Wednesday, 4 November 2020

WWF Royal Rumble 1996 Review

 



Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more salty than a Wrestling fan when a wrestler signs for the “Wrong” company! It’s WWF Royal Rumble 1996, the worst year in WWF is over so will we be able to see something better in 1996? What’s happening on this card? Well, The Undertaker made his intentions known at In Your House 5 Season Beatings, The Deadman is coming for The WWF Championship held by The Hitman. Can Bret Hart survive The Undertaker? Razor Ramon defends his WWF Intercontinental Championship against The Bizarre One Goldust who has taken a strange interest in The Bad Guy, bordering on falling in love with Razor Ramon. We also have what we all came for, 30 men fighting for the chance to main event Wrestlemania! Could be Owen Hart? Could it be Diesel? Could it be the debuting Vader? Or the returning Heartbreak Kid? So much packed into one night but will 1996 knock it out of the park on the first PPV of the year? Let’s find out!

 

Jeff Jarrett vs Ahmed Johnson

 

Ahmed Johnson destroyed Buddy Landel instead of Dean Douglas with Double J assaulting Ahmed after the match, it was the first major feud for Ahmed but also Jarrett’s first feud since returning to the WWF so not sure how this one will go but I don’t see Ahmed doing the JOB.

 

 

Ahmed sprints down to the ring, big right hands before Jarrett powders, Jarrett attacks Ahmed as Ahmed re-enters the ring. Hip-toss does not work, Ahmed hip-tosses Jarrett. Side headlock from Double J, Ahmed tosses off Jarrett. Jarrett dodges a splash, right hands from Jarrett. Ahmed reverses an Irish whip for a short-arm clothesline, shoulder blocks from Ahmed. Powerslam from Ahmed for two, Irish whip and flying clothesline from Ahmed. Jarrett ducks Ahmed who gets caught in the ropes trying a crossbody, Jarrett lands a clothesline from the apron to the floor. Jarrett whips Ahmed into the steel steps and lands a massive leg across the back of Ahmed. Strut from Jarrett, double axe handle to the spine.

 

 

Ahmed begins shaking off the attacks of Jarrett, Ahmed catches Jarrett on the fourth axe handle attempt, inverted atomic drop and clothesline from Ahmed. Spinebuster from Ahmed, Jarrett rolls to the floor. Ahmed picks up steam and dives to the floor, Ahmed is on the top rope and Jarrett dodges the somersault splash. Figure-Four is applied middle of the ring, Ahmed reverses the hold and Jarrett has to release the hold. Jarrett attacks the legs with elbows, Ahmed kicks Double J to the floor this time. Jarrett grabs his guitar, climbing to the top rope. Jarrett jumps off and cracks Ahmed with the guitar.

 

 

So I was worried coming in when both men were fresh with Jarrett returning to the WWF and Ahmed being a top prospect and the finish plays beautifully into my fears as it completely sours me. Hot opening match this is not, it doesn’t even dive into that fun Jarrett being a prick territory but we do see brief flashes of how absolutely insane Ahmed Johnson can be inside of that ring. The selling is rough at times and it looks as if Ahmed’s hand is being held throughout the match but the power and explosiveness of Ahmed is just so much fun. That finish is awful though, why not squash Douglas who you don’t care about instead of a DQ to open the show?

 

Winner: Ahmed Johnson over Jeff Jarrett via DQ!

 

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) The Bodydonnas W/ Sunny vs The Smoking Gunns ©

 

Skip has overcome Barry Horowitz while Sunny has matured into a sex symbol in the WWF, I do enjoy Pritchard’s work especially his work against The Dirty White Boy and of course, The Heavenly Bodies. The Gunns have been hit and miss but the tag team division is garbage during this era so what do you expect? Billy and Skip to begin, side headlock from Skip. Shoulder block from Billy for two, leapfrogs from Skip before a beautiful headscissors takedown before Billy lands a massive back body drop. Skip low-bridges Billy and Billy is on the floor, Bart is wiped out by The Bodydonnas. Double elbow for Billy, Bart pulls Bodydonnas to the floor before Billy lands a plancha to the floor.

 

 

Billy and Skip to restart the match, Skip takes the leg but the figure four does not happen. Skip is bounced between The Gunns, Zip eats a right hand too. Billy smashes Zip with a right hand, Skip is down on the floor. Bart and Sunny are flirting, Sunny shows a little cheek to Bart. Zip wants a piece of Bart, Sunny continues teasing. Zip chops Bart, no effect on Bart. Bart chops away at Zip, whip to the buckle and a military press slam. Massive left, Skip blind-tags in and Skip clotheslines Bart hard. Right hands from Skip, Bart ducks and Billy tags in. Hart Attack from the Gunns, Sunny is on the apron. Billy is whipped into the ropes with Sunny standing on the apron, Billy checks on Sunny.

 

 

Skip and Zip batter Billy for checking on Sunny who was acting, Bart comes in and waffles The Bodydonnas but Billy is taking a whooping at the hands of Skip. Plancha to the floor from Skip, tag to Zip. Scoop slam and Zip is suplexed onto Billy by Skip for two, Boot to the face from Zip, scoop slam from Zip. Gut-wrench powerbomb attack from the challengers for two, Skip smashes Bart who is on the apron. The Bodydonnas ram Billy into the turnbuckle over and over, Zip applies the reverse chin-lock. Billy fights out but the challengers maintain control. Skip lands a middle rope headbutt for two, tag to Zip. Double flapjack for two, Billy shoves off Skip who hits Zip and we have a three-way collision.

 

 

Bart wants the tag, Billy escapes the challengers and tags Bart. Left hands all around, back body drop for Skip. Elbow for Zip, Skip and Billy are brawling. Both Bodydonnas are down, Gunns hit their finish but Sunny is on the apron. Billy is with the referee, Bart eats a Diving Top Rope Headbutt from Skip. They trade places, 1….2… Bart survives unbelievably! Billy is tossed to the floor, The Bodydonnas land a double back body drop but they want a double suplex. Billy spears Zip, Bart small packages Skip and The Gunns retain their championships.

 

 

Decent tag team match, Sunny is fantastic as a heel. Say what you want about her as a person but as a performer, Sunny continues to impress me and it seems that she will be hitting her stride soon enough. The Gunns are popular with the fans, the fans never give up during the match. Skip and Zip are alright as a team, I do love both men’s work but I’d rather watch the two in SMW Considering how things were going in the WWF at the time, this was better than we could have hoped for, I did like the tease on the switching between the two Bodydonnas, I bought into that for the finish so it’s all good in my eyes.

 

Winners: The Smoking Gunns over The Bodydonnas via Small Package!

 

(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Razor Ramon © vs Goldust W/ Marlena

 

Goldust declared his interest in Razor Ramon at In Your House, showering The Bad Guy with gifts and Razor eventually snapped, attacking The Bizarre One in a brutal attack at Monday Night RAW. Goldust appears for the first time with Marlena, this is a special moment. I really like this angle, it’s heated and these two want to kill one another. Razor’s work is always enjoyable and Goldust hopefully rises to the occasion with this match.

 

 

Goldust’s mannerisms seem to be in full-swing now, Razor throws his toothpick at Goldust. Goldust is hesitant to lock-up, teasing the champion. Razor takes the arm, yanking the arm out of its socket. Arm-bar with paintbrushes from the champion, side headlock from Razor. Goldust slips out, Goldust looks to Marlena. Waist-lock from Razor, Goldust reverses and rubs up and down the chest of Razor. Razor and Goldust are in the corner, Goldust rubs the head of Razor. Razor shoves off Goldust, a whole lot of psychology in this one at work with Goldust trying to rattle the cage of Razor. Razor takes the arm, hammerlock before Goldust reverses and slaps Razor.

 

 

 Drop toehold and slaps from Razor, massive slap on the face and ass from The Bad Guy. Goldust loves it before a right hand floors The Bizarre One, Goldust hides behind Marlena on the floor. Lock-up, side headlock from Goldust but Razor uses his legs to choke Goldust, We repeat the spots three times before Razor lands a massive right hand. Goldust hides behind Marlena again, Razor cuts a frustrated figure at ringside. Goldust blows Razor a kiss, Razor kicks Goldust. Goldust dodges the right hand but gets clotheslined to the floor, Marlena is moved by Razor and Goldust takes control. Razor is rammed into the ring apron twice, the challenger lands a kneeling uppercut. Double axe handle from Goldust, whip to the buckle. Razor is whipped to the opposite buckle and back again, running bulldog by Goldust for two.

 

 

Goldust slaps on the reverse chin-lock, Razor fights out but eats a belly to back suplex from the challenger for two. Marlena blows dust into the eyes of Razor, Razor fights back with big rights. Razor lowers his head, mat-slam and neck-breaker from Goldust for two. Sleeper from Goldust, Razor is fading and fading fast. Razor comes back to life, walking Goldust to the corner and Razor lands a low blow on Goldust with the referee missing the blow. Right hands by Razor, chokeslam from Razor for two. Fallaway slam from Razor for two, Goldust pokes the eyes. Goldust is on the top rope, Razor crotches Goldust. Super bell to back suplex, Marlena is in the ring clutching her ankle. Razor calls for the finish, The 123 Kid is here. Diving spinning heel kick from Kid, Goldust covers Razor for the championship.

 

 

Goldust’s best match in the WWF at this point but that’s not saying much considering how bad the Jannetty and Bigelow matches were when I had to sit through those torturous affairs. However, in this match Goldust is with the always popular Ramon. Goldust’s mind games are on full-display, riling up Razor and the crowd, the crowd loving every time that Razor smashed Goldust in the head. Again, another reign for Razor comes to an end, shocked that there will be no WWF Championship on the cards for that man. Anyways, Razor and Goldust work at a good pace, Goldust gets good heat hiding behind Marlena and faking out The Bad Guy. The finish builds heat for the feud between Kid and Razor, hopefully we get that paid off because of the time put into the feud.

 

Winner: Goldust over Razor Ramon via Diving Spinning Heel Kick!

 

(The Royal Rumble Match)

 

Entrants 1 to 5

 

Number one and number two are Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Henry O. Godwinn, these two are slugging it out before Helmsley eye-pokes Godwinn. Uppercuts and kicks before Godwinn lands a clothesline, back body drop from Godwinn. Helmsley flips out of the corner, military press slam almost works before Helmsley rakes the eyes. Helmsley chokes Godwinn with the middle rope, Helmsley rips at the face of Godwinn. Right hands from Helmsley, Godwinn fires back though with right hands, flooring Helmsley. Number three is Bob Backlund, has Backlund competed in the WWF or just promos? Backlund pummels Godwinn, trying to dump out Godwinn before Godwinn floors Backlund. Forearms from Backlund to Helmsley, all three men brawling with one another.

 

Godwinn is waffled between the eyes by Helmsley, Backlund is hanging on by a thread. Backlund almost back-drops Helmsley over, both men are trying to dump out Backlund. Number four is Jerry Lawler, Lawler slowly makes his way to the ring before making friends with Helmsley. That mullet is atrocious, Lawler has the slop bucket. Godwinn fights out and has the bucket, all the heels are on the outside not wanting to be slopped and Lawler wanted to have a talk with his friends before Lawler gets destroyed in the slop. Entrant number five is Bob Holly, Holly goes after Lawler. Big right hands, an Irish whip and a back body drop on Lawler. Backlund is with Helmsley, Godwinn clubs down both. Helmsley is teeing off on Godwinn, Helmsley almost throws out Godwinn.

 

Entrants 6 to 10

 

Backlund is on Godwinn, Helmsley tries to dump out Backlund but to no avail. Number five is Mabel, Mabel is back after being destroyed by The Undertaker. Sir Mo is here with Mabel which is a nice touch, Godwinn is the first target for Mabel. Godwinn fights off Lawler while fighting off Mabel, Holly eats a back body drop from Helmsley. Holly is almost thrown out, Backlund wants to throw out both but Holly and Helmsley survive the elimination attempt. Number six is Jake The Snake Roberts, a big star no doubt about it and it’s always nice to see Jake. Jake comes in and throws out the snake which sends the heels scampering to ringside, Lawler is covered by the massive snake. The ring has been cleared for the second time, the first time was with Godwinn’s slop.

 

Big pop for Jake though, Mabel and Godwinn collide with Mabel getting stuck in the ropes. Lawler is hiding under the ring to avoid being attacked, clever move from Lawler. Number eight is Dory Funk Jr. wow this rumble could not get worse. It’s looking rough in terms of talent, Helmsley avoids the DDT. Dory Funk uppercuts Backlund, Mabel steps all over Godwinn. Lawler peaks out from under the apron as Godwinn lands a massive diving clothesline on Mabel. Number nine is Yokozuna, surely the ring might empty for once. Backlund has the chicken-wing on Funk but Yokozuna breaks that up. Backlund is tossed out by Yokozuna!

 

Bob Backlund has been Eliminated by Yokozuna!

 

Mabel and Yokozuna are shoving one another, Godwinn is stuck behind the two monsters. Mabel splashes Yokozuna, trying to dump out the former WWF Champion. Yokozuna headbutts his way out as Holly lands a frakensteiner on Godwinn, Mabel splashes Godwinn because why not? Number ten is The 1-2-3 Kid!

 

Entrants 11 to 15

 

Ramon is chasing Kid all around the ring, the officials get rid of Ramon. Ramon is so close but just cannot get his hands on Kid, number eleven is Takao Omori. Omori would kickstart his career in AJPW a few years after this in his No Fear tag team with Yoshiro Takayama, no idea that the WWF would have a relationship with AJPW. Omori uppercuts away at the giants in the match before they chop the shit out of Omori. This match has been rough so far how have Mabel or Yokozuna not dumped out everyone in sight? They are made especially for that purpose! Number twelve is Savio Vega, wonder how his career been going as Razor’s friend, Spinning Heel Kick wipes out Mabel. Yokozuna dumps out Mabel! Omori wants to dump out Jake but Jake reverses it and dumps out Omori!

 

Mabel has been Eliminated by Yokozuna!

 

Takao Omori has been Eliminated by Jake Roberts!

 

Number thirteen is Vader, things just got interesting as Vader makes his debut in the WWF. Fans are standing, things look good. Please let Vader destroy everyone, Vader pummels Holly. Dory Funk almost elbows Savio out of the ring, Holly tries brawling with Vader. Savio eliminates Dory Dunk Jr. from the apron!

 

Dory Funk Jr. has been Eliminated by Savio Vega!

 

Vader waffles Savio in the corner, Jake stalks the big man. Big mistake as Vader starts shaking off everything Jake throws, number fourteen is Doug Gilbert. We have some USWA flavour to this match, the WWF looking really bad right now. I like how Perfect and Vince both went who the fuck is that? Really puts over the talent in this match. Vader clotheslines Jake out of the ring who wanted a DDT on Gilbert!

 

Jake Roberts has been Eliminated by Vader!

 

Vader hammers Gilbert, fans are loving the big man. Number fifteen is one of the Swat teams members, these guys appeared in FMW and AJPW too. Wow, WWF is pulling talent from all around the world, just how starved of talent are they during this year? Vader chokeslams the life out of Gilbert, it looked brutal. Vader military presses Gilbert to the floor! Vader throws over one of The Swat team members too!

 

Doug Gilbert & Swat Team Member have been Eliminated by Vader!

 

Entrants 16 to 20

 

Number sixteen is Swat Team Member 2, The Headhunters are both entering the ring. They want Vader because Vader eliminated one, Vader starts beating the shit out of both. Clothesline sends a member to the floor and Yokozuna clotheslines out the other Headhunter. Number seventeen is Owen Hart, hopefully Owen Hart has a good Rumble for once, Savio dropkicks Vader and now the two monsters are teaming up as they pummel Savio. Savio is squished by both monsters, number eighteen is Shawn Michaels. Michaels goes after everyone while Savio is finally dumped out by Vader.

 

Savio Vega has been Eliminated by Vader!

 

Michaels knocks many of the heels with right hands before Yokozuna and Vader come to blows, Michaels dumps out Vader and Yokozuna! Kid is press-slammed over by HBK too.

 

Vader & Yokozuna & The 1-2-3 Kid have been Eliminated by Shawn Michaels!

 

Number nineteen is Hakushi, Vader is not happy and military press slams HBK to the floor. However, Michaels is not eliminated because Vader was not legally in the rumble. This is a rule that they never use nowadays, makes sense but anyways, Vader dumps out everything bringing the rumble to a stop for the third time tonight. Number twenty is Tatanka, Tatanka strolls to the ring as Hakushi takes it to Owen Hart. Holly is with HBK, Helmsley goes after HBK. Hakushi almost dumps out Owen Hart, more elimination attempts from everyone before Owen dumps out Hakushi

 

Hakushi has been eliminated by Owen Hart!

 

Entrants 21 to 25

 

Number twenty-one is Aldo Montoya, Tatanka tees off on Aldo. Michaels is crawling under the ring, looking for Jerry Lawler. HBK throws Lawler in the ring, Lawler is backing away from HBK. Tatanka clotheslines Aldo to the floor while HBK punches out Lawler.

 

Aldo Montoya has been Eliminated by Tatanka!

 

Jerry Lawler has been Eliminated by Shawn Michaels!

 

Number twenty-two is Diesel, right hands for Tatanka and Helmsley. Tatanka is immediately dumped out by Big Daddy Cool.

 

Tatanka has been Eliminated by Diesel!

 

Owen rakes the eyes of Diesel, shoulder thrusts before Diesel almost dumps out Owen who hangs on in the match. Diesel saves Michaels from a beating as Diesel continues to dominate in this match. Number twenty-three is Kama Mustafa, Kama goes after Diesel with big kicks to the ribs. Michaels pummels Bob Holly, how Bob Holly survived this long in this match? The guy is as low on the card as you can go, this is crazy. Diesel decks HBK by mistake, could they be teasing dissension once again? Number twenty-four is The Ringmaster, chop block to the knee of Holly. Holly chops away at Austin before Diesel lands some big knees. Elbow for Holly, Holly almost catapults out Austin before Austin hangs on and clotheslines Holly to the floor.

 

Bob Holly has been Eliminated by The Ringmaster!

 

Number twenty-five is Barry Horowitz, fuck me. Diesel decks Horowitz immediately, Michaels and Owen are brawling near the ropes as Owen skins the cat. Helmsley lands a big diving clothesline on The Ringmaster, Kama and Helmsley pummel Diesel before Diesel has enough and dumps out Helmsley.

 

Hunter Hearst Helmsley has been Eliminated by Diesel!

 

Entrants 26 to 30

 

Number twenty-six is Fatu, superkick for Kama. Big right hand to Owen, Horowitz goes after Owen. Fatu and Kama pair off as Diesel and The Ringmaster brawl in the corner, Owen attempts to suplex out Michaels but Michaels hangs on valiantly. Diesel boots down The Ringmaster, Michaels and Owen are on the apron. Number twenty-seven is Isaac Yankem, talk about rough around the edges. Horowitz tries to clothesline out Owen but Owen back-drops Horowitz to the floor. Owen Hart plants Michaels with an enzuigri and attempts to dump out Michaels before Diesel dumps out Owen.

 

Barry Horowitz has been Eliminated by Owen Hart!

 

Owen Hart has been Eliminated by Diesel!

 

Number twenty-eight is Marty Jannetty, I hope Jannetty goes after Michaels. Sadly, no Jannetty is not that committed to continuity. Jannetty tries to headbutt Fatu, bad idea. Hold on, Jannetty and Michaels are brawling I do love this man. Both men knock one another down with right hands, number twenty-nine is The British Bulldog. Bulldog goes after Michaels, Diana is watching on for British Bulldog. Jannetty is dumped out by The British Bulldog!

 

Marty Jannetty has been Eliminated by The British Bulldog!

 

The Ringmaster has been Eliminated by Fatu!

 

Austin is irate as Austin tells the story, The Ringmaster had a spot planned with Michaels for this elimination but that doesn’t happen as Austin missed hanging onto the ropes. I don’t think Fatu is ever thrown out, Fatu just leaves? Number thirty is Duke The Dumpster Droese. Michaels and Bulldog brawl on the floor, Owen Hart comes back out to help Davey Boy. Michaels dropkicks out Yankem! Kama and Diesel dump out Duke The Dumpster

 

Isaac Yankem has been Eliminated by Shawn Michaels!

 

Duke The Dumpster has been Eliminated by Kama & Diesel!

 

British Bulldog has been Eliminated by Shawn Michaels!

 

Kama Mustafa has been Eliminated by Diesel!

 

Diesel has been Eliminated by Shawn Michaels!

 

Yes as quick as that, Yankem and Duke bite the dust within seconds of one another. Moments later, Bulldog and Kama are gone and poor Diesel turns around to walk into Sweet Chin Music and tumble to the floor. Thus, The 1996 Royal Rumble match comes to an end and it was an odd one that’s for sure. So, when it comes to the older Rumbles, I am fine with less planned spots that give it that organic feel but I do love when they give me a reason to care. I did not get a whole load of care when watching this Rumble. Those first 10 entrants were rough as well as having talent that having appeared in months or years like Jake/Backlund/Mabel to stars from other companies like The Headhunters and Takao Omori, the WWF came off really toothless here. On top of that, what little spots they could have done didn’t really come together for me. Vader should have cleared the ring, no exceptions. Put some heat on The Big Man, you hyped him up and I think Vader had 2 eliminations by the time the night was over. Diesel didn’t kill everyone like I thought Diesel would, Michaels did not go after Owen Hart relentlessly. No Sid which sucks, no Ahmed or Goldust or Razor or Jarrett. That’s a lot of depth to miss out on again. Only parts that play into an angle are Razor attacking Kid for costing him the championship and the possibility of Diesel snapping on HBK. As far as characters go, Diesel was far more interesting to me but his work during the year prior was awful when he wasn’t in there with HBK or Owen Hart. Definitely up there as a bad Rumble match!

 

Winner: Shawn Michaels!

 

(WWF Championship Match) Bret Hart © vs The Undertaker W/ Paul Bearer

 

Diesel has not left the ringside area and Taker brawls with Diesel before we begin the match, two babyfaces going at it with Taker declaring his intentions at the previous In Your House. First decent opponent Taker has had in maybe 2 years on pay per view? Maybe longer? Bret continues to duck Taker’s attacks with Taker shaking off every attack. Bret is thrown to the buckle, rights and lefts with a choke for good measure. Whip to the buckle and a two-handed choke toss from The Deadman.  Taker rakes at the face of The Hitman, Bret is on the defensive. Taker lands massive rights to rock the champion, uppercuts from Taker. Hard Irish whip to the opposite buckle, Taker rakes the face of Bret.

 

 

Bret uses the ropes to escape the hold, Taker continues putting the boots to The Hitman. Old School from Taker, Taker chokes Hart once more. Hart is tossed to the corner, throat thrusts from Taker. Hard Irish whip, Bret kicks away Taker. Diving clothesline and clothesline to the floor, Taker lands on his feet. Plancha from Bret who pummels Taker, Bret tries an apron axe handle but Taker catches The Hitman and sends him spine-first into the ring-post. Taker wanted snake-eyes into the post but Bret slides out the back and shoves Taker into the ring-post. Bret charges but Taker boots away the champion, Bret is sent into the guardrail. Taker wants a whip to the steel steps but Bret reverses and Taker flies into the steel steps, his knees taking the brunt of the force.

 

 

Bret continues to stretch the legs of Taker, Taker is backing away from The Hitman. Bret drops his weight on the leg over and over, Bret also rips at the mask. Taker’s leg is taking a beating, figure four from The Hitman. In the middle of the ring, Taker is in tremendous pain. Taker struggles and struggles before reversing the hold which leads to Bret trying to reach the ropes. Bret is up first and works the knee of Taker, Bret rips at the mask again but Taker shakes off The Hitman. Taker struggles to stand as Bret continues working the leg, elbows to the knees from The Hitman. Taker manages to break free, smashing Bret with his leg and The Hitman is sent tumbling to the floor. Taker grabs a camera cord, wrapping it around the neck of The Hitman.

 

 

Eventually, they are back in the ring with Bret going after the leg of Undertaker. Mixed emotions for sure Mr. Perfect because this match is sucking the life out of me. Bret pulls Taker to the ring-post, Taker’s leg is smashed into the ring-post over and over. Taker doesn’t clutch his leg or anything, preferring to wince in pain but fair is fair, Taker is selling the leg. Another leg-hold, come on people give me some urgency. Taker lands a headbutt, leg drop across the throat from The Deadman. Clothesline from Taker, tombstone attempt but Bret slides out to the apron. Bret eats a right hand from Taker, Bret hot-shots Taker.

 

 

Taker ducks his head off an Irish whip, DDT from Bret for two. Taker sits-up, this might be getting interesting for once. Bret headbutts the spine over and over, Russian leg-sweep with Taker sitting up. Right hands from Bret, running bulldog plants Taker. Taker sits-up again, the crowd is coming alive for once. Back-breaker from Bret, Bret’s Rope Elbow Drop. Bret calls for the end, Taker has Bret by the throat. Knees by Taker, both men are down after a clothesline. Bret is exposing the turnbuckle, Bret rips at the mask for the third time. Bret manages to rip off the mask, Bret backs away from Taker. Right hands to the face, Bret is whipped to the buckle hard. Elbow from Bret, Bret sends Taker into the exposed buckle twice.

 

 

Headbutt from Bret, make it two. Right hands to the ribs, more headbutts. Taker catches Bret off a crossbody with a Tombstone Piledriver, Taker covers. 1…2.. Diesel pulls out the referee! Undertaker is declared the winner as Diesel took out the referee so Bret Hart is still your WWF Champion.

 

 

Wow, that was incredibly bad. I didn’t think that was going to be a bad match but it was a bad match for sure. Taker’s attacks were so slow and it seemed that Taker was never going to step into second gear while I usually enjoy Bret’s work on a body part, Bret applied so many useless rest-holds here to get me to care, how could you not step it up when in there with Taker? Why didn’t we have some inventive stuff from The Hitman? We eventually get the finish and it’s a DQ but look at how it went down. Diesel pulling out the referee means Diesel is on Bret’s side, that is the referee’s logic which is alright Diesel doesn’t want Taker to become champion but would have it been a bit easier if Diesel Powerbombed Taker to put it over costing him the championship? Maybe a I am thinking too much about it, the bottom line is this match was a whole lot of nothing and that finishing stretch does not make up for the bore I sat through. You had one good spot, the crossbody being countered into The Tombstone Piledriver, I can’t believe they ended the show like this though. Awful way to end a pay per view.

 

Winner: The Undertaker over Bret Hart via DQ!

 

That was WWF’s Royal Rumble 1996, a bad pay per view from the WWF. We kick off with a DQ, never a fan of those and especially when it seems you intentionally booked yourself into a corner with the new Ahmed Johnson and returning Jeff Jarrett facing one another, could have been a hot opening match but nope, flat as a pancake. The tag match is good, they went out there and did what they could, the crowd reacted and there’s talent in Candido, The Gunns are popular and I do enjoy Prichard’s tag team work. Best match on the card but it’s not saying much at all, Goldust vs Razor is enjoyable. There’s a lot of stalling and character work but it’s just enough to keep me interested. However, I am sick of seeing Razor lose considering his talent and popularity with the crowd but I am happy that this feud is going somewhere with Kid. The Royal Rumble match was weak just like the prior year with little to note or standout when recalling the match. I did like Jannetty and Michaels pummelling one another, that’s commitment right there. Should have ended the show with the Rumble, it’s not right when they don’t because the intrigue for me is knowing who is the champion heading into the rumble so you can speculate what the main event will be for Wrestlemania. I am even more certain that the rumble should have went on last after watching Bret vs Taker, a poor match from both men. It means nothing and to end a PPV on a DQ in a big championship match when the intrigue is now on who faces Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania is just piss-poor. While it’s 1996, it feels like 1995 as the WWF continues to make poor decisions and just bore me. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

 

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