OSR: WWE Royal Rumble 1989 Review
In the next edition of the Old School Review, we shall be going back to the event which featured the first of the traditional 30-man Royal Rumble match, the battle of two men proclaiming to be King with a weasel manager loitering between the two, plus the event which was the last to hold a Women’s Championship match for nearly five years. If you haven’t worked it out already, this OSR goes to the Royal Rumble 1989 Review…
An opening package is shown highlighting various superstars that will be entering the 1989 Royal Rumble, narrated by Vince McMahon before we go to the arena with our announcers for the evening, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura who talk about the various matches which will be held on the card before we head down to the ring for our first match of the evening.
Six-Man Tag Team Match: 2 out of 3 Falls – Dino Bravo and The Fabulous Rougeaus (w/ Jimmy Hart and Frenchy Martin) vs. Jim Duggan and The Hart Foundation
Bravo and The Rougeaus make their way to the ring first with the Canadian National Anthem playing to a pretty good heel reaction before Duggan and the Foundation make their way to the ring to an incredible reaction, and before long Duggan has the arena chanting “USA”. The match is started with Neidhart and Bravo, with a battle of power between the two before the tags are exchanged to Duggan and Raymond, for which Duggan is able to bring him down before tagging in Bret who seems to work really well and at a nice pace with Raymond, before Jacques is soon tagged in. Everyone soon spreads into the ring, to allow the domination of Bret to continue with frequent tags amongst Bravo and the Rougeaus, shortly before Raymond is able to pick up the first pin fall when he pins Bret. From this, they are able to continue their domination of Bret in an impressive style, I haven’t seen a lot of the Rougeau’s but I am impressed and Bravo was exceptionally talented. After taking a beating for a while, Bret is eventually able to tag in Neidhart, but it is missed by the referee meaning it isn’t allowed and the domination continues over Bret. Eventually, Duggan is tagged in and takes it to all men before catapulting both Neidhart and Bret in the ring, to allow him to pick up the win for the second fall over Raymond I believe. After a few more minutes of back and forth action, Bret is able to pick up the win for his team when he pins Bravo in an enjoyable opening match, nicely contested and a nice pace throughout.
Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars
We go backstage to see various superstars who are drawing their numbers for the Rumble match this evening, in something which seems very basic for the WWE but also a little bit cobbled together before we head back to the arena for the next match.
WWE Women’s Championship: Rockin’ Robin (c) vs. Judy Martin
Martin is already in the ring, before Robin makes her way out to no reaction whilst Sensational Sherri takes to the microphone and challenges the winner to a match, before going to join Gorilla and Jesse on commentary. For a brief moment in the opening, the match is a little bit back and forth, but this soon sees Martin becoming dominant over Robin using her strength advantage. Robin is eventually able to mount a comeback against Martin, and eventually retains the championship following a flying cross body. The match, was a lot better than lots of the women’s championship matches I’ve seen but it is forgettable and nothing of interest really occurs in it. The only thing that stands out for me is how ridiculous Robin’s music is.
Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars
We go backstage to Sean Mooney who is interviewing Akeem, The Big Boss Man (who looks enormous) and Slick who’s integrity is questioned by Mooney and his allegiance with DiBiase before we go back to the arena for the pose down challenge with Gene Okerlund hosting. Rick Rude makes his way out first with Bobby Heenan, before Rude takes to the microphone self promoting himself ahead of the pose down, but displaying great arrogance before The Ultimate Warrior makes his way to the ring to an incredible reaction before Heenan cuts a promo. Both men then have their pose down, to which Warrior gets a great reaction, but this a complete waste of time when it could have being better done with a match between the two, unless that occurred at WrestleMania 5, I cannot recall. Anyhow, as Warrior is taking his final pose, he is attacked by Rude with a work out bar. Warrior then shows his immortality by taking out a series of referees and officials before running out of the arena.
We then go backstage again, to Mr Fuji talking about some of his various clients taking part in the Rumble match before we go to Gene Okerlund talking to Miss Elizabeth, who glosses over the possibility of having Savage and Hogan face one another before we then go to Jimmy Hart who is promoting his various clients in the Rumble match before we return to the arena with Jesse sitting in a throne, talking about the forthcoming match between Harley Race and Haku.
King Haku (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Harley Race
Haku makes his way out first, whilst Heenan gets on the microphone saying people should pay their respect to Haku who is carried around the ring in an entrance which seems to take ages, before Harley Race makes his way to the ring, and quickly tips Haku of his podium. In the opening moments, Race is dominant over Haku, using his ring expertise to remain in control until he is sent head first into the ring post allowing Haku to regain control. Haku remains dominant over Race until a series of headbutts fail and Race is able to nail him with a pile driver, whilst Heenan is advocating whoever is in control at that moment. After a few more moments of hotly contested, back and forth action Haku is able to pick up the win when he nails Race with a super kick, to which Heenan then aligns himself with Haku. Now, that was a decent match, Race knew where he was going in the ring and bounced around nicely for Haku, who was equally as impressive.
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
We are shown various different competitors for the Royal Rumble match, and what they are going to do in the match. It is nice to see people given an opportunity at being relevant, everyone seems to have a purpose and are given a promotional shot going into the match meaning people will actually care about it. We then go to Gorilla and Jesse who briefly go over the rules for the Rumble, before we then head to Gene with Ted DiBiase and Virgil, who talks about the luck of the draw in the Rumble before going to Sean Mooney with members of The Heenan Family, and how they are ready for anything and everything. We then go to Gene Okerlund with Hogan, who talks about being worried about various things going into the Rumble but you need to believe and he will throw everyone over the top rope if needed before we return to the arena, now for the Rumble to begin whilst Howard Finkel briefly goes over the rules, with a superstar entering every two minutes.