The 1990 Royal Rumble was the third year for the annual January event and the second year in a row where it was on pay-per-view. To begin the 1990 calendar year, the WWF World Champion was Hulk Hogan. He’s in this match. His WrestleMania VI opponent, The Ultimate Warrior, is also in the match. I wonder if they’ll interact in some way to set up their match at WrestleMania 6? Hmmm. Let’s find out.
This show followed Survivor Series 1989 and was used to set up WrestleMania 6. My listing of every WWE PPV review ever is here. This was originally written a few years ago. My additional 2021 thoughts are in blue font as well because there’s always more to say.
WWF Royal Rumble
January 21, 1990
From the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida
The opening video package featured Vince McMahon mentioning the names of the men in the Royal Rumble while videos were shown of those men. Vince also went over the undercard matches.
The announcers are Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura. This was during Tony’s one year run working for the WWF. He was most known for his NWA/WCW announcing work. Tony was in a tuxedo while Jesse was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers entered with their manager Jimmy Hart. The Bushwhackers got a huge pop from the crowd. It’s a nice reminder of how popular they were.
The Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch) vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Ray Rougeau) (w/Jimmy Hart)
Pre-match notes: The Bushwhackers were the faces while the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers were the heels.
Ray slapped on a sleeper on Butch, who countered by sending Ray into the top rope and Butch bit Ray’s ass and the referee’s ass. The fans loved that. Bushwhackers cleared the ring. Luke with a headbutt to the ribs of Jacques followed by some head biting. Luke knocked Ray off the apron, Butch with a clothesline to Jacques and there was more celebrating by the Bushwhackers. Ventura correctly noted the fans were going crazy for these guys. The heels took control with Ray getting in a cheap shot to the back and choking with the tag rope. Ray with a kick to the chest of Luke for a two count. Ray sent Luke out of the ring and Jacques sent Luke back first into the side of the ring apron. Luke bit the leg of Ray and then Jacques stomped on Luke to stop it. Jacques with another cheap shot forearm to Luke that got a two count. The Rougeaus continued the attack on Luke by sending him into the turnbuckle multiple times and then they dropped Luke throat first onto the top rope. Luke with another bite to the face of Ray, but Jacques got the tag to prevent a tag. Ray grounded Luke with a chinlock. Jacques went for a running splash on Luke, but Luke got the knees up to block. Butch got the hot tag to a huge pop, Butch with a punch to the gut and a running knee lift. Butch worked over Ray with punches. Luke and Butch whipped the Rougeaus into eachother. Jimmy Hart grabbed Luke’s foot to prevent a double team move and Butch knocked Jacques out of the ring. The Rougeaus saved Hart with double dropkicks and Jacques got a rollup on Butch for two. Boston Crab by Ray on Butch, Luke tripped up Jacques and the Bushwhackers hit the Battering Ram headbutt with Butch pinning Jacques for the pinfall win at 13:35.
Winners by pinfall: The Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch)
Analysis: ** It was okay for a Bushwhackers match. They weren’t known for having great matches during their WWF careers, but they were popular and that’s what matters. I thought the Rougeaus were a good heel team even though they were never pushed that much. Using the Bushwhackers in an opening match is fine because the crowd is going to get into it.
(I always thought the Battering Ram was a cool looking finisher. I’ll give the Bushwhackers credit for that.)
Ted Dibiase with Virgil were interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund, who mentioned that last year Ted drew #30 while some suspected some chicanery. Okerlund noted security was going to stop that this year. Dibiase complained he didn’t have the opportunity to draw the number. Dibiase wasn’t happy about what number he drew. Okerlund revealed that Dibiase drew the #1 spot in the Rumble match. Dibiase said he’ll be the first man in the ring, the last man in the ring and he’ll show us he’s the greatest wrestling talent in the world and he’s going to win it.
Analysis: Great promo from Dibiase as usual.
The Genius read a poem about his opponent Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake while having a line about how he’s the smartest man while Beefcake is dumb. Beefcake made his entrance and got a nice ovation from the crowd.
The Genius vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
Pre-match notes: Brutus was the face and Genius was the heel. I assume most of you know this, but The Genius wrestled as “Leaping” Lanny Poffo as well and he’s the brother of “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
The Genius did some stalling by going to the floor where he did a cartwheel. Brutus mocked some of the actions of Genius. They finally started wrestling with Genius doing an eye rake followed by punches and an eye gouge. Brutus came back with an atomic drop that led to some overselling by Genius that saw him go out of the ring. Genius with punches to the chest and then he sent Brutus into the turnbuckle. Genius missed a corner dropkick when Brutus moved and then Brutus pulled on the legs of Genius while he was on the ropes. Genius to the floor again while Jesse put over how smart Genius was. Back in the ring, Brutus kicked Genius in the chest followed by jumping with his knees to the side of the head of Genius. There was a dropkick by Genius for a two count, then another eye rake and a rollup for two. Genius with a body slam. Genius took way too long to get to the middle rope, jumped off with nothing and Beefcake punched him in the ribs to stop that attack. Beefcake with a punch to the ribs and a body slam. Beefcake tried for the sleeper, but Genius got out of it and Beefcake sent Genius to the ropes, which led to the referee getting hit and bumping to the floor. Beefcake slapped on the Sleeper Hold on Genius in the middle of the ring and Genius was fading away. Beefcake put Genius to the mat, stood over top of him and celebrated. Beefcake got scissors from ringside and he cut some of the long hair of The Genius. That led to Mr. Perfect going to the ring to attack Beefcake. Perfect hit the Perfectplex on Beefcake. The bell rang even though the referee was still down, so it’s a double disqualification at 11:07.
Match Result: Double Disqualification
Analysis: 3/4* This was a bad match with an even worse finish. Brutus didn’t have good matches while Genius was mostly a comedy wrestler. The moves by both guys didn’t look very good and it was just boring from the moment it began.
(My rating is pretty generous. It was too long for such a bad match and probably should have been in the negative stars.)
Post match, Mr. Perfect went into the ring with a chair and hit Beefcake in the ribs with it. Perfect hit Beefcake in the ribs with the chair. Referees, which included a young Shane McMahon (his referee name was Shane Stevens), made Perfect leave. The match was officially announced as a double disqualification.
Analysis: This was done to set up Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania 6. That was a win for Beefcake, which pissed me off in 1990 and to this day as well since Mr. Perfect was a favorite of mine. Wasting Perfect’s first loss on Beefcake was such a dumb move.
The Heenan Family team of Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, Haku and Bobby Heenan were interviewed by Sean Mooney in the interview area. That led to an argument between the group trying to decide what will happen if they are in the ring together.
A graphic let us know WrestleMania 6 is in Toronto on April 1.
The wrestlers were already in the ring for the next match as Howard Finkel introduced them.
Submission Match: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin
Pre-match notes: Valentine was the heel and Garvin was the face here. Both guys had braces on their legs. This had a long build going back to summer of 1989. This was the blowoff match to their feud.
Garvin was aggressive as he worked over Valentine with chops and he went for a cover as the referee reminded him there are no pinfalls. They exchanged some chops and punches with Valentine doing a face first bump to sell it. Valentine took control with a jab, elbow drop and a knee to the ribs. Valentine with a headbutt to the ribs and he went for a cover, but he was told it’s submissions only. That means in the first three minutes they each went for pinfalls in a match with no pinning allowed. The match turned into a slugfest as they exchanged punches and a headbutt by Garvin knocked them both down. Valentine fought out of a piledriver, then a punch to the head, then they each went for pinfalls and forgot it was a submissions match. Jesse did a good job of defending the pin attempts by saying it was a force of habit for wrestlers. The hard hitting continued with some stiff chops to the chest from Valentine. They did a running collision spot that knocked both guys down. Garvin sent Valentine into the turnbuckle and went for a rollup pinfall again. Valentine with another chop followed by fist drops. Valentine slapped on the Figure Four Leglock submission with Garvin trying to fight it, Garvin was smiling about it and the story was the brace he had on his leg prevented the pain from going to his legs. Garvin went for another pin attempt, but the referee had to tell them there are no pinfalls in this match. Valentine put Garvin on his shoulder in a torture rack position and then he dropped him, followed by an elbow drop. Garvin kicked Valentine down, they got back up and Garvin unloaded with chops to the chest followed by punches to the face. Garvin tripped up Valentine, then put his leg against the left leg of Valentine and stretched it in a move that was like an Indian Deathlock and Valentine managed to get to the ropes to break it. The action spilled to the floor with Garvin going for a piledriver on the floor, but Valentine countered with a back body drop.
Back in the ring, Garvin charged at Valentine, who moved and Garvin went upside down against the turnbuckle. They did another spot where they ran the ropes and had a collision to knock both guys down. Jimmy Hart took off the “heartbreaker” brace that was on Garvin’s leg and Valentine was happy about it. Valentine with a body slam followed by the Figure Four Leglock submission. This time, Garvin was selling the pain instead of laughing about it. Garvin managed to turn it, which led to cheers because the fans know the Figure Four Leglock story that if you turn it, the pressure is back on the other guy. Valentine held onto the ropes to get out of it and Garvin collapsed to sell the leg injury. When Valentine went for the Figure Four Leglock, Garvin tried an inside cradle pin again and that didn’t work because there are no pinfalls. This dude keeps forgetting the rules as Schiavone said it was a way to get out of the hold. Good cover up by Tony. Valentine went up top, but Garvin gave him a body slam off the top. Garvin took off the brace that Valentine had on his left leg and then Valentine tried a rollup pin. There they go forgetting the rules again! Garvin looked exhausted as he punched Valentine into the ropes and Garvin tossed Jimmy Hart into the ring. Garvin hit the knee brace/pad that Valentine had, Valentine had the knee brace/pad that Garvin had and Garvin hit Valentine in the head with it. The fans popped big for that. Garvin slapped on a submission move that was almost like the Sharpshooter, but it wasn’t on perfectly. It was enough to get Valentine to give up, though, so Garvin got the submission win at 16:55.
Winner by submission: Ronnie Garvin
Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good and a lot longer than I remembered it going. I don’t recall many submission matches in this era, so for them to get nearly 17 minutes on a PPV was a bit of a surprise. Some of the strikes and chops they did looked brutal. Credit to both guys for taking a beating during the match while continuing to put on an entertaining match. Good selling by Garvin throughout the latter part of the match before he made the comeback to win. The bad thing is they kept going for pinfalls even though they were not allowed in the match. I know it’s a force of habit, but it happened so many times during the match. If I had to guess, the wrestlers likely forgot the rules and kept going for pins rather than doing it repeatedly to tell the story. Garvin getting the win put an end to the rivalry even though Valentine was the bigger star in the company and Garvin was gone later in the year.
(Give them a lot of credit for making this look like a fight because they beat eachother up and it was fun to watch. Forgetting the rules by going for pins was awkward, but I was still able to enjoy the match.)
Mr. Perfect was interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund. Perfect talked trash about Brutus Beefcake after the attack he did against him earlier in the night. Perfect told us that he drew #30 in the Rumble match, which he called the perfect number. Perfect said that the Royal Rumble is going to be absolutely perfect.
Analysis: It was odd to have Perfect tell us his number. I would rather somebody not say it and that we find out during a match. By this point, Mr. Perfect was becoming by favorite wrestler in the company. The Macho Man was my first favorite a few years earlier and I still liked him a lot by this point, but it was hard not to appreciate how awesome Perfect was.
The Brother Love Show
Brother Love was in the ring hosting his talk show as he introduced his first guest, Queen Sensational Sherri. This was when Sherri was the heel valet for Macho King Randy Savage. Sherri walked out in a sparkly dress. They talked trash about Sapphire and then they introduced her with her polka dot gear. Sapphire was the manager of Dusty Rhodes.
Sherri asked Sapphire who she gets her clothes from because she wants to know so she doesn’t make the same mistake by looking exactly like her. Love was about to let Sapphire talk, but then he pulled the microphone away. Sherri ripped on the fans, calling them morons. Sherri wondered where Sapphire gets off thinking she can be in the same ring as Brother Love. When Love asked what Sapphire thinks about Dusty Rhodes, he pulled the microphone away from Sapphire again. Sherri and Love made fat jokes about Rhodes while noting there’s a whole lot of him going around. Sherri insulted Sapphire saying that she’s the same size as Dusty. Not exactly, but good insult, I guess. Love asked if Sapphire traveled with Dusty and then pulled the microphone away from her. Sherri said that Dusty probably had to use a forklift to put Sapphire in the back of his truck.
Sapphire finally spoke up saying she has had enough and slapped Sherri in the face. Great bump by Sherri out of the ring! That was impressive. The crowd popped huge. Macho King went to the ring, put his hands on Sapphire and then Dusty Rhodes showed up at ringside. Savage knocked Dusty down and gave him a double axehandle off the top on Dusty. Sapphire grabbed Savage by the hair. Referees and producers went down to the ring to break it up.
Love told Rhodes that it looked like he took a royal whipping, so Rhodes went into the ring with him. Love tried to leave, but Dusty grabbed him and gave him a body slam in the ring. Rhodes held Love and Sapphire slapped Love. Rhodes tossed Love out of the ring and the fans popped huge as Dusty celebrated with Sapphire.
Analysis: This was done to set up the Dusty/Sapphire vs. Macho Man/Sherri match at WrestleMania 6. I would have preferred Dusty vs. Macho in a singles match instead. Sherri was great in her role. Sapphire was not very good at all, but they booked her well enough that the fans reacted to her. Bruce Prichard always did a great job as Brother Love. He was so over the top and annoying, but it worked in terms of getting heat.
(As an angle to set up a match it was fine. As I wrote in the analysis, I would have preferred Dusty vs. Macho Man at WrestleMania instead of the mixed tag, but I guess they wanted to be more creative by doing the mixed tag match instead.)
There was an interview with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan conducted by Sean Mooney. Duggan spoke confidently about how he’s going to beat the Big Boss Man. That led to the introductions for the next match. Watching Big Boss Man walking to the ring to Slick’s “Jive Soul Bro” song is comical. Duggan had no theme song at this point.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Big Boss Man (w/Slick)
Duggan with a clothesline and a shoulder tackle that sent Boss Man out of the ring. When Duggan went after Boss Man on the floor, Boss Man sent him into the ring post. Boss Man charged, Duggan ducked and Boss Man hit the ring post. Back in the ring, took control with an enziguri kick to the head that was impressive for a big guy like him. Boss Man remained in control with punches and kicks, some choking from Slick and a chinlock from Boss Man. Duggan with punches, he ran the ropes and Boss Man stopped the comeback attempt with a knee to the ribs. Boss Man with a weak looking knee drop. Boss Man slapped on a bearhug, that led to the spot where Duggan fired back up with a headbutt and they went down to the mat together. Duggan came back with a clothesline that sent Boss Man over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Duggan worked over Boss Man with punches, then he missed a corner charge and Boss Man hit a clothesline. Boss Man went for a splash off the ropes, but he wasn’t close to hitting it as Duggan moved away. They ran into eachother leading to a collision spot. Slick was on the apron, Boss Man charged, Duggan moved and Boss Man hit Slick by accident. Boss Man hit Duggan in the ribs and in the head with the nightstick, but the referee saw the second nightstick shot, so it was a DQ finish at 10:24.
Winner by disqualification: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Analysis: * This was a boring match between two guys that weren’t known for having good matches. Bad finish too. The fans cared about this even though the match was poor. Duggan was popular and Boss Man had a lot of potential at this point, so the fans cared. The result of the match was lame. I think it was a case of WWE not wanting to have either guy do the job here.
(The second DQ finish on the show. Finish sucked. The match wasn’t very good either.)
Post match, Duggan got his 2x4 piece of wood that he used to hit Boss Man in the back leading to a great bump by Boss Man over the top to the floor. Duggan hit Slick in the butt with the 2x4 piece of wood and the fans popped huge for that. They loved it. Duggan celebrated to end it.
Analysis: Duggan clearing the ring was a way to end the segment on a happy note. It was good, but it didn’t make me forget how bad the match was. Even though he lost by DQ here, Boss Man turned face shortly after this and beat his Twin Towers partner Akeem at WrestleMania 6.
There were promos from wrestlers in the Royal Rumble. There were promos from Dino Bravo and Earthquake with Jimmy Hart, Demolition, Bad News Brown, Dusty Rhodes, The Rockers, Hercules, Rick Martel, Tito Santana, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Akeem with Slick and The Ultimate Warrior. Tony and Jesse talked on screen for a bit, then it was back to more promos.
There were promos from “Macho King” Randy Savage, Powers of Pain with Mr. Fuji, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, The Hart Foundation with Bret Hart telling Jim Neidhart to mellow out, Honky Tonk Man with Jimmy Hart and the WWE Champion Hulk Hogan was last. Hogan’s body was loaded with baby oil. He was so shiny. Calm down with the oil, brother.
Analysis: This was always fun for me. I loved the Royal Rumble promo medley and it would be cool if WWE did it again. Several of those guys have died in the last 30 years, many of them look way older today and Jimmy Hart looks the same somehow.
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
When they showed Howard Finkel during the introduction they only put “The Fink” this time. No full name. Sorry Howard. Nice hair, though. I like when The Fink says this loudly: “Remember in the Royal Rumble it is every man for himself!”
The #1 entrant is Ted Dibiase. He was #30 the year before. The #2 entrant is Koko B Ware, who comes out with his bird Frankie. Dibiase attacks him right away and doesn’t let Koko get going at all. Koko no-sells it when Dibiase slams him into the turnbuckle. What is he, Samoan? Koko charges in with Dibiase against the ropes, so Ted dumps him over the top. We get the music playing when the guys come out this year. Good move, WWE. #3 is Marty Jannetty of the Rockers. Dibiase goes for a double axe, but Marty counters and gets a back elbow. Dibiase’s against the ropes, Marty charges, Dibiase ducks and Marty goes flying over the rope with a cross body block. Ted’s alone in the ring for 15 seconds again. The #4 man is Jake Roberts to a huge pop. He’s still a babyface. I liked him more as a heel, but that would be in the future. They had a rivalry at this point. The crowd is super hot for it. They brawl on the floor a bit and then Jake gets the short clothesline, but Ted counters the DDT. The #5 man is Macho King Randy Savage. He was a heel here, so they double team Jake a lot. Three of the biggest names in the company are in here early. That’s usually a good thing in terms of quality of the Rumble. I mark out for double axehandles off the top. Do you? The Macho/Jake feud in the future would be awesome although they’d be in different roles.
In at #6 is Roddy Piper; another guy that was near the main event level. He’s a babyface at this point. He saves Jake from the double teaming. The crowd is hyper. Macho nearly eliminated Piper and then Piper nearly eliminated him. That was a great two minutes (that’s what she said). #7 is the Warlord, who got eliminated in 2 seconds the previous year. He goes after Jake and Piper. The odds that The Warlord could pass a WWE Wellness Policy today? 1%. And that’s generous. The #8 man is Bret Hart, who was still part of The Hart Foundation tag team for another year. Everybody in there except the Warlord is a legitimate Hall of Famer if the Hall of Fame was legit. Good match in terms of star power. In at #9 is Bad News Brown, who was a heel. Look at his name. It says “bad” in it. Jake goes to DDT Dibiase, but Macho comes charging in and clotheslines Jake over the top to eliminate him. That was a cool spot. Piper nearly knocks Dibiase out, but Savage saves him. Ted is carrying the match at this point with Savage doing great too. Two of my all-time favorites. The #10 entrant is Dusty Rhodes. He looks “dashing” in those yellow polka dots doesn’t he? (See what I did there?) He goes after Savage, who he was having a feud with. Macho charges in at Dusty, who gives a backdrop and Savage goes all the way over the top to the floor to get eliminated. That sets up a Savage-Dusty WM match although it was a mixed tag with Sherri and Sapphire involved, which wasn’t great.
The #11 man is Andre The Giant, who is still a heel here and was near the end of his career. Andre headbutts the Warlord and then gives him a hip toss to the floor, eliminating him. Piper and Dusty double team Andre, but he breaks free with the vintage double noggin knocker. In at #12 is the Red Rooster Terry Taylor and he gets a decent-sized pop. Brown tries to eliminate Piper, but Roddy hangs on and eliminates him. Bad News goes back in, grabs Roddy by the hair and tosses him out. I never understood how that can be legal. That would lead to a WrestleMania match along with some odd face painting by Roddy. The #13 entrant is Ax of Demolition, who is now a babyface. As he’s running out, Andre eliminates the Rooster. Now he can go back to spiking his hair with red coloring. Dusty & Ax tie up Andre in the ropes and work together to double team him. With five men in the ring, the sixth one is the #14th entrant Haku, who you might also know as Meng. He was Andre’s tag partner in the Colossal Connection team managed by Bobby Heenan. They were the tag champs here. Not a whole lot happens there. We’re halfway through as #15 is the other half of Demolition, Smash. Ventura puts over how great it is that Dibiase has lasted since the #1 spot. There are no eliminations or serious threats of them. It has slowed down a bit.
It’s Akeem the African Dream that is also a One Man Gang in at #16. I love his dancing. It makes my dancing look less shitty. Bret Hart got eliminated by Dusty even though the announcers missed it. Demolition eliminates Andre with a double clothesline. That was awkward looking, but I still mark out for Andre and always will. The #17 man is “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka. No footwear of course. He’s gangsta like that. Akeem works over Snuka, then he decides to dance and Jimmy eliminates him. There’s no dancing in the Royal Rumble! Or crying in baseball. There have been a lot of double axehandles in this match. That’s a high impact move off the middle rope. It’s Dino Bravo at #18 with Jimmy Hart from Memphis who is waving the Quebec flag. Only in wrestling. This was when the WWF was manager heavy and they were all around the ring here: Heenan, Fuji, Slick, Hart and to a lesser extent, Virgil. Dibiase hangs on again. Earthquake is #19, rocking the Canada flag in the front of his lovely outfit. He’s a heel, by the way. He does some shaking and then tosses out Dusty. That’s a lot of beef. The Quakester picks up Ax and chucks him out over the top. He is a threat to win! Wow, that exchange by Smash and Bravo was very sloppy. The #20 entrant is Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, who was a babyface here as part of The Hart Foundation with Bret. Six guys team together to eliminate Earthquake. That was fun. We have six men left with another ten to enter.
The #21 man is a big name as The Ultimate Warrior enters the match to the biggest pop of the night so far. He gets attacked by Bravo, but he quickly eliminates him. They should have had him eliminate more than one guy upon his arrival because the crowd was so hot for him. In at #22 is Rick Martel, who was “The Model” by this point and a heel. He had been part of the babyface team Strike Force with Tito Santana previously. Haku eliminates Smash with a standing side kick. Neidhart almost eliminates Martel, but he hangs on. Coincidentally, #23 is Tito Santana. Dibiase’s still in from the #1 spot and Virgil helps to keep him in the match. That’s clever. The #24 spot belongs to The Honky Tonk Man, who wins the award for best sideburns in the match. There goes Neidhart, eliminated by Martel and Warrior. Ultimate Warrior works on Dibiase and eliminates him with a clothesline. Dibiase was in for 44:47, which was by far the new record at this point. The crowd popped huge for that one. The #25 entrant is Hulk Hogan, the WWF Champion. Ever heard of him? He eliminates Snuka with a clothesline. He eliminates Haku with the big boot. Santana goes to eliminate Martel, the Model hangs on, so Warrior tosses out Tito.
We’re down to the last five entrants with Shawn Michaels at #26. Hogan tosses out Honky Tonk Man, Warrior tosses out Michaels (who lands on his feet after tumbling over the top just because he’s the man) and Warrior tosses out Martel too. The crowd is going APESHIT as Warrior faces off with Hogan. Oh the double shoulderblocks with nobody moving and then the random criss-crossing. Then a double clothesline. I love the criss-crossing thing. That’s how I think all fights should go: “Let’s run in opposite directions who the tougher man is!” It’s a bit silly right? They are both down as #27 comes out…The Barbarian. And the crowd goes…mild. Best way to describe it. Even though there’s no countdown clock, Rick Rude comes in at #28. I’m assuming they were running late, so they had to rush it a bit. That was totally random. He goes after Warrior, with who he had a lengthy feud. Nice dropkick by Rude. Warrior saves Hogan from the two heels while Jesse questions why. Jesse was so good at calling people out for their actions. The heels double team Warrior, Hogan charges in, clothesline for all and he eliminates The Warrior. Smart booking that set up WrestleMania 6 well. Warrior runs back in the ring, clotheslines Barbarian and Rude and then starts running to the back. Why? Because he’s nuts. That’s why. The #29 entrant is Hercules, who Jesse calls “mighty.” Is that a synonym for jobber? I don’t think so. There’s not a whole lot going on as we wait for the last man, who we know is Mr. Perfect. The #30 man is Mr. Perfect and Hercules eliminates Barbarian.
The final four: Hogan, Rude, Hercules and Perfect. Perfect dropkicks Hercules and Rude clotheslines Hercules out of there. The Rude/Perfect duo double team Hogan. They were very good friends from the state of Minnesota too. They go to double team Hogan, but Hulk moves. Perfect gets knocked to the apron. Hogan whips Rude in and as Perfect is trying to get in the ring the rope is pulled down, so Rude gets eliminated. Perfect gets Hogan with a boot followed by a clothesline. “Now you’re gonna see it,” yells Perfect. What exactly? We don’t know. Oh, it’s the Perfectplex. Hogan pops right up. Hulking Up time. Slingshot into the corner with Perfect hitting the post. Hogan clotheslines him a few times and throws him out over the top. Jesse can’t believe it. The match ended at 58:46.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS on the Royal Rumble match
– I have read in the past about how Mr. Perfect was actually booked to win this, but Hogan got it changed. True? I don’t know, but it is believable. Hogan had a lot of creative control. On the one hand, it’s a poor decision because he was already the WWF Champion, so he didn’t need the win. On the other hand, it gave him momentum for the huge match against The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI where he would lose.
– I loved the way Dibiase was booked in this match. He was in there for nearly 45 minutes, he eliminated just three people, but he did a great job hanging on every time he was close to being thrown out. It made his actual elimination a big deal. That’s how you build up a moment properly.
– The Dusty/Savage stuff was really fun. It would have been nice if they got a long singles match at WrestleMania instead of the mixed tag. They could have had some great matches together.
– I marked out for Earthquake. No lie. It was a ridiculously fun gimmick. The ring is shaking while he jumps. Sometimes it’s just that simple, ya know?
– Shawn Michaels was only in the match for 12 seconds? Fail.
FACTS & OPINIONS about the Royal Rumble match
Person that lasted the longest: Ted Dibiase at 44:47.
Most Eliminations: Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior with 6 each. They teamed up with other guys for some of them, so it’s a little tricky!
Best Performers (3): Ted Dibiase – Easy call here. He carried the first half of the match. One of my all-time favorite workers.
Hulk Hogan – I could tolerate him in Rumbles. They hid his deficiencies, which were the crappy matches.
Ultimate Warrior – Nobody else was booked to stand out very much.
Best Elimination: Hogan eliminating Warrior “by accident” was done remarkably well. It was a surprise and it built up the WrestleMania match. Kudos to Savage’s awesome bump too.
Match Rating: ***3/4 This was a very good Rumble match. They booked it smartly early with a lot of star power and then, later on, built it well with the Warrior/Hogan showdown that everybody wanted. Yes, I realize I mentioned that a lot. There wasn’t much else in the match except for Piper/Brown and Savage/Rhodes building.
(Hogan winning was not a shock although I would have loved to see Mr. Perfect win if that was the actual plan. I just expected Hogan to win a lot in this era and he hadn’t won a Rumble up to this point, so it’s understandable why Hogan won. We were just so used to it in this era.)
After the match was over, Hulk Hogan did his posing routine in the ring and the fans loved him.
This event had a runtime of 2:34:36 on the WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 5.5
The Rumble match was very good, so it saved what was otherwise a bad show for the most part. Hulk Hogan was at his best in the Rumble matches and seeing him interact with Ultimate Warrior in this match was a big thing at the time. The crowd response to it will tell you that too. There were some bad matches on the undercard, but I liked Garvin/Valentine.
Best Match: Royal Rumble match won by Hulk Hogan (***3/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: The Genius vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake (3/4*)
Five Stars Of The Show
1. Ted Dibiase
2. Hulk Hogan
3. Ronnie Garvin
4. Greg Valentine
5. Ultimate Warrior
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