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WWE Royal Rumble 1992
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Why the 1992 WWE Royal Rumble Match is Still The Best

The 1992 Royal Rumble match is easily the most celebrated Royal Rumble match yet!

WWE Royal Rumble 1992 Retrospective

The 1992 Royal Rumble featured the first time in WWE history that the World Championship was up for grabs amongst thirty competitors. At the end of 1991, WWE President Jack Tunney ruled the title vacant after controversial matches between then-champion the Undertaker and Hulk Hogan. Ric Flair got involved in the Survivor Series and This Tuesday In Texas events. The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan would have the advantage of drawing a number between 20 and 30.

The 1992 Royal Rumble match stands out from a historical perspective. For over six years after this Royal Rumble, WWE would find themselves in a bit of a rebuild for talent. Shortly after the event, WWE Superstars such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sid Justice, Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper, and British Bulldog would be gone from the promotion. It was the beginning of the end of the Golden Era in WWE history.

Favorites To Win At The Time

Ric Flair had just joined the promotion in the fall of 1991 and had been declaring himself the actual World Champion. Flair had the WCW World Championship on WWE television for a while before a lawsuit halted the usage. The Royal Rumble match was an opportunity for Flair to prove that he was the true champion. Could an outsider from a rival promotion back up his talk and win the title?

Hulk Hogan was a dominant force in WWE for nearly a decade and was seen as an obvious choice to win the match and title. Hogan had developed a friendship with another newcomer in Sid Justice dating back to SummerSlam 1991 when Hogan was fighting off the heel trio of Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa, and Gen. Adnan.

Randy Savage returned after losing a retirement match at WrestleMania VII. Jack Tunney reinstated Savage following a public outcry. Savage was deep in a heated rivalry with Jake “The Snake” Roberts that included Roberts backhanding Miss Elizabeth and Savage getting bitten by a snake. Would Savage be able to keep his focus and not derail his hopes for the WWE World Championship, or was his hatred for Jake Roberts too overwhelming, causing Savage to lose focus on the prize?

Roddy Piper won the WWE Intercontinental Championship earlier in the night when he defeated the Mountie in the opening match. Piper had always been a loose cannon and unpredictable. A perfect fit for a Royal Rumble match, especially when the top prize is on the line.

Image: WWE

Sid Justice was another recent addition to the WWE roster, having arrived just a month before Ric Flair had jumped ship. Justice was considered the successor to Hogan’s throne as a top babyface. That sounds very familiar to the Ultimate Warrior project that occurred and failed just a few years before.

The Action

The British Bulldog eliminated Ted DiBiase from the contest within the first ninety seconds of the match. As Bulldog remained standing in the ring, Ric Flair made his way down to the ring as the third entrant of the bout. For the next hour, Flair would battle all the top stars in the WWF with the hope of winning the prestigious WWF World Championship.

Shawn Michaels competed in the match and was the sixth entrant. Michaels’s performance is remarkable since he had recently witnessed his former tag partner and friend Marty Jannetty “jump through a glass window” to avoid a confrontation between the two. Nevertheless, Michaels lasted nearly sixteen minutes before being eliminated by Tito Santana, whom Michaels would wrestle in his first singles match at that year’s WrestleMania.

Image: WWE

Nine entrants later, Roddy Piper entered at number fifteen, and a showdown with Flair was imminent. Piper was the first test for Flair, and being alone in the ring meant there were zero distractions for the Nature Boy. However, while Piper got a lot of offense on Flair, more was needed to derail Flair from his goal of winning the title.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts was the next entrant and helped Flair control Piper. With Roberts’s entrance, the anticipation for the eventual confrontation with Randy’ Macho Man’ Savage grows as the countdown towards the next entrant gets closer to the reveal.

Three entrants later, the Undertaker made his entrance at number twenty. With the Undertaker entering at twenty, Hulk Hogan got the advantage between the two regarding drawing numbers. The next entrant was Randy’ Macho Man’ Savage, and the crowd erupted as Savage sprinted to the ring to get his hands on Jake’ The Snake’ Roberts. Savage was so angry that he unknowingly eliminated himself by jumping over the ropes to attack Roberts on the floor. However, it wasn’t officially recognized as an elimination and remained in the match.

Four entrants later, Hulk Hogan, entered the Royal Rumble looking to recapture the WWE World Championship. In short order, Hogan was able to eliminate the Undertaker to end their feud essentially. Sid Justice entered two entries later at number twenty-nine and appeared destined for the championship.

Image: WWE

The Final Four

The final four in the match were Justice, Savage, Flair, and Hogan, with the winner becoming the World Champion. A Flair knee from behind quickly eliminated Savage. Moments later, Hogan was stomping on Flair and not paying attention to his ‘friend’ Sid Justice allowing Justice to eliminate Hogan. Hogan did not accept his fate and grabbed Sid’s arm from the floor, allowing Flair to eliminate Sid. Ric Flair won the WWF World Championship after lasting an hour in the ring after entering the match third.

Historically, this Rumble match is one of the best, if not the best, ever. From the star power and the overall storytelling over interwinding everyone, it’s a magnificent match to watch. This match speaks volumes about Flair’s talent for Vince McMahon to put over a wrestler from a rival organization. The 1992 Royal Rumble saw Ric Flair back up his claim of being the man and becoming an absolute star in the WWE in one night.

Written By

Bob Colling Jr. is a professional wrestling writer and reviewer based in Syracuse, New York. He is the owner of Wrestling Recaps a website dedicated to reviewing and documenting professional wrestling from a wide range of promotions. In his spare time, he is often times podcasting about professional wrestling or on the losing side of gambling bets.

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