WWF Royal Rumble 1999: No Chance in Hell
by Scrooge McSuck
- Originally broadcasted on Pay-Per-View on January 24th, 1999, from the Arrowhead Pond in Anahiem, CA. Michael Cole (filling in for Jim Ross) and Jerry Lawler are calling all the action, unless otherwise noted.
Opening Match: Road Dogg vs. Big Boss Man:
In a "why the hell not" decision, Road Dogg is the reigning Hardcore Champion, but this is Non-Title. Boss Man is one half of the Tag Team Champions, but that's not important. Lockup, and Boss Man easily throws Dogg down. Road Dogg with rights, and the slugfest continues in the corner. Whip across the ring, Boss Man follows in with an avalanche. Boss Man with choking and smack talk to the crowd. Whip to the corner again, but this time Boss Man crotches himself. Road Dogg with mounted punches in the corner, followed by a dropkick. They take it to the floor, and there's just not much to comment on. Whip to the corner, Boss Man catches Dogg with an elbow to the side of the head, sending him to the floor. Punch, punch, punch. Boss Man changes things up with a poke of the eyes, then goes back to punching. Whip to the ropes, and Boss Man slaps on a bearhug. That's really going to get me excited for the match. Road Dogg with biting to escape, but Boss Man continues to dominate with choking. Boss Man with a spinebuster for a two count. Boss Man with MORE clubberin', followed by his signature splash across the back in the ropes. Dogg comes out of nowhere with a sleeper hold, but Boss Man quickly escapes. He connects with a back breaker and heads to the top, but with unsuccessful results. Road Dogg with his signature jabs, followed by the Shake, Rattle N' roll knee drop for a two count. Almost out of nowhere, Boss Man connects with the Sidewalk Slam, and it's FINALLY over at 11:50. Wow, that was one hell of a pathetic opener. Not much to say from a positive side here, so let's just chalk this up as a stinker and move on.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
I don't anticipate a good match coming out of this... these two had issues over Ken's whore of a "sister", and honestly, I think that's it. Smell the hatred! Shamrock rushes the ring for a slugfest to start. Gunn with a clothesline, followed by rights. Shamrock sweeps the leg and they do a tumble around the ring. Whip to the corner, Shamrock connects with a clothesline. Whip across the ring, and this time it's Billy who hits a clothesline for a two count. Gunn already goes for a chinlock. Gunn with a suplex for a two count. Whip to the corner, five years later, Gunn finishes the spot and posts himself. Moron. Shamrock kicks Gunn in his ass and lays him out with a knee lift. Shamrock with a slam, followed by a knee drop. In a head scratcher, the Ankle-lock master is working the back, despite Gunn hurting his shoulder... Shamrock sucks. Shamrock with a spinning heel kick for two. Whip to the ropes, and Gunn hits the Fame-Asser from out of nowhere. Gunn makes a slow crawl cover for two. The action spills to the floor, as punching continues to reign supreme at the 1999 Royal Rumble. Gunn gets introduced to the steps and post, but has enough in him to bulldog Shamrock from the apron onto the announcer's table.
Ken Shamrock © vs. "Bad Ass" Billy Gunn:
Back inside, Gunn covers for two. Shamrock goes to work on the knee and stomps away. Shamrock continues working the leg as Michael Cole feeds bullshit about Gunn never giving up in his career. For those with a short memory, Shamrock made Billy Gunn tap out a couple of times in 1997, among other instances. Michael Cole REALLY sucked in 1999, by the way. Shamrock grabs a front facelock as this match continues to take a nose-dive into hell. Gunn fights free and rolls Shamrock up for a two count. Shamrock with a fisherman suplex for a two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, and we get the first referee bump of the night. I'm sure it won't be the last. Double clothesline spot, putting both men down. Val Venis runs in and gives Shamrock a DDT, but Gunn can't get three from that. Whip to the ropes and Gunn connects with a diving elbow. Gunn with a slam, but he misses something from the top rope. He sells the ankle all of a sudden, and the Ankle-Lock finishes this one at 14:23, allowing Shamrock to retain his Championship. Wow, that was almost as bad as the opener. Sloppy work, nonsensical psychology from Shamrock, Gunn sucking wind two minutes in... this PPV is really hard to get through.
WWF European Championship Match:
This might be decent, but honestly, I've already lost all hope. The crowd seems quite dead, possibly due to jobbing both members of the New Age Outlaws in consecutive matches in pretty subpar quality matches. Lockup to start, X-Pac grabs a side headlock. Whip to the ropes, Gangrel comes back with a shoulder tackle. Criss-cross sequence ends with X-Pac taking Gangrel over with an arm drag. Gangrel with a side headlock, leading to another arm drag from X-Pac, followed by a leg drop for a two count. X-Pac with kicks in the corner. Whip across the ring, and he misses a charge, crotching himself across the turnbuckle. Gangrel with a Tiger Suplex for a two count. Gangrel drops him across the top rope and covers for another two count. X-Pac fights free of a chinlock with elbows to the midsection, but Gangrel shrugs him off and sends him sky high for another two count. Gangrel to the top, and he misses an elbow drop. X-Pac with rights, followed by a spinning heel kick. X-Pac with a diving clothesline for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and X-Pac with another heel kick to the face. X-Pac with punches in the corner, and it's Bronco Buster time! That move is really, really stupid, by the way. X-Pac with ANOTHER heel kick, but ends up being crotched across the top rope for recycling the same moves too much. X-Pac fights Gangrel off and comes off with a body press, but Gangrel rolls through... for three? Looks like Teddy Long messed up. Gangrel with a powerslam for two. X-Pac with a boot to the face and X-Factor from out of nowhere to retain at 5:53. Rushed match, but decent. The flubbed finish really leaves a bad taste though, much like this entire show so far.
X-Pac © vs. Gangrel:
- Sable retained the Women's Championship in a brutally awful Strap Match against Luna Vachon. Tori the Stalker made an appearance, too, for those who give a rats ass.
WWF Championship, I Quit Match:
For those unfamiliar, Mankind won the WWF Championship on January 4th episode of Raw, with a little help from Steve Austin. Corporate Members are banned from ringside, by the way, just incase it seemed too obvious Mankind was jobbing here. Rock is wearing his warm-up clothes for whatever reason, probably some cosmetic surgery or something. Mankind prevents a sneak attack and pounds away in the corner. Whip to the opposite corner, and he follows in with a clothesline. Mankind with more punches, followed by a knee to the face. Rock refuses to quit and starts pounding away. Mankind shrugs it off and takes Rock down with a bulldog. Mankind with mounted punches, but he still can't get Rocky to quit. Mankind bops Rock with the microphone, but still can't force him to say it. Mankind takes things to the floor following a clothesline, but a whip into the steps is reversed and Mankind's knees meet the steel. Rock steals the headset from Cole and does his typical trash talking mid-match, allowing Mankind to lay him out with a clothesline. Rock gets a taste of the timekeeper's table, then a chair shot across the back. Back inside, Mankind with the Double-Arm DDT, and it's time for the Mandible Claw. Unfortunately you can't quit with your mouth full. Mankind continues to control, but takes a hip toss over the security rail. Rock with the ring bell, and he rings the thing right against Mankind's ear. That can't be very pleasant. Rock tries to lighten up the mood by singing in between rings.
Mankind © vs. The Rock:
They take it to the announcers table, but the table collapses underneath them during an attempt for the Rock Bottom. They brawl up the aisle until Rock plants him with a DDT on the concrete. They bust out a ladder for whatever reasons, and we'll see the reason in just a moment if I'm not mistaken. They climb up the ladder onto a small walkway along some security rails. Rock throws Mankind off, onto some stage equipment, which somehow knocks the power out of most of the arena (kayfabe). Those are some sensitive set ups, stuff was blowing up that he didn't even come near. Shane McMahon comes out to try and play it up and ask Rock to stop, but he's not having much of that. Rock pounds away, and after a short struggle, handcuffs the hands of Mankind behind his back. Mankind actually fends Rocky off for a brief while, but eventually Rock lays him out with a clothesline. Rock with a steel chair, and for those who don't know the finish, here it is short, and simple: He whacks Mankind across the head a good 10 or 11 times, legimitately knocking the poor guy silly to the point that during a clip on Beyond the Mat, he barely was aware of his surroundings. Rock ends up "knocking" him out in kayfabe as well, and with Mankind's face buried in the concrete, suddenly "screams" I quit over and over again, which in fact was a soundebite stolen from Sunday Night Heat. Whatever. Rock regains the title at around 22-minute mark. I never cared for the matches between these two, and the unncessary abuse Mankind took really felt uncomfortable to watch. Slow-ish brawl, overly long, terrible finish. You got to love Vince Russo. ANOTHER babyface gets crushed, once again killing the crowd.
30 "Man" Royal Rumble Match:
Winner gets a WWF Championship shot at WrestleMania XV. Equal intervals means 90-seconds or so this year. Steve Austin and Vince McMahon are the only people to care about in the match this year, just in case you don't like having a field of more than that as possible winners. #1, of course, is "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and #2 is Mr. McMahon, looking like he was juicing pretty hard leading up to the show. Austin easily wipes the floor with McMahon, but refuses to throw him out. Just give away the finish, why don'cha. #3 is Golga (a.k.a Earthquake, John Tenta), and he goes after Austin. That doesn't last long, and Golga is gone at 2:17. McMahon takes a hike, Austin follows, and that leaves the ring empty. #4 is Droz, but he's alone, so we waste time. #5 is Edge, and we're busy watching the Corproation ambush Austin in the women's bathroom. #6 is Gillberg, and he's tossed out almost instantly by Edge, at 6:49. #7 is Steve Blackman, and it's backstage we go again, with Austin being carted out on a stretcher. The crowd is absolutely DEAD, by the way. #8 is Dan Severn, and the crowd couldn't care less. Now Austin gets loaded into an ambulance. What a value of $30. #9 is Tiger Ali Singh, and we still have too many unover participants. #10 is the Blue Meanie. Yes, we need to fill out the match with THE BLUE MEANIE. #11 is supposed to be Mosh, but King Mabel makes his return, lays him out, and takes his spot. He tosses out Severn and Blackman at 15:41, then Singh at 15:47. Meanie goes next at 16:07, and Droz seconds later at 16:09. #12 is Road Dogg (to the first pop in ages), and he tosses Edge at 16:33. Suddenly, Undertaker shows up, and the Ministry tosses Mabel at 16:50. Ugh. #13 is Gangrel, and he's tossed soon after his entrance at 19:16. #14 is Kurrgan, and he stumbles around like a slug. #15 is Al Snow. He pounds away on Kurrgan until being tossed out by Road Dogg at 22:16.
#16 is Goldust, and he's just going through the motions. #17 is Godfather, and he too wasn't sure wether he was a face or not anymore. #18 is KANE, and it's time to clean house. He sends Road Dogg out at 26:51, Kurrgan at 26:53, Godfather at 28:59, and Goldust at 27:06 to clear things out. Then the guys from the mental house come in, and Kane chases them off, but not before eliminating himself at 27:38. Ugh. #19 is Ken Shamrock, but he has no one to fight. Vince McMahon shows up on commentary, and #20 is Billy Gunn. Yes, resume that stinker. He is working with one shoe on, to sell the "injury" earlier. #21 is Test, before he had anything going for himself. Suddenly, Stone Cold returns, driving an ambulance. #22 is Big Boss Man, as Austin makes his way to the ring. #23 is Triple H, and #24 is Val Venis. Billy Gunn offers a fight to Austin and gets tossed like a pile of trash for it at 36:59. #25 is X-Pac, and it's a bunch of DX/Corporation members (and Austin). #26 is Mark Henry to zero reaction. #27 is Jeff Jarrett, and he gets a pop... oh wait, that's Debra, nevermind. #28 is D'Lo Brown (with PMS, part of the faked pregnancy crap). Austin dumps Test at 43:22, and Boss Man takes out X-Pac at 43:30. Austin with the Thesz Press on Jarrett, then suddenly Triple H tosses Jarrett out at 44:56. #29 is Owen Hart, and he teams up with Brown to work over Austin. Way to go, former Nation members! #30 is Chyna, rounding out the field with...
Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, Ken Shamrock, Big Boss Man, Triple H, Val Venis, Mark Henry, D'Lo Brown, Owen Hart, and Chyna. She goes after Henry and eliminates him at 47:27, and Austin quickly eliminates "her" at 47:37. Triple H tosses out Venis at 48:47. Austin with the Stunner on Hunter, which only forces him back to his feet to be clotheslined out at 48:55. I HATE THAT SPOT. Owen gets thrown out at 51:43, D'Lo Brown misses a splash and gets tossed at 52:13. Austin does the same spot with Boss Man as he did with Triple H, and he's gone at 52:22, leaving Austin and McMahon. Austin throws him back in the ring and hits the Stunner, but the Rock creates a long enough distraction for Vince to come to life and throw Austin out at 56:35, making Vince McMahon the winner of the Royal Rumble, and thus ending the WORST ROYAL RUMBLE in the history of the Royal Rumble. Absolutely terrible match, with nothing redeeming about it. The conclussion was obvious, the field was dead weight and filler, the crowd could care less about the first 45-minutes, there were nonsensical booking decisions, illogical choices in mid-match focus, and a complete sham of what the Royal Rumble had the potential to be. One of, hell, I think the ONLY Rumble Match I just can't find any sort of enjoyment from, it's that bad.
Final Thoughts: Terrible show, from top to bottom. An undercard match better suited for Sunday Night Heat is the only match worthy of a positive nod, and even that wasn't very good. The Rumble was the worst of all time, the WWF Title Match was boring and had an uncomfortable feel to it, and the decision to put over all the heels and bury all the babyfaces is just stupid. Vince Russo be damned, don't even consider giving this a look. It doesn't deserve even that much thought.
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