Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

Royal Rumble 1993

Monday, January 16, 2006

Survivor Series '92 is here.

Royal Rumble – 1993 Sacramento

Know what name I like? Justice Sunday.

I'm not going to change the name of this PPV, 'cause it's too confusing, but since the Battle
Royale in the Counterfactual comes after Mania, Justice Sunday would make sense to me as the name of the January PPV.

Gorilla and Bobby, one last time. Bobby will leave for his match at midcard, Gorilla will finish up with Lord Alfred.

(Dark – Al Snow d. Bob Backlund)

1. Strike Force d. Jannetty/Moon
-Just a quickpaced opening tag.

2. Undertaker d. Carlos Colon
-Colon, for those unaware, is young Carlito’s daddy. Chokeslam. Tombstone. Fuji and Yoko and Tenryu enter, Fuji hitting the Taker with the flag, and when the Dead Man turns, Yoko wipes him out and leaves him laying a Bonzai Drop. 'Cause Mania's a comin'. They set the Taker up for another Drop, Bret runs in, cleans house.

3. Bam Bam Bigelow d. Big Boss Man
The Beast…from the East!

4. Razor Ramon d. Randy Savage
Now we’re talking. Good match, Razor’s best yet, as they use Savage again to put the new guys over. Clean. Fallaway, Edge, Toothpick. Razor stands over Savage and makes the motion for the belt around his waist. Then makes the Clique handsign.

5. Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig d. Ric Flair (w/Bobby)
And we say goodbye to Flair and Bobby. Both guys cheat constantly and match each other flop for flop – Curt only had so much left, but he and Flair could work this match (and did, actually, on RAW the next night, when Ric actually did leave town) it’s the last great moment of Hennig’s career; he escapes the figure four – wins with the PerfectPlex – Heenan tries to make up with Curt after the match – do the “I was always on your side” bit – but Hennig finally gets even with the big right hand that sends Heenan flying over the top rope. Pretty good middle of the card for the fans in Sacramento.

6. Tags: Steiners d. Beverly Brothers
Ted and Mike watch from the aisle, clearly scouting for a weakness in the Steiners. After the fall – Ted takes the mic from the aisle – “I have been in the WWF almost 10 years, and if there’s one thing I know it’s that…everybody has a price, for the Million Dollar Man.. So, Steiners, enjoy your belts – for now. I want every wrestler in the back to hear this – I am putting a $100,000 bounty on the heads of Rick and Scott Steiner. I don’t care if you take out one of them or both of them – I just want them taken out! $100,000. ” There’s a stir in the building – then Doink and Jim Powers run from the back – and hit the ring – Steiners suplex the hell out of them….then Papa Shango and Skinner hit the ring….again, multiple suplexes and the monster face pop for the Steiners….then the Bezerker and…Terry Taylor – who the hell knew Terry Taylor was back in the WWF? The Bezerker and Taylor each take Germans right out of the ring – the Steiners hold their belts high and go to the top buckles as the crowd roars.

7. IC: 30 Minute Iron Man: Shawn Michaels d. Owen Hart:
One of the greatest matches of all time. Shawn goes over in the Iron Man, 2 falls to 1, match ends with Shawn in the sharpshooter – and he’s able to hold off from submitting until after the time limit expires. Best ever match for both men - it’s Michaels’s second IC title after having 2 tag runs. And just like that we’ve had the revolution – Savage was IC champ going into Survivor Series – and now, only 2 months later – Shawn and Owen have completely taken over this secondary rank in the company.

Standing ovation from the crowd – many of them chanting “HBK’…Owen, obviously disappointed but recognizing he lost cleanly – offers the handshake to the exhausted Michaels…

And Shawn, of course, superkicks him into next week.

Shawn spits atop Owen – makes the sign of the Clique - and dances his way out of the ring – taunting the crowd.

8. WWF Title: Bret Hart d. Tenryu (w/Fuji)
Again, another terrific match – Fuji’s interference is stopped by an entering Undertaker, who tombstones the old man in the aisle – and that’s the last we’re gonna see of Fuji – Yoko appears in the aisle – and the two men brawl to the back.

Bret keeps with the Sharpshooter. He’ll go to IX as WWF Champion for a full year.

The next month is the NWA PPV. Dustin turns face after he and Windham lost the straps – and he goes over Windham. Paul Orndorff returned to NWA, doing a thing where he called anyone out from the back to face him – at the PPV they do a mystery opponent thing – the mystery opponent – former WWF Champion Davey Boy Smith. Bulldog squashes Orndorff. They have a great match featuring the debut of the young Chris Benoit, even before he went to Japan, called by the NWA “the next great Stampede Superstar” – Benoit loses his PPV debut to Foley in a match that tears the building down. The Blonds keep the tags. Muta drops the US to 2 Cold Scorpio “Get down, Get down” – and Vader keeps the NWA Title, going over Sting.

Superbrawl – 1993 Asheville
NWA Title: Vader d. Sting
US Title: 2 Cold Scorpio d. Great Muta
Tags: Hollywood Blonds d. Heavenly Bodies
Cactus Jack d. Chris Benoit

Davey Boy Smith d. Paul Orndorff
Dustin Rhodes d. Barry Windham
Mark Bagwell d. Max Payne
Rock n Roll Express d. Bill Irwin/Eric Watts

On the pre-WM RAW telecasts….Razor sidekicks Owen into the lockers in the back, “Hey, Rocket, your daddy teach you that one, Mang?” Owen is then dragged from the back to the ring by Yoko – Banzai Drop. Banzai Drop. Attempted save by Savage – Banzai Drop – Banzai Drop – Yoko stacks Randy atop Owen and Banzai drops them at the same time. Lights. Bong. Bong. Undertaker in the ring – and again, they brawl to the back. Owen and Randy are stretchered out, providing cover for neither of them working Mania.

Crush beats Bigelow in a “winner goes to IX” match.

Hogan returns for the first time since VIII. Hogan says he heard about this new show, brother, Monday Night RAW, and he knew, as the true Legend of the WWF, that he had to come to the Manhattan Center. Brother. Enter Backlund – doing the Mr. Backlund gimmick. Backlund says he was on his way to immoratlism, he would have been Thunderlips in Rocky III, but Hogan cheated him out of his destination back in 1983. And at IX, he’ll show who the real Legend is.

Heel Promo by…Lex Luger, who says he’s the Total Package, he’s here from the NWA, at IX, he’ll show he’s the real future of the WWF.

Ted’s offer to take out the Steiners continues – Steiners mow their way through everyone at the bottom of the card – on the RAW before IX, they take every local independent wrestler they can find, like 50, 60 guys and have them swarm the ring after a Steiners match – beating Rick and Scott down – Ted and Mike make their ways to the ring – and stuff the hundreds into the Steiners' mouths.

They set up the top of the card for IX--- Bret/Razor. Shawn/Hennig.

Shawn/Razor cut promos together. Playing up their growing alliance. And it’s “time to move on, time to cut the dead weight in the back” – I like the idea of a highlight package they show of all the wrestlers who have come and gone since Bret and Hennig were debuting – like the dead person montage at an awards show. Razor and Shawn are the cool heels, they laugh, they joke, they kid – and Bret and Hennig are the musty old veterans who don’t know when it’s time to move on. And they both get a kick out of what happened to Owen.

Bret and Hennig cut promos together. Playing up their grudging respect for each other. They aren’t musty – they’re the backbone of the company. Hennig was WWF Champ for 2 years – Bret’s now Champ for 1 yr – and a couple of punks can’t just come in and say it belongs to them. Between the two of them, they’ve headlined every WM since 5 (Bret was 5 and 8, Hennig 6 and 7) and until someone can beat them they’re going to keep headlining Wrestlemanias.

The main event of the last RAW before IX is the tag, Shawn/Razor v. Bret/Hennig – heels going over, Razor pinning Hennig – and at some point, mentioning that Razor and Hennig were AWA tag champs in another lifetime would be a good thing.

Also to note, Andre dies in this period, so the ten bell salute occurs before RAW.  Maybe the Legends Match at IX will also be dedicated to him in some way.  Yup.  That's a good idea. 

It’s Wrestlemania IX from the Vegas! Bret defends against Razor, Shawn defends against Hennig, the Steiners defend against Money Inc, the big Undertaker/Yoko match, Hogan and Backlund in the Legends, the debut of the Total Package. Call your cable people!

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