June 15, 2006
WWF Royal Rumble 1990
Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida, January 21st 1990
The World Wrestling Federation was still flourishing as the decade turned and we entered the year 1990. As 1989 came to a close, we saw WWF Champion Hulk Hogan still reigning supreme; however, we also saw The Ultimate Warrior gaining a vast amount of momentum. Fans began to speculate whether Hulk Hogan would ever come face to face with The Ultimate Warrior. The WWF decided to start off the 1990s with a bang by having Hogan and The Warrior (the dream match every WWF fan wanted) finally cross paths. What a better place to have paths cross than at the Royal Rumble?
Now it's time to Rumble...it's time for the Royal Rumble!
The classic Royal Rumble opener where Vince McMahon fires off all the Rumble participants and runs down the other matches on the card.
Tony Schiavone (a very thin Tony Schiavone I might add) and Jesse “The Body” Ventura are our hosts for tonight’s event. Jesse is wearing a set of Mickey Mouse ears and claims that he caught Mickey and Goofy trying to sneak in. He presents Tony with a Goofy hat but Schiavone seems less than thrilled to put it on.
*The Fabulous Rougeau Bros. vs. The Bushwhackers
Jacques Rougeau is sporting a full beard here, which just seems weird. For those of you that don’t know this is The Fabulous Rougeau Bros. final WWF match as a tag team. Raymond had to retire due to back injuries sustained in a car accident while Jacques would take some time off before returning at the end of the year as The Mountie. Jacques and Raymond look totally disinterested here and work uncharacteristically half-heartedly. It’s not hard to understand why though as they have to go out by jobbing to The Bushwhackers for the hundredth time within the last year. I really don’t see why they couldn’t have just had a solid tag match with either The Hart Foundation or The Rockers, but hey I’m not the booker! Jesse accurately coins the Bushwhackers “marching morons.” Regardless the crowd loves them despite the fact they delay the match with lots of stalling.
Raymond starts with Butch and suckers him in with the handshake bit. The Rougeaus try to double team but Luke stops it before they can capitalize. Raymond slaps on a sleeper but Butch counters by ramming Raymond’s head into the turnbuckle and then biting him. Butch then bites the referee for no reason. The Ref should DQ his dumb ass and award the bout to Jacques and Raymond. For whatever reason referee lets it slide and The Bushwhackers clear the ring. Back in, Jacques jaws at the crowd before duking it out with Luke. Luke gets the upper hand but resorts to biting again. Jacques manages to break free and taunts Luke to charge at him. Luke does but decides to clock Raymond on the apron instead. Jacques is distracted and gets clocked by Butch and the Rougeaus take a powder.
Jacques plays the psych out game on Luke calling The Bushwhackers chickens for blindsiding him and Raymond. In doing so, Raymond ends up blindsiding Luke and Jacques stomps away. The Fabulous Rougeaus cut the ring and half and keep Luke in their corner. Raymond connects with a sabat kick but only gets two. Luke is tossed to the outside and Jacques rams him back first into the apron. Back in, Raymond goes for another pin but Luke’s foot is on the rope. The Bushwhacker resorts to biting but still can’t make the hot tag. Raymond whips Luke into Jacques forearm on the apron. Jacques follows up with a flying elbow and starts showboating. Rougeaus start fast tagging over Luke, who plays face in peril. The Rougeaus deposit Luke throat first on the top rope and Raymond slaps on a reverse chin lock but Luke bites his way out. Jacques maintains control with an abdominal stretch and hands him off to brother Raymond with a camel clutch.
Jacques goes for a splash but connects with Luke’s knees. A hot tag is made and to Butch who explodes on both Jacques and Raymond. Sure enough all four men end up in the ring. The Rougeaus collide and Jimmy Hart tries to get involved. The Bushwhackers try to pick on Jimmy but The Rougeaus break it up in a hurry. Raymond puts on a Boston crab on Butch but as Jacques goes for his trademark leg drop off the ropes Luke trips him up. Raymond breaks the hold and gets in the ref’s face. In the midst of the confusion, The Bushwhackers connect with a battering ram on both Rougeaus and Jacques is pinned. **
Match Analysis: There have been worse matches between these two, but it’s sad to see the Rougeaus go out this way. I still would’ve much rather seen them pitted against The Hart Foundation or The Rockers.
Mean Gene is with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and Virgil. Gene tells us the Royal Rumble drawing has already taken place and Dibiase looks distraught. Okerlund reminds us of what transpired at last year’s Rumble when Dibiase “allegedly” drew #30, but explains that this year Dibiase could not buy any number due to security. Dibiase bitches that the security was more like “Gestapoism” and we discover he’s in for a long night when Gene realizes he’s drawn #1. Dibiase boasts that it doesn’t matter what number he draws, he’ll still win.
*Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. The Genius
In doing these reviews I just realized I never really explained who The Genius was. The bizarre character of the Genius was played by none other than Randy Savage’s brother “Leaping” Lanny Poffo. Poffo had spent several years in the WWF as a poetry reading baby face jobber. As a wrestler, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo was very talented (with aerial moves in his arsenal) but he never seemed to rise past enhancement talent status. That is until April 1989 (shortly after Wrestlemania V) when the WWF decided to finally push Poffo as The Genius. A gimmick in which Poffo would still read poetry but also but boast about being the World’s smartest man. The Genius character was somewhat controversial because he possessed homosexual overtones. Furthermore, his pairing with Mr. Perfect tended to raise some eyebrows. Regardless, this is probably the peak of The Genius’ run as he is going into this match with an upset count out win over WWF Champion Hulk Hogan (from a recent SNME). The Genius enjoyed some pretty decent TV exposure during this time but he would quickly disappear from WWF TV after his affiliation with Mr. Perfect ended. He would however make sporadic appearances over the next few years.
The Genius runs through another silly poem that disses Beefcake. The crowd pops big for Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake upon his entrance. The Genius prances around the ring and extends a left handshake to Beefcake. There is a lot of stalling at the beginning as The Genius bails to the outside and performs a cartwheel for a rather unimpressed crowd. Back in, they finally lock up and Beefcake breaks clean before mocking the Genius’ feminine mannerisms. Another tie up and The Genius rakes Beefcake’s eyes before going to work on him in the corner. Bruti counters with an atomic drop and The Genius takes a powder. Genius gets back in and goes to work with some crucial hits. He misses a drop kick in the corner though and Beefcake drags him into the knuckle lock before stomping on his hands. Genius tries to bail out of the ring but The Barber catches him and sacks him on the top rope. Genius goes to regroup and the crowd starts to chant something derogatory to him. He manages to regain control but makes the mistake of putting his head down on a backdrop attempt and Beefcake nails him with a kick to the head. Genius maintains control and connects with a nice drop kick. A roll up gets two. Genius slams Brutus and tries to follow up with an axe handle from the second rope. He ends up running into Bruti’s fist. Beefcake makes a comeback and signals for the sleeper. He slaps it on but The Genius manages to break the hold. The referee goes down after colliding with The Genius but the match continues. Genius tries to capitalize but ends up running right into Beefcake’s sleeper hold again. The Genius is down and out and Bruti starts gesturing that he wants to cut the guy’s hair. Brutus goes for the shears and begins to clip away on Genius’ hair. Mr. Perfect hits the ring and attacks The Barber. Genius joins in on the beating as he holds Beefcake while Perfect assaults him with a chair to the rib area. Officials hit the ring and try to break it up and Perfect and The Genius leave ringside, as Beefcake lies injured in the ring. Howard Finkle announces the match as a double DQ. * The referees attend to a seriously injured Beefcake.
Match Analysis: Not as bad as I thought it would be, but still nothing to get excited about. The match lacked any real ebb and flow and had waaay too much stalling. The highlight for me though was watching Perfect beat the crap out of Beefcake at the end of the match.
Sean Mooney is with The Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan, Andre The Giant, Rick Rude, and Haku). Mooney tries to stir up shit by pointing out that the Heenan Family members may be at odds. The Heenan Family starts arguing.
Wrestlemania VI. Sunday April 1st at Skydome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
*Submission Match: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin
It’s been a long time coming for this match, which inevitably marks the blow-off of Ron Garvin and Greg Valentine’s near yearlong feud. Despite the amount of time and money the WWF invested into this program, the majority of WWF fans seemed to care less about this feud. Apart from his feud with Valentine, Garvin had done nothing of note since his inception into the WWF in December 1988. In other words, he was never over with the fans and this lukewarm match was undeniably the peak of his forgettable WWF tenure. Garvin would stick around until November 1990 but he would never appear on PPV again. Valentine on the other hand had been coasting along the mid-card ever since the New Dream Team broke up towards the end of 1987. Shortly after this the WWF would repackage him in a dreadful tag team with The Honky Tonk Man (more o that later). This match is under “I Quit” rules thus the winner is the man who can make his opponent submit.
Valentine complains about Garvin wearing a shin guard right from the get-go, but the referee ignores him. When The Hammer realizes the referee isn’t going to do anything, he heads for the locker room with his manager Jimmy Hart. Ron Garvin stops him in a hurry and tosses him back into the ring. Garvin gets off to a roaring start with some stiff chops and blows. Garvin goes for a pin, what an idiot there are no pin falls in this match! Greg Valentine is dazed but manages to lure Valentine into the corner and deliver some chops of his own. Garvin fires back and Valentine takes a powder. We get a mini-boxing match before Valentine takes control and sets up for the figure four. The Hammer gets in some shots but another chop-fest ensues with both men going down. Garvin goes for a piledriver but Valentine backdrops out and Garvin catches him in a sunset flip and both men exchange pin fall attempts. There are no pin falls in this match! Both men end up colliding but Hammer gets the better of it and tries to go for the figure four. Garvin counters kicking him off into the post and goes for a roll up. No pin falls Garvin! Geez! Valentine remains in control though and begins to measure Garvin with some fists.
Greg Valentine slaps on the figure four and Garvin looks to be done. But wait, that shin guard that Garvin is wearing is preventing Valentine’s figure four from exerting any pain! Schiavone calls it, “the Hammer Jammer” and Garvin taunts Valentine while still in the hold. The Hammer breaks it but continues to go to work on Garvin. Garvin goes for a small package. What a moron! Valentine goes for a back breaker submission but releases the hold. The Hammer goes for the figure four again but Garvin fights him off, so Valentine resorts to choking. Ronnie makes a comeback with some thunderous chops and some head butts. Drop toehold and Garvin follows up with an Indian death lock. Valentine manages to escape to the outside and pulls out Garvin where another chop-fest breaks out. Garvin goes for a piledriver and Valentine backdrops him on the floor. Back in, Valentine delivers some forearms Garvin misses a corner charge and gets tied upside down in the corner. The Hammer dominates over Rugged Ronnie Garvin but both men end up colliding.
Jimmy Hart goes over to Garvin and steals his shin guard. Valentine comes to and slaps on the figure four and Ronnie Garvin is in pain. Garvin tries to reverse it and does so, but Valentine gets the rope break. Hammer continues to work over Garvin’s leg and sets up the figure four again. Garvin manages to counter with a small package but it’s broken quickly. Valentine continues to work over Garvin and heads for the top rope. He takes unrealistically long to set himself up though and Garvin hobbles over and slams him off. Garvin tears off Valentine’s “Heartbreaker” shin guard to even things up. Both men duke it out and Valentine ends up getting tied in the ropes. Jimmy Hart tries to untie Valentine but Garvin attacks him. Valentine goes for Garvin’s shin guard but Garvin nails him with “the Heartbreaker” and slaps on the sharpshooter (reverse figure four). Sure enough Valentine quits although Jesse argues otherwise. **3/4
Match Analysis: I’ve always found this match to be a tad overrated. The ring psychology is very strong especially when the use of the shin guards comes into play. As expected this is also a very stiff match as both guys literally beat the hell out of each other. Apart from the wrestling though both guys seem to forget this is an “I quit match” as they go for pinning combinations! This definitely hurts the match and when put up against other “I quit matches” from later on, it really pales in comparison. Still this match is enjoyable enough.
Mean Gene is with Mr. Perfect, who calls it like it is on his attack on Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake earlier in the night, cutting a great promo and using a classic line, saying, “hair grows back, but Beefcake your ribs they might not grow back…the right way!” Perfect also tells us he drew “the perfect number” in the Royal Rumble #30.
We are now treated to yet another episode of The Brother Love show. Tonight’s guests are “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes’ manager Sapphire and “Macho King” Randy Savage’s manager Sensational Queen Sherri. Brother Love introduces Sherri first then Sapphire. Love and Sherri basically deliver approximately eight minutes of verbal abuse to Sapphire and her man Dusty Rhodes. Finally, Sapphire has had enough and bitch slaps Sherri. Sure enough, Randy Savage and Dusty Rhodes hit the ring and get into a scuffle, which the referees try to break up. Dusty and Sapphire clear the ring and subsequently beat up Brother Love as well. Then Rhodes and Sapphire celebrate by ugh…dancing! Why the crowd loves it is beyond me, but this did lead to the Randy Savage/Dusty Rhodes feud, which was one of the biggest of 1990.
Sean Mooney is with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who can’t pronounce a word. Duggan cuts promo saying that The Bossman is not dealing with some punk from the corner store.
*The Big Bossman vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Not much of a story behind this match. Big Bossman is only a month or so away from a major baby face turn and has really come into his own as a worker. I think originally this match was scheduled to be “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Akeem and The Bossman was to be in the Rumble. However, Akeem had little to any heat left at this point so the WWF decided to swap them in order to beef up the under card. It seems strange though to showcase Big Bossman as a vicious heel when in a little over a month his character would undergo a major transformation.
Nothing too fancy here, as it’s basically a brawl right from the get-go with Bossman getting the early advantage. Hacksaw makes a comeback and drives the Bossman out of the ring with a shoulder check. Bossman drags Duggan to the outside and they brawl on the floor. Duggan gets the upper hand with a flurry of fists but Bossman rams old Hacksaw into the post. He misses a follow up charge though and connects with the post. Back in, Duggan begins to go to work on Bossman’s shoulder, but the Corrections Officer regains control with a corner splash. Duggan catches Bossman’s leg but the Bossman counters with an enzuiguri and Hacksaw is down and out. The Big Bossman continues to measure “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and really dishes out a beating. Duggan tries to make a comeback but it goes nowhere. Slick interferes choking Duggan out with his tie while the ref is tied up with the Bossman. Bossman continues to beat the confession out of Duggan but the man won’t stay down.
Hacksaw makes another comeback and Bossman graciously sells Duggan’s power offense. Big Bossman slaps on a bear hug but Duggan breaks the hold. Bossman continues his relentless assault but Duggan refuses to give in. It is clear Bossman is frustrated. Duggan makes yet another come back and clotheslines Bossman over the top. Bossman regains control though and goes to the top for a splash, which he misses. Slick tries to double team Duggan with the Bossman but it goes awry and Bossman ends up belting his manager. The Doctor of Style quickly passes Bossman his nightstick and nails Duggan with it. The referee sees it and promptly DQ’s the Bossman. Good brawl, lame finish. **1/4 After the bout, Duggan clears Bossman and Slick from the ring with his 2X4.
Match Analysis: This was an okay match. Probably the best singles bout Duggan had had in some time. Nothing too fancy as I said before but this was an all out brawl and sometimes a good one of those is needed. This was a good brawl despite the lame Duggan-like ending. I think the bookers probably could’ve pieced together a stronger finish. For example, Slick costing Bossman the match. Just a thought.
The same Wrestlemania VI promo as before.
We are treated to some pre-Rumble comments from Earthquake & Dino Bravo, Demolition, Bad News Brown, Dusty Rhodes, The Rockers, Hercules, “The Model” Rick Martel, Tito Santana, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Akeem, and The Ultimate Warrior.
Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura talk briefly about the Royal Rumble before a 5-minute intermission (which has been clipped).
We’re back and Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura continue to talk about The Royal Rumble, pointing out that Ted Dibiase has drawn #1 and Mr. Perfect has drawn #30.
We are treated to some more pre-Rumble comments from “Macho King” Randy Savage, The Powers Of Pain, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, The Hart Foundation, The Honky Tonk Man, and Hulk Hogan.
*The 30-Man Royal Rumble
Howard Finkle tells us it’s now time for the Royal Rumble and quickly runs down the rules before introducing “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, who we all know drew #1 from earlier on. Just to note: managers are allowed at ringside this year. Dibiase looks pissed as the fans heckle him upon his entrance. The individual who drew #2 is Koko B. Ware. Well, at least Dibiase is going to have it easy in the early goings here. Ted attacks Koko as he attempts to enter the ring and goes straight to work on him. He doesn’t do his homework though as he tries to ram Koko’s head into the turnbuckle. Koko makes a comeback but is back dropped out as he charges at Dibiase. Marty Jannetty enters at #3 and Dibiase jumps him just like he did Koko. It doesn’t last long though as Jannetty fires back with some drop kicks. The Million Dollar Man regains control and begins to measure Jannetty, but he misses a fist drop and Marty makes a comeback. Jannetty misses a flying cross body and spills onto the floor; thus, eliminating himself. Dibiase strolls around the ring confidently and motions to being on #4, who just so happens to be his arch-nemesis at the time Jake “The Snake” Roberts. The crowd goes absolutely nuts as Jake stalks down the aisle. Dibiase goes right after Jake and prevents him from even getting into the ring. The match goes to the outside as Dibiase slaps on the Million Dollar Dream. Jake breaks the hold by ramming Dibiase head first into the post and the match goes back into the ring. Jake cleans house on Dibiase and motions for the DDT but Dibiase back drops his way out. Both men go at it bitterly but #5 is “Macho King” Randy Savage. Jake tries to hold his own but Savage and Dibiase begin to double-team him unmercifully. Rowdy Roddy Piper comes to the rescue at #6 and beats the crap out of both The Million Dollar Man and The Macho King. Piper and Roberts try in vain to eliminate both Savage and Dibiase and The Warlord enters at #7. Warlord goes at it with Piper as Jake is on the verge of elimination at the hands of Savage and Dibiase. The crowd pops big for Bret “Hitman” Hart, who is #8 and he goes right after Dibiase. Savage tries to help Dibiase double-team Bret but ends up getting clocked by The Million Dollar Man accidentally. Bret and Piper deliver a nice double-clothesline on the massive Warlord. Bad News Brown enters at #9 and goes right after Bret Hart just for old times sake. Jake “The Snake” Roberts attempts to DDT Dibiase, but Randy Savage makes the save clotheslining Jake out for the elimination. Piper tries to dump Dibiase but Savage makes the save again. Schiavone feels Macho must have been paid off as Bret Hart tries to eliminate The Warlord. Dusty Rhodes hits the ring at #10 and goes right after The Macho King. Savages tries to charge at Rhodes as he is tied up with Bad News but Rhodes manages to shove Bad News out of the way and back drop out Macho for the elimination. Ouch! Poor Macho!
The 8th Wonder Of The World Andre The Giant is #11 and The Warlord wastes no time going after him. Andre however no sells much of the Warlord’s offence and dumps the big man as if he were a baby. Mr. Fuji tries to stick his nose in Andre’s business but Bobby Heenan shoves him and they have a brief confrontation on the floor. No friends indeed! Andre continues to dominate the competition in the Rumble squashing Dusty and Piper both. The Red Rooster, who is subbing for Barry “The Widow Maker” Windham, is #12 and he goes right after Dusty Rhodes. Wait a minute, wasn’t Rooster Dusty’s teammate at Survivor Series no less than two months prior? It’s every man for himself I guess! Piper eliminates Bad News Brown and Bad News is pissed so he gets back up on the apron and pulls out Piper. The two brawl their way backstage as the referees (including Shane McMahon) try to separate them. This of course would lead to their Wrestlemania VI match. Anyway, back to the in-ring action. Andre tosses out The Red Rooster (who lasted an underwhelming two minutes in his final WWF PPV appearance) as Demolition Ax enters the ring at #13. Ax begins to hammer away on Andre The Giant, who surprisingly sells his blows. Bret and Dusty try to eliminate Dibiase while Andre chokes out Ax. Dusty intervenes and helps Ax tie Andre into the ropes and they hammer away on him. Haku hits the ring at #14 and helps Andre work over Ax before everyone pairs off. It’s no coincidence that Demolition Smash is #15 and we finally get the long awaited Demolition/Colossal Connection confrontation. Demolition beats the crap out of Andre and Haku as Bret Hart goes toe-to-toe with Andre The Giant. #16 is Akeem The African Dream and the crowd is…dead. Akeem goes after Andre for some reason but then remembers he’s a heel who once teamed with The Giant a couple of PPVs ago and then lets Demolition go after him. Demolition charges into Andre with a double clothesline and they send the 8th Wonder Of The World toppling over the top rope to a MASSIVE pop. In the pandemonium, Bret Hart was also eliminated by Dusty Rhodes on the far side of the ring. Demolition works over Dibiase as “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka enters at #17. Akeem beats up on Snuka before posing for the crowd. Snuka connects with a flying head butt as Akeem’s back is turned and The African Dream spills onto the floor for the elimination. Well, Akeem certainly didn’t last long! Dino Bravo is #18 and #19 is the massive Canadian Earthquake. Geez! You think the WWF would at least be little more creative in their drawing of numbers? Most tag partners have drawn numbers almost side-by-side! Earthquake makes an impact in the Rumble immediately by dumping Dusty Rhodes. Demolition tries to double-team him but Ax ends up getting eliminated. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart is #20 and five of the Rumble participants (Neidhart, Haku, Smash, Snuka, and Dibiase) gang up on Earthquake and lift him over the top rope to eliminate him.
WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior is #21 and goes right after Dino Bravo, who he had an issue with at the time. Warrior dumps Bravo in short order before going after everyone else. Neidhart and The Warrior chop away on Dibiase before that Ultimate moron begins to go after the Anvil! Umm…Warrior he was your partner at Survivor Series only two months ago. I understand its every man for himself, but there’s no need to go after your friends when there’s five other guys in the ring! #22 is “The Model” Rick Martel, who is greeted by Smash with an ass kicking. Haku backdrops Smash onto the apron, then follows up with a crescent kick to knock him off onto the floor. Tito Santana races to the ring at #23 and goes right after former partner Martel. Ted Dibiase is still in the ring…amazing. The Honky Tonk Man is #24 and he surprisingly still has some decent heel heat. Honky locks up with Snuka as the Warrior decides to dump Neidhart. Way to go stupid! Dibiase goes after The Warrior but The Ultimate maniac counters with a clothesline that sends The Million Dollar Man out. Dibiase lasted forty-five minutes. A new record! The WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan is #25, who dumps Snuka of all people. He then knocks Haku out of the ring with a big boot. Martel dumps Santana with Warrior’s help. It’s clear we’re working to an eventual Warrior/Hogan confrontation here. Honky does a number on Hogan in the corner with some help from Hulkster’s torn t-shirt. Shawn Michaels is #26 and he goes right after Martel. Hogan dumps Honky and Warrior tosses Martel and Shawn. Clearly, Warrior has a very short-term memory as Shawn was also on his team at Survivor Series yet Warrior picks on him here as if he wronged him in some way. What an idiot! I guess they were rushing to get to the Hogan/Warrior showdown though. Sucks to be Michaels though, as he lasted an astounding 12 seconds! And this is a guy who is known for his Iron Man Rumble performances? Fortunately for him, no one seems to remember this Rumble outing. Anyway, the crowd goes nuts as Hogan and Warrior have a stare down before going into a criss-cross sequence that ends in both men double clotheslining each other. Both guys oversell it of course and The Barbarian ruins things by entering at #27. I can’t help but notice Bobby Heenan is still at ringside despite everyone he manages being eliminated. I’ll say no more as Rick Rude hits the ring prematurely at #28 and goes right after The Warrior. Rude and Barbarian try to dump Hogan but Warrior makes the save. Barbarian and Rude try to eliminate Warrior and succeed after Hogan helps accidentally. Warrior blows a spaz and gets back into the ring to clock Rude and Barbarian before running out of the ring like a raving lunatic. Jesse tries to stir up shit by saying Hogan didn’t look out for the Warrior, but that’s just sour grapes because I don’t recall Hogan and Warrior being partners at this point in time. The heels work over Hogan until Hercules comes to the rescue at #29. Basically, it’s Hogan and Herc vs. Rude and Barbarian here. Mr. Perfect rounds out the participants at #30 and goes right after Hogan. Hercules back drops out The Barbarian. Rick Rude clothesline out Hercules and then he and Perfect begin to work over Hogan. Perfect sets up Hogan for a double-team maneuver, but is accidentally met with Rude’s fist and sent onto the apron. Hogan whips Rude into the ropes and perfect unintentionally pulls it down sending Rude spilling onto the floor. Hogan fires Perfect back into the ring and Hennig goes into sell-everything mode. Perfect catches Hogan with a clothesline and then stomps a mud hole in him. He executes a Perfect-plex and Hogan no-sells it before Hulking up. He slingshots Hennig square into the post before tossing him over the top like yesterday’s garbage for the meaningless Rumble victory. ****1/2
Match Analysis: Okay it’s rant time! Over the years, various sources have indicated that “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig was originally slated to win this Royal Rumble. Hennig had been in a program with Hogan at the time that was struggling and the WWF felt in order to add some heat to it they needed to have Perfect best Hogan in the Rumble. Not surprisingly at the last moment Hogan vetoed the idea and instead we got yet another Hogan clichéd ending. As others have said, Hulkster didn’t really need the win. He was the Champion already and this victory was nothing more than another meaningless notch on his belt. Had Perfect gone over, it would’ve been better for the business as Hennig would have been established as a threat to Hogan’s title and they probably would’ve drawn way better in their program. Also having Hennig been established as a monster heel would groom him for a successful run with The Ultimate Warrior after Wrestlemania VI. Unfortunately, politics held Mr. Perfect down and he never again would come as close to becoming champion as he was here. As for the match, well this was probably the best Rumble up to that point in time. The star power was certainly there and from beginning to end the Royal Rumble was solidly booked (although I must admit towards the end the eliminations were really rushed). I’m still somewhat sour about the ending but otherwise this was a fantastic Rumble. Ted Dibiase should also get an honourable mention for lasting an impressive forty-five minutes.
Jinsell’s Bottom Line: As I said before the 1990 Royal Rumble match was probably the best to date up to that point in time. The Rumble was stacked with big names like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Ted Dibiase, Dusty Rhodes, Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper, Rick Rude, and Curt Hennig. However, when you look at the star-studded Rumble then look at its under card, you see where this show has its drawbacks. The under card is a weak one as it seems like most of the talent was used to beef up the Rumble match. Apart from the Garvin/Valentine “I Quit” match; the rest of the show is fairly forgettable. Bushwhackers/Rougeaus got the crowd into it, but everyone had seen that match a dozen times by this point. Genius/Beefcake was painful to sit through, as was The Brother Love Show segment. Bossman/Duggan was fun but meant absolutely nothing. I’d argue that some of the talent in the Rumble could’ve been used to headline the under card (namely Piper & Rude) but that’s just my opinion. While it’s not exactly a strong build towards Wrestlemania VI, the important thing here is that the Royal Rumble match itself still rocks, which is the sole reason why people usually order this PPV to begin with. For that and that alone, Royal Rumble 1990 is a recommended show.