Now In Color!
When most wrestling fans are asked what is the best Royal Rumble of all time, they answer the one Ric Flair won. I don’t know if I think I’m like most wrestling fans, but that’s the answer you’d get from me if you asked that question. It was a weird time in wrestling, those early nineties. The cartoon eighties were over, but wrestling was behind the times, and holding on to that over the top excess with a death grip. In the midst of that transition period Vince McMahon displayed his first symptoms of being out of touch. Though to give him credit, eventually he caught up with the times, past them by, and became cutting edge(for a time at least). Anyways, through some ridiculous bad management on behalf of WCW, longtime NWA world champion, and greatest wrestler of all time, Ric Flair found his way to the WWF. Through some pretty crazy circumstances, the WWF title was held up and for the first time ever, the winner of the Royal Rumble would become the world champion. What followed was a spectacle that has never really been matched. This is the blueprint of what a sixty minute showcase can be.
Standout Performance – As previously stated , the great Ric Flair. I think Ric Flair is the greatest wrestler of all time, and while there is an insane amount of footage to prove that claim, the only piece of evidence I think someone would need to submit to prove this case is the tape of Royal Rumble 92. Ric entered at number 3, and went the distance to win the whole thing. The entire match was Ric working with the entire roster(well except for poor Ted Diabiase whom was eliminated before Ric made it to the ring). For WWF fans who had just been exposed to Ric Flair in recent months, this was a validation for the man who claimed to be the real world’s champion. Ric Flair is a master in the squared circle and he displays his prowess here for nearly an hour, just as he had been known for years prior. And if that wasn’t enough, after the Rumble, Flair gives a promo that is just top notch, when he yells it’s time to pay homage to the man I smile every time I hear it. I must note, that even though Flair wrestled for an hour, won the match and the title, I almost gave this one to Bobby the Brain Heenan, who on commentary gave the performance of his career. Bobby is panting, screaming, begging, cracking wise, and making demands throughout the entire match, it’s just phenomenal.
Surprises – Back in the good old days everyone in the Rumble would be announced beforehand, so they’re really aren’t any surprise entrants, however, through great booking, the surprises were when certain guys entered the match. The first being Flair at number 3, and then Piper’s entrance(more on that in a moment), Macho Man Randy Savage, and even Hogan coming out. The drama was set up extremely well for all the main players to enter when they do.
The No Chance In Hell Winner – There are a bunch of candidates for this year’s Rumble. I think I got to go with Skinner, the alligator man. Though Nasty Boy Sags, Repo Man, and Nikolai Volkoff are all viable options for this dubious award.
Most Memorable Moment – There is a lot to choose from, but I think the best moment is about half way through the Rumble, through some interesting circumstances, the ring is cleared of all contenders save Ric Flair, whom got a moment to rest. With Flair doing his famous flop onto his face and Bobby screaming that he’s won on commentary, the fifteenth entrant comes out of the curtain. It was Rowdy Roddy Piper, whom for months had been feuding with Flair. The look on Flair’s face, that of sheer terror and disbelief, is priceless. What follows is a wild brawl that results in Piper beating the wholly hell out of Flair for two minutes. It’s just glorious, and the crowd explodes when Piper jogs to the ring. It gets me every time.
What To Watch For – The crowd is into everything. Seriously, what happened to this wrestling fans? They love the match. Listen to the commentary, it’s light years beyond what we get nowadays. The British Bulldog is over, and he really takes care of Flair on the press slam, Shawn Michaels gives you a little taste of whats to come, the Texas Tornado reignites his legendary feud with Flair(though most viewers at the time probably didn’t know about it), Big Boss Man is awesome(especially throwing himself over the ropes), here comes Piper, count the eye pokes, Jake Roberts slithers out of the ring when he sees the Macho Man, Undertaker gives a low blow, Undertaker takes a low blow and no sells it, the people go crazy for Virgil, they love everybody, OMG WTF happened to pro wrestling this is awesome, Undertaker double choke, Iron Sheik is not acknowledged as being a former champion or as being the Iron Sheik, Sgt Slaughter takes the greatest Rumble elimination bump of all time, Hogan is a dirty rotten cheater and a sore loser, Mene Gene does not like people smoking cigarettes during his interviews dammit!