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FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Looking back at WWE Royal Rumble 1994

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Looking back at WWE Royal Rumble 1994

Good Morning to you, humanoids and ham & eggers to another hard-hitting edition of Flashback Friday right here on WrestlingNewsSource.com! We are stepping into 2017, 2016 was an interesting year to say the least but here’s to a brighter and better 2017! The last two Flashback Fridays have covered Attitude Era Royal Rumbles so I thought it would be nice to take you back to a simpler time when we were in the New Generation Era. So, today we are covering WWE’s Royal Rumble 1994. We have Undertaker vs Yokozuna for the WWE Championship, Owen and Bret Hart challenging for the tag team championship and Razor Ramon defend his Intercontinental Championship against IRS. Sit back and relax as I take you through The Royal Rumble pay per view of 1994!

 

 

Bam Bam Bigelow W/ Luna Vachon vs Tatanka

 

Match starts hot with both men trading blows and clotheslines before Tatanka takes down the Beast from The East with a crossbody. Deep armdrag by Tatanka, Bigelow rakes the eyes but Tatanka nails a vicious DDT. Tatanka is on the top rope but Bigelow dodges the diving crossbody. Corner clothesline by Bigelow, Tatanka chops back Bigelow. Diving sunset flip goes awry for Tatanka as Bigelow squashes Tatanka. Tatanka fires up but Bigelow dropkicks Tatanka. Bearhug by Bigelow who squeezes the life out of Tatanka, this bearhug goes on and on and on. Eventually, Tatanka escapes to eat two shoulder blocks from Tatanka. Bigelow tries for a final shoulder block but Tatanka counters for a powerslam. Two count for Tatanka.

 

Tatanka begins his version of hulking up, Bigelow decides to turn off the lights for Tatanka with a massive enzuigiri. Bigelow misses a moonsault from the top rope, Tatanka climbs to the top rope and scores with a crossbody. Tatanka wins with the crossbody.

 

Good opening match, crowd seems to love Tatanka. Some parts were a little slow like the bearhug that never seemed to end but they worked hard. Bigelow’s moonsault is impressive and Tatanka sold well. Finish built on the early part of the match where Tatanka tried to put away the monster quickly with a crossbody but Bigelow was able to dodge so Tatanka weathered the storm, fought through the pain and nailed his crossbody to vanquish Bigelow.

 

Winner: Tatanka over Bigelow via Crossbody!

 

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Bret & Owen Hart vs The Quebecers ©

 

Trouble was brewing in The Hart camp, Owen was jealous at the thought of being in the shadow of his big brother Bret. Owen challenged Bret to a match and Bret would not fight his brother, Owen and Bret squashed their heat and they are challenging for the tag team titles. The Harts are on the same page so could we have new champions?

 

Johnny Polo AKA Raven is The Quebecers’ manager which makes brings a smile to my face, little did we know that Johnny Polo would be in ECW by the next year. I must mention the stellar commentary team of Vince Mcmahon and Ted Dibiase only second to the team of Eric Bischoff and Ted Dibiase. Pierre and Bret kick us off, Pierre pushes off Bret with the obvious power advantage. Bret uses his quickness to drop Pierre with a big knee, tag to Owen. Double axe handle by Owen, Pierre goes low and shoulder blocks Owen. Giant hiptoss by Owen for a two count, Owen grabs the arm. Pierre breaks free and Jacque is now the legal man. Jacque goes for a handshake, Owen tells Jacque to stick it.

 

Lock-up, Jacque rakes the eyes. Irish whip and Jacque lowers the head, Owen nails a snap suplex and a dropkick. Massive enzuigiri by Owen, tag to Bret. Backbreaker and elbow drop combination for a two count, small package by Bret brings a two count. Sunset flip by Bret for another two, O Connor roll for two and Pierre clubs Bret and dismantles Owen. Bret and Owen recover and The Quebecers powder to the floor and hug while discussing strategy. Inverted atomic drop by Bret on Jacque, shot to the mid-section. Tag to Pierre and Pierre is dragged in by Bret, headbutt and tag to Owen. Leaping clothesline by Owen on Pierre gets a two count, gutwrench suplex by Owen. Leg drop, cover and a two. Bret is legal, powerslam by Pierre brings a two count. Tag to Jacque, Jacque works the ribs and face, Pierre chokes Bret with the top turnbuckle tag rope.

 

Big boot by Jacque, two count for Jacque. Pierre gets the tag, double sledge by The Quebecers. Pierre and Jacque are beating down on Bret while the referee is with Owen. Jacque nails a back elbow, tag to Pierre. Pierre runs into a boot of a prone Bret Hart, tag Owen Hart. Dropkicks all around by Owen, back body drop and overhead belly to belly. Owen has the sharpshooter on Jacque but Pierre bulldogs Owen, referee was dealing with Bret. Double hotshot by The Quebecers, Owen kicks at a two. Owen ducks a double clothesline and scores with a double dropkick, tag to Bret who hammers Pierre and Jacque. Russian legsweep on Jacque, backbreaker on Pierre. Double noggin knocker, Pierre is dumped on the floor.

 

Owen had Jacque and Bret prepares to nail Jacque but Johnny Polo sneaks into the ring and low-bridges Bret. The Quebecers put the boots to Bret who is clutching his leg. Jacque nails Bret’s leg with a chair with the referee dealing with Owen. Owen defends a prone Bret, Pierre and Owen beat up one another, Owen throws Bret into the ring. Wishbone split by The Quebecers, Bret is in serious trouble. Single leg Boston crab by Jacque on Bret, Pierre enters the ring and scores with a middle rope leg drop. The Quebecers go for the finish on Bret’s leg but Bret dodges. Bret does not tag Owen but instead goes for the Sharpshooter. Bret’s leg gives out and the referee calls the match off as Bret cannot continue.

 

That finish is an interesting one, I have seen TKO finishes in wrestling similar to MMA with towel throw-ins and wrestler being rendered semi-conscious but to end a match on Bret’s leg giving out is different. The match was very exciting, The Harts were on the same page, they were in control but Bret’s leg was messed up, The Quebecers targeted the leg and did enough damage to render Bret an afterthought in the match. The match is called off and Owen is irate with his brother’s thinking which leads to Owen snapping at the end and throwing a massive kick to Bret’s injured leg. A simple story which would works wonders as this was Owen Hart’s coming out moment. Really good stuff!

 

Winners: The Quebecers over The Harts via referee stoppage!

 

(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Razor Ramon © vs I.R.S.

 

The commentary switches over to the duo of JR and Gorilla Monsoon, this is a great improvement. IRS slaps Razor which leads to Razor exploding on IRS, IRS powders to the floor. Lock-up and knee by IRS, straight right hands by Irwin. Razor reverses Irwin with his own huge right, Irwin powders to the floor for the second time. Shoulder block by Razor, atomic drop and knockdown. Cover and a two count for the champion, Irwin sidesteps Razor to the floor. Razor is slammed head first into the ringpost, hard knockdown by Irwin. Irwin stomps all over Razor for a two count, Irwin slaps on the sleeper. Leg drop to the lower regions of Razor. Razor fights back by slamming Irwin into the top turnbuckle, Irwin pokes the eyes and regains control with a sleeper.

 

Irwin uses the ropes for leverages, Razor is back up and teeing off on Irwin. Fallaway slam by Razor, Razor looks for an Irish whip on Irwin but Irwin reverses and we have a referee bump. Irwin grabs his briefcase but Razor sees it coming and Razor nails Irwin with the briefcase. Razor looks for the back suplex, Razor scores with the suplex. Shawn Michaels come down to the ring and nails Razor with the Intercontinental championship. Razor, Irwin and the referee are all down in the ring. Irwin crawls into the cover on Razor, 1…2…3! I.R.S. is you new Intercontinental Champion.

 

However, Earl Hebnar tells the referee what has happened and it looks like this match is going to be restarted. Irwin was celebrating and Razor scoops up Iriwn for The Razor’s Edge for the pinfall. Razor Ramon walks away, retaining the championship.

 

Solid match from Razor and I.R.S. heel work from Irwin was good. Irwin did everything to get Razor off his game, powdering, avoiding brawls and taking shortcuts. This led to Razor falling into Irwin’s trap which gave Irwin the advantage, Razor would battle back bravely. In the meantime, the feud between Razor and Shawn Michaels continues so you have two feuds set in motion for Mania with Owen vs Bret and Michaels vs Razor. The WWE is hitting home-runs so to speak on this pay per view.

 

Winner: Razor Ramon over I.R.S. via Razor’s Edge!

 

(WWF Championship Casket Match) The Undertaker W/ Paul Bearer vs Yokozuna W/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette

 

Yokozuna was your WWF Championship after defeating Hulk Hogan at King of The Ring in 1993, Yokozuna was on top of the world until The Deadman came knocking for the WWF Championship. No matter the era, Undertaker was a symbol of bad-assery that few could hope to achieve. Prior to the match, Undertaker had survived The Banzai Drop so Yokozuna, the unstoppable force may have met his match in The Undertaker.

 

Yokozuna stands nose to nose with The Undertaker, Taker sidesteps Yokozuna and begins clotheslining the champion. Leaping clothesline, Yokozuna powders and lures Taker in. Yokozuna smacks Taker into the steel steps, no effect as The Deadman continues dishing out the beating to Yokozuna. Old School by Taker, Taker misses a leaping clothesline and falls to the floor. Yokozuna looks to use a chair but Taker blocks the chair and wallops Yokozuna with the chair. Yokozuna is looking desperate so Fuji hands the champion some salt that the champions throws into the challenger’s eyes. Chair shot to the back of the head, Taker is down. Clothesline by Yokozuna. Yokozuna tries rolling Taker into the casket, Yokozuna is grabbed by the ankle by Taker. Taker fights out of the casket and we have a slugfest.

 

Belly to belly suplex by Yokozuna, Undertaker sits right up and grabs the throat of Yokozuna. Choke Slam by Taker, running DDT by Taker. Taker begins rolling Yokozuna into the casket. Taker has the match won but here comes Crush. Crush unloads on Taker, Taker knocks down Crush. The Great Kabuki is in the ring and Tenryu, two former stars of All Japan are fighting Undertaker. Bam Bam Bigelow is in the ring, a collection of mid-card heels are destroying Taker. Paul Bearer beats down Cornette and Fuji, Paul Bearer has the urn and you know that The Deadman is not dead just yet! Here comes Adam Bomb and Jeff Jarrett, and The Headshrinkers. Nine men are beating down the challenger.

 

Even Diesel is in the ring, ten men are trying to beat down Undertaker. Yokozuna steals the urn and cracks Undertaker with the urn. Splashes, elbows and headbutts. The Undertaker lays decimated in the middle of the ring. Yokozuna is declared your winner and retains his championship. In true pantomime fashion, a video plays on the titantron where The Undertaker vows revenge on Yokozuna, Undertaker will rise again and have his revenge. In reality,Taker needed time off to heal a back injury.

 

Wrestling, like all forms of entertainment is subjective. People like certain matches, certain gimmicks and certain characters. I love monster movies specifically the Godzilla Franchise so when I see two behemoths like Underataker and Yokozuna face one another, it’s like Godzilla vs Ghidorah. These two are big men kicking the crap out of one another and it’s a real bonus when they can work as well as Undertaker and Yokozuna. I loved the story of Yokozuna dishing out everything he could think of to put down Taker, I loved Taker’s refusal to die. The beat down was a little played out but that’s’ what made The Undertaker so special. You could not keep him down, Undertaker would just keep on coming and that’s what the fans loved about Undertaker. Undertaker rising from the dead was cheesy but the thought of Undertaker chasing down all the men who screwed him out of winning the WWF Championship like it was a classic western movie sets up an interesting series of events for The Undertaker’s return. Also, Yokozuna selling The Undertaker like he was fighting death himself was awesome.

 

Winner: Yokozuna over The Undertaker via Shenanigans!

 

The Royal Rumble

 

Thirty men with the opportunity to go to Wrestlemania for a shot at the WWF Champion. Rules are simple: Two people enter to begin the match with future participants making their entrances at timed-intervals which corresponds with the number that they drew. Match continues until all thirty men have entered and elimination occurs when a wrestler is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor.

 

Entrants 1 to 5

 

Entrant 1 is Scott Steiner and number 2 is Samu. Crowd is oddly silent for this match as Steiner motions to eliminate Samu. Vicious clothesline by Samu, we have number 3 and it’s Rick Steiner. Odds are not good for Samu, Rick walks to the ring which is a little strange, you would think he would sprint to save his brother. Samu is in trouble, suplexes all around for ne half of The Headshrinkers. Number 4 is Kwang. In the meantime, Samu misses a double clothesline and ties himself onto the ropes and falls to the floor.

 

Samu has eliminated himself!

 

Kwang mists Rick and Kwang starts beating on Scott, Scott turns the tide and continues to check on his blind brother. Kwang beats down on The Steiners. Here comes number 5 and it is Owen Hart, the now most hated man in the arena. Owen beats on Rick, Kwang has Scott. Owen dumps out Rick.

 

Rick Steiner has been eliminated by Owen Hart!

 

Entrants 6 to 10

 

Number 6 is Bart Gunn, moustache and all. Scott nails Kwang with an inverted atomic drop. Number 7 is Diesel, Diesel starts whooping all kinds of ass. Diesel dumps out Scott, Owen, Kwang and Bart. Thought Owen would have had a bigger part in this match. Number 8 is Bob Backlund who also gets dumped out quickly after entering the match.

 

Bob Backlund/Kwang/Bart/Owen Hart/Scott Steiner have been eliminated by Diesel!

 

Number 9 is Billy Gunn, Billy pummels Diesel before being thrown to the floor like garbage.

 

Billy Gunn has been eliminated by Diesel!

 

Backstage, Tenryu and Kabuki have assaulted Luger. Luger may not be able to compete and here comes number 10. It’s Virgil, Virgil begins punching Diesel with little effect, Diesel dumps out Virgil.

 

Virgil has been eliminated by Diesel!

 

Entrants 11 to 15

 

11 is The Macho Man Randy Savage, Savage has no fear in his eyes. Savage grabs Diesel and shows the boy what it is to be a man. Jabs stagger Diesel, Savage is doing a number on Diesel. Number 12 is Double J, Jarrett attacks Savage and it looks like Savage is in a lot of trouble now. Jarrett clubs Savage and struts in the ring. Savage does not get eliminated and throws out Jarrett!

 

Jarrett has been eliminated by Savage!

 

13 is Crush, double axe handle by Savage on Crush. Scoop slam, another sledge from the top rope. Crush is back on his feet, the two heels are laying out Savage. Number 14 is Doink but the big news is that Savage has been dumped out by Crush.

 

Savage has been eliminated by Crush!

 

Doink starts fighting the two heels, it does not go to plan as Doink eats a double clothesline. Number 15 is Bigelow, Bigelow launches Doink over the top rope.

 

Doink has been eliminated by Bam Bam Bigelow!

 

Entrants 16 to 20

 

The three heels are beating one another down, number 16 is Mabel from Men on a Mission. Diesel and Mabel begin a slugfest, Mabel corner crushes Diesel twice. Corner crush on Crush and one for Bigelow. Number 17 is Sparky Plugg and number 18 is The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. Everyone dumps over Diesel and interestingly, Michaels did not help his friend.

 

Diesel has been eliminated by Everyone in the ring!

 

Ring is filling up with a lot of superstars, number 19 is Mo so we have Men on a Mission in the ring. Mo helps out Mabel as Michaels is almost eliminated by Mo. Number 20 is Greg The Hammer Valentine, I did not expect to see Valentine in 1994. Lots of wrestlers are pairing off in corners with nobody being the real focus of the match.

 

Entrants 21 to 25

 

Tatanka is 21 and number 22 is The Great Kabuki. Mabel is singled out and there are at least 7 men tossing Mabel over the top rope.

 

Mabel has been eliminated by Everyone in the ring!

 

23 is Lex Luger, Luger hits everything. Kabuki is thrown to the floor.

 

Kabuki has been eliminated by Luger!

 

Luger continues to smash anything that moves, Crush slows down Luger. Number 24 is Tenryu, Tenryu chops Luger and rakes the eyes. Number 25 should be Bret Hart but nobody makes their way to the ring.

 

Entrants 26 to 30

 

26 is Rick Martel, there is a whole lot of nothing going on in this ring. Number 27 is a one-legged Bret Hart, Crush targets the leg. Number 28 is Fatu, Crush is eliminated by 5 men and Marty Janetty is number 29.

 

Crush has been eliminated by five men!

 

Number 30 is Adam Bomb, Sparky Plugg has been thrown out.

 

Sparky Plugg has been eliminated!

 

Bret goes after Adam Bomb, Luger is taking a whooping from Fatu. Bigelow is teeing off with Valentine, Tatanka has Martel. More of a whole lot of nothing going on in this match until Valentine is thrown out by Martel. Tatanka low-bridges Martel. Adam Bomb has been low-bridged by Luger.

 

Greg Valentine has been eliminated by Rick Martel!

 

Rick Martel has been eliminated by Tatanka!

 

Adam Bomb has been eliminated by Luger!

 

Bam Bam Bigelow hurls over Tatanka, gaining revenge for earlier in the night. Luger dumps over Bigelow and Shaw Michaels tosses out Marty Jannetty!

 

Tatanka has been eliminated by Bam Bam Bigelow!

 

Bigelow has been eliminated by Luger!

 

Jannetty has been eliminated by Shawn Michaels!

 

Tenryu goes after Lex Luger, chopping Luger but in comes Bret to save Luger and Tenryu is dumped out of the ring.

 

Tenryu has been eliminated by Bret Hart!

 

Last four men in the match, Michaels, Bret, Fatu and Luger. Bret and Michaels are facing off, Luger eats a superkick from Fatu. Fatu motions for a diving headbutt, Fatu scores with the headbutt. Fatu and Michaels look to knock out Luger, Luger fights them both off. Clothesline on Fatu, Luger and Bret elevate Fatu and Michaels over the top rope.

 

Fatu has been eliminated by Bret Hart!

 

Shawn Michaels has been eliminated by Lex Luger!

 

Luger and Bret begin to duke it out before Luger scoops Bret into his arms. Bret and Luger struggle and both spill out to the floor, pure confusion ensues as the referees do not know who has won the match. Luger is declared the winner and the fans begin pissing all over the finish as Earl Hebnar declares that Bret Hart. President Jack Tunney comes down to the ring to clear up the confusion. The referees are arguing, the announcers are arguing and they are taking their time with announcing the official decision that both men win The Royal Rumble.

 

This was a disappointing Royal Rumble, the positives of this rumble are Diesel’s domination of the ring in the early going and the controversial finish which led to Vince’s decision to choose Bret over Luger. Diesel came in like a house of fire and proceeded to decimate everyone in sight, it worked as the crowd responded to the big man and were disappointed to see the back of him.

 

Finish was dramatic but also an inside into the thinking of one Vince Mcmahon at the time as the WWF were unsure of whether they would go with Luger or Hart as the future of the company. Vince had wanted Luger as the next Hulk Hogan, we had The Lex Express but the fans were just not that into Luger as the conquering hero. There are other rumours which suggest Luger let the word out that he was going to be champion and Vince wanted to change it at the last minute. I would take these rumours with a grain of salt but the point remains that we had the double winner finish and the fans made it clear that Bret was the more popular of the two and there was only one choice for the next top star.

 

Largely, the match was boring with not much happening at many points, the ring began to fill-up after Diesel’s elimination and nobody ever came in to clear house. It also seemed a heel heavy Rumble with a thin roster, you had the likes of Fatu, Mo and Sparky Plugg lasting in the ring while the likes of Owen Hart, Macho Man Randy Savage and Diesel were already eliminated. No Razor Ramon but the other wrestlers who competed earlier in the night entered the rumble? Overall, I would say a weak rumble but the finish would be crucial to Mcmahon when planning out Wrestlemania X.

 

So what did I think of this Royal Rumble of 1994? I think it was an above average Rumble, the matches before the rumble were all good. They set up matches for Wrestlemania, you could now build to Bret vs Owen and Ramon vs Michaels which would be two big feuds going forward in the year. Tatanka and Bigelow was a good opening match too, the rumble itself was not as good as I hoped for with this match. It was slow and felt like pulling teeth at certain points. The last 10 minutes or so was just awkward stalling before a random elimination would occur, blink and you would miss it as there was no emphasis based on any of the eliminations. A good example is Savage being tossed out by Crush during Doink’s entrance, I almost did not see it because they were showing Doink coming to the ring. So, a disappointing rumble with an important finish in the grand scheme of things!

 

So, what did you think of The Royal Rumble 1994? Fond memories of The New Generation Era? Were you playing WWF Raw on The SNES? Are you excited for this year’s Royal Rumble? Who’s your pick to win? Let us know and don’t forget to come back to WrestlingNewsSource for next week’s Flashback Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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