Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Royal Rumble 1994



*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

Review of Royal Rumble 1994: Featuring LIVE notes from the Civic Center

*** Note from JT – As a precaution, I will probably be overly optimistic and biased towards this show, as I was there live, and it was the first major show I was in attendance for, so it holds a special place in the wrestling section of my heart. I will try to be somewhat objective, but being there live has skewed my view of it, and I will whole-heartedly admit that. Even though it was 10 years ago, I will try to remember what was going on live in the arena, and will add those tidbits marked off by *** as we go***

*** Also, be sure to check out Josh Richer & JT Rozzero’s We Miss the 90s that was centered around attending this event. ***

January 22, 1994
Providence Civic Center
Providence, Rhode Island
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Ted DiBiase
Attendance: 14,500
Buy Rate: 0.9

*** Around this time, JT, Josh Richer, his cousin Matt, his father Tony, his sister Jenna and his Uncle Dominic were making their way to their seats and anxiously awaiting the big show. Their excitement level is already through the roof, as they had just been standing in the outer part of the arena chanting “WWF!” with the rest of the jacked-up crowd. Providence was ready for their first PPV. Josh, Matt and JT wonder who will be the color commentator, as Bobby Heenan was gone and Jerry Lawler was on trial***

Dark Match

Brooklyn Brawler beat Jim Powers

*** Josh, Matt and JT go nuts for the return of Ted DiBiase, and realize already that they are in for a special night***

Actual Show

1) Tatanka pins Bam Bam Bigelow with a cross-body block in 8:09

Fun Fact: This was originally supposed to Tatanka vs. Ludvig Borga, but Borga was out with an injured ankle, and Bigelow was announced as his replacement on WWF Mania that very morning. It fact the Coliseum Video box still had Tatanka vs. Borga on it. Borga was still mentioned on WWF TV through WrestleMania, but due to injuries he was never seen again on WWF TV. Tony Halme would compete for the Catch Wrestling Association and dabbled in MMA before beginning a career in politics. After a stint in Finland’s Parliament, Halme would spiral into drug and alcohol addition that eventually led to suicide in January 2010.

Scott: We open 1994 with a straight up singles match that had a replacement heel. Tatanka was supposed to be facing Ludvig Borga to try to get revenge for being handed his only loss. Borga has an ankle injury, and because of it we never see him again. So in comes capable heel Bam Bam with his main squeeze Luna Vachon. The Providence crowd was geeked for this show (I know someone who went, but his name escapes me). This continues the four-PPV stretch where the WWF wanted to keep things in its backyard. After having Survivor Series in Boston, we head slightly south to Rhode Island’s capital for the Royal Rumble. This match is probably booked differently than if Borga was here. Bigelow works the Native American over with power moves and a lengthy bear hug. The pace picks up as Bigelow is no ordinary big man, and at one point they attempt cross body moves on each other. Bigelow shaved his beard here, so he looks kind of strange. DiBiase is working clear heel in the booth, but he is adding a lot of great analysis to the match. Clearly he was a solid choice to be on commentary here. Tatanka recovers and hits a cross body from the second rope (getting Bigelow up in the Papoose to Go would have been difficult) to get the victory. He was probably going to beat Borga anyway. For the second time in three years, some workers are doing double duty and that at least includes Tatanka, which is why DiBiase kept saying that he should have tapped out to the bear hug and “look at the big picture”. A solid enough opener to get the crowd going but now we get to the meat and potatoes of the undercard. Grade: **

*** Josh and JT have mixed emotions as this match starts, as they were huge Tatanka marks, but even bigger Ludvig Borga fan. However, they quickly got over Borga’s absence and rooted enthusiastically for the Native American. ***

JT: As another new year dawns in the WWF, it is once again time to Rumble! But this wasn’t just any Royal Rumble, because yours truly was there to experience his first ever PPV live! And I was jacked. And so was Providence, a real WWF hotbed. With Jerry Lawler still battling legal issues and Bobby Heenan sadly departed, we have the return of the now retired Ted DiBiase to join Vince McMahon in the booth. Since leaving the company back in August, DiBiase badly injured his back and forced to hang up his boots. His return here was a surprise and got us even more cranked up for the show. However, that excitement did take a hit when it was revealed Ludvig Borga had injured his ankle and would be forced to miss the show. It was announced earlier that day on Mania, so in his spot steps Bam Bam Bigelow, who will now do double duty on the night. It was a good choice as it reignited what had been a pretty good feud in 1993. I was looking forward to Tatanka getting some revenge on Borga for ending his streak, but what can you do. Tatanka wasted no time ducking Bammer and attacking back as he entered the ring. He used his speed and launched a hot assault, including a near fall on a cross body block. Of note is that Tatanka no longer has the red streak in his hair. Tatanka hit a nice DDT but crashed to the mat after whiffing on a high cross body, finally giving Bigelow a chance to catch his breath. DiBiase mentioned that both men would be in the Rumble later, and this does mark the first time WWF had multiple guys pull double duty on the night. And really, it makes sense. Why should guys be prevented from taking a crack at the title shot just because they have a grudge match earlier in the show? It was a positive change. Bigelow fought through multiple Tatanka comeback attempts, ending one with a big dropkick to the chest. Bigelow would latch on a bear hug, and DiBiase made a good point, stating Tatanka should give up and save himself for the Rumble. He would eventually break it and come back, but in a callback to SummerSlam, Bigelow stopped the war dance short with an enziguri. From there, Bammer went for the big blow but came up empty on a top rope moonsault attempt. Tatanka would pounce up, scale the top rope and crash into Bigelow with a cross body block to grab the win. That was a real solid opener and really got the crowd going. Even with the bearhug mixed in, they cut a good pace and I liked how Tatanka made a lot of comeback attempts too. Tatanka puts this feud to bed and now looks toward the Rumble match. Grade: **1/2

2) The Quebecers defeat Bret & Owen Hart to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when the match is stopped due to Bret’s knee injury at 16:48

Fun Fact: The Quebecers regained the tag team titles from 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty just a week before at a 1/17 house show at Madison Square Garden. The Quebecers had lost the titles to the upstart duo two weeks prior on the 1/10 Raw in what was considered a huge upset at the time.

Fun Fact II: Trouble had been brewing between the Hart brothers since Survivor Series ‘93. The week after the event, Owen began wearing Bret’s signature sunglasses to the ring for his matches and began using Bret’s Sharpshooter as his finishing move, just to provoke his brother. Owen continued to challenge his brother, with Bret refusing each time. Over the holidays, as their parents were asking for peace, the brothers made amends and the two began teaming together again. Bret was able to secure a tag title match for them here.

Scott: First off, I love seeing all the Boston Bruins jerseys in the crowd for the second PPV in a row. After some tension stemming from the Survivor Series through the end of the year, it seems Bret and Owen Hart had made amends and now have their minds firmly on getting some gold for the family. The Quebecers with their iconic manager Johnny Polo had just regained the straps at an MSG house show from the upset team of Marty Jannetty & 1-2-3 Kid. They pulled off the upset the week before. Incidentally on that episode of Raw, Randy Savage had a swank jacket complete with tassles and the “Monday Night Raw” logo in sequins. Quite awesome. Take away all of the storyline stuff, we are looking and four pretty great workers in the ring so this match was going to be at least *** regardless of who wins or how the match ends. Indeed that is exactly what it is. The pace is crisp with moves going back and forth and constant interference from Polo really didn’t hurt things. The turning point of the match comes when Polo interrupts an Irish whip and Bret ends up falling on the floor and his knee goes into the steel barricade. From there the match changes, and the injured Hitman is getting pummeled by the Tag Team Champions while Owen is pleading to be tagged into the match but the referee keeps getting distracted and the Quebecers keep pounding away. Bret suddenly gets some adrenaline and attempts to hook the Sharpshooter on one of the Quebecers (even though DiBiase kept saying he had an opportunity to tag Owen into the match). Bret collapses and the referee stops the match due to the knee injury. The champions celebrate and Owen is livid. He starts kicking the ropes and yelling at the referee. Then he turns and starts berating his big brother for not tagging in and not trusting him to help win the match. As Bret tries to get up with his knee injured, Owen kicked Bret’s leg out and walked out of the ring. The Owen Hart heel turn is complete and I think it’s definitely for the better. Owen needed to leave the anonymity of the babyface mid-card and stand out on his own. This was the best way to go about it. Bret is now injured for the Rumble match later on and Owen feels he was screwed by his selfish brother. The Quebecers remain Tag Team Champions and the Hart Family has a serious problem. I love this match the more I watch it and with four great workers and expert psychology and storytelling. Grade: ***1/2

*** Josh, Matt and JT enthusiastically belt out “We’re not the Mounties,” as the trio of fans’ favorite trio makes their way to ring. As much as they all liked the Harts, they were humungous Quebecer and Johnny Polo fans***

JT: Oh man, I do not know where to start with this one. The Hart family feud that kicked up at Survivor Series has been tamped down a bit, with Owen cooling off over the holidays and Bret vowing to help his brother earn his first taste of WWF gold by entering into the tag division. It was really well done between the shows, as initially Owen demanded a match but Bret refused, and it was nice to see the brothers reunited and refocused here. That brings us to their opponents, the Quebecers, who were still dominating as tag team champs, outside of a brief blip at the hands of Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid. Their act, along with Johnny Polo, was really infectious as they were such assholes, but they did in a way where they were constantly laughing and dicking around. They really just looked like they were having fun at all times. And they could really go in the ring as well. It all set up a pretty big time matchup here. Could Bret & Owen put their simmering issues to bed and become the aces of the tag division? Or would the Quebecers successfully break them for good? Before the match, we get a strong promo from the brothers and Bret gives a glimpse into what could have been if they did win: title matches with the Steiners and Kid & Jannetty, both of which could have been fantastic TV and PPV title bouts, as we would find out thanks to the Coliseum Home Video match between the brother teams. The Harts got a tremendously warm welcome from the fans, as Bret has always been a big time Providence favorite. Owen would outwork both champs in the early going, but Jacques still found ways to talk shit to him and the crowd. What a true heel. Owen really looked great here, crisply moving around the ring, snapping over suplexes and tossing dropkicks with ease. Bret kept the match chugging along but that ended when things broke down into a four man brawl that saw the champs bail to the floor to regroup. Back in, Bret stayed in control until Pierre hit a powerslam, giving the Quebecers the chance to play to their strengths; double teaming and outright breaking the rules. After a few minutes, Bret made the tag and Owen came flying and cleaned house again, taking on both champions on his own and doing so with energy and confidence. He would hit a nice belly-to-belly and follow by hooking in the sharpshooter on Jacques, but Pierre was able to break it up. They followed up with a big double stun gun and now Owen was in trouble. Despite that, he was able to wriggle free and tag his brother, who started to work over Jacques with his standard attack. Everything fell apart, however, when Bret went to hit the ropes, but Polo pulled them apart and the Hitman crashed to the floor, slamming his knee into the guardrail.

The Quebecers pounced, slamming the knee into the steps, using a chair and then picking it apart at will back in the ring. Bret was really hurting, and Owen did all he could to help him at ringside after he was dumped to the floor again. Back inside, Jacques worked a single leg crab that set Bret up to take a tough legdrop off the ropes by Pierre. DiBiase kept repeating how badly Bret needed to tag and he seemingly had a chance after he dodged Le Bomb de Quebec. However, instead of tagging, Bret tried for the Sharpshooter. As DiBiase yelled at him for being selfish, Bret collapsed in pain, gripping his knee in agony. And that was enough for the referee, who elected to stop the match and give the win to the Quebecers. Most of the fans didn’t like that one. I did though. As the champs marched off victoriously, Owen screamed at the referee, pouted in the ring and then started to bitch out his brother. And then, it happened. As Bret pulled himself up, Owen snapped and kicked Bret’s leg before storming off in anger. DiBiase was loving it, saying it was the smartest thing the youngest Hart had ever done. As Owen stomped to the back, he ranted to the camera, calling his brother selfish and claiming that he just needed the tag and they could have won. A gaggle of officials would tend to Bret and eventually cart him off on a stretcher. However, as Bret was in the aisle on the gurney, Owen was interviewed by Todd Pettengil on the big screen and it was such a tremendous feel of craziness as Owen as just screaming, letting it all out, bitching Bret out for not helping him win gold and instead being selfish, which he is going to be now. The crowd was all over him immediately, as they assumed Bret would now be out of the Rumble as well. This whole package was fantastic. The build was great, the match was really well worked and the heel turn and subsequent promo, famous slip up aside, was really well executed by Owen. It was a star making moment, and DiBiase’s hard sell afterwards puts a nice bow on everything. Grade: ****

*** Josh, Matt and JT keep repeating Owen’s flubbed “I kicked your leg” line as the crowd boos the shit out of Owen. ***

*** Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon take over for the next match as Vince McMahon and Ted DiBiase switch to WWF Radio. ***

3) Razor Ramon defeats IRS to retain WWF Intercontinental Title with a Razor’s Edge at 11:48

Fun Fact: During the fall of 1993, Shawn Michaels was stripped of the Intercontinental Title for not defending it within a 30 day period. Razor Ramon won a battle royal to become the new IC champ on the October 4, 1993 episode of RAW. At Survivor Series 1993, IRS caused Ramon to be eliminated from the match by hitting him with his briefcase. Around this same time, Ramon and a returning Michaels were in a feud over who the real IC champion was. On the 12/6/93 episode of RAW, Ramon came out to the ring to save the 1-2-3 Kid from an attack by Michaels. Michels slapped Ramon which caused Ramon to throw down his gold chains and chase Michaels. The following week on the 12/13/93 RAW, prior to his match with Todd Mata, the WWF camera got a glimpse inside of IRS’s briefcase, which showed Razor’s gold necklaces inside the case. Jack Tunney signed the match for the ‘94 Royal Rumble for Ramon to defend the IC title against IRS as the #1 contender to the belt.

Scott: Our next title match is another storyline that is slowly weaving into something bigger. Razor continues to be one of the most popular guys in the entire company, and his pop at the PCC is off the charts. IRS has stolen the IC champ’s gold chains and hid them in his Halliburton. However this is a subplot to a bigger story. When Shawn Michaels came back to the company after his “suspension”, he claimed to be the undisputed IC Champion. He was stripped of the title and Razor won that battle royal and the match with Rick Martel to win the title. There has been jawjacking between both men up to this point. Well after solid back and forth between the two competitors, the referee is knocked out after IRS failed to use the Halliburton to clock Razor both men brawl and Razor almost gets the Razor’s Edge on IRS to finish him off. However, running down the aisle is the aforementioned Shawn Michaels, who comes in to crack Razor with his bogus IC Title belt. Everyone is out, until IRS stirs and crawls over to the prone champion. The referee is awake and counts the three. So IRS pulls off the upset and is the new Intercontinental Champion. I was pretty shocked when this first happened, thinking that someone floating aimlessly like IRS wouldn’t become IC Champion. Perhaps Razor would win it back on Raw at some point, but still this was a shocker. Then out comes Earl Hebner to tell the referee what actually happened. He sees that Michaels left his bogus IC Title belt in the ring and Joey Marella restarts the match. Razor hits the Edge and wins the match. He walks out with both title belts, and to me that meant that was that with Razor and Michaels pertaining to who was truly the undisputed IC Champion. Thank goodness that doesn’t happen and a slow build begins to an epic, history-making match March 20 at the Garden. More on that in our next review. This match is fun enough, even with the wonky Dusty Finish. Grade: **1/2

***JT looks around for Jim with his binoculars, he can’t find him, probably because he has the worst seats in the place: directly behind the Titantron. Nothing personal, but JT is glad he had his Uncle get the tickets, and not Jim. ***

JT: In our second title match of the evening, the long running feud between Razor Ramon and IRS finally looks to be wrapping up. This all started way back in the summer when Money, Inc mocked Ramon’s loss to the 1-2-3 Kid. Ramon took care of Ted DiBiase at SummerSlam, but his issues with IRS continued, including a tussle at Survivor Series. After that, IRS stole Ramon’s gold chains in an attempt to bait him into a title match. It worked. Decked out in some pretty swank light blue tights, Ramon waltzed to the ring to a hot pop. Since winning the IC gold, Ramon has easily become a high level face player for the company, carrying legitimacy and a charisma that was hard to hate. Ramon peppered IRS with right hands, driving him to the floor, as Ross notes IRS’ game plan of trying to get Ramon to lose his cool. Ramon stood tall, hooking a side headlock and powering IRS down with a shoulderblock. What also helped Razor pop in the ring was his great combo of speed bursts and power. He ever moved slowly out there and it made it seem like he was everywhere in the ring at once. IRS would avoid a charge and send Ramon careening over the top to the floor, putting him in the driver’s seat for the first time. IRS would go to work with some really basic offense, using strikes to put Ramon on the mat and then working a chinlock to wear him down. Monsoon had some good basic insight here, talking about how key it was for IRS to keep the champ on the mat and take away the size advantage. I like when Ross and Monsoon get this one match on the card as they really hustle with their commentary to make it count. They pack a lot in to their one shot. Razor fired back with more right hands and hit a fallaway slam for a near fall. After a ref bump, IRS grabbed his briefcase but Ramon fought through it and bashed the challenger with it instead. He followed with a back suplex off the top rope and set Irwin up for the Razor’s Edge, however, with the referee still down, Shawn Michaels showed up and popped Ramon with his original IC title belt. Adding Michaels back into the mix was a huge boost to the mid-card and it was great that his suspension ended and set up a natural feud with Ramon. As Michaels skipped off, IRS crawled over and covered Ramon…for the win and the title! Well, we didn’t see that one coming. As the crowd rained down boos, Earl Hebner came out and woke up Joey Marella, letting him know of the chicanery that took place and used the presence of the two titles to make his case. With IRS still celebrating on the ropes, Ramon staggered over and took him down with the Razor’s Edge to officially win the match and keep his strap. That didn’t seem very fair to IRS. He didn’t cheat intentionally, Michaels just set him up for a win. Poor Irwin. Razor winning made much more sense and sets up a big time feud with the man claiming to have never lost his gold. The match was as basic as it gets, but wass worked well and the crowd dug it. The Michaels stuff was good too, right through the finishes. Grade: **

*** Josh, Matt and JT are deflated by the ending of the match, as they thought they had seen their first title change at a live event. JT and Josh were thrilled, however, to see one of their favorites, Shawn Michaels, interject in the match. Josh and Matt would never see a live title change. JT and Jim would witness their first live title change on December 29, 1998 when Mick Foley beat the Rock at the Worcester Centrum Centre. JT is glad he didn’t pop his title change cherry on IRS and that he saved himself for Foley. ***

4) Yokozuna defeats Undertaker in a casket match to retain WWF World Title when he puts Undertaker in the casket at 14:24

Fun Fact I: Undertaker “dies” here in order to have a long (and much needed) vacation. He would return at SummerSlam in August.

Fun Fact II: The feud between the Dead Man and Yokozuna started at Survivor Series ‘93 as the two faced off on opposite teams. During the elimination match, Yokozuna gave the Undertaker his Bonzai Drop finishing moves. As he went up the ropes to give him a second, Taker sat up, becoming the first person to get up from the move. Both men were counted out, leaving the score unsettled. The Undertaker was granted a title match, but Yokozuna’s American mouthpiece had one stipulation for the match. If the Undertaker lost the match he would not be granted another title shot. Paul Bearer had a stipulation in mind as well, that the match would be a casket match. As it turned out, Yokozuna had a fear of caskets, which the Undertaker used to gain a psychological advantage leading up to the match.

Scott: Our undercard main event stems from the Survivor Series when Taker really laid into the WWF Champion during the main event. The Deadman dominated the build to this match by showing vignettes of him building a double-wide casket for the champion to be dumped into when the match is over. So conventional wisdom would tell you that Yokozuna would escape with the title and move on to WrestleMania. However, Undertaker spent fourteen minutes dominating the champion and coming back from Yokozuna’s attacks to always be one step away from being the WWF Champion. The match is very slow and very plodding, but it’s the post match that this is most remembered for. Undertaker dumps Yokozuna into the casket (after a very poor chokeslam that both men probably should have avoided attempting) and is about to close the door and win his second WWF Championship. Suddenly down the ramp comes Crush, followed by practically every heel on the roster. Guys like Adam Bomb, Bam Bam Bigelow and the Headshrinkers spend the next several minutes beating the snot out of Taker with one move after another. Finally they throw the practically unconscious Taker into the casket and slam the door. While that’s happening the urn is tipped over and this green smoke comes billowing out of it. The casket is slammed shut and the champion retains his title. As the heels wheel the casket down the aisle, it starts billowing green smoke. Then on the screen, we get a shot of inside the casket, where Taker is out cold. Suddenly he opens his eyes, and tells everyone he will NOT rest in peace. All of a sudden, in the greatest example of cheesy mid-90s effects, the Deadman is being raised from behind the screens into the rafters. The lights are still out and the smoke is still billowing. This body rises all the way to the rafters as Paul Bearer cackles with the urn on the runway. As average as the match was, is as bizarre and entertaining as the post-match entertainment was. Yokozuna is still WWF Champion and Taker is gone for a while. This may tip the scales as to who wins our next match to face the Champion at MSG. Grade: **

*** Matt keeps distracting JT and Josh by acting like the Undertaker and raising his arms as Taker does it to bring up the lights in the arena. Josh is pissed because he missed Taker do it as he watched Matt do his version instead. JT knew better and just ignored Matt’s antics. ***

JT: Back at Survivor Series, these two men battled for the first time and both ended up being counted out. After spending nearly two years out of the title picture, Undertaker was done battling monsters and wanted a piece of the gold once again. So, he set out to get it. He tormented Yokozuna through mind games and vignettes, building a huge double deep, double wide casket that he vowed to bury the enormous champion in. It was the perfect winter feud: dark, brooding and angry. And of course, the great Christmas week promo of Taker working on the casket, his breath visibly cutting through the cold air, capped with a haunting “ho, ho, ho”. It certainly seemed as if Yoko’s time was up, as he was clearly spooked by his challenger. I will say that Yoko definitely had the presence of a champion. With the slow, drawn out entrance, calm and confident demeanor, his entourage and the way he would unveil the title from under his robe, it was all there. Undertaker’s entrance was as chilling as ever, and the face-to-face staredown got the crowd revved up. Yoko would miss an early charge and Taker started tossing blows, rocking the champ with a series of clothesline before planting him with a leaping one. The match would spill to the floor, where Taker rattled Yoko with a pair of chairshots, which Vince reminded us were legal due to the stipulation. Yoko finally stemmed Taker’s momentum with a handful of salt to the eyes. Back in the ring, Yoko planted Taker with a clothesline and was the first to attempt to end the match by pushing Taker into the casket. The Deadman stood tall and fought his way out, coming back with a series of thrusts that ended with a Yoko belly-to-belly. Taker battled back again, hitting a chokeslam and DDT and asking for the casket to be pried open. He rolled Yoko in but before he could slam the door shut, Crush showed up and fought Taker back into the ring. Taker fended him off, but the Great Kabuki arrived to help as well. He had been brought in from Japan by Mr. Fuji to help stave off Lex Luger in the Rumble, but was used here as well. Our old friend Tenryu was also on loan to help Fuji out and he showed up too, as did Bam Bam Bigelow. As Yoko continued to recover in the casket, Fuji stole the urn from Paul Bearer. However, Bearer recovered and took it back and once he did, Taker fought to his fight and battled off all his assailants. Adam Bomb and Jeff Jarrett popped in as well, just as Bigelow pelted Taker with the salt bucket. However, Taker continued to fight them all off until the Headshrinkers showed up and planted him with a double thrust kick. Diesel showed up just as Taker was finally taken back down and rolled into the casket. But he wasn’t dead yet, as he battled back to his feet and kept smacking everyone in his way to the delight of the crowd.

Finally, Yoko had enough and slugged Bearer, knocking the urn to the ground and causing it to bust open and spew a boatload of green smoke into the air. As it did, Vince wondered if the power of the Undertaker was vanishing to the sky. It sure seemed that way as all of Fuji’s assassins alternating pummeling the Deadman with their finishers and other heavy shots. Yoko would finally kick Taker in and close the door, retaining his title and shocking the crowd that just witnessed a very surreal match. As Yoko celebrated, the heel brigade wheeled the casket down the aisle, The stopped suddenly as the green smoke also began to billow out of the casket. The lights would dim and the gong would sound and suddenly we could see video of Taker inside the casket on the video wall. He would ramble on through an…interesting promo, talking about his eternal flame and how the spirit of the Undertaker will live on and be reborn in the future. When he finished, a lightning bolt struck the casket and Taker’s body rose up through the video wall and up to the Heavens above as the crowd shrieked in awe. In the aisle, Bearer had regained the urn and stood tall with it, paying tribute to his fallen friend. Well, this was certainly something. The match was fine as we didn’t have to sit through the usual Yoko nerve hold and they kept things moving quickly enough. It was good that they could mix in some weapons stuff too. The crowd was into most of it, but there are some obvious questions with much of this. First of all, while it makes sense that the group of heels would help Yoko, or at least be paid to, why did nobody come help Taker out? I guess you could say they didn’t want to risk a beating to affect their Rumble chances? Still, they could have had someone come assist to make the attempt. Also, I get that they wanted to write off Taker, but they could have just done an injury angle without all of the madness and histrionics. It almost kind of works, just because it is Undertaker and you can somewhat buy into it, but the execution was just too much to really grasp. The fact that we could see him in the casket and he rose through the video wall was a step too far. An audio promo of his voice echoing and the casket just being enveloped in smoke and then him no longer being inside when it was opened would have been more than enough and not been nearly as goofy. Still, being there live, this really was quite the scene to behold. Yokozuna lives to see another day as champ and his biggest threat to date has been vanquished. And who knows when we will see the Deadman again. Grade: *1/2

*** Josh, Matt and JT revel in the fact that they just witnessed history. JT glances over and notices Jenna is kneeling on the floor, head on the seat and is asleep. He thinks to himself “what a waste of a ticket.” ***

5) Bret Hart and Lex Luger win the Royal Rumble (55:00)

Order of Entry and who eliminated them

*** JT announces that he predicts Scott Steiner will be Number 1.***

1) Scott Steiner: Diesel

*** JT screams about how he called Steiner being Number 1 to the annoyance of Josh and Matt***

2) Samu: Scott Steiner
3) Rick Steiner: Owen Hart
4) Kwang: Diesel
5) Owen Hart: Diesel
6) Bart Gunn: Diesel
7) Diesel: Shawn Michaels

*** Josh and JT cheer loudly and vociferously for their favorite singles wrestler, Diesel***

*** The crowd goes apeshit when Diesel pitches Owen***

8) Bob Backlund: Diesel

*** Diesel! Diesel! ***

9) Billy Gunn: Diesel

*** Diesel! Diesel! ***

10) Virgil: Diesel

*** Diesel! Diesel! ***

11) Randy Savage: Crush
12) Jeff Jarrett: Randy Savage

*** Matt cheers for his favorite singles wrestler, Jeff Jarrett.***

13) Crush: Lex Luger
14) Doink: Bam Bam Bigelow
15) Bam Bam Bigelow: Lex Luger
16) Mabel: Multiple Wrestlers
17) Thurman “Sparky” Plugg: Shawn Michaels

*** JT is excited that Sparky Plugg was added at the last minute, as he was a huge fan of him from his vignettes.***

18) Shawn Michaels: Lex Luger

*** JT and Josh lead the crowd in a standing ovation for Diesel, thus saving his WWF job and indirectly leading to the resurgence of the Wrestling World as: instead of being fired, Diesel gets a push, wins the WWF World Title, signs a lucrative deal with WCW, starts the New World Order leading WCW to huge ratings thus pushing Vince to change his product and take it in the direction of Attitude, which led directly to the huge record breaking crowds and profits of 1999 and 2000.***

19) Mo: Fatu
20) Greg Valentine: Martel
21) Tatanka: Bam Bam Bigelow
22) Kabuki: Lex Luger
23) Lex Luger: Bret
24) Tenryu: Bret Hart & Lex Luger
25) No Entrant (Supposed to be Bastian Booger)

*** Josh, Matt and JT immediately try and figure out who the missing entrant was supposed be. They settle on Bret Hart, due to the knee injury, and just assume Luger is winning this thing.***

26) Rick Martel: Tatanka
27) Bret Hart: Lex Luger

*** Josh, Matt and JT cheer like crazy for the injured Bret while trying to figure out who the hell no-showed.***

28) Fatu: Bret Hart
29) Marty Jannetty: Shawn Michaels
30) Adam Bomb: Lex Luger

*** Josh, Matt and JT come to two conclusions: Bastion Booger was the missing entrant and Virgil replaced Kamala, much to the dismay of our heroic trio. ***

Longest Time: Bam Bam Bigelow (30:12)
Shortest Time: Billy Gunn (:14)
Most eliminated: Diesel (7)

Fun Fact: Vince wasn’t sure who he wanted to go to the WrestleMania Main Event, so he booked this double finish and figured he would judge by crowd reaction. He was banking on the crowd being behind Luger, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. See, the Providence crowd has always been loyal to three Superstars: Tim White, Randy Savage and Bret Hart. The crowd was overwhelmingly cheering for Bret and half of were booing Luger, thus forcing Vince’s hand on who should leave Mania with the Title. Also, from other reports people sitting ringside said Luger definitely hit first. While this was a shrewd idea, he did manage to piss off the crowd with the non-finish.

Fun Fact II: This show marks the debut for three wrestlers. The first is Thurman “Sparky” Plugg, a/k/a Bob Holly, who is subbing for the 1-2-3 Kid, who was out with a knee injury. Bob Howard was a welder, and did race for a short time, before being brought into Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain promotion in 1992. With a long NASCAR mullet and auto racing singlet, he was ready to cross over to the ring. Sparky would make his WWF debut on the multiple RAW taping on 1/10, but  makes his PPV debut here, and the long journey of his career starts here in Providence.

Fun Fact III: Our second debut is Kwang, portrayed by a little known wrestler named Juan Rivera. Rivera started his career in Puerto Rico in 1987 wrestling for Carlos Colon’s World Wrestling Council. He would portray the character of TNT for four years, and would make his way to the WWF in early 1994. He made his debut as Kwang on the multiple RAW taping on January 1994, but this would be his PPV debut.

Fun Fact IV: This also marks the PPV debut for Double J, Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett is the son of the legendary Memphis promoter Jerry Jarrett. Jeff would begin work for his father in the Continential Wrestling Association in 1986 as a referee. He would become a wrestler a short time into his tenure. The CWA would then become the United States Wrestling Association. Jarrett would win the USWA southern heavyweight title ten times and the USWA tag titles 15 times over a four year period. Jeff would then make his way to the WWF in 1993, and following several weeks of vignettes, Jeff made his debut on the 10/20 RAW, defeating PJ Walker.

Fun Fact V: Not only is this the PPV debut for three wrestlers, but we also bid farewell to Virgil, as this is his final PPV appearance. Virgil was a late substitute for Kamala, who was advertised to appear but supposedly no-showed. Virgil would stick around through August competing mainly on Superstars as a JTTS. He suffered an injury at a house show in August, and left the company shortly after, although he did return for a short stint in May 1995. Virgil would join WCW in 1996 as Vincent, the head of security for the NWO. The name was a clear mockery of Vince McMahon. His role would be similar, as he would suffer the brunt of beatdowns while his fellow members left him behind. He would see a hint of success with a few low profile wins on Saturday Night and even had a few PPV appearances. Virgil would see other personas, including being called Shane, another mockery of Shane McMahon, and one as Mr. Jones. Virgil would wrestle under his own name, Mike Jones, in 2000 before retiring. Jones would return to wrestling sporadically over the years and even returned to the WWE as the bodyguard for Ted DiBiase on the May 17th, 2010 edition of Monday Night RAW. Virgil’s final PPV record is 4-6.

Fun Fact VI: We bid farewell to the Rick & Scott Steiner on WWF PPV. The two would continue to make appearances with the promotion for a few months before leaving in mid 1994. As a team they leave the WWF with an unblemished 5-0 record, recording wins in 1993 at the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania IX, King of the Ring 93, SummerSlam 93 and Survivor Series 93.

Fun Fact VII: Lex Luger wanted to participate in the Royal Rumble for the chance to face the WWF Champion at WrestleMania X. However there was a hitch. When Luger signed his contract for his title shot at SummerSlam 1993, it stated that he would not receive another title shot if he lost the match, which he did. A compromise was reached to allow Luger to be in the match. Mr. Fuji was allowed to bring in two wrestlers to try to prevent Luger from winning. The two wrestlers that were brought in were Genichiro Tenryu (Genichiro Shimada) and The Great Kabuki (Akihisa Mera). Tenryu had wrestled before in the WWF at WrestleMania VII and Royal Rumble 1993. Mera began his wrestling career in 1964 in Japan and moved to the US in the 1970s. Gary Hart gave him The Great Kabuki personal while in World Class Championship Wrestling. He would become famous as the first wrestler to blow Asian mist into his opponent’s face.

Scott: So who will face Yokozuna on March 20 at Madison Square Garden? There are a few legitimate contenders here but many (including me) expected Bret Hart to get his rematch back that he never received from that Vegas disaster the year before. Or would it be Lex Luger, who defeated Yokozuna at SummerSlam but was told he wouldn’t be handed another title shot? Or maybe a dark horse like Randy Savage? The early portions of the match were littered with tag team wrestlers and some definite non-contenders like the mysterious Kwang. Then at #7 came Big Daddy Cool. Diesel was rumored to be on the verge of getting the boot from the company. The bodyguard for Shawn Michaels wasn’t getting over and the gleam from Shawn wasn’t getting the job done either. However once he got in the ring, everything changed. Diesel started chucking guys out left and right and soon he was all alone in the ring. Surprisingly he was getting big face pops from the Civic Center crowd. The entrances would see one stiff after another, from former WWF Champion Bob Backlund to tag team specialist Billy Gunn, to “he still works here?” Virgil. Diesel is pitching guys left and right and the crowd is going crazy. Is Diesel saving his job here? The list of bums ends as out comes Randy Savage, who will NOT be pitched out summarily like the others. I think the match needed to slow down since Vince announced before it started that the time between picks went from 2:00 to 1:30 per Jack Tunney. But it seems like the match is flying along. Crush enters and now we get some juice on the subplot storyline between former friends Crush and Savage. Crush eliminates him but Savage couldn’t care less. They continue to brawl until Savage is escorted out. That war isn’t over. In comes Bam Bam Bigelow and there is some real beef in the ring at this point. Doink enters the match and I continue to be upset that the awesome heel Doink was gone. That face turn was the catalyst, in my opinion, of what became Vince’s creative problems over the next few years. Fans grew up and stopped caring about characters like a goofy clown. On a side note, as much as I wasn’t the biggest Vince McMahon fan as an announcer, he and DiBiase had good chemistry and were very entertaining. In comes Mabel from MOM. Now he’s likely not going to win this but its more big beef in that ring. Eventually Diesel’s run comes to an end as he is finally eliminated by multiple guys. Coincidentally it comes as Shawn Michaels enters the match. Diesel gets an ovation and his name chanted throughout the Civic Center. That seemingly changed his work status. I totally forgot that Greg Valentine was in this match. When Tatanka entered I thought that maybe, JUST MAYBE, Vince pulls a crazy booking card and has the popular Native American steal this one and face Yokozuna at WrestleMania. My childhood flashed before my eyes when Great Kabuki came into the match, as he scared the crap out of me as a kid when he was in both Florida and World Class. I like how Kabuki wasn’t here to win the Rumble, but paid by Fuji and Cornette to keep Luger from winning. Lex Luger comes in at #23 and at this point it seemed like Luger was going to win, assuming Bret Hart wasn’t going to make the match due to the knee injury earlier. The fact Vince continues to hammer the point about Fuji’s cronies jumping Luger before the match makes this possibility greater. #25 didn’t come out and Vince assumed it was Bret Hart with the injury but it was actually Bastion Booger, who was still at the cotton candy stand. Rick Martel makes his annual appearance in the match as he was the original iron man of this match, consistently getting lengthy runs yearly. When Bret Hart came out at #27, the Civic Center crowd went crazy, which at that point may have been the moment when the bookers realized that perhaps they found their Rumble winner, and the fans must have realized it as well. The ring is really full with over ten guys in there, still a few favorites mixed in. Luger and Bret in the ring together is fascinating because they are definitely the two crowd favorites remaining here. One of my favorite moments is when Marty Jannetty comes in and he and Shawn Michaels just start going off on each other and the place goes nuts. I love when Adam Bomb came in at #30 Vince immediately says he’s winning the match hands down. I was a big Adam Bomb fan but I just couldn’t see that happening. With all thirty men now entered, it was still anybody’s match. Bret and Luger seemed to be the favorites as both have history with Yokozuna and it’s pretty clear at this point Yokozuna will head to MSG as the WWF Champion. The only outside chance was Shawn Michaels, if they felt a babyface turn was needed. That was definitely a crazy theory, but it’s fun to think outside the box. The final four is Bret, Luger, Shawn and Fatu. So maybe the Shawn theory isn’t far-fetched. Maybe Bret and Luger eliminate each other? Nah, I still couldn’t see it. Bret and Luger were too over with the crowd to not win this. Luger and Bret eliminate the heels, and then we get that Warrior/Hogan moment from 1990. Both babyfaces are in the ring, and they battle for a few seconds. Luger tries to throw Bret out, then Bret pushes Luger out and then both men go over the top rope. Well we’ve never seen that before. Both men get announced as the winners separately and both men’s entrance themes are played. Luger gets a decent pop with some boos, while Bret gets an over the top babyface pop from the crowd. Were the bookers really that torn on who deserved the title shot March 20? Referees are talking with Jack Tunney, and of course with all the terrible camera angles we can’t see either guy’s feet hit the ground. The crowd is actually restless as Finkel does about three false announcements before announcing BOTH men as the winners. We then get the WrestleMania theme blasting and it’s good night Providence! The crowd is not happy because we STILL don’t have a winner. Will we have all three men in a match at WrestleMania? Stuff like that was unheard of in 1994 WWF. Who the hell knows. It was a fun enough Rumble but a confusing ending. Grade: ***

*** Josh, Matt and JT cheer wildly for Bret and pray that the Fink will announce him as the winner. ***

*** The crowd boos Jack Tunney as he makes his way to the ring. ***

JT: One of the best matches of the wrestling year is back around again and we are officially ready to Rumble in Providence! For the second year in a row, a WWF Title shot at WrestleMania is on the line and all signs pointed to Lex Luger winning the bout and making up for his SummerSlam miss. Up first is Scott Steiner, and the status of his team is in limbo. Since losing the tag straps to the upstart Quebecers, they have really faded from the scene a bit. Rumors were swirling that they had contract issues and wanted to spend more time in Japan, and those would prove to be true as they hang around sporadically through the summer before vanishing. His opponent to start is Headshrinker Samu, rekindling a long standing issue from 1993. As the match opened up, McMahon notes that Jack Tunney is in he house and has changed the time frame between entrants to 90 seconds to make the match faster paced. The two would trade a few power strikes and as Samu had Scott on the ropes, Rick Steiner entered next, giving the brothers from Michigan an early advantage. They worked over Samu for the full time slot before shoving him to the floor after he got himself caught in the ropes. At #4 was newcomer Kwang, led out by Harvey Wippleman. He immediately made an impact by spewing green mist into the face of Rick, rendering him useless. Scott fought him off while Rick recovered but when Owen Hart entered to a shower of boos at #5, he took advantage of the weakened Rick and dumped him to the floor. Tough break for the Gremlin in his final WWF PPV appearance. At #6 was Bart Gunn and he went right to work on Owen, helping save Scott in the process. Nothing much happened until Diesel marched to the ring at #7. Since the initial Michaels’ suspension, the big guy had really been rudderless. With Shawn back, he had some direction again but still needed something to get the fans invested. He would make an immediate impact upon arriving, chucking Bart, Scott and Owen right away. He followed by sending Kwang to the floor as the crowd started to get behind him. When he tossed Owen, everyone popped huge. I am surprised they didn’t have Owen last longer coming off his big heel turn, but I guess this gave him another thing to bitch about. Bob Backlund was in at #8 and he was also in need of some direction, as he has become nothing more than mid-card fodder over the last nine months. He wouldn’t get that direction here as Diesel pitched him out after an initial scare. The crowd began to buzz a bit as Diesel roared and Billy Gunn ran out at #9. And ten seconds later, Gunn was gone too. DiBiase was loving it, as was the crowd. As Diesel awaited his next victim, we cut backstage to footage of Tenryu and Kabuki putting a beating on Luger in a hallway. With Bret Hart already questionable, it seems the other heavy favorite may be too. Virgil entered at #10 as an alternate for Kamala, who was supposed to be making his return after a brief absence, and DiBiase gloated that he was going to enjoy the impending beating. Virgil landed a few shots but Diesel made short order as DiBiase made fun of his former bodyguard for being an alternate and getting chucked with ease.

And the parade of easy eliminations finally ended at #11 as Randy Savage made his way out to a very warm welcome from the Providence crowd that always showered him with love. Macho went right on the attack, peppering away and trying his best to shove the big man out. Former USWA star Jeff Jarrett made his WWF PPV at #12 and he went right after Savage. Jarrett had debut late in 1993 and was an aspiring country music star in addition to his wrestling career. Jarrett thought he had Savage out and got a bit cocky but Macho hung on and sent Double J to the showers. Crush was out at #13 and Savage went right at him, finally getting his hands on the man who stabbed him in the back in October. The feud had been boiling since then so it was fun to see Savage get to work him over. After putting Crush down, Savage tangled with Diesel again, which allowed Crush to catch him from behind and crank him over with a title-a-whirl backbreaker. Savage was in trouble as Doink and Dink paraded out at #14, and before the Clown could hit the ring, Crush hoisted Savage up, walked to the ropes and just dumped him out with ease. That was another surprise, just like Owen, but again, it made sense to keep the feud burning without them fighting too much here. Doink did a few parlor tricks, spraying water, but that ended quickly and he caught a beating. Things got worse for the Doinkster when Bam Bam Bigelow showed up at #15. In a nice touch, Crush and Diesel held the ropes open and invited Bammer to come in and finish Doink off, which he did by press slamming him to the floor. So far, this Rumble has been marked by heels dominating. With the three remaining heels going at it, the enormous Mabel headed out at #16 and as DiBiase stated, there was some serious beef in that ring. Say what you want about the gimmick, but these crowds always got fired up and launched into the “Whoomp, There It Is” chants when MOM showed up. Sparky Plugg charged out at #17, making his PPV debut as a replacement for the banged up 1-2-3 Kid. Plugg was a race car driver turned wrestler and had a decent look despite the goofy name. As the ring finally started to fill up again, we started to get some tease spots, notably Crush fighting off everyone to barely hang on. There was also a lot of standing around thanks to the big guys all needing to catch their breath. The endurance was sure to pick up a bit as Shawn Michaels came out at #18. Diesel teased attacking his buddy, but Shawn begged off. That momentary slip up allowed everyone to team up and shove the big man out, with a subtle assist from Michaels. DiBiase wondered if that would be a mistake by Shawn, taking out a potential ally. And as Diesel walks to the back, the Providence fans gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name and to obvious enough that Vince mentioned it and put him over one last time. If only we knew. Mo came in at #19, going right after Bigelow and helping his partner out. Greg Valentine made a surprise showing at #20, but those in the know were aware that this was actually his second straight PPV as he was the Blue Knight back at Survivor Series.

The match slowed down quite a bit with the bodies piling up in the ring but we did get a decent tease with Crush attempting to press slam Michaels out. Tatanka hustled out at #21 as we got a cool exchange between Michaels and Valentine. Crush was having a pretty good showing here, continuing his push and making him look like a force. Mr. Fuji’s mercenary, the Great Kabuki was #22 and DiBiase reminds us he isn’t being paid to win, but rather to ensure Luger doesn’t. As he showed up, everyone teamed up on Mabel and tossed him while Mo was staggered across the ring. I like those spots where everyone pauses and forces out a major threat. The crowd burst into cheers at #23 as Lex Luger entered, proving the attack in the locker room wasn’t enough to keep him out. Luger came in hot, attacking everyone before chucking Kabuki to the floor. Fuji’s other import, Tenryu was out next at #24 and he targeted Luger, like was hired to do. There would be no #25 and that was really shrewd booking as the live crowd assumed that was Bret Hart’s spot, and Vince pushed the same theory to the fans at home. After what happened earlier, it would be no surprise that the Hitman was done for the night.  Rick Martel entered at #26 and the ring was really filling up now as we haven’t had many eliminations over the last fifteen minutes or so. And everyone was treated to a great surprise at #27 as Bret Hart hobbled out with DiBiase ripping him the whole way for being stupid and risking further injury. And the move didn’t look very prudent at all as Crush went right to work on his knee as soon as he entered. Fatu was out at #28 and we still haven’t had an elimination in a while. Crush and Bigelow were the most impressive at this point, continuing lengthy runs and still putting beatings on guys. Just before Marty Jannetty showed up at #29, Luger finally dumped Crush, ending his impressive night. In an awesome spot, as soon as Jannetty hit the ring, he and Michaels got into a huge fist fight with the crowd eating it all up. What a great moment and I love that their feud just never ends. Adam Bomb would close out the field at #30 and we officially have 13 guys still left in there, which is pretty crazy to think about. That is nearly half the field left. Vince was pretty sure Bomb was going to win this as he was fresh and a big dude. As Sparky was tossed, Vince told us Bastion Booger was the missing entrant as he was sick from eating too much and couldn’t make it out. After another few minutes of nothing, we finally got a flurry with Martel tossing Valentine, Tatanka dumping Martel, Luger ducking Bomb (who DiBiase ripped for wasting the #30 spot and going out so quickly) and Bigelow getting revenge and dumping Tatanka. As Bammer eclipsed 30 minutes before being shoved out by Luger, Hart continued to get his knee targeted and brutalized in the corner. Michaels would win the Rocker war by tossing Jannetty and Hart and Luger would team to chuck Tenryu to give us our final four.

The four remaining would regroup and then all dive into battle when Hart and Michaels tussling while Luger and Fatu traded blows. Michaels and Fatu would get dumped simultaneously, leaving the top two face stars in the match to trade blows with the crowd going wild. They would back into the ropes and both tumble back over the ropes and to the floor at the same time, leaving everybody confused, including the referees at ringside. With n decisive view we would get dueling ring announcements, with each man being declared victor depending on which ref was talking to the Fink. Despite the confusion, it was very clear that the live crowd wanted Hart to win and were pissed whenever Luger was named as the winner. That was quite telling. After more discussion and an appearance by Jack Tunney, it was finally ruled that both men would be declared the winner, meaning we had our first ever tie. And I get it. I can see why the did what they did since they seemed unsure how to get to Mania and eventually wanted both men there in big matches, but if they really wanted Luger to be the guy, they did him no favors at all by pitting him against the beloved Hitman. At the least, they should have pulled the trigger on one of these guys and then reversed the decision on Raw and switched it to a tie. It would have been better than forcing both the live and home audiences to go home with the taste of a draw in their mouths. The Rumble itself was fun and had a few memorable spots, but it also had a lot of downtime mixed in and having the ring fill up with everyone meandering so much at the end really slowed things down until the finish. Regardless, another Rumble is in the books but we now have a whole lot of confusion as we head towards the tenth WrestleMania. Grade: ***1/2

*** Josh, Matt and JT try and figure out just what the fuck happened in that ring tonight as they leave the arena. The show even has a great ending, as they play the original WrestleMania theme to close the show. ***

Final Analysis

Scott: Well we know my PIC has fonder memories of this show being there live and that’s awesome. Watching on TV, I was entertained by a undercard that may not have had a myriad of five star matches, but everything had backstory, psychology and good storytelling. The Providence crowd was off the charts for their first PPV, but perplexed and not happy over the strange ending of the show. The Bret/Owen storyline kicks into high gear as Owen Hart’s chance for the rocket launch into the main events has arrived. The Razor Ramon/Shawn Michaels feud over the real IC Champion continues and that will come to a head March 20. This was a fun show with a great crowd and for the second time in three years, we have some foggy roads on the way to WrestleMania. What’s the main event? Where does Owen Hart fit? Will the Randy Savage/Crush feud come to a head? Time will tell, but even though the end of the show was lame, overall it was a fun three hours. Grade: B+

Justin: In my heart, this is an all time classic. I had an awesome time at this show and it was so memorable on many levels. The excitement was high and the crowd was hyped and a whole lot happened. In fairness, there was a lot wrong here as well. The tag title match was superb and the Rumble was very fun, despite being on the lower end quality wise, but we had some odd booking decisions in the casket match as well as the end of the Rumble. The opener and IC title matches were solid but nothing standout. However, as I mentioned, there were a handful of very memorable moments and the show also launched some feuds into Mania hyperdrive, specifically Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart and Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels. Toss in the ambiguity of the title match and Undertaker’s future, and we left with a lot on our plate. While the show may not be great in the technical sense, it is a real fun watch and with stuff happening the whole through, it is a pretty good way to spend a few hours. Final Grade: B