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Royal Rumble Reviews


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1989 - Page 10, IANdrewDiceClay

1990 - Page 6, PunkStep

1991 - Page 4, Shane_O'Mac_Version_2

1992 - Page 2, air_raid

1993 - Page 9, Nexus

1994 - Page 5, Hamboy

1995 - Page 3, IANdrewDiceClay

1996 - Page 11, HarmonicGenerator

1997 - Page 1 , ShortOrderCook

1998 - Page 11, HarmonicGenerator

1999 - Page 10, ShortOrderCook

2000 - Page 4, Dingbat

2001 - Page 3, ShortOrderCook

2002 - Page 9, Slick_Dick_Nick

2003 - Page 8, Quentin

2004 - Page 9, IandrewDiceClay

2005 - Page 5, air_raid

2006 - Page 9, ShortOrderCook

2007 - Page 1, Chilli_Mondeo

2008 - Page 2, NEWM

2009 - Page 11, Nexus

2010 - Page 4, Chilli_Mondeo

2011 - Page 8, HarmonicGenerator

2012 - Page 10, Dingbat












Royal Rumble 1997




Live from the AlamoDome in San Antonio, Texas. Calling the action is Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler and donning a Cowboy Hat on TV for the first time especially for the occasion and then never able to take it off since, Jim Ross.




Let's give a bit of background to the big Rumble match. Going into the event, Sid is the WWF champion, having taken the belt from Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series. Here, Shawn is having his rematch looking to reclaim the title in his hometown. Also at Survivor Series, Bret Hart returned from a long hiatus, in fact since losing the WWF title to former and perhaps soon to be WWF champion Shawn Michaels. Going into the Rumble match, Bret Hart is the favourite having returned strong and making it clear he plans to win the Rumble and be WWF champion again. But also in the Rumble is rising superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin who faced Bret in his return match and has been having a heated rivalry with and causing Bret all sorts of bother since he's been back. Austin is desperate to win this thing too. Undertaker is in there as well and he's always a threat.



It's not one of the best Rumbles as far as the action goes, not by a long shot. But, my favouritist thing ever, ever, EVER in wrestling is Austin vs Hart. The WM 13 match, the whole feud, the story, what kick-started it, what happened throughout, the effects it had following. Just everything about it. And this rumble is a big, big part and integral part of their story. Of Austins rise and Brets demise. And mainly, of Brets breakdown.


Austin is fucking awesome throughout. His efforts here are for me one of the finest individual performances ever in a Rumble match, he holds the whole thing together and is the entire story.


I adore the 'eliminate guys only to be met by an old or current foe immediately after' angle in Rumbles and it's used here frequently to great effect, particularly with Austin. There's a bunch of no names in this Rumble but, often that's necessary and it certainly is here to Austins story through this Rumble.




When he's first left alone in the ring, gloating and urging the next competitor out (as seen above, checking his imaginery watch) it's only Jake 'The Snake' Roberts. The man who was a big part of Austins true becoming, when he won King of the Ring and uttered those famous words. Austins reaction is brilliant, he looks utterly disgusted at Jakes arrival, just as he was utterly disgusted with him at KOTR, and then he quickly drops to his knees and amusingly says a quick prayer mocking Jakes religious angle (again muchlike he had at KOTR) as Jake wobbles to the ring. Suitably, Steve makes short work of him. He's later left all alone again and this time is immediately met by Savio Vega, another former enemy and big part of his past. Savio isn't much struggle for Steve at this point either though, truly signifying that Stone Cold has moved up another level from these guys, way up. Steves breezing through this thing really, he's left alone again but he's huffing and puffing a bit now, he's been in there a while. He sits atop the top turnbuckle and catches his breath as the clock counts down and he awaits the next competitor.












The reaction of Austin is quite famous (and it's great) and this is the gamechanger, Bret marching to the ring as Austin initially panics but then stands his ground and encourages Bret in is a great moment (everything these guys did together is supreme). Bret takes control and locks in a sharpshooter and then...





JERRY LAWLER! Brets former rival is in the Rumble...and is out just as soon as he gets in immediately eliminated by Bret in hilarious fashion - start sentence, enter Rumble, get eliminated, finish sentence and make out like you were never in the Rumble at all. Fabulous stuff.


Then it's into the home stretch and there's something really cool looking back that it features Austin, Bret, The Rock, Kane, Undertaker, Vader, Mankind and Terry Funk all in there together. That's a whole wealth of talent and potential yet to be realized there. Oh and Henry Godwin's there too.




The finishing angle and conclusion is great and a bold move to finish the Rumble on i've always felt. This is the big story though and where the seeds were planted for Brets breakdown at WrestleMania XII, here is where that plant really begins to develop. Funk and Mankind eliminate each other and brawl on the outside, causing distraction to the refs, as this goes on Bret tosses Austin over the top rope to the floor. He should be eliminated but due the refs being distracted and trying to control Funk and Mankind, they miss it.




Ausitn clocks this and sneaks back in while everyone else is busy. Undertaker and Vader are tussling by the top rope trying to eliminate each other and Austin slips in and swiftly eliminates them both, Bret dumps Big Daddy Kane over but then is immediately shoved out by Austin and Austins stolen it, he's won. Bret loses it, he's fuming. J.R understands his being so upset, Jerry Lawler calls for him to be banned for life due to his actions following the Rumble and possibly some bitterness for something that may have occurred earlier in the Rumble match.


Brets reaction once eliminated and performance immediately following, in throwing an absolute mental hissy at what has just occurred is sublime. The man is so fucking believable in everything he did in wrestling and this is a prime example of it. He is completely in that moment and genuinely believes he has been done wrong. If that's what taking the wrestling business too seriously creates i wish more of them would do it. That's a definite contender for finest individual performance too.




Another interesting tidbit i noticed watching it, i'm a bit of sucker for numbers, patterns, stats when it comes to the Rumble and all that shiz and it's a fun fact that Undertaker was the number 30 entrant here and also a decade later at the 2007 Royal Rumble and both years he went on to win the big belt at that WrestleMania.

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Lovely stuff. I recall a stirring debate on here recently around this Rumble where even now the storytelling creates brilliant debate where we can all justify actions for our favourites. This was the show where I turned on Bret for being a whining dick all the time, the turd. Echo ShortOrder's thoughts on the whole Bret/Austin feud actually, and this is totally their Rumble. The match itself is a good watch despite some of the fucking shit wrestlers in there.

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Everyone's been sent Rumbles to review now, i'll also stick another up in a bit or next couple of days. Just stick them up whenever, ideally getting them all in before this years Rumble be good though. Hopefully you should all be able to find your Rumbles to view simple enough but let me know if you have any trouble. The selections were done entirely at random and i think it worked out quite well and we should get some fun posts/reviews out of it.


I've only opted for 1990 onwards, the others don't seem worth it. There is one outstanding, remaining Rumble to review though. If anyone wants to give it a bash let me know. Except maxwell_murder who refused to keep guessing the number i was thinking of until he guessed correct like everyone else.


EDIT: Everyone's favourite superhero Hamboy has stepped up to save the day and take that remaining Rumble.

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(checks inbox)


Yes, YES, YESYESYESYES...... babe3.gifOH YEAH!!!!babe5.gif


I have the exact Rumble, the one Rumble I (and anyone with sense) would have wanted. Christ on a cross, thank you Lord Tarvu and all the Gods of chance. I will get on it tomorrow when I'm back from the doctors. If I wasn't up early to go to the doctor's I'd fucking watch it right now!

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Yeah, i thought that worked out quite well and you'd be chuffed with it. Look forward to your write-up. The first 3 out were quality matches actually, hoped NEWM would get a certain one too but he's still got a good one to write about.


That second lady there looks like she's got a massive dong swinging between her legs.

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10 years on ShortOrderCook's 1997 extravaganza...




Not including the rumble match itself the 2007 edition of the Royal Rumble included the Hardyz (in what could be considered there tag team revival after going off the boil in 2002) defeating MNM, Bobby Lashley retaining the ECW Title against Test the horse in an awful match, Batista retaining the World Heavyweight Title over Mr. Kennedy in a pretty good match (Big Dave is on a roll in this period) and John Cena defeating Umaga in an absolutely stunning Last Man Standing Match. It’s an absolute classic with Cena putting in what could be seen as one of his career bests performances and by far Umaga’s best match in the ‘E.




Now onto the rumble match, I must admit that I am not particularly fond of the 2006/2007 WWE. Even watching back, it’s hard for me to register and remember some of the stuff that went down. 2007 does feature a Royal Rumble first as it was the first of its kind to feature the WWECW roster as well as RAW/SD.


This rumble, while a good match is a bit of a mixed bag when viewing. I love a rumble that features well long story arc’s (SOC’s 1997 review highlighted that best), but with 2007, you have some good action but you really have to wait until right at the end before the match gets juicy. There are still some fine moments throughout the match however. Finlay puts in an underrated rumble performance, hanging in there for a good half hour. Finlay was great, a comeback that nobody really expected and a really good performance in this match, very overlooked. The ECW Originals (minus RVD) get a right shit showing, good or bad, you decide. Tommy Dreamer is his awful self before getting chucked out. Sabu has an inventive elimination when Kane chokeslams him off the apron through a table, and the very over Sandman lasts a whopping 13 seconds before getting eliminated and the crowd booing the hell out of it.


Rated RKO (another thing I forgot) are a storm during the match and practically carry it all the way to the third part, and looking back they were a top combo and the rumble shows that. They were the only really big names in there during most of the match especially in the ring with the likes of Gregory Helms, Super Crazy and Shelton Benjamin. In other small facts it was the last rumble appearance from Chris Benoit, the first (and worst) performance from future WWE champion the Miz and a rumble record of the most participants to eliminate one man in Viscera, who was eliminated by eight men. Which broke the record of seven men from 1994 eliminating, guess who... Mable.




Then this lad pops in...




HBK in his hometown, as usual is a diamond in this match. In a nice bit of continuity, he once again eliminates Shelton Benjamin and also ends Finlay’s iron man run. The crowd by this point have also proper come alive. HBK works them like a maestro. For all the time Michaels is in there, everyone else orbits around him. The Great Khali also makes his rumble debut (and his best performance to date) eliminating Benoit, RVD, Hardcore Holly, Chavo Guerrero, Carlito and the Miz. Mental to think Khali used to be treated like a massive threat. It seems an age ago.


Anyway, one more participant to go...





Following on from his first #30 in 1997, ten years later, the dead man strides in as the last entrant, and to prove he is not fucking about Taker eliminates Khali. Eventually we get to the final four (always a great part of the rumble) with HBK, Undertaker and Rated RKO rounding off the last four. Watching it back, it’s actually one of the best final four/finishing sequences in rumble history. It all proper kicks off with Undertaker running the shop until Randy Orton mullers him with a chair, absolutely thwacks him one (remember this is pre-Benoit days). Michaels who has been doing his usual world class sell job gets up to then receive an RKO. Edge/Orton are proper pissed and decide to unite for now to take out Undertaker.


In a great heat building sequence RKO batter a bloody Undertaker with Taker getting some offence in here and there to keep the crowd into it before Edge this time takes a turn to try to scalp Undertaker with a chair. Both RKO then arm themselves with chairs for the conchairto which had been a big angle in recent weeks. Before Edge/Orton gets the chance to cave Taker in, Orton notices Michaels behind them. Orton runs... back body drop and goodbye Orton... Edge misses clothesline... BOOM, sweet chin music and Edge is out, Michaels then collapses and lie’s in the same position as Taker. He knows what he is doing; he is letting the crowd simmer. They are going to love what is next.




Now some might argue, and it’s a valid point the following is really the beginning to the story that actually finished with Taker/HHH at Wrestlemania XXVIII in the Hell in a Cell. It has a lot coming together before that. HBK against the man who eight and half years earlier at the same PPV suffered the back injury that would sideline him for over four years. The Undertaker, against the man whom over his victory in the inaugural Hell in a Cell led to his third WWF Title reign; and two men in the ring fighting for a WWE Title shot in the ring for the first time together in nearly NINE years. It has so much back story and history, and you know what; that crowd knows it as well. They are ‘popping like motherfuckers’ (thank you Ricky Morton) not just because they are two of the biggest stars in the WWE, but because a good portion of those, know the back story, the history, they’ve seen the matches and highlight reels, and they are all about to lose their shit!




Taker sits up... crowd pops. HBK does the kip-up... crowd pops. Michaels keeps taking runs at the Taker before Taker turns it round on HBK before a shot to the jaw sends Michaels into his trademark ‘lying on the turnbuckles’ spot. HBK thwarts elimination and takes control before a reversed Irish whip sends Michaels into his turnbuckle flip bump... crowd pops... Taker misses his big boot and flies onto the apron... crowd fucking gasps. HBK throws a few blows at Taker and but Taker survives before a HBK swinging neck breaker leads to another double down for both men. Eventually both men trade slow punches before a big boot floors HBK. Taker takes the chance here to attempt to front suplex HBK over the top rope, Michaels at one point is not even on the apron, kicking his legs about... crowd gasps/screams, they are genuinely horrified that is it. HBK survives and climbs the top rope, gets smacked in the face and teases an elimination again before Taker goes for a superplex, Taker teases throwing Michaels from the top rope, HBK wins the war and sends Taker into the ring for Michaels to hit his super elbow... crowd throws babies in the air. Michaels starts getting crowd losing it while he tunes up the band, Taker slowly rises. Shawn kicks, Taker blocks, CHOKESLAM... crowd pops even louder. Taker signals, that is it, and attempts the tombstone but...





The crowd at this point probably need a cigarette. Michaels and Taker both rise from another well layered and well timed sequence for Michaels to take aim at Taker again, only for Undertaker to duck and maneuver Michaels over the top rope and out. Shawn Michaels is eliminated; Undertaker wins his first ever Royal Rumble and the first man to do it from #30. HBK sells the loss brilliantly with deflation at ringside. Then there it is, a glance among Taker and HBK. Taker nods, HBK takes it all in. It’s the beginning of a new chapter, except right there, we did not know it.




Absolutely fantastic.

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Good review, who did you steal it from? (Japes)


In all seriousness, that was a shit hot finishing sequence to a Rumble, probably my second-favourite ever (we'll get to my favourite later). I mean, I think the ending to the 95 Rumble would have been epic and iconic had it not been the ludicrously short 60 second entrances version. The actual ending to the Rumble 07 is smooth as silk and I love the fact that with a World title match on the undercard they were still capable of having two massive names and future Hall Of Famers close the Rumble. Technically it would be something they could have managed with Cena/Orton in 2011 (if they weren't going with Bertie), this year (if Cena had entered) or this forthcoming Rumble - IF Cena vs Orton wasn't the most played-out and done-to-death confrontation of all time.


My favourite parts of the review without doubt are :





I say this, because it's blindingly obvious that you really enjoyed the match. That's what matters most of all, surely? I must admit, I'm somewhat blighted by my tendancy to usually shun modern events and stick to my 87-95 comfort zone, but this Rumble really warrants a rewatch. Or several.

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Rumble '07 was all kinds of awesome. I remember loving '04 and '05 and being really disappointed with '06 largely because of how the Rumble wasn't the main event, how they needlessly gave Mysterio the #2 spot and to go on and win it, and how Angle vs Mark Henry went on last and was uber shit, even with Undertaker making his cameo at the end. Then a year later, this restored my faith in it.


As neat as it was for Undertaker to win it, I think they missed a trick by not having HBK win it. Keep the Mania outcomes the same, but the crowd seemed a little deflated when he got eliminated. Would've been a great moment in his hometown.

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I liked Rumble 2007 there was a solid undercard (I even liked Test/Lashley) to the event and the closing minutes between Taker/Michaels on the Rumble match was a really nice touch. Consistent Rumble throughout aswell and it was great to see Sabu take the Chokeslam off the ring apron through a table to be eliminated. Can't remember who did it to him, was it Kane?


I really think with Mania 23 they should have done Taker/HBK and Cena/Batista instead as The Main Events looking back. Talking of them. There was an absolute fantastic tag match which main evented No Way Out 2007 between the four. I really recommend that for anybody who hasn't seen it or anybody who didn't think much of it.

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I remember loving Royal Rumble 97 even though there's nothing particularly great on it in terms of in-ring action. The rumble was mediocre (with the Bret/Austin stuff and "it takes a king..." being about the only memorable things, as mentioned), the undercard was nothing special (Vader/Taker was fun though and it was good to see Ahmed/Faarooq finally lock up), and Sid/HBK wasn't as good as their first match.


But there was just something about it all - the atmosphere and visuals with the huge arena setting for the first time since WM8, the Texas theme, the luchador involvement (even if none of them were particularly impressive), the graphics/logos/etc. It just came together to give it a big time feel, and make for a great spectacle.


I guess it's a bit shallow to be fond of an event mostly because of the superficial stuff when the wrestling wasn't any great shakes, but fuck it, you like what you like :)


I gather about half the tickets were freebies, but it's still a shame the WWF never ran stadiums so much for their big events in the 90s - especially Wrestlemanias. From 95 to 2000, they just looked and felt like any other show.

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