Written by: Tom Hopkins
Happy New Year! Wait, no it is Texas Admission Day and we’re talking about and that’s appropriate since we’re in Austin, Texas. Talks of admission means that Perfect suggests to co-host Vince McMahon that the rest of the WWE admit to themselves that Flair is the real world’s champion.
-The New Foundation vs. 2 Jobbers in Green-
The jackets of the jobbers are almost as offensive looking as the outfits that Owen and Neidhart are wearing. Anvil starts but he’s in there for about 30 seconds before Owen comes in (without a tag) to showcase his talents. Owen hits a nice second-rope elbow and dropkicks the jobber to his corner so he can rough up the other jobber. The Anvil comes in with shoulderblocks and the team ends with a rocket launcher (though Owen almost missed his man) to end this at 2:38.
We’re at the Update Center with Gene Okerlund and the only thing he cares about right now is the Royal Rumble. We have all 30 participants named. The Rockers (whose break-up is teased), Greg Valentine, a returning Sid Justice (who says all 29 men have to go through him), Sgt. Slaughter, Jimmy Snuka, Hercules, Big Boss Man (who guarantees a win), Barbarian, Rick Martel and Col. Mustafa (who looks like he’s reading off a cue card). Okerlund also tells us about the big IC title match between the Mountie and Bret Hart. We hear from both men even though they didn’t actually end up meeting at the show. I’m surprised Mountie didn’t say he was going to shock the world.
-Rick Martel vs. Dale Wolfe-
Martel was in “Europe” which explains his absence. That was probably just an injury or something. Martel gets a handshake early and he tries another one after Wolfe gets the better of him and he doesn’t do anything dastardly. We hear from the Model during the match and he talks about being a Model champion. Model wants a third handshake and this time he blindsides him, dumps him and sends him into the ringpost. Martel hits a backbreaker which leads to the Boston Crab which ends this at 3:02. I thought this was an interesting match-up due to the mind games Martel played and then working the back before finishing with the Crab.
It’s an ad for WBF magazine!
Sean Mooney is at the Event Center and he brings us promo’s from some of the men who will be in the Royal Rumble. We hear from El Matador (who likens the Ruble to being in a bull ring), Skinner and Hacksaw Jim Duggan (who gives an entertaining interview).
-Big Boss Man vs. Jobber-
IRS cuts a promo on Boss Man during his match and he guarantees that IRS will serve hard time. Boss Man Slam ends this one at 0:56. There’s a funny exchange between Perfect and McMahon after the match. McMahon asks if he can envision Boss Man as the champion and Perfect responds, “in no way shape or form will he be the champion.”
We’re back at the Event Center with more Rumble related promos. We hear from Ted DiBiase (and Sherri), Sgt. Slaughter (who wants the title for a second time) and both Nasty Boys (with Jimmy Hart) – who tease a fight amongst themselves.
-Repo Man vs. Larry Sampson-
Perfect says Repo is over the 300-pound mark but I’m a bit skeptical of that. Repo dumps Sampson early before working his leg in the ring. Repo has a pre-recorded comment cut in during the match and Repo wants to take the WWE Title. Repo ends with a leg-bar at 1:20. This was quick. McMahon asks Perfect if Flair would win if he was number one and Perfect of course has no worry. Well, he was only two-minutes away from being #1 so I guess it’s close enough.
Vince brings us a vignette from a Native American named Chris Chavis. He would be renamed Tatanka by the time he debuted.
It’s time for the Funeral Parlor! Bearer brings out his guest – Roddy Piper. Piper says that you have to dream and says we must believe what Martin Luther King said. How the hell did MLK get into this promo? Piper brings this to his dream of winning the WWE Title. He talks about the Beatles during his promo, too. What the hell did he smoke before he got out there? Piper then stuffs Bearer into a coffin.
It’s the Royal Rumble Report! We already heard about the IC Title match. Well, we also have the Buswhackers vs. the Beverly Brothers as well as the New Hart Foundation vs. the Orient Express. The big main event is the Rumble itself and how the winner will be awarded the WWE Title. Hogan and Taker will be drawing between 20 and 30 because they were involved in the whole debacle. We take a look at highlights from last year’s Rumble, too. It was just Bulldog dumping Martel. Speaking of Bulldog, he’s in here, too, as are IRS, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ric Flair (complete with Tag Team Title), Greg Valentine, Rick Martel, Sid Justice, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Warlord, Texas Tornado, Roddy Piper, Ted DiBiase, Virgil, Repo Man, Macho Man and Jake Roberts (who seems to be in cahoots with Undertaker), Tito Santana, Berzerker, Sgt. Slaughter, both Nasty Boys, the Big Boss Man, Undertaker (who has room in his urn for Hogan and Tunney) Hercules, Jimmy Snuka, Col. Mustafa, Barbarian, Skinner and Hulk Hogan (who talks about being at Titan Tower).
-Legion of Doom(c) vs. The Rockers for the WWE Tag Team Titles-
There are 12 minutes left in this show. What’re the odds these guys get more than 5-minutes? Or even go to the end of the show. I wish. Shawn and Animal start as McMahon talks about possible dissention within the Rockers. They seem to tag well in the beginning with some double-teaming leading to a Jannetty victory roll. Animal just powers his way back into control and Hawk is tagged in. Hawk misses an elbow and Michaels tags in. Hawk tries a press-slam but Jannetty comes in and dropkicks him from behind as Michaels headscissors Hawk down. Michaels tries a sunset flip but Hawk blocks with a right hand. Animal comes in with a big powerslam on Michaels. He tries a splash but Michaels lifts the knees and tags in Jannetty. Marty tries a sunset flip but Animal doesn’t go down. So Michaels superkicks him down for two. This draws in Hawk and all four men brawl. Hawk takes a double superkick that sends him to the outside and Jannetty tries a crossbody on Animal. Michaels tries to dropkick Jannetty onto Animal but Animal turns around, is dropkicked on the back and Animal falls on top of Jannetty for the pinfall at 3:29. This was actually very energetic for the 3-minutes and really it needed at least 5 to get it going. The Rockers tease a break-up which culminates in Shawn slapping Marty twice and Jannetty backing away. Michaels is booed in the ring as the segment ends. *.
We’re back at the Event Center and we hear from Greg Valentine (who talks about winning two out of the three titles), the Berzerker & Mr. Fuji and the Bushwhackers (w/Jameson). Next week we’ll have the British Bulldog, the Beverly Brothers, Roddy Piper and Undertaker in action as well as a special interview with the Macho Man and Elizabeth.
-The Bottom Line-
There were only four matches because this was basically all Royal Rumble hype. The Rockers/LOD match was decent given the time constraints and the Rockers break-up was played up very heavily here. This was much better than last week, though I could’ve used a few more matches.