May 22, 2007
Matt Peddycord

WWF Royal Rumble 1991
January 19, 1991
Miami, FL
Miami Arena

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Ultimate Warrior (4/1/1990)
Intercontinental Champion: Mr. Perfect (11/19/1990)
World Tag Team Champions: Hart Foundation (8/27/1990)

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Roddy Piper!

The Rockers vs. The Orient Express (w/Mr. Fuji)

Goodbye Sato, hello Kato! Kato is the masked Paul Diamond, which reunites the former AWA tag team known as Badd Company. You know you’re bad when you’re SO bad, you get two D’s to describe just how bad you are. In fact, Badd Company defeated the Rockers in ’88 for the AWA World tag titles, which shows how far back their history went. On to the match. Jannetty gets dumped immediately, leaving Shawn alone with the Express. He takes a HIGH double-backdrop before Jannetty comes back in for the save with crescent kicks. Now Tanaka ends up alone with the Rockers and takes a double-slam. The Rockers go up top for the possible finish, but Kato pulls Tanaka out on the floor. The Express get a breather, but then the Rockers come at them with STEREO SUICIDE DIVES! We get a regular tag match now as Kato tries to calm down the “USA” chants. I know what will do it. Kick Jannetty in the balls! The crowd would HATE that and so would Jannetty! Kato tries to escape out of a headlock, but he can’t seem to shake off Jannetty. He finally shoves out, but falls into a headscissors on the mat. Bridge/backslide sequence happens next and gets two for Jannetty. Tanaka distracts Jannetty long enough for Kato to nail him and tag Tanaka. Jannetty leapfrogs a charging Kato, causing the Express to collide. Jannetty grabs an armbar and then tags Shawn. Tanaka fights out of an armbar and catches Shawn with that jumping back chop for two. Tanaka hooks a chinlock. Shawn elbows out, but Kato gets a blind tag. The Express nearly collides into one another again, but Tanaka puts on the brakes and settles for a DOUBLE NOGGIN-KNOCKER thanks to Shawn instead. Tanaka elbows out of a chinlock, but then runs into a sleeper! Kato draws Jannetty in the ring so he can break up the hold. Tanaka and Shawn go back and forth wailing on each other. All four men are in now, as Shawn stops doing the ten-count corner punch on Tanaka and delivers a moonsault press on Kato! Amazing! The heels do a corner-to-corner doe-see-doe spot, but it backfires and they end up taking STEREO DROPKICKS out to the floor. Not only that, but the Rockers follow THAT up by leaping down on them from the top-rope! I believe STEREO TOPES is the appropriate description. Back in, Shawn covers Kato for two. Jannetty tags and applies a chinlock. Shawn tags and delivers a stalling suplex for 1-2-NO! Shawn whips Kato in the corner for a monkey-flip, but Kato stops that as Tanaka runs by and assists in a tide-turning hotshot. Kato messes with Jannetty, which turns the ref’s attention to them while Fuji whacks Shawn in the throat with his cane! The Express hit the leapfrog/backbreaker double-team before Tanaka grabs the nerve hold. Shawn fades away, but his arm doesn’t drop three times! He fades away again as Tanaka lets go and covers instead for two. Shawn looks to mount a comeback once Kato tags in, but Kato reverses a whip and sends Shawn in for the Flair corner flip. He staggers on the apron and doesn’t see Tanaka come by and superkick him back into the ring. Jannetty’s frustration gets Shawn in more trouble, as the Express deliver a double-clothesline as Shawn does the 360-degree sell for 1-2-NO! It comes down to the big mistake of Tanaka, as he ducks low off a whip and gets his face slammed into the mat. Or DOES IT? Kato runs in and nails Jannetty so the Express can double-clothesline Shawn with Kato’s black belt, but Shawn ducks and throws himself on the belt to cause the Express to collide into each other! HOT TAG TO JANNETTY! He goes SLAM CRAZY! Powerslam to Kato gets 1-2-NO! Shawn and Tanaka go to the floor while in the ring, Jannetty and Kato fight for a backslide. Tanaka sneaks back in and kicks Jannetty down, but it only gets two for Kato. Jannetty ducks a clothesline off a whip, so Shawn trips up Kato for two. Shawn comes in illegally for a double-superkick on Kato. The Rockers go for the Rocker Launcher (!!), but Tanaka stops that and shoves Shawn off the top and to the floor. While Shawn recovers on the floor, the Express deliver a Kato catapult into a Tanaka chop. They go for it again, but Shawn gets back in and nails Tanaka in the gut. Meanwhile, Kato has no idea and catapults Jannetty over Tanaka for a sunset flip for 1-2-3! (19:14) What a match! Definitely one of the best PPV openers ever. It had so much high-flying, tag-team goodness and plenty of time to make it work extremely well. ****¼

We go to Sean Mooney who’s standing by with “Macho King” Randy Savage. He says Sgt. Slaughter has already promised Savage a title match after he beats Warrior tonight, but the same cannot be said for the Warrior if he wins. So what does Savage decide to do to persuade the champ? He sends Queen Sherri to whore herself out. Sorry Sherri, but you’re no Melina. Warrior says no. Actually, he says NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Savage runs in out of nowhere and goes ballistic!

Big Bossman vs. The Barbarian (w/Bobby Heenan)

This is a continuation of the Bossman/Heenan feud and now it’s Barbarian’s turn to fight Heenan’s battles. Bossman clears the ring of Barbarian to start. After a word from Heenan, Barbarian is like a new man and begins to work on Bossman’s back with a backbreaker and a bearhug. Bossman’s hurting, but he still manages to escape. Barbarian catches him in the throat to put Bossman down for some elbow drops. Back to the bearhug we go. Bossman’s arm drops once, twice, but not three times! He headbutts out, but his back is too sore to follow up. Bossman gets in an enziguri and makes a slow cover for two. Barbarian avoids a charge though and rolls up Bossman for two. Bossman misses a back elbow, but catches Barbarian for a hotshot for 1-2-NO! Double-KO spot follows. Barbarian’s up first, so he heads up top and comes down on Bossman with a FLYING CLOTHESLINE for 1-2-NO! Back up, Bossman reverses a whip and delivers a desperation BOSSMAN SLAM! Instead of covering though, he walks around and looks to the crowd. He finally covers for 1-2-NO! Barbarian pokes Bossman in the eye and hits a piledriver and heads up top again. He delivers a flying crossbody, but Bossman rolls through for 1-2-3! (10:06) Haha, Heenan just leaves. This was a WAY better match than you would expect from these two. ***

A bunch of kids surprisingly say that Warrior will beat Slaughter. What a shocker.

Sgt. Slaughter and Gen. Adnan babble on with Sean Mooney about how Warrior is going DOWN! Ultimate Warrior stands by with Mean Gene for the last time as WWF Champion of anything. He snarls and growls. You know, the usual.

WWF World Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter (w/Gen. Adnan)

It’s Super Republican vs. The Iraqi Sympathizer! Warrior clears the ring of the mega-heels and rips apart the Iraqi flag to the biggest reaction he’s received since before he won the title. Adnan doesn’t even hang around ringside in fear that he might get STABBED again, so he’s gone to the back. Warrior makes Slaughter eat the Iraqi flag and beats him from corner to corner. Sherri runs down to ringside and interrupts Warrior’s many shoulderblocks by grabbing his foot as he tries to come off the ropes. Warrior chases her to the back only to get blindsided by Randy Savage! YES! He beats Warrior in the back with a light stand and the ref has no idea. Slaughter stops Hebner’s count several times as Warrior crawls to the ring. Back in, Slaughter starts kicking him around and berating him. They clothesline each other to give you some hope for the Warrior. Slaughter grabs a bearhug. Warrior fades a little bit, but not for long as he chops out and slams Slaughter. He actually SELLS the slam as though that hurt his back. Slaughter’s all over that with elbow drops and follows up with the CAMEL CLUTCH. Slaughter has Warrior under the ropes though, so Hebner makes him break after about 20 seconds or so. Slaughter thinks he’s won, but NAH UH! Warrior begins to WARRIOR UP and levels Slaughter with clotheslines. Warrior looks to be going for the Guerilla Press Slam as Sherri runs down and hops up on the apron. That draws Warrior’s attention away from Slaughter, as he flips her into the ring. He lifts her up for the GUERILLA PRESS SLAM! Savage makes a beeline for the ring, so Warrior tosses her out on top of Savage. Warrior poses for the crowd, but then takes a knee to the back from Slaughter to land him up against the ropes. Slaughter starts to choke Warrior for Hebner to back him away so Savage can sneak by and WHACK Warrior in the head with his royal scepter! Slaughter drags Warrior away from the ropes, drops an elbow, and gets the 1-2-3. (12:46) Monsoon and Piper are begging for a DQ, but sorry guys. We have a NEW WWF Champion! Crowd chants “bullshhh” and everything, but nothing is going to change that finish, folks. I loved the Savage stuff, which really makes the match more than Slaughter. **

There’s supposed to be a Mountie/Koko B. Ware match here, but it’s not shown on the Coliseum release. From what I’ve heard, Mountie wins using a cattle prod. Such RACISM!

In the back, Sean Mooney meets with DiBiase and Virgil. You can tell by the look on Virgil’s face that he’s getting tired of being DiBiase’s slave. Yes, I said it.

Dusty & Dustin Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase & Virgil

It’s Dustin’s first PPV match, Dusty’s last WWF match (2006 is WWE!), and Dustin’s last WWF match until he returns as a gold-colored gay man in 1995. This feud was formed at the SNME back in October when Dustin came to see his father wrestle Randy Savage and ended up taking a beating when he wouldn’t give up his seat to DiBiase. I guess that makes Dustin Rhodes the Rosa Parks of SNME, except Rosa Parks was on a bus and got arrested, not beaten up until she bled on national television. I guess that makes this nothing like Rosa Parks’ experience at all, does it? Anyways, the heels attack the father/son duo in opposite corners, but then we get stereo whip reversals and stereo Bionic Elbows to send DiBiase and Virgil out to the floor. DiBiase tells Virgil to get in the ring and take out Dustin. Virgil gets in a right hand, but then misses a clothesline and takes a Dustin jumping clothesline and a dropkick. DiBiase gets on Virgil’s case again about sucking against Dustin Rhodes, so Virgil gives it another try. Virgil gets outsmarted again as he tries a monkey-flip off a whip, but Dustin ends up stomping Virgil in the face and sends him out to the floor again with a clothesline. DiBiase is pissed now. Virgil doesn’t say anything, but has the look on his face that says, “I’m doing all I can, you dumb cracker!” DiBiase tags in and has no trouble with Dustin whatsoever until he starts talking junk to Dusty. He loses concentration and ducks low off a whip on Dustin and takes a faceslam. DiBiase gets stuck in between the two Rhodes guys and takes some elbows before the Flip Flop and Fly sends him crashing to the floor. Now Daddy gives it a try and tosses DiBiase in the ring. DiBiase begs away into the corner and gets clobbered. Dusty whips DiBiase into the ropes for a sleeper, but Virgil saves his massa. Dusty doesn’t even fool with Virgil and tags his son in for a dropkick. Cover, 1-2-NO! Virgil makes a save. DiBiase tags out and gives Virgil another chance. This time doesn’t look good either for Virgil until Dustin misses a charge and lands knee-first into the corner and blows out his knee. Virgil toys around with Dustin and posts Dustin’s leg before tagging in DiBiase. Dusty’s busy being the concerned daddy and gets the ref’s attention away from the match, which allows double-teaming from the heels. With Virgil’s inexperience, the miscommunication problem was inevitable. DiBiase beats him up for it and tosses him out to the floor. While he’s doing that though, Dustin crawls over and makes the tag to Dusty! This doesn’t last much longer though, as Dusty misses a corner charge and gets rolled up for 1-2-3. (9:58) Not the greatest action in the world, but it told a great story with Virgil’s inexperience being a real problem for him. After the match, DiBiase tells the Rhodes’ that they paid the price just like everybody else. That’s not all though. DiBiase calls Virgil an idiot and then orders him to strap the Million Dollar belt around his waist. Virgil brings the belt in the ring and then drops it at DiBiase’s feet. DiBiase brings Virgil’s mother into this and everything! Virgil finally does pick up the belt. DiBiase turns away for a second to say “Everybody’s got a price” and turns back around into a face-full of gold! You’d think Virgil just hit Saddam in the face with the belt with the way the crowd exploded. **½

The Rumble

Bret Hart draws #1 and Dino Bravo draws #2. For some reason, Bravo’s hair makes him look like the Joker from the ‘60s Batman series minus the lipstick. The managers are allowed at ringside this year. Also, Shane McMahon is on ref duty tonight. Bret almost dumps Bravo in the first twenty seconds with an atomic drop/clothesline combo, but Bravo hangs tough. Bravo hits the SIDE SUPLEX as the recently turned tweener Greg Valentine enters in at #3. He goes right after his former manager Jimmy Hart’s guy, Dino Bravo. Jimmy distracts Valentine to take a clothesline from behind, but that’s all Bravo can do against the Hammer. Bravo gets dumped with no real problem. Jimmy gets shoved off the apron by Valentine, but then Bret grabs Valentine for another atomic drop/clothesline combo. Bret tries to toss out Valentine as Paul Roma runs down to be our #4 guy. They all take turns stabbing each other in the back as Kerry Von Erich enters in at #5. TORNADO PUNCH to Roma! TORNADO PUNCH to Valentine! After some failed elimination attempts, Rick Martel draws #6. He tries to dump out Bret immediately, but then Roma comes over and starts beating down Martel! Bret and Von Erich double-team Valentine while Martel tries to eliminate Roma. When that doesn’t work, Bret nearly sends Martel to the floor, but then Roma saves Martel. What?! Then, Martel and Roma do a double-team on Bret. Immediately afterwards, Roma blasts Martel with a clothesline! I don’t understand this guy! “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas dressed up as some African native named Saba Simba runs down to be our #7 entrant. Von Erich attempts to eliminate Martel, but then Roma saves him. I’m giving up on Roma. He isn’t making ANY sense in this match. Roma ducks a TORNADO PUNCH from Von Erich while Bret gets a near-elimination on Martel. Von Erich applies THE CLAW on Roma as Bushwhacker Butch enters in at #8. Saba Simba tries to toss out Martel, but he hangs onto Martel too long and gets flipped out to the floor as Martel falls on the apron and slips back in the ring. Bret and Von Erich attempt to toss out Martel while Butch and Valentine do the same to Roma. Butch finally gives up on that and delivers a DOUBLE-NOGGIN KNOCKER. Jake Roberts runs down at #9, which works perfectly since he’s hatin’ on Martel back in these days. He sets Martel up immediately for the DDT, but Martel knows what’s coming and slides out underneath the bottom rope. Jake chases Martel back in the ring, but runs into a knee from Valentine. Valentine is such a JERK. Martel wanders out onto the apron to jaw at the crowd. Of course, Jake grabs him, but Martel pokes in the eyes and gets back inside to stomp on Jake. Hercules is #10. Herc and Roma, better known as Power & Glory stomp away on Butch. Martel finds himself in trouble AGAIN on the ropes, but now it’s with Bret and Valentine. Martel sneaks away and attacks Roberts. He ties Jake up in the ropes, but Von Erich is there to help out.

Tito Santana enters in at #11 as Roma misses a crossbody on Roberts and flies out to the floor. Hey Roma, I bet Flair isn’t jealous of your time in the Royal Rumble. ZING. Tito goes after his former Strike Force partner because dag-gummit, he’s STILL pissed about WrestleMania 5. The Undertaker is #12. He’s still with Brother Love, by the way. He gets in and tosses Bret Hart out. Roberts, Von Erich and Valentine decide they better gang up on this dead guy. Jimmy Snuka draws #13 as Taker dumps Butch. Tito joins in on the Taker bashing, but he’s still no-selling everything. British Bulldog is our #14 entrant. Martel gets passed around for some atomic drops and nearly gets eliminated again. Demolition Smash runs down to be #15. Man, there’s like ten guys in here now. WAY TOO MANY! Martel sneaks around the apron and pulls Roberts out to send him to the showers. Here comes Road Warrior Hawk! He’s #16. He gets beat on by Hercules, Smash and UT and STILL doesn’t sell any of it! Like an idiot, Tito decides its best to go for a ten-count corner punch on the Undertaker. Like an even bigger idiot, Taker brings Tito out of the corner and to the center of the ring for an atomic drop instead of just simply flipping him out to the floor. Shane Douglas enters in at #17. Yes, THE Shane Douglas. Meanwhile, Von Erich tries for a TORNADO PUNCH on Taker, but misses and spins out over the top rope and to the floor. Also, Hawk throws Snuka out like he ain’t NOBODY! Well, that helped a little. Most everything else happening though is choking and punches. Oh yeah, and Martel nearly gets tossed out. #18 was supposed to Randy Savage, but he doesn’t ever show. Nothing much else happens except for some more toss-out attempts. Road Warrior Animal enters in at #19 and beats on all the heels, but really doesn’t make much of an impact until he helps out Hawk with the Undertaker. Taker fights back with DOUBLE GOOZLES, but the LOD kicks free and double-clotheslines Taker out to the floor to wake up the crowd. Then, Herc and Martel seize the moment and clothesline Hawk out to the floor. After that fiasco settles down, Martel and Santana take turns trying to eliminate one another. Demolition Crush draws #20. He helps out Smash against Davey Boy Smith. Oh by the way, Martel spends the next two minutes on the ropes fighting being eliminated.

It’s that lovable, overly patriotic man that bleeds red, white AND blue. You know who’s I’m talking about. His name is “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan! He’s our #21 entrant! He pounds away on a few people while Martel jumps into an Animal bearhug. Davey Boy hops on Crush’s back for a sleeper as the mighty Earthquake enters in at #22. There’s ELEVEN guys in the ring as I am typing this. He goes after Animal first. Animal ducks a clothesline and drills Earthquake with a couple clotheslines, but then charges a third time and gets flipped out to the floor. Hacksaw wants Earthquake, so they pound on each other for a bit. Also, Martel’s nearing the 40-minute mark here. The record back then was 44:47, which was held by Ted DiBiase from the ’90 Rumble. The IC champ Mr. Perfect is #23. Hacksaw meets Perfect as he enters and throws him around a bit before he charges at Perfect as he’s up against the ropes and gets sent out to the floor. Whoa. Shane Douglas is still in there. Oh man, it’s the Hulkster! He’s #24. Smash goes right after him and gets booted out. Hogan charges at Earthquake in the corner and pounds on him before trying to lift him out, but that’s just not going to work. Earthquake fights back and tries to toss out Hulk, but Davey Boy saves the day. Haku drew #25 as Hogan tosses out Valentine for seemingly no reason. We get a Hogan/Martel confrontation for a moment. Perfect backs up into Earthquake, so he turns around and chops him. BIG MISTAKE! Jim Neidhart runs down to be #26. Eleven people in the ring alert! Santana finally gets thrown out by Earthquake. Perfect and Hogan take turns attempting toss each other, but Haku saves Hulk (one of Heenan’s own men!) and start chopping on Perfect. Bushwhacker Luke marches down to the ring as #27, meets Earthquake, gets thrown out, and marches back to the locker room. That was the possible highlight of this Rumble so far. Nasty Boy Brian Knobs is #28. A bunch of people gang up on Knobs for some odd reason. I’m guessing because he’s the most fresh. Once Knobs gets free, he backdrops Hercules out to the floor. Warlord is #29 and goes right after Davey Boy Smith, which is a WrestleMania VII match. Meanwhile, Crush is hammering on Hulk in the corner, which is dumb because he gets flipped out to the floor for a sick-looking bump. Hogan and Warlord square off for a second as Hulk clotheslines him out to the floor. Uh-oh! #30 is TOOT TOOT! The Tugboat! He goes after Earthquake. Meanwhile, Knobs dumps out Douglas. Hogan wants Earthquake, so Tugster choke-lifts Martel instead. Hogan saves Tugboat from Martel and Haku just so he can work him over in the corner. Tugboat fights back and tosses Hulk over, but he lands on the apron to save himself. Hogan follows Tuggie across the ring and turns him over the top rope to send him crashing on the floor. With friends like that, no wonder he turned heel! Meanwhile, Davey Boy crotches Perfect up on the top rope and dropkicks him out to the floor. At fifty minutes, Martel manages to dump out Neidhart. Haku charges at Davey Boy and takes a trip out to the floor. Martel works on Davey Boy, but then makes a HUGE mistake by heading up top. Davey Boy is there to meet him and clotheslines him out. Crowd goes nuts. Martel sets the new endurance record at 52:17, which would be shattered a year later.

Final Four: Davey Boy Smith, Earthquake, Hulk Hogan and Brian Knobs. Not exactly the star-studded little group there. Knobs and Earthquake dump out Davey Boy with ease because they want Hulk all to themselves. Knobs drops the elbows before Earthquake delivers the EARTHQUAKE SPLASH. BUT WAIT! Hogan completely NO-SELLS and ends all of Earthquake’s credibility! Double-clothesline to the heels! Big Boot to Knobs sends him out! Three punches and a Big Boot for Earthquake only puts him down on one knee. Jimmy hops up on the apron and gets nailed. Hogan tries a slam on Earthquake, but yeah right Hulk. Earthquake falls on top and gives him a bunch of elbow drops. He delivers the Quake Slam and goes for a pin, but Hogan shoves him off and HULKS UP. Hogan points the finger, fires back with three punches, Big Boot, and then he gets the slam. Piper ~ “THROW HIM OUT!” Earthquake staggers up and takes a clothesline out to the floor to make Hulk Hogan the first man to win back-to-back Royal Rumble matches. (65:17) Basically the same finish as last year’s match. This was a very disappointing Rumble match, but it’s mostly due to having only a few other big name stars (Roberts, Perfect) besides Hulk Hogan. Hulk was the way to go considering if nothing else, the crowd deserved to be sent home happy now that Sgt. Slaughter was the champion. **½

Final Thoughts: Even if the undercard is pretty bad, you can usually count on a good Rumble match to give the Royal Rumble show the go-ahead, but not this year. It’s completely the opposite. The undercard is worth a look, but the Rumble match was a tad on the lame side. Thumbs in the middle for Royal Rumble ’91. Check out the tag match if nothing else.

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