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Nickrj’s rant for Royal Rumble 1997

 

This event aired at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas on January 19 1997. This was the last WWF PPV that I have ordered and I taped it as well. Over 60,000 fans jam packed this place on this evening.

 

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. Your Spanish announcers are Arturo Rivera Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabera and your French announcers are Raymond Rougeau and his father Jacques Rougeau Sr.

 

Opening match: Intercontinental Title Match Hunter Hearst Helmsey VS Goldust

Goldust had recently turned face at this point. Hunter brings with him Curtis Hughes as his butler. Vince would drop him and replace him with Chyna. Goldust jumps Hunter in the aisleway to start. He throws him into the ring and pounds on him in the corner. He throws Hunter outside of the ring and drops him throat first across the railing. Goldust does the 10 punch count on Hunter in the corner. Hunter counters with an inverted atomic drop. He gets a low blow and goes for the pedigree but Goldust drops him and slingshots Hunter to the outside. He grabs the steel steps and throws em across the back on Hunter. He rams Hunters’s face scross the steps and Hunter falls on em again. Goldust grabs Hunter but Hunter clotheslines him across the top rope as Vince announces that George and Adam (two WWF fans who apparently bought tickets to the Royal Rumble) were thrown out of the Alamodome and Lawler loves it. Hunter pounds on Goldust in the corner. He runs into a boot in the other corner. Goldust hits a clothesline for 2. He gets kicked in the gut and dumped outside the ring. Hunter goes to the top and hits a double ax handle. He throws Goldust into the ringpost. Hunter charges Goldust but misses and hits his knee into the railing. Goldust uses the steps again on the injured leg of Hunter. Goldust inside works on the injured right leg of Hunter. Hunter gets out of it pounds on Goldust but Goldust gets the Figure Four Leglock. Hunter is almost pinned three times. Goldust uses the ropes for leverage. Hunter breaks out of it and Goldust clips Hunter’s leg on the outside. He rams Hunter’s head on the apron. Goldust drives Hunter’s leg into the steps again. Crowd is dead for this one. Goldust misses a flying clothesline and goes to the outside. Hunter rams Goldust’s back into the railing and he rams him into the steps. Crowd finally starts to get alive now. Hunter grabs Marlena’s chair but the ref grabs it. Todd Pettingill meanwhile interviews Colin Raye who sings a line of Little Rock. Hunter hurts his own leg by attacking Goldust but gets a 2 count. Goldust hits a flying clothesline and starts to get fired up. Goldust hits a back drop and goes to the top and Hunter shoved the ref into the ropes and Goldust falls and Hunter goes for a superplex but Goldust hits a headbutt but misses an elbow from the top. Hughes puts the IC title in the ring and Hunter grabs it and goes over and kisses Marlena. Goldust picks up the IC title and whacks Hunter with it. He covers Hunter but Hughes pulled Hunter out of the ring. Goldust hits Hughes but gets clotheslined by Hunter and Hunter hits the Pedigree for the win at 16:49. Pretty decent match but at least it’s better than their one at Wrestlemania XIII. **1/4

 

Bret Hart and Mankind talk about the Royal Rumble match. Both men are in it.

 

Ahmed Johnson VS Farooq

This is the first match between these two men after Farooq debuts by kicking Ahmed in the kidney and rupturing it, sending him out of action for 6 months. This is Ahmed’s first match since returning from the kidney injury and he wants revenge on Farooq. Ahmed runs into the ring and both men brawl to start. Ahmed is hammering away on Farooq in the corner. Farooq is rammed into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Ahmed kicks Farooq in the kidneys. Farooq takes control with an eyerake. He gets a belt thrown into the ring by Crush but Ahmed hits a flying tackle. Ahmed takes the belt and lashes Farooq with it. Farooq is rammed into the steps twice outside. Farooq sends a nation member into Ahmed and he clotheslines Farooq. Farooq slams Ahmed kidney first into a folding chair and he hits Ahmed’s kidney with it. Farooq kicks Ahmed in the kidney again twice. Farooq hooks Ahmed in the corner and kicks the kidney again. Farooq with a camel clutch on Ahmed. Farooq talks to his nation members and Ahmed stands up with Farooq on his shoulders and back slams him. Farooq goes to the top and Ahmed catches him into a powerslam. He send Farooq into the ropes but gets caught in a spinebuster. He gets up and hits a spinebuster of his own. The Nation starts coming into the ring to attack Ahmed and Farooq is DQ’d at 8:46. Bad match DUD. Afterwards a Nation member jumps on Ahmed and Ahmed responds by giving him a Pearl River Plunger right through the French announce table

 

Terry Funk who is also in the Royal Rumble match says he is born to rumble. Farooq does an interview saying he is going to put Ahmed out in the Rumble matchup.

 

The Undertaker VS Vader

UT pounds on Vader to start. Vader hits a forearm to the back that doesn’t faze UT. UT runs into a back elbow and gets clothelined but sits up. Vader hits a shoulderblock and another one. But UT sits back up. Vader goes to the outside and tries to leave but the ref stops him and UT nails him from behind. Crowd is dead once again. Vader clotheslines UT on the top rope. Vader goes for a backdrop but UT hits a Fameasser. UT slams Vader. He hits a legdrop for 2. UT grabs the right arm of Vader and goes to the top rope walk but Vader shakes the ropes bringing UT down. Both men take time getting up. Vader hits a low blow. Todd Petiningill interview a girl from Minnesota who has saved money to get to the Royal Rumble. Vader pounds on UT to huge heat. Vader hits an Avanlanche and a clothesline. Vader goes to the 2nd rope and hits a flying tackle for 2. Vader then goes to the chinlock. UT gets up and chops Vader and pounds away at him. UT hits a back suplex that knocks him out as well. UT misses a legdrop and Vader goes to work on the leg. Vader goes to the 2nd rope but UT catches him into a power slam. UT goes for a backdrop but gets powerbombed for 2 only. UT gets up and hammers on Vader and hits a flying clothesline. UT does the top rope walk and forearm to the face. Paul Bearer comes out at this point and towards the ring. UT hits a chokeslam and signals for the Tombstone. He clotheslines Vader to the outside and goes out and nails Paul Bearer. Paul gets thrown into the ring and he begs for mercy and UT is about to give a chokeslam but sees Vader behind him. UT clotheslines Vader outside and UT goes out as well. UT hammers on Vader outside. He sets up for a flying forearm on Vader but Paul pulls Vader away and UT hits his arm on the railing. Paul then hits his urn on the back of the head of UT. Vader brings UT back in the ring and hits a Vader Bomb for the pin at 13:18. Decent match but not as good as their one at Canadian Stampede later that year. *3/4. Afterwards UT chokeslams the official because he thought the ref should’ve seen Paul’s interference.

 

Steve Austin and The British Bulldog do interviews about the Rumble match. Austin shoos off a cameraman while Bulldog says he’s going to win because he is bizarre.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match Fuerza Guerrera Heavy Metal and Jerry Estrada VS Perro Aguayo Canek and Hector Garza

Metal and Garza start. Metal gives Garza a hip toss and does some amateur moves. Aguayo comes in and he and Estrada exchange chops. Estrada misses a clothesline. Estrada hits a hard chop and gets backdropped over the top. Canek comes in and so does Guerrera. Canek hits a hiptoss. Guerrera hits a clothesline in the corner. Canek hits a spinning high cross body but get slammed. Guerrea goes to the top and misses a cannonball. Canek hits a flying bodypress. Metal and Garza come back in. Garza does a flip but takes a spinning heel kick and does a nice move into an elbow. Garza does a nice flying armdrag and a tilt a whirl backbraker. These guys do some nice agility moves. Estrada and Canek come back in and do a test of strength. Estrada takes Canek over and Canek does the same. Canek with a armdrag and dropkick and back to the armbar. Canek misses a charge and gets rolled up for 2. Aguayo comes in and takes a drop kick in the chest. Guerrera and Aguayo exhange chops and Guerrea misses a clothesline. Guerrea goes flying outside the ring. Metal and Canek come in and Canek hits a clothesline. He starts working on the left leg. Garza comes in and works on Metal. He hits a flying clothesline. Garza goes into a crossface but Estrada breaks it up. Aguayo comes in and continues to work on the leg. He hits a fallaway slam. Canek comes in and misses a spinning heel kick. Guerrea comes in and gets press slammed. Aguayo hits a sititng butt splash on the outside. And Canek hits another press slam on Esstrada. Garza backdrops him over the ring and nails a spinning planch over the ring. Canek press slams Metal and Aguayo hits a double stomp from the top rope for the pin at 10:55. Decent match but the crowd was dead all the way through. **

 

Howard Finkel announces the attendance. 60,477. Big crowd but they’ve pretty much slept through much of this so far

 

30 Man Royal Rumble Match

Crush is # 1 and Ahmed Johnson is # 2. Crush pounds on Ahmed to start. Ahmed fights back and hits a clothesline. They brawl around on the mat. Crush tries to get Ahmed over as “Razor Ramon” is # 3. He works on Ahmed but gets thrown over the top to be the first eliminated. Ahmed tries to get Crush out but only gets him to the apron. Ahmed sees Farooq in the aisleway and leaps over the top rope and goes after him eliminating himself. Phenias Godwinn is # 4. He goes to work on Crush. Crush takes him down. They beat up on each other. Steve Austin is # 5 and gets a nice pop although he’s still a heel at this point. Pheinas pounds away on Austin. He gets clotheslined. Crush pounds on Phineas again. Austin accidentally hits a flying clothesline on Crush and Phenias eliminates Crush but walks into a Stone Cold Stunner and he is thrown out as well. Bart Gunn is # 6. He works on Austin and hits a fameasser. Austin sends Bart into the ropes and clotheslines him over the top. Austin does push ups in the ring and waits for the next entrant. Jake Roberts is # 7 and he’s really fat. Must be from all the beer and whiskey he drank J. He comes in with the snake in the bag and pounds on Austin. He grabs the right arm and twists it. Jake takes Austin down with his arm. Jake hits a short clothesline and goes for the DDT but gets thrown over the top. The British Bulldog is # 8 and he goes to work on Austin. He hits the running powerslam. Austin gets to the ropes and Bulldog pulls him away and Austin lands stomach first. Pieroth is # 9 and he goes after Bulldog. Bulldog counters with a spinebuster. Pieroth clotheslines Bulldog down and gives him a snap mare and Austin nails a double ax handle on Pieroth. Austin and Bulldog go after Pieroth. Then both Pieroth and Bulldog go after Austin. The Sultan is # 10 and he goes after Pieroth and almost gets him out. Austin is almost dumped out by Bulldog. Mil Mascaras is # 11 and gets a nice pop as well. He goes after Sultan and hits a flying tackle. Sultan counters with a belly to belly suplex. Bulldog, Austin and Pieroth are tangled in the other corner. Hunter Hearst Helmsey is # 12 and he’s slowly jogging to the ring. He goes after Bulldog. He and Sultan almost get Bulldog out. Bulldog clotheslines Sultan out. Austin almost throws Hunter out. He hits an elbow from the 2nd rope. Owen Hart is # 13 as Pieroth takes a flying clothesline from Mascaras. Owen goes at it with Austin. Bulldog goes after Austin and tries to get him out but Owen clotheslines Bulldog out and the two have an argument. Goldust is # 14 to a pop. He goes after Austin but gets slammed and takes a kneedrop. Mascaras tries to get Owen out and Owen barely hangs on. Everybody’s working on Goldust now. Cibernetico is # 15 and he goes after Mascaras. Goldust hits a flying clothesline on Hunter. Mascaras tries to pull Cibernetico’s mask off. Pieroth tries to dump Hunter but can’t do it. Marc Mero is # 16 as Mascaras dumps both Pieroth and Cibernetico. He makes the mistake of going to the top and giving Pieroth a flying bodypress outside eliminating himself. He goes back into the ring before the refs tell him get out. Goldust clotheslines Hunter out. Down to 4 men. Mero and Goldust get it own while Owen hits an enzugiri on Austin. The Latin Lover is # 17 and he kicks Goldust in the fanny. He goes after Austin and nails Owen with a kick and gives a snap mare. Goldust almost throw Owen out but Owen slingshots himself back in the ring and he eliminates Goldust and almost gets out Latin Lover. Farooq is # 18. He goes after the Latin Lover and backdrops him out. Farooq and Austin go at it as Ahmed comes in with a 2X4 and he hits Farooq over the top rope with it. Austin who went thru the bottom rope comes back in and eliminates both Owen and Mero. Austin is by himself again. Savio Vega is # 19 and pounds on Austin. He slingshots him into the buckle and hits a spinning heel kick. Austin sends him into the top rope and clotheslines him over. Austin is asking for more men. Jesse James is # 20, no not both members of Team Rocket from Pokemon. J He goes after Austin and pounds on him in the corner and hits a clothesline in the corner. Austin sends over the top but doesn’t eliminate James but elbows him to eliminate him. Austin is getting a lot of cheers at this point. Bret Hart is # 21 and upon hearing his music, Austin gives a look like “OH SH*T!!!” Both Bret and Austin brawl with each other. Bret hits an inverted atomic drop. He pounds on Austin in the corner. Jerry Lawler is # 22 and from his announce position he says “It takes a king…” and he goes into the ring and get clotheslined immediately over the top by Bret and he goes back to his announce position and says “…to know a king McMahon.” Bret hits an elbow from the 2nd rope on Austin followed by a backbreaker. “Diesel” is # 23 and goes after Bret. He pounds on Bret in the corner and tries to get Austin out. Austin sends Bret into the turnbuckle stomach first. Terry Funk is # 24 and like pretty much everyone he goes after Austin. Bret works on Kane—I mean “Diesel” in the corner. Austin almost gets Funk over. Funk hits a messed up piledriver on Bret. Rocky Maivia is # 25 and goes after Austin and “Diesel”. Rocky tries to get Austin out and Funk is almost thrown over. Rocky tries to get “Diesel” over. Mankind is # 26 and sits in the ring and goes after Terry Funk. These two have had their wars in the past. Funk is almost out. Austin hits a suplex on Bret and hammers on Bret. Bret hits a sleeper hold on Austin but takes a jawjacker. Flash Funk (No relation to Terry Funk) is #27 and goes after “Diesel”. Bret hits a piledriver on Austin. Flash hits a flying bodypress on both “Diesel” and Terry. “Diesel” works over Flash. Mankind has his foot over Terry’s throat. Vader is # 28. Terry almost gets Mankind out as Vader goes to work on Bret but Flash goes after Vader and so does Austin. Henry Godwinn is # 29 and goes after Vader. Mankind almost has “Diesel” out. Rocky almost gets Flash out. Rocky is almost thrown out. The Undertaker is #30 and the lights go out. 10 men are left. UT goes after Vader and Mankind. UT gives Austin and Vader a chokeslam each. He goes after “Diesel”. Flash goes after Vader but gets caught in midair by Vader and literally dumped over the top. Henry and UT go at each other. Bret tries to get Austin out. But Rocky almost gets Bret out. Funk and Austin go at each other. UT almost throws Henry out. Henry goes back to work on UT. UT chokeslams Henry over the top rope and out of there. Austin almost eliminated again. Rocky gets caught in the Manible Claw by Mankind and is eliminated. Mankind and Terry Funk go at it again. They clothesline each other over the top but are still in. Mankind reverses a suplex and suplexes Terry out. UT kicks Mankind out and Mankind and Terry get into a brawl with each other. Bret throws out Austin but Austin sees that the refs were tied up with Mankind and Terry and didn’t see Austin so he comes back in and eliminates UT and Vader and as Bret eliminates “Diesel” Austin dumps out Bret to win it at 50:26. This was a pretty good rumble and the ending was totally unexpected ***1/2. Afterwards Bret has a fit with the officials and goes after Vince at announce table and asks them if they saw him throwing out Austin. Gorilla Monsoon would do a Final Four match at the next IYH with Austin Bret UT and Vader the next night on Raw.

 

We get a look at the Shawn Michaels Sid feud. Sid wins the WWF title from Shawn at Survivor Series using a camera to injure Jose Lathario and Shawn turns to his trainer’s aid as Sid pins him to win the WWF title. The Royal Rumble was announced in Shawn’s hometown of San Antonio and the WWF title match was announced. In one Raw episode  prior Sid attacks Jose’s son Pete by powerbombing him through a table.

 

Shawn does an interview with JR saying that he has the flu but he will be ready at match time.

 

WWF title match Sycho Sid VS Shawn Michaels

Shawn and Jose get a big hometown pop as they walk towards the ring. Both Sid and Shawn staredown to start. Sid shoves Shawn down and does it again. Sid starts pounding on Shawn. Shawn hits a flying bodypress and bounces Sid’s head on the mat and knocks him to the outside. Shawn goes out and works on Sid and rams his head into the railing but almost gets press slammed on the outside. Sid catches Shawn from the top rope and gives a power slam. Sid does a camel clutch. He sits on Shawn’s back and does another one. Sid works on Shawn’s back and does another Camel Clutch. Shawn gets out and kicks Sid in the corner. Shawn gets flipped upside down and out of the ring. Sid rams Shawn back first into the ringpost twice and brings him back in the ring for 2. Sid goes to the chinlock. Shanw gets out of it but gets clotheslined hard. Sid covers Shawn for 2. Sid throws Shawn to the buckle twice and goes to the bear hug. Shawn breaks out but gets back in it again. Shawn gets out and gets caught in another bear hug. Geez. Sid hits a legdrop for 2. Sid goes back to the chin lock. Shawn fights back again and slams Sid. Shawn hits a fling tackle. Then goes to the top and hits the flying elbow. He warms up his foot for the superkick but Sid grabs it. Shawn is backdropped outside of the ring. Sid goes outside and powerbombs Shawn on the outside. Sid grabs both Jose and Pete but Shawn gets up and Sid lets go of both. A double reversal of an Irish whip knocks out the ref. Sid nails a chokeslam. Another ref comes in and counts 2. Sid hammers on Shawn but nails the ref as well. Shawn grabs a camera and nails Sid in the back and across the front with it. He covers Sid but gets a slow 2 count. Shawn warms up his foot and nails the superkick on Sid and gets a slow three count for the pin and huge pop at 13:48. and he becomes the WWF champion for the 2nd time. This match started off real slow but got real good towards the end. **1/2. Afterwards Shawn has a big celebration with his friends and family.


Summary: Well this was a pretty mediocre card here. The crowd was huge but was pretty dead for a lot of this. They probally were saving it for Shawn Michaels I guess. It does have a pretty good title match and good Rumble so I will say MILDLY RECOMMENDED