Flashback: WWF Royal Rumble 1993
At the end of 1992 the World Wrestling Federation entered a new era… the New Generation. The focus was on younger wrestlers instead of the old names such as Hulk Hogan. That wouldn’t exactly last all that long in ’93, but they at least tried. The ’93 installment guarantees the winner of the Royal Rumble match a WWF World Championship match at WrestleMania IX in April.
The show features the end of a year long grudge that was rediscovered at the end of ’92, pay per view debuts and the beginning of the hype for WrestleMania IX.
A more in-depth review can be found HERE thanks to Justin and Scott.
1.) The Steiner Brothers defeated The Beverly Brothers
2.) WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels defeated Marty Jannetty to retain the title
3.) Bam-Bam Bigelow defeated Big Boss Man
4.) WWF World Champion Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon to retain the title
5.) Yokozuna won the 1993 Royal Rumble Match last eliminating Randy Savage
There weren’t any issues between the Steiner Brothers and the Beverly Brothers for the show. Instead, it was just the pay per view debut of the Steiner’s, who had bailed on WCW after not signing new contracts. It’s a decent match and it highlights the Steiner’s well. Personally, I enjoyed the Beverly Brothers and thought they should have accomplished much more in the WWF instead of being a heel job team for the top face teams. It would take a little while before the Steiner Brothers had championship gold in the WWF.
Okay, so the Rockers split at the end of ’91 when Shawn Michaels tossed Marty Jannetty through a glass window. However, because Marty has had his fair share of demons, he was fired shortly thereafter for his drug issues. Obviously a match between these two would have been far more interesting a year prior, but better late than never, right? It’s not a classic and the emotion you’d expect wasn’t anywhere near the level that it should have been had they wrestled in ’92. Sensational Sherri was in the neutral corner unsure of whom she would support as she had been having issues with Michaels for several months. Jannetty would be fired the next day after he was found passed out in a hotel.
After a successful near six year run, the Big Boss Man’s first run in the WWF is near its end as he loses to Bam-Bam Bigelow in his debut on pay per view. This is a prime example of showcasing new talent while the old talent is shown the door. Bigelow would be a force for the majority of his WWF run and it all started with a convincing win over the cop from Cobb County, Georgia.
Razor Ramon had just made his debut for the WWF over the summer in ’92 and won a feud against Randy Savage. At the time, the WWF was low on heel contenders for the top prize in the company, so Ramon was the only fresh option to fill the void on pay per view against Bret Hart. I suppose they could have gone with Flair here instead, but I don’t think we would have gotten a better match. The match is a good title match and a prime example of Hart making a challenger a believable contender despite not being in the company for an extended period of time. I believe this would be the first televised loss for the Bad Guy, who would also have a more memorable loss on RAW in five months.
Prior to the Royal Rumble, Bobby Heenan unveiled the Narcissist Lex Luger. The company focused quite a bit on getting fresh heels in the company with Bigelow, Ramon, Luger and Yokozuna all having major spots in the company in a short time.
Ric Flair, Mr. Perfect, The Undertaker, Yokozuna and Randy Savage were probably the only five guys that anyone thought had any chance in winning the Royal Rumble in 1993. Apparently, “smart” fans knew that it would be Yokozuna from the start and they weren’t wrong. Yoko had been brought into the company in late ’92 and he was given the mega push to challenge for the WWF World Championship at WrestleMania IX. He won the match after eliminating Randy Savage who played the underdog role very well for the final few moments of the match.
The Undertaker would be attacked by the debuting Giant Gonzales. It’s a dreadful feud that would last for seven long months. This is around the period of time that Taker can’t get any interesting and productive feuds. Meanwhile, Perfect and Flair were involved in a heated feud since November and that comes to an end the following night on RAW. I suppose Perfect could have won the match to give him something for Mania, but Yokozuna is the mega heel and would be best served going after the Hitman at Mania.
While the action may not be incredible, I thought it was a productive event for the WWF to start off the pay per view year. Bigelow is introduced as a top heel contender, a good title match between Bret and Ramon, the Michaels/Jannetty issue is resolved even if it’s a year after the fact and the Steiner Brothers impress with their victory.
The idea of a Yokozuna/Bret main event at WrestleMania doesn’t seem to be a strong one largely because of how new Yokozuna is, but it’s the classic big man vs. little man with Hart playing the role of underdog champion, which he was really good at portraying. Unlike years prior, the match wasn’t dependent on a long period of hype prior to the event.
What are your memories on the Royal Rumble? Would have done anything differently?
Thanks for reading.