Royal Rumble (WWF Royal Rumble 01/19/92)WWF WWE Royal Rumble January 19 1992 Ric Flair Title Changes Albany NY
Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:14 PM
Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:35 AM
Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:43 PM
Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:59 PM
If I try to think with the mark mindset, my money would have been on Hogan winning just because.
No "mark" actually thought this when I was a kid. Me and my friends all strongly suspected Flair was winning, but the Piper "dare to dream" stuff right before the Rumble did sway me a bit. However, as soon as I saw Piper in the I-C Title match at the PPV, I knew right then and there he had no chance of winning the Rumble and it was going to be Flair's night. The WWF had always been incredibly predictable, and this Rumble - as awesome as it was (best Rumble ever IMO) - was no different in that regard.
The more I think about it, you're right. Hogan helping Sid get tossed out was a total bitch move.
Agreed. It never made sense to me. Hogan looked like a spoiled, whiny bitch to me for doing that to Sid, even back then. It was such an odd piece of booking.
Posted 24 May 2015 - 06:14 AM
It has probably the best exit from a battle royal I've ever seen, the bump Slaughter took to the post before being thrown out.
I just watched again the other night and came to post just this. Was awesome.
Posted 25 May 2015 - 12:48 PM
Posted 17 December 2015 - 06:38 AM
There's no way I can watch the full Rumble and comment on everything after it's over, so I'm going to try to comment on it as it's happening, beginning with the pre-match promos:
Michaels: He shows off what a natural heel he is in his promo on the injured Jannetty. He's nowhere near what he would be later, but you can definitely tell that he's going places. Nice cameo by Barby "accidentally" bumping into Mooney.
Flair: This is the "territorial" Flair that most fans grew to love: calm, cool, but still cocky. He embraces the challenge of number three and claims he can still win the title. Lord Alfred calling him "Mr. Flair" was a classy touch.
Savage: Wants to win the title and get his hands on Jake, not necessarily in that order.
Sid: You can sort of tell he going heel; he's back to speaking quietly and grinding his teeth when he talks. That's good; he's much more effective that way. Let's hope this also means the end of the idiotic "Justice will be served!" tagline.
Repo: Out of place. He takes the gimmick more seriously than the belt, and that's never good. Of course, everyone knew he wasn't getting the belt anyway, so what difference did it make?
Davey Boy: He puts over his victory in the battle royal at Royal Albert Hall last year, which was a nice touch. But his tag line made no sense whatever. Was Vince running a contest to see who could shoehorn the words "royal rumble" (note the lower-case letters) into his promo most creatively?
Jake: Nothing earthshattering, but he doesn't need to be in order to be great. My favorite line: "I would never disappoint myself; you (the people) I don't mind."
Flair Part 2: Back to the screaming. Uses "To be the man, you have to beat the man" for one of the first times in the WWF. Says there's no backdoor for himself; since he's claimed to be the Real World Champion for four months, he has to back it up today. Curt was actually good with his line about Flair being the hand who rocks the cradle.
Taker and Percy: Taker is, as always, chillingly effective. Percy is, as always, a utter and complete goon. For God's sake, man, at least quit sounding like you've been thrown down a flight of stairs crotch-first!
Hogan: Much of the usual gaga, but I hate him going after Tunney. When else has a babyface ever said a bad thing about the head of the promotion he wrestles for? It's totally out of character.......or is it?
Tunney: Said nothing of note, but his presence lent some gravity to the event. As Heenan says so brilliantly, "Come on, let's go!"
Favorite line from Bobby so far: "He (Tunney)'s the best president since Noriega."
We start with Davey Boy (#1) and Teddy (#2). I know Teddy's not what he used to be in terms of pecking order, but to see him eliminated before the first two-minute period is up was a shock to me. Curiously, his elimination came as Gino was telling the sad tale of Bushwhacker Luke, the man with the shortest in-ring time in Royal Rumble history.
Here comes Flair (#3). Heenan almost dies of shock while Gino rubs it in, saying that no one in the first five entering the ring has ever won a Rumble. Davey Boy almost has Flair out at the buzzer, but Flair skins the cat. Even with only one other guy in the ring, Flair's taking bumps like mad and giving as good as he gets.
Next is Jerry Sags (#4). He doubleteams Davey Boy briefly with Flair, but takes too long standing on the apron after foiling an attempted elimination and gets himself dropkicked out. They really wanted Flair to be the heel everyone focused on, it seems. Heenan constantly calls for Flair to rest, but we all know he won't. Gino continues to make Bobby's life miserable, pointing out that both he and Curt could lose their jobs if Flair doesn't win. Bobby uses the "fair to Flair" catchphrase for the first time tonight.
Next at #5 is former Heenan Family member Haku. Bobby points out that even someone like Haku can't be trusted in a match like this. That's true, especially since Haku and Flair were never stablemates together. Soon enough, they're going at it, and not just briefly either. Heenan takes Flair's side, of course. This is a nice little three-way dance until Haku is eliminated by Davey Boy just before the buzzer for #6. At one point, Flair bails to the floor, which allows Gino to explain that the refs are there to make sure that those who are still in stay in.
#6 is HBK. Flair immediately goes after him, and another three-way dance results. We see Shawn nail Flair with Sweet Chin Music for the first (but definitely not the last) time. This is another neat little segment that's surprisingly energetic. Meanwhile, Heenan's calling for water, booze, and everything else under the sun. I don't have the time or space to transcribe all of his lines, but he's a riot here from start to finish.
Tito's #7. The amazing thing is that Flair has sought out every new entrant and engaged with them instead of playing cowardly heel like you'd think he would. and Heenan wishes he would. No eliminations in this period, but the face/heel dynamic is back in balance, as Tito fights Flair for the most part while Shawn scraps with Davey.
Barby's #8. With five guys now in, the action's getting too much to watch. Flair and Barby spend a good portion of this period trying (and failing) to eliminate Davey. The highlight of this period is Gino taunting Bobby as Barby stalks in with, "Barbarian doesn't like Flair", to which an unfazed Brain replies, "He doesn't like anybody. When I managed him, he barely liked me." Barby's the first guy Flair doesn't go after right off the bat.
Kerry's #9. Gino's a lot more effusive in his praise of Flair than I remembered, lauding Flair for challenging Kerry right off the bat. Actually, I think he was just thrilled to be able to fight with a familiar face for a while. He takes a face-first bump off of the discus punch, and all of a sudden it's May 6, 1984 all over again. A classic Heenan rant: "You know what you need to do to win the Rumble? Grab a crescent wrench........" Gino cuts him off before he can go on, but I'll bet he (Gino) was howling on the inside.
Repo's #10. His sneaky-Pete routine doesn't fit here at all, but that's the character and no one said Darsow doesn't take direction well. When he finally gets in, he attacks Shawn, interestingly enough. He and Flair don't interact at all, mostly because there are now seven guys in the ring. Flair seems to be loving his interactions with Kerry especially. Just after the buzzer for #11, Heenan points out that he and Curt didn't want Flair going for more than thirty minutes, which helps explain his increasing apoplexy as the bout wears on.
Valentine's #11. He and Ric haven't seen each other for a while, so they renew acquaintances by trying to chop each other to pieces. Oh, if only the Hammer had stuck around long enough to challenge Flair for the belt. Gino points out that if Valentine lasts as long as did last year (over forty-four minutes), he'll be the champion and Flair will be the loser. Cue more hilarious hysteria from Heenan. We're up to eight guys, so expect some eliminations soon.
#12 is Volkoff, who goes once around with just about everyone before he's tossed, I think by Repo. For whatever reason, the fact that two former fake Russians (remember, Darsow was Krusher Khruschev) are going at it tickles me. I guess I'm easily amused. Flair and Valentine continue their private war, with the Hammer even using the figure-four. I wonder if Greg was trying to hint that he wanted a program with Flair once Flair won the title. Now we have Gino leading Heenan into the "fair to Flair" spiel and I wish it would go far away.
Bossman's #13. Repo tosses Valentine; he's doing much better than I remembered. Bossman takes shots at absolutely everyone, including a tremendous straight right on Michaels that almost knocks him out. He eventually tosses Repo, who does the sneaky-Pete routine again for no good reason on his way out. Flair's pummeled by Tito and Davey, and Heenan begs to go to ringside. Just when it looks helpless for Flair, he tosses Davey, then excuses his old friend Kerry. Just before the buzzer for #14, Tito and Shawn eliminate each other, and we're down to a more sensible number in the ring.
Herc's #14, and he goes right for guess who? Gino to Heenan: "Maybe he remembers how you treated him." Flair and Barby high-five, then Flair pounds Barby. Barby gets the advantage, then tries to eliminate Flair. How many press slams can a guy take in one match? We then get a double elimination: Herc pushes Barby out to save Flair, but is in turn dumped by Bossman. It's one-on-one now, and Bossman pounds away as Heenan demands oxygen. Bossman charges, but Flair ducks, and Bossman can't stop himself from going over. Heenan exults that Flair's won the belt, and technically, he's half right. Flair does the Flop, and I get the feeling it's not just a spot.
Piper's #15, and Flair's reaction is equal parts heel begging off and a big smile for his old friend. Piper's in no mood for greetings. Flair takes what Heenan estimates as his twenty-fifth backdrop of the match, and a killer kneelift sends him to the floor. We get a brief brawl outside, then one of the most egregious no-sells I've ever seen as Flair snaps Piper's neck off the top rope to no reaction whatever. I've heard of adrenaline, but that's ridiculous. Piper pounds Flair in the corner, and we see a neat counter; when Flair tries for the reverse atomic drop, Piper sticks a finger in his eye and Heenan almost defecates himself. Airplane spin into a sleeper, which carried through the buzzer.
Jake's #16, to both Gino and Heenan's horror. He sits back in the corner and watches Piper put Flair out, then invites him into the corner. Piper doesn't take the bait, so Jake waylays him and I'm in heaven as two of my favorites are finally at it. Flair eventually stirs and requests a hand up from Jake, who gives it to him, then clotheslines him. DDT is saved by Piper, and Heenan thanks him profusely. Flair then puts the figure-four on Jake. I'm taking up too much space with my descriptions, but this segment is gold, as all three guys, three of the sickest heels this sport has ever seen at various times, take turns backstabbing each other and beating each other to a pulp. while Heenan goes back and forth praising and damning whoever saves or hits Flair at a given time. When Piper saves Flair, he wears a kilt. When he resumes pounding away, he wears a skirt again. Absolutely priceless.
Duggan's #17. He goes right for Flair (surprise, surprise), but he spends most of his time battling Jake, which is understandable, and even engages in a brief brawl with Piper. Meanwhile, Gino puts over Flair's guts, which gives Heenan an opportunity to do the Real World Champion bit one last time. All kidding aside, this is probably the best Flair performance I've ever seen anywhere. Perhaps for the only time before a pay-per-view audience, WWF fans are getting a chance to see what the fuss was all about for so many years. It would seldom get this good again, from what I've heard.
Rotundo's #18. He goes for Flair, while Heenan goes a bit weird talking about deductions and audits. Gino gets a laugh out of Duggan holding Rotundo's tie with one hand and pounding him with the other. The main topic of conversation here is how Jake's paranoid about Savage, always looking around when the horn goes off to see if he's coming. With five guys in the ring again, the action's becoming too much to keep track of, so we should be getting some eliminations soon.
Snuka's #19. Not much in the way of advancement, but he's yet another old friend from Crockett who takes the time to pound on Flair. I thought we might get one last confrontation between him and Piper, but no such luck. Heenan's so discombobulated that he says Snuka's wasting time by jogging to the ring. When Gino calls him out on it, he admits, "I don't even know what I'm saying anymore!" I forgot to mention this, but Gino's been torturing Heenan all night by saying that Flair has absolutely no chance to win. By now, that kind of talk has stopped.
Taker's #20, which because of Tunney's ruling is the worst number he could have drawn. He announces his presence by eliminating Snuka, and then it's him and Flair. Taker wraps a hand around Flair's neck and squeezes, and even Heenan is despairing: "Everything down the toilet......." Gino suggests that he go down to ringside and throw in the towel, but there's no need as Duggan makes the save.......and gets low-kicked for his trouble. At one point just before the buzzer, Taker has one hand around Duggan's neck and the other around Flair's, which is an awesome visual.
Savage is #21, and he goes for Jake but is blindsided by Taker. Meanwhile, Jake's bailed to the floor. He comes back in once Taker has Savage in trouble, and goes for the short clothesline, which misses. Savage connects with a shot, then nails a double axhandle off the top. Jake's all turned around, and a knee to the back ends his day. Randy's so obsessed with Jake that he goes over the top himself and after him. I'm not sure if that was a planned spot or if Randy just forgot what was supposed to go on. Taker goes out to throw him back in, but Randy almost immediately leaves the ring again.
Now what? Time for a little rule change straight out of the mouth of Heenan and the ass of Vince: all of a sudden, you have to be propelled out over the top by someone else; self-elimination isn't allowed. Why not? What difference did it make, since Savage wasn't going to win the title? It would have done more for the Jake feud if Randy's elimination had stood, because his obsession with Jake would have cost him something. Anyway, Flair's still in there pounding, and he even low-blows Taker, which Taker somehow manages to no-sell. You're a better man than me, Mark Calloway. Everyone in the ring is being put over for endurance and guts at this point.
Berzerker's #22. Interestingly enough, his first target is Taker, and I'd like to see that feud. We get a preview of coming attractions between Flair and Savage, and Heenan actually tells Flair to weasel his way out of the action, which gets the predictable shock reaction from Gino. It's to the point now where it's easy to lose track of what's actually going on, since there are no eliminations taking place and the ring's filling up rather quickly. I'd forgotten this until Heenan brought it up: Berzerker used to win most of his squashes by throwing his opponent over the top and to the floor.
Virgil's #23, and he's one of the few guys who doesn't target Flair, going after Rotundo instead. This period's interesting for a couple of its matchups: Taker/Flair, which Heenan wants no part of, and Piper/Virgil, which is another great example of the whole "every man for himself" concept. Gino keeps saying that this is it for Ric, who just keeps on keeping on. Virgil's reign as Million Dollar Champion is put over for perhaps the last time, since the Million Dollar Belt itself left the scene when Money Inc. teamed up (if my memory serves).
Sheik's #24. If that's not the Bushwhacker Bounce he and Adnan are doing to the ring, it's something awfully similar. He spends most of his time with Duggan, which is understandable. Piper and Flair seem to have paired off for the most part, although the brief Piper/Taker confrontation looked tasty. I haven't noticed this before, but Savage's shirt is as ugly as sin. Taker's starting to sell a bit from sheer exhaustion, which Gino and Bobby are trying their best to ignore.
Martel's #25, and Gino puts him over as the all-time endurance leader. After a brief set-to with Virgil, he naturally targets Flair. We get our first elimination for a while as Sheik bids adieu. The cameras miss it, but they have an excuse, as Flair's on the verge of being dumped by fellow heels Rotundo and Martel. Heenan once again admits that things aren't looking good. We get another odd matchup, as Piper squares off with Berzerker. Meanwhile, Taker and Savage have paired off, which would seem natural given Taker's role in the reception fiasco. Of course, Gino and Bobby acknowledge nothing of the kind, since Randy's "official" feud is still with Jake,
Hogan's #26. Heenan pitches his hundredth fit of the night, and turns to begging God to let Flair win, promising that he'll be a different person and apologizing for everything he's ever done or said wrong. You can guess Gino's reaction. Hogan comes in by banging Flair and Taker's heads together, and soon he's in the thick of it without even taking his shirt off. Eventually, he clotheslines Taker over the top, and that's an RIP. Taker lands on his feet and stares daggers, but it doesn't help. Berzerker's excused next, and here comes the shirt. It immediately goes around Martel's neck, and Rick takes the Heenan belt bump from his famous debate with Patera. Duggan and Virgil eliminate each other just because. The shirt ends up in Rotundo's hands and he and Piper take turns choking each other with it while Hogan pounds Flair in the corner.
Keirn's #27. He and Hogan square off for most of this period, and it's the first time in years, if ever, that we've seen that matchup. The shirt's still in the ring and is used by just about everyone, and in one unforgettable visual, Rotundo walks over to pound Hogan with it still draped around his neck. Flair's new endurance record is put over, and Heenan says that even if he loses, that record should support his claim to be the Real World Champion.
Sarge is #28. Before he can get to the ring, Martel dumps Keirn. Sarge goes after Flair, of course, but the real story of the period is the spirited Hogan-Piper confrontation, almost certainly the last of the Hulkamania era. Eventually, they call a truce and go to work on Martel. Heenan says that Flair's endurance record should be enough to get him the title. Amazingly, the shirt's still in the ring, and everyone gets a turn with it, as Martel repeats the Heenan belt bump, with Piper playing Patera.
Sid's #29. He doesn't go for Flair, preferring to use Rotundo as a punching bag instead, Gino spends most of this period eating crow for taking Flair lightly, and you have to wonder if he's speaking for Vince too. No matchups really stand out here, as most of the guys are simply interested in survival. There's only one man left, and while we all know it's Warlord, there's an unintended moment of suspense when he and Bruno are late coming through the curtain. I didn't know Bruno had come north quite this soon; I guess this means Slick is gone for now. Before Warlord can get to the ring and set up the finale, Flair goes out (we don't see how, but it's not over the top) and pulls Hogan out with him.
After a bit of a brawl, Hogan suplexes Flair on the concrete. The refs are taking their sweet time making sure Hogan brings Flair back to the ring. Gino says that has to be it for Flair, while Heenan's so flustered he tells Flair to stay out on the floor. Sid fires Sarge out, and we get one last look at his patented corner post bump. Hogan and Flair finally get back into the ring, and while the camera shows that, it misses Rotundo being hooked by his tie courtesy of Piper and yanked over the top. Yet another reason his taxman outfit was totally ridiculous.
In their last act as friends, Hogan and Sid team up to toss Warlord. Sid then goes on to eliminate Piper and Martel as they were over by the ropes fighting each other. Anyone who says that Piper can't go ought to check this performance out. Yes, his win against Jacques was a squash more or less, but he still had to wrestle twice and go over thirty minutes in the Rumble. We're down to Hogan. Flair, Savage, and Sid.
Hogan pairs off with Flair, Sid with Randy. Before long, Flair comes over to attack Sid from behind, and Randy, who's in Sid's arms at the time, tumbles out. Trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea, Flair attacks Hogan, who Hulks Up on his chops, then delivers some of his own. Hogan fires Flair into the corner shoulder-first, then knocks him to the apron while Sid just watches. While Hogan tries to finish Flair, Sid ambles over and tosses him out clean as a sheet. Hogan throws a fit and actually accuses Sid of stealing the title from him, then tries to pull him out. Flair adds a final push from behind, and we have a new champion as Heenan goes absolutely wild. I'm honestly not sure if the fans booed Hogan, but there are plenty who are cheering Flair as he celebrates to the best of his ability. Hogan comes back in after Flair, but Flair bails, and Curt comes out to collect him. Heenan leaves the booth to join the victory party. Vince is damn lucky there wasn't an accidental double turn that night (Hogan heel, Flair face).
Speaking of Hogan, he's still mooning for the belt when Sid comes back in to confront him. Officials fill the ring in a hurry to make sure this brawl doesn't happen before its time. Gino actually calls them by name: Garea, Patterson, and Goulet, among others. This is where the fans boo the hell out of Hogan, and it's while he's doing his hand to the ear bit, which has to be a double blow to his ego. Hogan and Sid trash-talk some more, and amazingly only one ref gets wiped out. Eventually, Sid leaves with a hearty "I'll kill you!" for Hogan, and Gino puts Flair over as The Man one last time before we go back to Gene and Tunney, who's out to present the belt to Flair.
Flair proclaims this the greatest moment of his life "with a tear in my eye". Is it? If not, it has to be one of them; he never had to work this hard for the NWA title. He also says that the man who has the WWF title rules the world, which is either where Sid got it from or is something Flair stole from Sid. Regardless, Flair sounds a lot more convincing saying it here. Heenan and Curt join in a hearty "Whoooooo!" (Heenan's is good, Curt's is awful). Interestingly, the Real World Champion stuff isn't quite dead, as Heenan references it one more time. Then we get a classic from Curt: "We're not the kind of guys to say 'We told you so', but (Heenan joins in) WE TOLD YOU SO!" Gene does the "Put that cigarette out!" bit, which really comes out of nowhere, and Flair has one final word for all the other WWF superstars: "Ya'll better pay homage to The Man. WHOOOOOO!"
Wow. Once-in-a-lifetime performances from Heenan, Piper, and Flair, almost every WWF star of any note, the prelude to a major heel turn........if it gets any better than this, I'd like to know how. This is my Match of the Year so far, and I'm not sure if it will even be possible to top it.
P.S. In case you're interested, the shirt was in the ring for the rest of the match. I think someone finally retrieved it during the Hogan-Sid confrontation, but I can't be sure.
Posted 11 May 2016 - 08:04 AM
First Rumble I ever watched and still the best. Maybe one of Flair's last truly great performances. I've always loved the moment when, after eliminating the big boss man, Flair drops to the mat exhausted as the countdown to the next entrant begins. Then out comes Piper and flair has this awesome 'oh please God no' expression on his face.
Heenan adds so much with his near apoplectic performance on commentary, and Flair's post match promo is a masterpiece. Okerlund's 'put that cigarette out' line is very funny too.
Posted 24 November 2016 - 07:25 AM
What's really interesting to me about this Rumble is that it must be the only one that's never had a super-heavyweight type come in and be a focus of it until he's eliminated in spectacular fashion, or in the case of what happened the following year, wins the match. I think the heaviest guy in the whole match was the Warlord.
Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:21 PM
If someone asked me to show them a match that would give them a look at WWE at it's absolute best, I would show them this. It sure isn't my favorite WWE match ever, I would rank quite a few matches above it, but it's the perfect combination of fun, wacky characters, heat, great performances, storytelling & great presentation. Great performances by Shawn Michaels, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Jim Duggan & really everyone involved, except for Virgil who came in & threw some of the worst punches I've seen. Other than him, everyone was on point. Monsoon & especially Heenan were outstanding on commentary. And of course, how could I forget Ric f'n Flair? THE MAN. What a performance, what a man - what a match! *****
Posted 20 February 2017 - 09:09 PM
It was a blast revisiting this tonight. I've seen it a million times, but it never gets old to me. One of the most fun matches in history. Ric Flair's performance is out of this world. Basically, everyone that came in wanted a piece of him. One of my favorite moments in wrestling is when Piper comes out, and the way the crowd and Flair react to that. Without a doubt worthy of the list, and it'd be higher on mine... anyway ... great moment and and match! It probably is my favorite Rumble match.
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