The Fink’s Royal Rumble Memories: 1988-1992

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January 04, 2012

The Royal Rumble has been one of WWE’s most unusual and unpredictable events. From what I would call the “best seat in the house,” I‘ve witnessed - and on many occasions introduced - a number of defining occurrences through the years. Therefore, as we celebrate the 25th edition of this long running WWE staple on Jan. 29, WWE.com revisits some of the magical moments that took place over the past 24 Royal Rumbles - some from the Royal Rumble Matches themselves, others from clashes that took place in the titularly named pay-per-view event. Let's kick off our journey with the first five, with more to follow next Wednesday.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan wins the inaugural Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble 1988
HACKSAW HANGS IN
1/24/88 - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
The inaugural Royal Rumble was a made-for-TV event for the USA Network, highlighted by the Royal Rumble Match itself. Twenty Superstars entered the over-the-top-rope contest based on entry numbers drawn before the match began. The honor of victory that evening went to Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who stood tall after all was said and done.

 

Hulk Hogan accidentally eliminates Randy Savage – Royal Rumble 1989
HOGAN'S SAVAGE MISTAKE
1/15/89 - Houston, Tex.
In its pay-per-view debut, one major element of the Royal Rumble Match saw the beginning of the dissolution of Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, a.k.a. the Mega Powers. Tempers were short as a result of both Superstars’ participation, but the intervention of Miss Elizabeth prevented an ugly situation from getting uglier that evening.

 

Rugged Ronnie Garvin defeats Greg Valentine in a submission match – Royal Rumble 1990
GARVIN HAMMERS VALENTINE
1/21/90 - Orlando, Fla.
There was no love lost between Rugged Ronnie Garvin and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. These two had their differences throughout 1989, and the culmination of their bitter rivalry took center stage at the 1990 Royal Rumble, in a Submission Match.

 

 

Sgt. Slaughter becomes WWE Champion by dethroning the Ultimate Warrior – Royal Rumble 1991
SGT. SLAUGHTER FELLS WARRIOR
1/19/91 - Miami, Fla.
While conflict escalated between the U.S. and Iraq, Sgt. Slaughter, then an Iraqi sympathizer, challenged the Ultimate Warrior for the WWE Championship. Little did the Warrior know that anarchy would reign supreme this night, as “Macho King” Randy Savage and Sensational Queen Sherri would play an instrumental part in costing him the coveted title.

 

Ric Flair enters at No. 3, winning the Royal Rumble Match and the WWE Championship – Royal Rumble 1992
TURNABOUT IS FLAIR PLAY
1/19/92 - Albany, N.Y.
All eyes were focused on the Royal Rumble Match, where for the first (and only) time, the WWE Championship was the prize that awaited the winner. After months of claiming to be “the real World Champion,” entrant No. 3, Nature Boy Ric Flair, fought tooth and nail for nearly one hour to outlast 29 other competitors and become the new WWE Champion.

 

MORE ROYAL RUMBLE MEMORIES: 1993-1997  |  1998-2002  |  2003-2007  |  2008-2011

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