WWE Vintage Collection Report: 25th January 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Happy Birthday to me! Welcome aboard. Packed into this week’s show are matches from the 1993, 94, 95 & 96 Royal Rumbles.
A series of promos geared towards Bret Hart vs Razor Ramon at Royal Rumble 1993 open up the show. Bret says it took years of training and dedication to get to the top. As champion he’s taken on the toughest challengers in the WWF. Bret will teach Razor Ramon what it means to be a champion because he’s never been afraid to work hard and sweat. Razor says the only reason Bret’s sweating is because he’s afraid of what Razor’s going to do when he gets him in the ring.
Bret notes the greatest accomplishment in his life was winning the WWF title. He knew the second he won it he’d have to face all the challengers. The biggest, baddest, meanest, toughest and the treacherous ones, rated at the bottom of the barrel. But, he never thought that you’d have to lift up, tilt the barrel and find the likes of Razor Ramon.
Razor understands that Bret is a little upset after he slapped his little brother around. (We see Razor ambush an Owen Hart interview and pummel him with a clothesline and garbage can shot). Bret says this won’t be the first time he’ll have to pound out some bully for picking on one of his little brothers. According to Bret, this match isn’t just going to be a title match. It’s become real personal. (We see Razor flick his toothpick at Bret on a stage, leading to a pull-apart that also involved Mr Perfect and Ric Flair). Razor gets the last word here, flicking his toothpick at the screen and saying Bret’s next.
After hyping up this Main Event feature, Okerlund promises a match between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, with the Undertaker on hand too. Five matches are on cue. We start with……………………
Royal Rumble 1994
Tatanka vs Bam Bam Bigelow w/Luna Vachon
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Ted DiBiase
The closing stages are shown. Tatanka escapes a long bearhug, but Bam Bam floors him. Tatanka comes back with a powerslam for a nearfall. Both men collide after simultaneous cross body attempts. As Bam Bam attacks, Tatanka fires up into his dance. Bam Bam counters with an enziguiri kick. After mocking Tatanka’s dance, Bam Bam misses a top rope moonsault. Tatanka picks up the win with a top rope cross body. Here is Your Winner: TATANKA.
Okerlund chronicles the rise and fall of the Rockers, with several match clips, followed by Michaels putting Jannetty through the Barber Shop window in January 1992. Fast forward to the fall of 1992. As Michaels is checking himself out in Sensational Sherri’s mirror, Jannetty hops the guardrail and attacks his former partner. When Jannetty goes to use the mirror, Michaels pulls Sherri in the way to take the hit, before bailing. This leads to a set of promos from the bitter enemies.
Michaels says that nobody has been more undeserving of an Intercontinental title shot than Marty Jannetty, but being Mr cool, he’s going to give him one anyway. Everyone wants to know where’s Sherri going to be? Whose corner is she going to be in? Michaels says he hasn’t had a chance to talk to her, but like any woman she’s going to be in the Heartbreak Kid’s corner. Michaels says we can count on that before concluding that at the Royal Rumble, Jannetty is done.
Jannetty says he’s going to call January 24th at the Royal Rumble, Marty Jannetty day, because that’s the day he’s going to get everything he wants. He’s going to capture the Intercontinental championship, and more to that, he’s going to end the career of Shawn Michaels. Jannetty finishes by telling Michaels that he doesn’t know Sherri as well as he thinks he does.
Royal Rumble 1993 (Intercontinental Title)
Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Sensational Sherri is ringside, but keeps everyone guessing at whose corner she’s in? Michaels starts off all cocky with shoves. After chasing him around ringside, Jannetty delivers a faceplant. The offense is all Jannetty’s early on. Michaels flips upside down from an Irish whip, then walks into an inverted atomic drop. A kneelift puts Michaels over the top rope. Jannetty springboards Michaels back in, only to clothesline him back out on the other side of the ring. Jannetty hits a dive through the ropes then one from the top rope. Michaels thwarts another high risk move, before driving Jannetty’s shoulder into the ringpost twice. Following a commercial break, Jannetty manages to suplex Michaels out onto the floor from the ring apron. Sherri comes around acting all concerned, before slapping Michaels to cement her face turn. Jannetty back suplexes Michaels back into the ring. Another Irish whip sends Michaels back out to the floor, where Jannetty introduces him to the ringsteps. Back inside, Jannetty catches Michaels with a powerslam. Michaels moves to avoid a Jannetty top rope attack, but Jannetty manages to land on his feet and plant Michaels with a DDT, for a two count. Michaels floats over a charge in the corner, Jannetty ducks a crescent kick and lands one of his own. 1-2-no. Both exchange sunset flips before Jannetty comes close again with a quick slingshot into the corner and sunset flip combo. Michaels goes for a forearm, but inadvertently knocks out the referee. As Jannetty locks in a full nelson, Sherri comes in and accidentally hits Jannetty with her shoe, after Michaels moves. Michaels dresses a distressed Sherri down then polishes Jannetty off with a crescent kick for the 1-2-3. Good matchup, from what was shown. Michaels was bumping like crazy to make Jannetty look good. It’s a shame that this match occurred during a period when Jannetty was in and out of the WWF. As a result, this feud never matched the expectations from its start when the two broke up on the Barber Shop. Here is Your Winner: SHAWN MICHAELS.
Royal Rumble 1995
The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer vs IRS w/Ted DiBiase & Two Druids
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Mr Perfect
Okerlund notes Undertaker’s feud with the Million Dollar Corporation at this point in time. IRS had been using the Druids to play mind games with the Deadman. We pick this up in progress, with the Undertaker down on the mat. IRS drops a couple of elbows and a legdrop. Undertaker sits up to avoid a splash. Both men collide before a Druid puts IRS on top of Undertaker for a nearfall. Undertaker sits up, chokes a Druid, then sends a charging IRS into him. Undertaker sacrifices a tombstone on IRS to attack both the Druids, who have climbed onto the apron. IRS takes advantage with a flying clothesline. Undertaker sits up and catches IRS in a chokeslam for the 1-2-3. Pure filler. Here is Your Winner: THE UNDERTAKER.
Royal Rumble 1996
Double J Jeff Jarrett vs Ahmed Johnson
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Mr Perfect
Another match joined in progress. Both are former Intercontinental champions. Ahmed had just come in to the WWF and was undefeated. Jarrett pulls the running spike in the ropes and the Jackie Fargo strut out of his bag of tricks. Ahmed sustains three double axehandle attempts before catching Jarrett in a bearhug. Ahmed hits Jarrett with a clothesline and spinebuster. Jarrett rolls outside. Ahmed hits an insane top rope dive. He damn near catches his head on the guardrail. Back inside, Ahmed misses a somersault splash from the top rope. Ahmed favours his knee, so Jarrett slaps on the figure four. (Ahmed’s real life knee problems would plague him during his couple of years in the WWF). Ahmed turns it over and Jarrett gets to the ropes. Jarrett softens up the knee. Ahmed kicks off a second figure four attempt, sending Jarrett through the ropes. Jarrett grabs his guitar, breaking it over Ahmed’s head, after coming off the top rope for the DQ. An enraged Ahmed chases Jarrett to the back. Yet more filler but more entertaining than the last bout. Here is Your Winner via DQ: AHMED JOHNSON.
Royal Rumble 1993 (WWF Title)
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Razor Ramon
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
Main Event time. With Razor already in the ring, we head backstage to the gorilla position, where Bret is standing by with Okerlund. After Okerlund puts over Bret for being a fighting champion, he stokes the fire by saying this confrontation has gotten personal. Bret says this is way beyond a title match now. Razor’s crossed a line that he’s never going to forget. This is a personal thing, a family thing and it’s blood. Razor Ramon is going to pay for everything. Bret vows to defend his family’s honour, as Okerlund tells him of the big crowd waiting to greet him. Bret’s parents Stu and Helen are ringside. Just over ten minutes of the match air. Razor flicks his toothpick at the kid that Bret puts his glasses on. Both slug it out to start. Razor hits knees to the gut in the corner. Razor whips Bret into the corner twice. Bret dodges a charge and Razor’s knee hits the corner. Bret attacks Razor’s leg with a flurry of shots and a figure four. Razor uses his long body to get to the ropes. Bret goes outside to throw Razor’s leg into the ringpost. Bret ties Razor’s leg up in the corner to attack. Razor turns the tide by sending Bret gut first into the ringpost. A commercial break edits out Razor working over Bret’s ribs. We come back to see Bret trying to put Razor away with a backbreaker, clothesline from the second rope, running bulldog and side russian legsweep. Bret favours his ribs after the last move. Bret attempts the Sharpshooter, but after pulling Razor away from the ropes, he can’t turn Razor over. Bret falls to the mat, with referee, Earl Hebner on top of him. Razor lands shots to the ribs then sits Bret up on the top rope. Bret manages to reverse a back suplex attempt. Razor gets his foot up to stop Bret’s elbow attempt from the second rope. Razor says that’s it and gets Bret up for the Razor’s Edge. Bret manages to slip down and counter with a backslide for two. Razor locks hands with Bret and whips him into the corner. Razor slaps Bret in the head a few times, before locking hands again and booting him. Bret manages to get up, hooking Razor into a sunset flip for two. With Razor still down, Bret manages to maneuver his legs into Razor’s and cinch in the Sharpshooter. Razor cries uncle. Pretty solid matchup. Here is Your Winner: BRET “HITMAN” HART. By editing out one or two of the filler bouts we could have seen more of this match. The 95 and 96 Rumbles could easily have been put off until next week and be featured more prominently.
Okerlund signs off to end the show.
I’ve enjoyed these recent Royal Rumble throwbacks from the WWE vault. As for tonight’s Rumble, I pick Jeff Hardy, JBL, Beth Phoenix and Jack Swagger to win their title matches, with Shawn Michaels outlasting 29 others. I love the Royal Rumble. It’s my favourite PPV of the year.
Finally, better late than never, here are the quick results from the recent Vintage Collection Awards. Thanks to everyone who voted.
Vintage MVP: Bret Hart
Best 80s Tag Team: Hart Foundation
Best 90s Tag Team: Legion of Doom
Vintage Jobber: Koko B. Ware
Vintage Manager: Bobby Heenan
Vintage Commentator: Bobby Heenan
Vintage Woman: Alundra Blayze
Vintage Funny: The Mountie goes to Jail (August 1991)
Vintage Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Mr Perfect (April 1989)
Enjoy the Royal Rumble and I’ll see you next week. Shaun.
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