Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are calling the action, announcing the go home show for The Royal Rumble, which also concludes a taping in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Opening Contest: Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) beats Hercules after the flying elbow drop at 2:00:
Savage started 1991 as a heel, locked in a feud with the Ultimate Warrior over the WWF Championship. After costing the Warrior the title at The Royal Rumble after Sergeant Slaughter promised him a title shot – a shot that never came – Savage and the Warrior’s feud culminated in a career-ending match at WrestleMania VII. Savage lost the match, and his career, but gained the love of Elizabeth, who rescued him from a beatdown after the match at the hands of Sensational Sherri. Savage proposed months later on Superstars and the two were married at SummerSlam. Throughout much of the year Savage was a commentator on Superstars with Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper, serving as a tweener as he would call out dastardly acts but still express hostility toward old rivals. After SummerSlam, when Jake Roberts and the Undertaker crashed his wedding reception and attacked him, Savage petitioned WWF President Jack Tunney for reinstatement but that only came after Savage was bitten by one of Savage’s cobras in a shocking angle days before Survivor Series. As 1992 began, Savage was looking for revenge on Roberts, who slapped Elizabeth and beat Savage down after losing to the Macho Man at This Tuesday in Texas.
Hercules started 1991 in a tag team with Paul Roma called Power & Glory. The duo were favorites to get the tag team titles in the fall of 1990 but could not beat the Hart Foundation for the belts. Then, they lost feuds to the Legion of Doom and the Bushwhackers. Frustrated, Roma left the WWF after a tour of Europe and Hercules drifted back into the singles ranks, occupying a spot in the lower midcard to lose to babyfaces such as Bret Hart, the Big Bossman, El Matador, and Roddy Piper.
Monsoon plays up the kayfabe nature of the timing of the match, questioning why either man would take a match on the day of the Royal Rumble. In the split screen, the Undertaker and Paul Bearer say that Savage will join 28 others in resting eternally after the Rumble. Hercules gets a few blows in on Savage but runs the ropes for a longer than necessary to do a splash. As a result, Hercules’ effort eats knees and Savage slams him and drops the big elbow. The match made Hercules look like a jobber, signaling that his time in the WWF was nearing its end.
Lord Alfred Hayes’ Special Report segment recaps the Mountie winning the Intercontinental Championship days earlier. The Mountie, with Jimmy Hart, screams about doing what he said he was going to do to Bret Hart and how he is going to make Piper suffer at The Royal Rumble. Piper gives a weird promo where he talks about how people know what he is made of and he does not want to stick around long enough to see what the Mountie is made of.
The British Bulldog (1-0) pins Dusty Daze after the running powerslam at 1:54:
Heenan hypes WWF house shows, arguing that fans should attend because they never know when the next big title change is going to take place. As the Bulldog works a chinlock, the Texas Tornado does an insert promo about how he and the Bulldog are friends, but no one will stand in his way of winning the WWF Championship. Having slammed Daze several times, the Bulldog almost thinks he is supposed to slam Daze again before remembering he is doing the running powerslam to end the match.
A replay of a Ric Flair squash three weeks ago on Wrestling Challenge airs because Heenan wants to showcase Flair’s talents hours before The Royal Rumble. Heenan claims that there was lots of fan mail that begged to see the match again.
Hulk Hogan’s interview with Gene Okerlund that aired on Superstars is replayed.
WWF Tag Team Champions the Legion of Doom’s squash on Prime Time Wrestling airs.
A replay of the Rockers’ breakup angle on last week’s show airs.
Okerlund does the final Royal Rumble Report. Shawn Michaels argues that he is going to shock the world by winning the WWF Championship in the Royal Rumble. In Rumble promos, Jake Roberts says there was a time when Randy Savage was the best, but he changed to become less than a man, Ted DiBiase and Sensational Sherri talk about how it is a sure bet they leave Albany with the gold, Sergeant Slaughter talks about how he loves hand-to-hand combat, and Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect hype how Flair will win whether people like it or not.
The Nasty Boys (w/Jimmy Hart) (2-0) defeat Larry Sampson & Bobby Jones when Jerry Sags pins Jones after a pump-handle slam in 57 seconds:
In the split screen, Sid Justice warns people against getting in his way en route to winning the WWF Championship in the Royal Rumble. The squash ends out of nowhere when Sags pins Jones after a pump-handle slam. After the bell, the Nasties beat up Sampson and give him the Trip to Nastyville.
Heenan does a hard sell for why Ric Flair will win the Rumble as Monsoon shakes his head. Heenan sprints away to catch his flight to Albany.
The Last Word: There was no new ground blazed for The Royal Rumble, but the WWF did a better job this year hyping the Rumble bout by doing split screen promos where heels would talk about other heels and babyfaces would so the same. The favorites going into the show seem to be Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Roddy Piper, with Sid Justice looming as a dark horse choice.
And going into The Royal Rumble here is a recap of the WWF house show action, courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com:
Springfield, Massachusetts – Springfield Civic Center – January 17, 1992 (4,500): Tatanka pinned Skinner at 14:30…Repo Man pinned Virgil with the Flair pin at 9:40…Sergeant Slaughter beat Jerry Sags after reversing a roll up at 10:10…The British Bulldog pinned Kato at 11:00…Ric Flair defeated Roddy Piper via count out at 7:20…The Mountie pinned Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart after reversing an inside cradle to win the title at 8:00. After the bell, Roddy Piper saved Bret after the Mountie kept hitting him with the Intercontinental Championship Belt. It was announced in the arena that Bret would not be competing because he had a 104 degree temperature but he ended up wrestling against doctor’s orders…Hulk Hogan (substituting for Randy Savage) pinned Jake Roberts with a roll up at 6:30.
Long Island, New York – The Nassau Coliseum – January 17, 1992 (10,500): The Berzerker beat Chris Walker (substituting for the British Bulldog)…El Matador wrestled Ted DiBiase to a draw…The Beverly Brothers defeated the New Foundation…WWF Tag Team Champions the Legion of Doom beat the Natural Disasters via count out…The Big Bossman defeated Irwin R. Schyster…The Texas Tornado beat Hercules…The Undertaker defeated Sid Justice in a casket match after hitting him with the urn.
Shelton, Connecticut – Shelton High School – January 18, 1992 (3,000; Fundraiser Event; matinee; sellout): The British Bulldog beat the Barbarian with a small package at 16:00…The Beverly Brothers beat the Bushwhackers when Beau pinned Luke at 18:00…Roddy Piper (substituting for Bret Hart) beat Intercontinental Champion the Mountie in a non-title match with a roll up at 17:00…Virgil & El Matador defeated Ted DiBiase & Repo Man when Virgil pinned Repo Man with a roll up at 13:00…Sergeant Slaughter pinned the Berzerker with a roll up at 6:00…The New Foundation defeated the Orient Express.
Boston, Massachusetts – Boston Garden – January 18, 1992 (15,000; sellout): Repo Man pinned Virgil with a Flair pin at 12:00…The New Foundation defeated the Powers of Pain when Owen Hart pinned the Warlord after heel miscommunication at 11:00…El Matador wrestled Ted DiBiase to a time limit draw at 17:37…Hulk Hogan beat Ric Flair via count out after whipping Flair into the ring post at 13:45…The British Bulldog pinned the Berzerker with a rollup at 7:00…Chris Walker pinned Kato with a flying body press at 6:00…The Legion of Doom & Roddy Piper (substituting for Bret Hart) defeated the Natural Disasters & the Mountie when Piper pinned the Mountie after heel miscommunication at 16:00.
Toledo, Ohio – Toledo Sports Arena – January 18, 1992 (3,500): The Texas Tornado pinned Hercules after reversing a powerslam…The Big Bossman pinned Irwin R. Schyster after hitting him with his own briefcase…Tatanka pinned the Brooklyn Brawler…The Undertaker defeated Sid Justice via disqualification when Sid took the urn from the Undertaker and used it as a weapon…Hacksaw Jim Duggan pinned Jerry Sags after Skinner’s interference backfired…Randy Savage pinned Jake Roberts after blocking the DDT by holding onto the top rope.
Up Next: Royal Rumble ’92!