[Event Recap] ‘WWF Battle at Royal Albert Hall 1991’ – Battle Royal, Santana vs. Flair

Date: October 3, 1991
Venue: Royal Albert Hall (London, England)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan

WWE has put up a whole lot of Coliseum Video releases on the Network, so you know I gots to start recapping those. This time around I’m going with the Battle Royal at the Albert Hall which features a, SHOCK SHOCK SHOCK, battle royal as the main event. Let’s check it out together. As friends. Or maybe more if the connection is there, I don’t know.

Champion Roll-Call

  • WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Legion of Doom (Animal & Hawk)

The Lineup

  • The Rockers vs. The Nasty Boys (DUD)
  • Tito Santana vs. Ric Flair (**1/2)
  • Big Boss Man vs. Earthquake (*3/4)
  • Kerry Von Erich vs. The Mountie (*1/4)
  • Jim Duggan vs. The Undertaker (1/2*)
  • The Legion of Doom [c] vs. Power & Glory for the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/4)
  • Davey Boy Smith vs. The Barbarian (**)
  • 20 Man Battle Royal (**1/4)

*****

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) [w/ ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart]

The Nasty Boys lost their Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam two months prior and are just sorta bumming around at this point. The Rockers are only a few months away from breaking up, one of them becoming the Shawn and the other the Marty. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which becomes which.

Rockers attack at the bell and clear the ring of the Nasty Boys, Jannetty trying on one of the Boys’ leather dusters. If you want hives, that’s how you get hives. The Nasty Boys try to get some crowd support but only get boos, The Rockers get the opposite. After seven hours of stalling we finally get some action, Sags connecting with a series of rights on Michaels. Michaels ducks a clothesline and tries a Thesz Press but Sags catches him so he bites him instead. Knobbs runs in and Jannetty hits both Nasty Boys with a flying clothesline, clearing the ring once again to slow the pace back down. Jannetty counters a corner splash with a boot and connects with a faceslam, everyone else runs in and for the third time The Rockers clear the ring of their opponents. The Nastys and Hart tease abandoning the match but don’t. GET ON WITH IT, GUYS. Jannetty fakes Knobbs out and Knobbs falls to the mat, then gets rolled up for a two-count. Sags tags back in and Jannetty trips him up, transitioning into a front facelock. Sags escapes, Jannetty reverses an Irish whip and takes him back to the mat with an armdrag into what Monsoon calls an ‘arm stretcher’. The Rockers make phantom tags and continue working over Sags’ arm, the crowd taking their side despite their very heel move. Michaels ends up the legal man and Sags finally escapes with a poke to the eye. Michaels whips Sags into the corner and slides under his attempt at a boot, then rolls under the ropes and pulls Sags’ crotch-first into the ring post.

The referee gets distracted sort-of and Knobbs holds down the top rope for an eternity before Michaels spills out and The Nasty Boys take control for real. Knobbs attacks Michaels a whole lot on the floor then tags in for real but can’t get the pinfall. Knobbs belts Michaels with forearms, which Michaels sells like he’s being shot at point-blank range. Knobbs grabs the leg and tags in Sags to make sure the other Rocker can’t get in. Sags traps Michaels in a standing bear hug in the center of the ring, which almost feels like an attempt to make me hate this match more. Michaels escapes by boxing the ears, but Sags don’t give a damn and belts him with a right. Knobbs tags in and drops an elbow on the kidneys, transitioning into a chinlock in a camel clutch position. Michaels manages to escape and Jannetty gets the hot tag but it’s behind the ref’s back EVEN THOUGH HE ALLOWED THE TAGS EARLIER WHEN HE DIDN’T SEE THEM. Michaels sends the Nasty Boys into one another then finally gets the legal tag to Jannetty, who’s a house of fire. Dropkicks and count-a-long rights for everyone. Jannetty covers Knobbs, Sags accidentally elbowdrops his own partner. All four men are in the ring, Rockers send the Nasty Boys into each other but Jannetty can only get a two. Jannetty goes for another pin after a splash, Michaels gets in Hart’s face and Sags hits Jannetty from behind with the megaphone for the 1…2…3.

The Nasty Boys defeated The Rockers when Jerry Sags pinned Marty Jannetty (17:20)

  • I like The Rockers. I like The Nasty Boys (in certain situations). This match is the drizzling shits. Nothing about it worked, the ‘dumb referee’ stuff kept contradicting (allow the phantom tags but then don’t allow the phantom tag because it’s not convenient at that moment?). I’m crazy disappointed and honestly a little annoyed that I had to spend almost 18 minutes of my life seeing this one through. (DUD)

-Cut to the interview area where ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is standing by with ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. Flair says Tito Santana will find out why he’s the greatest, then throws some shade at hated rival Roddy Piper who will also be in the battle royal. WOO!

Tito Santana vs. ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair

I had a whole El Matador rant ready but apparently this match took place right before WWF saddled him with that gimmick and killed what was left of his career. Phew. Flair is rocking the WCW World Championship, playing up the ‘real World’s Champion’ gimmick, which at the time I didn’t get because WCW wasn’t a thing to me yet. I’ve got some expectations for this one as I like both guys; they are both users of the Figure Four as well so that might come into play too. Little weird to see RIC FLAIR in the second match though.

Santana backs Flair into the corner, Flair tries to WOO and gets slapped for his troubles. Flair with an Irish whip, Santana with a shoulderblock, and out goes the Real World’s Champion for a little breather. Flair with a top wristlock, bringing Santana to one knee. Santana almost fights out so Flair grabs the hair and brings him to the mat then transitions into a regular wristlock to prevent retaliation. Flair uses the hair, Santana goes after him and he bails to the corner to once again avoid punishment. Flair with a wristlock, Santana easily counters with right hands and a back bodydrop out of the corner. Flair takes two dropkicks and flops to the mat, rolling to the floor. Santana doesn’t relent, smashing his head on the apron and guardrail. Santana goes to break the count, Flair rakes the eyes and sends him into a guardrail covered in the Union Jack. Flair brings Santana to the apron by the hair and hits an elbow but takes too long gloating and Santana catches him with a sunset flip for a two-count. Santana with an awkward drop toehold into a regular toehold. Flair gets to the ropes, Santana slings him off and starts working on his left leg. Flair tries an illegal pin but gets caught, Santana with count-a-long rights in the corner until it’s countered with an inverted atomic drop. The ref, former heel rassler ‘Dangerous’ Danny Davis, catches him again and briefly engages in a shoving match with Flair. Flair with a corner Irish whip and a right hand across the jaw. Snapmare into a lateral press, feet on the ropes, for the 1…2…kickout.

Flair goes to the apron to jaw at some fans trying to sell him out for cheating, giving Santana a chance to regroup and they exchange chops and rights. Santana with a corner Irish whip, Flair flips over the buckles and gets clotheslined on the apron. CLASSIC NATURE BOY. Santana suplexes Flair back in and they jockey for position on a backslide. Santana wins it and rolls him up for the 1…2…nope. Flair sends Santana to the mat with a chop and covers but only gets two. These dudes seem real tired. Flair connects with a belly-to-back suplex and locks in the Figure Four Leglock, using the ropes for leverage after yelling at the ref to ask Santana IN HIS FACE (his words). Santana reverses the hold but it breaks before he can submit. Flair stalks Santana and kicks the now-hurt knee. Santana responds with a forearm, resulting in a FLAIR FLOP. Santana sends Flair out to the floor with a right hand then slams him on the protective mats. Flair chops, Santana punches and Flair rolls him back in the ring. Flair to the top and SURPRISE SURPRISE Santana slams him to the mat for the 1…2…shoulder up. Santana catches Flair with a clothesline for the 1…2…shoulder up once again and Heenan is going mental on commentary. He’s been the highlight. Santana hits the Flying Forearm and it’s over it’s over it’s…Flair gets his foot on the rope. Santana with an O’Connor Roll for the 1…2…Flair reverses and grabs the tights for the 1…2…3!

Ric Flair defeated Tito Santana via pinfall with a roll-up (16:13)

  • Well that could have been better honestly but these two are good enough to make a mediocre match at least watchable. No doubt these two could have had a banger back in the 80s during their primes. I’m not holding out much hope for the rest of the card at this point honestly but let’s keep trudging through. (**1/2)

-Cut to ‘Mean’ Gene who’s standing by with The Big Boss Man. Boss Man calls his opponent Earthquake a piece of trash he’s going to take out, and he’ll celebrate by winning the battle royal and the trophy up for grabs. Samnovar? Sandovar? I can’t exactly make out what they’re saying. I’m old.

-After what I guess was a commercial break (this aired on TV in the UK) we go to ‘Mean’ Gene in the arena who’s standing by with Earthquake and Jimmy Hart. Hart tells everyone to get some earthquake insurance, Earthquake says they took a plane because a boat would have taken too long (uhhh why) then vows to win the match and later the battle royal.

The Big Boss Man vs. Earthquake [w/ ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart]

Looking back, 1991 was probably not the best year for a WHITE COP WITH A CONFEDERATE FLAG ON HIS SLEEVE to be a babyface but to WWF’s credit they made it work (and to be fair it’d also be a gimmick that would feel way tone-deaf in current times as well). Earthquake had moved into tag team action with Typhoon as part of The Natural Disasters but is returning to singles action for this one; Typhoon will be in the battle royal later though so don’t worry folks. STOP PANICKING.

Quake refuses to get in the ring until Boss ditches his nightstick and handcuffs, which I think is reasonable. Quake is rocking his old blue singlet with his Natural Disasters red boots and they just don’t miss. FASHION DON’T, BIG MAN. Quake repeatedly tries to charge, Boss uses his speed to dodge and strike. Quake finally gets his hands on Boss and slams him to the mat, but misses both stomps and an elbowdrop. Boss rolls out of the ring and rips Hart’s jacket off like a bully then rolls back in and dodges a corner splash, tripping him up and covering for a two-count. Side headlock time! Quake tries to counter with a belly-to-back suplex but Boss wrenches it in harder and stops it. Quake tries to whip him off, Boss hangs on by the beard and slaps it back on. Boss dodges another elbowdrop and connects with a double axhandle off the bottom turnbuckle (WHY), then hits another off the middle turnbuckle and Quake drops to his boot looking like a little baby. Boss to the top but Quake catches him on the way down and hits a powerslam. Quake with a corner whip so hard that it moves the ring and sends Boss crumbling to the mat. Quake uses his girth to squish Boss in the corner as the crowd try to cheer him back to life. Boss with a series of rights but it’s stopped easily with a thumb to the eye and soon enough we got ourselves a BEAR HUG. I CAN’T BEAR TO SEE THIS.

Boss escapes but Quake drops him easily and stomps on the back trying to snap that itty bitty spine. Reverse chinlock city but Boss manages to regain consciousness before the ref calls it, breaking the hold with some elbows to the ribs. Boss tries to take Quake down with shoulderblocks but can’t and Quake drops him once again with a clothesline. Quake kicks Boss to the floor then knocks him off the apron and sends him into the ring steps. Quake brings Boss back in and hits a couple of elbows followed by a clothesline but Boss stays on his feet and brings him into the corner for headbutts to the sternum. Quake reverses a corner Irish whip and flattens him with an Avalanche. Boss fights back and takes Quake to the mat with an enzuigiri (BOSSZUIGIRI) and both men are down. Hart climbs the apron trying to wake his meal ticket up and Boss crawls over to cover for the 1…2…kickout. Boss grabs Hart, Quake tries to attack but hits his manager instead and Boss rolls him up for the 1…2…NOPE. The Mountie, Boss Man’s hated enemy, comes out to check on Hart as Quake gets tied up in the ropes. Boss splashes Quake with a crossbody and Mountie trips Boss behind the ref’s back. Quake drops an elbow to the back of the head and covers for the 1…2…3!

Earthquake defeated The Big Boss Man via pinfall with an elbowdrop (15:45)

  • Slow big man stuff but I was weirdly into it, mostly because I love Earthquake with every ounce of my soul. I got into wrestling the year this show was produced and he left an impact on me, squashing snakes and wrecking Andre The Giant. Can’t help but have a soft spot for him. This did go on for way longer than it needed to though, no doubt. (*3/4)

Boss Man wakes up and angrily chases Mountie to the back. Earthquake just lets it happen, not paying Mountie back for his help. UNGRATEFUL.

-‘Mean’ Gene is with the sterling silver trophy that will go to the winner of tonight’s battle royal. He then introduces his guest, ‘Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich. He’s rocking a sweet ‘I was out partying all night’ five-o-clock shadow. He doesn’t say anything of note, just some battle royal proclamations and whatnot.

-After a commercial break we’re back to ‘Mean’ Gene in the entranceway, who introduces The Mountie and Jimmy Hart. Mountie isn’t singing his own theme yet so it’s the bad one. Hart says his organization sticks together and The Mountie always gets his man. Mountie says the only thing that’s royal about the arena he’s in is him because HE IS DA MOUNTIE.

‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich vs. The Mountie [w/ ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart]

Mountie gets introduced but his music doesn’t kick back up, despite his protests on the mic. Poor guy. We do get the Texas Tornado music though, which was one of my favorite themes as a kid. I still have the WWF Fan Club cassette with the theme on it in my mysterious storage locker of pro wrestling oddities. Oh right, uh, #humblebrag or whatever.

Mountie backs Erich into the corner and breaks clean, but in a heelish way. Crowd hates this man which is sad. He’s DA MOUNTIE, dammit. Mountie gets some blows in but decides to get boastful, leaving him open to a discus backhand from Erich. Mountie bails from the ring and tries to bring in his cattle prod but the ref SURPRISINGLY doesn’t allow it. The nerve of that man. Erich with a wristlock, twisting the arm for more torque. Mountie grabs the hair and whips him into the ropes, then eats a right hand and out he goes again. ‘JAILBIRD’ chants from the crowd, in reference to the night in NYC jail he spent back at SummerSlam two months prior. Mountie teases leaving due to the chants but doesn’t and eventually gets back in the ring, which took far longer than ten seconds, so this ref isn’t doing his dang job, shuckity. Mountie reverses a corner Irish whip and slaps on a sleeperhold that Erich almost takes as a bulldog before they manage to figure out what’s happening. Erich almost passes out but manages to find his second wind, getting to his feet and powering out…only to run right into another one. COOL.

Erich breaks out of the hold again and SLAPS ON A SLEEPERHOLD OF HIS OWN. All sleepers, all the time. Mountie falls to his knees and falls into the ropes to force a break. Erich misses a corner splash and goes shoulder-first into the ring post. Mountie with a snapmare into a knee to the kidneys. Erich quickly gets to his feet but gets sent out to the floor with a right hand. Mountie follows him out and rams Erich head-first into the steps, which he takes FULL F’N FLUSH. Brace yourself man, jeeeeeez. Erich gets to the apron, Mountie clocks him and sends him back to the floor. Erich pulls Mountie out and rams him into the steps (which he protects himself from taking FULL F’N FLUSH). Erich goes for the discus punch but misses and hits nothing but post. OUCH. Erich ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own, then tries a monkey flip but Mountie blocks it and rolls him up, feet on the middle ropes, for the 1…2…3.

The Mountie defeated Kerry Von Erich via pinfall with a roll-up (13:15)

  • If you like sleeperholds then boy do I have a match for you! This one never got out of first gear which is a shame because I like both guys (well I at least like DA MOUNTIE gimmick) but they did not work well here. Felt like a house show match that was padded to eat up time. Actually that’s most of this card so far but shhhh. (*1/4)

Erich cries foul and Mountie gets back into the ring to dispute. Erich attacks him and clears him from the ring to stand tall despite still losing. CHEERS WON’T GET YOU THAT WINNER’S PURSE, BUD.

Segment Time: The Funeral Parlor

We cut to the ‘Funeral Parlor’ set where Paul Bearer is standing by with The Undertaker. Bearer talks about dead people, Undertaker says the battle royal will be a WWF…MASS…BURIAL. Rest in peace and all that. I can’t believe this goof used to terrify me as a kid.

‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan vs. The Undertaker [w/ Paul Bearer]

Undertaker gets played out via the house organ at the Royal Albert Hall by a dude in a fake Phantom of the Opera costume. This is tremendous and will probably be the highlight of the show for me. I love theatrical entrances so much. Jim Duggan is pretty over in the UK for an American patriot. You know they could have easily made Duggan carry the flag of whatever country he was in for easy face pops but to the WWF’s credit he was pro-U.S. no matter where he went and still the people loved him.

Duggan takes it to Taker, clotheslining him out to the floor but Taker lands on his feet and turns to the urn for some magical power. Taker to the apron, Duggan drops him off with a right hand but the dead man still feels nothing. Duggan then leads the UNITED KINGDOM crowd in a ‘U.S.A.’ chant. What power this guy had. Duggan grabs at Taker, Taker drops him throat-first on the top rope quickly turning the tide. Taker with a blatant choke but breaks it before getting disqualified; he may be a wrestling zombie but he’s a wrestling zombie WHO WANTS TO WIN MATCHES AND GET PAID. Some doofus with a horn leads the crowd in chants. Taker with the ropewalk clubbing forearm (Old School, but he’s not old school yet so I feel weird calling it that). MOAR CHOKEZ from Taker, Duggan counters one with an inverted atomic drop to break it but it doesn’t really faze him. Duggan mounts a comeback with count-a-long rights in the corner then turns his attention on Bearer, who has stolen the 2×4. Duggan grabs it, Taker hits him from behind. Leaping clothesline from the dead dude, Duggan grabs his 2×4 and clubs him with it, forcing the ref to call the match.

The Undertaker defeated Jim Duggan via DQ (6:16)

  • It’s Duggan and early-Undertaker, so to expect anything great is a fool’s errand. I’m not shocked this was bad but it still sucks to lose six minutes of my life watching it. Only reason it’s not a full on DUD is because of the organ entrance Undertaker got. Yes I’m including it as part of the review, deeeeeal with it. (1/2*)

Duggan hits Undertaker with the 2×4 and sends him out to the floor, but Undertaker lands on his feet thanks to the POWER OF THE URN. Off the heels go as Duggan celebrates his loss? Dork.

-Cut backstage to ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund who’s standing by with ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Piper wishes he had relatives so they could be proud of him wrestling at the Royal Albert Hall. Unintentionally depressing but he doesn’t dwell, instead throwing shade at Ric Flair and being Piper-like. Roddy Piper is the best.

-After a commercial break and we’re back with ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund who’s now standing by with Typhoon and Jimmy Hart. Hart says his organization has five chances to win the battle royal and the SUPER IMPORTANT trophy (The Nasty Boys, The Natural Disasters, and The Mountie). Okerlund asks what would happen if Typhoon and Earthquake were the final two, Typhoon gives him an inconclusive answer because he will not sanction Okerlund’s attempts to sow some dissent. NICE TRY BALDO. They leave and in come Power & Glory who are challenging for the WWF Tag Team Championship tonight. Paul Roma says The Legion of Doom can’t hide, Hercules says there’s nothing they won’t do to win the championship. Okerlund says if they fail it’ll be a long time before they get another shot, which Power & Glory obviously take offense to. Okerlund’s being a real jerk tonight, man.

-After another commercial break we’re back with Mean Gene, who’s now with the Tag Team Champions The Legion of Doom. Animal says they’ll be champions for a long time. Hawk says their dreams are made of contusions and internal bleeding (ewww) and brings back the ‘Sour & Gory’ moniker they gave the team back when they massacred them at WrestleMania VII. Okerlund asks what they would do if they’re the last two in the battle royal, Hawk responds with ‘WHAT A RUUUUUSH’. Okay then. Animal is looking forward to the battle royal for they love gang fights, being as they’re from the mean streets of Chicago.

-Cut to Monsoon and Heenan, the latter yelling about the crowd chanting ‘Weasel’ at him. And now we’re finally back to the actual rasslin’.

WWF Tag Team Championship
The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) [c] vs. Power & Glory (Hercules & ‘Pretty’ Paul Roma)

The Legion of Doom won the Tag Team Championship back in August at SummerSlam, defeating The Nasty Boys. Power & Glory, after an initial push in late-1990, have not been exactly setting the pro wrestling world on fire, and already lost to L.O.D. in short order back at WrestleMania VII. They don’t even have an entrance theme. Hercules is a shell of his former self at this point, far from his heyday in the late-1980s. It’s sad to see because Hercules is legitimately one of my favorite WWF guys from that era.

Hawk challenges Roma to a test of strength, who eventually accepts two minutes into the damn match. Hawk immediately brings Roma to one knee so Roma cheapshots his way out of it. Hawk responds with a dropkick and Roma bails to the floor. Hawk chases him back in and gets some right hands for his troubles. Hawk counters a backdrop attempt with a Rude Awakening neckbreaker, following up with a fist drop off a snapmare for a two-count. Animal and Hercules, the muscle of both teams, tag in and take over. Hercules drops Animal with a clothesline and whips him into the corner but Animal rushes out with a clothesline of his own into a wristlock. Hawk tags back in, chopping Hercules into the corner. Hercules fights out with an inverted atomic drop but Hawk blocks a buckle shot and sends Herc into the buckles repeatedly instead. Roma tags back in and brings Hawk to his corner, double-teaming him while the ref is distracted with Animal for no reason. Roma drills Hawk with a piledriver, Hawk immediately gets back to his feet and connects with a gorilla press slam into Hercules, popping the crowd. Hawk heads to the top but misses a clothesline and falls out to the ring. Power & Glory take over, Hercules dropping Hawk throat-first across the guardrail and the top rope. Hercules sends Hawk into the corner and ends up knocking his head into Hawk’s back, knocking him over.

Animal gets the hot tag, barely hitting Roma with a leaping shoulderblock and connecting with a standing dropkick to Hercules. Animal with a power bomb, Hercules breaks the count. Hawk and Hercules brawl on the floor, Roma tries a flying crossbody but Animal counters with a powerslam for the 1…2…3!

The Legion of Doom [c] defeated Power & Glory to retain the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP when Animal pinned Paul Roma (9:07)

  • I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Took a minute or two to actually start but after that I was invested. Power & Glory being so low on the totem pole made the result academic but they managed to look good here and there. Ending with a powerslam instead of the Doomsday Device was strange and I’m sure some fans who only rarely get the WWF in their country were bummed not to see it happen live. Can’t blame Herc and Roma for not wanting to take that move though, gotta think about the neck. (**1/4)

-We are backstage with Mean Gene and the U.K.’s own ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith. Smith is excited to be back home and vows to win the battle royal. Shocking, right? Man I wish one of the guys being interviewed would say they didn’t expect to win.

-After a commercial break Mel Phillips hands over the ring announcing duties to another British homer, ‘Lord’ Alfred Hayes, for the next match.

‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith vs. The Barbarian

Smith has spent most of 1991 battling The Warlord, it only makes sense he would spend another part of 1991 battling Warlord’s former Powers of Pain buddy. Barbarian is rocking his final WWF form (under that gimmick anyway) with the fur cape and antler headgear. Smith unsurprisingly receives a loud pop from his home crowd, Hayes even announcing his weight in Stone. Nice to hear his actual ‘Rule Britannia’ theme for once on the Network; I’ve heard it dubbed before or completely edited out and it’s the worst.

Barbarian tries to drop Smith with shoulderblocks but can’t so he goes with a tried and true method of kicking him repeatedly instead. Solid game plan. Barbarian with a hard corner whip, Smith catches him charging in with a boot and sends him out to the floor to lick his wounds. Loud ‘BULLDOG’ chants from the crowd, Monsoon accuses Heenan of underpaying Barbarian when he managed him. Smith with an armbar, Barbarian whips him off and tries to counter a sunset flip with a fist but misses. Back to the armbar goes the Bulldog. Smith counters a backdrop with a kick, then slides under Barbarian’s legs for no reason and takes him to the mat with an armdrag. Barbarian whips Smith off and sends him out to the floor with a big boot, soaking in the jeers of the crowd. Barbarian works him over a bit then settles into a chinlock, Smith bleeding from the nose a little bit. Smith escapes and gets kicked once more, this time in the bread basket. Barbarian follows up with a piledriver but only gets a two-count.

Barbarian misses a second-rope elbowdrop and Smith mounts his comeback, clotheslining Barbarian out to the floor. Smith follows and rams him in the guardrail and apron. Barbarian catches Smith with a knee to the gut but misses a clothesline and hits nothing but ring post. Back in the ring Smith hits Barbarian with a clothesline for a close two-count. Smith with the delayed vertical suplex for the 1…2…Barbarian gets a shoulder up once more. Smith dodges a corner splash and hits the Running Powerslam for the 1…2…3!

Davey Boy Smith defeated The Barbarian via pinfall with the Running Powerslam (10:28)

  • Smith gets a solid win in his home country, with The Barbarian doing business a lot better than other folks he’d face in the future (LOOKING AT YOU, SHAWN MICHAELS). I enjoyed this match for what it was, Smith and Barbarian worked a lot better together than Smith and Warlord did. If this had crucifix spots like the latter I was going to cry. (**)

-Cut backstage where Mean Gene is standing by with The Nasty Boys and Jimmy Hart. Things are going to get real nasty in the battle royal. Jerry Sags says they’re going to raise more chaos than ‘that guy Adolf’. You heard it right folks, they’re way more dangerous than Hitler, make sure to add that to any history textbooks you find. ‘Lord’ Alfred Hayes joins Monsoon and Heenan to commentate the main event.

The Royal Samnovar (Samovar, Sandwich Bar?) Trophy
20 Man Battle Royal

The participants are everyone we’ve seen wrestle earlier tonight, plus ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and Typhoon. Everybody gets an entrance for this one, so it looks like I’ll have time to bake a cake from scratch which is a nice surprise. Davey Boy Smith is announced as ‘England’s Favorite Son’ which is quite presumptuous.

Piper goes right after Ric Flair as the bell rings. Everybody pairs off and stuff happens, I don’t know. Battle royals are hard to recap. Piper and Flair brawl on the floor for a bit while Boss Man chases Mountie at a different side. Hercules is the first man eliminated and tries to hit Hawk with a chair after. Kerry Von Erich is the next man out, 18 to go. Piper belts Brian Knobbs and pushes him off the apron to eliminate him, using his finger to push him. That was pretty funny. Marty Jannetty gets eliminated, as does The Barbarian. Tito Santana gets tossed out, having seconds earlier eliminated Barbarian. Jerry Sags backdrops Hawk out to the floor to eliminate him, then Sags gets pulled out to take him out of the match as well. Shawn Michaels skins the cat but gets clotheslined once again and out he goes. Roma and Mountie try to eliminate Boss Man, but Boss Man fights them off. Animal with a gorilla press slam on Flair but doesn’t throw him out; however Earthquake does throw out Jim Duggan so he’s gone. 10 more to go, we’re at the halfway point.

Duggan re-enters the match with a 2×4, going after Earthquake and helping eliminate him like a jerk. Piper ducks a right hand and eliminates Ric Flair, Heenan speechless that his ‘Real World’s Champion’ is gone. Smith and Animal try to dump Typhoon but Mountie breaks it up for no reason. Smith ducks a right hand and eliminates Paul Roma, Animal charges at Undertaker and gets dumped as well. Six more to go. Piper/Undertaker, Boss Man/Typhoon, and Smith/Mountie pair off. The Undertaker gets dumped out and takes revenge on Roddy Piper by taking him out as well. Smith/Boss Man and Typhoon/Mountie each take to a corner to think strategy. Boss Man chases Mountie around the ring, but Mountie keeps running so he goes after Typhoon instead. Mountie tries to attack from behind and Boss Man drops him as well. Big Boss Man decks Jimmy Hart but gets eliminated by The Mountie when he foolishly charges at him. Typhoon accidentally splashes Mountie and Smith tries to eliminate the former until the latter breaks it up. Mountie fires up Typhoon by slapping him, Smith eats a double clothesline as the crowd goes quiet. The Mountie holds Smith up, but Typhoon accidentally clotheslines him instead and out he goes. Smith with a dropkick, Typhoon with a corner splash and clothesline. Typhoon charges at Smith, Smith ducks and out the big man goes!

Davey Boy Smith won the 20 Man Battle Royal, last eliminating Typhoon (14:40)

  • It’s a battle royal, man. They’re all relatively the same so your enjoyment of them generally comes down to how much you like the style. I personally dig battle royals so I had a good time, and Hayes’ glee after Bulldog won was great as well; it’s honestly the most enthusiastic I’ve ever heard the man. Solid main event with the crowd favorite (outside of Piper) getting the win for a feelgood end. (**1/2)

Smith doesn’t get a chance to celebrate as Earthquake makes his way back out for an attack. Smith escapes the ring to avoid the Earthquake Splash, so The Natural Disasters continue the attack on the floor until ANDRE THE GODDAMN GIANT makes his way to the ring with a crutch. He double noggin knocks the Disasters and hits Earthquake with his crutch, forcing the Disasters to bail to the back. Andre shakes Smith’s hand, who now gets to celebrate his big win with his countrymen covered in the Union Jack. That’s the show!

*****

Overall Thoughts: I can’t say I would recommend the Battle at Royal Albert Hall. It’s got some good moments but the show is ostensibly a televised house show and you can tell in everyone’s performances resulting in some dull matches. I still can’t believe I’ve actually seen a BAD Rockers match; I never thought in my 20+ years of watching that it was possible, but part of me is glad I can still be surprised at least. Anyway unless you’re a big Bulldog fan or just want to watch as much pro wrestling as possible you can skip Battle at Royal Albert Hall entirely.

  • Match of the Night: Tito Santana vs. Ric Flair
  • Moment of the Night: The Undertaker gets played out to the ring via creepy church organ
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