In the fourth instalment of ‘The Way We Was‘ – which has been carved into two parts due to sheer volume of wrestling this week – Jamie has once again fired up his nuclear powered DeLorean and travelled back to the year 1996 to bring us the latest happenings from a busy week in the wacky world of wrestling. First up in part 1: WWF, featuring the Royal Rumble and a pretty decent episode of Raw.
It’s Superbowl week and The Dallas Cowboys are preparing to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Superbowl XXX. Find out next week if it was as X-rated as it sounds. With nothing much happening this week we can jump straight into the wrestling action, of which there was plenty.
You know that expression about the obvious answer usually being the correct one? Well Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble Match, again. In doing so he apparently “made history”. I’m not sure how because Hulk Hogan won back to back Rumbles in 1990 and 1991. Anyway, he’s heading to the main event of Wrestlemania XXII to face the WWF Champion, who is still Bret Hart. In what had to be The Undertaker’s longest match to date, Diesel interfered to cause a DQ finish and cost The Dead Man the title. After the match Diesel flipped Taker off. Looks like Big Daddy Cool is now a fully-fledged heel and in line for a feud with The Undertaker. This is despite a show of respect between him and Michaels at the end of the Rumble – HBK last eliminated Diesel to win.
In Other Royal Rumble News –
- The cautionary “graphic action” promos featuring Sunny continued. Other than her mildly suggestive tone, Ahmed Johnson’s wedgy and Diesel’s middle finger there was no evidence of anything “graphic” on this show
- Goldust defeated Razor Ramon to capture the Intercontinental Title. He did so with the help of The 123 Kid and “a lady” who accompanied him to ringside
- Quote of the night came from Mr Perfect, who was on commentary. As Bob Holly entered the Rumble Match, Perfect asked “when’s Vader coming out?” Poor Bob
- Vader did indeed debut during the Rumble Match. He and fellow Camp Cornette member, Yokozuna, were eliminated simultaneously by Shawn Michaels. Afterwards Vader threw a paddy and tossed everyone, including Shawn Michaels over the top rope. Those assaulted by Vader were allowed to re-enter the match, which contradicted several other instances of wrestlers being eliminated from a Rumble Match by non-participants
- The Undertaker has an urn again. On Raw Paul Bearer was carrying Kama’s chain, which was forged after The Supreme Fighting Machine stole Taker’s original urn. The Dead Man has since reclaimed it and obviously melted the chain down to once again re-shape those same molecules into an urn again
- Diesel, the last man eliminated from the Royal Rumble, is now the number one contender to the WWF Title. This was an interesting decision by President Gorilla Monsoon, given that the prize for winning the Rumble match was also a title shot
- Ahmed Johnson defeated Jeff Jarrett by disqualification
- WWF World Tag Team Championship The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy Gunn) defeated The Body Donnas (Skip & Zip)(w/Sunny)
- Goldust(w/Marlena) defeated Razor Ramon for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
- Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble by last eliminating Diesel
- The Undertaker(w/Paul Bearer) defeated Bret Hart by DQ for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
The big story from the most newsworthy Raw of the year so far is that, just two days into his WWF career, Vader has been suspended indefinitely. He lost his shit again, this time after a match with Savio Vega. After powerbombing a referee, Gorilla Monsoon suspended Vader indefinitely. Not one to go quietly, Vader provoked a reaction from Monsoon and retaliated with a Vader Bomb.
In Other News From Raw –
- Monsoon cut Vader’s nipple with a stiff chop during the show opening segment. An upset Vader later called out WWF officials, including Vince McMahon. I thought he was just a commentator?!
- The 123 Kid continued to be a thorn in Razor Ramon’s side, and for some reason he had a giant baby bottle with him
- The mysterious woman who accompanied Goldust at the Rumble was named as Marlena
- It was the final episode of ‘Billionaire Ted’s Wrasslin’ War Room’. This week’s gag was WCW’s lack of original ideas. Sadly, while this is the last of these particular skits, it does not appear to be the end of Billionaire Ted and the gang…
- Shawn Michaels said he would “do anything” to get his hands on Owen Hart, who has been taking credit for injuring Michaels. Hart’s manager, Jim Cornette, took full advantage of this and agreed to a match subject to HBK putting his Wrestlemania title shot on the line. Heel – 1 babyface – 0
- Vince McMahon could be spotted dancing to Michaels’ music as HBK made his entrance
- WWF Champion Bret Hart challenged number one contender Diesel to a cage match. Hart then assured The Undertaker that he would receive a rematch after the controversial finish to their match
- Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Savio Vega
- Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Razor Ramon via count-out
- WWF World Champion Bret Hart defeated WWF IC Champion Goldust (w/ Marlena)
You can read all previous ‘The Way We Was’ pieces here.