Brett Mix’s- WWF Royal Rumble 1991 Review:
“Oh REAAAALLLY….He was never the World Wrestling Federation Champion! I was ALWAAAYS the World Wrestling Federation Champion….Yesterday, Today and Tommorow,….Past, Present, and FUTURE. I AM THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME.” –Macho King Randy Savage
-WWF Royal Rumble 1991 took place on Sunday, January 19th, 1991 at the Miami Arena, live on PPV from Miami, Florida in front of 16, 000 fans.
-This was the 4th Annual WWF Royal Rumble event.
-Sensational Queen Sherri on this PPV begged The Ultimate Warrior on the stage by the entrance for him to defend the WWF title against Savage at Wrestlemania 7 if he retained the title, and he said NO. As a consequence Savage flipped out and would eventually cost The Warrior the title that night in his match with Slaughter.
-Gorilla Monsoon and “ROWDY” Roddy Piper do commentary for the event, this was the first Rumble where Ventura did not do commentary and he never came back.
-Rick Martel broke the longevity record, lasting 52:17.
-Randy Savage became the first Rumble no-show as no one came out at number eighteen. This was because he ran off after being chased by The Ultimate Warrior, as Savage costed him the title earlier in the night.
-WWF Magazine announced André the Giant, Buddy Rose, and The Honky Tonk Man as participants in the Royal Rumble. Rose and The Honky Tonk Man were no longer employed by the WWF by the time of the Rumble. They were replaced in the match by Tito Santana, Shane Douglas, and Greg Valentine. Andre was scratched due to health reasons.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) vs The Orient Express (Pat Tanaka and Kato) (w/Mr. Fuji)
This is the best Royal Rumble PPV match in history to this point and still stands today as one of the best ever in the history of the PPV which has produced well over 20 shows!
The Hot Rod doing color commentary says this should be one of the greatest tag matches with the enthusiasm he had but I seriously doubt even HE knew THIS MATCH would go on to be THIS GOOD.
Both teams come out and The Rockers get a tremendous ovation!
Shawn Michaels started the match right AWAY by jumping onto Tanaka, but he and Kato both started to double team HBK wasting no time and irish whipped him to the ropes where he got a back body drop flipping in mid-air.
There is going to be a ton of quick action here.
AMAZING ACTION to start.
Kato tried to cut the ring in half with forearms to Jannetty but he hit a dropkick. Tanaka got tagged in and Jannetty hit an armdrag takedown and then slapped on a wristlock. Jannetty tagged in Shawn Michaels and then he came flying off the top and continued the hammerlock into a back drop and then Michaels went back into a wristlock quickly. Shawn Michaels then kept bending Tanaka’s arm back and then he hit him with a shoulder block until Kato hit a beautiful flying forearm off the side of the ring, Fuji approves but Tanaka only gets a two count.
HBK in a sleeper by Tanaka who was the only unmasked wrestler in the Orient Express with long black hair and he just tried to wear down the high flying Shawn Michaels with the sleeper hold but the crowd was amazingly involed and got on The Rockers side as they tried to will Shawn on to get out of this predicament. He eventually does with an irish whip and he ducked a series of moves from The Orient Express but Shawn Michaels ended up banging both of the Express’s heads together and then hit an armdrag takedown into a sleeper! Amazing sequence that showed a bunch of leaps from Michaels and how he could out smart the team, The Orient Express looked as if they were goin to bump into each other but Shawn Michaels MADE SURE they did by eventually banging their heads together.
Both men, Tanaka and Shawn Michaels getting to there feet as the crowd is clapping along and Tanaka with a beautiful leg sweeper taking out Shawn Michaels’s vertical base. Tanaka with a hard shot to the head and then another to make sure the high flyer stayed grounded. Tanaka with a hard chop to Shawn Michaels into the corner then hit some hard right hands until Shawn Michaels reversed it and unloaded with some rights of his own. Shawn Michaels went to the top and hit Tanaka with a few shots until he spotted Kato coming from behind and then hit a Moonsault. What a move! Piper has an orgasm. A double irish whip, then a double back drop and a double dropkick by The Rockers to the Orient Express. That is team work. Both Rockers fly off the top rope then to the outside to The Orient Express. Amazing pacing.
It was absolutely tremendous and the crowd knew it as they went insane to the great match taking place. HBK with a snapmare takedown to Kato and then he got up after a nearfall and tagged in Jannetty before The Rockers hit Kato with a double reverse elbow to Kato. Jannetty slapped a sleeper on Kato.
With Kato in the sleeper Jannetty tagged back in Michaels and held Kato back while Jannetty hit him with a hard right hand from outside the ring apron. Shawn Michaels then with a beautiful vertical suplex to Kato and he held him in the air for a few seconds showing his power and got a nearfall. Michaels charged to the corner on Kato and while in the air, Tanaka came up and slammed Shawn`s head with a big time leverage move on the outside.
Kato got in control from that cheap shot by Tanaka and stomped away on Michaels. Fuji from behind the ref`s back hit Shawn Michaels in the chest. Tanaka then posed and the fans booed, and he slapped HBK and the Orient Express having taken quite the beating were trying to slow things down. Kato held Shawn Michaels on the middle rope then Tanaka leap frogged over him and landed his groin on the lower back of Shawn. More double team moves from the Express to Shawn behind the officials back. Tanaka then signalled for a big time blow on a beaten Michaels and then levelled Shawn with a hard right hand in the Esophagus.
A Traps hold into Shawn to wear him down some more but the fans got even louder for The Rockers encouraging them on but Shawn had been beaten down in a huge, however despite all that Michaels would show previews of his resilient ways and got to his feet, but Tanaka wore him down some more and continued to hold the Trap of Shawn and then he was so grounded he just layed on the canvas in the hold.
Jannetty tried to encourage Shawn up then Tanaka went for a pin but Shawn kicked out and the fans cheered. Tanaka then pounded on Shawn`s face over and over until tagging into Kato. Kato brings up Shawn then places him in the corner and HBK kicks him in the mid-section, however Kato goes back to the offense and irish whips Shawn Michaels into the corner and he flipped over to the outside standing on the apron looking like he had the wind knocked out of him. All of the sudden Tanaka gives him a hard shot, with a big kick that sends him back from outside on the ring apron to the inside of the ring. The Orient Express double teaming The Rockers any way they could then they hit a double clothesline to Shawn. Tanaka with a near fall but Shawn kicked out and Piper is hillariously biased for the babyfaces.
Tanaka tagged back in but Shawn came off the ropes when Tanaka was bent down and planted him face first into the canvas and the place couldn`t believe it. Shawn Michaels was going to tag in Marty but Kato stopped him and both Orient Express double irish whipped Michaels then he ducked there clothesline attempt and came off with a flying shot to both men with a great presence of mind. Michaels tagged in Jannetty and he hit a series of offensive moves to The Orient Express including a dropkick and a nearfall, the place came absolutely unglued at this point. Kato irish whipped Jannetty, then he countered it into a back slide attempt but the ref was distracted by Shawn Michaels when Tanaka hit Jannetty in the mid-section while he was attempting a backslide on Kato.
Jannetty got back in control as Shawn hit Kato behind the refs back. Both Rockers then sent Kato to the ropes and they caught Kato with a big kick. Jannetty went to the top rope and then Kato scooped him up and slammed him down in mid-ring. Orient Express have matched The Rockers move for move and Kato went for a sling shot into Tanaka who hit Jannetty with a big time blow right in the sternum. Michaels then came back in the ring amazingly and Kato sling shotted Jannetty into Tanaka and Marty hit a sunset flip and actually turned a pinning predicament out of that attempted move by Kato!
So in the end Marty Jannety pinned Tanaka with a roll up at 19:15 to get the win for The Rockers! A Classic, one of the best openers of all time!
2) The Big Boss Man vs The Barbarian (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)
At these Rumble events they always seem to follow a great match with a pretty poor, slower undercard match don’t they? This one was once again no exception. Everybody knows the Bossman usually gets carried in a match but the Barbarian PROBABLY wasn’t the best choice to put him in the ring with for HALF OF a half an hour…
Barbarian used his size and strength with hard shots to the mid-section of Bossman followed by some uppercuts, until Bossman turned the tide and came off with a reverse elbow.
The action went to the outside and Barbarian leaped off the top rope but Bossman caught him in the bread basket as Monsoon would say. Bossman showed some agility to hit a leaping clothesline and then Barbarian got taken to the outside and the fans loved that.
Once back in the ring The Barbarian hit a big time vertical suplex to The Big Bossman showing great strength.
Listening to Piper try and put over everything as if it was a WWF Title match is pretty humerous.
Barbarian taking apart Bossman and man handling him and then hit him with a big right and Bossman`s foot got caught in the middle and bottom rope. Barbarian went to the outside nd hammered away at him with a few solid shots to the mid-section and head area. Monsoon warned that the Weasel aka Heenan might do something but he didn`t, he just watched The Barbarian take apart The Bossman. Bossman got slammed back first into the ring post on the outside by The Barbarian.
Then the Weasel went to work when the ref was looking at The Barbarian inside the ring, Heenan slammed Bossman in the back with his boot. Piper on commentary said “AH get a Life” to Heenan and I found that hilarious.
The Bossman got hit with a back breaker by Barbarian and then he got a near fall, then he slapped on a bear hug to squeeze all the life out of the Bossman.
Bossman got hit with some elbow drops by Barbarian then he went back into a bear hug, deciding to go back with the formula that worked before. Bossman fought out of it with clenching and squeezing and then eventually biting onto Barbarian and hit a desperate spinning kick to the head of Barbarian.
Both men exhausted (not sure why since they were barely moving) but either way Bossman went for a near fall and didn`t get it. Barbarian hit a roll up and Bossman kicked out.
At least when Traylor won the fans were happy because the Bossman was face at this point, but the match went on far too long for anybody’s liking. The Big Boss Man went to the top and pinned The Barbarian after he rolled through a high crossbody at 14:15.
Sure it was long as said but these guys did a great job with it. This has disaster written all over it if you were going to give it this kind of time but the two actually MADE it work and at least watchable. Pretty good if you consider that but when you take that fact away there is literally nothing at all…
3) Sgt. Slaughter (w/General Adnan) vs The Ultimate Warrior (c) for the WWF Championship
This was the first time the WWF Title was on the line at a Royal Rumble event.
It comes half way through the show which was a good booking decision and the crowd was red hot at this time for the match as it was during both character’s peaks. Slaughter heel wise, and Warrior face wise (especially with the war.) The Formula was your basic Warrior one but it set up the Wrestlemania 7 main events perfectly. (Savage vs Warrior, USA vs Iraq)
To start the match, Warrior had a ton of energy. A ton. he hit Sgt. Slaughter with a clothesline at the same time as General Adnan. The crowd just ate that UP due to it being very patriotic times in the USA at the time.
A hard forearm to Sgt. Slaughter knocks him out of there and then a clothesline to Adnan and then he rips apart the Iraq flag and breaks it on his knee and the crowd explodes and Piper has another orgasm. Warrior irish whipped Sgt. Slaughter to the corner hard and then he just cornered Sgt. Slaughter and made him eat the flag. Warrior then wrapped it around his throat and then sent him to the corner and came off with a back body drop to Sgt. Slaughter. The World Wrestling Federation Champion, the Ultimate Warrior then irish whipped Sgt. Slaughter hard into the other ring post. He then charged at him with a clothesline!
Warrior hit a charging clothesline on the challenger in the corner!
The Ultimate Warrior the irish-whipped him to the other corner and he went to the outside.
Sensantional Sherri then came from the back and stood at ringside as the fans booed that but continued to cheer on Warrior hitting Sgt. Slaughter with shoulder blocks among other power moves. With the ref distracted by Sgt. Slaughter in the ring, Sherri grabbed at Warrior.
Warrior didn`t like this so in Roid Rage fashion he charged out of the ring and chased her down the entrance way until he hits a clothesline as something dressed in pink attacked him! It wasn`t a panther or Bret Hart, it was The Macho King!
It was a set up!
Sherri was trying to get Warrior to chase her so Savage could attack him behind the officials back. Savage went to town on Warrior and slammed metal parts of the entrance way into Warrior as the fans booed the Macho King!
This is crazy screams Monsoon!
Sgt. Slaughter had the referee distracted and he continued to count out The Warrior as this bought Sgt. Slaughter some time and the fans chanted USA, USA, USA. The crowd encouraging on Warrior to get back in the ring and he had a number done on him by Savage but the WWF Champion tried to get back to the ring and he was limping on his way there.
Sgt. Slaughter broke the count and then went to the outside and beat on him some more before throwing him back in the ring. Obvioussly Sgt. Slaughter broke the count because he couldn`t win the title by DQ.
Sgt. Slaughter with more blows to Warrior trying to get up crawling around on the canvas on his knees. Sgt. Slaughter hit a back breaker to the Warrior and then he signalled that he`d be the NEW Champion. Sgt. Slaughter kicked away at Warrior some more before bashing his head on the turnbuckle. Sgt. Slaughter with an irish-whip and Warrior ducks, he comes off the other side and they both come off the ropes and hit a double clothesline. Both guys down and out.
The Warrior bought himself some time even though they both went down. Sgt. Slaughter was the first to his feet and then stalked the Champion fron behind, the crowd was insanely into this match despite Slaughter just working over Warrior hard. A double axehandle by Sgt. Slaughter followed by a bear hug! Sgt. Slaughter had a tremendous amount of power and he just continued the punishment to the Warrior.
Its simply amazing how something so simple could get such an amazing ovation back then if they told the story right.
Thankfully for these guys, they did.
Warrior just encouraged all his fans to get on his back and help him out of the bearhug predicament and they cheered louder and louder as he reached to the heavens and eventually got out! Warrior then hit a powerslam to Sgt. Slaughter! Then…..Warrior Sold!
Warrior SOLD his back injury from Savage earlier in the match and he fell to the canvas and Slaughter got up and just worked over Warriors back before he locked in the clutch!
The challenger locks on the CAMEL CLUTCH to the Champion!
Sgt. Slaughter thought he was victorious but the ref said no. Slaughter pounded on the back of Warrior but he battled out and got adrenaline from the crowd and he gained a ton of momentum. Warrior then reached for the heavens after a shoulder block to Sgt. Slaughter. Piper calls Sherri a witch as she comes back down to the ring.
Sherri came into the ring and Savage ran down the entrance way to the ring to protect her.
Warrior lifts Sensational Sherri up high and throws her out of the ring and the place erupts even louder!
Huge climax here to a match that had great participation throughout.
Sherri gets tossed onto Savage on the outside and then Sgt. Slaughter came from behind and kicked him into the middle ropes and choked him out, Randy Savage hit Warrior with a sceptor behind the back of the official.
Slaughter then pins a Warrior that is down and out.
Slaughter then got the win after a weak elbow drop at 12:47. (This after Savage struck Warrior with his Macho King sceptor behind the ref’s back) The fans weren’t to happy with the result to say the least but this match came off better then it should have.
We got a new WWF Champion and nobody can believe it!
The fans chanted bullshit while Piper and Monsoon acted like 9-11 just happened!
There was a consensus feeling among most wrestling fans that this was done at the time just because of the current times and just to set up Hogan and the USA overcoming all the odds at Wrestlemania 7. I remember there being a similar backlash to Sarg winning the WWF Title just like there was when JBL beat Eddie in 2004 for the title, nobody could believe it.
A well booked match that was way better then it had any right to be due to the booking.
5) Ted DiBiase and Virgil vs Dusty Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes
Okay now we get a pretty good match here!
Goldust (who is the better son of Rhodes) known as a young Dustin here tagging with his Daddy the Hall of Fame Dream against Dibiase and his SLAVE Virgil. Virgil was Ted’s servant for a long period of time and that’s important to consider going into this match.
Piper on commentary said he had a good talk with Virgil earlier in the day about what Money could not to buy. Piper gives you a smile that makes you KNOW Virgil is turning but back then it was a TAD LESS PREDICTABLE.
The Father and Son Rhodes team come out to -American Dream- theme and get a good pop.
Dustin was an awesome worker when he was not Golddust but even as Golddust we saw great stuff, it is just this is a little less distracting when he is his own self.
The Rhodes team cleaned house and took out Dibiase and Virgil to the outside.
The tag team attraction begins when Dibiase ordered Virgil into the ring to take them out and then Dustin Rhodes awaited Virgil.
The two hooked up in the center of the ring and both of them got cornered, Virgil irish whipped Dustin but he hit a dropkick and it took Virgil to the outside of the ring.
Virgil with a knee to the gut and then a shot on the back until he got a shoulder block by Dustin Rhodes. Virgil with a leapfrog and went a reverse monkey flip but Dustin Rhodes did not go for it and kicked Virgil then threw him out of the ring.
Dibiase yelled at Virgil and then slapped at him on the outside reminding him of the money.
Dibiase tagged himself in and told Virgil he will show him how it is done!
Ted Dibiase then circled the ring with Rhodes and caught him with a side headlock and then a well executed clothesline right on the money. Dibiase stomped away on Rhodes and then threw his head into the top of the buckle before chopping him. Dibiase irish whipped Dustin to the ropes and hit a back body drop. Dibiase then taunted Dusty Rhodes as he beat up his son.
Million Dollar Man then irish whipped Dustin Rhodes but he came off the ropes and hit an offensive move by slamming Dibiases head right into the canvas. As he rolled out Dusty Rhodes worked on him until he got tagged back in. Dusty Rhodes then taunted Dibiase as he got tagged in and then The Dream hit chops and blows to Dibiase. Ted Dibiase got caught with high elbow shots to the head of Dibiase and then he got a sleeper.
Dusty Rhodes then tagged in Dustin and he hit him with a hard right hand and then a dropkick that finds its mark on Dibiase but only got a two, as Virgil saved his master so to speak according to Monsoon. Again they teased the turn all throughout the match.
Virgil got tagged in and dodged an irish whip by Dustin Rhodes and he hit his knee in the corner of the ring. Dustin blew the knee and could barely get up so Virgil then kicked the knee out of him as Dibiase approved his actions in the corner. Virgil hit a big clothesline to Dustin Rhodes and then kicked away at him before he dragged the bad knee and slammed it against the ring post. Virgil was very aggressive on the knee of Rhodes as he slammed it hard and stomped away until he tagged in Ted Dibiase.
The Million Dollar Man smashed Dustin Rhodes leg right into the post and Monsoon says the youngster is in deep trouble.
Dibiase took the leg out some more from Dustin and he continued to taunt his dad outside on the apron. A double team effort was then attempted and as Dibiase held onto Dustin he ducked so Virgil hit Dibiase with a clothesline by mistake.
It was an accident but Dibiase choppped the hell out of Virgil to the outside to teach him a lesson.
Inside the ring Dusty Rhodes attacked Dibiase but he hit him back with some solid right hands and then got a roll-up on The Dream who was worried about his son and his bad leg as Dibiase and Virgil won by surprise.
So the official word at the end of the match was that “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase ended up pinning Dusty Rhodes with a roll-up at 9:57.
There was something more important though after the pinfall.
After the match, DiBiase demanded that Virgil wrap the Million Dollar Belt around his waist. Virgil turned on DiBiase and hit him with the Million Dollar Belt setting up there Wrestlemania 7 match. You’d think Hogan, Austin, or Rock won the title from Flair, McMahon or Triple H with the pop it got. It was predictable and a long time coming but the fans were happy and I would have liked it a little more if Roddy would of just been a little more quiet. :no:
Either way the crowd ate it up and the storyline played along perfectly and they were REALLY behind Virgil. This set up a match for Wrestlemania 7.
6) Main Event- The 1991 Royal Rumble Match
Hogan the returning winner from last year cut a pre-Rumble promo with Mean Gene about winning it again this year. He talked about how it was time now for him and his Hulkamaniacs to get together. He said he was NOT worried about the other 29 men because he was dedicating this match to the army, the navy, the airforce and the marines and with them behind him Hulkamania had more power then ever before.
Jake Roberts said he saw a lot of men sweating but not him…he told Martel he knew he had to cut like a Surgeon to get to him. (Captivating)
Earthquake leaped up saying bring on Taker, Tugboat, Mr. Perfect, and Hogan…I HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL…JUST FOR YOOOOOU!
Greg Valentine said the real hammer would come crashing down on all 29 men.
Kerry Von Erick aka Texas Tornado said that when the clouds go dark, there will be one winner and the one winner will be right here.
The Legion of Doom said if the rumble is like a roller coaster, you do NOT want to take a ride with us.
Brother Love said that The Undertaker will bury all 29 men, and Taker said they will be resting in piece.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan said he would be the last man standing, and it was NOT convincing.
Martel said that it was NOT what you do…but how you look doing it. Martel said it is going to be a pleasure to guide them out of the ring.
The Bulldog said its every man for himself and he is glad He IS THE BULLDOG.
Perfect and Heenan cut a pretty good promo about how he is by far the greatest they have ever produced.
Tugboat said he is jumping right into the middle of things and if it came down to him and Hogan….it would be all over for Hulk.
-Rick Martel broke the longevity record in this match lasting 52:17.
-Macho King Randy Savage became the first Rumble no-show as no one came out at number eighteen. When all the wrestlers had entered, commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper realized Savage was the missing man and suggested the Warrior had chased Savage out of the building.
The match began when Bret Hart drew #1 for the 2nd time in four years. Dino Bravo would draw #2 and the two squared off to start the Rumble match! Bret gave his shades to a young fan at rinside and every two minutes another guy will come out and we begin the match with two Canadian competitors.
Fans strongly behind The Hitman as the two tie up and The Hitman and The Canadian Strong Man go at it, Bret comes flying off the ropes with a flying forearm. Bret with an atomic drop and then almost eliminated Dino Bravo but he held onto the ring apron on the outside but he could not get him out of the ring. Dino Bravo came back in the ring and kept hitting power moves on Bret. Dino Bravo took it to the Hitman for a little while and he returned the favor and came right back at him with some hard shots. Monsoon talked about conditioning being important in matches like this and Piper said that was the key of the night and how these two were going hard at it straight away considering they would need to save their strength.
One of the more underrated wrestlers comes out at entrant #3 and it was The Hammer- Greg Valentine. Valentine came in and argued with Jimmy Hart on the outside so Bravo hit a cheap shot to Valentine from behind and he went chest first into the ropes, Greg Valentine turned around though and eliminated Dino Bravo after some head shots on the top buckle. Hart sneaked from behind and tried to eliminate Valentine, both product’s of Stu Hart’s Dungeon. Both men as they were the only two men in the ring begin to go at it. Bret then had Valentine by the trunks but could not eliminate him. Bret hit another atomic drop followed by a clothesline. Bret Hart just couldn’t seem to eliminate the Hammer.
Paul Roma was the fourth entrant. Roma and Valentine doubleteam on The Hitman now and Roma kicked at Bret until he hit him with an atomic drop and then Valentine and Roma both got hit with a double noggen-knocker said Monsoon by Bret Hart. All of the sudden both Roma and Valentine went to eliminate The Hitman but he would not go to the outside as he grabbed the bottom rope out of desperation. Valentine then gave Roma a hard shot in the corner. Valentine cornered Roma and Bret ducked on the outside by the ropes and took a breather. Bret then dropped an elbow to the head of Paul Roma. More action in the ring now as Valentine and Bret double team Paul Roma in the corner.
The Texas Tornado came out to a thunderous ovation, no pun intended. Tornado was the fifth entrant and he hammered Roma down and Von Erich went to work on Valentine while Bret then went to work on Paul Roma. Two on two here and the only elimination was Dino Bravo getting tossed out by Greg Valentine by this point. The Hitman was the number one entrant and he is still in there as are the three other guys in Kerry Von Erick aka The Texas Tornado, Greg The Hammer Valentine and Paul Roma. Bret then went to throw out Valentine but he hung on. Beautiful dropkick by Roma catching The Texas Tornado.
The sixth entrant was none other then The Model- Rick Martel. He came out to a chorus of boos from the audience and just shrugged it off as he came in the ring and went straight to work on the opposition. Bret though cornered Martel and hammered him with hard right hands, unloading a ton of offense on Martel. This would be a coming out party for Rick Martel as he would go on to last a long time in this match so this early punishment he sustained counts even more when you consider all what was to come. Five men in the ring, six men have entered, Dino Bravo the only man out. In the ring is Bret, Valentine, Roma, Martel, and Von Erich.
Saba Simba was the seventh entrant and he came out and not even Gorilla Monsoon sounded like he knew his name. However Monsoon did claim it was Mayhem now and it truely was with all six guys in the ring going at it full throttle. Two on two on each side of the ring. Tornado aka Von Erich (I would rather call him Von Erich) almost eliminted Martel and the fans went crazy but almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades….or so I have been told. Von Erich with a big claw on Roma in the corner, Simba trying to eliminate Valentine in another corner and Bret hit Roma with an atomic drop.
Butch of the Bushwhackers came out to the ring as the #8th entrant and right upon arrival he did his strut around the ring and Valentine who was stiff as hell hit him with a chop. Then The Model went over the top rope with Simba but only Simba went out as Rick Martel rolled from the apron back inside the ring. Simba and Bravo were the only two of the eight entrants to this point eliminated and we have six men in the ring. Bush of the Bushwhackers then tried to help Valentine eliminte Roma but Von Erich and Bret Hart tried to eliminate Martel on the other side. Martel then turned the page a bit and put Von Erich in the corner and attempted to eliminate him.
Jake The SNAKE Roberts who always draws an early number came out at number nine and he went right after The Model! A preview of the blindfold match at Wrestlemania 7. The place went absolutely electric as Roberts and Martel went at it and the crowd chanted for the DDT. Martel rolled under the bottom ring rope and took a walk so he was not eliminated but he was told by a referee to get back in the ring. Who was the referee….why, look…a young Shane McMahon. Good stuff. Roberts and Martel continued to work over one another, and in the other two corners the other five men were damaging each other as well.
At #10 is pure power in Hercules. Just what the match needed as there was a ton of action all over the ring already and a ton of brawling and different guys looking for leverage everywhere. This rumble match clearly preached endurance. Bret then went to eliminate Martel but he only went half over the ropes as he rolled out on the apron back into the ring. Right men of the ten that have came out still in the ring. Butch, Von Erich, Bret, Roma, Martel, Roberts, Valentine and Hercules. Action all over the place!
Out next was Tito Santana at number eleven and the place went crazy! Roma was then eliminated right as soon as Tito Santana came out from the back. What happened was Jake ducked a charge from Paul Roma and the result was he landed over the top rope and both feet hit the floor. He was the third man gone. Eight men of the eleven who had entered remain in the ring and a ton of near eliminations at all sides of the ring. This was a very exciting Rumble because there was just action everywhere inside the ring and it really filled up, nobody really dominated any portion of the match which was kind of interesting to see. Bret Hart who had been in there from the beginning stayed strong as Hercules went for him. The Model STILL almost out for about the eigth time by Tito Santana this time around but Valentine came from behind and broke that up, then The Hitman came up and pounded on Valentine.
It is Rumble Time. Out comes The Undertaker for the first time in Rumble history! Paul Bearer was not yet his manager as he was only a couple of months into his role in the company so he came out with Brother Love who Piper calls the Cellulite King. Bret Hart is then finally eliminated by The Undertaker. Taker then got cornered by Valentine and The Texas Tornado. They both push Taker to the corner and it looks like he might go out
Undertaker though grabbed Von Erich the throat and then stood strong as he lowered him to the canvas. The bell rang again and we are going to have a new entrant.
Lucky #13 was none other then The SuperFly, Jimmy Snuka. Snuka would come in the ring and he had a program with The Undertaker starting up and it made sense considering Taker just got in the match. Taker eliminated Butch for his 2nd elimination of the night. Von Erich went to eliminate Taker but he dropped him with an atomic drop. Taker went upstairs and choked out Kerry Von Erich from the top rope. Valentine had Santana tied up in the ropes, for a bit until Hercules broke it up. Taker unloading on The Hammer.
We got a new entrant and it is Davey Boy Smith! Action absolutely everywhere in sight. Von Erich and Santana doule teamed trying to eliminate Taker, Bulldog levelled Valentine with a big elbow. Martel almost eliminated over ten times in the match but he was staying in there strong at this point for seventeen minutes plus, which could seem like a lifetime in a match with this many competitors. Bulldog hits an atomic drop on The Model and then he went for a walk.
Smash from Demolition was out next and he came out fresh to the ring. There were fifteen wrestlers that had come out and yet only four had been eliminated. (Bret, Butch, Bravo, Roma) 11 competitors went at it and then The Model eliminated Jake Roberts. Martel continued to taunt Jake as the refs had to hold him back. Snuka with a double noggen knocker to Martel and Hercules. Fans going wild with action everywhere and ten guys going at it in the ring.
The buzzer rang and at #16 it was Hawk from the Legion of Doom! Hawk came in the ring as the 16th entrant and the 11th person currently in the ring so there was NOT a lot of room to breathe in there. Hawk was dominated by five other guys all at once and that was only HALF the people in the actual Rumble match at the time! Amazing. Hercules and Hawk going at it, Taker showing signs of fatigue for the first time while Santana hammered on Taker from up top, Smash by Snuka. The Bulldog and Von Erich double teaming the model. Crazy action all over the ring.
Shane Douglas came running out just before The Superfly Jimmy Snuka got eliminated. Only six men had been eliminated in this Rumble match at the time the 17th guy had came out and Taker had now eliminated three men! What a rumble debut for the Deadman but the most impressive two performances right now were Valentine and Martel. Truely remarkable. Hawk came off with a clothesline to Hercules in mid-ring!
The 18th entrant was supposed to be The Macho King Randy Savage and the fans booed because they had no idea why he was no showing. Savageobviously ran out of the building because The Warrior was chasing him after he cost him the WWF title in his match with Slaughter earlier in the night. It is too bad because Savage could of added more to this already great match. Hawk chopped Taker in one corner, Santana choked out Smash in another, Martel worked over Bulldog in another, and Valentine was choked out by Hercules in another! Crazy action and Shane Douglas was in there as well!
At #19 it was the other LOD member Animal. Ten men of the 19 who have entered (well 18 because Savage no showed) our still in the ring. The ring has been full throughout the entire duration. The Legion of Doom then team up and double clothesline Taker. Hawk got the arm on him and creditted for the elimination but the place went crazy when Taker went to the outside and he was forced to the back. Santana tried to eliminate Martel but he held on SOMEHOW. Speaking of somehow, Valentine who was the THIRD entrant in the match was still throwing offense out at Shane Douglas. Valentine was in there for over a half an hour, and Martel over 26 minutes!
The 20th entrant was Crush from Demoliton. Ya know, the weaker Demolition after Axe left. This was one of the many personas of Crush. Martel looked like he was going out again but he stayed in there even when Valentine attempted to get him out with Santana. Animal hit a chop on Tito, and in another corner the two fatigued men in Valentine and Martel went at it! Douglad grabbed Martel as Valentine hit him with a giant chop! Valentine speared Martel in the corner and the sweat on both those guys was just beyond belief.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan entered next and got a big ovation as expected. (God knows why) Hacksaw then choked out The Model in mid-ring and then Dougls hammered away on Hercules. Crush in one corner then went to protect Smash his partnet but Santana stopped him. Road Warrior Animal caught The Model with a bearhug but Valentine broke it up with a simple thumb to the eye. The action has not slowed down at all. Douglas hammering away on Hercules in the corner and then Hacksaw hit Animal into a corner. Demolition worked on Santana in another corner.
Out at #22 was The Earthquake who they were trying to build as a MONSTER HEEL at this time and it was pretty successful but not overly succesful, may Tenta aka Golga rest in peace. He came out with the Mouth of The South to a chorus of boos. Animal charged at The Earthquake and then he hit him with a backdrop as he ducked and eliminated Animal. Earthquake then using size slammed Duggan into the corner. Twelve men of the 22 (or 21 because of Savage) are still in the ring so the match was still of action in every corner, everywhere you look. Valentine and Martel still managed to remain in the match somehow.
Out next at #23 was Mr. Perfect! Bobby Heenan backed up and let Hennig come out in all his glory and he brought the white towel and he was the Intercontinental Champion at the time but since it was not a title defense, he just did not bring the belt with him. Perfect went right for Duggan right in the ring and Duggan hit a forearm to the head of Hennig. Duggan went charging for Hennig but he hit a backdrop and was eliminated. Smash went to throw Perfect to the ropes but he ended up irish whipping him and came off with a dropkick. Santana irish whipped Hennig and hit him with a clothesline. Over fourty minutes for the Model, and neasrly 45 mintues for Valentine. Hercules and Santana have been both in there for over twenty minutes! Amazing endurance and action once again as a bunch of double teaming and near eliminations occured inbetween entrances.
The HULKSTER! The place popped at #24 (a lucky number for Rumble entrants) came out next and the returning RUmble Champion came in with a ton of momentum and threw out Smash like he was garbage from yesterday. Hogan then tried to eliminate Earthquake and his humongous legs. Douglas tied the arms of Hennig back for another man to hit Mr. Perfect. Hogan chants filled the arena as Earthquake turned the tide and was going to eliminate Hogan and Jimmy Hart jumped up and down outside the ring. Davey Boy and Hennig exchanged right hands in the corner extremely fast which made for some great action!
All of the sudden wrestlers went charging at Hulk in the middle of the ring seeing as he was the odds on favourite to win this thing.
Hogan puts a boot up in mid-ring as he did so often when an opponent gave him any problems.
Another entrant and at #25 it was Haku! Haku came in to join the chaos and then Hogan eliminated Valentine. FINALLY. Valentine had been in there for 45 minutes up to this point. Hogan choked out The Mosel with his shirt but he landed and then dropped some elbows to Crush. Douglas worked over Crush as well, Earthquake almosdt eliminated Davey Bou in one corner. Perfect then went for Santana. Martel and Haku went to eliminate Santana after Hennig weakened him but they could not succeed.
Out ran the Anvil at #26 and Earthquake eliminated Tito Santana who had been beaten down for a long period of time righ before this. Perfect then tried with everything he had to throw out THe Hulkster. Haku hit a big chop onto Perfect and then Hogan hit him with some chops. Ring has been rull the ENTIRE match. Bulldog grabbed onto Martel who looks like he competed in back to back iron man matches to this point and tried to eliminate him but he just would NOT leave the ring no matter what happened. The Anvil hit Earthquake int he middle of the ring and then we had a new entrant.
Luke of the Bushwhackers wasd #27 and then he came out while Hogan chopped Earthquake. Luke did a walk and then Earthquake eliminated him right away! Luke walked in one side and then out the other. They always called it the Bushwhacker record when a guy got thrown out quick but The Warlord was always the guy who had it from his elimination by Hogan in 2 seconds in 1989. Earthquake held Hogan with a full nelson and then Haku gave him a big right hand. The Anvil with some right hands to Martel but no matter how many times Martel was almost eliminated he still remained in there, for over fourty minutes for sure.
The other Nasty Boy came out at #28 and Hogan continued to dominate the ring but the match was still full of superstars in the ring. Hogan slammed Hennigs head on the top ring post. Hercules was eliminated, and then a new entrant came out.
The Warlord came out at #29 and now Monsoon and Piper had it down to either the Macho King or Tugboat as the guy who did not come out at #18. Crush was eliminated, and only one men left to come in. The Model Rick Martel and Davey Boy Smith chopped at it and Rick Martel had already broken the record for the longest duration inside a Rumble match. Hogan sent the Warlord to the ropes and just like he did in 1989 he clotheslined him right over the top rope! Only this time it was not in two seconds…..he lasted a minute or two this time around!
One of the odds on favourites in Randy Savage did not show as they found out that Tugboat was #30. Shane Douglas had been eliminated.
All 30 men now in the ring.
Martel lasted from practically the beginning to the very end after #30 and nine guys left in the match at this point in the Rumble.
Earthquake hammered away on Hogan in one corner, Mr. Perfect was looking good going at it with The Anvil. Tugboat and Davey Boy trying to eliminate Martel, Haku and one of the Nasty Boys were going at it and that was all of them. Hogan with a ton of right hands at the top there on Tugboat but he turned the tide and threw Hogan over the top but he did not hit the bottom. Hogan then came back in and grabbed Tugboat and threw him over the top rope!
Martel reversed an irish-whip from Neidhart and threw out The Anvil! Martel who had been in there nearly 45 minutes threw out a ton of the Anvil. Bulldog with a back bodydrop to Haku. Earthquake and a Nasty Boy worked on Hulk in the corner as the fans chanted for Hogan. Martel went to the top of the ropes and it turned out to be a risky move as Bulldog shook the ropes and he fell, then clotheslined him out of the ring. Martel almost in there for 53 minutes. Amazing performance and a big pop when he went.
Down to the final four, Nasty Boy, Earthquake, Bulldog and Hogan. Bulldog then got thrown out by the HEELS and then the 2 heels teamed up on Hogan. You know this heel formula where the two big men squashed The Hulk. Hulk then started to Hulk up and Piper had another orgasm. Hulk then hulked up some more and eliminated a Nasty Boy! Hulk then started to unload on Earthquake.
Just as Hogan was in control of Earthquake he overpowered Hogan and slammed him a few times and then went for yet another powerslam on Hulk and he hit it. Earthquake went for a pinfall even though there is not any in a RUmble match and Hogan just shook his head and hulked up some more as the fans went nuts!
In the end the final two participants were Hulk Hogan and Earthquake. Hogan gave Earthquake a bodyslam and a clothesline to eliminate him and achieve his second Royal Rumble win in a row at 1:05:17, and the fans were kind of tired of it despite it getting a pretty big pop. Well some were anyway, Hogan was kind of over his “80’s peak” at this point popularity wise. It was getting a little bit predictable which is why some fans cheered Taker over him this year, and why the next year half cheered when Sid eliminated him, more on that in the next review.
This rumble match as said preached stamina and endurance, it was unique in the fact it was always a full house and the action did not stop for over an hour. A great crowd and good booking with some stand out performances really helped the Rumble match overall!
The best Rumble Match for sure to this point! No doubt about it!
Great way to end the show!
Final Rating for WWF Royal Rumble 1991 = 7/10
This show was a pretty great PPV overall. The opener was excellent, a pretty decent WWF Title match, a good tag match and a very good Rumble despite not the best ending to the actual Rumble match. The Rumble’s as always get a generous rating overall and this was the best one to this point in time. A very solid event.