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WELCOME TO
TWF LTR -
TODAY'S BREAKOUT IWC SUPERSTAR...UMM, TOMORROW?
CHALLENGE # 3
PPV RANT:
WWF ROYAL RUMBLE 1992

 Hi there wrestling fan and welcome to my Retro review! I’m Jeff Knott, you’re resident non-evil Brit. The stereotype is way off and anyone who wants to play on it any more can fuck right off, or come and talk about it over a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. Because I’m too polite, or something. And while we’re at it, not all Brits are gay – if you think that, well then fuck you. Unless you’re a guy, because then me telling you to “fuck you” would be really gay, thus undermining my whole argument...Ah bollocks, on with the show.
 

 

On other thing you should know about this review – I’m not doing detailed play by play. Partly this is because anyone voting on this is going to have to read like half a dozen of these things, so short is good (except Hornswoggle). Mind you, that’s assuming Sean posts all of them and doesn’t just post a link to Paul G Parry’s to “encourage” you all to vote for him. Honestly the establishment’s oh so subtle endorsement of Parry as their preferred choice is about as subtle as Vince’s endorsement of Taboo Tuesday voting. So lets prove this thing is legit (?), really piss them off and get someone else up there – and by someone else I mean me ok? And I wouldn’t want to rip on my fellow contestant, but fuck me if Parry doesn’t look like a clone of his pro Joe Merrick. Seriously, look at their photos on the LTR page – that’s some weird genetic shit going on. So yeh, don’t vote for those two, they shag each other.

 

Sean gave us free reign to pick whatever PPV or show we liked to review this. I contemplated doing one of the recent ones Sean pointed out hadn’t been reviewed yet on TWF (subtle leading there Sean), but ultimately decided not to go for Royal Rumble ’92 because older stuff is easier to find on youtube of the superior quality of the old school product.

 

So welcome to Albany, NY and the aptly named Knickerbocker Arena. We’re welcomed by possibly the greatest announce pairing in the history of history, Gorilla Monsoon and your friend and mind, the Brain! And its straight into our first match...

 

The New Hart Foundation (Owen Hart and Jim Niedhart) vs The Orient Express (Kato and Tanaka) w/ Mr Fuji w/ cane w/o epic singing

Any match featuring Mr Fuji would be made 100 times better just by having him singalong. Surely its only a matter of time before our favourite evil Jap joins the current rend for retired wrestlers and releases a country music album? You heard it here first!

Anyway, this is clearly a way to put over Owen as the next star of the company (ironic really. Maybe Vince should have followed Perry Como’s advice and “caught  falling star”) with the Anvil only back in the company to give a second Hart brother the platform to better things.

Things start for well for The Foundation, with Owen out wrestling Kato and tagging Jimmy boy to work the infamous powerslam/chinlock combo. Fuji’s cane makes an appearance, as Owen take s nasty looking Irish whip into the cane subtly placed on the turnbuckle, to turn things around for the Express. The younger Hart then gets systematically destroyed until he’s able to reach out for the hot tag to Anvil, who comes in a (poorly secured) house on fire, dishing out shoulder blocks like to derail the Orient Express – train wreck! Owen quickly tags back in to hit a splash from the top for three.

 

Next up we get a recap of The Mountie besting Brett Hart for the IC strap at a recent house show. See, back in the day house shows mattered. You could turn up and see a title change, even if it was the greatest wrestler of all time getting pinned by a lower/mid card comedy act. Canadian civil war!~ So, who should step back in to defend Hart’s honour, but the Rowdy one, Roddie Piper! A proud representative of the UK with his true blue Scottish heritage. What? This was only after the second or third retirement, and pre cancer/massive drug abuse/morbid obesity, but still well past Piper’s best, as he’s looking a little on the soft side even nearly 20 years ago! Not expecting much from this...

 

Intercontinental Title Match

The Mountie (c)  w/ immense apathy and Jimmy Hart vs Roddie Piper w/ immense problems to come

I said I didn’t expect much and from the rasslin point of view I sure wasn’t wrong. When you have the mouth of the south in your corner and still can’t get the crowd interested, then you’re more dull than a night of wanton passion with Margaret Thatcher (no I don’t give a shit if you don’t know who she is, how do you think I feel for every guest host of Raw – google it you lazy bastard). Things start of very punchy, and then get, very punchy. Honestly, there’s more punches here than at Steve Austin’s seminar on relationship management. The Mountie takes brief control off a missed dropkick (where Piper got a full 3 inches off the floor – he’s no Bob Holly), and lays in with, more fucking punches. Eventually Hart brings the Mountie’s cattle prod into play, which I can only assume is going to be used for inject some actual energy into this thing, but Piper dodges, making Mountie to run into Hart on the apron. Piper then prods the Mountie with his own weapon (kinky) and locks on the sleeper to secure the win and his first ever title as the crowd come unglued.

Seriously, this was shockingly bad match, completely redeemed by a batshit crazy crowd who clearly understood the significance of the greatest wrestler of the 80s who never won a title (due primarily to the iron grip of the orange goblin), finally getting the brass ring.

Want an advert for how the audience can save a match? Well we just had a terrible matched redeemded by a crowd emotionally investing in the winner. Now we’re following it with a terrible match between two teams the crowd wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire. Its...

 

Beverley Brothers w/ The Genius (Lanny Poffo) vs Bushwhackers w/ The Imbecile (Jamison)

Historical tit-bit (not Mae Young) – having spent years being Bobby Heenan’s verbal (and often physical) punching bag, this would be Jamison’s last PPV appearance.

You know I never really got eh fascination some people seem to have with Butch and Luke. They were a comedy team in the same way sticking burning bamboo into your eyes is “comedy”. And my god does this abomination go on. Rather than the token 5 minute brawl with comedy spot before marching around and getting flattened, the rising heel team are actually forced to sell for the sheep-shaggers. Things take a turn for weirdsville as Jamison and the Genius get into it on the outside, and when fucking Jamison is a more believable wrestler than you, its time to give it away. Finally, and I do mean after what feels like a year of bullshit boring, industry exposing crap, the Bro’s put the Whackers away with a  double axe-handle from the 2nd rope. They them beat down Poffo and in the coolest visual I’ve ever seen, let Jamison kick the Genius in the shins. I demand this is Santino’s new finisher. Hey Genius – what rhymes with “I just got my dignity raped by a pillock in glasses who’s going to be gone in a week”?

 

Well that was god awful but things must be about to pick up because its tag team championship time, when that actually meant something.

 

Tag Team Championship Match

Legion of Doom (c) vs Natural Disasters

I loved LOD and happen to believe the Natural Disasters were two of the more underrated big men around at the time. Sure they’re not going to be breaking out any 450s anytime, but just look at the pair of them – they look like they would legit squash anyone who got in their way.

That was my pre-match thoughts – it didn’t quite play out like that. See LOD as new champs are in full “we’re not selling shit for anyone” mode and relying on simply rely on overpowering opponents. That doesn’t work against two half ton behemoths. Early story is Hawk trying to take Typhoon down and failing every time. Couple of tags with the Disasters in control until Quake misses a drop kick. For those keeping count, Quake got a shit load more height than Piper did on his earlier, which is impressive and depressing all at once. Animal shows his terminal stupidity by trying to slam Quake. Shockingly enough his knees give out and Quake picks up a 2. By surviving this, Animal proves that whatever species he is, it certainly isn’t a snake (and I don’t care if that was before or after this so don’t write in folks).

All four men brawl outside and the ref reaches ten as both Disasters slide back in. Christ, when Earthquake and Typhoon are outpacing you to the ring, you’ve got issues. Again showing off the apparent stupidity of early 90s wrestlers, the Disasters react as if they’ve won the titles, only to be reminded of the rules of title changes by Hawk with a chair.

Crap match, showing the lack of flexibility of LOD as much as the lumbering fatness of the Disasters and with a very weird ending to boot which did no one any favours.

Best to move quickly along to the main event, the Royal Rumble Match!

 

Royal Rumble!!

Jack Tunney comes out and explains the rules as only a monkey in a suit can. For anyone who doesn’t know out there, this was the one and only Rumble where the WWF title was on the line, after it had been vacated following dusty finished between Hogan and a young Undertaker previously. The tradition of the Rumble winner getting a title shot at Wrestlemania wouldn’t come in until the following year.

So this is going to be epic, but its at this pointy I wonder why in hell I chose to recap a match featuring 30 wrestlers, voluntarily! That’s like your boss saying, you can take any job you ant and me saying “yeh, I’ve always wanted to be the guy who cleans toilet bowls with his tongue”.

So anyway, I’m not going to recap the whole thing, elimination by elimination. If you want to know that the Bezerker came in at number 22, well then google it. Then after that, crawl out from under your rock and get a life.

Things kick off, with the British Bulldog and the original million dollar man Ted Dibiase. This was a shocker at the time, as both, particularly Dibiase would have been considered outside bets to win it all. And my god does Bulldog look big here. All that donkey punching and anal rape (see his wife’s  book) has sure produced some big biceps. Seriously, his skin is stretched so tight here, one more prick and he would pop. Anyway, exchanging some crisp slams, Bulldog lifts Dibiase over, for the big early win. And now things really pick up with the Real World Champion Ric Freakin Flair coming down to the ring number 3, as the Brain loses his mind on commentary. The story for the next 45 minutes is every WWF wrestler coming in wanting to get a piece of “the invader” Flair, as Heenan begs for fairness, highlighted by the now infamous line “please God, let Flair win and I’ll never do anything bad again”. As this was years before God no showed WWE PPVs, this could be considered a legitimate ask at this stage. By a combination of skill, luck and cunning, the dirtiest player in the game survives each subsequent attack without being eliminated, despite being over the rop rope at least a dozen times, as even Monsoon, ever the one-eyed Hogan lover, has to admit Flair’s amazing performance.

As we come down to the finish, Hogan and Sid Justice (not yet Psycho) team up to dump the lumbering oafs left in (Barbarian) and Hogan dumps his rival of the last few months, a scarily young looking Undertaker. This leaves us with a final four of Hogan, Sid, Macho Man Randy Savage (who had earlier scared Jake the Snake into eliminating himself) and of course Naitch. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that even though this was 20 years ago, Flair still looked old. Mad to think he kept going for so many years. As Flair and Hogan pair off, Sid eliminates Savage to leave Flair alone with the super-friends of their time (tell me you wouldn’t love to see Lebron go for a big jump and snap his leg like a twig a la Sid several years later). As Sid regroups, Hogan has Flair teetering on the top rope yet again, as the crowd grow even louder, anticipating the end. Sid come sup and in what was a genuinely shocking moment at the time, takes advantage and pushes Hogan over the top, letting Flair escape. Hilariously the crowd go insane, despite Hogan being the ultimate fan favourite. Hey terry, even in 1992 the fans were bored with you – not go the message yet? Hogan, being the twat that he is, complains to the refer, the fans and Sid. Clearly he’d not read the poster for the event whiwch clearly states “Every man for himself”. As they bitch to each other over the top rope, Flair sees the opportunity and dumps Sid from behind to win the Rumble and become the WWE Champion!

Undoubtedly the greatest Rumble match ever. My lazy arse recap doesn’t go near doing it justice. The big highlights are obvious – Flair going an hour to win his first WWF title and oust Hogan from the top of the ladder for the first time in years and of course Heenan’s legendary commentary. When Sid went over, Heenan literally sounded like he’s just creamed his pants. Judging by monsoon’s grunting, he was worried too.
Beyond that though, there were so many other things going on, with at least 1/3 entrants with a legitimate shot at winning it and so many sub-plots being progressed, not least the epic Shawn Michaels – El Matador feud, which made Michaels, way before he lost his smile, anal cherry and mind.

 

Final Verdict

This is remembered as one of the best PPVs in WWE history, but its a total one match card. Sure the opener was good and Piper’s title win was historic, but until the rumble match itself, this was heading the way of mediocrity. The Flair and Heenan together carried it to legendary status. An epic performance to not only last an hour and win the title, but for one of the few times ever, wrest the limelight away from the red and yellow ogre. If you watch nothing else in your life, make it porn. But after that, watch this Rumble!

 

Thanks for reading my debut review. Make sure you get on the LTR page to vote. Vote for whoever you want, as long as its me. But really, just make sure you don’t vote for Paul G Parry. The G stands for gay you know.

 

Till next time, if at first you don’t succeed, pick a fight with the one who’s winning and ride his coat-tails like Pat Patterson does the rookies.

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