Live from The Summit in Houston, Texas! It's the 1989 Royal Rumble! This is the second ever rumble and the first with a full cast of superstars.
2 out of 3 Falls: Dino Bravo & The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) vs. Jim Duggan & The Hart Foundation (Bret "Hitman" Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
WHo better to defend old glory against the evil Canadians alongside Jim Duggan than Jim Neidhart and...Bret Hart. USA! USA! Duggan doesn't get to defend his title as the only Rumble winner ever because of this match. IT AIN'T RIGHT! Bravo and Neidhart do the whole "power guys can't knock each other down" thing. You know, the Hart Foundation/Rougeaus feud doesn't get nearly enough love. La Bombe de Rougeau on Bret wins the dastardly Canadians the first fall. Bret's partners mean that he's the only real choice to play Ricky Morton and he does so through the first fall. Ventura points out that Hart is Canadian when the crowd tries to revive him with a USA chant. I keep saying it, but going back through these early shows is cementing Ventura as one of my favorite announcers in anything ever. Bravo clips Bret in the head after a clothesline that he was trying to duck and Hart either got knocked a bit loopy or at least sold well enough to make me think he might have. Hot tag but the ref didn't see it, when the hot tag does come the crowd is going to shit their pants with excitement (and excrement). Jesus Christ, this segment with Bret taking an asskicking has gone on forever. Hot tag to Duggan finally comes and he's in punching every motherfucker who ever lived in the face and then catapults Neidhart in, Jim tries to pin but they forgot to tag, then the same with Bret. Fuck, tag someone Duggan! Jim drops the elbow for the three count after that mess and it's all even.
As Duggan stomps on Raymond in the corner the ref warns him so he gives a hearty, American "you get off my ass!" Third fall is all about the heels getting heat on Duggan until Bravo stupidly atomic drops him into his own corner for the tag to Bret. Right as I was about to bitch that this match was far too long, Duggan smacks Bravo with the 2x4 and Bret pins him for the win. Would have been a lot better if they'd cut the shit with Bret getting beat to hell a little bit shorter.
God, I love pre-recorded comments as guys draw their numbers. DiBiase isn't happy with his draw so he wants to have a word with Slick about his guys' numbers. The Bushwhackers are stupid. Honky Tonk Man is pissed. Bad News Brown is happy and angry all at the same time. Demolition agree that they're both in for long nights. Jake Roberts mumbles to himself and hopes for Andre. The Rockers are totally bitchin' and wish each other luck.
Gene Okerlund tells me that the world as well as I have been waiting for the super posedown between Rick Rude and The Ultimate Warrior, and I can promise you that I have not. I fucking hate posedowns. They keep showing ladies in the crowd during the poses and it's clear that their seats are getting slippery. Rude finally beats he shit out of Warrior with his bendy "pump up" bar thing and this horrible fucking segment is over. oh, wait. Warrior beats the shit out of the refs and everyone trying to help him. Whatever.
WWF Women's Championship: Rockin' Robin (c) vs. Judy Martin
Judy Martin would fit right in with the current Divas. She's a real looker. Sensational Sherri is out to challenge the winner and joins the commentary team. Rockin' Robin wins. This sucked.
Pre-recorded interiews! Mr. Fuji rambles about how he feels sorry for Demolition because the Powers of Pain are going after them. Miss Elizabeth is a backstabbing ho who won't say that she'd pull for Savage over Hogan. Jimmy Hart says stuff.
"King" Haku vs. Harley Race
Motherfucking Race is still fighting over "King" shit. But at least he's wrestling Haku and I love me some Haku. These are two bad, tough as nails motherfuckers. Race keeps trying to headbutt him, I guess he didn't learn in the JYD match that everone has a harder head than him in the WWF. Heenan is ringside switching who he is rooting for based on whoever is in control at that moment. Great stuff. This match has flat killed the crowd given that there's not really a fan favorite involved and it's actually heel vs. heel. Not exactly an incredible match but it's plenty good in a "four years ago in a southern territory" kind of way. Haku wins with a "reverse thrust kick" and the crowd could not give a fuck either way.
More pre-recorded interviews! Brutus Beefcake rambles on like a moron. Greg Valentine doesn't trust anyone and he is going to pound on people with his fists, but as he holds them up I can't help but notice that "The Hammer" has pretty tiny fists. More Mr. Fuji talking about Powers of Pain and says for the second time that he will be the big winner. Big John Studd is big. Mr. Perfect declares it "The Year of Perfection" and doesn't suck except when he says "Mr. Perfect is where it at." Randy Savage is awesome. God...I really wish they still did this shit with the modern rumbles.
The Royal Rumble
I've got to cut down how much I ramble about these Rumbles. You don't need to know the order guys come in, if you do you can go to Wikipedia. Ax and Smash are the first two in though and that's just a hoot and they don't play around, they just start slugging the shit out of each other. Andre coming in at three is just sad as he can barely get in the ring. Smash is the first one out at the hands of Andre and I think that's a touch of a waste of having Demolition in wrecking people, but who cares really? The early story is just guys trying to team up and eliminate Andre but he's so experienced at battle royals that he keeps himself in and walks around choking people. Choke, choke, choke, choke. The build-up to Jake Roberts/Andre goes away quickly with Andre choking him over and over and tossing him. Shawn Micheals comes in at #9 for his first rumble ever and (at least for now) he is the guy who has eliminated the most men in Rumble history. Roberts comes back out with the snake and Andre eliminates himself to run away.
I'm sure Scott will tell me to fuck myself but I have never in my life been able to get into Bad News Brown (except the awesome pull-apart with Savage). Speaking of, as I type that, Savage is in at #15 and going right after Bad News. Bad News is awesome in a way but I just don't really care to ever watch him do anything. Michaels gets bounced by Macho and Arn. Hulk is in at #18 and chucks Perfect right away, why Perfect had to get tossed and not Bushwhacker Butch, I don't know. Now that Luke is in, Butch is tossed. God knows this match needed a fresh Bushwhacker. Warlord is eliminated as he enters the ring and then Hogan eliminates both Savage and Bad News and the motherfucking Mega Powers are about to motherfucking explode but Elizabeth hits the ring to calm everyone down. It sure seems like this two minute period is taking a long fucking time. Macho offers to shake Hogan's hand. Hogan shakes, they hug and as they do Big Bossman starts heading to ringside and it's time for a showdown. Bossman is in at #22 and is the first of Slick's guys to enter which means that the worst possible number that DiBiase could have drawn that had him so upset was 22. Akeem is out next and it's gonna be 2-on-1. Monsoon assures us that this has to be because of the DiBiase switch as there is "no way you can get these numbers together" despite Ax and Smash being 1 and 2 and later on Tully and Arn being 16 and 17. Then again he also tells me that Hogan has been out there for half an hour when it's been about 10 minutes. The Twin Towers bounce Hogan from the match and they brawl on the outside until Brutus comes running down to go after the Towers. Hogan eliminates Bossman by pulling down the top rope from the outside. What a sore loser! He'd pull that shit again in a few years with Sid and get booed for it.
Big John Studd comes in at #27. Hercules at #28 and the ring is filled with big men...and Terry Taylor. DiBiase is in at #30 (of course) and the final 8 are DiBiase, Hercules, Akeem, Studd, Taylor, Beefcake, Martel and Barbarian. Taylor out by DiBiase's hand. The end is dragging here and that's something that got fixed as there were more years of these matches and the format was figured out. DiBiase and Barbarian eliminate Herc and Beefcake. Martel tosses The Barbarian and he's in the final four with DiBiase, Studd and Akeem. So much for that as Akeem tosses him. Studd and Akeem have been doing a lot of "you can't knock down the big guy" stuff while the match has been going on and I'm pretty fucking sick of that part of late 80's WWF. Studd taps Akeem on the back and Akeem kind of leaps over the top rope so that's that. Studd busts out a pretty damn good double arm suplex and then a pretty damn awful gutwrench suplex. Studd basically kicks DiBiase's ass and then tosses him out for the win.
The card as a whole is pretty lacking and the Rumble isn't anywhere near the best, but it's mostly entertaining. Not a bad way spend a Thursday afternoon.