WWF Royal Rumble 1994

WWF Royal Rumble 1994

By NWK2000
From January 22, 1994

WWF Royal Rumble 1994
To begin we get the greatest opening theme of all time. Please, if you watch this on the Network do it specifically to hear this amazing theme. Vince starts the show by himself, and Ted Dibiase comes out to be color commentator. Vince says he didn't expect this, which is stupid on many many levels but I will digress. Vince compares him to John Madden, which causes Ted to do a hysterical dramatic half turn. Apparently Madden was signed to 30 million dollars over 4 years, which is peanuts compared to Ted's asking price, and Madden should've come to the WWF because of it, according to Ted. You don't know what I would give to live in the alternate universe where the WWF signed JOHN MADDEN. Anyway, our first match is.....

Tatanka vs Bam Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Luna Vachon)

This match was a fun little opener considering the rushed circumstances involved (Ludvig Borga was his planned opponent, but had sustained an injury)

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Roman (c) vs I.R.S.

The match was slow and plodding as per usual when IRS is in the ring. This was made worse by a ref bump and Shawn Micheals interfering by hitting Razor with his fake Intercontinental Title and just leaving it there when he made his exit. This lead to a double down spot that went on for far too long, which lead to a Dusty Finish in which IRS got the pin, but a second referee came down and explained to the first ref that shenanigans had occurred, which lead to pantomime, "Why are there two belts?" bit by the first ref.

2/10. A boring match with way too contrived and illogical a finish.

Tag Team Championship match video package. Brilliant, not only did it detail the seeds of the Bret/Owen feud with some very telling phrases by Owen, "The Rocket will shoot for the stars with you right behind me Bret" but also detailed the hot potatoing of the belt between The Quebecers and 1-2-3 Kid/Marty Jannetty, which sound like an amazing series of matches.

Bret and Owen interview: Great, Owen sounded completely insincere, but Bret smiling like a doofus at some particularly loving-sounding turns of phrase by Owen shows that Bret buys Owen's transparent crap hook, line and sinker. Owen also pulls Bret by the hand out of shot like an annoying little brother which is fantastic character work.

WWF Tag Team Championships
The Hart Brothers (Bret and Owen) vs The Quebecers (c) (w/ Johnny Polo)

The story of the match was that Bret was getting his leg worked over and Owen being a hot headed, stupid babyface allows the Quebecers to cheat, and work over the leg, to the point where the ref has to stop the match.

Post match: Amazing, Owen kicks Bret in the leg and stomps to the back, shouting about Bret being "Too damn selfish" . This is treated like a very real incident. The show grinds to a halt, and various backstage goons tend to Bret. Then, oddly, Ray Rougeau ambles out and asks if he can interview Bret at this very moment. Pat Patterson has none of this, and tells Ray off. We then cut to the back for

Owen's promo: Historic. Yes. This is the "kick your leg out of your leg" promo. And yes, it's hysterical that is soon as the words leave his lips, you can see Owen mentally retreating into his imaginary turtle shell. But, I think one of the production choices that goes oft overlooked here is that it shows the promo from the jumbo-tron as Bret is being carted away, so as Bret is in this agony he's also having to listen to his whiny brat of a brother bitch him out for being a better tag partner despite being injured

Undertaker/Yokozuna video package. Good. This gets the point across that Yokozuna is afraid of caskets, partially due to Yoko's amazing facials. Also if you've ever wanted to hear Taker and Paul say "Double wide, double deep" this is the package for you. This goes on for far too long, as it basically shows the construction of the casket with Yoko being afraid. However, the true highlight is the final bit where it's implied Paul Bearer transports the casket to the ring via Horse Drawn carriage Or at the very least a Magical Ghost Carriage because we don't see the horse, we just see the carriage and Paul Bearer holding a whip, which rides off when he whips it.

WWF Championship
Yokozuna (c) (w/Jim Cornette and Mr.Fuji) vs The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer)

Have you ever wondered what a match would look like if the finishing sequence was longer than the match itself? Well look no further than this match. The match was on it's way to a 6/10, with an entertaining build (including Yoko taking a marvelous chokeslam bump for someone his size) and your average casket match affair. But, the first time Yoko gets put in the casket that's when the insanity begins. First Fuji's henchmen Kabuki and Tenryu (yes, the same Japanese legends from my review of The AJPW/NJPW/WWF Summit) run down to make the save for Yokozuna. Then Fuji's second charge Crush. Then Bam Bam Bigelow, which is a stretch but you can explain it as he is a bounty hunter. Then....Jeff Jarrett? Then....Adam Bomb? Yes, basically every heel runs out and beats up Taker while Yoko just kinda hangs out in the casket. This goes on for far too long but is breifly redeemed when PAUL GODDAMN BEARER makes a babyface comeback on Fuji and Cornette. However, it is for naught as Bearer gets the urn knocked away from him and it starts spewing green smoke (important for later) , as Taker is put into the casket.

Post match: Absolute insanity. So the heels march the casket up the ramp with Yoko following behind like the world's saddest parade when the lights go out, and the casket starts spewing the same smoke (which Vince identifies as "goop", apparently unable to tell the difference between a liquid and a solid). And we get a camera shot of Taker in the casket. Taker waxes philosophical with us about how the spirit of Taker lives on in all of mankind, and the soul of mankind is an eternal flame which cannot be extinguished. Then he dies. As in he goes limp. Then, we get all sorts of goofy effects on screen, including screen flickering and an EXPLOSION (the casket doesn't explode live in the arena, somehow the innards only explode) and then we see a silhouette of Undertaker ascending to heaven. Paul Bearer, despite having seen his nearly unbeatable, money making charge DIE IN FRONT OF HIM, is completely okay with this, mouthing "he'll be back" cryptically while non chalantly wheeling the casket up the ramp (because the heels disappeared in the madness)

Generic Royal Rumble promos: Honestly I didn't write anything here because I was still trying to process the last segment. I think only about four people got 30 second promos, so I doubt there was anything to write here.

The 1994 Royal Rumble

This match is known for basically two things, Diesel's coming out party, eliminating 7 people, and Bret/Luger co-winning. That's literally the only things that happen that are slightly interesting. Basically the only additional note I made here was the Shawn/Marty rivalry picked up for like the 50th time. Also of note was Lex Luger getting jumped by Tenryu/Kabuki, including getting hit in the throat by a chair backstage, and completely no selling it by the time he was slated to come out. Also this is a 29-man Rumble, as they swerved us with someone not coming out for their spot (implying it be to be Bret Hart) only for Bret to come out later in another spot, to reveal the open spot was meant to be for Bastion Booger, but he "got a little sick in the back". Also Shawn immediately eliminating unstoppable badass Diesel by shaking hands with him and then immediately dumping him out.

Final Thoughts
Unless you are a diehard fan of Owen Hart, do not watch this show under any circumstances.

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