OSR: WWE Royal Rumble 1994 Review
In the next edition of the Old School Review, we shall be going to a time when new stars were clearly on the rise in the WWE, and was at the height of Yokozuna’s reign of dominance as the WWE Champion, whilst a Family Feud was in the making with a storyline set to remain for the rest of 1994. With the eyes becoming focused on the tenth anniversary of WrestleMania, all eyes were focused on the go-home pay-per-view for the event. If you haven’t worked it out already, the next edition of the OSR takes us to the Royal Rumble 1994 Review…
A short opening video is shown for the event but with no history package before we go to the arena with our commentator for the evening, Vince McMahon who talks about the various matches which will be happening on the under card this evening, before he is joined by his commentating partner for the evening, Ted DiBiase who makes his way to the announce booth and talks about the Royal Rumble match itself before we head down to the ring for the first match of the evening.
Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon)
Tatanka makes his way out to a nothing reaction, before Bam Bam makes his way out to a series of boos but the early moments see very back and forth action between each of the competitors with Tatanka using his athletic ability to bring down Bam Bam. Eventually, Bam Bam uses a series of endurance moves to keep Tatanka under control until Tatanka uses his speed to counter Bam Bam, until Bam Bam nails him with a spinning wheel kick to bring him back down again. Eventually, Tatanka is able to pick up the win following a flying cross body in a mediocre opening match.
Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE Tag Team Championship: The Quebecers (c) (w/ Johnny Polo) vs. Bret and Owen Hart
We are shown a series of video packages showing the breakdown in relations between Bret and Owen going back to the 1993 Survivor Series before a temporary reconciliation has brought them to this evening, at which point they are interviewed by Todd Pettingell, where Owen confirms he will make Bret proud of him before we head back to the arena for the match. Both teams make their way to the ring, Bret and Owen to an incredible reaction before Bret and Pierre start off the action before a series of tags in and out between each team take place, with Bret and Owen dominating the action, but showing what amazing wrestlers they actually were.The Quebecers eventually settle into control of the match, being dominant over Bret as Owen looks on, until Bret is later able to tag in Owen at which point The Quebecers are temporarily dominant until Bret is tagged in again, at which point Polo becomes involved and causes Bret to go diving to the outside, injuring his knee in the process allowing The Quebecers to double team him as Owen is restrained by the referee.The match continues with The Quebecers taking focus on Bret’s injured leg/knee, which eventually results in the referee stopping the match in favour of The Quebecers. After the bell, Owen is exceptionally irate and proceeds to attack Bret in the leg before walking out, calling him selfish as officials and referees attend to Bret. Raymond Rougeau makes his way into the ring, to try and get a word from Bret but is told by a very stern Pat Patterson to back off before heading back to Vince and DiBiase. Very enjoyable match, with a great story being told in the finish and aftermath which setup a clear direction for the Hart’s going forward.
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
We go backstage to Todd Pettingell, who is joined by Owen explaining his actions in the match and how Bret is to selfish, as all he had to do was tag him in, nice intense promo to establish Owen as an individual heel character. We return to Vince and DiBiase, the later of which talks about doing what needs to be done to the dismay of Vince before we soon head back to the ring for the next match of the evening.
WWE Intercontiental Championship: Razor Ramon (c) vs. Irwin R. Schyster
IRS makes his way to the ring first, and cuts a promo on those in attendance as we are joined by the commentary team for this match Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon just before Razor makes his way to the ring to a nice reaction. Razor is initially dominant over IRS, who eventually is able to mount a comeback with a series of endurance and testing moves to ground Razor. The referee is inadvertently taken out, which allows Razor to nail IRS with his briefcase, but there isn’t a referee to make the count at which point Shawn Michaels makes his way out and nails Razor with the IC title belt which allows IRS to seemingly pick up the win at which point referee Earl Hebner makes his way out and informs the original referee of what has happened, at which point the match is restarted and Razor nails IRS with the Razor’s Edge to pick up the win in a good match, but nothing special.
Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE Championship: Casket Match – Yokozuna (c) (w/ Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)
We are then shown the promotional video for the match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna for the WWE Championship, which is depicted around Taker building a larger casket for Yokozuna, and using this as a way to intimidate him, with Yokozuna portraying the appearance of someone that is genuinely terrified. I have to say it is Paul Bearer’s ghastly voice which is making this promo, he really sold The Undertaker character more than anything and made us believe in it, but for the time this is a really cool promo. We return to the arena, where Howard Finkel briefly goes over the rules for the forthcoming match before Yokozuna makes his way to the ring with Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette to an incredible heel reaction, before the gongs hit, and Paul Bearer makes his way to the ring with an enormous casket with The Undertaker following not to far behind him.
Taker eventually makes his way into the ring, with Yokozuna being absolutely terrified of him before we are shown the casket at ringside. The match begins with Taker having his back to Yokozuna, which I find surprising isn’t taken advantage of and the match seems to take a while to get started before Taker uses a series of traditional moves to try and take down Yokozuna, before the action soon spills to the outside and Taker takes Yokozuna down with a chair. For this time, this could be seen as relatively intense but in modern day reality could be perceived as a normal match. Anyhow, Yokozuna is able to regain the control with the aid of some salt to the eyes and a steel chair. After a few moments, Taker is able to use his superior athleticism to regain control and goes to dump Yokozuna in the casket at which point Crush begins to attack Taker to prevent him winning the match, and is soon followed by various other WWE superstars to attack Taker to prevent him winning the match, as we see Fuji laughing hysterically at ringside, until he and Cornette are attacked by Bearer who uses the power of the urn to allow Taker to mount a comeback. It eventually takes nine superstars (not including Yokozuna) to bring down Taker, who continues to rise from the punishment before he is attacked by the urn, at which point green mist begins to escape the urn. Eventually, Taker is locked inside the urn after Bam Bam lies on top of it, allowing Yokozuna to pick up the win and retain the championship.
After the bell, Taker is wheeled out of the arena in the casket until the gongs hit and the green mist begins to emerge from the casket at which point Taker is shown lying in the casket on the big screen, who goes on to say his spirit lives in all mankind and how everyone will soon witness the rebirth of The Undertaker, at which point he is seen seemingly rising out of the arena. Now, again that was pretty cool…very simple but oh so effective, demonstrates why things don’t need to be over complicated. The match quality was a bit poor, but the characterization in The Undertaker and Yokozuna made it for me, they did the roles justice and made it fun to watch which made it half decent in the end. It eventually comes to an end as Bearer wheels the casket out of the arena.
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
We go backstage where we are shown various superstars who will be entering the Royal Rumble match, each are given a great chance to showcase themselves and make the audience care about their entry, before we return to Vince and DiBiase who talk more about the Rumble and how anything can happen in the WWE, before talking more about some of the superstars who will be competing in the Rumble match.