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WWF Royal Rumble 1992

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The Orient Express vs. The New Foundation

 

Roddy Piper vs. The Mountie for the Intercontinental Championship

 

The Beverly Brothers vs. The Bushwhackers

 

The Natural Disasters vs. The Legion of Doom for the World Tag Team Championship

 

30-Man Royal Rumble for the WWF Championship, featuring:

-- The Berzerker

-- The Big Bossman

-- The British Bulldog

-- Col. Mustafa

-- El Matador

-- Greg Valentine

-- Haku (injury substitute for Brian Knobbs)

-- Hercules

-- Hulk Hogan

-- Irwin R. Schyster

-- Jake Roberts

-- Jerry Sags

-- Jim Duggan

-- Jimmy Snuka

-- Nikolai Volkoff (injury substitute for Marty Jannetty)

-- Randy Savage

-- The Repo Man

-- Ric Flair

-- Rick Martel

-- Roddy Piper

-- Sgt. Slaughter

-- Shawn Michaels

-- Sid Justice

-- Skinner

-- Ted DiBiase

-- The Barbarian

-- The Texas Tornado

-- The Undertaker

-- Virgil

-- The Warlord

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Putting the show location in the sub-title reminded me of how as a youngster, I thought "unison" was an actual location somewhere in the US whenever Monsoon noted the crowd was "cheering in Unison" or what have you.

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Here's an event I don't even need to rewatch to discuss, I've seen it as many times as any other event.

 

The Rumble is really split into two parts, everything up to Bossman's elimination is prologue and Piper's entrance really kicks off the fun. It's surprising how quickly the last few eliminations come, particularly with the later Rumbles trying to build epic finishes.

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I agree with that assessment. Tale of two halves, both halves were good. I like the first half in particular because it helped eastablish both Bulldog and Shawn Michaels as future big time players. Who woulda though Shawn would have stayed in for as long as he did at that point?

 

It also features the best Rumble elimination yet: Sid slinging Slaughter so hard in to the turnbuckles that he popped up and went over.

 

I get a kick out of Macho Man just nonchalantly being dumped out...after the deal with him, Jake and UT, he was pretty much out on his feet the rest of the way, no real threat at all.

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I get a kick out of Macho Man just nonchalantly being dumped out...after the deal with him, Jake and UT, he was pretty much out on his feet the rest of the way, no real threat at all.

Yeah, that puzzles me in retrospect. I would have thought Savage would have played a bigger part in the match after his part with Jake, especially since he was eventually given the title shot against Flair. He was pretty much just there to give them the appearance of more star power at the end.

 

I can't think of any other Rumble where I had less of an idea who would win going down toward the finish. When Warlord came in at #30, there were still five or six guys who could have believably won the thing (Hogan, Sid, Savage, Piper, Flair, maybe even Slaughter as a former champ).

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Still one of my all time favorite matches.

 

As a kid, I was 100% CERTAIN Sid was winning the Rumble, and boy was I pissed at Hogan when he screwed Sid out of the championship.

 

It was mentioned earlier, but the way the match was structured is also great. When Flair tosses Bossman to clear the ring, it really does pick up with Piper then coming in to just unload on Flair. Then when Roberts comes in next and just lays in the corner to allow Piper to beat on Flair some more, only to sneak attack Piper after a while was great as well.

 

Heenan and Monsoon's commentary also made this event stand out even better. Heenan was so beside himself after Flair came out third, and it's hilarious listening to Gorilla antagonize him the entire match... and then Heenan just exploding into joy when Flair wins.

 

Watching this match is like watching an example of great booking and execution.

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Watched this again about six months ago on DVD and the thing that stood out to me was how much of a one match show this really is. Piper winning his first title in the WWF is a nice moment and New Foundation-Orient Express is a fun opener but the other two matches are really not good at all (and Piper-Mountie is quite terrible wrestling-wise). In fact I'd say this and In Your House: Mind Games are the definitions of one match show.

 

But what a match it was. Easily one of my two or three favorite matches of all time. I love pretty much any and every Royal Rumble, even the lesser ones are still entertaining but this one is on another level and IMO, can't be matched.

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- I would have made "The Barbarian doesn't like Flair" as the subtitle, but that's just me.

 

- That Bushwhackers-Beverly Brothers match just wouldn't END! I was reading a book while it was on and glanced at the TV twice and thought "Geez, this thing is STILL going on?"

 

- Another bonus is that we get a Shawn Micheals promo that shows the Rockers breakup.

 

- The Rumble match was Ric Flair's crowning achievement in the WWF. Here was a brash, egotistical guy that barges in and claims himself to be "The Real World's Champion" who comes into this match at #3 - an impossible position - and instead of cowering and hiding while picking his spots, he goes right after each guy that comes in. They also REALLY built up Piper's "Two titles in one night" angle so the fans were red hot for him when he came out. That was probably the best booked Rumble they've ever done.

 

- The Rumble match itself is considered the most star-studded Rumble ever and with eight past and future World Champions (5 of whom would hold titles in both the WWF and NWA/WCW or World Heavyweight title in Michaels and the Undertaker's cases), it's hard to dispute that.

 

EDIT: Does Heenan audibly swear when Flair comes out? There's a bit of silence and Monsoon says "Watch your language". I've always wondered that.

Edited by KingPK

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He says "damnit". This was 1992, after all. That sort of language didn't fly!

 

Not a huge deal but sadly (though expected) they used the recent DVD release of the show, meaning classic Rumble theme with Vince McMahon yelling 30 names is out, new song with Fake Gary Michael Cappetta / Fake Michael Buffer who sounds nothing like Michael Buffer does the voice over.

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EDIT: Does Heenan audibly swear when Flair comes out? There's a bit of silence and Monsoon says "Watch your language". I've always wondered that.

 

He yells out "DAMN IT!"

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As mentioned in GW last week, my second favourite match of all time. Literally everything was on, and there was a feeling that wouldn't be replicated until 2008: A legitimate "who of these five or six or seven guys will win?"

 

I also liked the use of Repo Man and the Bulldog in the "Rumble Thoughts" vignette, adding an even further "anyone can win" dynamic.

 

Gorilla and Heenan were awesome on commentary.

 

"He came out this early? With these odds, I'm gonna be on easy street! I'm gonna make a fortune!"

"Or lose one, Brain"

"I can't look at it that way!"

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(Paraphrasing)

 

Monsoon - No one in the history of the Royal Rumble has drawn numbers one through five and been there at the end.

Heenan - What great camerawork.

Monsoon - Did you hear what I said?!?

Heenan - WHAT?!?

Monsoon - NOBODY in the history of the Royal Rumble has drawn numbers one through five AND BEEN THERE AT THE END!!!

Heenan - OH WILL YOU SHUT UP?!? SHUT UP!!!

Monsoon - Heh

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(Paraphrasing)

 

Monsoon - No one in the history of the Royal Rumble has drawn numbers one through five and been there at the end.

Heenan - What great camerawork.

Monsoon - Did you hear what I said?!?

Heenan - WHAT?!?

Monsoon - NOBODY in the history of the Royal Rumble has drawn numbers one through five AND BEEN THERE AT THE END!!!

Heenan - OH WILL YOU SHUT UP?!? SHUT UP!!!

Monsoon - Heh

 

My favorite part, other than "Barbarian doesn't like Flair", is when Heenan goes nuts after Flair tosses Bossman, thinking Flair has won the match since he cleared the ring.

 

I also loved how nearly EVERYONE in this match instantly goes after Flair, and he still made it out on top.

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It also features the best Rumble elimination yet: Sid slinging Slaughter so hard in to the turnbuckles that he popped up and went over.

 

I've seen Slaughter do that bump numerous times. The boot camp match with Sheik, I think he pulled it out during the '90 Survivor Series as well. Classic Sarge. He was a tremendously underrated wrestler.

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I also enjoyed how Heenan started kissing Piper's ass when he went after Roberts, who was attacking Flair. And then Piper went back to Flair and Heenan lost it again.

 

Also, hearing Mr. Perfect trying to do a "whoo!" was painful everytime.

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I've rambled on about this match at every wrestling-related board I've been a part of. I'll probably be watching it again with some friends this week, though the match itself is absolutely burned into my mind, almost frame-for-frame.

 

My favorite moment of the Rumble is the one no one's mentioned yet: the cluttered ring starts to clear, ending with the Boss Man slinging over the ropes after a missed charge, leaving Flair alone in the ring, crumpled over from exhaustion. Heenan declares Flair the winner of the Rumble, though Monsoon is quick to point out we've only reached the halfway mark. Cue the timer and out comes Piper. Awesome.

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[Monsoon announces that Ric has set the longevity record]

Heenan: "Give him the title, that's good enough!"

 

And how could anybody possibly be on Hogan's side at the end? "Hey, he played by the rules of the match and threw me out fair and square, so I'm going to be an asshole and make him lose the World Title! Cheer for me!"

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I saw this Rumble over my cousin's house during Jr. High and it's still my favorite to date. I was rooting for Sid (I know, I know), my cousin was rooting for Flair, and my best friend Hogan. Just an amazing hour of wrestling.

 

-I was pissed when Hogan helped eliminate Sid and one of the best moments ever came after the Rumble where the crowd, for the first time on TV or PPV, really turned on Hogan and rightly so.

 

-Flair's amazing performance also featured him bumping into old rivals. The staredown with Von Erich, the beatdown with Valentine where he is put in his own finisher, as well as wrestling old rivals Snuka and Slaughter.

 

-Love the bit after kissing Piper's ass, Heenan yells "Why you no-good creep! You skirt-wearing freak! I take that back. It's not a kilt, it's a skirt!"

 

-After Flair was the last one standing midway through, I absolutely knew it was going to be Piper who would come out. Flair's scream when Piper pokes him in the eyes is classic.

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The really weird thing about watching this show live is I had been watching wrestling for less than a year and was still into the whole Hogan thing, but my cousin and I both agreed he had no chance of winning and we didn't want him to either. I don't know if that was some sub-conscious TV booking they had been doing to phase him out but we really wanted Sid or Piper to win.

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I remember my friend, his dad, and I wrote down our 5 picks to win the Rumble. I was the only one who had Flair. Don't be too impressed, I also had the Warlord on my list. Sid was my odds on favorite though and while watching it, I changed my mind to Piper on the heels of his IC Title win earlier.

 

Even I thought Hogan winning it three years in a row would be overkill.

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I remember my friend, his dad, and I wrote down our 5 picks to win the Rumble. I was the only one who had Flair. Don't be too impressed, I also had the Warlord on my list. Sid was my odds on favorite though and while watching it, I changed my mind to Piper on the heels of his IC Title win earlier.

 

Even I thought Hogan winning it three years in a row would be overkill.

 

I think most people saw this as Sid's to win since he was the next big thing and was being pushed to the moon. Like a lot of people, the ending produced the first real backlash I had against Hogan for what he did.

 

And I think the eye poke by Piper is my favorite part of that exchange... even more so than when Piper comes out and is a ball of energy as he runs to the ring while Flair is already begging off.

 

I agree with Darth about how cool it was to see all of Flair's old rivals (Von Erich and Valentine) really go after him. Since the WWE didn't acknowledge things like that back in the day, it's nice to go back and see how all the guys he had a history with interact with him during the match.

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Speaking of old rivals, I would have liked to see a Federation-ized version of Flair vs. Steamboat but it was not to be. I also always have found it very odd how Flair and Lawler immediately go at it in the 93 Rumble.

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I really liked the Federationized version of Kerry Von Erich Vs Ric Flair. I guess it's a testament to Flair's skills that he was able to carry an extremely washed up Texas Tornado to a good match.

 

Semi off topic- but let me talk about Royal Rumble '93 for a second. I always thought that the first part of the Rumble was actually really good but then it just died after Giant Gonzalez lumbered in out of nowhere and eliminated the 'Taker. Looking at the roster of '92 and '93's- it's kind of shocking how depleted the WWF roster became in one year.

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How creepy was that obvious voiceover Fink did for the introduction of the Orient Express?

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Heenan going off on Jameson was pretty funny too. He starts ragging on Jameson's suit and Monsoon said you do what you can in these hard times. Heenan asks why Jameson didn't go to school and better him and is now leeching off the government.

 

"With my tax dollars. I paid almost $200 in taxes last year..."

 

"Will you stop?!"

 

"It's not supposed to go to benefit that scumbag!"

 

Later on, The Genius slaps Jameson and Jameson says "he hitted me." This prompts Heenan to reply...

 

"He didn't hit you hard enough, you're still breathing."

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The Rumble is probably the peak of Monsoon and Heenan's collective work. The Bushwhackers/Beverly Brothers is incredibly long, but Heenan drops some absolute gems in there. He and Monsoon were often at their best during the train-wreck caliber matches.

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Here's an event I don't even need to rewatch to discuss, I've seen it as many times as any other event.

 

The Rumble is really split into two parts, everything up to Bossman's elimination is prologue and Piper's entrance really kicks off the fun. It's surprising how quickly the last few eliminations come, particularly with the later Rumbles trying to build epic finishes.

 

They did the same thing in 97 with Austin, but unlike Flair, he was alone in the ring several times before Hitman came out. His dominance over the first 20 entrants elevated him more than any Rumble performance to that point, but like you said, that was all prologue. After Bret comes in, Rocky, Mankind, Vader, and the Undertaker followed, and the real match started.

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