Date: January 24, 1993
Venue: ARCO Arena (Sacramento, CA)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan
The 1993 edition of the Royal Rumble features the first singles WWF Championship match in the event’s history as Bret Hart defends against Razor Ramon, The Rockers finally colliding as Shawn Michaels takes on Marty Jannetty, the WWF PPV debut of The Steiner Brothers, the return of Bam Bam Bigelow, the debut of Lex Luger‘s new in-ring gimmick, and…a tall dude with spray-painted muscles. This is a weird show, folks. Let’s check it out!
- WWF Champion: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
- The Steiner Brothers vs. The Beverly Brothers
- Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Marty Jannetty for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
- The Big Boss Man vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
- Bret Hart [c] vs. Razor Ramon for the WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
- The 1993 Royal Rumble
-Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan open the show and hype tonight’s card. Heenan is excited more for the unveiling of ‘The Narcissus’. Either there was no opening video package or they just didn’t go with one for this show. I can’t remember to be honest.
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake Beverly)
This is the Steiners’ WWF PPV debut, having left WCW in 1992 despite Scott Steiner being the Television Champion at the time. This is also The Beverly Brothers’ final WWF PPV appearance as Beau Beverly would leave the company soon after and Blake Beverly would be on singles job duty until leaving the company as well at the end of the year. They don’t have The Genius at their side so WHAT’S THE POINT?
Scott quickly takes Beau to the mat with a standing wristlock and Beau bails to the ropes, complaining that his hair was pulled. Scott sends Beau out of the corner with a hip toss and Beau continues to complain that he’s cheating somehow. Monsoon calls this one a ‘blockbuster’, the king of hyperbole. Beau sends Scott to the mat by grabbing his mullet and puts the boots to him. Scott whips Beau into the ropes and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam, forcing Beau to bail from the ring and seek advice from Blake. Blake tags in and goads Rick into the ring, but runs when the Dog-Faced Gremlin gets near. Rick tags in proper and the crowd pops and barks along as he circles the ring. He shoves Beau off the apron but Blake gets in a cheap shot and connects with a powerslam. Hey Bill Alfonso is the ref for this one. No whistle thankfully. Blake tries a leapfrog, Rick counters with a slam and goes to the armbar. Scott tags in and connects with an overhead release belly-to-belly suplex. Beau stops a double underhook suplex attempt with a clothesline and The Beverly Brothers are back in control. They focus their attack on Scott’s lower back, jack. Beau distracts the ref, Blake chokes Scott with the tag rope. Cold-blodded. Beau with a double underhook suplex and covers Scott arrogantly so he easily kicks out. Some lady is yelling like a banshee and it’s the worst. Scott counters Blake’s suplex attempt with one of his own but Beau quickly tags in and stops the tag attempt. Beau goes for a backdrop, Scott counters with a double underhook power bomb. Rick gets the hot tag and he drops Blake on his damn neck with a release German suplex. The Beverly Brothers try to double team but eat Steinerlines for their troubles. Rick covers Blake, Beau easily breaks it up. Scott tags back in and and peppers Beau in the corner with rights. Blake picks Scott up in an Electric Chair position but counters it with a roll-up after Beau misses a flying clothesline but Blake kicks out. Scott has much more luck with the follow-up Frankensteiner which Blake TAKES ALL ON HIS GODDAMN HEAD for the 1…2…3.
The Steiner Brothers defeated The Beverly Brothers when Scott Steiner pinned Blake Beverly with the Frankensteiner (10:45)
- I’m used to watching The Steiner Brothers ruthlessly destroy jobbers on WCW TV so it was a little jarring seeing them struggle a bit against The Beverly Brothers but hey it’s the WWF baby, clean slate. The Steiners throwing Beau and Blake around, and almost killing Blake on two separate occasions by sending him crashing on his head, was pretty fun but the match felt like it dragged on just a little too long. But hey The Steiners get their first WWF PPV win so there’s that. (**)
-We segue into a video package highlighting the feud between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, former tag team partners turned enemies, narrated by ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund. Michaels throws Jannetty through the Barber Shop window, Jannetty returns many months later to attack Michaels but accidentally hits Michaels’ manager Sensational Sherri with the novelty heart-shaped mirror he likes to pose in. Michaels pulled her in front of him like a douche.
-Sensational Sherri makes her way out before the contest. Whose side is going to be on? We’ll find out!
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Marty Jannetty
Michaels doesn’t have his ‘Heartbreak Kid’ nickname yet and is still rocking his Sherri-sung theme song. His IC Championship strap is baby blue and he’s wearing gold entrance gear. He invites Sherri in to join in on his entrance but she just stares him down in anger.
Jannetty chases Michaels around the ring, Jannetty counters a backdrop with a face slam and goes on the offensive, Michaels bumping like crazy for every offensive move including a kneelift that sends him flying out to the floor. Jannetty slingshots Michaels back in then sends him back out with a clothesline. Jannetty catches Michaels with a tope suicida and peppers him with rights. Sherri looks on, still playing her cards close to her chest. Jannetty connects with a right hand from the apron and Michaels sells it with a corkscrew bump. To the top Jannetty goes but he gets caught on the way down with a right hand from the champ. Michaels picks him up and rams him shoulder-first into the ringpost, giving him something to focus his attack on. After some in-ring action we go back to the floor and Michaels slams Jannetty on the hard concrete floor. Michaels brings Jannetty back in the ring and rams him shoulder-first into the corner, following up with a top rope double axhandle. To the armbar we go, Michaels sitting over Jannetty for extra torque. Jannetty escapes and Michaels stops that momentum with an armbreaker.
Jannetty catches Michaels with a couple of right hands, Michaels counters with a poke to the eye and a scoop slam. Michaels heads to the top and Jannetty counters whatever he was trying to do with a boot. Jannetty dodges a corner splash and Michaels goes shoulder-first into the post. Jannetty mounts a mini-comeback, Michaels grabs the tights and sends him tumbling out to the floor. Michaels brings him to the apron and goes for a suplex but Jannetty counters and suplexes him OUT TO THE FLOOR. Finally someone reversed it! Sherri looks to be worried about Michaels…then SLAPS HIM showing her true allegiance. Jannetty brings Michaels into the ring with a belly-to-back suplex for the 1…2…Michaels gets his shoulder up. Jannetty with a powerslam and to the top we go. Jannetty goes for the flying fist drop but Michaels moves so he lands on his feet and catches him with a DDT instead for the 1…2…MICHAELS KICKS OUT. Jannetty ducks a superkick and hits one of his own for the 1…2…NOPE. Michaels tries a sunset flip roll-up, Jannetty rolls through and slingshots Michaels right into the post for the 1…2…MICHAELS KICKS OUT AGAIN. The ref gets bumped and Jannetty puts Michaels in a full nelson, inviting Sherri into the ring. She tries to hit him with her shoe but she accidentally hits Jannetty instead. Michaels backs Sherri into the ropes, but doesn’t hit her, instead finishing Jannetty off with a not quite Sweet Chin Music that Jannetty sells with a corkscrew bump for the 1…2…3. Michaels retains.
Shawn Michaels [c] defeated Marty Jannetty via pinfall with Sweet Chin Music to retain the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (14:20)
- Disappointing match. These two would go on to have way better matches a few months later but this one…yikes. It picked up towards the end but for the first ten minutes or so it was pretty by the numbers, surprising given the bad blood between these two. The prevailing thought is that Jannetty was in no condition to perform that night, but honestly he seemed fine to me. Maybe I just don’t notice things well. Either way a pretty lackluster opening salvo to an easy money feud; seek out their other matches instead of this one. (**1/4)
-‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund tries to get some words from Sherri backstage but Michaels runs as fast as he can to catch up with her. Michaels tries to get in her face, Jannetty attacks him from behind and they are separated by a whole lot of referees. Okerlund yelling at Sherri to calm down because she was being hysterical was pretty great.
The Big Boss Man vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
This would be Boss Man’s final WWF PPV appearance during his original run with the company, as he would head to WCW later in the year and go through a whole lot of gimmicks before returning in 1998. Bigelow’s first WWF run came in the late-80s as a face aligned with Hulk Hogan but left to have knee surgery and spent the years in between wrestling for Japan and a couple of super tiny stints in NWA/WCW.
Hey cool ‘Dangerous’ Danny Davis is the ref. Bigelow attacks Boss Man at the bell, splashing him in the corner and talking trash. Bigelow continues the assault, a forearm to the back sending Boss Man out to the floor. Boss Man finally mounts some offense, taking Bigelow to the mat following a pair of clotheslines. Apparently Boss Man was only 29 at the time of this match, the HECK? Boss Man gets sent to the mat but he dodges a headbutt and regains control with a bulldog. Boss Man charges, Bigelow backdrops him out to the floor. Bigelow works over Boss Man’s back with a whole lot of double axhandles and a waistlock. Boss Man manages to escape but runs right into a stun gun (clothesline across the top rope) for a two-count. Back to the waistlock we go, Bigelow hugging him to the mat. Am I crazy or should this match be better than this? Come onnnn. Even the commentary goes quiet for a bit as this spot goes on for way too long. Boss Man finally escapes and counters a suplex with one of his own…well sorta, his back is too hurt to make it work. Bigelow recovers quickly and drops a headbutt across the lower back. Boss Man ducks a crossbody attempt and connects with a back bodydrop. Boss Man with the a splash against the middle rope followed by the baseball slide into an uppercut. Classic Boss Man. Boss Man charges at Bigelow, Bigelow gets his boot up and connects with a clothesline. Bigelow heads to the top and hits a Flying Headbutt for the 1…2…3. BAM BAM wins.
Bam Bam Bigelow defeated The Big Boss Man via pinfall with the Flying Headbutt (10:09)
- Boss Man and Bigelow are two of the most agile big men of their time but you wouldn’t know it watching this one. Very slow and plodding with that waistlock spot feeling like it lasted for hours. Super disappointing. There has to a better Boss Man/Bigelow match somewhere, right? Jeez. (*1/2)
-Segue to a segment from WWF Mania where Razor Ramon attacked Bret Hart‘s younger brother Owen Hart during a locker room interview with Ray Rougeau. Meeeean. Monsoon and Heenan vamp for a bit then we cut to an pre-recorded interview from Ramon, who promises to have Bret Hart’s gold around his waist. A Sacramento Kings game is going on in the background, but no one wants to see that ewwww.
-During Ramon’s entrance we cut to ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund who is backstage with WWF Champion Bret Hart. Hart says this is personal after Ramon’s attack of his younger brother and vows to make Ramon pay while defending his family’s honor. Hart makes his entrance and the crowd goes wild, his mom and dad (Stu and Helen Hart) in the front row to watch their son’s defense.
Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart [c] vs. ‘The Bad Guy’ Razor Ramon
This is Hart’s second PPV defense of the WWF Championship after successfully thwarting Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 1992. There weren’t a lot of top-level heels for him to headline against so Ramon, despite only being with the company for a few months, got pushed into this spot. Hart could do a lot worse though, Ramon is one of the 90s’ best workers. The winner of this one goes to WrestleMania IX to defend against the winner of the Royal Rumble match.
Ramon throws his toothpick at the kid who got Hart’s shades, so the Hitman pummels him with rights. Ramon responds with rights of his own and hammer throws Hart into the corner. He misses a running knee and Hart focuses on the now-hurt leg, weakening it for a potential Sharpshooter. Hart with a Figure Four in the center of the ring, barely two minutes into this one. Ric Flair is backstage shaking his fist no doubt. Ramon forces a rope break but Hart keeps going to work on the knee, ramming it into the steel post. Ramon catches Hart with a knee and sends him sliding ribs-first into the post, effectively taking control of the contest. Ramon uses the post to his advantage a few more times and drops elbows across the small of the back right to the kidneys. Ramon with his signature fallaway slam and we cut to Helen looking away in fear for her son. Ramon whips Hart into the corner and he shakes the ring crashing chest-first into the buckles. No matter how many times I see this in Bret Hart matches I always wince. Ramon wears Hart down with an abdominal stretch in the middle of the ring, throwing rights the exposed ribs to try and get him to give up. Hart manages to reverse it but Ramon quickly counters with a hip toss. Hart dodges an elbowdrop, gets knocked to the mat with a shoulderblock and Ramon covers for the 1…2…nope.
Hart ducks a back elbow and connects with a crossbody for the 1…2…Ramon kicks out and Hart goes to the floor. Hart with a sunset flip attempt, Ramon drops down for the 1…2…Hart rolls him up for the 1…2…Ramon kicks out. Ramon with an Irish whip and a..bearhug. Sigh. Hart almost passes out but gets his arm up just in time, escaping by biting Ramon. Ramon charges, Hart backdrops him right to the floor. BRET HART HAS WON THE ROYAL RU-wait nevermind. Hart follows up with a tope suicida, then rams Ramon head-first into the ring steps. Hart with corner mount punches, Ramon shoves him off so he responds with a whole lot of normal everyday rights. Hart with an inverted atomic drop followed by a running clothesline for the 1…2…kickout. Hart with a backbreaker followed by a clothesline from the middle turnbuckle for the 1…2…Razor kicks out once more. Hart with a bulldog for the 1…2…another kickout, plus Hart’s own feet are under the rope so that was never going to happen. Hart connects with a Side Russian Legsweep and covers for the 1…2…Ramon ain’t down yet. Hart looks for the Sharpshooter so Ramon immediately gets to the ropes. Hart pulls him off but can’t turn him in the hold, the ref getting caught in the fray. He’s not bumped though. Ramon with a hard shot to the ribs and he’s back in control. Ramon perches Hart on the top turnbuckle, Hart fights him off with an elbow and connects with a belly-to-back suplex. Hart follows up by trying for his elbow from the middle buckle but Ramon gets his boot up. Ramon goes for the Razor’s Edge but Hart slips out and rolls him up with a backslide for the 1…2…nope. Ramon with a hard whip into the corner, further hurting those ribs. Ramon slaps at Hart’s head as the champ tries to get up. He locks knuckles with him once again, tying his hands up so he can get some easy kicks at the ribs. Hart drops down and turns it into a roll-up for the 1…2…Ramon kicks out. Hart grabs the legs while on the mat, turns Ramon over, and locks in the Sharpshooter for the submission victory. Bret Hart is going to WrestleMania IX! (17:58)
Bret Hart [c] defeated Razor Ramon via submission with the Sharpshooter to retain the WWF CHAMPIONSHIP (17:58)
- A decent match, with Hart as usual playing a great plucky babyface underdog. It was a little slow in spots though so it lost me here and there but it was a hard-fought contest so I gotta give them some props anyway. I think this is Razor’s only World Title shot, at least on PPV, and that’s definitely disappointing. They should have ran with him as champ instead of Diesel in 94-95, he was way better in the ring and way more popular. I might be biased though because I’m a Razor Ramon mark through and through. (**1/2)
Segment: The Narcissist Revealed
Bobby Heenan leaves the commentary booth and heads ringside to introduce and reveal The Narcissist…LEX LUGER. Luger does a bunch of bodybuilder poses to generic music as Heenan pretty much orgasms on the live mic. This is Heenan’s new weapon in his feud with former charge and friend Mr. Perfect so that’s the feud he’s heading into. This is also Luger’s official debut in the WWF; he joined the company in 1992 but as part of the WBF (World Bodybuilding Federation) which consisted of him hosting the weekly show and doing nothing of note as he waited out his no-compete clause. He made a bunch of money doing it though so good for him.
After Luger completes his posing, Heenan interviews Luger. Luger promises to be the most dominant force the WWF has ever seen, calling himself mesomorphically magnificent. Luger then challenges Mr. Perfect and that’s the promo. Heenan calls this the highlight of his career, which is the lyingest lie to ever lie. Luger continues to pose as the curtain comes back down on him. Super hilarious.
Segment: Caesar & Cleopatra?!?
WrestleMania IX is taking place at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in a couple months so out come a fake Julius Caesar and a fake Cleopatra, flanked by fake Roman guards. Crowd gives no damns and I can’t blame them, this is hokey even for 1993. Caesar reads from his scroll, inviting everyone to WrestleMania IX. It’s funny in a goofy way but doesn’t really give WrestleMania IX a big show feel. Almost fitting though because as it turns out that’s one of the worst WrestleManias in the history of the event. According to a lot of fans anyway, I’ll reserve judgment until I tackle that beast in the future.
Winner to Face WWF Champion at WrestleMania IX
The 1993 Royal Rumble
#1 is last year’s winner ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, finishing up his first WWF run. #2 is Bob Backlund, making his Rumble debut and a real blast from the past as he was last champion back in the pre-Hulkamania era of the WWF. He’s about a year from finally finding his place as a deranged heel so this is still the white-meat babyface version. Not as interesting, but still good in the ring. ANYWAY Flair and Backlund battle for a little bit, Backlund with an atomic drop and an elimination attempt.
#3 is Papa Shango, making his final WWF PPV appearance because there’s no justice in the world. He’d go onto bigger things as The Godfather, and is remembered as such, but Papa Shango is a sentimental favorite of mine and he’s gone. PAPA SHANGO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Aw man. Flair works Backlund over with a right hands in the corner. Backlund fights back and they trade chops.
$4 is ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase making his final Rumble in-ring appearance. He’s currently one-half of Money Inc. with IRS, the current WWF Tag Team Champions. DiBiase and Flair double team Backlund and try to dump him out but Backlund prevents it. They try again as the countdown starts
#5 is Brian Knobbs of The Nasty Boys, currently faces and also near the end of his WWF run. Knobbs takes it to Flair and DiBiase with a double clotheslines and a double noggin knocker. Knobbs tosses Flair over the top but he hangs on and reenters while Knobbs is preoccupied with DiBiase. The Nastys turned face when Jimmy Hart screwed them over in favor of Money Inc. Given that Money Inc. are tag team champions and The Nasty Boys are just hanging out I’d say Jimmy Hart made the right decision. Pit Stop to DiBiase, ewwww.
#6 is Virgil and DiBiase, his former boss, immediately attacks him. Virgil hits him with an inverted stomic drop and connects with a series of jabs followed by a clothesline. Knobbs and Virgil team up, hitting DiBiase with a double backdrop. Knobbs charges at DiBiase, DiBiase ducks and out goes the Nasty Boy. BRIAN KNOBBS HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. We’ve been robbed of a Hart/Knobbs WrestleMania main event!
#7 is Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, part-time commentator but still somewhat serious wrestler. Flair and Lawler duke it out, Flair bails under the bottom rope to catch his breath but he’s forced back in. Flair tries to eliminate Virgil, Lawler stupidly pulls Flair off of him. The psychology in these matches are always so wonky.
#8 is Max Moon and I can’t stop laughing. What a duuuuuuumb gimmick hahahahaha. Moon was originally Konnan till Konnan left under bad terms so the role was recast with Paul Diamond, formerly Kato of The Orient Express. Step up? Not especially. Flair tries to toss Moon, Moon skins the cat back in and goes after Flair for the transgression. We’re 8 people in and it’s already pretty obvious the WWF talent pool is nowhere near where it was last year, jeez. And out goes Moon, courtesy of Lawler. MAX MOON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
#9 is Genichiro Tenryu who immediately goes after Flair. He was last seen in the WWF two years ago at WrestleMania VII as part of a working deal with his Japanese company and the fed. That WWF/AJPW Summit show from 1990 is worth checking out if you can get your hands on them; they aren’t great wrestling-wise but you get to watch Stan Hansen try to murder Hulk Hogan and that’s fun. No one in the crowd seems to care about Tenryu though, sad.
They do care about #10 however as it’s Mr. Perfect and he goes right after his hated rival Flair. Flair stupidly climbs to the top rope and naturally Perfect slams him off. Heenan absolutely freaks out and it’s great. Monsoon hypes the Career Match between Flair and Perfect set for tomorrow night on Monday Night Raw.
#11 is Skinner, who is still around in 1993 holy crap! This has to be his last Rumble appearance, right? Skinner attacks Lawler, Perfect clotheslines Flair out of the ring and he’s gone! RIC FLAIR HAS BEEN ELIMINATED and Heenan ain’t happy. Perfect celebrates the elimination as the crowd goes wild, leaving him open to an attack from behind by Lawler. Virgil holds Lawler so Perfect can get a shot in but he’s already onto something else so he just sorta awkwardly lets go. Ha.
#12 is Koko B. Ware, one-half of High Energy with Owen Hart, and he comes running out in the goofy way that only he can pull off. Tremendous. Skinner skins the cat but gets dropkicked out by Perfect anyway. SKINNER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED and the crowd pops again. Maybe they should have done Hart/Perfect at WrestleMania IX that would have at least given that event a memorable (for the right reasons) main event. Everyone is fighting except Tenyru who walks around like a kid looking for a girl to dance with in middle school.
#13 is Samu of The Headshrinkers, thrown into the ring by his manager Afa. He does stuff. I don’t know man this Rumble isn’t all that interesting so far, not much to talk about. Backlund is still in the match though, so cool for him!
#14 is The Berzerker, making his final WWF PPV appearance. Monsoon and Heenan hype that Berzerker loves throwing people over the top rope, but it’s not like it did him any good last year. Perfect dumps Lawler. JERRY LAWLER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Perfect and Ware knock Perfect to the apron and with the assistance of Lawler they eventually force him to the floor. MR. PERFECT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. There went the one guy anyone cared about in this match. Perfect and Lawler brawl on the floor, refs trying to separate them. Apparently Virgil was sent out as well too so VIRGIL HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Thinning things out we are.
#15 is The Undertaker, led to the ring by Paul Bearer and the crowd goes wiiiiiiild. Crowd has someone to care about again, yay! Berzerker and Backlund tumble out through the middle rope. Berzerker attacks Backlund with a chair while Undertaker tosses out Samu. SAMU HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Berzerker slams Backlund on the cement floor, Undertaker backdrops Tenryu to the floor. GENICHIRO TENRYU HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. We’re down to four folks left. COME ON BERZERKER!
#16 is Terry Taylor, making his Rumble return following a fun and computerized run in WCW. Last time he was in one of these he was still known as The Red Rooster, a gimmick that totally neutered his chance to be a big star. DiBiase attacks him and Ware and tosses them out. KOKO B. WARE AND TERRY TAYLOR HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED. Undertaker then tosses DiBiase out so TED DIBIASE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED and now we’re down to two (three technically as Backlund is still out on the floor, but shhh). As Berzerker and Undertaker brawl out comes Giant Gonzalez, the former El Gigante, led to the ring by Harvey Wippleman. Meanwhile THE BERZERKER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Gonzalez gets in the ring, wearing his super dumb airbrushed leotard with painted-on muscles and real fur. Yikes.
#17 is Damien Demento who smartly waits outside as Gonzalez attacks Undertaker, chopping him out to the floor. THE UNDERTAKER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED and once again the crowd has no one worth caring about. Gonzalez continues attacking Undertaker, throwing him into the ring steps. Wippleman has brought Gonzalez to get revenge on The Undertaker for putting his other charge Kamala in a casket at Survivor Series 1992. Back in the ring Gonzalez drops Undertaker with a chokeslam, Demento still watching from the floor.
#18 is Irwin R. Schyster, making his way veeeery slowly to the ring lest Gonzalez attack him as well. Gonzalez and Wippleman are finally forced from ringside by a host of officials as well as former WWF stars turned officials Tony Garea and Sgt. Slaughter. With Gonzalez gone we go back to the ring, Demento and IRS double-teaming Backlund while Undertaker tries and fails to sit up. Headbutts all around.
#19 is Tatanka (Buffalo), making his Rumble debut. It’s easy to forget but Tatanka was pretty damn over back in 92/93. Paul Bearer makes his way out and uses his urn to finally wake Undertaker, who limps to the back. Demento works over Backlund, IRS tries to eliminate Tatanka as the crowd goes quiet once again.
#20 is Jerry Sags, the other Nasty Boy. Sags wants IRS but Tatanka is busy with him so he goes after Demento instead. Finally IRS is free so Sags grabs the tie and lays in with a series of rights. Tatanka and Backlund double-team Demento, who apparently became an artist/sculptor following his retirement. Makes sense, he seems like he has a lot of demons he could turn into art pieces.
#21 is Typhoon who hauls ass to the ring faster than I expected. No one in the ring is a credible challenger for WrestleMania IX so the crowd doesn’t seem too invested. Can’t blame them. Sags tries to eliminate Tatanka, but Tatanka uses the strength of his ancestors (his legs) to prevent it.
#22 is Fatu, the other Headshrinker and future dancing freak. Fatu catches Typhoon with a superkick then goes after IRS. Monsoon and Heenan try to hype how good this Rumble is but…they wrong. Unfortunately. Demento is lasting way longer than I expected him to.
Earthquake is #23 and The Natural Disasters are now both in the contest. He’d be a credible challenger I think but he’s not gonna get the chance. Earthquake and Typhoon attack each other instead of anyone else for a little hoss action. Crowd doesn’t take the bait. Typhoon charges at Quake, Quake ducks and out he goes. TYPHOON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Typhoon is mad but hey every man for himself.
#24 is Puerto Rican legend Carlos Colon and Monsoon calls him a YOUNGSTER. Uhhhh disagree. I wish there was an easier way to add an accent mark in this stuff so I could get Carlos’ last name right. I think this Carlos Colon’s only real WWF appearance, at least in this era, and he gets an elimination under his belt. DAMIEN DEMENTO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
#25 is ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana, making his final Rumble appearance and I believe final WWF PPV appearance. FATU HAS BEEN ELIMINATED also. Backlund and IRS try to eliminate Santana, then Santana tries to eliminate Backlund. Neither are successful. Backlund is closing on 50 minutes in the Rumble. Weird I thought we were on hour 6.
#26 is Rick ‘The Model’ Martel so at least the Rumble is classed up a bit. He and Santana, former tag team partners turned enemies, immediately pair off. IRS HAS BEEN ELIMINATED courtesy of I think Earthquake. Sags and Quake start jawing at each other while Santana almost eliminates Backlund to no avail. Crowd pops for it so he’s sort-of winning the crowd over at least. Colon pump kicks Quake, Quake responds with a lariat but can’t eliminate him.
#27 is Yokozuna, led to the ring by Mr. Fuji. He’s huge and never even been knocked off his feet yet so he’s the favorite. TATANKA HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. CARLOS COLON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Quake points at Yoko, Yoko gets in a sumo stance. Quake, a former sumo wrestler himself, is not afraid of him and the crowd comes alive for some HOSS FIGHTIN’.
#28 is ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart but he’s ignored in favor of the continuing Quake/Yoko duel. Quake squashes Yoko in the corner, then tries again but Yoko moves and tosses him out with a belly-to-belly! Niiiiiiice. EARTHQUAKE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED and Heenan predicts Yoko as the winner. Santana tries to take Yoko off his feet but he gets brushed off and almost eliminated.
#29 is Repo Man, the real MVP of the World Wrestling Federation. He goes right at Yoko and gets immediately dropped. Backlund, Santana, Sags, Martel, and Hart try to eliminate Yoko but they can’t even get him over the top rope. He’s just too big. Yoko fights them off rather easily.
#30 is ‘The Macho Man’ Randy Savage and the crowd comes unglued. FINALLY SOMEONE WITH A CHANCE. He’s the last one so now the match has truly begun. This is also Savage’s final Rumble.
TITO SANTANA AND JERRY SAGS ARE ELIMINATED in short order. Owen skins the cat back into the ring after a brief struggle and jumps on Yoko’s back. He charges at Yoko, Yoko tosses him like yesterday’s garbage while Savage tosses Repo Man. OWEN HART AND REPO MAN HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED. Only four remain: Martel, Backlund, Yoko, Savage. Martel isn’t recognized as being a former World Champion even though he is. No one like the AWA I guess, jeez. Martel tries to eliminate Backlund but Backlund manages to stay in and he’s closing in on Flair’s record for longest Rumble run. Backlund crotches Martel on the top turnbuckle and connects with a forearm, sending him to the floor. RICK MARTEL HAS BEEN ELIMINATED and the crowd pops. Three remain.
Backlund attacks Yoko, who turns his attention to him. Backlund dropkicks Yoko against the ropes and charges, but gets sent out to the floor. BOB BACKLUND HAS BEEN ELIMINATED and the crowd gives Yoko whatfer. Down to Savage and Yoko. They talk about Yoko’s Japanese leanings but he’s a proud Samoan so he yells about Samoa while attacking Savage. Savage fights back and clotheslines Yoko repeatedly. Savage climbs to the top and hits a double axhandle, staggering Yoko. He hits another and down Yoko goes to one knee. Savage gets the crowd behind him and charges, Yoko hitting him with a superkick. Yoko squashes Savage with a belly-to-belly suplex and legdrop. Yoko splashes Savage in the corner but misses the second one and he finally falls. Savage hits a Flying Elbowdrop and for some reason covers him?!? Yoko pushes Savage off, over the top rope and onto the floor. YOKOZUNA IS THE WINNER OF THE 1993 ROYAL RUMBLE.
Yokozuna won the 1993 Royal Rumble, last eliminating Randy Savage (66:40)
- The 1992 Royal Rumble is a standout match, one of the best in the event’s history. One year later though and the WWF clearly couldn’t keep up the momentum. Filled with wrestlers who obviously had no shot at main-eventing WrestleMania there were a lot of dead spots and down moments. Giant Gonzalez wasting Undertaker and Backlund’s miracle run were alright but besides that this just felt neverending. Looking back Yoko really was the only one with any chance so I’m assuming everyone back then knew what was going to happen and were just waiting for inevitable outcome. It’s a good challenger for Bret given the weak talent pool, I just wished I didn’t have to waste over an hour to get to it. (**)
Caesar and Cleopatra make their way back out with their Roman guards, leading Yoko to the back to end the show. A warrior’s exit I guess?
Overall Thoughts: A boring undercard with even the sure thing being disappointing (Michaels/Jannetty) and a Rumble that just felt like would never end. Not a great way to begin 1993, bleh. Definitely not worth your time, don’t watch this one.
- Match of the Night: Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon
- Moment of the Night: Giant Gonzalez makes his skinny-ass Sasquatch debut. Yes the character sucks, yes he’s one of the worst wrestlers ever, but it wowed me so much as a kid that it’s really one of the only things I ever remember about this show.