We now hear from Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
ROSS: Hello everyone and welcome to this year's Royal Rumble originating from the Sam Houston Coliseum here in Houston, TX. This is Jim Ross along with Jerry "The King" Lawler. We have, in addition to the Royal Rumble match itself, seven great matches. You will see a match for the Number One Contendership VS. the NWA United States Tag Team Titles as Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson put their belts on the line against the former Unified World Tag Team Champions Bruiser Brody and Stan "The Lariat" Hansen.
LAWLER: That's right JR and remember, Blanchard and Anderson are Horsemen while Brody and Hansen are members of Ass-Whippers, Inc. and you know there is a history between those two. It could all explode here tonight!!
ROSS: Also, speaking of the Unified World Tag Team Championship, the reigning champions Sting & The Undertaker put those titles on the line against former three time WWF Tag Team Champions, AX & Smash, Demolition.
LAWLER: Sting and The Undertaker have been impressive champions but most of the defenses of the title have been against great wrestlers with little tag team experience. Tonight, they take on the first established team that they have faced. We might see new champions crowned here tonight.
ROSS: We also have Vader VS. Kevin Nash in a No DQ contest for the WWF Title, a match for the WCW World TV title as Jake "The Snake" Roberts from the nWo faces former champion Owen Hart, a battle of US Champions as WCW U.S. Champ Chris Benoit tangles with NWA U.S. Kingpin Goldberg.
LAWLER: Don't forget, we have an ECW Title match as Magnum TA takes on "The Rock" as well as a special submission match between TAZ and Ken Shamrock.
ROSS: Folks, we have some late breaking news concerning the Royal Rumble match itself. It still will happen and it will still be over the top rope, a new man every two minutes and it will still have 30 participants. However, this year's Rumble will be held under "Death Match" rules. That means "come as you are and bring anything to the ring."
LAWLER: Oh, boy!!! That's going to make for some interesting things during this year's Royal Rumble!!! You know that these guys want a shot at the WWF Title and giving these superstars this much leeway? Well, prepare for hell on earth!!!
ROSS: Now, we are going to show you the events that took place that made this matchup between Brody and Hansen VS. Anderson and Blanchard for the US Tag Team Titles. It happened right after the WarGames bout between DX and The WolfPack. WCW Nitro was off of the air but the tape machines caught this interview.
We are now "seeing" the footage with "Mean" Gene Okerland talking to Tully and Arn in the ring. This footage starts at about 10 seconds into the interview.
ARN: How on earth does Demolition get the title shot at the Royal Rumble? We are the NWA United States Tag Team Champions!! By rights, we should be getting the title shot because this title makes us the number one contenders. Demolition is a great team but they.......
At this point, we hear shattered glass and driving guitars. That music can only mean one thing and that is the arrival of NWA World Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He is followed by Bruiser Brody and Stan "The Lariat" Hansen. They enter the ring to the cheers of the capacity crowd.
OKERLAND: I may remind you that this is the Horsemen's interview time.....
AUSTIN: Shut up you little ass twerp!!!
At this point, Austin takes the mic from Okerland. He looks like he's about to say something in protest but a glare from Austin and his friends make him bite his tongue.
AUSTIN: So you think
that you two jackasses should get the title shot against the World Tag
Team Champions Sting and The Undertaker? If you think that, then
I know you're full of horse shit!!
These men right here are the former World Tag Team Champions and have yet to receive a title rematch. You want Sting and Undertaker? Well, so do we. I'll let Hansen tell you the deal.
HANSEN: It's real simple boys. We want a match at the Royal Rumble in Houston, TX against you two for those straps right there. You think you are the best, then accept!!!
Arn now has the mic.
ARN: You want it, you got it.
End of footage.
ROSS: The NWA later deemed that match as a "number one contenders" bout as well. Simply put, if Brody and Hansen win, they become the NWA United States Champions and get a title shot at whoever is the World Tag Team Champions. The same goes for Blanchard and Anderson. If they walk out as US Champions, then they will get the title shot. So this is a real high stakes match. Also, they have just informed us during that video package, that members of both the Horsemen and A.S., Inc. have been barred from ringside during that contest and that there must be a winner. This is going to be a physical match up "King."
Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson VS. Bruiser Brody & Stan "The Lariat" Hansen (NWA United States Tag Team Title/Number One Contenders Match)
Both teams were surprisingly cautious in the early going of this bout but, after about five minutes, all hell broke loose as both teams were going for the win. Brody and Hansen dominated the bout by keeping Blanchard in the ring for extended periods of time. At the 17 minute mark, Hansen connected with his "Lariat" clothesline on Blanchard for a sure pin but Arn broke it up. Arn and Brody are now involved in a brawl in the corner. Anderson manages to gain the upper hand with a kick to the nuts!! At the same time, Hansen stands Tully up for another clothesline but Blanchard ducked it, picked him up using leverage, and dropped him throat first on the top rope. Blanchard quickly took him down, rolled him up and used the ropes with his feet to pin Hansen while Arn held Brody at bay. As the Horsemen left, Brody and Hansen glared at the ref. The ref tried to explain himself but he would've did better to run as Hansen leveled him with the "Lariat"!!! Brody then dropped his flying knee on the prone ref!! Hansen and Brody left the ring while other officials came in to help out the ref.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts VS. Owen Hart (WCW World TV Title Match)
In this 20 minute match, the crafty and evil Jake Roberts took on the equally crafty and skilled Owen Hart. Most of the match was dominated by Owen but Jake kept bidding his time and killing the clock. At the 17 minute mark, Owen finally caught up with Jake with his spinning heel kick. Owen then locked Jake into the "Sharpshooter." It was in the center of the ring but Jake managed to squirm to the ropes for a break. Owen went back in to press his advantage but Jake raked the eyes quickly. Jake went for a bodyslam but Owen reversed out of it and hooked in a "Dragon Sleeper." Jake was caught off-guard by this and immediately tapped out at the 19 minute mark!! Owen had regained the WCW World TV Title but had no time to celebrate as Raven charged the ring and put his version of the DDT on Owen. Jake and Raven were now double teaming the young Hart as they executed the "Evenflow Death Drop" on Owen (imagine Jake picking Owen up over his shoulder and Raven hooking the DDT with both men dropping down to the canvas and you have the "EDD")!! The evil duo of the nWo started to do more damage but Bret "HitMan" Hart and Diamond Dallas Page came in to stop it. Jake was hit with a quick "Diamond Cutter" by DDP while Bret and Raven brawled up the aisle way. Jake is out on the floor while DDP calls for medical help for the man he himself once defeated for this same title (see my "Four Horsemen VS. Ass-Whippers, Inc." story). Bret finally returned to help out his brother. He was groggy but he would be all right as Owen had regained the WCW TV strap again but the four way war between DDP, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Raven, and Bret "The HitMan" Hart was far from over.
Chris "The Crippler" Benoit VS. Goldberg (The Battle Of United States Champions)
While neither the NWA nor WCW versions of the US title was on the line, personal pride was on the line as the scientifically deadly Benoit took on the nearly unstoppable Goldberg. Both men entered with their respective titles and had a stare down that lasted one minute (including the ref's instructions). Once the bell rang, it was hell on earth in this 20 minute match. The most shocking part of this see saw matchup was Goldberg getting off his combo of the "spear" tackle and his "Jackhammer" suplex only to see Benoit kick out at the 15 minute mark!!! Goldberg couldn't believe it!! Still with the advantage, Goldberg used a surprise move on Benoit as he nailed him with a side kick to the face. He tried again for the cover but Benoit still kicked out. Goldberg then whipped Benoit into the ropes and went for an elbow but Benoit ducked it and came off with a clothesline. Benoit then nailed Goldberg with a series of chops to the chest of Goldberg. As the two still heaved off blows at each other, NWA World Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin came out of the crowd dressed in blue jeans, no shirt and black vest. He hit the ring and decked Goldberg from behind with a forearm. Benoit was taken by surprise as Austin booted him in the gut and executed the "Stone Cold Stunner" on him. Austin then picked up Goldberg and gave him the "Stunner" as well. Austin stood in the ring as the ref called for the bell throwing the match out. Austin left the ring but as he made his way up the aisle, Goldberg had recovered quickly from the "Stunner." He charged up the aisle and nailed Austin with the "spear"!!! Goldberg then straddled the NWA Champ and peppered him with right hands to the face. Austin was fighting back as officials came out to separate the two men. It is obvious that a new feud was now born!!!
Vader VS. Kevin Nash (No DQ/WWF World Title Match)
In this no-DQ return bout from Starrcade: Deadly Unions, Nash was determine to erase that loss while Vader was looking to establish his reign as champion. Both men pummeled each other with hard forearms, kicks and punches. Ten minutes into it, Nash went for his big boot but Vader ducked it and Nash nailed the ref. With him down, DX members Scott Hall and Rick Rude made their way down but was cut off by WolfPack members Lex Luger and Chris Benoit. As they battled on the outside, WCW World Champion Shawn "HeartBreak Kid" Michaels came into the ring and threw the WWF title belt as Vader. Vader caught it but it was a set up as Michaels executed his "Sweet Chin Music" superkick just as Vader caught it!!! Nash took quick advantage and dropped an elbow on Vader. The ref had made his way back around during this but due to the no-DQ rule, he couldn't disqualify Nash for what happened. The ref had no choice but to do the three count and Nash had regained the WWF World Title.
WWF Intercontinental Champion TAZ VS. Ken Shamrock (Submission Match)
In this non title submission bout, we saw plenty of wrestling mixed with some all-out street fighting as these two submission masters duked it out. Fifteen minutes into it, TAZ connected with his "T-Bone" suplex on Shamrock. He then gave a "cut-throat" signal for the "TAZ-mission." As he went for it, Shamrock countered with a "Stone Cold Stunner." Shamrock then went for his anklelock submission but TAZ countered that with a Akusa kick to the face. The force of the blow sent Ken back into the referee. It was a glancing blow but enough to send him down but not out. Still, he was shaken up by it. With the ref out of the picture, out came "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for the second time tonight. He was going for a cheap shot on Shamrock but, just as he was ready to deliver the blow, Goldberg (who was attacked earlier by Austin) hit the ring and stopped Austin with his "spear" tackle. The two went to the outside fighting. Meanwhile, Shamrock had TAZ trapped in the anklelock and TAZ was tapping but there was no ref to count the submission. This gave Perry Saturn time to come into the ring with a steel chair. He whacked Shamrock in the back with it and then executed the "Death Valley Driver" on Shamrock onto the chair!! Saturn quickly left the ring as TAZ put a mock "TAZ-mission" on Shamrock to make it look like he made him pass out. The ref came over and check Shamrock and counted it as a submission. TAZ took a controversial win in the submission match.
Sting & The Undertaker VS. Demolition (Unified World Tag Team Title Match)
In this bout, the "WolfPack" partners and World Tag Champs went into this match against the more experienced Demolition (who held the WWF Tag belts on three occasions). Experts had them as the underdogs due to the brutal WarGames bout that they had just 13 days earlier but "The Stinger" and "The Dead Man" showed character by gutting it out against Ax and Smash. Still, the Demos held the advantage for most of the contest until the 12 minute mark. By this time, they were going for the "Demolition Decapitation" (a backbreaker/elbowsmash combo) on a battered Sting but UT broke this up. Sting them slowly made his way back to the corner and made the tag to UT. UT came in against Smash trading blows. Smash fired UT into the ropes and went for a clothesline but missed it. UT came off of the ropes and nailed Smash with a flying clothesline. Ax came in and was leveled by a dropkick from "The Phenom." UT then grabbed Smash by the throat and executed his chokeslam on him for a sure pin. Ax, however, made the save. Now, all four men are in the ring battling it out. The ref was trying to get Sting out of the ring. Meanwhile, Ax and Smash doubled up on UT. Ax went for a right hand on the "Dead Man" but UT moved and Ax nailed Smash. UT quickly gave Ax the chokeslam. He then tagged in Sting. As he did so, he grabbed Smash, picked him up in the powerbomb position but held him up there. By the time he did this, Sting was up on the top rope and dove off with a clothesline on Smash!! This was a top rope clothesline/powerbomb combo!!! Sting covered Smash for the three count as Sting and UT retained their titles. They had no time to celebrate, however, because in came Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson from the back!!! Tully hit UT with a knee in the back that knocked him out of the ring. Arn, meanwhile, leveled Sting with his version of the DDT. They then performed their "Brainbuster" piledriver (it is actual a double-team piledriver or "spike" piledriver) on Sting!!! A close up with the camera showed Arn telling Sting "the next time that happens, the belts will be ours!" The Horsemen leave as they had did their damage while UT and even Demolition check up on Sting.
We now join Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
ROSS: Man, what action we have seen thus far "King" but coming up next, we have the ECW Heavyweight Title Match.
LAWLER: That's right and for those of you that have never seen an ECW title match, get ready for the ride of your life. These title bouts, as all ECW title bouts, have no rules. This match will be a rumble inside of a rumble!!
ROSS: Indeed it will be a rumble when the blue chipper, "The Rock" Rocky Maivia takes on the grizzled veteran and ECW Champion Magnum T.A. Before tonight's card, we got words from both competitors.
THE ROCK: Before "The Rock" climbs into the people's ring to take on that piece of trash Magnum T.A., let me give credit where credit is due. Magnum, you are a tough SOB and you have beaten some big names in wrestling. But, now you are facing one of the new generation. In fact, you are facing THE wrestler of the new generation. So, when you come down tonight, get ready for the match of your life because "The Rock" is going to raise the people's eyebrow, drop the people's elbow, and make sure that you hit "Rock Bottom." In short, I will lay the smack down on you, take the ECW title and go on to be the best damn ECW Champion there ever was!
MAGNUM: Rocky Maivia, you are one of the new breed of wrestler. You came out of the University of Miami as a national champion. Your father, Rocky Johnson, was one of the toughest men ever to hit the squared circle as was your grandfather Peter Maivia. But Rocky, if you want to take this belt away from me, you better be ready to go. Expect the unexpected in an ECW title match.
ROSS: Those comments were made earlier today and I'll tell you that both men are ready to put their bodies on the line in this match.
LAWLER: They better be. Anytime you involve yourself in an ECW title match, you better be ready to put everything on the line because anything and everything will go.
We now go to our ring announcer
ANNOUNCER: The following contest is for the Extreme Championship Wrestling Title!! In ECW matches, there are no rules (at this point, the Rock's music starts up)!!! Making his way down from Miami, FL, weighing in at 275 pounds. He is "The Rock" Rocky Maivia!!
Maivia enters the arena wearing his traditional ring attire. He has a stern look on his face as he enters the ring. He enters to a mixture of boos but also cheers as well. He hits the ring and awaits his opponent.
ANNOUNCER: His opponent (The music of Jimi Hendrick's "Purple Haze" starts up) is from Virginia Beach, VA. He weighs in at 245 pounds. The ECW Heavyweight Champion, Magnum TA!!
Magnum enters to nearly all cheers as he comes down with the ECW title over his shoulder. When he gets to the ringside area, he stops and stares at "The Rock" briefly. Maivia is saying "come on" and Magnum doesn't disappoint as he lays the title belt down and slides under the ring. From there he gets in the face of his younger opponent. The two exchange words with each other as Maivia makes the first move in the form of a shove. Magnum responds with a shove of his own. Maivia goes for a right hand but Magnum ducks it and throws one of his own. Maivia throws it again but Magnum blocks it and throws in another right hand. Magnum follows that up with a kick to the gut and a European forearm that rocks "The Rock." Maivia staggers to a corner but Magnum follows him in with a series of right hands. Maivia stops the onslaught by raking the eyes. He then gets in four good right hands of his own on Magnum. Maivia whips Magnum into the ropes and goes for a backdrop. Magnum counters this by hooking Maivia into a piledriver. Magnum goes for the cover but Maivia kicks out and he only gets two.
Magnum locks Maivia up in a front facelock. He holds this move for about a minute and a half before Maivia makes it to his feet. Maivia, showing some strength, picks Magnum up and rams him into the turnbuckle corner back first. "The Rock" goes to work with right hands mixed in with some kicks to the mid-section of Magnum. Maivia tries to whips Magnum into the corner but Magnum reverses it and Rocky goes into the corner. Magnum charges in but Maivia picks him up and throws him into the corner. Magnum's head hits the corner head-first!! Maivia follows that up with a clothesline when Magnum turns around.
Maivia then goes to the outside and gets a steel chair from the bell ringer. He comes in with and, when Magnum gets up, Maivia nails him in the head with it!! Magnum was busted open from that move. Maivia then takes the top end of the chair and puts it on Magnum's throat, choking him out. The ref tries to encourage "The Rock" to stop this but Maivia threatens to lay a "smack down" on him so he backs off. Maivia then takes Magnum to the center of the ring and bodyslams him. Maivia (with steel chair still in hand) then sets him up for "The People's Elbow." He criss-crosses on the ropes and, just before he drops it, he puts the chair underneath his elbow and plants it!!! Thus, he used the steel chair for an elbowpad. He covers Magnum and gets a 2 3/4 count!!! Maivia quickly locks up Magnum with a reverse chinlock. He keeps this hold on him for about six minutes through both skill and trickery. Magnum, however, finally makes it back up to his feet and frees himself with two quick elbows to the mid-section. Magnum hits the ropes and levels the Rock with a shoulder-tackle. He hits the ropes again but Maivia hits him with Magnum's own move, the belly to belly suplex!!! Maivia then quickly gets to his feet, lifts Magnum's legs in the air and delivered a straight punch to the nuts!! Magnum is really in pain now as "The Rock" is cooking here. Maivia goes back to Magnum with stomps to the chest. He then goes to the outside, looks underneath the ring and gets out a ladder!! He brings it into the ring with Magnum still on his back. Maivia takes the ladder and jams the top of the ladder into the stomach of Magnum!! Magnum struggled to get to his feet as "The Rock" had things well in hand. Maivia then backed up with the ladder and held it to his chest. When Magnum got to his feet, Maivia charged at him with it. Magnum countered by dropkicking the ladder, thus causing it to go into Maivia's chest, knocking him down. Magnum then set the ladder up in a corner. He took Maivia by the legs and "boomeranged" him into the corner. Maivia hit the ladder head-first. Magnum then knocked down a staggered Maivia with a right hand. Magnum was starting to get some momentum back. Magnum then took the young man down with a snap-mare. He turned "The Rock over on his stomach and drove a series of knees into Maivia's neck. Then, in a brutal maneuver, Magnum laid the ladder on the back of "The Rock's" neck, hit the ropes, and splashed the ladder, driving it into the neck of "The Rock"!! Maivia was in serious trouble now!
A bloody Magnum had things going his way but the resilient "Rock" took back the advantage with an eye rake. Maivia then put up the ladder and set it up. He then bodyslammed Magnum down to the canvas. Maivia then started climbing the ladder but was slow doing it due to the punishment that he had taken. Magnum slowly started up the ladder himself. They both was near the top of the ladder (with Maivia being a step or two higher than Magnum). The two traded punches with each other with Magnum getting the upper hand. Then, in an unbelievable move, Magnum grabbed the head of "The Rock" and executed "The Stone Cold Stunner" on Maivia from the 8 ft. ladder. Unfortunately, one of Magnum's feet grazed the ref. The ref was not out but he was hurt. Magnum covered Maivia for about an 8 count but there was no ref as he was slumped in the corner. Magnum went and brought the ref over to where he was and the ref made a good count despite his condition. 1....2...but Maivia kicks out!! Magnum can't believe what is happening. Magnum then decides it is time to go to the belly to belly suplex. But, as Magnum goes to hook it, Maivia takes advantage, hooks the head and arm of Magnum, positions him and gives him the "Rock Bottom" slam!! Maivia covers and the ref counts 1....2.....3!!! Maivia has won the ECW title!! The crowd gives both men a good ovation for the effort they gave.
ROSS: I got to tell you, whether you like Magnum or you don't. Whether you like "The Rock" or you don't. Whether you like ECW's style of wrestling or you don't, this was an incredible contest between two stallions!!!
LAWLER: Hey, I've never liked Magnum TA that much, but I got to give him credit. He did everything that a champion should do. He didn't lay down for "The Rock" but in the end, "The Rock" laid the smackdown on him.
As Ross and Lawler praised the efforts of both men, Maivia raised his new trophy up in the air for everyone to see. If one could look closely in the eyes of "The Rock", then you could tell that he knew that he had been in a battle as he made his way back to the dressing room as the new ECW Champion.
To Be Continued
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