OSR: WWE Royal Rumble 1996 Review
What a difference a year makes. WCW launched Monday Night Nitro 3 months before, competition is building and from the start the Royal Rumble 1996 means business. The presentation video at the start makes you interested in the event. Hopefully this years will be much more enjoyable than the 1995 version that I scored 5 out 10. Here is the Royal Rumble 1996 Review
Ahmed Johnson vs Double J Jeff Jerrett
The opening match was once again stared Jeff Jerrett against the newcomer Ahmed Johnson in a very exciting match. Ahmed showed that he had great in ring skills for a big guy, even trying to mimic the Undertaker jumping over the top rope. Ahmed Johnson kept his undefeated streak in tact winning by a DQ with Double J using his guitar off the top rope.
After the match, there was a rather awkward taped interview with the smoking guns! Followed by Diesel sowing some seeds into a feud with the Undertaker.
WWF Tag Team Championship – The Smoking Guns vs The Body Donnas w/ Sunny
A decent match with Sunny being used for distractions, eye candy alot in the match. Smoking Guns pick up the win.
Intercontiental Title – Razor Ramon (C) vs Goldust
A nice build up video hyping the feud between Goldust and Razor giving a big match feel. After a very long introduction and debut of Marlena the match gets under way. A very physical match up with momentum switching back and forth. Marlena distracts the referee allowing the 123 Kid to attack Razor, giving Goldust the win and becoming new Intercontinental champion.
Royal Rumble Match
Hunter Hurst Helmsley starts off the match against old foe Henry Godwin. Always good to have a meaning to the number 1 and 2 entries and a reason to fight. Straight away compared to last year we actually have superstars we know! Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Bob Holly, King Mabel, Jake Roberts and even Terry Funk! The crowd go wild for Jake Roberts who bring a huge snake to the ring! Jerry Lawler plays a brilliant plan of hiding under the ring. Once HBK hits the ring he quickly eliminates Yokozuna and Vader at once! Doing so, Vader “eliminates” everyone from the Royal Rumble. As Vader was eliminated everyone is allowed back in the ring. Shawn Michaels wins the match last eliminating Diesel, winning it two years in a row.
This was one of the better Rumbles, a nice mixture of stories within, an impressive debut by Vader, a great run from number 1 by HHH. The match definitely worked so much better than 1995, 2 minute entries, and more experienced workers.
Main Event – WWF Title – Bret Hart (C) vs Undertaker
As Undertaker made his entrance , an upset Diesel attacked the Undertaker nicely setting up their Wrestlemania match. A slightly slow match oddly after the rumble. A mixture of offence by both men. The match ended in a DQ with a run in by Diesel. As Undertaker won via DQ Bret kept the title
Overall a very good PPV, it seems that WWF had begun their battle against WCW pulling in a much improved production, story and overall feel compared to the 1995 event. The WWF title match after the Rumble slowed the pace of the PPV down. A very good Rumble as well.