Today, Joey and I present to you a “RAW Retro Rewind Review” special: The 1993 Royal Rumble! We decided that since we’re going back and rewatching all the archived RAWs, we might as well watch the Pay-Per-Views, too. So, sit back and enjoy, as our self-imposed torture now extends to Pay-Per-View!
Thankfully, the WWF knew that for PPVs, they needed commentators that would deliver. That’s why we got the classic team of Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon.
JOEY: The jabroni Rob Bartlett was nowhere to be found. Fantastic. I hope that happens soon with RAW, as well, because that dude can suck a hot fart. Worst commentator I’ve ever heard.
Let’s get right into it.
The opening contest saw the Steiner Brothers take on the Beverly Brothers. Early in the match, Bo and Blake cut the ring in half and isolate Scott. The Beverly Brothers then pick him apart, targeting the back, especially. After fighting through, and making a comeback, Scott is able to get the tag to Rick, who comes in like a house of fire. Control of the match goes back and forth.
Not long after, The Beverlys find themselves in control and look to take advantage of a two-on-one situation. Blake puts Scott up on his shoulders, as Bo ascends the top rope. Unfortunately for them, the Beverlys miscalculated their distance apart; Bo fell short of his top rope clothesline and Scott capitalized on the misstep by hitting a victory roll for a two count. Mere moments later, Blake is on the wrong side of a Frankensteiner and three count.
We get the first of the two championship matches up next. “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels defends his WWF Intercontinental Championship against his former partner, Marty Jannetty. Prior to the match, they show a video package highlighting the break up and aftermath of the Rockers. Brain and Gorilla make certain to mention that Michaels dragged Sherri in the way of an attack from Jannetty with a mirror, causing her allegiance to HBK to come into question.
JOEY: He did the right thing. What was HBK supposed to do, let Jannetty hit him with the mirror? Pssh. No way. Plus, I’m sure it’s not the first time Sensational Sherri took a shot to the face.
Jannetty wastes little time in taking the fight to The Heartbreak Kid, gaining an early advantage. HBK is able to gain the upper hand when the match spills to the outside. Michaels uses Marty’s shoulder like a battering ram to the steel post on the outside. The match comes back in between the ropes, but not for long, as Michaels dumps Jannetty over the top rope. It’s at this point that I realized how much I fucked up with the ROB BARTLETT ONE LINE BANGER COUNTER. It should have been the BOBBY “THE BRAIN” HEENAN BANGER COUNTER.
“This is embarrassing, Marty Jannetty is crawling to the back.”
The match continues in the favor of HBK, even finding Jannetty teetering on the apron. Michaels attempts to suplex Marty back into the ring, but Jannetty counters it and suplexes Shawn all the way to the arena floor! The Sensational Sherri inserts herself when she slaps her former boy-toy in the face. Bobby Heenan proves why he’s the Brain and links this slap to his own personal feud.
“She’s like Mr. Perfect, except she’s a bimbo and he’s a male bimbo.”
Following the slap, Marty tries to score a pinfall, after he hits a superkick. Marty sling shots HBK into the corner post, and Monsoon declares it “Sling shot City.” The referee catches an inadvertent elbow from Michaels. Then Jannetty wraps him up in a full nelson and calls in Sherri. Sherri goes to clock Michaels with her high heel, but Shawn is able to duck, and Marty finds himself on the business end of said shoe. Michaels looks to add the exclamation point in his victory with a super kick of his own. Three seconds later and Shawn has successfully defended his Intercontinental championship.
The third match features two of WWF’s famed “big men” brawlers: The Big Boss Man and Bam Bam Bigelow.
The Bobby Heenan bangers keep coming. This time, in a conversation with fellow commentator Gorilla Monsoon. Gorilla tells Heenan he’ll inform Boss Man about all the terrible things The Brain has said about Momma Boss Man.
“Her goatee is a little thicker than his.”
This is a typical early WWF big man match, big heavy hits and slams. The balance of control see-saws back and forth between the heavy hitters, right up until Bigelow flies off the top rope with a headbutt. The high risk offense pays off big for Bam Bam, as he gets the W.
The final match before the Royal Rumble is the WWF Championship match. Bret “The Hitman” Hart defends against the relative new comer Razor Ramon. These two men would go on to deliver an oft-forgotten clinic. My favorite part of the match comes before the action even gets going.
Hart gives his glasses to a child at ringside and Razor throws his toothpick at the same child.
JOEY: Now, that’s a heel! Pure gold. I also loved that moment.
Hart was targeting Razor’s knee and Ramon was going after Bret’s ribs. Early in the bout, Razor goes to whip Hart into the corner, and the force of it causes Bret to slip and go rib first into the bottom of the turnbuckle post. Not long after, Bret locks in a figure four to wear down Razor’s legs.
Razor continues to weaken Hart’s ribs by attacking him with an abdominal stretch, a submission hold that would go on to become a staple in Scott Hall’s arsenal. Bret goes to lock in The Sharpshooter, but Ramon’s legs were too long for him to really get a good handle on it. Deep into the match, Razor perches Bret on the top rope, Bret fights him off, rolls back over Razor and hits him with a big back suplex.
Hart climbs up top and goes for his trademark forearm but Razor is able to get his boot up and catches Bret in the face. Razor attempts to take advantage by setting Hart up for the Razor’s Edge. Bret is fights out of it and rolls him up for a two count. Ramon shoots Hart hard into the corner with a vicious whip. Due to the constant attack on his back, Bret is floored, as he tries to crawl up to his feet Razor locks him into a “Greco-Roman Knuckle Lock/Test of Strength.”
Bret drops to his back and is able to get his legs over Razor’s arms which allows him to force Ramon into a pinning situation. Despite the effort put in to it, the pin only garners the Hitman a two count. Razor’s kick out though leaves him in a far worse predicament: Razor and Hart’s legs are intertwined and leaves him perfectly placed for Hart to attempt another Sharpshooter.
Razor tries to fight out of it but all the damage to his knee is too much and Ramon has no choice but to tap out. For the second pay-per-view in a row, Bret successfully defends his WWF Championship against a member of the backstage powerhouse group The Kliq. With the this defense in the books, we now know who will be defending the championship at WrestleMania IX, and his challenger will be determined via the Royal Rumble.
Before we get to the Royal Rumble, Bobby Heenan takes a minute to unveil his newest Heenan Family member, and the answer to his problem with Mr. Perfect: “The Narcissist” Lex Luger!
JOEY: Boo! Hiss!! Lex Loser is more like it!! Yeah, I know that joke is lame, BUT I MADE IT ANYWAY!!! That’s how little I care about Lex Luger.
Heenan and Luger make it very clear that they are a collision course with Perfect and that The Narcissist is better than perfect!
Now, we come to the main event, the titular Royal Rumble! 30 men compete in an over-the-top elimination match, with the winner going on to WrestleMania IX to challenge for the WWF Championship. For the sake of time and all those reading this, I will simply post up the order of entry and elimination.
JOEY: That’s definitely the right call. A full rundown of this match would probably put some people to sleep. I know I had a hard time staying awake during it.
Draw Entrant Order Eliminated by
1 Ric Flair 4 Perfect
2 Bob Backlund 28 Yokozuna
3 Papa Shango 1 Flair
4 Ted DiBiase 13 Undertaker
5 Brian Knobbs 2 DiBiase
6 Virgil 7 Berzerker
7 Jerry Lawler 6 Perfect
8 Max Moon 3 Lawler
9 Tenryu 10 Undertaker
10 Mr. Perfect 8 DiBiase and Ware
11 Skinner 5 Perfect
12 Koko B. Ware 11 DiBiase
13 Samu 9 Undertaker
14 Berzerker 14 Undertaker
15 Undertaker 15 Giant Gonzalez
16 Terry Taylor 12 DiBiase
17 Damien Demento 17 Colón
18 Irwin R. Schyster 19 Earthquake
19 Tatanka 20 Yokozuna
20 Jerry Sags 24 Hart
21 Typhoon 16 Earthquake
22 Fatu 18 Backlund
23 Earthquake 22 Yokozuna
24 Carlos Colón 21 Yokozuna
25 Tito Santana 23 Yokozuna
26 Rick Martel 27 Backlund
27 Yokozuna Winner
28 Owen Hart 25 Yokozuna
29 Repo Man 26 Savage
30 Randy Savage 29 Yokozuna
Some tidbits worth noting about this Royal Rumble: this would be the Giant Gonzalez’s debut, as he would interrupt the Rumble and eliminate The Undertaker. Additionally, Bob Backlund broke Flair’s time record with a time of 1:01:10. Flair’s record, that he set the year before, was 1:00:02.
I’d also like to point out that this would be the first Royal Rumble that features a pin attempt. “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Yokozuna were the final two participants in the match. Savage climbs the top rope and drops his trademark elbow drop on Yokozuna.
Nobody is sure why Savage goes for the pinfall after the elbow. Maybe it was out of instinct, or maybe it was because he was driven crazy by the fact Repo-Man stole his hat on RAW. I’m gonna go with that one.
JOEY: It has to be. I too would go crazy if a jabroni like Repo-Man got one over on me.
Your winner, and going to WrestleMania IX to face Bret Hart – Yokozuna. Thank you for joining us, guys. We’ll see you next time, when we review the third episode of WWE’s flagship, Monday night program.