WWE Royal Rumble Review – 1995

1995. We are still in a down time for the WWE. The company has lost a ton of star power over the years. After guys like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Andre the Giant, & Ultimate Warrior left the company, the WWE was scrambling for some top replacements. Unfortunately they landed on guys like Diesel and Shawn Michaels. No offense to either one of those guys, but 1995 was one of the worst years business-wise for a reason. They couldn’t draw a lick. The good news is, a change was right around the corner. The bad news is, we have to get through this Royal Rumble first. This year, Vince decided to change things up and instead of having two-minute intervals between Royal Rumble participants, they went to one minute. Yes, this review is going to be a jumbled disaster much like this Rumble likely was…..

LET’S DO THIS!

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Royal Rumble 1995

 

Our first two entries are;

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#1 – Shawn Michaels

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#2 – The British Bulldog

Here we are over twenty years later and it still upsets me that Vince changed this year’s Rumble to one-minute intervals instead of two-minute intervals. Leave the good shit alone Vince and just tamper with the stupid stuff. Anyway, before the match even starts, we get a special guest host as Pamela Anderson comes down to the ring. Nothing gets me going quite like someone who had no talent, but a ton of beauty. America’s obsession with Pamela Anderson in 1995 was confusing to me. Either way, it must be extremely cold in the building because there is more of Pamela showing than there probably should be. Michaels hits the ring and he’s ecstatic drawing #1 for some reason. Pamela likes what she sees. Bulldog gets a decent reaction, but he looks angry. That’s how you should look when you get an early number. Michaels attacks him from behind immediately. Bulldog makes sure that doesn’t last long though and now he’s throwing Michaels around like a rag doll. Bulldog picks him up over his head, but doesn’t throw him out. Just throws him on the mat instead. He whips Michaels into the corner now. Bulldog is just beating on HBK right now. He goes for a clothesline, but Michaels reverses it. We get another entry already…..

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#3 – Eli Blu

It’s one of the “Blu Brothers” and Vince is confused as to which one. A little true story real fast. I was watching Portland Wrestling about 2 blocks from my house when I was a kid at my local middle school. Well, the “Blu Brothers” were wrestling that day and they were heels at the time. Anyway, my little 13-year old self was cheering on the heels from ring side and my reward was their wrist tape after the match was over. I’m not sure whatever happened to it, but it was a nice little souvenir at the time. Man, I miss Portland Wrestling. Anyway, Eli gets into the ring and goes right after Bulldog. Michaels decides to help Bulldog and beats down on Eli now. Eli picks Michaels up and slams him into the corner. Bulldog is now trying to eliminate Eli and it’s time for another entry……

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#4 – Duke “The Dumpster” Droese

Oh boy. The WWE’s own “garbage man”. Talk about a stupid gimmick. Droese hits the ring and gets attacked by everyone. Garbage men just get no respect. Droese exchanges punches with HBK now. He picks HBK up and slams him down. A bear hug to HBK now as Eli is pounding on Bulldog. It’s time for #5 though…..

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#5 – Jimmy Del Ray

Jimmy Del Ray of the “Heavenly Bodies” comes running down. Am I the only one who looks at Jimmy Del Ray and doesn’t think “heavenly body”? I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me. Del Ray hits the ring and goes right after Droese. Bulldog and Michaels are exchanging blows in the corner now. Michaels is now holding Droese while Del Ray beats on him. Del Ray now has Michaels on the verge of elimination. Here comes #6 though…..

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#6 – Sionne

Sionne of the Headshrinkers makes his way down to the ring. Longtime WWE fans will recognize him as “The Barbarian”. We are smarter than you think Vince. Just because you change a guy’s name doesn’t mean we forget about his past buddy. Sionne head down just in time to see SHAWN MICHAELS ALMOST GET ELIMINATED! Michaels saves himself though and hits the top rope and nails Bulldog with an axe handle. He starts punching Del Ray now. Sionne goes to throw Michaels out and almost gets the job done. Meanwhile, Bulldog clotheslines Jimmy Del Ray right out of the ring (elimination #1). That’s OK. No one wanted him there anyway. Eli Blu starts working on Sionne while Droese turns his attention to Bulldog. We are getting another entry…..

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#7 – Tom Pritchard

Once again, when you think of “heavenly bodies”, Tom Pritchard doesn’t exactly come to mind, but whatever. Pritchard goes right after Eli Blu. Sionne picks Michaels up AGAIN, but nothing happens. Droese has Bulldog in the corner and they appear to be stalling already. Eli throws Pritchard against the turnbuckle. Here comes #8……

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#8 – Doink The Clown

Doink The Clown comes out to a huge reaction which shows you how stupid the WWE fans were in 1995. This gimmick sucked once he was no longer a heel. Doink comes in and goes right after Sionne. Eli Blu isn’t having that though and starts attacking Doink. Pritchard has Bulldog on the verge of elimination, but that doesn’t last long. Droese and Michaels are exchanging blows and the entry’s are coming in fast…..

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#9 – Kwang

Not only are the entries coming in fast, but they are getting WORSE AND WORSE! Kwang runs down and goes right after Bulldog. OK, some people need to start going out. I know the WWE had a lack of star power in 1995, but this is ridiculous. Let’s add some more people to this mess……

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#10 – Rick “The Model” Martel

Rick Martel is STILL employed by the WWE? That guy had some serious longevity man. He was Bob Holly before Bob Holly was around. Martel goes right after Doink which earns some bonus points from me. Kwang goes running after Bulldog and Michaels and has Michaels on the brink of elimination now. That’s not happening though. Pritchard is holding Bulldog while Sionne hits him. Time for another entry though……

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#11 – Owen Hart

Owen Hart makes his way to the ring and the crowd boos his ass. WAIT A SECOND! BRET HART COMES FROM BEHIND OWEN AND LAYS HIM OUT!!!!! BRET IS NOW BEATING ON OWEN IN THE AISLE!!!! TAKE THAT OWEN!!!! The refs are trying to break them up, but it’s not happening! Bret is a mad man right now! Owen is hurting and I’m not sure how he’s going to compete in this thing. They finally get Bret to go to the back, just in time for another entry……

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#12 – Timothy Well

Timothy Well comes out and it takes me a second to recognize him. That’s honestly the first time I can say that’s happened since I started doing these Royal Rumble Reviews. Apparently this guy was extremely forgettable. Well hits the ring and goes right after Bulldog. That’s not a wise move. Owen Hart finally gets in the ring and gets thrown out IMMEDIATELY (elimination #2). HAHAHAHAHA!  Michaels meanwhile does everyone a favor and tosses Duke Droese out (elimination #3). OK, now we are on to something here. Bulldog throws Timothy Well out (elimination #4). See, I told you he was forgettable. Not only that, but Sionne backdrops Rick Martel out of the ring (elimination #5). At the same time, Shawn Michaels ends Tom Pritchard’s night (elimination #6) AND THE BODIES ARE HITTING THE FLOOR! Doink hits Sionnne now and knocks him against the ropes. Doink goes for a flying splash but Sionne moves and it’s NIGHT NIGHT Doink! Nevermind! Doink manages to save himself. Well, until Kwang kicks him off the apron (elimination #7). It’s time for lucky #13 and it’s…….

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#13 – Bushwacker Luke

Oh boy. After years of no Bushwackers in the Royal Rumble, we are back to square one. Luke gets a big reaction though. At about the same time, Sionne, Eli Blu, and Kwang all eliminate each other at once (eliminations #8, #9, & #10). I believe that’s the first time three Royal Rumble participants were eliminated at the same time. Luke gets into the ring where Bulldog and Michaels are waiting for him. Luke and Bulldog team up on Michaels. That doesn’t last long though as HBK gets the upper hand and throws Luke out (elimination #11). I LOVE YOU HBK! It’s Michaels and Bulldog one-on-one again. #1 and #2 are the only remaining participants and Michaels is taking it out on Bulldog. #14 is heading down to the ring though……

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#14 – Jacob Blu

Eli’s brother Jacob comes down and clotheslines Michaels right away. He starts beating on Bulldog now. He turns his attention back to Michaels. He whips himself off the ropes and goes for a clothesline on HBK. HBK moves though and Jacob Blu has himself a short night (elimination #12). It’s Shawn Michaels one-on-one with the Bulldog AGAIN! Bulldog gets the upper hand this time. He picks Michaels up and goes to throw him out, but Michaels is hanging on for dear life. Here comes #15……

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#15 – King Kong Bundy

King Kong Bundy is making his Royal Rumble debut and the “man without a neck” means business! Bundy goes right after Bulldog and starts hammering on him. Michaels comes over to give Bundy a hand. Nevermind, he’s trying to eliminate Bundy, but he can’t because he’s too exhausted. And now another entry is headed down…..

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#16 – Mo

Mo of Men on a Mission is on his way. Mo gets in the ring and IMMEDIATELY GETS THROWN OUT BY KING KONG BUNDY (elimination #13). HAHAHAHA! Bulldog is now taking out both Bundy and HBK. Bulldog goes to slam Bundy, but he can’t lift him up. Bundy now has the upper hand on Bulldog. He goes to throw Bulldog out while Michaels is reeling. Here comes another entry…..

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#17 – Mabel

Let’s see if big Mabel of Men on a Mission can last longer than his partner did. Something tells me he will. Mabel goes right after King Kong Bundy and THAT’S A WHOLE LOT OF BEEF! Bundy and Mabel exchange blows and Mabel goes to throw Bundy out. Mabel has him reeling just in time for another entry……

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#18 – Bushwacker Butch

YAWN. No one cares. Just as Butch gets to the ring, Mabel finally accomplishes his goal of throwing King Kong Bundy out (elimination #14). That wasn’t so hard, was it? Butch goes right after Michaels. Michaels says “fuck you” Butch and just throws him out (elimination #15)! I LOVE YOU HBK! Michaels’ reward is some headbutts courtesy of Mabel. Mabel and Bulldog now have Michaels on the brink of elimination. Michaels is hanging on just in time for #19……

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#19 – Lex Luger

Lex Luger hits the ring and this is just after the WWE decided he was a major flop and wasn’t the guy to replace Hulk Hogan. Ya, not a whole lot of faith with this one. Luger goes right after Mabel. Luger is the STRONGEST GUY IN THE WORLD THOUGH AND THROWS MABEL OUT BY HIMSELF (elimination #16)! Last year it took 10 guys to throw Mabel out. This year? Just Lex Luger. Lex starts clotheslining Michaels to a huge reaction. He picks Michaels up and instead of throwing him out, throws him on the mat. Luger and Bulldog are double-teaming Michaels now. Here comes #20 though…..

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#20 – Mantaur

Pack it up. Let’s go home. No one is eliminating Mantaur. Mantaur immediately starts beating on Bulldog. THE GUY IS A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH! He now has Bulldog reeling in the corner and hits Bulldog with a big elbow. THIS GUY IS AN ANIMAL! Mantaur now has Bulldog on the ropes and on the verge of elimination. Here comes another entry though…..

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#21 – “Man O’ War” Aldo Montoya

Aldo Montoya runs down the ring looking like a pack of Fruit Stripe gum. He immediately goes after HBK. Bulldog and Luger are now double-teaming Mantaur. It’s going to take more than those two guys to get him out of the ring though. Michaels has reversed course on Montoya and is beating on him in the corner. There’s now a whole bunch of stalling going on. That’s OK because SOMEONE ELSE IS COMING DOWN……

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#22 – Henry O’ Godwin

THE HOG FARMER! Henry Godwin is here and unfortunately he doesn’t have his slop bucket with him. Godwin enters the ring and goes right after Mantaur. Vince makes sure to let us know that Henry Godwin is a monster just like Mantaur. Sometimes, you try too hard Vince. Godwin is beating down on everyone right now. Luger has had enough and starts pounding on Godwin. We get another shot of Pamela Anderson who is probably drooling over Mantaur at the moment. Can you blame her? Here comes #23……

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#23 – Billy Gunn

Billy Gunn COMES RUNNING DOWN TO THE RING LIKE HE’S LATE FOR WORK OR SOMETHING! He goes right after Mantaur, obviously taking out his top competition for the hand of Pamela Anderson. Gunn is just blasting Mantaur with punches. Mantaur reverses course though and now he has the upper-hand. Montoya has Michaels on the brink of elimination. Now everyone is stalling again. Here comes #24……

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#24 – Bart Gunn

Billy’s brother is here and he goes right after Mantaur as well. What the hell did Mantaur do to piss off a bunch of cowboys? Jesus. Mantaur starts punishing Bart though. Bart switches it up though and now has Mantaur on the ropes. Luger is punishing Henry Godwin and choking him with his boot in the corner. It’s time for another entry though…..

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#25 – Mr. Backlund

YES! FINALLY! No more Mr. Nice Guy for Bob Backlund! We have finally reached the stage where the old man has gone bat-shit crazy and it’s marvelous. Backlund comes down, but he’s not in a hurry. Bret Hart RUNS DOWN AGAIN AND GOES AFTER MR. BACKLUND NOW! BRET HART GIVES NO FUCKS PEOPLE! FIRST OWEN AND NOW BACKLUND! Bret is just beating on Backlund on the outside of the ring! The refs are trying to pull him off, but it’s not working! That’s OK, because here comes #26……

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#26 – Steven Dunn

Steven Dunn of “Well Dunn” comes down to the ring. I loved Steven Dunn. Not when he was Steven Dunn though. Before he was in the WWE, Dunn was the TOP wrestler in Portland Wrestling under the name “Steve Doll”. He was a major player in Portland and I was still in awe whenever I saw him in either WCW or WWE. Needless to say, I’m a fan. Dunn gets in the ring and goes right after Montoya. Meanwhile, Backlund finally crawls into the ring. He goes RIGHT BACK OUT though courtesy of Lex Luger (elimination #17)! That was a cheap move by Luger, but the crowd loves it. Mantaur goes after Luger now. Meanwhile, Bret Hart and Backlund are fighting again in the aisle! Hart hates everyone tonight man. Here comes #27 now……

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#27 – Dick Murdoch

Dick Murdoch comes out and he looks 65 years old or older. I’m still not sure why he was even in this thing at this time. Murdoch goes right after HBK and is now punching EVERYONE in the ring. Lawler lets us know that Murdoch is a “bar room brawler” so I guess when you’re in a bar room brawl you just start punching everyone in sight? Michaels finally stops that and now him and Godwin are teaming up on Murdoch. Here comes #28 now…….

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#28 – Adam Bomb

Bomb comes out and we all know he’s not going to do shit. He looks cool, but that only gets you so far. My money is still on Mantaur, who is bashing on Lex Luger in the corner. Mantaur now hits Luger with a big splash! He picks Luger up and is holding him, but here comes #29……

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#29 – Fatu

Fatu of the Headshrinkers made it to the Final Four last year. Can he repeat that feat here? He goes one-on-one right away with Billy Gunn and almost tosses him out. Bomb now has Michaels on the verge of elimination. Luger is doing the same to Mantaur AND NO!!!! LUGER ELIMINATES MANTAUR!!!! SON OF A BITCH (elimination #18). Well, there goes my excitement. Luger still wants a piece of Mantaur to. Back off Lex. It’s time for #30 and of course it’s……..

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#30 – Crush

Crush is here and he’s pissed. The Smoking Gunns apparently forgot that they were brothers and they start duking it out. They end up on the ropes tied up with each other. Crush sees a opporunity and runs over and dumps them out (eliminations #19 & 20). Steven Dunn is punching Aldo Montoya’s pretty face. Dunn winds up for a huge punch and Montoya just moves and back drops Dunn right out of the ring (elimination #21). Well, that didn’t work out well did it? Crush is beating on Luger in the corner now. Murdoch is trading blows with the “Man O’ War”. We get another shot of Pamela Anderson. My money is now on Dick Murdoch only because it would be the GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD TO SEE PAMELA ANDERSON HAVE TO LEAD DICK MURDOCH DOWN TO THE RING AT WRESTLEMANIA! Crush is trading blows with Adam Bomb. Those two would end up making a shitty team in WCW. Murdoch now has Montoya on the verge of elimination. There is currently a whole lot of nothing going on. Let’s get this thing going boys. Godwins runs over to nail Bomb with a punch while Fatu and Crush exchange blows. Murdoch goes to pick up Shawn and throw him out. Luger stops that though. Murdoch and his beer gut are now getting beaten on by Fatu. C’MON MURDOCH! Murdoch finally has Fatu on the ring apron and almost eliminated. In a funny spot, Murdoch is crawling like a dog and headbutting Fatu at the same time! THIS GUY IS A WRESTLING GOD! He finally realizes who he’s headbutting and all of a sudden it really hurts him. HAHAHAHA. I love this guy! Adam Bomb runs to clothesline Crush and Crush ain’t having that. He backdrops Bomb right out of the ring (elimination #22). Good lord that guy sucks at Royal Rumbles. Aldo Montoya was a victim of the phantom elimination (elimination #23). Crush is asking for more as Bulldog comes from behind and tries to eliminate him. Crush goes to throw Fatu out, but Fatu saves himself. A savate kick sends Crush to the mat. Murdoch once again HAS MICHAELS ON THE VERGE OF ELIMINATION! However, Lex Luger comes over and stops that. FUCK YOU LEX! Luger is now punching Murdoch. Crush meanwhile clotheslines Fatu and that sends him flying. Crush picks him up and throws him out now (elimination #24). Godwin is now beating on Murdoch, who makes Godwin pay with a huge dropkick. Murdoch picks Godwin up and hits him with the airplane spin. Murdoch gets a little too dizzy though and drops them both out of the ring by accident, but only Murdoch goes out (elimination #25). SON OF A BITCH!!!! Godwin manages to get back in the ring though and is welcomed with some punches from Luger. We now have five participants left. Michaels and Godwin go after Luger while Bulldog battles Crush. Michaels goes over to help Crush now. Luger and Godwin are now squaring off. Godwin has Luger on the brink, but Luger reverses course and SEE YOU LATER HENRY GODWIN (elimination #26)! And we are down to the FINAL FOUR!

The Final Four:

Crush

Shawn Michaels

British Bulldog

Lex Luger

Who wants it?????

HBK and Crush are double-teaming Bulldog. Luger comes over for the save though. The heels are now double-teaming Luger. Bulldog finally gets up, but he gets welcomed by an HBK punch. Crush now has Luger on the verge of elimination. HBK comes over for the assist. Michaels once again hits Bulldog and sends him back to the mat. Luger is now fighting back and saves himself. Luger is taking on Crush and HBK by himself now! Luger goes to the top rope to hit Crush with some punches, but that was dumb. Crush manages to throw Luger out with the help of HBK (elimination #27) and we now have a two-on-one situation. It’s HBK & Crush vs. Bulldog. This doesn’t look good for Davey Boy. Michaels is trying to strike a deal with Crush, because Michaels is dirty. They team up to go after Bulldog now. They are taking turns stomping on Bulldog. A double clothesline now has Bulldog reeling. Michaels and Crush are now high-fiving, but CRUSH HAS A CHANGE OF HEART! HE KICKS MICHAELS IN THE GUT AND LIFTS HIM OVER HIS HEAD! OHHHH SHITTTTT! Michaels eye rakes Crush though and Crush drops him! Bulldog has recovered and he comes over to clothesline Michaels but MICHAELS MOVES AND BULLDOG CLOTHESLINES CRUSH OUT OF THE RING (elimination #28)!!!! IT’S NOW BULLDOG VS. SHAWN! #1 vs. #2!!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS THE POINT OF ALL THIS THEN???? Shawn is now in one corner while Bulldog is in another. This could be awesome. They are exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. Bulldog takes out Shawn now! An irish whip almost sends Shawn flying out! Bulldog is now toying with HBK! He picks HBK up and throws him on the top rope! He goes to clothesline Shawn out and SHAWN GOES OUT!!!!! Bulldog thinks Shawn is out! So does the music guy apparently because Bulldog’s music comes on! Bulldog has won the Royal Rumble! He goes on the top turnbuckle to celebrate! Meanwhile, Michaels comes up from behind and knocks him off the turnbuckle and onto the floor! Bulldog’s music stops! One ref is saying that Shawn Michaels won but we have a whole lot of confusion. Apparently only one of Shawn Michaels’ feet hit the floor when the Bulldog threw him out and that means SHAWN MICHAELS IS THE WINNER OF THE ROYAL RUMBLE!!!!!! A replay shows that indeed that is true. What an impressive showing by Shawn Michaels. His reward? He gets to take Dick Murdoch’s lady out for a night on the town. Good job.

The Verdict:

Meh. While it wasn’t a good Royal Rumble by any means, it wasn’t an awful one either. Like I mentioned previously, the WWE was hurting from a lack of star power around this time. It was also stupid for the WWE to tinker with the Royal Rumble rules and have one-minute intervals instead of two. Don’t mess with a good thing Vince. Just don’t. Either way, this is a fun one to watch just because it’s obvious who the next big WWE superstar is and Shawn Michaels steals the show here.

Royal Rumble Review Grade: **

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