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Friday, January 15, 2016

2765 - Royal Ramble: 1999



The 1999 Royal Rumble... Holy Living FUCK!

To sum things up, this show sucked. You don't realize it watching it back then because the WWF was such a hot thing at the time and the overarching storyline of Austin Vs. McMahon was somewhat compelling, but when you remove the context from the equation and pull the show out of the moment, there is not one single good thing to be had here, save for maybe one or two things here and there. For the sake of brevity and my own state of mind, my comments here will be short and sweet.



The Big Boss Man defeated the Road Dogg in a match that meant nothing. The only relevant bit of backstory here is that Roadie beat Bossman for the Hardcore title in a prior match on free TV and thus the logical course of action is to have a regular wrestling match on PPV. Sure, why not?

Intercontinental champion Ken Shamrock defeated Billy Gunn to retain the title, despite interference from Val Venis. You know how people like to talk about how the fans in the Attitude Era were loud and passionate? This match is the counterpoint to that. So quiet... oh, and the match was boring too.

European champion X-Pac defeated Gangrel to retain the title. I actually dug the Gangrel gimmick with the red lighting, the brooding music, and the whole vampire-esque theme; I kinda wished they did more with him than just have him partnered up with Edge, Christian, Matt, Jeff, Ginger, Lilac, and Lorna... This match was actually decent and didn't put me to sleep. Too bad it was short, but hey, something worthwhile for once.

Women's champion Sable defeated Luna Vachon to retain the title in a strap match... um, er... eh... Sable looked nice, at least, but that's about all she was good for. But hey, it was good enough for Brock, amirite?

Ahem.

The Rock defeated WWF champion Mankind in an I Quit match to win the title when pre-recorded audio of Mankind yelling I Quit (from a Sunday Night Heat showing of all things) played over the intercoms and the stupid refereee decided that yes, Mankind quit despite not spewing the words from his mouth. Anyone who has seen Beyond The Match will recognize this match as the match where Foley's wife and kids saw the part-time Santa get smashed in the face multiple times over...

This match was hard to watch, especially the last few moments with the chairshots. Even back in 99 when I first watched this on live PPV, it was getting to be hard to stomach. Add to that the reactions of the Foley family from Beyond The Mat being fresh in my mind and this is a match that can be difficult to sit through. Fortunately, the next Rock/Mankind match would be a little light-hearted, as Mankind won back the title with a forklift before dropping it back to Rock a few weeks later on RAW in a ladder match.

And finally... the Royal Rumble match is won by Vince McMahon... and unfortunately, that's about the only thing I remember about this rumble. This particular Rumble took a backseat to the shenanigans of Austin vs. McMahon, the first two entrants of the Rumble, to the point where more time was spent on backstage skits involving bathroom beatings and ambulance confiscations than the actual match itself, which in all honesty, wasn't that great to begin with. It's a matter of the storyline overwhelming the rest of it and it just becomes this big blur. People like to call this the worst Royal Rumble of all time and honestly, that's pretty damn generous... but then after watching the 2015 Rumble again, 1999 at least had some trainwreck quality to it. Quite stretching, I'm sure, but still not very good.

This is also the match where Chyna made her Rumble debut at number 30; supposedly a big deal or something, but she doesn't do much and is quickly eliminated by Mizark Henry.

Thank fuck this show is done.

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