July 24, 2010
Steve Riddle

Royal Rumble 1993
January 24th, 1993
ARCO Arena
Sacramento, California

Dark Match:
1. Doink the Clown defeats Jim Powers.

Actual Show:

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

1. The Steiner Brothers defeat the Beverly Brothers when Scott pins Beau at 10:34.

Debut: The Steiner Brothers are Rick and Scott Steiner. After being standouts at the University of Michigan, Rick began in the NWA in 1988 with Scott coming by his side in 1989. The two teamed up and dominated the tag ranks in the NWA/WCW, winning the tag titles twice and also winning the IWGP Tag Titles. Scott would be pushed as a singles star, winning the TV Title before he and Rick left WCW due to disputes with Bill Watts. They debuted in the WWF in December and make their PPV debut here.

Farewell: This is the Beverly Brothers’ last PPV. Wayne Bloom (Beau) would leave in April while Mike Enos (Blake) would stick around for a few months as a jobber. The team reunited briefly in 1997-98 in WCW, mostly putting over talent before retiring.

Analysis: A solid tag match to open the show. The Steiners were quickly pushed on the face side and had great success prior to coming to the WWF, but here they can only get a decent match with the Beverlys. The Beverlys have fallen considerably and have never been legit title contenders. The Steiners start fast before the Beverlys double up on Scott. The Steiners get the advantage and get the win when Scott crushes Beau with the Frankensteiner, and possibly could’ve paralyzed him. The crowd is hot throughout the whole match, and would be throughout the whole night. The Beverlys are done and the Steiners continue to ascend the ladder. Grade: 2

We see the buildup to the Intercontinental Title match.

2. Shawn Michaels pins Marty Jannetty with a Superkick at 14:20 to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

The Buildup/Return: Marty Jannetty returns to PPV here. He was to start his feud with Michaels a year ago after the Barbershop incident, but was released due to personal reasons after the incident. He returned in October of 1992, attacking Michaels before a match. He grabbed Sherri’s mirror to strike Michaels, but Michaels pulled Sherri in the way and she was hit. This match was made and Sherri announced she would be in a neutral corner.

Analysis: One year after the split, these two men finally face off. Jannetty had been gone for a year, so he does have a tad bit of ring rust, while Michaels is still refining his craft. This is the first ever one-on-one encounter between the two, and it shows. Both men work hard, with Michaels controlling most of the match until Jannetty made a comeback. Sherri remains neutral for most of the match until she slaps Shawn, turning face. She tries to hit Shawn with her shoe, but hits Jannetty by mistake. One superkick later and Shawn retains the belt. Jannetty would be turfed again after being in an unfit shape to compete the next night, again prematurely ending the feud. Michaels would move on to a new feud, but Jannetty would be back in a few months. A good match, but they would have better ones later in the year. Grade: 2.5

Mean Gene Okerlund attempts to interview Sherri, which lead to a backstage brawl with Michaels and Jannetty.

3. Bam Bam Bigelow pins the Big Bossman with a headbutt off the top at 10:10.

Return: Bam Bam makes his return to PPV here. After leaving in 1988, he returned to the NWA and also had success in Japan. He returned to the WWF in October of 1992, and no mentions of his previous run was made.

Farewell: This is the Big Bossman’s last PPV until 1998. He would leave in March after being blinded in a match against Doink.

Analysis: A pretty sluggish match to establish Bigelow and to send off the Bossman. Bossman has been one of the most over stars for the last few years, but he was out of place with these younger stars. Bigelow makes his return and looks pretty good, although Bossman doesn’t do much to help him. Both men pound on each other, with Bigelow controlling most of the match until he puts Bossman away with the headbutt. Bossman is out the door, while Bigelow is climbing the ladder. Grade: 1.5

We see highlights from WWF Mania of Razor Ramon attacking Owen Hart.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Bret Hart, who says Razor crossed the line and he will pay the price tonight.

4. Bret “The Hitman” Hart forces Razor Ramon to submit to the Sharpshooter at 17:52 to retain the WWF Championship.

Analysis: A very solid championship match. Razor has put on great matches, and he is rewarded with a title match. Bret continues to build his legacy with this match. Both men are on top of their game, which is natural for Hart, while Ramon when he was straight was one of the best, and this match was clearly a hidden gem for both men. Both men start off strong, with Hart working the leg and Ramon working the ribs. The crowd is very hot, and many do give Razor cheers as he is getting over with the fans. There are times you think Razor will win the strap, but in the end Bret gets the win with his Sharpshooter. A great effort by both men, but their hard work would be destroyed by the next show. For now, Ramon’s heel status is dwindling, and Bret waits to see who he will face at Wrestlemania. Nice match, and it won’t be the last time these two men face off this year. Grade: 3

Bobby Heenan unveils his newest acquistion, “The Narcissist” Lex Luger. Lex admires himself and tells the locker room to take notice of him.

Debut: After a brief career in football, Larry Pfohl was trained by Hiro Matsuda and took the name Lex Luger. He started in Florida before moving to NWA in 1987 as “The Total Package”. He became a member of the Four Horsemen, replacing Ole Anderson. He won the US title as a heel before turning face teaming with Barry Windham and feuding with Ric Flair. He would win the World Title in 1991, feuding with Ron Simmons and Sting, dropping the title to the latter opponent. He would join Vince’s World Bodybuilding Federation in 1992, but the company closed and Luger sat out recovering from a motorcycle injury. He makes his PPV debut here, and would make his in-ring PPV debut at the next show.

Julius Ceasar and Cleopatra issue a special proclimation, stating that the winner of the Royal Rumble will receive a WWF Championship match at Wrestlemania IX.

5. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) wins the Royal Rumble match.

Order of entry and time lasted:
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair (18:38)
Bob Backlund (1:01:10) (Ironman) (New Record)
Papa Shango (:28)
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase (24:55)
Brian Knobbs (2:58)
Virgil (17:08)
Jerry “The King” Lawler (14:35)
Max Moon (1:56)
Tenryu (13:17)
Mr. Perfect (9:15)
Skinner (3:05)
“ The Birdman” Koko B. Ware (8:31)
Samu (4:49)
The Berzerker (5:21)
The Undertaker (4:14)
“Terrific” Terry Taylor (:24)
Damien Demento (12:27)
Irwin R. Schyster (16:00)
Tatanka (17:34)
Jerry Sags (21:50)
Typhoon (5:12)
Fatu (6:32)
Earthquake (11:00)
Carlos Colon (7:25)
“El Matador” Tito Santana (11:01)
“The Model” Rick Martel (11:23)
Yokozuna (14:53) (WINNER)
“The Rocket” Owen Hart (5:39)
Repo Man (3:33)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (9:01)

Order of Elimination:
Shango by Flair (1)
Knobbs by Dibiase (1)
Moon by Lawler (1)
Flair by Perfect (1)
Skinner by Perfect (2)
Lawler by Perfect (3)
Virgil by Berzerker (1)
Perfect by Dibiase, Koko, and Lawler (2,1,2)
Samu by Undertaker (1)
Tenryu by Undertaker (2)
Taylor by Dibiase (3)
Koko by Dibiase (4)
Dibiase by Undertaker (3)
Berzerker by Undertaker (4)
Undertaker by a yet to be named Giant Gonzalez
Typhoon by Earthquake (1)
Demento by Colon (1)
Fatu by Backlund (1)
IRS by Earthquake (2)
Tatanka by Yokozuna (1)
Colon by Yokozuna (2)
Earthquake by Yokozuna (3)
Santana by Yokozuna (4)
Sags by Hart (1)
Hart by Yokozuna (5)
Repo by Savage (1)
Martel by Backlund (2)
Backlund by Yokozuna (6)
Savage by Yokozuna (7)

Fun Fact: This is the first Rumble to include the prize that the winner would receive a title shot at Wrestlemania, a tradition that continues to this day, as this event kicks off the “Road to Wrestlemania”.

One Time Debuts: As mentioned, Max Moon is Paul Diamond under a mask. Sources say that Konnan was to portray Moon, but left before debuting and Diamond took the gimmick since he fit the suit. Moon was used mostly as a enhancement talent, with his biggest match being a match with Shawn Michaels for the IC title on the first Monday Night Raw. Damien Demento is Phil Theis. After being trained by Johnny Rodz, he began on the independent scene as Mondo Kleen before coming to the WWF prior to this event, and makes his only PPV appearance here. His biggest claim is facing the Undertaker in the main event of the first Monday Night Raw. He would retire from wrestling in 2001. Carlos Colon is a legend in the country of Puerto Rico. He is the founder of WWC and has had many big names in wrestling compete in Puerto Rico, and he has competed worldwide, being involved in feuds against Ric Flair and Abdullah the Butcher. He makes his only PPV appearance here, but members of his family would make a bigger impact about a decade later.

One Time Return: Terry Taylor makes his return here. Since his last appearance, he returned to WCW and won the World 6-man Tag Team Titles with Richard Morton and Thomas Young as part of the York Foundation. He returned in September of 1992 as “Terrific” Terry Taylor, and no mention of the Red Rooster. He would mostly be an enhancement talent, and also did interviews. He would retire and work mostly backstage for WWF, WCW, and currently TNA.

Debut #1: Bob Backlund was trained by Eddie Sharkey and debuted in the AWA in 1973. He would move to Georgia and Florida before coming to the WWWF. Backlund defeated “Superstar” Billy Graham to win the WWWF Championship, which he would hold for 5 and a half years, taking on all challengers. He dropped the belt to the Iron Shiek in 1983 when his manager Arnold Skaaland threw the towel in. Backlund would wrestle his last match in 1984 before briefly retiring. He made his return in 1992 and makes his PPV appearance here.

Debut #2: Jerry Lawler was trained by Jackie Fargo and began his career in 1970 in Memphis. He became “The King” when he defeated Fargo in 1974. After a brief period off due to injury, Lawler participated in his higest profile feud when he feuded with TV star Andy Kaufman in 1982. This all led to a match, which Lawler lost by DQ for using the piledriver, which was illegal. The feud ended when Lawler slapped Kaufman on The David Letterman Show. For many years, it was believed that this was a real life hatred, but Kaufman later stated that the feud was scripted, and that he and Lawler were good friends. Lawler would win the AWA Championship in 1988, and unify that with the WCCW Championship when he defeated Kerry Von Erich at Superclash III. He left after issues with Verne Gagne and competed in the USWA before debuting in December in 1992.

Temp. Farewell: This is Ric Flair’s last PPV until 2001. He would lose a career match to Mr. Perfect the next night on RAW.

Farewell: This is the Berzerker’s last PPV. He would compete in All Japan and WCW before retiring in 2002.

Analysis: An ok Rumble, not up to the par of the previous year, but not the worst either. We get a good start with Flair and Backlund squaring off. We slow things down with several jobbers and tag stars, though we see the debut of Jerry Lawler, who won’t make a big impact until June. Mr. Perfect comes out to a big pop and eliminates Flair from this match, then he would eliminate him from the WWF the next night on RAW. Perfect doesn’t stay long as he is tossed early. The Undertaker comes out and dominates until he is tossed by the debuting Giant Gonzalez, which leads to two of the most medicore matches in history. The Rumble then hits a slow pace until Yokozuna comes out and crushes the field. Randy Savage comes out to a big pop and seemed primed to win, but with a face champion, you need a heel challenger and Yoko was the prime candidate. He wins and moves on to Wrestlemania. Props go to Bob Backlund as he breaks the longevity record, which would stand for 11 years. For now, a decent Rumble with the right guy going over. Grade: N/A

We see the still photos of the event.

We see Yokozuna posing for the media when he has a staredown with Bret Hart as we go off the air.

Final Analysis: After a red hot 1992, 1993 opens with an average event. The undercard is just ok, with the World Title match the highlight, and a hidden gem for both Hart and Ramon. The IC Title match is decent, the Steiners and Lex Luger make lukewarm debuts, and Yokozuna has taken a big step to the main event. The young stars were making great strides and looked to make their mark at Ceasar’s Palace for WM, but things would change drastically. We will get to that in the next review. For now, a good, but not great PPV to set up the ninth installment of Wrestlemania. Final Grade: C+

wordpress stats plugin