Royal Rumble
Promotional poster featuring various WWF wrestlers
PromotionWorld Wrestling Federation
DateJanuary 19, 1992
CityAlbany, New York
VenueKnickerbocker Arena
Attendance17,000
Tagline(s)Every Man for Himself!
Pay-per-view chronology
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This Tuesday in Texas
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WrestleMania VIII
Royal Rumble chronology
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1991
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1993

The 1992 Royal Rumble was the fifth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). It took place on January 19, 1992, at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York.

Six matches were contested at the event, including one dark match. The main event, as in past Royal Rumble events, was the event's namesake match. It is historic because for the first time in the WWF, the last man standing would win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, which had been vacated in December 1991. This man was Ric Flair, who eliminated Sid Justice with the help of Hulk Hogan from the outside. In other featured matches on the undercard, The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) by countout (since The Natural Disasters won by countout, The Legion of Doom retained the WWF Tag Team Championship), The Beverly Brothers (Blake Beverly and Beau Beverly) defeated The Bushwhackers (Bushwhacker Luke and Bushwhacker Butch) and Roddy Piper defeated The Mountie to win the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship.

Production

Background

The Royal Rumble is an annual gimmick pay-per-view, produced every January by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) since 1988. It is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, later dubbed the "Big Four".[1] It is named after the Royal Rumble match, a modified battle royal in which the participants enter at timed intervals instead of all beginning in the ring at the same time. The match generally features 30 wrestlers. As the WWF World Heavyweight Championship had been vacated, the vacant title became the prize of the 1992 Royal Rumble match. 1992 was the fifth event in the Royal Rumble chronology. It was the first of only two times in which the promotion's world championship was the prize of the Royal Rumble match—the second occurred at the 2016 event.[2][3]

Event

Other on-screen personnel:
Role: Name:
Commentator Bobby Heenan
Gorilla Monsoon
Interviewers Gene Okerlund
Sean Mooney
Lord Alfred Hayes
Ring announcer Howard Finkel
Referee John Binella
"Dangerous" Danny Davis
Earl Hebner
Joey Marella

The card consisted of five matches. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters to build tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWF's writers, with storylines produced on their weekly television shows, Superstars, Wrestling Challenge, and Prime Time Wrestling.[4]

Prior to the event, it was announced the winner of the Royal Rumble would win the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship, which had been stripped from Hulk Hogan after two controversial title switches between Hogan and the Undertaker, first at the 1991 Survivor Series and later at the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view event. Hogan and The Undertaker were among the 30 entrants in the event. WWF president Jack Tunney gave Hogan and Undertaker an advantage in the random draw to determine the order in which wrestlers would enter the ring, promising them numbers between 20 and 30.[5]

The Royal Rumble match helped begin Justice's slow-building turn into a villain. Justice – who was returning from a recent injury – entered at No. 29 and was among the final four wrestlers, along with Hogan, Randy Savage and Flair. Justice eliminated Savage and then Hogan, leaving himself and Flair in the ring. During the initial live pay-per-view broadcast, Justice's elimination of Hogan was loudly cheered by the audience in attendance even though, as per storyline plans, Sid "sneaked up from behind" to throw Hogan out. As such, the original reaction was edited out of future television replays as well as the Coliseum home video release of the event, with play-by-play announcer Gorilla Monsoon adding new comments condemning Sid for his actions (Monsoon had originally said Justice's elimination of Hogan was fair). Hogan, who was still at ringside after being eliminated, grabbed Sid's arm and distracted him long enough for Flair to eliminate him to win the match and become the new WWF World Heavyweight Champion. After the match, Sid and Hogan got into an argument in the ring and had to be separated by security.

In his book, To Be The Man, Ric Flair mentions not knowing he was going to be winning the Royal Rumble (WWF Title) until arriving at the arena the day of the event, and also felt he was brought in at number three in order to showcase his skills and endurance to the WWF audience, who may not have watched his work in Jim Crockett Promotions and World Championship Wrestling. Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan mentioned in his autobiography, Bobby The Brain, that it was his initial suggestion that Flair enter the Rumble at number one for dramatic purposes, and that Vince McMahon changed it to number three and claimed it as his own idea.

Aftermath

The confrontation between Hogan and Justice was played out over a series of future WWF television programs. On the Superstars program aired January 25, 1992, WWF President Jack Tunney held a press conference, where he announced that Hogan would face Flair for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania VIII. Justice, who was also in attendance and began standing up as if Tunney were about to proclaim him the top contender, was outraged and termed the announcement "the most bogus act Jack Tunney has ever pulled off." Sid later apologized and Hogan accepted, but on the February 8 Saturday Night's Main Event XXX, Justice abandoned Hogan during a tag-team match against Flair and The Undertaker, completing his heel turn and leading to a match at WrestleMania VIII.

Flair, meanwhile, began feuding with Savage over the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. According to the storyline, Flair claimed that he had a previous relationship with Savage's wife, Miss Elizabeth, going as far as presenting pictures of Elizabeth in which Flair had himself superimposed. This culminated in a title match at WrestleMania VIII; Savage won the match and his second (and final) WWF World Heavyweight Championship.[6][7][8]

This was the first Royal Rumble in which stakes were involved for the winner—the stipulation in which the winner would face the WWF/WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania first took place at the following year's event. It would be 24 years before the Royal Rumble was again for the (now) WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and the first match in which the champion—Roman Reigns—defended his title in the Rumble match. That match was won by Triple H.

Results

No. Results Stipulations Times[9]
1D Chris Walker defeated The Brooklyn Brawler by disqualification Singles match N/A
2 The New Foundation (Jim Neidhart and Owen Hart) defeated The Orient Express (Kato and Pat Tanaka) (with Mr. Fuji) Tag team match 17:18
3 Roddy Piper defeated The Mountie (c) (with Jimmy Hart) by submission Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship 5:22
4 The Beverly Brothers (Beau Beverly and Blake Beverly) (with The Genius) defeated The Bushwhackers (Bushwhacker Butch and Bushwhacker Luke) (with Jamison) Tag team match 14:56
5 The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) (with Jimmy Hart) defeated The Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) (c) by countout Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship 9:24
6 Ric Flair won by last eliminating Sid Justice 30-man Royal Rumble match for the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship 1:02:02
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • D – indicates the match was a dark match

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations

A new entrant came out approximately every 2 minutes.

Draw[10][11] Entrant[10][11] Order[10][11] Eliminated by[10][11] Time[10] Eliminations
1 The British Bulldog 7 Ric Flair 23:33 3
2 Ted DiBiase 1 The British Bulldog 01:18 0
3 Ric Flair - Winner 1:00:02^ 5
4 Jerry Sags 2 The British Bulldog 01:06 0
5 Haku 3 01:51 0
6 Shawn Michaels 10 Tito Santana 15:46 1
7 Tito Santana 9 Shawn Michaels 13:55 1
8 The Barbarian 11 Hercules 12:55 0
9 The Texas Tornado 8 Ric Flair 09:20 0
10 Repo Man 6 Big Boss Man 06:23 2
11 Greg Valentine 5 Repo Man 04:12 0
12 Nikolai Volkoff 4 01:03 0
13 Big Boss Man 13 Ric Flair 03:38 2
14 Hercules 12 Big Boss Man 00:56 1
15 Roddy Piper 26 Sid Justice 34:06 1
16 Jake Roberts 15 Randy Savage 10:55 0
17 Jim Duggan 19 Virgil 20:45 1
18 Irwin R. Schyster 23 Roddy Piper 27:01 0
19 Jimmy Snuka 14 The Undertaker 02:27 0
20 The Undertaker 17 Hulk Hogan 13:51 1
21^ Randy Savage 27 Ric Flair and Sid Justice 22:26 2
22 The Berzerker 18 Hulk Hogan 09:00 0
23 Virgil 20 Jim Duggan 07:29 1
24 Col. Mustafa 16 Randy Savage 02:36 0
25 Rick Martel 25 Sid Justice 12:39 1
26 Hulk Hogan 28 11:29 4
27 Skinner 21 Rick Martel 02:13 0
28 Sgt. Slaughter 22 Sid Justice 04:37 0
29 Sid Justice 29 Hulk Hogan^ and Ric Flair 05:55 6
30 The Warlord 24 Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice 01:43 0

^ Randy Savage eliminated himself shortly after eliminating Jake Roberts by jumping to Roberts over the top rope. However, he returned to the ring and resumed his participation.[12]

^ Hulk Hogan was already eliminated and grabbed onto Sid's arm while Flair snuck up behind and lifted Sid over the ropes.

References

  1. ^ Ian Hamilton. Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition (p. 160)
  2. ^ "Specialty Matches: Royal Rumble". WWE. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  3. ^ Waldman, Jon (2005-02-02). "Statistical survival – breaking down the Royal Rumble". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  4. ^ "Live & Televised Entertainment of World Wrestling Entertainment". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  5. ^ "Wrestling Challenge". WWF Wrestling Challenge. Springfield, Massachusetts. 1992-12-08. Syndicated.
  6. ^ "WrestleMania VIII official results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  7. ^ "Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair – WWE Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. 1992-04-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  8. ^ "History of the WWE Championship: Randy Savage (2)". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  9. ^ "Royal Rumble 1992". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Royal Rumble 1992: Royal Rumble Entrance & Elimination Information". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d "Ric Flair (spot No. 3) wins the Royal Rumble Match to become WWE Champion". WWE. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  12. ^ Aitken, Robert. "WWE Royal Rumble 2012: Most Controversial Eliminations in Royal Rumble History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 18 May 2018.