May 22, 2009
Alexander Settee

The New Foundation vs. The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji) (Royal Rumble 1992, January 19, 1992, Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY)
After spending most of 1991 floundering as a commentator and part time wrestler, Jim Neidhart gets back into it here now teaming with Owen Hart as the New Foundation in kind of a successor to the original Hart Foundation. Neidhart would actually be fired only a few weeks after this, so the team never really got a chance to go anywhere and this would end up being they only major match they ever had. Owen and Kato start out by trading holds and counters. Owen flips out of a hammerlock, but canít get a rollup. Kato comes off, so Owen leapfrogs and goes to an armdrag. Test of strength is controlled by Kato, but Owen bridges out, leaps up to the top rope, bounces off and gets Kato with a hiptoss. Rana gets 2 and he goes to a wristlock. Tag to Anvil who works Kato over with his power until Kato makes the tag. Tanaka tries a shoulderblock, which fails so spectacularly that he just has to try it again with the same result. Anvil tags Owen, and then sets Tanaka up with a spinebuster so Owen can come in with an elbow off the 2nd rope for 2. Backbreaker gets 2 and Owen maintains control, always one step ahead of any of Tanakaís reversals. Owen hits a backdrop, followed by the ensiguiri. Tag to Anvil with Owen whipping him into Tanaka in the corner. Kato comes in and the Express tries a double whip on Anvil, but he runs out of the corner with a clothesline on both. Tag to Owen. Anvil sets the Express up with a double noggin knocker, and Owen comes off the top with a bodypress on both for 2. Owen then gets a spin kick on Kato for 2, followed by a suplex. He goes for the mask, but Kato rolls out of the ring lest anyone find out he isnít actually Japanese, or even Asian for that matter. Back in, Owen goes to a side headlock, but gets fired off. He ducks Kato, but gets kicked by Tanaka from the apron. Owen tries to go for Tanaka, but that lets Fuji nail him with the cane to finally give the Express control of the match. Kato chokes Owen, and then with Anvil distracting the ref, they switch off and Tanaka gets some choking in. Tag back to Kato who hits a crescent kick for 2, followed by a back elbow off of an Irish whip, also for 2. They get in more double teaming while Anvil keeps trying to come in. Tanaka whips Owen to the buckle and he borrows Bretís patented chest first bump. Tanaka gets 2 from that and then another 2 from a crescent kick. Owen comes back and hooks a crucifix on Kato for 2, but the Express still controls. They work over Owen and make quick tags for a bit until Owen comes back with a bulldog on Tanaka. He crawls for the tag, but Kato comes in and draws the refís attention long enough for him to miss the tag to Anvil. That allows more double teaming by the Express as the ref now has to put Anvil back out. Fuji hangs the cane in the corner and Owen gets whipped right through it for a 2 count. More working Owen over by the Express until Owen finally comes back once more with a belly to belly suplex on Tanaka for 2. Kato cuts off the tag though and draws Anvil in again setting up a double clothesline when the ref puts Anvil out. Eventually Owen ducks another attempted double clothesline, nails a dropkick on both and gets the hot tag to Anvil. He slingshots Anvil in onto both guys and now Anvilís the house afire. He hits slams on both, followed by a backdrop and clothesline on Tanaka. Owen comes back in and whips Anvil into Kato who is sent out to the floor. Owen then gets whipped by Anvil and does a dive through the ropes on Kato. In the ring, Anvil slams Tanaka and they hit the Rocket Launcher on him for the 3 count at 17:19. Great job, and I always think that the best way to open a big show is putting a babyface team over in a hot tag match. ***1/2

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