Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Royal Ramble 1991

We've got the Rumble, kids. And also WWF World Champion the ULTIMATE WARRIOR fends off Sgt. Slaughter.

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Janetty) defeated the Orient Express (Pat Tanaka and Kato) in what was a pretty fun and entertaining opener. Both teams were top-tier stuff and they ended up with one of the highlights on this show. Good start.

So Sherri comes out and tries to seduce Warrior into give the MACHO KING RANDY SAVAGE a title shot... and Warrior shoots her down. And this upsets Savage. That isn't going to bite him in the ass, at all.

The Big Bossman defeated The Barbarian in a "two big fuckers beating the fuck out of each other" match and it was great for a different reason. Hey, I can appreciate a good old fashioned HOSS FIGHT when I see one and this was certainly that. Bossman was awesome and I don't think I ever gave Barbarian enough credit for how much of a bad ass he was back then. Tremendous fun, this match was.

Sgt. Slaughter defeated WWF World Champion the ULTIMATE WARRIOR after the Macho King whacked Warrior with a scepter to win the title via submission. See, I told that was going to bite Warrior in the ass... and now he has no title. The match itself was nothing special in terms of the in-ring, but it was the crowd that took this to another level. For a bit of context, America was at war with Iraq and the WWF decided that they needed an Iraqi villain for the good guys to trump. Their solution was to bring ol' G.I. Joe himself, Sgt. Slaughter - an American hero, mind you - and turn him into an Iraqi sympathizer. This gave him HUGE HEEL HEAT. And so when Slaughter won the title after turning on America, people were naturally PISSED and the WWF assumed this would lead to a large gate at a big arena Wrestlemania.

They were wrong, of course, and they had to scale things down a bit... but I can understand and appreciate the thinking behind this move. And I guess if you're an American hero and you want to win a World title, you have to turn on America. Again, I can't fault the thinking here.

The people are a bit sour, so let's have the Mountie kill Koko B. Ware in a thing that happened... and then follow it up with Ted DiBiase and Virgil beating the crap out of Dustin and Dusty Rhodes, treating them like complete and utter GEEKS... and then Virgil turns on DiBiase by hitting him with the Million Dollar Belt and... actually, you know what? I'm feeling worse now, thanks.

Hulk Hogan wins the Royal Rumble... and I'll be honest. I was largely bored with this one. Maybe it's because there was a big moment that carried the whole thing in the previous year's Rumble and this is just... guys coming in and getting out. Not the greatest Rumble ever or anything... but I've seen worse, so it's got that going for it.

I don't know about this show. The first couple matches were fun for different reasons and the World title match is worth watching for the crowd reactions alone, but everything fell off a cliff afterwards and never came back. There's a reason why I didn't write on the latter half of the show and that's because I was largely bored and had forgotten most of it anyway. A rare miss in this early period.

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