OSR: WWE Royal Rumble 1989 Review

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

We are quickly introduced to the number one entrant, Demolition Ax before the second entrant, Demolition Smash comes out meaning the tag champions will be going at it. They quickly get at it with one another, before they are joined by the third entrant, Andre the Giant who they quickly set about taking down before they are joined by the fourth entrant, Mr. Perfect and fifth entrant, Ronnie Garvin whilst the first elimination of the match occurs with Smash being eliminated by Andre. They are soon joined by the sixth entrant to the match, Greg Valentine whilst Ronnie Garvin is eliminated by Andre. The next entrant at number seven is Jake Roberts, who quickly sets about taking down Andre but is seemingly unsuccessful as Andre uses his sheer size and power to his advantage. The next entrant at number eight is Ron Bass, whilst Andre eliminates Jake Roberts meaning Andre goes for Valentine. As the ninth entrant, Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring, the next elimination is Ax by Perfect. We are then soon joined by the tenth entrant, Bushwhacker Butch before Jake Robertss makes a reappearance with Damien causing a terrified Andre to flee the ring, thus eliminating himself…I think clarification of the rules in the early days is needed for me.

The eleventh entrant, The Honky Tonk Man soon makes his way to the ring and goes straight for Butch and Perfect, before the twelfth entrant Tito Santana makes his way to the ring and goes straight for Perfect. The next entrant at number thirteen is Bad News Brown, whilst Honky Tonk Man is eliminated by Butch and Tito. The ring is gradually beginning to fill up, but bar Andre’s elimination, nothing of significance has really occurred thus far. Anyhow, we are soon joined by the next entrant at number fourteen, Marty Jannetty who quickly gets at it with Ron Bass, soon to be joined by the fifteenth entrant, Randy Savage who soon eliminates Greg Valentine shortly before the sixteenth entrant, Arn Anderson makes his way to the ring and goes for Shawn Michaels, who he quickly eliminates with assistance from Savage. The seventeenth entrant, Tully Blanchard soon makes his way to the ring and gets lost in the sea of competitors, annoyingly it is difficult to follow what is going on at the moment due to the number of competitors in the ring. The nineteenth entrant, Hulk Hogan makes his way to the ring and goes for Perfect whilst Tully and Arn eliminate Jannetty. Hogan quickly eliminates Perfect and Anderson eliminates Tito. The twentieth entrant, Bushwhacker Luke makes his way to the ring as his teammate, Butch is eliminated by Hogan and Bad News.

The twenty-first entrant, Koko B. Ware makes his way to the ring and locks up quickly with Luke whilst Anderson goes after Hogan, and before long Koko and Luke are eliminated by Hogan as the twenty-first entrant, The Warlord makes his way to the ring as Hogan eliminates both Arn and Tully. Upon entering the ring, The Warlord is quickly eliminated by Hogan in a record that would stand for many years, to which he then quickly eliminates both Savage and Bad News. This causes a lot of tension briefly with Hogan and Savage, but this is quickly resolved in time for the twenty-second entrant, The Big Boss Man makes his way to the ring and goes at it with Hogan. As Hogan gains control of Boss Man, they are joined by the twenty-third entrant, Akeem who quickly sets about Hogan in a double tram with Boss Man before they later eliminate Hogan. Hogan then pulls Boss Man outside of the ring and begins to attack him, until the twenty-fourth entrant Brutus Beefcake makes his way to the ring to assist Hogan. Hogan then causes the elimination of Boss Man by pulling down the top rope and fights with him out of the arena.

As Akeem and Beefcake go at it, they are joined by the twenty-fifth entrant, The Red Rooster who is quickly taken down by Akeem. This is the first time I have noticed how similar The Red Rooster looks to Ric Flair, even with his ring attire. The twenty-sixth entrant, The Barbarian makes his way to the ring and attacks everyone just before the twenty-seventh entrant, Big John Studd makes his way to the ring and goes at it with Akeem as the ring begins to slowly fill back up again, just as the twenty-eighth entrant, Hercules makes his way to the ring and goes at it with The Red Rooster. The twenty-ninth entrant, Rick Martel soon makes his way to the ring whilst there are several near eliminations whilst we wait for the thirtieth entrant, who soon makes his way to the ring, Ted DiBiase who comes out with Virgil. DiBiase quickly gets into it with The Red Rooster, who he is soon able to eliminate. The next eliminations are Hercules and Beefcake, who are eliminated in a double team effort by The Barbarian and DiBiase.

The next elimination is The Barbarian, who is eliminated by Martel who then takes it to DiBiase before taking it to Akeem, before he is then eliminated by the big man bringing it down to our final three. I’m not quite sure who the face is at the moment. Anyhow, DiBiase seems to be directing traffic with Akeem doing the damage to Studd before DiBiase is flattened with an avalanche, leading to Studd eliminating Akeem bringing it down to the final two. DiBiase begs and pleads with Studd, who uses his power to dominate DiBiase with a series of power moves which DiBiase sells like an absolute pro before he is soon eliminated, meaning Big John Studd is the winner of the 1989 Royal Rumble.

After the bell, Virgil tries to attack Studd, but is quickly dominated and taken down by Studd. This Rumble will be remembered for being the first 30-Man Royal Rumble, but to be honest there was nothing memorable which occurred within the match which would make you want to watch it again. There were a couple of nice spots and combinations, but nothing that would really make you remember them or have them stand out in your memory.

Match Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

Overall, this was a bit of a tedious event because for me there was nothing memorable on the card which makes it truly stand out for me, if anything it showed that the WWE were in some ways toying with the idea of the Rumble match and trying to find their niche with it. Nevertheless, a couple of the under card matches were pretty decent…Haku versus Harley Race was really enjoyable because a great story was told in the ring but they worked really well with one another, Race certainly showed his ring savvy and experience in this match. I will also say, the first match really opened my eyes to The Fabulous Rougeaus and shown me how well as a tag team they worked, before this event I was aware of them but never really appreciated how good they were. For two of the under card matches talked about here, I’d recommend watching them but the women’s championship and Rumble matches aren’t worth wasting their time on them. If you want to see the two matches I’ve recommended, you can view them here courtesy of the WWE Network.

What do you think of the latest Old School Review 1989, was the Rumble match good for you, or did it fail to hit the buttons as well, what did you think of the performances of Harley Race and Haku, did the right man win and were The Fabulous Rougeaus ahead of their time…we’d love to know what you think!

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About Dave Harper 849 Articles
Dave Harper is a writer for Wrestling's Dirty Deeds. Born a Brummie, and proud of it...passionate about wrestling, family, friends, good cider and the railway (no I'm not a train spotter)

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