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OOLD TYME RASSLIN' REVUE
Royal Rumble 1994 Re-Revued
July 15, 2004

by Adam Gutschmidt
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

- Emanating from the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island

- Your commentators are Vince McMahon, who runs down tonightís big matches and making his surprise return to the WWF, Ted Dibiase

Opening Match: Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

This was originally slated to be Tatanka vs. Ludvig Borga but Borga is out with an ankle injury.  Too bad because that would have been a hot match since Borga gave Tatanka his first loss a few months back.  Bam Bam misses a splash in the corner as the bell rings but is still able to recover and nail Tatanka with a dropkick.  Tatanka comes right back though with a couple shouldertackles and a crossbody.  A big DDT by Tatanka, but he canít capitalize as he misses a crossbody off the top rope.  Good back and forth action here to start.  As Bam Bam hits an avalanche in the corner, Vince mentions that both men are also in the Rumble match later tonight.  The 2nd avalanche misses, but when Tatanka tries to regain momentum with a sunset flip, Bam Bam just sits down on him.  Oomph!  Bam Bam hits a bearhug, which normally would draw my ire, but Iíll let it slide since Tatanka is just coming back from a rib injury thus making it logical.  Tatanka breaks the hold but Bam Bam remains on offense.  That is until Tatanka catches Bam Bam coming off the ropes and powerslams him.  That gets a 2 count.  Both men go for a crossbody and collide.  First to his feet is Bam Bam who tries to ram Tatankaís head into the turnbuckle.  Tatanka no-sells and begins his rain dance.  Before Tatanka can finish, Bam Bam lays him out with an enziguri and mocks him.  Fans donít like that one bit.  Bam Bam goes up but misses a moonsault.  Taking advantage of Bam Bamís mistake, Tatanka goes to the top rope, hits a crossbody and gets the victory.

Bottom Line: This was better than it had any right to be.  The match really got the crowd fired up.  Couldnít ask for a better match on such short notice.  ***

- Highlights are shown of Owen and Bret Hartís problems and their reconciliation over the holidays.  Then we get clips of the 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Janettyís shocking win for the tag titles over the Quebecers.  Too bad that only lasted one week as the Quebecers won them back the next Monday at Madison Square Garden.  Man, good thing the days of randomly paired tag team champions are gone.

- Todd Pettingil chats with Owen and Bret, who are happy to be together and ready to take the tag titles from the Quebecers.  It seems to me that these two were laying the nice act, like jelly on toast, way too thick.

WWF Tag Team Title Match: The Quebecers (champs) vs. Bret and Owen Hart

Vince notes that both Harts have been entered into the Rumble match.  Man, did half the roster take off for vacation tonight or what?  Bret and Pierre lockup and weíre underway.  Feeling out process gives neither man the advantage so Bret tags Owen.  Owen gets a 2 count after armdragging Pierre.  Tag is made to Jacques, who tries to explain to Owen that the Quebecers are #1.  Owen aint buying it, so Jacques pounds away on him.  A nice enziguri by Owen puts Jacques in trouble.  Back in comes Bret, who gets a couple of nearfalls on Jacques.  All 4 men brawl until the Harts clean house.  Lots of stalling so far.  If it was anyone but the Harts in there, crowd would be asleep by now.  The Harts wear down Pierre with frequent tagging.  A powerslam by Pierre turns the tide to the Quebecers favor.  Itís now the Quebecers making frequent tags, which makes Bret your Hart-in-distress.  Bret boots Pierre coming off the 2nd rope, so both men tag out.  Owen comes in and takes it to both Quebecers.  The Sharpshooter is locked on Jacques but Pierre comes in and breaks the hold.  A double-team hotshot by the Quebecers gets a 2 count on Owen.  Owen is able to double dropkick the Quebecers and allow him to tag Bret.  Now itís Bretís turn to make the Quebecers his bitch.  As Bret runs to the ropes, Johnny Polo (Raven) holds them open causing Bret to fall to the floor.  Bret appears to have hurt his knee but Iím sure heís just playing possum, like every other time he appears to hurt his knee.  The Quebecers continue to beat on Bretís knee so as not to take any chances.  Back inside, Jacques locks on a half crab to Bretís injured leg.  Owen makes the save before Bret quits.  The Quebecers go for their finisher on Bretís leg, but Bret rolls out of the way.  Now is the opportunity for Bret to tag.  Wait, instead of tagging, Bret decides to lock the Sharpshooter on Pierre instead.  Hmmm, not the decision I would have made.  Before Bret can fully put it on, he collapses from the pain in his knee.  Referee sees this and calls for the bell because he doesnít think Bret can go on.  Crowd is pissed at that decision and so is Owen.  Owen begins to yell at Bret and ask him why he didnít tag him.  Bret struggles to his feet and when he finally does, Owen kicks him right in that knee.  Major heel heat for that one.  Bret might not make it to the Rumble after all.

BL:  Match itself was kinda blah.  It was as if the Quebecers knew they werenít in the same league as the Harts and thus tried to avoid looking bad.  The Quebecers did do a nice job of drawing heat to the match as it went along.  Most of this rating goes to the awesome postmatch antics that led to a great feud.  ***

- Todd gets Owenís response to his actions.  He tells Bret that he [Bret] was too selfish and should have just tagged him.  That is why ďI kicked your leg out of your legĒ.  What was that Owen?  Kicked what?  Out of where?  And did I hear a niner in there?  All of Owenís comments are being shown on the video screen as officals help Bret to the lockerroom.  Nice touch.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:  Razor Ramon (champ) vs. IRS

Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross have come over from Radio WWF to call this match.  A brawl erupts right off the bat and itís easily won by Razor.  An IRS kick is blocked by Razor, who then hits an atomic drop and a clothesline.  That gets a 2 count.  All Razor to begin here.  IRS takes over when he heaves a charging Razor over the ropes and to the floor.  On the outside, IRS does a number on Razor.  IRS comes off the top rope, but Razor sticks his foot up.  Oddly enough, IRS avoids the boot and still hits Razor with an elbow.  Donít see that too often.  Razor tries to mount a couple of comebacks but IRS stops him before he can regain momentum.  IRS uses the ropes to help gain an advantage while applying a reverse chinlock.  After escaping, Razor nails IRS with a discus punch and a fallaway slam.  Ref is in the wrong place at the wrong time as IRS whips Razor right into him.  IRS attempts to nail Razor with the briefcase but Razor catches him and hits him with the case instead.  Razor covers but ref is still out cold.  With the ref out, Razor decides to continue the punishment and hits IRS with a back suplex off the top rope.  As Razor goes for the Razorís Edge, Shawn Michaels comes down and cracks Razor in the back of the head with HIS Intercontinental Title.  Ref is coming to as IRS covers and he counts to 3.  WHAAA?  This canít be.  Oh wait, here comes Earl Hebner to try and sort everything out.  As Hebner shows Joey Marella that there are two Intercontinental belts in the ring, Razor grabs IRS and hits him with the Razorís Edge.  Marella must be convinced with Hebnerís explanation because he now makes the 3 count on IRS to give Razor the victory.

BL: The ending saved this match big time.  IRS is just too kicky-punchy for my liking.  While false finishes can often be lame, this one at least served a good purpose of fueling the Razor/Shawn feud.  **

- Weíre shown a collection of Undertaker vignettes where heís building the infamous double wide, double deep casket.  Man, how could Undertaker keep a straight face when delivering lines like, ďIíve made my New Yearís resolution Yokozuna, may you rest in peaceĒ.

WWF Championship Match: Yokozuna (champ) vs. The Undertaker Ė Casket Match

Taker catches Yoko charging at him and goes to work.  Three big clotheslines send Yoko crashing to the mat.  Yoko falls to the outside and stumbles into the post.  Díoh!  After regaining his senses, Yoko slams Takerís head into the steps but he no-sells it.  Itís all Taker so far as he hits Yoko after doing his tightrope act.  The fight spills back to the floor where Taker attacks Yoko with a chair.  Yoko finally finds an equalizer with a handful of salt to the eyes.  Itís now Yokoís turn to attack Taker with a chair.  Taker is rolled into the casket but stands up before itís closed.  With Taker back in the ring, a slugfest ensues.  A belly to belly by Yoko stops that in a hurry.  Taker does the zombie sit-up and grabs Yoko by the throat.  A chokeslam is followed up with a DDT.  As Taker rolls Yoko into the casket, Crush comes out and attacks him.  And now the stupidity begins.  Taker fights off Crush but then gets attacked by Kabuki and Tenyru, hired goons of Fujiís.  As Taker is able to fight them off, more and more heels come down to join in the beatdown.  By the end of it all, there was Crush, Kabuki, Tenyru, Bam Bam Bigelow, Adam Bomb, Jeff Jarrett, the Headshrinkers and Diesel.  While Taker is successfully fighting off 9 guys, Yoko nails Paul Bearer and takes the urn.  Yoko opens it up and grean smokes starts to billow out of it.  Vince deduces that it must be the power of the urn that is escpaing.  Finally, after all the heels hit their finishers, Yoko rolls a limp Taker in the casket, closes the lid and retains the title.  Well, finally the goofiness is over.  Or is itÖ As the heels roll the casket down the aisle, the gong sounds, the lights go out and smoke flows out from underneath the coffin.  Then an image of the Undertaker inside the casket appears on the video screen.  Whew, Iím glad Paul Bearer installed that camera on the inside lid.  The Undertaker then gives a speech that sounds like it came from a Longfellow poem.  Iím impressed, I donít know if I would be able to say something so profound after being beaten up by 10 men and starting to decompose.  After stating that he will not rest in peace, the image of the Undertaker rises up the screen and then a man (long rumored to be Marty Janetty) dressed as the Undertaker rises to the rafter of the arena.  We end with Paul Bearer pointing to the sky and rolling the casket away.

BL: The actual match was so-so.  It was pretty much standard fare from both guys.  As for the ending, I donít think Rob Van Dam at his most drug-induced state could have thought up something as whacked as this.  I can just see the writers coming up with the ending to this match.  Someone asks how theyíll finish the match and Rick Moranis yells out LUDICROUS BOOKING NOW!  The match gets *, the ending gets -** so overall weíll go with -*

- Whoís ready to rumble?  Macho Man, Jeff Jarrett, Tatanka, Diesel, Doink, Shawn Michaels and Lex Luger are and they say so right now.  Sadly, Virgil said he was ready to rumble too, but no one was listening.

Royal Rumble Match: Winner gets #1 contender spot at Wrestlemania

#1 is Scott Steiner.  #2 is Samu.  Oh goodie, tag team wrestlers!  Because we all know that theyíve got a real good shot of winning.  Vince says that due to time restraints, intervals will be 1 Ĺ not 2 minutes.  Scott and Samu do nothing of great interest before the countdown to #3 happens.  Fans count down to #3 thanks to the CASIO clock.  For all your clock and calculator needs, think CASIO.  Rick Steiner is #3.  Well at least theyíre getting rid of the tag teams early on.  Steiner Brothers go to work on Samu, natch.  Samu goes charging after the Steiners but they sidestep him and Samu gets his head caught in the ropes.  OUCH!  Scott releasese him and shoves him to the floor.  #4 is Kwang.  Interesting noteÖ Kwangís mother was a huge fan of the Ď60s Batman show.  Her other sonsí names were Boff!  Zapp! and Kapow!  As Kwang enters the ring, he mists Rick.  Scott and Kwang fight it out while Rick struggles to see.  Coming in at #5 is ďbooooĒ Owen Hart.  Big time heel heat for him.  Owen disposes of Rick pretty quickly and then goes over to help Kwang.  Bart Gunn is next at #6.  Bart and Owen pair off, as do Scott and Kwang.  Strolling out at #7 is Diesel.  Diesel decides to go with the ďpunch everyone onceĒ method upon entering the ring.  Soon, he sticks with Bart and then eliminates him shortly thereafter.  Before Bart can get to his feet, Diesel has eliminated Scott as well.  Owen doesnít fare any better as he gets tossed too.  Kwang goes for a spinning heel kick but misses.  As he gets up, Diesel clotheslines him out of the ring.  Four guys eliminated by Diesel in under 2 minutes.  Fans are eating this up.  #8 is Bob Backlund who last year broke the longevity record at the Rumble.  Here, Diesel eliminates him in under a minute.  A tale of two Rumbles for Backlund.  Trying his luck at #9 is Billy Gunn.  Billy gets booted and tossed out too.  Later cowboy.  While Diesel waits for the next entrant, we cut to the back where we see Kabuki and Tenyru attacking Lex Luger.  Replacing Kamala at #10 is Virgil.  Just like in his love life, Virgil gets dumped quickly here too.  Diesel has now notched seven victims and counting.

#11 is Macho Man and I have a feeling he wonít go as quickly.  Macho goes to town on Diesel, delivering lefts and rights.  A couple of elimination attempts by Macho fail.  Diesel receives some help from #12 Jeff Jarrett.  Jarrett is able to toss Macho over, but he hangs on to the ropes.  Coming back inside, Macho knees Jarrett in the back and then pitches him to the floor.  Things donít get any better for Macho though as Crush, the man heís been feuding with, comes out at #13.  Macho immediately goes after Crush and gets the better of him.  Before long though, Crush and Diesel team up to beat up Macho.  As #14 Doink makes his way to the ring, Crush dumps Macho to the floor.  While Diesel and Crush fight, Doink just stands back and laughs.  Soon the heels stop their fighting and turn their attention to Doink.  At #15 is Bam Bam Bigelow who certainly wants a piece of Doink.  Diesel and Crush step aside as Bam Bam grabs Doink and press slams him to the floor.  Thatís no laughing matter for Doink.  Diesel and Crush then try to immediately eliminate Bam Bam but canít do it.  Mabel is #16 and heís one guy that could actually handle going against three guys.  Diesel is waiting for Mabel and goes to work on him as soon as he hits the ring.  Man these two could have one heck of a main event someday.  Mabel gives each heel an avalanche in separate corners.  Vroom Vroom!  Itís Sparky Plugg (Bob Holly) replacing the 1-2-3 Kid at #17.  Plugg goes after Crush but Bam Bam nails him from behind.  #18 is Shawn Michaels.  Diesel looks to want to fight Shawn but then shakes his hand.  While Shawn and Diesel have their lovefest, Crush and Bam Bam come up and attack Diesel.  Soon all the wrestlers gang up and eliminate Diesel.  Right at the end, Shawn comes up to join the group.  A last minute save attempt or an aid in the elimination?  You make the call!  Fans give Diesel a nice ovation as he leaves.  As well they should.  His performance is still remembered to this day.  At #19 is Mo who gets less than half the pop Mabel received.  Shawn is put on the brink of elimination by Plugg while Men on a Mission take it to Bam Bam. 

The buzzer sounds for #20 and itís Greg ďthe HammerĒ Valentine.  Iím surprised he didnít bring his mask and enter the Rumble as Mr. Ugly.  As the ring fills up, nothing exceptional is going on.  Coming out for his second match of the night is Tatanka at #21.  He goes right after Shawn and pounds away on him.  Everyone seems to be milling around waiting for the next evacuation sequence.  Kabuki is #22 and I doubt that he will clear a lot of guys out of the ring.  The wrestlers gang up, shove Mo out of the way and eliminate Mabel.  Lex Luger is running to the ring at #23 so I guess that lockerroom attack wasnít so bad after all.  Luger makes an immediate impact by eliminating his attacker Kabuki.  Crush slows down Luger with a reverse atomic drop.  #24 is Tenyru and Vince fears that he will team up with Kabuki and Crush to go after Luger.  Too bad Luger just eliminated Kabuki not a minute ago.  Look like Vince needs a SONY instant replay camera to go with his CASIO countdown clock.  Shawn is once again teetering on the verge of elimination but manages to hold on.  Buzzzzz!  Itís time for #25 but no one pops out.  It is assumed that it was supposed to be Bret Hart who couldnít come out due to his earlier leg injury.  Life goes on as perennial Rumble participant Rick Martel comes out as #26.  Too bad Tito isnít there or else they could renew their rivalry again.  Now we have ten guys in there who are all punching and kicking and doing nothing to excite the fans.  Two friends, Luger and Tatanka, start going at it but the crowd doesnít seem to care.  #27 is Bret Hart, who hobbles out to an awesome ovation from the fans.  As he enters, Crush immediately approaches him and goes after his knee.  Afa drags Fatu out at #28 and the ring now has twelve guys.  This is way too much right now.  Luger hoists Crush over the top rope and eventually gets help from Bam Bam, Plugg, and Bret to eliminate him.  But just as we lose Crush, we gain Marty Janetty at #29.  A slugfest instantly starts between Janetty and Shawn, which electrifies the crowd.  Someone then has the bright idea to cut to the back to have Ray Rougeau interview Crush.  Crush blows off Rougeau and then gets jumped by Macho Man.  I canít believe they cut away from the Rumble for THAT!  We come back in time to see Adam Bomb get ďluckyĒ #30. 

So with no one left to come out, we still have nearly half the entrants left in the ring (13).  Bret and Shawn eliminate Plugg and thatís the only time youíll ever see those two work together.  Vince delivers the sad news that the #25 no-show was Bastion Booger because he ate too much.  Sadly, thatís what he said and not some poor attempt on my part to be funny.  Still more punching and kicking as I wonder why they bothered cutting the intervals down to 1 Ĺ minutes if they were going to have them go this long after #30.  Finally the exodus begins as extra fluff like Valentine, Martel, Bomb, and Mo get tossed.  As Bam Bam gets eliminated by Luger, Shawn disposes of Janetty proving that he was the superior Rocker.  Funny spot as Tenyru gives Fatu and Shawn a double noggin knocker; Shawn sells it, Fatu doesnít it.  Luger completes his retribution by eliminating Tenyru.  That leaves us with a Final Four consisting of Bret, Shawn, Luger and Fatu.  All four men take a corner, but soon the heels go after the faces.  Pairing off is Shawn/Bret and Luger/Fatu.  Shawn and Fatu manage to get Luger on the apron but no further.  Fatu does the 360 sell after Luger hits him with the loaded forearm.  The faces simultaneously eliminate Fatu and Shawn.  Bret and Luger slug it out for a few seconds before going near the ropes and falling out together.  A collective ďhuh?Ē is said among the crowd.  Referee Earl Hebner believes Bret has won while Marella says Luger is the winner.  It takes Jack Tunney to come out and decide that both men won.  Wow, way to fence ride Jack!  It should be noted that when Luger was announced as the winner, it was a mix of cheers and boos.  On the other hand, it was an overwhelming ovation for Bret when his name was called.  Take a hint Vince!

BL: The star power was certainly better this year.  On the other hand, they kept way too much unnecessary talent in there for way too long.  There is no reason that guys like Martel, Plugg, Valentine, Kabuki, and Tenyru should have been in there for more than five minutes.  The ending was a nice new twist.  Too bad both winners didnít elicit the fan response that Vince would have liked to seen.  *** Ĺ

Final Thought: A mixed bag here.  The opener was solid, the Intercontinental and Tag title matches were decent and the ending of the Rumble was exciting.  On the flip side, the less said about the Casket match, the better and the Rumble lacked in a lot of spots.  The good news is that a lot of hot feuds were gearing up for Wrestlemania.  That doesnít necessarily mean you should check out this tape though.

Next time, itís a review 10 years in the making.  Well maybe not, but at least the show was.

Until then, thanks for stopping by the OOld Tyme Rasslin Revue.
  

E-MAIL ADAM
BROWSE THE OOLD TYME ARCHIVES

Originally from Cleveland, Adam is now a graduate student at the University of Dayton who is looking to make a couple extra bucks writing this column. What do you mean Rick doesn't pay his columnists?


  
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