So my tagged classic DVD of royal rumble 1995 & 1996 has arrived and considering this Sunday is the royal rumble its a good time to watch some older events.
Razor Ramon vs Double J
A fairly slow match with lots of mentions of the title can’t change on a DQ or count out. Razor gets chucked over the ropes and the Roadie takes out Razors leg leading to a countout victory to Double J. Realising he hasnt won the title Double J chants chicken getting Razor to agree to a rematch. Quickly locking the figure four leg lock to take advantage Double J dominates until razor tries pulls off the Razors Edge. With a bad leg Razor collapses allowing Double J to win with a roll up.
An alright opening match and classic heel tactics to win the title whilst keeping Razor strong.
Undertaker vs IRS
Normal mid 90’s Undertaker match with the urn and druids taking a major part of the match. Undertaker wins with a tombstone. Afterwards the druids attack Undertaker and Paul bearer with a run in by King Kong Bundy nicely setting up their Wrestlemania match.
WWF Championship Match
Diesel (C) vs Bret Hart
Not even 50 mins in and we have the title match a little soon. A nice technical match with Bret taking down Diesels legs. Diesel looks like he is about to win delivering the jackknife to Bret when Shawn Michaels attacks Diesel. The match is ordered to continue after the attack. Yes another restart. Bret takes the advantage taking down Diesels legs. Before Diesel takes control again. Bret then takes to some more heelish action with the referee ignoring some questionable dq calls. While Bret has the sharpshooter locked in Owen Hart attacks Bret. The match is restarted again. The match finally ends when Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Bob Backland, Double J and the roadie attack both Bret and Diesel. When a DQ is finally called and the match declared a draw.
Overall a decent title match between two good guys. A very technical contest with the rules being bent alot. The match mainly served its purpose of setting up the seeds of wrestlemania
Bam Bam Bigloe & Tatanka vs 123 Kid and Bob Holly
Tag title tournament finals.
Tournaments are a great way to find a number one contender, launch new stars and to add unpredictability. A nice mix of high-speed and power throughout. The 123 Kid picked up the win and the titles. After the match Bam bam gets into a confrontation with Lawrence Taylor shoving him to the floor which gets the crowd pumped up!
Royal Rumble Match
Pamela Anderson is introduced to the crowd and announced she will accompany the winner at Wrestlemania. Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog draw number 1 and 2 and that is where the star power finishes… the next 8 wrestlers sorry gimmicks had no impact on the crowd until Doink came out. This continued the only real stars were Owen Hart, Lex Luger, Mabel, Bundy, Crush, Dick Murdoch and Aldo Montoya.
The final four were British Bulldog, Shawn Michaels Crush and Lex Luger. The ending of this match has been well documented and is very well done. British bulldog through Hbk over the ropes thinking he has won only for Hbk to skin the cat and hang on to the ropes and eliminate the celebrating Bulldog.
Overall the ppv was typical of its time. The matches were ok and nothing special. There were too many run in’s which got repetitive quickly and ruined the pace of some matches. It was slightly odd not having the WWF title match before the rumble match in the favour of a tag match. The Rumble it self felt more like a gimmick battle royale than anything. To say the roster was weak is an understatement! Hence the 1 minute run ins. So many inexperienced guys thankfully the Bulldog and Shawn Michaels kept the gel and created an exciting finish.