WWE Royal Rumble Review – 1991

The Royal Rumble Review carries on with a look at the 1991 Royal Rumble. 1991 was a trying year for me. The Ultimate Warrior was my favorite wrestler and this was the event where everything started heading down hill. The Warrior was the WWE champion at the time and actually lost it during this event. Not only that, but he lost it cheaply after “Macho King” Randy Savage interfered and hit him with his scepter. That caused Sgt. Slaughter to pick up the win and crush the dreams of all the Warrior fans back in the 90’s. So if I seem a little agitated during this review, well, it brings back A LOT of bad memories…..

LET’S DO THIS!

 

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Royal Rumble 1991

Our first two entries are;

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#1 – Bret “The Hitman” Hart

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#2 – Dino Bravo

This is right about the time where the WWE discovered how talented Bret Hart was and were starting to eye-ball his potential singles career.  Meanwhile, Dino Bravo was on the downside of his career and would unfortunately be found shot to death in about two more years in a tragic turn of events. Bravo and Hart square off in the middle of the ring. Hart hits the ropes and hits Dino with a clothesline. That sends Dino to the ropes and he’s already almost eliminated. It doesn’t happen though. Bravo is now in control as he beats down on Hart. Bravo slams Hart, but Bret gets the reversal. It’s time for #3 though…..

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#3 – Greg “The Hammer” Valentine

This is when Greg Valentine was a face and everything was weird. He immediately goes after Bravo as they brawl back-and-forth. Jimmy Hart is not happy as he distracts his former client Valentine. Valentine gets hit from behind by Bravo though and almost eliminated. Valentine and Bravo exchange blows while Bret rests in the corner. Valentine has had enough though and throws Bravo over (elimination #1). Good showing Dino. Jimmy Hart isn’t happy and hops on the apron to yell at Valentine. Valentine grabs him and throws him off the apron while Bret watches. Valentine turns around and is greeted by an atomic drop from Bret. Bret now has him on the ropes as Valentine is almost eliminated. It’s time for another entry though…..

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#4 – Paul Roma

Paul Roma of “Power & Glory”, a tag team that amounted to nothing, but I absolutely loved. Roma starts beating on BOTH Valentine and Hart. That didn’t last long though. Hart starts beating on both Roma and Valentine. That pisses them off as they team up to try to eliminate Bret. Valentine eventually has had enough and just starts chopping Roma. Valentine now has Roma in the corner while Hart comes over and headbutts Valentine’s ass. Just in time for #5 to hit the ring……

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#5 – The Texas Tornado

Good lord I hated the Texas Tornado. Even as a 12-year old, I could look at the Texas Tornado and see that there wasn’t a whole lot going on upstairs. Come to find out years later that I was right. Kerry Von Erich was notorious for being DUMB. And only having one foot, but that’s a story for a different day. Like Dino Bravo, the Tornado’s life would tragically be cut short just two years after this Rumble due to a suicide. Sorry for being a Debbie Downer, but it’s all I think of when I see him now. The crowd loves the Tornado though as he starts beating on Roma right away. The Tornado picks Valentine up and hits him with the TORNADO PUNCH! Valentine gets up though and they start trading blows in the corner. Roma and Hart are brawling on the other side of the ring. Tornado walks over and just punches Roma in the face. Tornado and Valentine now have Roma on the brink of elimination. That’s a no go though. It’s time for #6 though……..

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#6 – Rick “The Model” Martel

Martel hits the ring to a chorus of “boos”. He immediately goes after Hart and tries to eliminate him. He changes course though and starts beating on Roma. He has Roma on the ropes and teasing elimination. Hart come over and stops that though. Martel is now on the verge of elimination thanks to Hart. The crowd is going bananas. Roma comes over for the save though which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Martel starts dancing and Roma hits him with a clothesline. Time for #7…….

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#7 – Saba Simba

One of the most racist characters in WWE history! Saba Simba comes down to the ring and starts beating on everyone. Some people need to start going out because the ring is getting too full. Tornado must have heard me as he tries eliminating Martel. Something tells me that’s not going to happen though. Hart now has Martel on the verge of elimination as there’s a whole lot of nothing going on in the ring right now. The Tornado signals that he’s going for THE CLAW, which is usually a good move but not very effective in the Rumble. #8 is heading down to the ring and it’s……

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#8 – Bushwacker Butch

Oh god. After one year of no Bushwacker’s in the Royal Rumble, we are back to square one. It takes Butch a year to get down to the ring. When he finally arrives he doesn’t hit anyone. He just does the Bushwacker dance around the ring until Valentine stops the madness. While this was happening, Saba Simba gets his night ended early and I’m not sure, but this might be the last time we ever saw him (elimination #2). Oh well. Tornado is blasting Martel’s pretty face with punches. Hart comes over to help him. Butch and Valentine have Roma on the ropes while Hart and Tornado work on Martel. Butch doesn’t care though and just knocks Valentine and Roma’s noggin together. It’s time for someone else to hit the ring……

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#9 – Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Jake is a WWE legend, but he doesn’t have the best of luck in the Royal Rumble. Let’s see if his fortunes are any different. He immediately goes after Martel. I’m pretty sure this is just a couple of weeks before Martel blinds Jake with his “arrogance cologne” setting up their eventual “blindfold” match at WrestleMania 7. Roberts and Martel exchange blows while the crowd goes crazy. Jake just slams Martel’s face to the mat. He signals for a DDT, but Martel goes out of the ring under the bottom rope. Jake goes after him though as they re-enter the ring. Martel does a good job of hiding from Roberts while Valentine beats on Jake. Jake gets up though and now has Martel on the brink of elimination. Martel saves himself though. And we are now getting another entry…….

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#10 – Hercules

Yawn. The “Power” half of “Power & Glory”. It’s time for these two guys to team up and throw everyone out. Valentine and Hart have Martel almost eliminated. Martel sneaks back into the ring though. Hart looks confused now. There are WAY too many people in the ring right now. Martel finally gets the advantage on Jake as he ties Roberts up in the ropes. Tornado comes over to help Jake though. It’s time for another entry though because that’s exactly what we need…….

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#11 – Tito Santana

Damn. I love Tito and everything, but he’s not the guy to come in and clear the ring. Santana hits the ring and goes after Martel immediately because PEOPLE DON’T FORGET! Meanwhile, Paul Roma was a victim of the old phantom elimination (elimination #3), so I guess that helps clear things up a little. Santana has Martel almost eliminated. Tornado has Butch on the ropes while Jake comes over to try to throw them both out. Hercules is squaring off with Bret Hart, who is still in the ring surprisingly. There is a shit ton of stalling going on right now. People need to start getting thrown out. This is ridiculous. Nope. We get another entry…….

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#12 – The Undertaker

BUSINESS IS PICKING UP! The Undertaker is making his Royal Rumble debut and shit is going to fly! Undertaker comes in and picks Bret Hart up by the throat and just lifts him over the ring and outside (elimination #4). Thanks for coming “Hitman”. Taker turns his attention to the Tornado now as he chokes him against the ropes. Jake comes over to help Tornado, which was probably a mistake. Taker is now no-selling Tornado’s offense and drops him. It’s time for lucky #13 though…….

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#13 – Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka

Why didn’t Undertaker clear the ring? C’mon WWE! And right when I type that, Undertaker just throws Bushwacker Butch outside (elimination #5)! YOU’RE THE MAN UNDERTAKER! That guy has a real bright future. Tornado starts hitting Undertaker again, but Taker turns the tables on him. Taker is now beating on Greg Valentine, who has to be dead shit tired by now. Tornado and Valentine team up on Undertaker now, which is probably a wise decision. Valentine has Undertaker on the ropes. Will he go? Who knows? It’s time for another entry…….

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#14 – The British Bulldog

EDITOR’S NOTE: When I was a kid. My favorite wrestlers were The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog.

Anyway, Bulldog hits the ring to a loud applause. He goes right after Martel. Tornado and Santana are working on The Undertaker in the corner. Hercules has Jake on the brink of elimination. People have to start flying out of here eventually, right? Taker is now choking Santana against the ropes. Bulldog and Jake double-team Martel while Jimmy Snuka walks around looking for something to do. Dock that man’s pay. Undertaker almost has Valentine out, but Snuka comes over to help. Just in time for ANOTHER guy to hit the ring……

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#15 – Demolition Smash

Good lord we have a bunch of crap in the ring right now. And this is coming from a guy who loved Demolition! Martel and Jake are still beating on each other. Smash whips the Bulldog into the ropes, but he gets re-paid with a clothesline that sends him down. Martel is once again on the ring apron trying to avoid disaster. While doing that, he cheaply eliminates Jake “The Snake” which of course pisses Roberts off (elimination #6). Martel mocks him from the ring because that’s what heels do. There is a whole lot of nothing going on right now. Just in time for ANOTHER guy……

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#16 – Hawk

Hawk comes in and he’s energized. He beats on everyone until everyone decides to turn the page on him and starts beating on him. Hawk starts trading blows with Hercules now. Please eliminate him already. Santana is hitting Undertaker with the patented corner punches. There are still like ten guys in the ring so they can’t really do anything. And now here comes #17……

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#17 – Shane Douglas

SHANE DOUGLAS! THE FRANCHISE! This was before he became “The Franchise” of course. This was back when Douglas was a young kid who hadn’t pissed off 75% of the wrestling community and got himself black-balled by the WWE. Douglas runs down to the ring and immediately goes after Smash. While all this was happening, the Texas Tornado became another victim of the phantom elimination (elimination #7) and Undertaker throws Jimmy Snuka outside to end his night (elimination #8). FINALLY! We have people going over! Martel and Santana are trading blows on the ropes. Valentine is hitting Hawk with some vicious elbows. Douglas turns his attention to Martel. Santana and Douglas hit Martel with a double-clothesline. Santana almost has Martel out, but Smash comes over for the help. Hawks whips Hercules into the ropes and hits him with a big clothesline. #18 is now on his way down to the ring……

 

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#18 – ??????

No one comes out. OK then. It’s assumed that #18 was likely Randy Savage’s #, but Savage left the building after costing the Ultimate Warrior his WWE championship. I don’t blame the guy personally. Undertaker is choking Hawk, but the Bulldog comes over to end that. Undertaker repays the Bulldog with a nut shot. Shane Douglas has lasted longer than the 3 minutes I expected him to. Him and the Bulldog have Martel on the brink of elimination. Santana is choking Smash in the corner. It’s time for another entry, if we get one that is…..

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#19 – Animal

Here comes Hawk’s tag team partner and it’s officially, ADVANTAGE: LEGION OF DOOM! Animal is hitting everyone while Smash is hitting Animal. Animal apparently doesn’t feel Smash’s punches though. I wish I had that power. The Legion of Doom get together and eliminate The Undertaker (elimination #9). Well, if anyone can take out the Undertaker, it would be two guys, so that’s that. Hercules and Martel come from behind Hawk and end his night as well (elimination #10). Finally we have some people going over again! Santana once again has Martel on the edge of elimination. The refs are trying to get Undertaker to go back to the locker room, but they are deathly afraid of him and for good reason. I just noticed that Tito Santana is wearing his “Strike Force” boots still. Is that a subtle shot at Martel? Anyway, we get another entry…….

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#20 – Crush

Crush is making his Royal Rumble appearance and starts crushing everyone in sight. He starts helping his tag team partner Smash beat on the Bulldog. Santana STILL has Martel on the edge of elimination. What a tease! Some kid is asking for Martel to be thrown onto him. That would be quite the souvenir if I may say so. Shane Douglas is now holding Martel while Valentine chops him. Douglas and Animal are working on Smash. It’s time for #21 to hit the ring……..

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#21 – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Uh oh. In case you don’t know, “Hacksaw” is undefeated in Royal Rumbles. The 1991 Royal Rumble is only his second one ever after he won the whole thing in 1988. Can he repeat things here? He gets in the ring and starts trading blows with Smash right away. He then turns his attention to Martel. And now he’s back to beating on Smash. I don’t think Duggan knows where’s at right now. Martel hits the top rope and leaps into Animal’s waiting hands. That wasn’t very smart. Somehow Greg Valentine is still in the ring. Someone lost money on that one. #22 is now coming down and it’s…….

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#22 – Earthquake

OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH YES!!!!! Bodies are about to hit the floor! Earthquake comes down and instantly exchanges blows with Animal. That doesn’t end well for Animal as Earthquake tosses him out (elimination #11). Duggan is asking for Earthquake now. See, I told you Duggan was a dumb shit. There are a ton of people in the ring still, just in time for #23…..

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#23 – Mr. Perfect

Perfect heads down to the ring, but he wisely takes his sweet time. There’s no rush here, folks. Perfect gets greeted by “Hacksaw” and they exchange blows. “Hacksaw” has Perfect reeling on the ropes now. Duggan hits the ropes and Perfect does the world a favor and tosses him out (elimination #12). HAHAHAHA! Smash tries throwing Perfect out, but he gets a dropkick for his trouble. Valentine and Smash irish whip Perfect right into Earthquake. That was interesting. And it’s time for another entry……

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#24 – Hulk Hogan

And of course, the ring is loaded for Hulk Hogan to come in and start tossing guys over. Well, at least we can hope so. Smash greets Hogan with some punches. Hogan no-sells him though. An irish whip followed by a big boot has Smash reeling. Hogan then grabs him and throws him out (elimination #13). Hogan goes after Earthquake now and IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!!!! Hogan tries eliminating Earthquake, but Perfect comes over for the save. Earthquake is now beating on Hogan in the corner! He almost has Hogan out, but Bulldog comes over for the save. Bulldog and Perfect are throwing punches at each other, while Santana is still fighting with Martel. Here comes #25…….

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#25 – Haku

Haku comes out just in time to see Hulk Hogan throw Greg Valentine over (elimination #14). What a night for Valentine! He comes in at #3 and makes it all the way to #25! Just a quiet little good night for “The Hammer”. Haku starts throwing head butts at Hogan. Martel is now ripping Hogan’s shirt off and choking him with it. That’s the second straight year that’s happened. How about taking your shirt off before you get in the ring next year? There are still a shit ton of guys in the ring and there’s no keeping track of it all. Earthquake is trying to eliminate the Bulldog. Douglas comes over for the assist though. #26 is on his way down to the ring now…….

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#26 – Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart

Neidhart joins the fray and goes right after Hercules. Earthquake has had enough of all this bullshit and sends Tito Santana right out of the ring (elimination #15). We have almost everyone in the ring and only half the guys have been eliminated. This is a cluster fuck of a Royal Rumble. Hogan has Perfect on his shoulders, but Earthquake saves him. Hogan is now trading chops with Haku. Bulldog is trying to eliminate Martel who Piper says has been in the ring for over forty minutes now. Hulk Hogan is now on the brink of elimination. Here comes #27 though……

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#27 – Bushwacker Luke

No one cares. More crap to fill the ring with. Luke comes in and instantly gets tossed by Earthquake (elimination #16). Have I mentioned how much I love Earthquake???? Hogan is beating on Hercules until he sees Earthquake standing there doing nothing. Hogan immediately goes after him. Earthquake puts Hogan in a full nelson, which you rarely see. Martel is once again on the brink of elimination thanks to Neidhart this time. We get another entry though……

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#28 – Brian Knobbs

Brian Knobbs of the “Nasty Boys”! Everyone in the ring starts beating on Knobbs. That’s one way to make friends. Hogan meanwhile is just smashing Perfect’s face against a turnbuckle. Douglas has Martel almost over again. How is Shane Douglas still in there?!?!?! We officially have 11 guys in the ring, which is about 8 too many. Knobbs must have heard me because he sends Hercules packing (elimination #17). Just in time for SOMEONE ELSE TO COME DOWN TO THE RING!!!!……

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#29 – The Warlord

The Warlord doesn’t have a lot of luck in the Royal Rumble, so my expectations are really low with him. He hits the ring and goes right after Bulldog. Neidhart is holding Haku for someone to hit, but no one is. Meanwhile, Hogan decides he’s had enough and throws Crush out for good (elimination #18). Knobbs is now going to work on his BFF Hogan. Perfect chops the Warlord who no-sells it. Perfect tries to apologize. Warlod then whips Hogan into the ropes, but Hogan reverses it. Hogan hits him with the clothesline and eliminates him (elimination #19). See, I told you that guy has horrible luck in Royal Rumbles. And here comes the last entry for the Rumble. WHICH BIG NAMED SUPERSTAR IS GOING TO BE #30????…..

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#30 – Tugboat

Well, that was underwhelming. Tugboat hits the ring and goes right after Earthquake of course. Everyone is now in the ring and Shane Douglas is the latest victim of the phantom elimination (elimination #20). He was in there for about ten minutes too long anyway. Tugboat picks Martel up and holds him in a choke. If he was smart, he would throw him out. He doesn’t though. Hogan and Earthquake are back to fighting each other. Tugboat and Bulldog have Martel ONCE AGAIN on the brink of elimination. Hogan sees his buddy Tugboat in trouble and comes over and lends a hand. Tugboat thanks Hogan for his help by giving him BIG SPLASHES IN THE CORNER! HOLY SHIT! The seeds of “Typhoon” were officially planted in the 1991 Royal Rumble!  Tugboat tries throwing Hogan out and almost gets the job done. That doesn’t work out well for Tugger as he ends up getting tossed (elimination #21). And at the same time, the Bulldog throws Perfect out of the ring effectively ending his night (elimination #22). Neidhart goes to whip Martel into the ropes, but Martel reverses him. He goes ahead and throws “The Anvil” out (elimination #23). This is a star performance by Martel. Bulldog gets a huge pop by tossing Haku out of the ring finally (elimination #24) and bodies are hitting the floor at a rapid pace! Martel turns his attention to Hogan. Earthquake and Knobbs tag team on Hogan while Martel squares off with Bulldog. Knobbs and Earthquake are trying to eliminate Hogan. Martel stupidly climbs to the top rope. The Bulldog shakes the ropes and Martel ends up on the top rope on his nuts. IT’S FINALLY BYE-BYE RICK MARTEL AS BULLDOG CLOTHESLINES HIM OUT TO A HUGE POP (elimination #25)!!!!! And we are down to the FINAL FOUR!

The Final Four:

Hulk Hogan

Earthquake

British Bulldog

Brian Knobbs

Who wants it????

Bulldog rushes over to help Hogan. Now he’s getting double-teamed by Knobbs and Earthquake. They go ahead and just throw the Bulldog out (elimination #26) to make it two-on-one against Hogan. Yep. We’ve all seen this story before. Knobbs and Quake start putting a beatdown on Hogan much to Jimmy Hart’s delight. Knobbs is hitting Hogan with multiple elbow drops. Earthquake hits the big splash! Knobbs with another elbow. Earthquake tells Knobbs to back off because IT’S QUAKING TIME! Earthquake hits the big butt splash that put Hogan in the hospital just 8 months prior. Knobbs and Quake are now celebrating. That’s fine because HULK HOGAN IS A FUCKING SUPER HERO AND JUST STANDS UP! DOUBLE-CLOTHESLINE TO KNOBBS AND QUAKE! BIG BOOT TO KNOBBS AND IT’S ADIOS BUDDY (elimination #27)! IT’S EARTHQUAKE AND HOGAN! Hogan hits Quake with some punches. Big boot to the face of Quake! Quake doesn’t go down though. FINALLY HE GOES DOWN! Hogan hits Jimmy Hart! Hogan goes to pick up Earthquake now, but that’s a no go! Quake just falls on top of him. Uh oh. Big elbow drop from Earthquake! And a second straight elbow! Hogan is trying to hulk up while Quake poses. A big slam from Earthquake and Hogan looks done. Just end it already. NEVERMIND! HE’S HULKING UP NOW!!!! Quake is hitting Hogan but nothing is working! OHHHHHH SHITTTTTTT! RUN EARTHQUAKE! PUNCH! PUNCH! PUNCH! BIG BOOT!  Hogan signals that he’s going to pick up Quake! Hogan picks him up and slams him!!!! Earthquake stands up! Hogan hits him with a clothesline from behind to send him flying out of the ring (elimination #28). Hogan wins his second straight Royal Rumble.

The Verdict:

Meh. Even though I loved the WWF in 1991, this wasn’t a very good Royal Rumble. First off, I’m still pissed about the Savage/Warrior/Slaughter storyline. That one stuck with me man. Talk about traumatizing. But as for the Rumble itself, it wasn’t a very good one. The ring was extremely cluttered the entire time and the action didn’t start getting good until the end. By that time, it was too late to save it. While it’s still not the worst Royal Rumble, it’s far from the best so far.

Royal Rumble Review Grade: *1/2

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