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PPV WWF

WWF Royal Rumble 1992 Review (A Tear In My Eye)

January 19th, 1992
Live from Albany, NY
Announced attendance: 17.000 (capacity: ca. 17.500)
PPV buyrate: 260.000 (-160.000 compared to Royal Rumble 1991’s 440.000)

Hello everyone and welcome to my first review of 1992. We’re kicking off the year over on the WWF side, with one of the most iconic and exciting pay-per-views of their calendar, the Royal Rumble. This year, the participants are fighting over the vacant WWF Championship in the annual Royal Rumble match. Also on the card, Roddy Piper challenges The Mountie for his newly-won Intercontinental Championship, LOD put the World Tag Team Titles on the line against the Natural Disasters, and more.

Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this show:

  • WWF Champion: vacant – previous champion: Hulk Hogan
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Mountie [2nd day of his reign] – previous champion: Bret Hart
  • WWF World Tag Team Champions: Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) [146th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Nasty Boys

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE & themoviedb.org

The hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan

An excited Vince McMahon runs through the entire list of Rumble participants before welcoming us to the show

The New Foundation (Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka)(w/ Mr. Fuji)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Owen Hart shows some athleticism to start while working on Kato’s arm, even adding some joint manipulation action. Kato powers Owen down into a pinfall, but Owen bridges out of that and adds a springboard armdrag into a hurricanrana for two. And back to the arm goes Owen. Anvil comes in with a big hiptoss out of the corner, before blocking an armdrag with a shove. It’s off to Tanaka for a powerslam that obviously goes nowhere, as Neidhart shoves him on his ass as well. Tanaka criss crosses but runs into a couple of shoulderblocks. A Neidhart spinebuster + Owen flying elbowdrop gives Owen two. A backbreaker gets two. Tanaka shows some life, but Owen flies around and keeps his team in control, while the announcers recap Bret Hart defending his IC Title against The Mountie against his doctor’s orders (with 104 degrees fever) and losing. Owen leapfrogs over Kato and catches him with a spinning wheel kick for two. Meanwhile, the announcers mention Roddy Piper has a chance to make history and become the first person to ever win the WWF and IC titles on the same night, apparently completely erasing Hogan and Warrior from history.

Owen criss crosses but Tanaka cheapshots him from the apron, distracting the referee and allowing Mr. Fuji to hit Owen with the cane to the throat to finally put the Orient Express in control. Kato hits a superkick for two. Back elbow gets two. Tanaka irish whips Owen into the turnbuckle (Bret Hart bump included) for two. Kato works a headlock that goes about as far as a headlock usually goes, with Owen escaping and getting two off a crucifix pin. However, Tanaka immediately cuts Owen’s comeback with a superkick, while we get a rare Midnight Express mention from Gorilla on commentary. Tanaka adds a dangerously low legdrop and works a hold, with Owen again trying to fight back but getting caught with a flying forearm for two. Owen bulldogs Tanaka out of the corner and makes the false hot tag to Neidhart, as Kato had the referee distracted. The heels ram Owen right into the cane, but it only gets two. Tanaka hits a flying headbutt on Owen’s arm, but Owen hits a belly to belly suplex for two. He still can’t make the hot tag as Kato cheapshots Anvil in the corner, while the Express hit a double clothesline. Owen fights back with a double dropkick, though, and this time the hot tag is for real! Anvil comes in a double slingshot shoulderblock and he runs wild. Owen launches himself with a crazy dive that nearly sends Kato all the way to Okinawa, and back in the Rocket Launcher finishes Tanaka at 17:18.

  • Rating: Great undercard tag team match to kickoff the WWF’s year, with the Orient Express competing in an exciting opener at the Rumble for the second year in a row. Owen Hart got to showcase his skills and he came out looking good, with some great spots in here. The announcers spent most of the time speaking about the Rumble and the recent events in the IC title scene, which is understandable given it was at a house show two days earlier, but this match deserved more attention. Very good opener. ***1/2

Lord Alfred Hayes recaps The Mountie defeating a sick Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship two days previously, as well as his post-match attacks on Bret and Roddy Piper, his challenger tonight.

The Mountie questions Piper’s challenge with less than a two day notice, but he still promises to take his skirt, his manhood, his pride and his integrity.

Roddy Piper says it’s alright because he’s got no integrity. He’s here to win two titles, and it’s time to collect the first.

WWF Intercontinental Championship – The Mountie(c)(w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Roddy Piper
IMG credit: WWE

Piper gets a crazy pop in his entrance and loud ROWDY chants before the bell. The Mountie intimidates Piper with the shock stick, so Piper throws the kilt in his face and we’re underway. Mountie bails but Piper jumps him on the outside, and Mountie chokes away back inside. Criss cross and Mountie drops down, but Piper pumps the brakes and hits a fistdrop. Piper introduces Mountie to the turnbuckle a couple of times and bulldogs him out of the corner for two. Jimmy Hart gets involved and we get a slugfest until Piper misses a telegraphed dropkick. Mountie rams Piper’s head into the buckle and hits a flying back elbow for two. The Mountie dumps Piper to the floor, who comes back with a springboard sunset flip for two. An atomic drop knocks Mountie over the top rope but he skins the cat back in, only to knock Jimmy Hart off the apron on a blind charge. Piper’s sleeper gives him his first ever WWF title at 5:22 while the fans go absolutely bananas. Piper steals the shock stick from Jimmy afterward and executes the Mountie.

  • Rating: This was extremely entertaining and one of the best title wins in WWF/E history, with Roddy Piper finally winning his first title in the company shortly before his departure after that year’s WrestleMania. They had the people in the palm of their hands the whole time and had a very fun match, with a great feel good ending to boot. **1/2

Lord Alfred Hayes interviews Hulk Hogan in his locker room. He’s glad Hayes came now and not later, where it will be no friends and every man for himself. He’s ready to get the WWF Title back.

The Bushwhackers yell some stuff while Jamison eats his tie in the background. Just normal everyday stuff, you see.

The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke)(w/ Jamison) vs. The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake)(w/ The Genius)
IMG credit: WWE & bastionb.com

Yep, apparently this is a thing that just needs to exist on this PPV. Jamison continues to eat his tie like a moron at ringside while the Bushwhackers take forever to pose at the fans, with the heels not jumping them. Now Jamison grabs a slice of bread from his jacket and starts eating and throwing pieces at the crowd. What am I watching? The Beverly’s finally jump Luke but he bites them in the ass, and the Bushwhackers clean the ring and get to pose some more. Now we get to see Jamison blow his nose with his sock, while one of the Beverly’s gets down on one knee to ask Butch for a handshake. He stops to ask the fans for about twenty seconds, until the guy FINALLY jumps him from behind. Good lord please end this already. Luke hits a bulldog and the Bushwhackers knock the heels into each other, before cleaning house yet again and posing… yet again. One of the Beverly’s goes under the ring to jump the Bushwhackers from behind, but he’s too scared to do it and bails again. Repeat 3x. More biting in the ass follows and the Beverly’s bail again. The Beverly Brothers finally take control with a flying double axehandle for two. They double-team them for what seems like forever. The Genius slaps Jamison in the face outside, as this match just won’t stop. Blake hits a neckbreaker for two until Luke explodes with a clothesline out of the corner, and we finally get the hot tag to Butch. He runs wild with clotheslines and the battering ram on both Beverly’s. However, Beau breaks up the pin and goes up for a flying double axehandle to give Blake the pin and FINALLY end this abortion of a “comedy” match at a whoopin 14:56. The Genius eats a couple of comedy wussy kicks from Jamison after the match.

  • Rating: Horrible in about every shape and form imaginable. Over twenty minutes of air time for this? Are you kidding me? Total garbage. DUD

The Legion of Doom aren’t ready to lose the tag titles just yet.

WWF World Tag Team Championship – Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)(c) vs. Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)(w/ Jimmy Hart)
IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com

Hawk and Typhoon get into a shoulderblockfest to start, but they’re both huge and it goes nowhere. Hawk goes up and gets the job done with a flying clothesline for two, with Earthquake breaking up the pin. Hawk shoves Quake in return, prompting the big man to ask for the tag. Quake gets in his face and Hawk dropkicks him, but it does absolutely nothing. Now Quake attempts a dropkick but misses, as it’s off to Animal for a slugfest with Earthquake. Animal actually goes for a powerslam but Quake lands on top and gets two. Typhoon comes back in with an avalanche in the corner, but he eats boot on a second one and Animal nearly takes his head off with a great clothesline. Hawk tries his flying shoulderblock on Typhoon, but he catches him in mid-air and turns it into a backbreaker. Quake comes back in with a big fat elbowdrop to the back for two. Typhoon sits on Hawk’s back on the ropes before working a bearhug. Earthquake pounds away on the back some more before just squashing him in the corner. Quake briefly works a bearhug too but he misses a blind charge, and Hawk comes flying off the top with an elbow. Animal adds a flying shoulderblock and a double clothesline on both Natural Disasters, as now hell starts breaking loose on the outside. Typhoon is the only one who makes it back inside in time, giving them the win but not the titles at 9:24. The Natural Disasters pose with the belts anyway, until the Road Warriors come in and clean house with a chair to stand tall.

  • Rating: Not a bad big guy tag match, with some nice work over Hawk’s back, which you don’t get to see every day. The non-finish didn’t help, but it was otherwise a pretty okay tag title match. *1/2

The Natural Disasters & Jimmy Hart storm into their locker room and promise to defeat LOD yet again, this time taking their titles too.

And now, it’s time for the AWESOME retro Rumble promos (please bring those back!)

Roddy Piper is excited to be the new Intercontinental Champion, but that’s not enough because he has a dream!

We see a recap of Shawn Michaels sending Marty Jannetty through the barber shop window to split The Rockers the previous week on television.

Shawn Michaels says he actually did Jannetty a favour by saving him from 29 beatings in the Rumble match. Here’s the very beginning of ‘HBK’!

Ric Flair reveals he drew #3, but it makes no difference because he’ll walk out with the WWF Championship.

Randy Savage has two things he wants to accomplish tonight: get his hands on Jake Roberts and win the WWF Championship for a second time, DIG IT!

Sid Justice says you’re looking at the man who’s superior to all, and the next WWF Champion.

Repo Man is excited because he has the opportunity to take the biggest prize there is.

The British Bulldog will outlast everyone much like he did at the Royal Albert Hall in London a couple months earlier, and this time he’ll take the gold.

Jake Roberts says you can’t always get you want, but he always get what he needs. He’ll be waiting for Savage, and he’ll have just enough left to walk out with the title. Trust him!

Ric Flair & Mr. Perfect say Flair is the man because he’s said for four months that he’s the real world champ. For everyone else, to be the man you’ve got to beat the man.

The Undertaker & Paul Bearer have already prepared 29 caskets for tonight, and standing above them will be Undertaker as a 2x WWF Champion.

Hulk Hogan and his little hulkamaniacs will prove they can dethrone 29 men to win back the WWF Championship.

1992 Royal Rumble Match – Vacant WWF Championship
IMG credit: WWE & skysports.com

Before the match, WWF President Jack Tunney comes out with the belt and wishes everyone good luck, but not without managing to forget his lines.

The British Bulldog draws #1 and Ted DiBiase draws #2 to start the Rumble. Bulldog misses a charge in the corner to start and eats some chops and a clothesline. Suplex and a gutwrench suplex keep Bulldog down. DiBiase hits him with another regular one and he tries to dump Davey Boy, but Bulldog hangs on and clotheslines DiBiase out for the first elimination. Ric Flair is #3 and Bobby Heenan is losing his mind over on commentary. Bulldog shoves him down and gorilla press slams Flair, with some overhead presses just because he can. A clothesline takes Flair down and he rakes the eyes, but eats another clothesline and Jerry Sags from the Nasty Boys is #4. He joins Flair for some double-teaming on Davey Boy, but Bulldog dropkicks Sags out and Heenan is about to have a heart attack. “It’s back to Davey and Flair. This isn’t fair to Flair. THIS ISN’T FAIR TO FLAIR”! Heenan is the best! Haku comes out at #5 and he goes after both guys, so Flair decides to take a walk outside for a second. Haku hits a piledriver on Bulldog, but Flair is right back in to rake Haku’s eyes. Flair kneedrop rocks Haku, but he fights back with some headbutts in the corner. He goes after Bulldog too, but Bulldog gets rid of him right before Shawn Michaels is in at #6. Flair eats a backdrop and a superkick, but Bulldog press slams him and clotheslines him. Another clothesline nearly dumps HBK out, but he hangs on and meets Bulldog in the middle with a superkick. Flair tries to eliminate HBK but he rakes the eyes to stay in it, only for Bulldog to crotch him. ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana is #7 and he goes right after Flair too, trying to eliminate him while Flair hangs on to the post and Heenan is yelling at Perfect to do something! Bulldog can’t eliminate Michaels so he turns his attention back to Flair, who gets down and low blows him. Heenan: “I’d do that to my grandma if I had to”!! Tito hits Flair with the flying jalapeno as Flair continues to take a beating. The Barbarian is #8 and Heenan’s not happy with this. “He doesn’t like anybody, when I managed him he barely liked me”! Flair & Barbarian try to dump Bulldog but he’s way too strong and stays in. The Texas Tornado is #9 and he immediately gets into a slugfest with Ric Flair as we get a nice callback to their clashes over the NWA Title in the 80s. Bulldog slingshots Michaels into the post as the ring is getting quite populated. Repo Man closes out 1/3 of the field at #10 and he takes his time getting inside the ring.

Santana hits a flying jalapeno on Barbarian. Flair destroys Von Erich with some nasty chops. Greg Valentine is #11 and he immediately gets into a chopfest with Flair, and a Valentine elbow sets up the Flair flop. Gorilla pokes the bear by reminding Heenan that no one from numbers 1-5 has ever been there until the end, as Heenan flat out tells him to shut up! The returning Nikolai Volkoff is #12, with the fans apparently forgetting he turned face and actually started loving America in his final months with the company back in late 1990 and booing him in his entrance. Meanwhile, the battle on commentary continues: Heenan – “Davey Boy back on Flair again, this isn’t right”, Gorilla – “I think it’s fair”, Heenan – “NOT TO FLAIR”! Valentine locks Flair in the figure four to make Heenan go even crazier, while Repo Man eliminates Nikolai to end his cameo. #13 is The Big Bossman and he comes in running wild on everyone, as Greg Valentine gets dumped by Repo Man. Bossman gets rid of Repo Man and Flair backdrops Bulldog out. Von Erich gets the same treatment and Michaels & Santana eliminate each other. Hercules is #14 while Barbarian wants to team up with Flair, only for Flair to instantly turn on him with a chop and get beat up as a result. Barbarian goes to dump Flair but Hercules comes in from behind and eliminates Barbarian, only for Bossman to get rid of Hercules too. That leaves Flair and Bossman alone in the ring, as Bossman gets to run wild on Flair. However, Flair moves out of the way of a blind charge and Bossman is gone too, as an exhausted Flair takes a Flair flop. Roddy Piper is #15 and he’s alone with Flair!! He unloads on Flair while the people go absolutely bananas. Flair bails but Piper meets him outside with a clothesline before taking him back inside. Flair tries an atomic drop but Piper simply pokes him in the eyes and follows it up with an airplane spin into the sleeper, and Heenan is already stumbling over his words on commentary! Jake Roberts is #16 and he breaks up the sleeper before going to work on Piper. A short clothesline takes Flair down and he signals for the DDT, which is now saved by Piper. Heenan: “I never thought I’d say this but thank you Roddy, it’s a kilt and not a skirt”. Then Piper breaks up Flair’s figure four on Roberts and Heenan’s all like “you no good creep, you skirt-wearing freak”! Jim Duggan is #17 and he too takes it to Flair, before Flair and Piper get into a chopfest. #18 is Irwin R. Schyster, who takes his time walking to the ring. Duggan rams Flair and Roberts’ heads together and Jimmy Snuka comes in at #19 with a headbutt to Flair. The Undertaker is #20 and he immediately dumps Snuka. Flair goes after him and gets choked, which even Heenan describes as questionable strategy.

Flair chops away at UT and Randy Savage is #21. Roberts immediately bails and hides under the ring skirt, joining back once UT is attacking him. The short clothesline misses and Roberts slugs away. Flying double axehandle and the high knee to the back gets rid of Roberts. Savage eliminates himself to go after Roberts and continue fighting, but he’s still in it as he wasn’t thrown out by someone else, a rule that certainly didn’t stand for long. Piper slugs away on UT and actually tries to eliminate him while Flair takes it to Savage in the corner. Flair blatantly low blows Taker and The Berzerker is #22. Flair tries to suplex Savage out but he can’t do it, and it’s Savage who actually suplexes him back inside. UT and Piper choke each other while they simultaneously choke Flair in a funny spot, and Virgil comes in looking like he’s ready to drip some meatsauce at #23. UT chokes Flair some more but he can’t put him out, and #24 is Colonel Mustafa. Here comes Rick Martel at #25 to try and put out Flair and keep him from breaking Martel’s iron-man record set the previous year. Savage dumps Sheiky Baby while Martel is still all over Flair. Hulk Hogan is #26 with some double noggin knocker action for Flair and UT. Pretty much all the heels jump Hogan in the corner, but he explodes out of there and clotheslines Undertaker out. He sends Berzerker flying too and finally gets to rip the shirt. Virgil and Duggan eliminate each other and Skinner gets the lucky #27. Somehow I don’t see him taking it here! Hogan nearly slams Flair off and Heenan is almost crying on commentary, but IRS jumps Hogan. Sgt. Slaughter is #28 and Skinner is gone via Rick Martel, while Flair has officially broken the record for time in a single Rumble match. Sid Justice gets #29 and he too tries to eliminate Flair unsucessfully. We close out the field with The Warlord at #30, as now Flair and Hogan take their fight to the floor, where Hogan hits a suplex. Sid whips Slaughter all the way out and he’s gone, and meanwhile Hogan and Flair get back inside. Piper dumps IRS by the tie, and Warlord is gone too via Hogan & Sid. Sid eliminated both Piper and Martel at the same time, leaving us down to…

Final four – Hogan, Sid, Flair & Savage

Sid tries to dump Savage and gets some help from Flair with a high knee, as there goes Savage and we’re down to three. Hogan is taking it to Flair and has him down, but Sid comes in from behind and actually dumps Hogan, which gets A POP! The sore loser Hogan grabs Sid by the arm, despite his elimination being 100% legal and fair according to the rules, allowing Flair to come in from behind and put Sid out for the Rumble win and the vacant WWF title at 62:02.

Bobby Heenan leaves commentary and joins Flair & Perfect on the celebration, while Hogan and Sid confront each other inside the ring. Things are pretty heated and Hogan’s ear pose actually gets booed. Sid gets a HUGE pop, with chants and all, and he points at a “Hulk Who?” sign in the crowd. It’s bizarroworld, Maggle! Hogan’s face is priceless and, according to a Sid shoot interview, he actually went backstage and furiously yelled at Vince for this reaction.

  • Rating: Well, here’s the brilliant Rumble match that everyone talks about. Flair’s performance is absolutely legendary, with him coming in at #3 and having to be there for over an hour, taking a beating from all his current and former foes, with even some pre-WWF feuds being revisited in a great touch. Bobby Heenan’s behaviour on commentary made the whole thing that much better too. This was a pretty strong Rumble, with a lot of feuds being developed, created, teased or revisited, such as Flair/everyone, Savage/Roberts, Hogan/Sid, and much more. Davey Boy Smith also put on a great showing in the first half of the match, with a lot of spots that made him stand out and even three eliminations. There were a few dead spots in there with a very populated ring, which I feel is inevitable in any Rumble match. It’s very tough for a Rumble match to be perfect, but this one is indeed perhaps the closest to it. Props to everyone for the excelent booking, timing, execution and commentary. ****1/2

Backstage, the new WWF Champion Ric Flair, with Heenan already by his side and a tear in his eye, declares this the greatest moment of his life!

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: Quite the strong Rumble event here, all things considered. It kicked off very well with a good undercard tag offering from the New Foundation and the Orient Express, which was followed up by the very special moment that was Roddy Piper’s very first title win in the WWF. The Bushwhackers/Beverly Brothers match managed to single-handedly suck the whole fun out of the entire show in what was a truly horrible and painfully long match. The tag title match, while solid, didn’t set the world on fire either but then came the Royal Rumble match! It gave the show some much-needed new life that was lost after Piper’s IC Title win, and it was fun to watch up until the very end. I’d say this was a good show overall, just for the love of god please skip that Bushwhackers/Beverlys match. 7/10

FEEDBACK

What about you? What do you think of the Royal Rumble 1992 PPV? Use the following feedback form to share your thoughts!

POINT SYSTEM

Considering this is a PPV with a very unique match, there will obviously be some changes to the point system. As far as all the regular preliminary matches go, I will use the regular point system, which you can see here. As far as the Rumble match itself goes, every elimination made will be worth 0.5 points. Getting eliminated will cost the wrestler 0.5 points as well. Also, for every full minute alive in the match, the wrestler earns 0.1 points. As for winning the whole thing, it will earn the victorious wrestler three points.

For those who participated in the preliminary matches:

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain eventingExtrasTotal
Owen Hart3.51+0.5 for winning the fall5
Jim Neidhart3.514.5
Kato3.5-12.5
Tanaka3.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall2
Earthquake
Typhoon
1.50.52
Hawk
Animal
1.5-0.5+1 for retaining a title2
Blake Beverly01+0.5 for winning the fall1.5
Beau Beverly011
The Mountie2.5-1-2 for losing a title-0.5
Bushwhacker Luke0-1-1
Bushwhacker Butch0-1-0.5 for losing a fall-1.5

And now for those in the Royal Rumble match:

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain eventingEliminationsTimeTotal
Ric Flair4.53 (+2 for winning a title)15 (2.5 points)60 (6 points)19
Roddy Piper4.5-0.511 (0.5 points)34 (3.4 points)8.9
The British Bulldog4.5-0.513 (1.5 points)23 (2.3 points)8.8
Sid Justice4.5-0.516 (3 points)5 (0.5 points)8.5
Hulk Hogan4.5-0.514 (2 points)11 (1.1 points)8.1
Randy Savage4.5-0.512 (1 point)22 (2.2 points)7.7
IRS4.5-0.5127 (2.7 points)7.7
Jim Duggan4.5-0.511 (0.5 points)20 (2 points)7.5
Shawn Michaels4.5-0.511 (0.5 points)15 (1.5 points)7
The Undertaker
Tito Santana
4.5-0.511 (0.5 points)13 (1.3 points)6.8
Rick Martel4.5-0.511 (0.5 points)12 (1.2 points)6.7
Repo Man4.5-0.512 (1 point)6 (0.6 points)6.6
Big Bossman4.5-0.512 (1 point)3 (0.3 points)6.3
Virgil4.5-0.511 (0.5 points)7 (0.7 points)6.2
The Barbarian4.5-0.5112 (1.2 points)6.2
Jake Roberts4.5-0.5110 (1 point)6
The Berzerker4.5-0.519 (0.9 points)5.9
The Texas Tornado4.5-0.519 (0.9 points)5.9
Hercules4.5-0.511 (0.5 points)05.5
Sgt. Slaughter
Greg Valentine
4.5-0.514 (0.4 points)5.4
Jimmy Snuka
Col. Mustafa
Skinner
4.5-0.512 (0.2 points)5.2
Ted DiBiase
Jerry Sags
The Warlord
Haku
Nikolai Volkoff
4.5-0.511 (0.1 points)5.1

That’s all for today. Thank you so much for your time reading, and make sure you don’t miss the next reviews as we get closer to WrestleMania VIII.