The Spotlight on The History of The Royal Rumble 1992-1995

I’ll tell you Royal Rumble Season is the one time when everyone who I know who used to follow wrestling gets in touch with me to see what I’m doing for the show.  It’s just a fun show as it’s unpredictable and a great time to start watching if you haven’t in a long while.  Let’s continue with our look back at Royal Rumbles Past

1992- This was the first event I remember actually writing down all of my favorites to win it.  Looking back, this was probably the best Royal Rumble and as a fan today I can really appreciate it.  The amount of talent involved in the match from Undertaker to Ric Flair to Hulk Hogan to Roddy Piper, this rumble match is beyond stacked and it makes sense as this was the only rumble (until this year) that was for the WWE title.  I was actually really shocked when Flair won the title as back in the day heels rarely won to finish a WWF pay per view.  When Flair came out, we were so sure he’d be quickly tossed as he was the third entrant and back then Rumble marathon performances wouldn’t go all the way.  Being a straight up WWF fan (I was raised on WWF, we ordered one WCW show in 1991 and my family hated it), we all hated Flair and so him winning was just so out of left field as we didn’t take him seriously as a main eventer.  As a final aside, To this day, Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon’s commentary in this match is the best I’ve heard. 

1993- Royal Rumble 1993 was the first time that the classic Wrestlemania stipulation was added on for the Rumble winner.  Rumble 93 featured my favorite, non Rumble, Royal Rumble pay per view match as Shawn Michaels took on Marty Jannetty.  I was always a huge Jannetty fan and thought those two had great in ring chemistry.  In a case of when hokey 90’s stuff works for nostalgia purposes, I actually thought Caeser and Cleopatra arriving to read the scroll was great.  That was very “theme” Wrestlemania with all of the togas and it was WWF’s unofficial kickoff of WrestleMania.
Funny personal story here, I remember as a six year old being absolutely petrified when the Giant Gonzalez debuted in this match to attack the Undertaker.  I thought Taker was the guy in this match and would have won so it was shocking to me that he was beat down by the legitimate Giant.  My fear ran so far, mind you, that I actually ran upstairs and had my parents call me down when Gonzalez was gone.  On the tape, my dad even wrote “Royal Rumble 1993- Yoko Wins, Big Scary Guy, DO NOT WATCH” due to how afraid of Giant Gonzalez I was.  Looking back he looked a lot more silly then scary.

1994- This was the year in which both Lex and Bret won the match and I remember as a kid being so happy because they were my two favorite wrestlers.  I also remember my father being pretty upset that they didn’t restart the match as he paid for a pay per view to see one winner.  Looking back though, the two winners really set wrestlemania 10 up nicely.  This was also the Rumble that you could call a 900 hotline and find out who was going to be next.  I remember we called and it was Diesel saying he was ready to make his mark.  That cost us $1.49 and was the last call we made.

This was also the second straight Rumble in which I have a personal “scaredy cat” story and it occurred right before the Royal Rumble match itself, during the Casket match between the Undertaker and Yokozuna for the World title.  The idea of a casket match always made me a little uncomfortable as a kid but I was now seven and feeling a little better.  I was finally understanding that the person put in the casket would be back just a few weeks later.  but then Rumble 1994 and I was scarred for months!  See in this match undertaker was put in the casket and then suddenly a casket cam lit up and display live footage of the undertaker in the casket, looking eerily similar to any person you’ve seen at any wake.  I mean jeez look at him in that picture above and tell me you’re not a little spooked even today, 22 years later! But it got worse, Undertaker then turned completely holographic on the titan tron and began to raise to the heavens and literally fly around the arena.  That’s it I was done!  At seven years old, it was the scariest thing I had ever seen!  As an interesting footnote, it wasn’t actually the Undertaker flying around, but one Marty Jannetty!

1995-  This was the first show in which someone came over to watch other than my immediate family as my Uncle joined us. My Uncle wasn’t a fan at all but he was into it and got a kick out of the Rumble concept. I remember being really annoyed at the time between entrants in the rumble being cut down to one minute as it made the match fly by.  As an 8 year old, I also remember Pamela Anderson being my first crush and I thought for years that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.  This was also the match that made me a huge Shawn Michaels fan as he put on quite a show nearly being eliminated throughout the match but finding a way to get back in the ring.  The finish here is still one of my favorites with only one of Shawn’s feet touching the floor and him getting the win, such an iconic image in Royal Rumble history!

 Alright another side story and I have to come clean about something.  I’m petrified of mice.  I know this is quite the segue way but I hate everything about mice, they are the worse and I believe the reason for that was because of a scarring experience following the Royal Rumble 1995.  I went to bed that night and suddenly I nice a mouse come scampering across my bedroom floor and run under my bed.  I screamed as loud as my 8 year old self would allow me.  What was that?  How could it get in here?  My parents came running in to see what was wrong and my father convinced me that it was likely a dream.  We looked under my bed and saw nothing.  Still my mom agreed to run and buy mouse traps.  We set one under my bed and I went to sleep on the couch to get the heck out of my room. Well the next morning my dad call me up to my room and there it was fighting for its life stuck to the mouse trap!  Awful stuff!
Well that’s going to do it for now but I’ll be back later tonight as we finish off the 1990’s. We’ll look at the rise of Stone cold Steve Austin and the WWF in general!

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