doom vs. Natural Disasters

This is tag match #3 out of 4 matches. The Rumble is next, thank goodness. This undercard has been crap in every sense of the word. The matches aren’t interesting and other than Piper vs. Mountie, nothing of note has happened. I mean really, Owen and Neidhart vs. two jobbers and jobbers fighting jobbers. How interesting does that sound? At least this should be kind of fun at least. LOD’s pop is great.

Naturally this is mainly just a strength contest to begin with. Dang it with the stupid formula stuff all night long. I can almost call out the match as it goes. It’s just generic stuff that power guys do with the Disasters taking control for most of the match. Why should I be interested in this? In short, I’m not, and I like these teams. Here’s the comeback. Yeah, I really don’t care about this. That’s the problem with a huge match like the Rumble for the title closing the show.

Also the talent is all in the main event so no one is interested in something like this. The good thing is that the Rumble should be pretty star studded. Oh come on. A freaking COUNT OUT??? That’s how we end this? We don’t event get a solid ending after having to sit through that? I’m already annoyed and that’s what I get for it? Freaking bad booking there and it got no reaction at all. When the LOD get no reaction, you can tell there’s no interest at all. The Disasters won by the way.

Rating: D. This just feels like a bad house show so far. I mean really, the IC Title changing hands is the only thing on the whole show so far worth mentioning and that was a five minute squash. As for this match, it was just boring. This was like a trailer for a future match. It didn’t work at all and I wasn’t interested in it. Factor in that I’m a big fan of the LOD and the Disasters so this was a great sounding match to me, yet it falls flat. This show has sucked so far, and it has sucked HARD.

Sean is with the Natural Disasters. Man he must have been wearing Eau de Twinkie or something to get them back there that fast. They say they should be champions because they won. That’s actually a good argument: they beat the champions in a title match. That sounds to me like a title change. All it means is the feud continues. Thanks for that.

Piper is FIRED UP over winning the IC Title. He’s even more insane than usual. If you don’t believe that wrestlers use cocaine, find a copy of this interview and I guarantee your view will change. He dedicates it to Colt, without saying who that is. It’s his son. I like that. It was really quick and didn’t come off as cheesy at all. Roddy Piper being quick and simple. You’ll never hear that again.

Sean is with Shawn Michaels who is freshly heel turned. It’s a week after the Barber Shop, which we recap so this is the first televised Shawn appearance as a heel. We get a replay of it, and Heenan saying that Shawn doesn’t need Jannetty is awesome. Shawn is about the level of Chris Masters if he’s lucky here, so this is the epitome of filler.

Back then, the implication that Shawn could win the world title was absurd. Now it’s a legit possibility if he’s every wrestling for it. He’s a textbook example of someone rising through the ranks, so keep an eye on people you see. You’ll never know what they could become.

Hayes is with Flair in what must be an intermission. That makes sense. With the Rumble coming up, you want to give the people a chance to get popcorn or a burger or a Coke or something like that. For once, I agree with that idea. Flair says he was #3. This was for the home video release as no one ever said what number they had.

Flair cuts a generic promo with a chipped tooth. That looks odd. You can tell he is excited though despite how calm he looks. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Flair in his prime was as good as anyone else, plain and simple.

Savage says that he’s won the title before and he can do it again.

Sid, who was rapidly becoming a major force in the company a la Batista in 2005, says that he’ll be champion.

Repo “Smash” Man says that he could take the title. If you ever want to see someone that has gone from one gimmick to another with such smoothness, look right here.

British Bulldog, who was the real dark horse for the title here, won a battle royal in London so he’s got some recent experience in these matches. It sucks that he never got the title because I think he could have been a solid transitional guy. He certainly had the power for it and that powerslam could beat anyone.

As Jake and I discussed once though, there was never really a time for him to do that, other than maybe beating Diesel at Great White North, but even then I don’t know if it would have worked. He was really awesome though.

Jake says he’ll get what he wants. He would be gone by Spring.

Flair and Perfect say Flair will win. Perfect comes off like a television pitch man here and it works really well in a weird way. Flair’s promo here is in his over the top style and it works like an absolute charm. This was a combination that was so awesome it’s unreal.

The just about to turn face Undertaker says he’ll win the title again atop a pile of carnage.

Hogan says that today he gets to prove a point. Amazingly, there are the slightest heel tones here. That could never happen, could it? More on that later.

And now it’s FINALLY time for the Rumble. Heenan is nearly hyperventilating. This has me hyped despite how bad the earlier stuff was. Shut up Howard! I want my Rumble! Oh there we go. OH BLAST IT it’s freaking Jack Tunney. The booing is about as audible as you could imagine. This guy is just annoying.

I think he forgets the name of the match. He tries to say it and then calls it this event. Even Heenan is shouting to get this going. Tunney was annoying as hall. After another request for Heenan to be serious, it’s time to get going at last.

Royal Rumble

Bulldog is in at #1. Heenan is absolutely hilarious here with how worried he is. DiBiase is in second and someone actually has a Sherri shirt. I didn’t know they even made those. This isn’t a bad way to start: a pair of guys that should be in the Hall of Fame. DiBiase hits the ring and we’re off immediately. The beauty of the format they have this year is that there’s automatically a story in there with the title on the line.

Gorilla says that DiBiase has been very successful in Rumbles as of late. As of late? There’s one a year, so as of late equals the last two years I guess. Not to mention DiBiase didn’t even wrestle in the 91 Rumble but rather in a tag match. So in other words, doing well as of late now means that two years ago he got about two thirds of the way through. Heenan points out that someone should just hit the floor and kill time, which is actually a very smart thing to do and perfectly legal.

They establish early on that Martel holds the Iron Man record, so that more or less guarantees that it’ll be broken or heavily challenged. They mention that Luke has the record for shortest time, which is incorrect as he was in there nearly twice as long as Warlord. My goodness I’m a geek. DiBiase is out in less than two minutes as Bulldog hits a dropkick to be all alone. Flair is third and I have to rewind it a few times to get Bobby’s reaction again. He PANICS.

Gorilla says Brain can kiss it goodbye. This sets the stage for the rest of the match as we all know that it’s going to be the Flair Show here, so let’s see what we’ve got. For one thing he’s rocking the black robe that’s always been my favorite. He’s strutting early so you know this is going to be good. The atmosphere here is off the charts. Heenan and Gorilla are stealing the show though with their commentary as Heenan is panicking and Monsoon is needling him for all he’s worth.

Smith gets Flair to the apron but doesn’t watch him hit the floor. Dang he’s got to stop doing that. Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys is 4. Sags jumps Smith, and in the words of Dusty Rhodes, “HE BE CLUBBERIN! AND HE’S GOT A BICYCLE!” Smith puts Sags out with the same move he used on DiBiase so we’re back down to Flair and Smith. Gorilla says that all’s fair in the Rumble. I need to mark that down as I’m sure he’ll contradict that later on.

Out fifth is Haku, Heenan’s old client. He goes right for Smith, which leads to a brief double team. Flair goes for Haku and gets chased to the floor. You can see Flair planning everything he does as he’s being the sneaky master and playing it to the hilt. He goes to Haku’s head with a knee drop which as I’m coming up with a joke Heenan points out that it won’t hurt Haku. He’s a proud Samoan stereotype.

After Haku beats on Flair even more, Smith dumps him with relative ease. HBK is in at 6, as Gorilla gets in another great line with “Some guys hate Flair more than others.” HBK has connections with both guys in there so that’s actually rather interesting. Michaels hits a crescent kick to Flair as it’s years away from having a name yet. Flair pops up almost, but to be fair it looked like he got his hands up.

Smith puts Shawn to the apron and DOESN’T MAKE SURE HE HITS THE FLOOR! My goodness you would think he would have learned his lesson for three years later. Shawn goes for the kick on Smith but it literally doesn’t make contact with his head at all. The way the camera is set up couldn’t have been worse as you can clearly see the foot going over Smith’s shoulder.

He sells it more than Flair did though so there we are. Heenan is looking for a drink with a kick. He’s really the highlight of this match not named Flair. Shawn gets crotched on the top rope in a spot that never gets old. Santana is in at seven in his El Matador gimmick.

He goes for Flair as Bobby is screaming for Perfect to get out here. So far, seven guys and seven champions. That’s pretty good. Actually, all seven guys were at one time in their WWF/E careers, tag team champions. That’s quite impressive I’d say.

Flair gets his first low blow in of the match on Smith which Heenan doesn’t even deny. You know this is a big match based on that alone. Heenan says he’d do that to his grandmother if he had to. That’s just hilarious. The Flying Jalapeno puts Flair down as Barbarian comes in to break the tag champions streak. How did he still have a job at this point? Gorilla points out in a near creepy tone that Barbarian doesn’t like Flair either. He’s the jobber I guess.

Texas Tornado, who beat Flair for the world title back in I think 84 is in at number 9. Flair goes right after him to renew their rivalry. Von Erich was pure jobber here as he hadn’t meant a thing in about a year and a half at this point. Heenan points out his old strategy of bringing in a big wrench and beating people with it to win. That’s either brilliant or cause for a citizen’s arrest. At number ten, stealing the single digit monopoly is the Repo Man. WOW that joke sucked.

His comedy here is impressive, especially considering at one time he eliminated Andre the Freaking Giant from the Rumble. Heenan points out an interesting thing: why should Repo run to the ring? Why not avoid some punishment? That’s actually really smart. I’d do it. Slide in the ring then slide back out and go out into the crowd or something then climb in at the end. Stupid kayfabe messing stuff up.

Greg the Jobber Valentine is in at 11. He and Flair know each other pretty well too. It amazes me how many people Flair has interacted with over the years. That’s very impressive. Think of it like this: Taker has been around forever right? He needs another ten years to be around as long as Flair, and he’ll likely be gone in five years. Michaels is literally holding on by a single foot which would become his trademark.

In at 12 is the 320lb Lithuanian Nikolai Volkoff! For some reason that’s a popular line that I’ve just never gotten but it originated here. Still, only Barbarian has never been WWF/E tag champion of the entrants so far. For no reason whatsoever, Valentine puts Flair in the Figure Four as Volkoff is thrown out. Gee thanks for coming Nicky. Boss Man, rapidly approaching jobberville, breaks the Rumble into its teen angst years by being number 13.

He just punches the heck out of everyone, namely Flair. Valentine is tossed pretty easily. Repo is thrown with ease as Boss Man is clearing the ring which was desperately needed. Flair surprisingly back drops both Smith and Von Erich out with relative ease. Those came out of nowhere. That leaves us with Flair, Santana, Shawn, Boss Man and Barbarian in case you were wondering.

Shawn and Santana eliminate each other to set up their forgettable Mania match as Hercules is in at 14 and hammers on Flair. Flair high fives Barbarian and then chops him to send Heenan to his 10th heart attack of the match. Barbarian tries to dump Flair, but Hercules dumps Barbarian and gets dumped by Boss Man, leaving us with the cop and Flair. Well I’ll give them this: there haven’t been any dead spots.

Flair hits nearly 30 minutes as Boss Man does some weird martial arts thing. Flair throws him out with ease again as Heenan says that’s enough and Flair should be world champion. We get to the end of the first half with Roddy freaking Piper! The fans are freaking here as they hit the floor through the middle rope. Piper is hammering him. Flair hits an atomic drop but gets the Three Stooges eye poke for his troubles.

Piper goes WAY old school with the Airplane Spin, the finisher of Gorilla Monsoon himself to set up a sleeper. Now this strikes me as odd. Piper beat Mountie with a sleeper after beating on him for about four minutes and Mountie was out like a light. Flair has been out there for about 30 minutes and he can stand a longer sleeper than Mountie who was 5 minutes removed from being fresh? Does that just sound odd to you?

In another weird looking thing, Piper knocks Flair out with it and then picks him up and puts it back on him. Well ok then. Jake is in at 16 but wisely just sits back and lets Piper beat on Flair. That’s really smart when you think about it. Why should he risk getting thrown out or use any energy? That’s what people mean when they talk about wrestling psychology. Anyway he jumps Piper from behind as Heenan is all of a sudden a Jake fan. DAng it I love Heenan.

Jake starts the DDT sequence on Flair and Heenan actually thanks Piper for the save. Literally seconds later, he’s calling Piper a no good skirt wearing freak. Bobby really is cracking me up here. Seventeenth is Jim Duggan who gets a pop and a half. What is the appeal of this guy? I’ve yet to see him not get a huge ovation. Gorilla admits that he’s impressed by Flair.

With Flair on his stomach, Heenan says he’s on his feet. I guess you can’t always be awesome. IRS is in at 18th as this match is going really fast for some reason. He more or less beats on everyone and gets his tie pulled. Now that’s just not that neighborly. Nineteenth is Snuka who is about as much of a jobber as you could ask for at this point. He just had been passed by and it’s a shame considering how innovative he really was.

Also he needs to wear the short tights as they just work better for him. Gorilla and Heenan go over the big names remaining and Heenan panics some more to give me yet another great laugh. Gorilla slips up though and says that the big names get preferential treatment. Oh that’s not going to go over well with Vince at all. I can picture the screaming he’ll be doing. Granted I’d need to turn up the volume to hear but the visual is awesome.

We crack the top 20 with the Deadman who is just about to go face as I mentioned above. He’s also got Paul Bearer now so things look as normal as they can with him. There goes Snuka and he’s on Flair now. Heenan is just gone at this point, screaming that it’s over and he has nothing left. Taker actually goes low to stop Duggan. That’s not something you see very often at all. The twenty first guy is Savage to a solid pop.

There is some amazing talent in there. Jake runs for his life of course as he continues to has such a mastery of the psychology. A high knee from Savage takes him out though and in a moment of insanity he jumps over the top and takes out Roberts. They make a last second save though and say that he jumped himself so he’s still in, which contradicts everything they’ve ever said as far as rules go so there we go.

I’ve always wondered what would happen if someone screwed up that was supposed to win and got thrown out by mistake. It would be interesting if nothing else. Taker and Savage are going at it. That’s a very interesting match indeed. Piper and Duggan are kind of hard to tell apart. It’s annoying. Gorilla is surprised that Flair is fighting, which means low blows and punches but whatever.

Berserker is in at 22 as we’re really getting close to the ending here. You can tell Heenan is nervous as he says that Flair should weasel his way out. That’s amusing on many levels. 23 is…Virgil. Well I guess they had to have a few jobbers in there. We get the old standard of jokes as Brain says that Virgil took the gold belt and had it bronzed. Granted that’s a smart idea considering it would be very rare.

Taker is choking Flair. There’s really not a lot going on here as it’s just a lot of basic stuff. However they’re managing to keep it interesting which is hard to do. Piper beats on Virgil, his former student. Twenty four is Colonel Mustafa, who has a job despite the war having been over for a year now.

Vince, learn how to drop a gimmick when you need to. That’s a very important life lesson. For some reason Monsoon calls Flair Martel twice in a row and isn’t corrected. WE ARE LIVE! To make things even more confusing, Martel is #25. He’s naturally a heel here and goes right for Flair for no apparent reason other than logic. Savage throws Mustafa out to no reaction at all.

It’s Hogan in at 26 to set the arena on fire. He grabs Taker and Flair so there we go. Hogan takes out Taker with a clothesline and then backdrops Berserker out about three seconds later to clear the ring out a bit. That’s good too as it was really needed at that point. Virgil and Duggan eliminate each other so we’re four men lighter than we were a second ago.

Make that three as Skinner is here at 27. Hogan has Flair up and Bobby starts crying in perhaps the funniest part of the match yet which is saying a lot. He starts praying which has me cracking up despite having watched this match at least 10 times. He again pleads for a drink as he sounds like an AA dropout. Quick recap: Flair, Hogan, Skinner, Piper, Martel, IRS and Savage and they’re joined by Sgt. Slaughter.

That means there are ten guys possible that can win. Martel puts Skinner out to a yawn from most people. Hogan and Piper go at it and all things are right with the world again. Flair has set the Iron Man record, which Bobby says is good enough to make him champion. 29th is Sid Justice who is a major face at this time. That means that thirty will be Warlord for no reason at all. Flair is still on offense which is pretty cool.

There’s Warlord and for some bad reason, Flair goes to the top. I wish Heenan noticed it too as it would be great. He and Hogan are on the floor now and Flair takes a suplex. Ok, so the final guys are Flair, Hogan, Piper, Martel, IRS, Savage, Slaughter, Sid and Warlord. There goes Slaughter so we’re doing to 8. Since I just reviewed Wrestling Classic an hour or so ago, I smell a bad tournament! In a very funny moment, Piper is in trouble from IRS but he grabs the tie and eliminates him with it.

That’s great stuff. Hogan Hulks Up after a chop and Flair is scared to death. Hogan and Sid easily dump Warlord, which for some reason surprises Gorilla. Ok then. Sid dumps Martel and Piper to get us down to Hogan, Flair, Sid and Savage. That’s a pretty good final four. Savage is gone and we’re at three. Hulk Hulks Up again. Flair can’t do the Flair Flip which is impressive since he’s worked this long.

Hogan is dumped from out of nowhere by Sid and the ending is clear now. Hogan screams that Sid stole his belt and grabs his arm. Flair sneaks up behind him and throws him out to win the title. Bobby’s orgasm could flood the whole state of New York. Hogan keeps going after Sid on the floor to make sure that no one but him gets the spotlight. Heenan says yes 32 times inside of a minute. That’s impressive.

Rating: A+. This is the greatest Rumble of all time, hands down. The emotion, the action, the ending, and the talent were all top level and it worked perfectly. Watch this Rumble right now as it’s worth every minute of it.

Now for the interesting part. As Flair and Perfect leave, we have Sid and Hogan fighting in the ring, and you can hear the fans booing Hogan and cheering for Sid. This of course had NOTHING to do with Hogan thinking it was time to retire and it was all his idea.

In the back, Tunney presents the title to Flair in front of the “press”. Flair cuts one of my all time favorite promos as he talks about what it means to be a champion. He’s just dripping with emotion here and he gets a nice little jab in at the NWA and WCW by saying that it’s just the WWF Title that means anything in wrestling.

This was a very novel idea at the time as other than the inaugural Survivor Series, no heel had ever won the main event on PPV before in the WWF (Taker vs. Hogan wasn’t the main event technically). That’s simply amazing and Flair says that it’s his time now and he just proved it. He’s absolutely right.

Overall Rating: B. That’s how good the Rumble is. Other than that and the moment of Piper winning, this show is horrible. Look at it. It’s just random stuff thrown on there with zero rhyme or reason. That’s the problem with having such a great Rumble: you take away the rest of the card.

Now to be fair, they were really betting the farm on the main event working and to say it paid off is an understatement. The main event is incredible stuff that will not get old to me no matter how many times I see it. I think the recommendation here is pretty easy: watch the Rumble and then watch it again. That’s more interesting than the first half of the show.

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