WWF Royal Rumble 1993
Beverly Brothers vs Steiner Brothers
The WWF PPV debut of the Steiners. They were just in Japan a few weeks before, killing dudes. I'm sure the Beverly's are going to get murdered. Scott and Wayne Bloom begin. What the fuck happened to Wayne's face? He's got giant scars on one side. Did he get in a car wreck or something? Beverlys get more offense than you'd expect. Scott plays the FIP, as usual. Fuck this ring. God damn does it look and sound miserable to bump on. Despite WCW rarely running on the West coast, the Steiners are super over at the ARCO Arena. Poor Mike Enos took the brunt of the punishment in this match. Frankensteiner gets the win.
Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Rockers EXPLODE! Again. Marty's gear is the weirdest shit. Sherri is at ringside, but is in a neutral corner. Marty easily controls the opening portion of the match, repeatedly knocking HBK out of the ring, and even doing a suicide dive. He jumps to the floor too many times and gets caught. Then repeatedly rammed shoulder first into the ring post. It's kind of weird that the crowd is as dead as it is for this considering how hot they were for the Steiners. The Rockers have had much more exposure to this audience. They just don't seem to care that much. Yet, at least. HBK stays on the arm and the crowd does come alive when Marty fires up. Sherri slaps the shit out of Shawn on the floor. Ref bump! Sherri accidentally hits Marty in the face with her shoe. Shawn then hits a superkick (that Marty did the 360 for) for the win. Title retained. Sherri runs to the back in a tizzy. Shawn runs back to yell at her. Marty follows and they get into a pull apart brawl. This was much slower paced that you'd expect, and I think that was part of the reason why the crowd wasn't that into it until near the end.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs Big Boss Man
HOSSES. Bammer starts smashing Boss Man right away. It's interesting how much easier it was for guys to get heel heat before the Attitude Era. All they had to do was yell at the crowd and they'd get a huge reaction everytime. Even in the down period of 1993. Bubber has his fist taped. There is no explaination as to if it is injured or if he just wanted a taped fist for this match. After a bad bump on the apron, Bam Bam focuses on Bubber's back. This is not really the HOSS battle I had hoped for. Bam Bam got the clean win with the diving headbutt. It certainly was no Boss Man vs Barbarian.
TO THE CHICO. At a KANGZ game, Razor cut a promo on Bret. There were also clips of Razor beating the shit out of Owen on one of the weekend shows.
Razor Ramon vs Bret Hart WWF Championship
Razor throws his toothpick at the kid who got Bret's glasses, which Bret did NOT like. Razor makes a mistake early on, which allows Bret to immediately target the leg of Razor. Razor gets his opening and Bret goes sliding ribs first into the post. Why, looky there, a story is developing! The sternum bump is as gross as ever. Did Bret just not like taking a normal corner bump? Razor controls the match from this point on with various submissions. Bret gets an opening and hits a suicide dive. From there, it is a very back and forth battle until Bret is able to lock on the sharpshooter from the mat for the win. Title retained. Dope match. Hall was so much better as a heel, and Bret was just a wonderful pro wrestler. They had their story, they worked it, it had plenty of time to breathe and develop. It was almost like a 80s NWA Championship match, which is pretty unique for WWE at any point. Hall and Bret worked very well together. They had that rad match at KOTR a few months later. It's a shame Razor turned face, because Hall was significantly better in the ring as a heel. Significantly.
TO THE BRAIN. Bobby Heenan introduces THE NARCISSIST! Brain literally sounds like he's about to cum talking about Lex's muscles. It's hilarious. After a WBF routine, Lex finally speaks. He claims he'll be the most dominant wrestler the WWF has ever seen. He's mezomorphically magnificent! He also challenges Mr. Perfect.
Caesar and Cleopatra come to the ring to hype Wrestlemania.
Entering at number one...last year's winner, Ric Flair! This certainly is not fair to Flair. Number two is...Bob Backlund! He enters to almost no reaction at all. NWA vs WWF, mother fuckers. These plebeians don't know their history. From what I can see, they only had two matches against each other, in 1979 and 1982. Both ended in count outs. I don't think this audience has any clue who Backlund is though. I mean, he dropped off the face of the earth right as WWF was going national, so it makes sense. Oh shit, Papa Shango! Fucking goober. And that's saying something when Bob Backlund is in the ring. Lol, Flair almost immediately eliminates him. BERRIED. It's weird to me that Gorilla of all people really isn't talking about Backlund's history. Besides saying he's a former champion and did impressive feats of strength. No info about any one he faced or how long he was champion or anything. Ted DiBiase is in next. Mid South in the house. OH FUCK ME. It's Brian fucking Knobs. Fat fuck. Eliminate this piece of shit. Anyone. Virgil! Knobs eliminates himself because he's a stupid piece of shit. Jerry Lawler! Dang. NWA, WWF, Mid South, and Memphis in the ring. Weird. Flair immidiately backs him into the corner and they go at it. Fans don't realize the significance of these four territory superstars all in the ring together. And then Max Moon arrives. Thank god it wasn't still Konnan, at least. Max Moon goes out as Tenryu arrives. What fuck. Another huge dude that no one knows. He goes right for Flair and chops the dog shit out of him. DiBiase and and Tenryu renew their feud as well. Mr. Perfect! He goes right after Flair, of course. AWA representation now. There is a crazy amount of talent and history in the ring right now. And Virgil. Did you ever think you'd see Tenryu and Bob Backlund double teaming Jerry Lawler? Well, now you have. Skinner enters. Now you got Fabulous Ones in the ring. This is so strange. Perfect eliminates Flair. Koko enters the match. Another Memphis/Mid South dude. Out goes Skinner. Samu enters. Lol, Koko and Samu cancel each other out on headbutts. Wrestling is so racist. The Berzerker! Perfect eliminates King. Ted, Koko, and King then eliminates Perfect. This looks like a King/Perfect match would have happened, but I don't think WWF ever ran it. Records show they did have one match in the WWF, in a dark match at a Raw taping. Why wouldn't you have that on TV?
DA UNDERTAKER is the 15th entrant. He's over as fuck. He also eliminates Tenryu. The Red Rooster has arrived. There was an audible groan in the audience. DiBiase eliminates him and Koko at the same time. He's the only Mid South dude that matters in that ring, you fucks. Taker eliminates Ted right after. Giant Gonzalaz shows up OUTTA NOWHERE and eliminates Taker despite not being an entrant in the match. In the time the beat down took, Damian Demento and IRS entered the match. Tatanka is in next as Taker just lays dead in the corner. Saggs. Gross. Typhoon! Gross. Fatu! Awesome. It's DA EARTHQUAKE. Weirdly, he immediately attacks Typhoon. And he eliminates him. CARLOS COLON?!?! The fuck is going on in this match? LOL Gorilla calls him a youngster. Tito Santana follows him. Do you think that was intentional? The Model. STRIKE FORCE EXPLODES! Yokozuna enters the match, looking like he's gained 100 pounds since his WWF debut. Sumo battle! Owen! Lol, the Repo Man has arrived. The entire field tries to eliminate Yoko. It doesn't work. The Macho Man! Backlund, Martel, Macho, and Yoko are the final four. Bob eliminates Martel, and Yoko eliminates Bob. Macho almost eliminates Yoko, taking him off his feet for I believe the first time. And then he decides to pin Yoko after the flying elbow. Yoko eliminates him from the mat. Yokozuna is going to Wrestlemania! This had the weirdest audio edit.
This is such a strange transition show. For starters, this was the last PPV to be called by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. They would both be involved with Survivor Series 1993, but this is the last PPV the two of them called by themselves. A lot of guys were making their first or last Rumble/WWF PPV appearances. This is also the last Rumble where all the major territories were represented:
- AWA: Martel, Perfect, Nasty Boys, Max Moon, Berzerker
- Memphis: Lawler, Savage, Skinner, Koko, Virgil, Typhoon, Taker, Papa Shango, Max Moon
- Texas: Taker, Max Moon, Berzeker
- Mid South: DiBiase, Taylor, Koko, Skinner
- Pre-Expansion WWF: Backlund, Tito
- WWC: Colon, Headshrinkers, Yoko
- Stampede: Owen
- JCP: Flair, Repo Man
- Florida: IRS, Skinner, Nasty Boys
- Japan: Tenryu
At one point in this match, there were former AWA, NWA, Triple Crown, and WWF champions all together. That's pretty crazy. Overall, it was a pretty good show. The Rumble itself wasn't much in terms of spots and story like the previous years, but it was fascinating from a collection of territory talent perspective. Bret/Razor was a great match, very likely in the top 2 or 3 matches for the WWF in 1993. HBK/Marty was good, although a bit disappointing due to the unexpectedly slow pace. Bubber/Big Yellow was a let down, but decent. The Steiners showcase was what you'd hope for. A solid addition to the Rumble family, and probably the last overall good Rumble for the rest of the 90s.