May 16, 2010
Steve Riddle

Royal Rumble 1992
January 19th, 1992
Knickerbocker Arena
Albany, New York

Dark Match:
1. Chris Walker defeats the Brooklyn Brawler.

Actual Show:

Mean Gene Okerlund runs down the list of Superstars participating in the Royal Rumble match.

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

1. The New Foundation defeats the Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji) when “The Rocket” Owen Hart pins Tanaka at 17:18.

Return/Temp. Farewell: Jim Neidhart makes his return to PPV here. After the Foundation split, he was cut but was brought back as a commentator. He makes his last PPV appearance here and won’t be seen again until 1994.

Return #2: Since Wrestlemania V, Owen Hart would tour the world as the Blue Blazer until he lost his mask to El Canek. He would appear in WCW in 1991 before resigning with the WWF in late 1991.

Farewell: This is the last PPV appearance for the Orient Express. Tanaka would leave in February and would work in ECW, WCW, and Japan before semi-retiring in 2004. Diamond would be a jobber as Kato and also had a stint as Max Moon, making his only PPV appearance at the 1993 Royal Rumble. He and Tanaka would reunite as Badd Company in ECW and WCW before splitting in 1994. Diamond would retire in 2001.

Analysis: A very solid match to kick off the event. Owen had just returned and was paired with Neidhart to help him out, though Neidhart would be gone after this and Owen was on his own. The Express are done as a team, and end a run that could have been better, but it was simply wrong place, wrong time for them. The Foundation impress early until Owen is singled out. The Express can’t put him away, and Owen does take a vicious shot into Fuji’s cane in the corner. After a hot tag, Neidhart cleans house and the Foundation take over and get the win, with Owen getting the pin. Despite the win, the Foundation are split and Owen is on his own again. Nice way to get things started. Grade: 3

Lord Alfred Hayes shows us what happened in Springfield two days ago at a house show when the Mountie defeated Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship.

Sean Mooney interviews the Mountie and Jimmy Hart, who say that even though this match shouldn’t happen, he will defend the belt because he is a true champion.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Roddy Piper, who says that he will win both titles tonight.

2. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper forces the Mountie (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) to submit to the sleeper at 5:22 to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

Fun Fact: At two days, the Mountie has the distinction of having the shortest Intercontinental Title reign. That distinction would last for 3 years.

Analysis: This had to be one of the greatest moments that one person ever could have. The Mountie gets his cup of coffee as champ, but it is very brief and he would never even sniff that belt again. The match is pretty bad, as both men are not great wrestlers, but Piper would make up for it by winning the belt and garnering one of the biggest pops ever. Mountie heads back down the midcard and Piper, having gone his whole WWF tenure without a title, now has a chance to become the first man to win both the IC and WWF Title in the same night. A pretty medicore match, but a fitting payoff for a legend. Grade: 2

In a Colesium Home Video Exclusive, Lord Alfred Hayes interviews Hulk Hogan, who says he will win the Royal Rumble and become the WWF Champion again.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Bushwhackers and Jamison, who says the Beverlys will go down and the Genius will be in for a surprise.

3. The Beverly Brothers (w/ The Genius) defeat the Bushwhackers (w/ Jamison) when Blake pins Butch at 14:56.

Analysis: A pretty bad match that is more boring than watching paint dry. The Whackers are nothing more than cannon fodder and the Beverlys can only do so much. Genius and Jamison do little to help the situation, and the match should have been at least 8-9 minutes shorter. The Whackers do their typical stalling, the Beverlys take over with crisp doubleteaming, and then get the win. Genius then gets assulted by Jamison, which shows you how far his stock as fallen. The Beverlys get the win and move on, the Whackers also continue their run as jobbers, and Jamison is never seen on TV again. Let’s just move on to the next match, which sadly won’t be much better. Grade: 1.5

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Legion of Doom, who say that they will face anyone, anytime and they will throw the Disasters around.

4. The Natural Disasters (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) defeat the Legion of Doom by countout at 9:24. LOD retain the WWF Tag Team Championsip.

Analysis: A pretty bad match, as the LOD’s only title defense on PPV is not great. When they are a towering force, they can do good things. But when they face men bigger than them, the matches tend to suck. The Disasters use their lumbering offense to dominate, until the LOD take advantage. The champs are then counted out, but retain the belts. The Disasters are pissed and want a rematch, but would be passed aside by a new team and would have an attitude change. The rest of the year won’t be smooth either for LOD. For now, the match is bad, but we now head to the main event, which will be a gem of a match. Grade: 1.5

Sean Mooney interviews the Natural Disasters and Jimmy Hart, who are irate and demand a rematch with the LOD for the belts.

Gorilla and Bobby recap the tag title match and hype the Royal Rumble match.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Roddy Piper, who is proud to be the Intercontinental Champion and will win the WWF Championship as well.

Sean Mooney interviews Shawn Michaels, who does not regret what he did to his former partner Marty Jannetty and he will win the WWF Championship.

In a Colesium Home Video Exclusive, Lord Alfred Hayes interviews Ric Flair, who says even though he drew #3, he will win the Royal Rumble and become champion.

We see clips of Superstars talking about the Royal Rumble, who all say that they will win the Rumble and become the WWF Champion.

5. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair wins the Royal Rumble match to become the WWF Champion.

Order of entry and time lasted:
1. The British Bulldog (23:33)
2. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase (1:18)
3. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (59:26) (Ironman) (New Record) (WINNER)
4. Jerry Sags (1:06)
5. Haku (1:51)
6. Shawn Michaels (15:46)
7. “El Matador” Tito Santana (13:55)
8. The Barbarian (12:55)
9. “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich (9:20)
10. Repo Man (6:23)
11. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (4:12)
12. Nikolai Volkoff (1:03)
13. The Big Bossman (3:38)
14. Hercules (:56)
15. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (34:06)
16. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (10:55)
17. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (20:45)
18. Irwin R. Schyster (27:01)
19. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka (2:27)
20. The Undertaker (13:51)
21. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (22:26)
22. The Berzerker (9:00)
23. Virgil (7:29)
24. Col. Mustafa (2:36)
25. “The Model” Rick Martel (12:39)
26. Hulk Hogan (11:29)
27. Skinner (2:13)
28. Sgt. Slaughter (4:37)
29. Sid Justice (5:55)
30. The Warlord (1:43)

Order of elimination:
1. Dibiase by Bulldog (1)
2. Sags by Bulldog (2)
3. Haku by Bulldog (3)
4. Volkoff by Repo Man (1)
5. Valentine by Repo Man (2)
6. Repo Man by Bossman (1)
7. Bulldog by Flair (1)
8. Von Erich by Flair (2)
9. Santana by Michaels (1)
10. Michaels by Santana (1)
11. Barbarian by Hercules (1)
12. Hercules by Bossman (2)
13. Bossman by Flair (3)
14. Snuka by Undertaker (1)
15. Roberts by Savage (1)
16. Mustafa by Savage (2)
17. Undertaker by Hogan (1)
18. Berzerker by Hogan (2)
19. Duggan by Virgil (1)
20. Virgil by Duggan (1)
21. Skinner by Martel (1)
22. Slaughter by Justice (1)
23. IRS by Piper (1)
24. Warlord by Justice and Hogan (2,3)
25. Martel by Justice (3)
26. Piper by Justice (4)
27. Savage by Justice (5)
28. Hogan by Justice (6)
29. Justice by Flair (4)

The Buildup: After the controversial title changes at Survivor Series and Tuesday in Texas, President Jack Tunney declared the title vacant and a new champion would be crowned here. Also, as they were the last two recognized champions, Hogan and Taker could pick a number between 20 and 30.

Heel Turn: Shawn Michaels finally turned heel after he smashed Marty Jannetty’s head through the window of the Barber Shop, taking him out of this match. Jannetty was to feud with Michaels after this event, but would not be seen on PPV again until 1993.

Substitution #1: Due to that attack, Jannetty was taken out of this match and replaced by Nikolai Volkoff.

Substitution #2/Temp. Farewell #1: Haku is replacing Brian Knobbs, and makes his last PPV appearance until 2001.

Temp. Farewell #2: This is the Barbarian’s last PPV until 1994.

Analysis: What a great Rumble match. It had everything you would hope for a main event. A stocked roster and a big prize at stake. Before getting to the main objectives, here are some side points to the match. Obivously, with the title on the line, this gave a lot of midcarders their one shot at the top. Many of the midcarders don’t get much ring time. We see a few feuds intertwined and some new ones get formed, like Michaels-Santana. Props go to Bulldog, Duggan, IRS, and Savage who get 20-minute runs in this match. Speaking of Savage, he continues his great feud with Jake Roberts, as he eliminates him and they head for their big blowoff. Another man who deserves props is Roddy Piper, who wrestles a total of 40 minutes when you combine this match and the IC Title match. Now to the meat and potatoes of this match. First, it is clear Hulk Hogan’s kingdom is crumbling as he gets tossed by Sid, and then screws him out of the title. The fans are unapologetic to Hogan’s antics and they let him know it. Their issues are far from over. Then we get to the Man, Ric Flair puts on the performance of a lifetime. He goes out there for almost an hour and takes a beating, but survives and becomes champion. He also set the standard for a Rumble performance that would hold the test of time for almost a decade. One more man to get props is Bobby Heenan, as he is on his A-game tonight, pleading for Flair to win. Add Gorilla to the mix and you got the recipe for great commentary for a great match. Overall, Flair wins the biggest match of his career, and Hogan is on the fans’ bad side. Grade: N/A

President Jack Tunney presents Ric Flair with the WWF Championship, who proclaims this to be the greatest moment in his life.

We see the still photos of the event as we go off the air.

Final Analysis: What a very memorable PPV. There were thre tag matches, but only the opener was good while the other two were pretty poor. The whole undercard was pretty shoddy considering that the Rumble match was stocked with all the big names vying for the gold. However, this match is saved by Piper’s big title win, Flair’s career performance, and the first on-air backlash to Hulk Hogan. 1992 has kicked off with a bang and will only get better as we head to Wrestlemania. Flair is the champ and it seems like he and Hogan were set for the biggest match ever, but situations backstage would prevent that. For now, a great event that is definently a must-see for anyone. It is a perfect example for anyone who is a big Ric Flair fan or anyone who wants to watch a good event. Final Grade: A

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