With the 30th annual Royal Rumble just 10 days away Throwback Thursday on WrestlingDVDNetwork.com is taking a look back at perhaps the single greatest Royal Rumble event in history, the 1992 Royal Rumble, as seen on the WWE Network.
The 1992 Royal Rumble centered around the resolution of a WWF World title controversy that began two months prior at the 1991 Survivor Series when The Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan for the title, with the help of Ric Flair, and only got murkier six days later at This Tuesday in Texas when Hulk used the ashes of Paul Bearer’s urn to blind Undertaker and reclaim the WWF World title for an unprecedented 4th time after Ric Flair interfered, knocking then-WWF President Jack Tunney unconscious. Hogan would be stripped of the title after the event with Jack Tunney deciding to award the vacant WWF World title to the winner of the 1992 “Royal Rumble”.
Context is nearly non-existent. While all previous PPVs and SNMEs are available, none of the TV from the era is available yet on the Network. It should also be noted that this is the Coliseum Home Video version of the event, so there are several edits and added content not seen by the PPV audience.
WWF Royal Rumble 1992 (WATCH)
Date: January 19, 1992 – Location: Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY
Attendance: 17,000 – PPV Buys : 1.80 (>260,000 homes)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan – Interviews: Lord Alfred Hayes, Sean Mooney, & “Mean” Gene Okerlund
CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: VACANT
WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Mountie
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Legion of Doom (Road Warrior Hawk & Road Warrior Animal)
Vince McMahon opens the show by listing the participants in the 1992 “Royal Rumble” before Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan welcome us to the jam-packed, electric Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York. The crowd is red hot for this show!
— Tag Team Match (WATCH – 2:42)
The Orient Express (Pat Tanaka & Kato) w/Mr. Fuji vs. The New Foundation (“The Rocket” Owen Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)
Tag team wrestling was a staple of the early editions of the Royal Rumble and this ranks as easily one of the very best tag team matches in Royal Rumble history, featuring a little bit of everything from a wrestling clinic to a brawl. Owen controls the first half of this match until Mr. Fuji hits “The Rocket” in the throat with his cane. “Anvil” gets the hot tag late and the New Foundation use a series of double-team moves to take control. In the end, Owen hits the Rocket Launcher on Tanaka for the pin at 17:18.
WINNERS are The New Foundation (Owen Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) (Pin, 17:18)
Lord Alfred Hayes goes over the events of January 17, 1992 in Springfield, Massachusetts where The Mountie pinned Bret Hart, who had been “sick” with a kayfabe 104-degree temperature, for the Intercontinental Championship. After the match the Mountie beat Hart down until Roddy Piper made the save. As Piper attended to Hart, Mountie hit “Hot Rod” with the Intercontinental title, setting up the following match.
Next, Sean Mooney interviews Jimmy Hart and the Mountie. Jimmy Hart says Bret isn’t sick with the flu, he’s “sick with losing”. The Mountie questions who Piper beat to earn the title shot, saying he should have won by forfeit. Mountie says he’s going to do to Piper what he did Bret Hart. “Mean” Gene interviews Roddy Piper who mocks Mountie in a classic promo, saying he came to the “Rumble” to win two title and he can’t do that without winning the first.
— WWF Intercontinental Championship (WATCH – 22:35)
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper (sub. for Bret Hart) vs. The Mountie(c) w/Jimmy Hart
A classic match in the annuls of the WWE, this match tells a great story and delivers an unforgettable moment for the ages. Piper starts this match on fire until Mountie ducks a Piper dropkick. Piper ends up putting Mountie over the top with an atomic drop but Mountie skins the cat. Jimmy starts arguing with Piper on the apron when the Mountie charges. Piper ducks, Mountie collides with Hart, and Piper sinks in the sleeper hold for the win, and the Intercontinental title, at 5:21. After the match Piper gets the “shock stick” away from Hart and zaps Mountie. This marked the end of Mountie’s one and only Intercontinental title reign at 2 days and the one and only Intercontinental title reign of Piper’s Hall of Fame career.
WINNER and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (Submission, 5:21)
Backstage, Lord Alfred Hayes, in a Coliseum Home Video exclusive, interviews Hulk Hogan in his dressing room about winning the Royal Rumble. Next “Mean” Gene interviews the Bushwhackers who say they have a surprise for the “Beverly Sisters”, Jamison – who says he’s going to thrash the Genius.
— “Tag Team Grudge Match” (WATCH – 37:44)
The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) vs. The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) w/Jamison
While these two teams had been on-again, off-again opponents on the house show circuit since early July of ’91 the on-screen beef between the two didn’t begin until the fall when Genius kept interfering in the matches, which is why Luke and Butch brought Jamison to the ring for this match. There’s a lot of posing and comedy in this one but not much action. After the antics settle down the Beverly Brothers take control. The Bushwhackers make a comeback until Luke is hit with a double axe handle for the pin at 14:57. After the match the Bushwhackers hit the battering ram in the Beverlys and hold Genius for Jamison to kick in the shin and rear end.
WINNERS are The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) (Pin, 14:57)
In the back “Mean” Gene interviews the LOD about their forthcoming title defense against The Natural Disasters.
— WWF World Tag Team Championship (WATCH – 59:34)
The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Legion of Doom (Road Warrior Hawk & Road Warrior Animal)(c)
These teams had been going after each other since September of 1991, facing off all over the country in house show after house show. The story in this one is simple, it’s the power of LOD versus the size of the Disasters. It’s a slow match but a decent one. In the end the match breaks down into a brawl on the floor. Typhoon slides into the ring in time giving the challengers the winner by count-out at 8:56.
WINNERS are The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) w/Jimmy Hart (Count-out, 8:56)
Backstage Sean Mooney interviews the Natural Disasters and Jimmy Hart who say they should be the Tag Team Champions, count-out or not. Jimmy Hart says he’s calling an attorney to sort it out. Next up “Mean” Gene interviews the new Intercontinental Champion “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who says he’s going on to win the “Rumble”, dedicating his Intercontinental title win to son Colt.
Sean Mooney is backstage interviewing Shawn Michaels about his chances in the “Rumble” and the recent “Barber Shop” attack on Marty Jannetty. HBK says he saved Jannetty from 29 beatings and that there’s no doubt he’ll be walking out with the WWF Championship.
More promos! This time it’s Lord Alfred Hayes, in another Coliseum Home Video exclusive, interviewing Ric Flair, who reveals his number (#3) and says he’ll win the title against all odds. “Mean” Gene is in the back next introducing a promo package of some of the participants in the “Royal Rumble” like Randy Savage, Sid Justice, Undertaker, Ric Flair, and Hulk Hogan. Prior to the match WWF President Jack Tunney makes a short statement about the “Royal Rumble”.
— Vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship – “1992 30-Man Royal Rumble” (WATCH – 1:20:15)
1) Davey Boy Smith, 2) Ted DiBiase w/Sensational Sherri, 3) Ric Flair w/Mr. Perfect, 4) Jerry Sags w/Jimmy Hart, 5) Haku, 6) Shawn Michaels, 7) Tito Santana, 8) The Barbarian, 9) The Texas Tornado, 10) Repo Man, 11) Greg Valentine, 12) Nikolai Volkoff, 13) Big Boss Man, 14) Hercules, 15) WWF Intercontinental Champion Roddy Piper, 16) Jake Roberts, 17) Jim Duggan, 18) Irwin R. Schyster, 19) Jimmy Snuka, 20) The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer, 21) Randy Savage, 22) The Berzerker, 23) Virgil, 24) Col. Mustafa w/General Adnan, 25) Rick Martel, 26) Hulk Hogan, 27) Skinner, 28) Sgt. Slaughter, 29) Sid Justice, & 30) The Warlord w/Harvey Wippleman
This is often hailed as the single greatest “Royal Rumble” in event history and was, until 2016, the only “Rumble” to be for the WWF/E World title. Featuring Bulldog’s great run, Shawn Michaels’ first breakout solo performance, Piper and Flair’s brawl, the Savage/Roberts showdown, and the beginning of the end of the Sid/Hogan tag team, the 1992 showing is nearly a PPV in and of itself.
It all boils down to Randy Savage, Sid Justice, Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair until Savage is bounced from the ring. Hogan eventually knocks Flair over the top rope and is on the verge of eliminating the “Nature Boy” when Sid grabs Hulk from behind and dumps the prohibitive favorite over the top, stunning the crowd in Albany. Hulk argues with Sid at ringside before grabbing Sid’s arm and trying to pull Justice over the top rope. In a flash Ric Flair is behind Sid and flipping the big man over the top rope to win the 1992 “Royal Rumble” and the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship at 1:01:58, breaking Martel’s record of 52:27 with an impressive 1:00:10.
WINNER and NEW WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair (1:01:58)
As Flair celebrates his title win with Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect, Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice confront each other in the ring, nearly coming to blows until officials get between the two.
In the back “Mean” Gene is with WWF President Jack Tunney who presents the WWF World Heavyweight title to Ric Flair. In one of Flair’s most memorable promos the “Nature Boy” says it’s the greatest moment of his life and that the WWF Championship is the only World title that matters in all of wrestling. “When you are the king of the WWF you rule the world!” Heenan and Perfect crow as the three friends “woo” in celebration. “Mean” Gene tells an unnamed reporter to put out their cigarette before Flair tells the world, “For the Hulk Hogan’s and the “Macho Man”s and the Pipers and the Sids—now it’s Ric Flair, and ya’ll pay homage to the man! Woooo!”
“Mean” Gene signs off before highlights of the show air to close out the 1992 Royal Rumble.
It’s hard not to argue that the 1992 Royal Rumble isn’t, from start to finish, the greatest one ever!
The undercard is solid and memorable, featuring a classic tag team opener and Roddy Piper winning the only singles title of his WWF/E career. Then there’s the “Rumble” match itself. Boasting one of the matches’ greatest rosters and some of the best commentary of any match on WWF/E PPV history, the 1992 “Royal Rumble” only gets better with age. All told, the event features an incredible 29 WWE Hall of Famers, 16 of which are in the “Rumble” itself!
A WrestleMania in its own right, the 1992 Royal Rumble simply never gets old.
You can re-live the star-studded 1992 “Rumble” or see it for the first time right now. That is, if you’re subscribed to the WWE Network! And, as always, let us know what you think below.
Thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringide!
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