DATE: January 21, 1990
VENUE: Orlando Arena (Orlando, FL)
COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone & Jesse “The Body” Ventura
The 1990 Royal Rumble features no championship matches, but some nice early build headed towards WrestleMania VI including an ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN during the Rumble match between the two biggest stars in the WWF.
- WWF CHAMPION: “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: The Ultimate Warrior
- WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Colossal Connection (Haku & Andre The Giant)
- The Bushwhackers vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus (*1/2)
- Brutus Beefcake vs. The Genius (**)
- SUBMISSION MATCH: Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg Valentine (***1/2)
- Jim Duggan vs. The Big Boss Man (*3/4)
- The 1990 Royal Rumble (***1/4)
-OPENING VIDEO: Vince McMahon lists EVERY participant for this year’s ROOOOYAL RUUUUUMBLE, plus the undercard.
-Schiavone and Ventura welcome the home audience, the latter wearing Mickey ears and a real dorky Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. Ventura has brought a Goofy hat for Schiavone, Schiavone isn’t pleased. Tony hates gifts.
The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond Rougeau) [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]
These two teams have been feuding for at least a year, with their first PPV encounter occurring at WrestleMania V. Jacques has grown out his beard and looks very much over it all; nothing that becoming a Mountie can’t fix, though. Crowd (well the folks that are actually here, I see a lot of empty seats) LOVE The Bushwhackers. Do yourselves a favor and watch a Sheepherders match sometime, it’s a real shock to the system.
Two minutes of stalling pass before Butch and Raymond start the match for their respective teams. Rougeaus try to double team early but Luke cuts him off. Raymond with a sleeperhold, Butch rams him in the corner and bites him on the ass…then bites referee “Dangerous” Danny Davis on the ass. Bushwhackers were ahead of their time when it came to ass eating. Bushwhackers chase the Rougeaus out of the ring so now it’s time for more stalling. Jacques clobbers Luke with a series of rights, Butch responds with fists of his own and bites him on the bridge of the nose. Butch clears Raymond off the apron, Luke clotheslines Jacques from behind and The Bushwhackers remain in control as the Rougeaus reset once again. Jacques goads Luke into hitting from behind but before he can Raymond hits HIM from behind. Ref gets distracted, Luke gets choked with the tag rope. Raymond tosses Luke to the floor, Jacques rams him back-first into the apron. Butch chases Hart around the ring, ref and Jacques stop him. Raymond with an arrogant cover, Luke gets his foot on the rope. Luke bites Raymond on the buns, Jacques kicks him off his brother. Jacques shows off some athleticism with a nip up for some reason, then the Rougeaus quick tag and continually throw Luke into the corner and drop him across the top rope throat-first. Abdominal stretch by Jacques, Raymond giving him some leverage behind the ref’s back. Raymond tags in, camel clutch-style chinlock. Jacques tags in, Luke counters a splash with a pair of knees. Butch gets hot the tag and goes a clubberin’. All four men in the ring, Rougeaus get whipped into one another, sending Jacques to the floor. Bushwhackers set up for the Battering Ram, Hart grabs Luke to prevent it. Hart ends up in the ring, Rougeaus save him with a double dropkick and Jacques rolls Butch up for the 1…2…kickout. Raymond applies a Boston Crab, Luke trips Jacques forcing his brother to relinquish the hold. Raymond checks on Jacques, Bushwhackers hit them from behind with the Battering Ram for the 1…2…3.
The Bushwhackers defeated The Fabulous Rougeaus via pinfall (13:35)
- I’m a real sucker for The Bushwhackers’ antics and get a kick out of them…in small doses. No reason this had to go 13 minutes, especially with as little action as there really was. Crowd was amped up so it worked for them but for me it did not make for a good way to kick this show off. What’s even worse is that this is the Rougeau Brothers’ final PPV appearance which means I will never get to hear their banger of a theme song ever again. THIS IS A TRAGEDY, Y’ALL. (*1/2)
–“Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing by with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Virgil. DiBiase says last year he drew #30, Mean Gene insinuates he bought that number. This year was different due to the added security, DiBiase protests because he didn’t even get to draw his own number. DiBiase flips at his number, Mean Gene grabs it and announces that it’s #1! OH SNAP. DiBiase sucks it up and vows to win the Rumble anyway, to shove it in the face of the 9-5ers.
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. The Genius
Genius regales us with a pre-match poem. Eat your heart out, Robert Frost. Genius wrestles very “prissy” to play to the homophobia of pro wrestling crowds, but Beefcake and his weird mesh outfits get a pass. Cool. Schiavone and Ventura mention the crowd for like the 800th time.
Genius wants a handshake, Beefcake extends and Genius prances away to go do some stretching in the corner. Schiavone admonishes Genius for wanting to use his LEFT HAND to shake. It’s the devil’s hand. They almost lock up, Genius bails and does a cartwheel. Beefcake backs Genius in the corner, breaks clean, then pantomimes him to kiss his ass and mocks his effeminate gait. Genius rakes the eyes and goes to work with various strikes. Beefcake counters the corner mount with an inverted atomic drop which he sells by rolling around then bailing from the ring. That was great. The Genius f*cking rules, everybody slept on him in 1990. Genius with more rights and a buckle shot, but misses a corner something or other. Test of strength, Beefcake immediately brings Genius to his knees and steps on his hands. THEM’S HIS POETRY WRITING HANDS, YOU MONSTER. Genius tries to bail, Beefcake catches him and yanks him crotch-first into the top rope. Cue the “F*GGOT” chants from the Orlando crowd, which Ventura tries to turn on Beefcake because he’s from San Francisco. Also f*ck Florida crowds. Beefcake counters a backdrop with a kick, Genius rebounds and connects with a dropkick for the 1…2…Beefcake throws him off and drops him throat-first on the bottom rope. Happy accident. Genius goes stompin’ on Beefcake’s head and rolls him up for the 1…2…Beefcake kicks out. Genius measures Beefcake and pays for it, flying right into a right to the midsection. Beefcake tries to apply the Sleeperhold, Genius escapes and gets sent right into the ref for a big ol’ bump. Genius clobbers, Beefcake locks in the Sleeperhold in the center of the ring, knocking him out. Beefcake grabs his scissors from the timekeeper’s area and starts taking some off the top! Out comes Mr. Perfect to finally defend his manager/friend, culminating in a Perfect Plex as the bell rings.
Brutus Beefcake and The Genius fought to a double-disqualification (11:06)
- While the first match had a lot of boring stalling, this match had the more entertaining version of it because The Genius, again, F*CKING RULES and was super unappreciated in his time. He could go in the ring as well but WWF didn’t ever want to take him seriously so we had to settle with flashes of it. Match was okay, post-match attack sets up for WrestleMania VI though we don’t know it yet. (**)
Perfect wakes Genius up and grabs a chair, ramming Beefcake in the ribs until a whole host of officials come out to break it up. Perfect keeps the camera off Genius as they go to the back, as he’s a good friend. Fink makes the Double DQ result official.
–Sean Mooney is standing by with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and his Family: “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Andre The Giant, and Haku. Heenan says everyone is happy with their numbers and everything is going to be fine. Mooney brings up that the final two could be Family members, and they all start arguing. Mooney has the GALL to cut off Andre The Giant.
“Rugged” Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]
Valentine defeated Garvin in a “Retirement Match” the year prior, forcing the former NWA World Champion to take odd-jobs in the WWF (referee, ring announcer, etc.) where he made fun of Valentine so much that he begged for Garvin to be reinstated. Valentine has also been using a shin-guard, dubbed the “Heartbreaker” to make his Figure Four leglock extra painful and deadly. Garvin has one of his own to counter Valentine. Neither man gets an entrance in this one because they’re too manly to have “theme songs” and other such theatrics.
Valentine teases leaving, Garvin makes him pay with a whole lot of chops in and out of the ring. Garvin tries to cover but it’s a SUBMISSION MATCH so no dice. Buckle shots, Valentine responds with the knifiest of knife-edged chops. Garvin responds with chops of his own and Valentine falls like a tree. Valentine bails to the floor so Hart can give him some positive motivation. ANOTHER brag about the crowd. We get it. Garvin with a single-leg, Valentine hangs on the ropes and drops him with a jab. Garvin dodges an elbowdrop so Valentine belts him as hard as he can with a knee to the midsection followed by a headbutt between the legs. Valentine tries covering but again, SUBMISSION MATCH. Garvin with a series of strikes and a jumping headbutt that sends both men crashing to the mat. Valentine counters a piledriver with a backdrop, both men try pins again but, you know, SUBMISSION MATCH. Hammer adjusts the Heartbreaker and goes for the Figure Four, Garvin kicks him off and rolls him up but, ahem, SUBMISSION MATCH. Valentine rebounds, dropping forearms across the forehead. Valentine locks in the Figure Four Leglock, but Garvin’s Heartbreaker (the Hammer Jammer) blocks the pain and he NANNA NANNA BOO BOOS THE HAMMER. Valentine goes for a slam, Garvin counters into an inside cradle but you know what’s up. Valentine with an over the shoulder backbreaker but he sorta just gives up on it and drops an elbow instead.
Garvin with some LOUD slaps to the chest and jabs to the mush. Garvin with a drop toehold and a leglock, but Valentine eventually gets to the ropes to force a break, then bails to the floor. Valentine pulls Garvin out and they chop the sh*t out of each other. Garvin goes for a piledriver, Valentine counters with a backdrop on the floor. Garvin misses a corner something or other and accidentally puts himself in a tree of woe. Ref gets him out, Valentine backs off after Garvin tries to take his Heartbreaker off. They collide in the center of the ring and down they go, Hart removes Garvin’s Hammer Jammer and celebrates like he just won the World Series. Valentine connects with a backbreaker and locks in the Figure Four, Heartbreaker and all. Garvin fights through the pain and reverses the hold but Valentine quickly gets to the ropes and turns it back over, wrenching the hold in until he has to break it. Valentine works over the left leg, stomping the unprotected shin. Garvin counters a Figure Four with an inside cradle but there’s no count because it’s A MATCH OF SUBMISSIONS. Good way to escape though. Valentine HEADS TO THE TOP, Garvin gets on one leg and slams him off, then pulls off Valentine’s Heartbreaker. EQUAL FOOTING. Garvin ducks a clothesline and belts Valentine with a right, causing him to get tied in the ropes. Garvin grabs the Heartbreaker and pulls Hart into the ring. Valentine tries to hit Garvin from behind with the Hammer Jammer but Garvin hits him with the Heartbreaker first and locks in the SHARPSHOOTER for the win!
Ronnie Garvin defeated Greg Valentine via submission (16:53)
- A hard-hitting bout that feels so out of place to what I expect to see from the WWF in 1990. Two Crockett guys having themselves a Crockett match in the middle of a New York PPV. Gotta love it. I think this one is underappreciated, honestly; yeah it’s slow in parts and they go for covers way too much in a match that doesn’t allow them, but they potatoed the ever loving f*ck out of each other and it was a joy to watch. Garvin getting one over by using the Heartbreaker to beat Valentine rocked as well. Helluva thing. Watch this sometime. (***1/2)
-“Mean” Gene welcomes his guest Mr. Perfect. Perfect is sick and tired of Beefcake taking advantage of people by cutting their hair after he knocks them out. A totally justified stance and I stand with Mr. Perfect. Hair may grow back, but Beefcake’s ribs will not grow up. Perfect says he drew the PERFECT number: #30.
IN-RING SEGMENT: THE BROTHER LOVE SHOW
Brother Love talks about the definition of lady: a woman with class, finesse, and exquisite beauty, which perfectly describes his guest: Queen Sensational Sherri. Sherri says it’s an honor and pleasure to stand before a man that radiates boldness and masculinity. Love says while reading the Book of Love he also found the definition of peasant: a woman with NO class, a woman with NO finesse, a woman with NO BEAUTY; UGLY. Sherri adds “overweight”, Love says there was a picture next to the word peasant: our next guest, “Sweet” Sapphire, the manager of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
Love and Sherri mock Sapphire’s clothes, Sherri asks where she gets them from so she doesn’t make the mistake of looking like her (I feel like that wouldn’t be hard to avoid). Love asks Sapphire what it makes her if Dusty is a Common Man. Love interrupts, saying it makes her a commoner and peasant. Sherri admonishes Sapphire for thinking she has what it takes to breathe the same air as her and stand in the same ring as Brother Love. Love asks Sapphire what she sees in Dusty Rhodes, Love once again interrupts and answers for her, making fun of him being fat. They continue making fun of Sapphire until she slaps Sherri. “The Macho King” Randy Savage shows up to get in Sapphire’s face, out comes Dusty Rhodes to the rescue. Sapphire jumps on Savage’s back, Love pulls her off. Savage and Sherri are forced to the back by refs and officials. Love, stupidly, makes fun of Rhodes. Rhodes makes him pay with a big ol’ body slam and holds him so Sapphire can slap him across the face. Dusty throws Love out and they celebrate by dancing.
- Builds the Common vs. King feud leading into WrestleMania VI but oh boy was this a lot of PPV time to eat up. Sapphire rules though, always did.
-Mooney is standing by with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Duggan is coming after the Boss Man, TOUGH GUY.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. The Big Boss Man [w/ “The Doctor of Style” Slick]
Boss Man is furiously sweating before the match even starts. Arena couldn’t spring for some air conditioning or anything? Goddamn.
Duggan and Boss Man start clubbing each other immediately. Duggan reverses an Irish whip and sends him flying to the floor with a shoulder tackle. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Boss Man pulls Duggan out, Duggan with a series of jabs, Boss Man sends him into the ring post. Boss Man charges, Duggan dodges, and the cop flies right into the ring steps. Boss Man reverses a corner Irish whip and splashes Duggan, following up with a well-placed right hand. Duggan catches a kick, Boss Man counters with an enzuigiri. Duggan no-sells the buckle shots and clobbers Boss Man with fists, but his backdrop is countered with a double axhandle and down he goes for a two-count. Slick gets involved as well, choking Duggan with his chain behind the ref’s back. Duggan fights out of a head vice, runs right into a knee to the midsection which stops his momentum. More clubberin’ leading to a BEAR HUG (ugh). Duggan tries to escape with headbutts but Boss Man keeps it applied on the way down; luckily for Hacksaw he’s close enough to the ropes to force the break. Duggan with right hands and a clothesline that sends Boss Man to the floor, but he lands on his feet and rolls back in. Boss Man misses an elbowdrop, Duggan with count-a-long rights in the corner mount. Duggan misses a corner splash, Boss Man sends him crashing with a clothesline. Boss Man MISSES a splash from the top turnbuckle, both men dazed. They get to their feet, Duggan runs into Boss Man, and they both fall back to the mat. Slick climbs the apron, Duggan dodges and Boss Man hits him accidentally. Slick gives Boss Man the nightstick and he clubs Duggan with it for the DQ.
Jim Duggan defeated The Big Boss Man via DQ (10:24)
- I normally don’t like a lot of Jim Duggan matches, but I appreciated the slugfest this one was and how they wasted no time getting into it. It lost some points with me for going on longer than it should have, with friggin’ BEAR HUGS, and the dumb finish but overall I enjoyed this. At least more than I expected to. (*3/4)
Duggan stands tall after, hitting both Boss Man and Slick with his 2×4. Boss Man tosses chairs at him, Duggan hits one with his board then sits down in celebration. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
-A whole host of folks talk about their chances in the Royal Rumble and hype various feuds, broken up by comments from Schiavone and Ventura.
-Fink gives us the rules.
THE 1990 ROYAL RUMBLE
#1 is “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase [w/ Virgil], #2 is “The Birdman” Koko B. Ware. DiBiase drew #30 last year, quite the reversal of fortune for him. DiBiase attacks Ware as he enters the ring and has control until he tries to buckle shot him. Ware no-sells it Bobo Brazil-style and pokes DiBiase in the eyes, following up with a dropkick and a series of jabs. Ware gets DiBiase on the ropes and charges, DiBiase backdrops him to the floor and KOKO B. WARE IS ELIMINATED.
#3 is Marty Jannetty of The Rockers and peppers DiBiase with a series of dropkicks and high impact offense. Jannetty charges in the corner, DiBiase drops him with a big boot and turns him inside out with a clothesline. DiBiase from the middle buckle, Jannetty catches him with a right to the midsection. DiBiase blocks an O’Connor Roll, Jannetty flies at him but DiBiase dodges and he falls to the floor. MARTY JANNETTY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
#4 is Jake “The Snake” Roberts, noted enemy of The Million Dollar Man (and a glimpse into WrestleMania future). DiBiase attacks Roberts on the floor, slamming him on the protective mats. DiBiase applies the Million Dollar Dream, Roberts escapes via steel post and rolls him in. Roberts with a backdrop and short-arm clothesline. Snake signals for the DDT, DiBiase counters with a backdrop but misses an elbowdrop. Roberts tries again, DiBiase rams him in the corner and runs into a kneelift.
#5 is “The Macho King” Randy Savage [w/ Sensational “Queen” Sherri] who gets dropped with a clothesline from Roberts. Roberts tries another kneelift, DiBiase dodges and he flies right into the buckles. DiBiase hangs out as Savage goes on the attack, eventually joining in on the attack. Savage and DiBiase tie Roberts up for some unblocked shots as the countdown starts.
#6 is “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, here to even the odds…in a match where every man is for themselves. Piper with a double clothesline to DiBiase and Savage, then unhooks Roberts from the ropes. Roberts and Piper fight back to back and tease hitting each other, but attack the heels instead. Piper and Savage almost eliminate one another, but stop the momentum
#7 is The Warlord, led to the ring by Mr. Fuji. He clobbers Roberts to the canvas then sets his sights on Piper. Piper fights back with rights of his own as Savage/DiBiase work together trying to eliminate Roberts. They are not successful. Double noggin knocker to Warlord and Savage.
#8 is “The Hitman” Bret Hart who immediately goes after DiBiase. Savage grabs him from behind, Hart ducks and DiBiase accidentally hits Savage (or on purpose because it’s the damn Rumble). Hart catches a charging Warlord with a big boot, DiBiase and Savage continue double teaming Roberts. Hart and Piper connect with a double clothesline on Warlord, Piper tries to eliminate him but gets poked in the eye.
#9 is Bad News Brown, a man built for a match like this as he has no friends anyway. Brown goes right after Hart, his old Stampede enemy. Roberts goes for a DDT, Savage clotheslines him out. JAKE ROBERTS HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Piper tries to eliminate DiBiase, Savage makes the save again. Schiavone accuses Savage of being paid off by DiBiase to help prevent his elimination.
#10 is “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, accompanied by Sapphire. As expected he goes right after Savage. Brown intervenes, Savage charges, and Rhodes backdrops him out. RANDY SAVAGE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Rhodes and Piper try to eliminate Warlord, who gives them both a thumb to the eye to stop it.
#11 is Andre The Giant [w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan], the king of battle royals. Warlord goes right at Andre, Andre hip tosses him out like nothing. THE WARLORD HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Fuji and Heenan get into it at ringside as well. Andre makes a sammich out of Piper and Rhodes in the corner. Piper and Rhodes fight back, Andre noggin knocks them off.
#12 is The Red Rooster, making his final WWF PPV appearance. What an awful gimmick. Truly embarrassing. Brown lunges at Piper, Piper backdrops him out. BAD NEWS BROWN HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. An angry Bad News climbs the apron and pulls Piper out! RODDY PIPER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Piper and Bad News brawl to the back. Rhodes tries to eliminate DiBiase, Virgil pushes him back in.
#13 is Ax of Demolition, as Andre tosses the Rooster out. THE RED ROOSTER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Ax clobbers Andre to his knees with relentless double, ahem, AXhandles. “Weasel” chants for the Brain. Ax almost gets eliminated, Rhodes prevents it and he and Ax tie Andre up for some stomping clubbering forearms. Andre gets unhookes and punches both Ax and Rhodes so hard they fall into opposite corners. HA.
#14 is Haku, who immediately goes right after Ax to help his tag partner. Rhodes fires up with a series of jabs on Haku but is too tired and falls to the corner. Haku chops Ax as Andre holds his arms back. SAVATE KICK.
#15 is Smash of Demolition. We are now halfway through the Rumble. Demolition double team Andre, Haku runs in and gets dropped (and also SMASHED). Andre noggin knocks Demolition, Haku saves DiBiase from getting tossed out by Hart and Haku. Andre goes after Rhodes, Ax fights Haku, Hart hangs out for a sec.
#16 is Akeem “The African Dream”, followed by Slick. Akeem clobbers both Andre and DiBiase. Demolition hit Andre from behind and send him packing. ANDRE THE GIANT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Demolition immediately try to eliminate Haku, but Andre belts Ax with a right hand from the floor to stop that. Oh also Bret Hart is gone. BRET HART HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
#17 is “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka. Snuka slingshots in, Akeem immediately clubs him down, but Snuka responds and splashes Akeem, sending him to the floor! AKEEM HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Demolition double team Snuka, Haku attacks Ax and a double headbutt to Smash by Haku and Snuka. What a team that could’ve been. Dusty backs right into place so DiBiase can hit him with a double ax from the middle buckle. Thoughtful of him.
#18 is “The World’s Strongest Man” Dino Bravo [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]. Bravo tries to eliminate Haku, Snuka breaks it up for some reason. Demolition try to eliminate DiBiase, Bravo pulls Ax off of him and DiBiase rakes the eyes of Smash.
#19 is Earthquake (The Canadian Earthquake at this time). I’m older now than Earthquake was during this event. Time is a motherf*cker. Earthquake clobbers Dusty and sends him packing. DUSTY RHODES HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Demolition double team Earthquake, he lifts Ax up like nothing and tosses him out. AX HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
#20 is Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, who goes right after Earthquake. Smash and Haku join in, as does Snuka and DiBiase and out he goes! EARTHQUAKE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Earthquake accuses Bravo of helping but he was trying to fight through them, HONEST. Neidhart and Smash connect with a double atomic drop on DiBiase, who is STILL holding on almost 38 minutes later. Dude could use a nap.
#21 is The Ultimate Warrior and the crowd goes wild. DINO BRAVO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Warrior goes after Snuka, Haku grabs him from behind so Snuka and Smash can get some cheap shots in. Warrior and Neidhart take turns chopping DiBiase, Snuka and Smash work on Haku. Warrior and Neidhart then start battling each other, LIKE THEY SHOULD BE DOING.
#22 is Rick “The Model” Martel, one of the WWF’s unsung midcard stars. Martel attacks Smash and goes for the elimination, Warrior actually helping him! Haku for some reason decides to break it up. Smash gets backdropped to the apron, Haku drops him with a savate kick. SMASH HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Martel goes out to the apron and hangs on, sliding under the bottom rope despite Neidhart’s best efforts.
#23 is Tito Santana, who goes right after his former Strike Force partner Martel. Count-a-long buckle shots and Santana brings Martel to the apron but once again he slides in. Warrior belts Haku with a clothesline and already looks exhausted. Virgil once again assists DiBiase from elimination. DiBiase drills Snuka with a piledriver.
#24 is The Honky Tonk Man, who is cool, cocky, and bad. Jimmy Hart has switched to his “Colonel” suit. Honky and DiBiase double team Warrior, Snuka pulls Honky off to battle in the corner. JIM NEIDHART HAS BEEN ELIMINATED, partially by Warrior. Warrior reverses an Irish whip and clotheslines DiBiase out. TED DIBIASE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT AROUND 45 MINUTES. Helluva run.
#25 is Hulk Hogan and the crowd GOES WILD ONCE AGAIN. Snuka goes right at Hogan, Hogan clotheslines him out. JIMMY SNUKA HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Hogan with a corner elbow and a gentle big boot and HAKU HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Santana and Martel continue battling, Hogan levels Honky with a back elbow. TITO SANTANA HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Honky chokes Hogan with his own ripped t-shirt. Why is Heenan still out here, all his Family members are gone.
#26 is Shawn Michaels, the other half of The Rockers. HONKY TONK MAN HAS BEEN ELIMINATED (by Hogan). SHAWN MICHAELS AND RICK MARTEL HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED (by the Warrior). It’s now just Hogan and Warrior in the ring, and everyone is going craaaaaaaaaaaaaazy at the idea of these two battling. They collide, no one moves. They collide again, no one moves. Criss cross, double clothesline that takes both men down. WHAT A TEASE. I can’t wait for WrestleMania VI!
#27 is The Barbarian who gets his licks in while both men are down, dropping ‘bows and hitting Hogan with a big boot.
#28 is “Ravishing” Rick Rude enters the ring SUPER EARLY, wanting to get his hands on Warrior. Jumped the gun, I guess. Rude and Barbarian try to eliminate Hogan, Warrior decides to stop it. Barbarian and Rude try to eliminate Warrior, Hogan runs in and hits them from behind and out goes the Warrior! ULTIMATE WARRIOR HAS BEEN ELIMINATED…but he decides to hit clotheslines on Barbarian and Rude before running off to the back. Cool?
#29 is “The Mighty” Hercules. YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. Herc whips Barbarian and Rude into big boots from Hogan. Hogan drapes Barbarian over the top buckle to attempt elimination, but Barbarian rakes the eyes to stop it. Herc tries to eliminate Rude, but Rude wraps himself up in the ropes to avoid it.
#30, the final entrant, is Mr. Perfect who goes right at Hogan. Barbarian accidentally drops Rude with a big boot and stalks Hercules, who backdrops him out. THE BARBARIAN HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Rude clotheslines a dazed Herc out, HERCULES HAS BEEN ELIMINATED. Hogan, Rude, and Perfect remain, the heels from Minnesota working together to wear down the WWF Champion. Rude accidentally hits Perfect with a right hand, going through the ropes and to the apron. Hogan with a whip, Perfect pulls the rope down and out goes Rude. RICK RUDE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
We are down to our final two: Hogan and Perfect. Perfect drops Hogan with a clothesline and peppers him with forearms and kicks. Perfect with a Perfect Plex, and Hogan HULKS RIGHT BACK UP. Hogan with a slingshot, Perfect hits the post, and Hogan gets a pair of clotheslines before tossing him out. MR. PERFECT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
Hulk Hogan won the 1990 Royal Rumble, last eliminating Mr. Perfect (58:46)
- An entertaining Royal Rumble full of legends and undervalued but beloved (by me) midcarders. Love you, Herc. They also did a good job teasing potential WrestleMania VI matchups, with the Hogan/Warrior showdown damn near blowing the roof off the place. This made up for a forgettable undercard. (***1/4)
Hogan poses in celebration as Schiavone signs off following a WrestleMania VI plug.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Royal Rumble 1990 is a decent show; the Rumble being better than average (and featuring actual stories and threads) elevates it to a recommendation. The undercard is a bit blah and your mileage will likely vary depending on your enjoyment of Garvin/Valentine, but what a way to kick off 1990.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg Valentine
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Hogan and Warrior lock up for the first time ever in a VERY BLATANT WrestleMania tease.