WWF Royal Rumble 1989
Jim Duggan/Hart Foundation vs Dino Bravo/Fabulous Rougeaus
The step up of production values from the previous year is pretty massive. 1988 was still pretty bare bones and looked like a dressed up house show. This looks like a big time PPV event. A happening, if you will. Duggan and Bravo start out. Lol, immediate call back to Dino benching well over 700 pounds...when Jesse's help. Lariatoo from Anvil. They both miss elbow drops and in comes Hacksaw. TOUGH GUY! Dino tags out to Ray. Ray ducks too many lariatoos, so Duggan slams him and hits the Old Glory knee drop. In comes Bret. Series of near falls from Bret. Mountie gets caught with a lariat. Anvil does a battering ram with all three heels stacked in the corner. Low bridge to Bret. Side slam from Bravo. The heels take fall one with a doomsday seated senton. Some team needs to bring that back immediately.
Bret has to start the second fall and almost loses again. He takes his corner bump fucking rough. Bret has been getting crushed for a long time. Frequent tags between the heels. Bret is nearly out for the second time. Boston crab. Bret makes the tag, but the ref didn't see it. Bret finally blocks a monkey flip with an atomic drop. Hot tag to DOOGAN! Bret and Anvil are both catapulted in on top of Ray. Duggan drops a knee and it is all tied up. Duggan makes the mistake of heading into enemy territory and pays for it. Triple team action, culminating with Mountie rubbing his taint all over Duggan's head. Bret gets tagged in. Duggan hits Dino with the 2x4. Bret covers. Faces win 2-1. Gorilla thinks it was "ingenuity", while Jesse believes it to clearly be cheating.
TO THE BACK. DiBiase draws his number. Apparently, it wasn't good, so he tries to make a deal with Slick. The Bushwhackers draw their numbers. They swap. Honky draws his and is pissed. Bad News Brown loves his draw. Demolition don't care. Jake is fine with his. The Rockers wish each other luck.
Rockin' Robin vs Judy Martin WWF Women's Championship
Sherri challenged the winner before the match. She then joined the announce table for the duration of the match. Robin retained in a pretty uneventful match.
TO THE MEAN GENE. We're going to have a SUPER POSE DOWN between Rick Rude and The Ultimate Warrior. Double bicep is the first pose. LOOK AT THE STRIATIONS! Second pose is best abs. LOOK AT THE MUSCULATURE! Brain wants 15 minutes to allow Rude to pump up. Third pose is most muscular. LOOK AT THE POWER! The final pose is a medley of poses. A muscular montage, so to speak. Rude attacks Warrior! SWERVE! Warrior is being choked out with the Lex Flexxxer. A despicable display. Hey, there's Nick Bockwinkel! Warrior flipped out and attacked all the officials in the ring, including Bock. Warrior had pretty terrible pose form. Jesse pointed it out, but I think someone who has never seen any kind of posing could tell.
TO THE MOONEY. Sean is with Slick and the Twin Towers. Slick claims to have not seen Ted DiBiase in over a month. However, Sean shows the clip from earlier of Ted making a deal with Slick. Slick can explain. He thought Sean meant a different Ted DiBiase.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene has caught up with Rude and Bobby. Rude said he won from the first pose, but Bobby wants to hurry up and lock the locker room door.
TO THE MANAGER PROMOS. Liz, Fuji, andJimmy Hart cut Rumble promos on behalf of their clients.
Jesse sits in the King throne and thinks he might run for king.
King Haku vs Harley Race King Of The Ring
Harley walks out and tips the throne over. Harley dominates Haku until it goes to the floor, where Harley is rammed into the ring post. Super loud chop from Haku. Inverted atomic drop from Harley. Harley goes over the top and to the floor. Headbutt battle. Harley gives it up to deliver a few punches to the mouth. Piledriver. They run into each other, which sends Harley to the floor. Haku suplexes him back in. Harley attempts a piledriver on the floor. Haku back drops out of it. Harley gets it on the second attempt. Haku misses a diving headbutt. So does Harley. Haku wins with a superkick right in the fucking kisser. A very hard hitting affair, nothing like anything going on in the WWF at the time. Fucking strike battles and piledrivers on the floor, brehs.
TO THE BACK. More Rumble promos. Greg Valentine's was probably the best. The mother fucking Brainbusters are in the match tonight. Pretty stoked about that. I'm not sure who is harder to understand: Andre or Khali.
Demolition are the first two in. They don't hold back. Demos were better than LOD until Crush came around. Ax is better than Hawk and Animal combined. Andre is 3rd and gets double teamed. Mr. Perfect is 4th. His hair is darker and he's wearing trunks instead of his singlet. Smash is eliminated by Andre. 5th out is Ronnie Garvin. Next out is Valentine. Out goes Garvin. It's Jake Roberts! He and Andre immediately go after each other. Ron Bass is next. Out goes Jake. Andre has eliminated everyone so far. It's Shawn Michaels! He's so young, his eyes are both straight, and he's got a ton of hair. Out goes Ax. Perfect and HBK pair off. It's Butch! DAT'S MY BIG HOMIE! Jake comes back out and throws Damian in the ring. Andre bails the fuck out, eliminating himself in the process. HTM rolls out. Chico Santana gallops to the ring and goes right after Mr. Perfect. Bad News is about to fuck some people up. Jesse's "Ohhhhh" when a stiff shot or bad ass comes out is great. Out goes HTM. Fuck him. Marty Jannetty joins his partner in the match. They double dropkick Ron Bass out of the match. It's THE MACHO MAN! This place has gone bananas! We're at the half way point now.
Double A! Out goes the Hammer. Arn and HBK go right after each other. Sweet chin music. Savage and Arn eliminate HBK. In comes Tully. Spinebuster to Marty. He's then eliminated. It's Hulk Hogan! I think Savage got a bigger pop. Out goes Perfect. Chico is gone. Luke is out next. And Butch is gone seconds later. Hogan just chucks Tully into the ropes with no regard for safety. Why wasn't there a Mega Powers vs Brainbusters match? Big boot to Arn. It's Koko B. Ware! Hulk tosses him out. And then Luke. He then eliminates both Brainbusters at the same time. Warlord enters only to have Hogan eliminate him as soon as he got in the ring. Hulk then eliminated Savage and Bad News at the same time. That's 7 dudes in about 2 minutes. Savage didn't like that shit one bit. Liz comes out to calm it down. Macho wants to shake hands. They're still bros. Big Boss Man is the next one out, for a singles showdown with Hogan. Piledriver. Oh shit, Akeem is now out. Hulk is eliminated! Hogan of course is a poor sport and drags Boss Man to the floor and brawls more with them. Beefcake enters and helps out his bro. Hulk tries to get back in the match, but instead low bridges Boss Man, eliminating him from the match. What a terrible role model. He beats Boss Man up all the way to the back. The Red Rooster. Man, poor Terry Taylor. He could have been a solid IC level guy. Barbarian is the next guy out. I'm sad he and Hogan never had a singles match. Big John Studd, who looks like a giant John Wayne. Maybe that's where he got his name. Hmm. Hercules is 28th out. Rick Martel apparently soft soaped someone to get 29. DiBiase is the final entrant. Rooster goes out with a Flair Flip. Brutus and Herc go out together. Out goes Barb. Down to the final four. Martel is gone. One shot sends Akeem out. Ted is eliminated. Big John Studd is your winner. Virgil got a beat down of his own after the match.
TO THE BACK. Gene gets Randy Savage's reaction to Hulk eliminating him. A man in his position can't afford to look ridiculous. Macho is awfully sarcastic about patching things up with Hogan.
DQ Count: 0 out of 4 matches.
The Rumble itself was a massive leap over the first one in terms of lay out, over all story, and pushing individual storylines through out the match. Leaps and bounds. John Studd being the winner makes no sense to me, as he had definitely peaked, wasn't going to gain any popularity from it, and wasn't going to be pushed as a big star like Hogan/Savage/DiBiase/Andre, or even the guys right below like Duggan and Jake. Seems like a huge wasted opportunity. The 6 man tag was pretty boss. Gorilla and Jesse calling guys out for doing stupid shit in the Rumble never got old.
Angles progressed: Mega Powers vs Twin Towers, Mega Powers EXPLOOOODDDE, Brainbusters vs Rockers, Andre vs Jake, DiBiase using his money to buy the title/30th entrance/whatever he wants. When I look at the WM5 card, the only matches that happened that seemed likely coming out of the Rumble was Hogan vs Savage and Andre vs Jake. Studd was a special guest ref at WM and would be gone by Summer.