Monday 30 May 2016

Journey Through The Attitude Era Vol 11: WWF Royal Rumble 1999 Review

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Good evening  joyous people of the internet as we see the return of the series nobody asked for that being my journey through the attitude era, today's adventure is none other than the Royal Rumble of 1999, the first pay per view of the new year. For those who do not know, the main event is The Royal Rumble match where 30 participants are entered into the ring and the objective is to throw your opponents out of the ring over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. The winner of this match will receive a WWF championship match at Wrestlemania. The stakes are high and for Stone Cold Steve Austin, the stakes would be even higher as the evil owner of the WWF Vince Mcmahon had placed a 100,000 dollar bounty on the head of Austin, any man who eliminated Austin would receive the money. Mankind, the WWF champion fresh off his title win in possibly the greatest Raw main event of all time would face The Rock in an I Quit match for the championship. I am ready for some action so let's do this!


Road Dogg vs Big Bossman

The Road Dogg had defeated the Bossman for the hardcore championship on an episode of Raw prior to the Rumble and the Bossman was let's just say not happy about this so the two meet in the ring tonight. They lockup with Bossman shoving Road Dogg down as he is the larger of the two men. Road Dogg gets a right hand in at Bossman and tells him to suck it before Bossman corners Road Dogg. Big punches from Mcmahon's personal security, followed by some good old trash talk and a splash. Bossman goes for a splash one too many times as Road Dogg slides out of the way, Road Dogg climbs on top of Bossman and hits him for 10 punches and a dropkick. Road Dogg slides out of the ring and pulls Bossman down by his ankles, slamming him by his balls first into the turnbuckle. Road Dogg lays in kicks and a front facelock before Bossman turns the tide with a nasty elbow to the face of Road Dogg which sends him to the outside.


 Bossman hammers away with uppercuts on Road Dogg before Dogg battles back but he is cut off by a thumb to the eye. Massive boot from Bossman to Road Dogg which knocks the hardcore champion loopy. Hard Irish whip by Bossman as Road Dogg is in dire straits Bearhug by Bossman who squeezes Road Dogg so tightly that one of his eyes could pop out but Road Dogg channels the energy of the crowd and bites the head of Bossman before being cut off again by the bigger Bossman. Bossman kicks Road Dogg in the corner while removing a turnbuckle bad. Big spinebuster by Bossman but he only gets a two. Bossman uses the rope to strangle the life out of the degenerate Road Dogg while kicking him brutally in the face. Road Dogg momentarily gets back into the match with a sleeper but Bossman has his number once more as Bossman rakes the eyes and hits a backbreaker. Bossman goes to the top rope and it does not go exactly as planned as Road Dogg tosses him off the top rope.


 Road Dogg hits his shake rattle and roll fists and knee drops before running off the ropes but it is all in vain as he runs right into the Bossman slam. It was an ok match, Bossman got good heat as everyone wanted to see him get killed but Road Dogg just did not have a lot of offence as a babyface, I have referenced it before but it really becomes exposed when he is wrestling as a singles wrestler, he really only has two moves and that is the fist and the kneedrop, he would not be able to hit his pumphandle drop on the bigger Bossman.


Winner: Big Bossman over Road Dogg via Bossman Slam!


(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Ken Shamrock (c) vs Billy Gunn

Billy Gunn had previously pinned the champion which led to the this match on pay per view, what a novel approach to booking am I right? It makes more sense than Sin Cara beating Rusev and Rusev getting a title shot! I digress, Billy jumps Shamrock as the bell rings and starts hammering away on the world's most dangerous man. Both men trade advantage as they send one another into turnbuckles before eating rebound clotheslines. Billy looks to splash Shamrock in the corner but he misses and Shamrock goes to work, a knee lift and scoop slam do the job as Billy is writhing around in pain. Shamrock dishes out some seriously stiff kicks to the back of Billy Gunn before smashing Mr Ass with forearms and a spinning heel kick. Shamrock shoots Billy off the ropes and lowers his head, big mistake as Billy nails The FameAsser.


 Only two for Billy Gunn off his finisher, he hammers away on Shamrock before charging at him. Shamrock pulls down the ropes and Gunn tumbles to the outside. Shamrock sends Gunn into everything that he can find as Gunn meets the steel steps, the ringpost, and the barricade. Both men battle onto the ring apron and Billy turns the tide as he slams Shamrock from the ring apron face first onto the announce table(the Spanish one of course!). Billy drags Shamrock back into the ring and gets a two count. From the ground Shamrock starts kicking Billy's left leg. Billy crumbles onto the ground as uses his body to destroy the left leg of Billy Gunn. Billy tries fighting back but he can hardly stand as Shamrock has taken away Billy's vertical base.


 Front facelock by Shamrock as Billy tries to counter the intercontinental champion, Shamrock hits a fisherman suplex for two. The referee gets taken out by a clothesline from Shamrock as Val runs down to ringside and ddts Shamrock because Val was smitten with Ken's sister Ryan as was Billy too. Billy covers Shamrock but it is a two count again. Billy battles back on one leg with a spinning elbow a splash and a scoop slam. Billy goes high and misses a double axe handle and rolls his ankle. Shamrock takes advantage and Billy taps out to the pain of the Ankle Lock. Good psychology in this match as Shamrock softens up Billy's ankle throughout the match and Billy battled on one leg and the attacks on his leg led into the finish.


Winner: Shamrock over Billy Gunn via Ankle Lock!


(WWF European Championship Match) X-Pac (c) vs Gangrel

Not sure why Gangrel has this title opportunity but screw it, Gangrel gets the advantage as he shoulder blocks X-Pac, X-Pac takes over with an arm drag/hiptoss and a back bodydrop. X-Pac kicks Gangrel in the corner and goes for the bronco buster but he misses. Gangrel hits a slick arm trap suplex and a stungun for a two count. X-Pac tries for a sleeper but Gangrel counters with a flapjack. Gangrel misses a top rope elbow and X-Pac fires back with right hands and a spinkick. Pac launches himself at the challenger with a clothesline and spinning heel kicks. Bronco buster by the champion and another spinkick which has Gangrel reeling.


 Out of desperation, Gangrel crotches X-Pac but X-Pac fights Gangrel off and nails a crossbody. The match gets a lot of hate at this point as Gangrel reverses X-Pac in the crossbody and the referee counts the 3 before X-Pac kicks out. Poor Teddy Long (the referee) gets you fucked up chants for the rest of the match. Luckily, it does not last very long as X-Pac ducks a clothesline from Gangrel and counters a flapjack attempt into the X-Factor and X-Pac retains the championship. Quick match with not too much going on except for the botch.


Winner: X-Pac over Gangrel via X-Factor!


(WWF Women's Championship Match) Sable (c) vs Luna(Strap Match)


And you thought The Bellas were killing the division (Ha to be fair they have improved a lot). Sable is bad, really bad like trying to sit through the Fantastic Four bad. Anyways, Luna is fresh off her face run with the oddities and is now a heel, she has the support of Shane Mcmahon, I have no idea why Shane would be angry at Sable or why the corporation would want Luna as champion as opposed to Sable but that's what I can gather from this match. Sable was attacked on heat by Luna and she is trying to sell her back being injured.


 She was supposedly going to forfeit the championship but Sable declares that the match will take place and then they proceed to have every strap match ever where they whip each other with the strap until one competitor touches the turnbuckle while dragging the other along as they also touch each turnbuckle. Sable would emerge victorious as her stalker (who we would later know as Tori) would clobber Luna before she touched the final turnbuckle allowing Sable to steal the victory. It was fine it is just hard to watch Sable in the ring as she clearly was not trained very much at all.


Winner: Sable over Luna due to completion of rules!


(WWF Championship Match) The Rock vs Mankind (c) (I Quit Match)

Mankind lays into the challenger with right hands and clotheslines Rock. Mankind chokes the challenger with Rock trying to get something going for him but it is to no avail. Mankind nails a bulldog and starts punching The Rock. Mankind grabs a microphone and asks Rock will he quit which he responds by telling Mankind to kiss his ass. Cactus Jack clothesline and both men are on the floor. Rock is sent into the barricade and eats punches from the champion. Mankind tries whipping Rock into the steel steps but Rock reverses. Rock's advantage does not last long as Mankind clotheslines Rock over the announce table as Rock eats a steel chair shot from Mankind.


 Double arm ddt by Mankind and he pulls out socko. Mankind makes Rock pass out with the Mandible Claw. Rock cannot quit while passed out as he rolls to the outside. They brawl into the crowd and Rock hip tosses Mankind to the floor. Rock stomps on Mankind and hits him with the steel steps before grabbing the ringbell and smashing Mankind over the head with the ringbell. Rock attempts The Rock Bottom on the Spanish announce table but the table collapses but with the way they fell, the botch was covered well. The brawl up the entrance way with both men trading blows before Rock ddts Foley on the ramp. Rock grabs a ladder from the back but it ends up haunting The Rock as Mankind smashes the ladder in Rock's face. Mankind tries a Cactus Jack elbow on The Rock but Rock dodges the move. Rock climbs the scaffolding as both men trade blows from the top of the scaffolding. Rock low blows Mankind and punches Mankind who falls through the electrical circuit board as sparks fly out of the board and the arena's lights go out temporarily. Shane Mcmahon comes out and looks concerned as Mankind writhes around in pain but Rock refuses to call off the match and drags Mankind into the ring.


 Rock grabs handcuffs and a chair from ringside. Corporate Elbow with the chair on Foley's face and 10 unprotected chair shots to the head later, Mankind is a bloody mess and collapse the entrance way. Mankind "quits" and The Rock is the new champion. The reason I say Mankind "quits" is we would later find out that the corporation played a recording of the promo Mankind gave before the match in where he stated he would never say the words I quit I quit. Classic heel stuff right there, a very violent match especially with the knowledge that Foley's kids were basically traumatized by the incident and the damage that those chair shots could potentially have on a person.


Winner: The Rock over Mankind due to quitting by Mankind!


The Royal Rumble (Winner Goes To Wrestlemania Main Event)

Thirty men... one winner.... Oh yeah the event that every wrestling fan craves as we try to guess who will have the winning number, what legends will return and who shall feud as a result of this match. The Royal Rumble is a simple concept, two men begin fighting in the ring with a new competitor entering the ring at regular scheduled intervals usually every 90 seconds until all thirty men have entered, participants can only be eliminated by being tossed over the top rope and with both feet hitting the floor. Breaking this into paragraphs so it is easy to understand!

Entrants 1 to 5

Austin and Vince Mcmahon are numbers one and two respectively, they start us off, Austin was given number one by Mcmahon in a supposed "fair" draw while Commissioner Shawn Michaels who had turned face after leaving the corporation gave Vince number two. They kick us off as Austin mauls Mcmahon. Golga is number three and he attacks Austin which is a bad mistake by Austin eliminates Golga. Mcmahon and Austin battle into the crowd until they reach the women's bathroom. Austin is assaulted by the corporation which leads to Austin being escorted away in an ambulance. Droz enters at number four with nobody in the ring so he stands around until we have entrant number 5 who is Edge. They brawl in the ring until....

Entrants 6 to 10

The man they call Gillberg comes into the ring, he poses before being tossed over within seconds by Edge. Steve Blackman joins the rumble at number seven and starts attacking both Edge and Droz before we have Dan Severn in at number eight, Severn and Blackman start mauling each other as Tiger Ali Singh makes his way to the ring at number nine. The ring is starting to fill up, it is only a matter of time before a monster wreaks havoc. Number ten is The Blue Meanie, looking as disgusting as ever, he hits a clothesline and does his dance. Yay?

Entrants 11 to 15

My prayers are answered as Mosh was supposed to be number eleven but he is taken out by Mabel, Mabel makes his way to the ring and eliminates Droz/Blue Meanie/Blackman/Singh/ and Severn. Only Edge and Mabel remain in the ring as Road Dogg enters at number twelve and eliminates Edge. Mabel begins to destroy Road Dogg before the lights go out and Mable is abducted by The Ministry of Darkness led by Undertaker and he is taken backstage. Gangrel is in at number thirteen but he does not last too long as the Road Dogg tosses the leader of the Brood over the top rope. Kurrgan the leader of The Oddities comes in at number fourteen followed by Al Snow at fifteen. Al tries to toss Road Dogg over but it backfires as Snow is eliminated. Kurrgan and Road Dogg are the only two in the ring at this point.


Entrants 16 to 20

The Bizarre One Goldust enters at number sixteen with The Godfather hot on his tails at number seventeen. All hell breaks loose as Kane enters at number eighteen, the Big Red Machine eliminates Road Dogg/Kurrgan/Goldust and Godfather, leaving only himself in the ring. Men in white jackets come to ringside as The Corporation wish to place Kane in a mental asylum due to his uncontrollable behavior. Kane cleans house and eliminates himself as he escapes the attack of the men. Vince returns to ringside to commentate while Shamrock enters at number 19. Billy Gunn comes down at number 20 with one boot on selling his injury from earlier.


Entrants 21 to 25

Another Corporation member enters at number twenty one as Test makes his way in and hammers away on Billy Gunn, Mcmahon gets the shock of his life as Austin returns from the hospital having recovered from his assault. Austin tosses Billy/Test and Shamrock over as he is gunning for Mcmahon. Mcmahon is saved by the entry of Bossman at twenty two and the ring starts to fill again as we have Triple H at twenty three, Val Venis at twenty four and X-Pac at twenty five.


Entrants 26 to 30

At number twenty six we have Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry and at number twenty seven we have Jeff Jarrett. In the midst of the action, Bossman tosses X-Pac over the top and Triple H eliminates Jeff Jarrett. Number twenty eight is D'Lo Brown and number twenty nine is Owen Hart. All men in the ring brawl before we have number thirty the first ever female rumble entrant Chyna! She comes in and eliminates Henry immediately. Chyna takes too long taunting Henry as Austin knocks her right over the top. Val gets eliminated by Triple H and Austin knocks Triple H out of the match. We have our final four which is kinda surprising considering we could have had Kane or Triple H in the final four but instead we have Owen Hart, D'Lo Brown Big Bossman and Austin. Austin eliminates Owen Hart  and D'Lo gets eliminated by Bossman before Austin Stunners Bossman and sends him over.


 However, Vince is still in the Rumble and is terrified at ringside as Austin drags him into the ring before Stunning him. Rock makes his way to ringside and catches the eye of Austin. Rock and Austin brawl on the apron and Vince sneaks in and wins by eliminating Austin. Your winner, Vince Mcmahon. I think opinion could be divided on this ending, it could be Vince abusing his position within the company by having himself win but the odds were against Austin and Vince would ultimately lose to Austin so there was a fitting conclusion but I am not sure Vince needed to win the rumble perhaps it was just for his ego...


Winner: Vince Mcmahon by lasting eliminating Stone Cold Steve Austin!


Overall, the Royal Rumble is usually not about the matches, it is usually about the Royal Rumble itself and I think this is very true when it comes to the 1999 Royal Rumble. Without Rock and Mankind and The Rumble itself, you could mistake this for an episode of Raw. That being said, The Rock vs Mankind was a really good title match that has stood the test of time with many fans vividly recalling the match. The Rumble was good, it was fun to watch, not the best but still fun as Rumbles always are and the ending was fine.

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