OSR: WWE Royal Rumble 1997 Review

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

The first entrant into the match is Crush who makes his way to the ring with The Nation before the second entrant Ahmed Johnson makes his way to the ring and quickly gets at it with Crush before the third entrant, “Fake” Razor Ramon makes his way to the ring but is quickly eliminated by Johnson, who then eliminates himself when Faarooq appears and he goes after him. The fourth entrant is Phineas Godwinn who makes his way to the ring with Hillbilly Jim, and quickly gets at it with Crush before the fifth entrant, Stone Cold Steve Austin makes his way to the ring, taking his time but is quickly taken down by Phineas. Crush is soon eliminated by Phineas, who after a Stunner is then eliminated by Austin before the sixth entrant, Bart Gunn makes his way to the ring and quickly takes it to Austin, but is quickly overcome and eliminated by Austin. The seventh entrant, Jake Roberts then makes his way to the ring and takes to Austin with various moves before the eighth entrant, The British Bulldog makes his way to the ring whilst Jake is eliminated by Austin in the mean time.

The ninth entrant is Pierroth who quickly sets about Austin and Bulldog before they are soon joined by the tenth entrant, The Sultan who is accompanied by The Iron Sheik. He soon enters the ring, and takes it to Pierroth before the eleventh entrant, Mil Mascaras make to the ring and quickly takes it to The Sultan, soon followed by the twelfth entrant, Hunter Hearst Helmsley whilst The Sultan is eliminated by Bulldog. As the action continues inside the ring, the thirteenth entrant Owen Hart makes his way to the ring and soon eliminates his fellow tag champion and brother-in-law, Bulldog. Before long, the fourteenth entrant, Goldust makes his way into the ring and takes it to Helmsley following their earlier match soon followed by the fifteenth entrant, Cibernetico who quickly starts going at it with Mascaras.

As the sixteenth entrant, Marc Mero makes his way to the ring, Cibernetico and Mascaras are eliminated. From this, Goldust soon eliminates Helmsley before the seventeenth entrant, Latin Lover makes his way to the ring and starts going at it with Owen. Goldust is the next eliminated by Owen, before Faarooq is the eighteenth entrant into the match and sets about Latin Lover, who he quickly eliminates. Ahmed Johnson makes a sudden reappearance and causes Faarooq to eliminate himself, whilst the remaining competitors bar Austin are eliminated. The nineteenth entrant, Savio Vega makes his way to the ring and gets into it with Austin but himself is soon eliminated by Austin leaving Austin alone, until the twentieth entrant Jesse James makes his way to the ring but is quickly eliminated by Austin, again leaving Austin alone.

The twenty-first entrant to the match is Bret Hart, to the dismay of Austin, and they quickly go at it with one another, before the twenty-second entrant, Jerry Lawler enters the ring and spends more time entering the ring than he spends in it as he is quickly eliminated by Bret, allowing the domination of Austin by Bret to continue. The twenty-third entrant, “Fake” Diesel makes his way to the ring and quickly sets about Bret and Austin just before the twenty-fourth entrant, Terry Funk makes his way to the ring and takes down Austin as the action continues. The next entrant at number twenty-five is Rocky Maivia, who goes at it with various superstars before they are joined by the twenty-sixth entrant, Mankind who quickly goes for Terry Funk.

The twenty-seventh entrant is Flash Funk, whilst Bret nails Austin with a pile driver and Flash takes down Terry and Diesel with a high flying aerial move, and are soon joined by the twenty-eighth entrant, Vader who takes his time entering the ring but then quickly goes for Bret before the twenty-ninth entrant, Henry Godwinn makes his way to the ring with Hillbilly Jim and immediately goes after Vader. They are soon joined by the entrant, number thirty, The Undertaker who quickly goes for Vader and Mankind. He takes down various superstars with a choke slam. The next elimination is Flash Funk, who is tossed over the rope by Vader with extreme power, which is soon followed by Henry Godwinn being eliminated by Taker. Maivia is the next man eliminated, when Mankind uses the mandible claw to toss him over the top rope, soon followed by Mankind also eliminating Terry Funk with a suplex who himself is then eliminated by The Undertaker. Following their elimination, Terry and Mankind go at it at ringside which causes the referees to be distracted, and which point Austin is eliminated by Bret but as the referees didn’t see it he sneaks back in and quickly eliminates the remaining competitors to become the 1997 Royal Rumble winner.

Bret goes mental after the match, becoming irate with the referees before having a go at McMahon before leaving the dome. We are then shown a recap of what happened and the controversy as the commentators discuss the technicalities of the decision, but Stone Cold Steve Austin is the winner of the 1997 Royal Rumble. The Rumble match, was okay but not great by any stretch of the imagination, it could be conceived that they struggled with superstars in this match but the ending was quite good and truly setup the aftermath for Bret and Austin. There have being worse, but certainly being better Rumble matches, this one isn’t one that would stand out in your memory.

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

We then go to the announcers, who are talking about the forthcoming match but also further addressing the outcome of the Rumble match, with JR emphasizing the technicalities of the match before the attention is refocused to the main event.

WWE Championship: Sycho Sid (c) vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ José Lothario)

A history package is shown for the match, including how Sid captured the championship at the 1996 Survivor Series, before we are then shown an interview of Shawn Michaels with JR, talking about the match but how Sid goes about things and despite having the flu, he is going to take it to Sid and walk out the champion. We are then shown Michaels and Jose Lothario making their way to the ring, before he enters the dome to an incredible reaction. We are then show Sid making his way to the ring which generates a chorus of boos, before he then makes his way to the ring, Sid had a great level of intensity but lacked the skill in the ring to give something half decent sadly, his character was amazing. As the match gets underway, Sid is very dominant over Michaels. Michaels is able to mount a brief comeback against Sid, but is soon taken out again with a power bomb on the floor. After the referee is taken out. Sid nails HBK with a choke slam but by the time another referee appears, he kicks out and Sid attacks the referee with a very awkward looking punch. With Jose distracting Sid, HBK then nails him the the TV camera, homage to what Sid did at Survvior Series, but Sid kicks out and Shawn nails him with the Sweet Chin Music to pick up the win and capture the WWE Championship. Out of all Michaels championship victories, this is one that you would most certainly forget because the match was by no means a classic which will stand out in your memory, the match itself was pretty rubbish but the story made up for it slightly.

Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

The show itself, wasn’t necessarily bad but it wasn’t necessarily good if I am honest. Whilst I really enjoyed the Intercontinental Championship match because I was shown a new side to Goldust that I hadn’t seen, and the match between Taker and Vader was one of the better big men contests I have seen to the point it was enjoyable, the Rumble match itself wasn’t particularly good. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it lacked those memorable moments within the match which make people remember it, but in some ways this show comes across as a very bad mix between the New Generation and Attitude Era’s, so in some places it can be seen as very mis-match. The main event, as I said earlier isn’t one of Shawn’s greatest championship matches, there are far better ones out there and this one would struggle to stick in you imagination. You can view the entire show here on the WWE Network should you wish, but I would only recommend certain matches.

Show Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

Do you agree with our Old School Review of Royal Rumble 1997, can you see the start of the Attitude Era, what do you think worked and what didn’t, should Austin have being allowed to re-enter the match or should Bret Hart have won…we’d love to know you thoughts on it!


Royal Rumble Old School Reviews

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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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