WWF Royal Rumble 1998
The WWF was on fire and about to really blow up. WCW was still on top, but Vince was gaining on them. Stone Cold was the hottest guy in the business, Rock was coming on strong, and Mr. McMahon was just emerging as the greatest heel of all time.
Mike Tyson is in a sky box watching the show tonight.
The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust vs Vader
Goldy got really weird in 1998. He's wearing a green and purple full length singlet with a g-string on the outside, orange boots, green and black face paint, and a green wig. He's also dressed up as Sable, a baby, and took to painting "FU" on his face. It stood for "Forever Unchained" as he publicly walked out on his marriage during a sit down interview and is now paired up with Luna. Vader is now a face. Vader pretty quickly knocks Goldy to the floor. Goldust takes one of the worst looking whips into the stairs as I've ever seen. He gets some offense in after Vader missed an ass splat. Luna got some cheap shots in while Vader was on the floor. Man, I feel weird thinking Luna was hot. Nice visible "Ted Turner is gay" sign right on hard cam. Vader gets a big kiss. He responds with a Western lariatooooooo. That was pretty rude. Fucking stiff short arm lariat that didn't look super stiff, but sounded like it really hurt. Luna distracts the ref, which let Goldy low blow Vader while he was attempting the Vader Bomb. This match happened in WCW, right? I swear I remember Dustin doing a double leg take down and fans absolutely losing their shit. Vader wins after a Vader Bomb with Luna on his back. Vlad the Superfan sighting!
TO THE BACK. Stone Cold arrives in his truck. He throws his keys at Michael Cole and tells him to park his truck. The Godwinns grab Cole and ask where Austin went. There was a bounty placed on Austin tonight. Cole looked like such a fucking geek.
Battallion/Tarantula/El Torito vs Max Mini/Nova/Mosaic Special Guest Referee: Sunny
6 man mini lucha action! I'll just leave you with the gifs since I don't know any of them besides Max Mini. Max Mini won with a wacky lucha roll up. So many god damn arm drags. Fuck. And King unleashed every terrible and corny short joke imaginable.
TO THE BACK. The Nation of Domination break into Stone Cold's locker room, only to find a foam finger in a chair. We see Vince and Shane watching the minis match with Mike Tyson.
TO THE BACK. Cole talks with The Rock about his upcoming match with Ken Shamrock. However, on the Free For All, the NOD were arguing with each other over who would win the Rumble tonight. Before Rock talks about the match, he makes some comments on the Clinton sex scandal going on at the time. Not the Lewinsky scandal, but a different one. Don't be silly, cover it, Willy.
Ken Shamrock vs The Rock WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Rock was still just a nick name, but what he preferred to go by and what was on his trunks. He was so...puffy. JR claims that when Shamrock snaps, it's like a rolling ball of kitchen knives. Shamrock was so jacked. Shamrock is quicker than Rock and shows it a few times. Rock sells a kick by going over the ropes and half way down the aisle. Shamrock is still in control until Rock counters a rana with a hot shot. He stomps away while shit talking. Perfect Plex from Ken. Rock fucking plants Ken's head in the mat with the float over DDT. The sound was excellent. So of course he then goes to rest holds. Rock tries the DDT again. Shamrock countered it into a "modified fireman carry", which is a Northern lights suplex to everyone else in the world besides JR. Rana. Kama and D'Lo run in, but Ken dispatched of them easily. D'Lo got his foot stuck in the ropes. Rock hit Shamrock with brass knuckles, but Shamrock kicked out! It took forever to get D'Lo out of the ropes. Shamrock hit the belly to belly. New champion! Rock tells the ref to check Shamrock's tights. The ref finds the brass knuckles in Shamrock's tights, causing the ref to reverse his decision. Dusty Finish! Ken snapped and beat up Mike Chioda. Other refs ran down to stop it and ran away from him.
Mike Tyson and Shane McMahon seemed to have enjoyed the match.
WWF HOME VIDEO EXCLUSIVE. Ken Shamrock attacked Rock "moments later" after the match, even though Ken now had jeans and boots on. Rock called Ken a piece of shit multiple times.
TO THE BACK. Los Boricuas attack a bald man, thinking it was Stone Cold. Instead, it was one of the the Harris Brothers. GANG WARZ!
TO THE BACK. Cole talks with LOD. WELLLLL! They're going to kill the Outlaws. By 1998, if you were saying something like "I'm going to kick your butt", you were fucking lame. And Animal's mullet was so uncool.
New Age Outlaws vs Legion of Doom WWF Tag Team Championships
NAO had basically made a joke of LOD in the last few months, including shaving one of Hawk's landing strips. The first move is Animal powerbombing Road Dogg. The Outlaws decide to just leave. LOD chases them and brings them back to the ring. Hawk was knocking the shit out of Road Dogg. Road Dogg might be for real missing a tooth already. Billy gets tagged in, yells "YOU SUCK" and immediately gets his ass kicked. STF from Hawk. It looked awful. Animal is distracted and taken to the floor, where he is rammed into the steps and kicked repeatedly in the injured backed. Hawk looks bloated as fuck. He does his patented "I'm gonna run into the ring post as hard as I can and fall on my head" spot. Road Dogg handcuffs Hawk to the ring post. Animal nearly wins with a powerslam, but Road Dogg broke the pin with a chair, causing a disqualification. Hawk ripped the handcuffs off and stopped the beat down.
TO THE BACK. We see Austin's truck. Mildred Bowers won Stone Cold's truck!
Highlight package of Stone Cold fucking everyone up lately.
Cactus Jack drew number 1! I always lol when I hear his WCW song dubbed on shows. Chainsaw Charlie drew number 2! It's a hardcore rumble. Funk bends a chair over Foley's back. Funk begs for Foley to give him a chair shot to the head. Foley did. Cactus then lets Funk CRACK HIM IN THE FUCKING HEAD FULL FORCE JESUS CHRIST. It was no fucking joke. The sound was disgusting. They stop fighting for the next entrant, Tom Brandi. You know, Salvatore Sincere. And he's immediately tossed out. Funk is suplexed on to 2 open chairs. The Rock is 4th in. He gets a trash can to the face. He's knocked to the floor through the ropes. In comes Mosh. Funk kind of hits a moonsault. Phineas Godwinn is the next in the ring. Godwinns were way better as creepy rednecks instead of goofy fun loving hillbillies, but they were still awful. In comes 8 Ball. Fucking Harris Twins. I can't escape them in any era or company. Cactus is eliminated. Blackjack Bradshaw hits the ring. It's Owen Hart!!! Mike Tyson marks the fuck out for Owen, but Double J and Corny attack Owen as he's coming to the ring. Steve Blackman is in next. D'Lo! The ring is getting pretty full. D'Lo and Rock go at it with each other. It's my big homie Kurrgan! He promptly eliminates Mosh. WHATTAMARC Mero. Sable looks so trashy now. JR immediately buries Mero for his lack of charisma. Out goes Blackman. Ken Shamrock! Rock better run. He knocks Kurggan down and then he is eliminated Andre style. Thrasher is 15th in and we're half way through this match.
D'Lo and Rock have been going at it for like 10 minutes now. Mankind! He picks back up with Funk and eliminates him. Funk lasted 25 minutes. Shamrock finally finds Rock and knocks the shit out of him in the corner for a bit. Goldust is next in, now wearing a completely different outfit of a silver jumpsuit with lingerie over it and red fish net stockings. He eliminates Mankind. Jeff Jarrett, the NWA North American Champion, is next in. Owen comes back out to get his revenge on Jeff. He does the best elimination so far by skinning the cat and throwing Jeff out mid strut. Next in is the Honky Tonk Man. FUCK. Triple H and Chyna came out behind him. Rock eliminates Shamrock. Chyna swings one crutch at Owen. He caught it, but it opened him up for HHH to hit him with the other, eliminating him. Ahmed Johnson and his kidneys enter next. BIG T. Fat fuck already. Mizark Henry is in to split some wigs. "Henry is handling the big Johnson." Someone throws some coke. The next entrant is....no one. Ahmed and Phineas are out. Phineas crushed a ref on his way out. Papa Shango! I wish. Stone Cold! OHH HECK YEAH! The action stops and Austin attacks from the crowd! Out goes Mero. And 8 Ball. Henry Godwinn is in. Savio is next in, but the rest of the Boricuas also hit the ring to attack Austin. Savio must still be pissed about that strap match. Faarooq is 27, which is the luckiest number. He goes right after all the Nation members still in the match. Austin and Rock brawl on the floor. Dude Love! Foley has the highest odds to win tonight. Bradshaw is eliminated. People's Elbow to D'Lo. Chainz. Fuck of, Fakertaker. And the final man in is VADER! HTM is finally out. Out goes Thrasher. And Kama. And Savio. Austin is on a tear. Goldy eliminates Vader. HOG eliminates himself. Out goes Goldy. Eliminates are coming fast. Chainzzzzzzz is gone. And Mark Henry. All with in about 3 minutes. The final four are Austin, Rock, Faarooq, and Dude Love. Faarooq tosses Dude out. Rock eliminates Faarooq. Stunner! STONE COLD STONE COLD STONE COLD IS GOING TO WRESTLEMAINA!!!!
TO THE COLE. Cold Stone is Tyson's main man! COLD STONE COLD STONE COLD STONE IS GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA!!!!
Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker WWF Championship
In all 3 title matches tonight, the champion came out first. I hate that. I also hate the Rumble not being the main event. The backdrop that "ended HBK's career" happens very early on in the match. It really looked like he barely hit the casket. His ass nicked it on the way down. The press slam on the floor where he also hit the ring apron probably did more damage. Old school. All but HBK's hand is in the casket. He had a hidden bag of coke in there and blinds Taker. But only for a moment. Taker does his "let's try to break my fucking knees" ring steps spot. HBK then slams the steps on Taker's back a couple of times. Piledriver on the steps! Probably my favorite HBK/Taker spot. It sounded disgusting and great. Taker is in the casket! He climbs out and decks HHH just for fun. Shawn hits the Macho elbow. Superkick! Taker handles the big Johnson and starts throwing HBK all around. Taker misses a flying lariatoo and rolls in the casket. HBK decides to drop a flying elbow INTO the casket. Both men are in with the lid shut. I bet HBK is giving Taker a reciprocal reach around in there. Chokeslam. Tombstone off the apron INTO the casket! The Outlaws and Boricuas hit the ring and ambush Taker. Shades of of that other time 20 heels put Taker in a casket. IT'S KANE! THAT'S GOTTA BE KANE! Kane takes them all out. Then he attacks Taker. Chokeslam into the casket. The lid is shut. HBK wins. Championship retained.
However, Kane and Paul locked the casket, smashed it up with an ax, and set it on fire. I always wondered how they did that stunt. Was there a trap door that allowed Taker to roll under the ring? Was there a second compartment in the casket that he hid in?
DQ Count: 2 out of 6 matches.
Pretty fun show over all, even if there weren't any particularly great matches. It was more the energy of the crowd, wrestlers, and announcers.