-Vince McMahon and Stan Lane are in the booth.
-Opening Contest: Lex Luger vs. Bastion Booger:
Booger gets the jobber treatment, which is always a bad sign for your career. Luger fails to knock Booger off his feet and falls victim to a falling powerslam. A leg drop gets two. A blind charge eats buckle but Lugerâ€™s slam attempt fails. A slam and a splash give Booger a two count. Another splash misses and Luger tries another comeback but Booger falls on top of him during a slam attempt for two. Booger botches a clothesline and Luger is forced to look foolish by falling out of the ring voluntarily. Outside, Booger avalanches Luger against the ring post but Luger shrugs it off. Back in, Luger successfully slams Booger and the forearm smash finishes at 3:50. Who knew that getting avalanched by a fat man gave you magical comeback powers? The piped in crowd noise signals that Luger wasnâ€™t getting over like the WWF brass had hoped. This match was better than it had any right to be, though. Grade: D
-Gorilla Monsoon is here with our WWF update. He talks about Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid winning the tag team championships on Raw and says that their victory makes the Quebecers-Harts a non-title match at the Royal Rumble. Owen voices his disappointment, but Bret says theyâ€™ll get a title shot eventually and that heâ€™s going to commit himself exclusively to tag team wrestling from now on. Monsoon announces that the Quebecers had a rematch clause in their contract with Jannetty and the Kid and that this coming Monday in Madison Square Garden theyâ€™ll get their rematch.
-The Headshrinkers (w/Afa) vs. Chaz Storm & Dave Thornberg:
Samu brutalizes Storm and the Headshrinkers give him a sick backdrop where Storm gets some serious hang time. Storm tags out to Thornberg as the Headshrinkers appear in the split screen and donâ€™t make any sense. Fatu hits a sidewalk slam and Samu splashes Thornberg off the top rope to get the three count at 2:00. The message of this match is loud and clear: donâ€™t mess with the Headshrinkers. After the match, the Headshrinkers beat on each other to reinforce the fact that they are savages.
-Jim Ross hypes the January 17th Madison Square Garden card. Bam Bam Bigelow and Doink talk about their role in the Royal Rumble.
-Tatanka vs. Barry Horowitz:
Nicole Froton is our guest ring announcer and she screams the introductions. Tatanka and Horowitz battle over a hammerlock and when Horowitz escapes Tatanka gives Horowitz a hiptoss and a dropkick. Ludvig Borga appears in the split screen and says that heâ€™ll destroy Tatanka at the Royal Rumble. Horowitz gets a chinbreaker, which Tatanka doesnâ€™t sell correctly, and drops a leg for two. Tatanka goes on the warpath after Horowitz takes him to the buckle and a top rope chop and Papoose to Go end it at 2:28. Tatankaâ€™s squashes were much better when he was a face.
-The Undertaker introduces the double wide casket that he will bring to the Royal Rumble. As a nod to the Undertakerâ€™s past battles, Kamalaâ€™s casket can be seen in his workshop. Jim Cornette flips out after seeing the segment and says that Yokozuna is going to fight for his life at the Royal Rumble.
-Virgil vs. Derec Domino:
Wow, a Virgil squash in 1994? Virgil gets a clothesline and a backslide for two. Virgil goes to work on the arm and backdrops Domino out of the corner. A Million Dollar Dream ends the match at 1:31. I guess Domino wasnâ€™t too legit to quit.
-Ray Rougeau interviews Shawn Michaels in the locker room about his Royal Rumble chances. Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett, Crush, Adam Bomb, and Rick Martel interrupt each other and say why they will win the Rumble. Michaels says Diesel will eliminate himself if they are the final two and Diesel says thatâ€™s ridiculous. This was a pretty funny segment.
-Todd Pettengill provides the Royal Rumble report.
-Irwin R. Schyster vs. Tony Roy:
IRS proclaims 1994 as â€œthe year of the audit.â€ IRS delivers a slam and an elbow drop as the crowd works up a weak â€œIrwinâ€ chant. Roy gets a body press off the ropes for two, but IRS tosses him to the apron and pounds away. Razor Ramon pops up in the split screen and says heâ€™s ready for the Royal Rumble. Some of these split screen interviews are just completely unnecessary. IRS suplexes Roy into the ring and finishes with the Write Off at 1:15. A solid squash for the tax man.
-Ross offers his thoughts on the Royal Rumble. Crush and Randy Savage do promos to continue their feud.
-The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Duane Gill:
Gill tries to attack the Undertaker before the bell but fails. The Undertaker catches Gill with a chokeslam off the ropes and pins him in 55 seconds. After the match the Undertaker puts Gill in a body bag. I never quite got the body bag part of the gimmick. Itâ€™s not like the jobbers who were put in it never returned.
-Tune in next week to see the Smoking Gunns collide with Rick Martel and Adam Bomb! Ludvig Borga, Doink, and Shawn Michaels will be in action as well and Bret and Owen Hart will be on the show for a special interview.
The Final Report Card: The nice build to the Royal Rumble continues on this weekâ€™s show, although the Virgil squash was random. The build up to the Undertaker-Yokozuna casket match was effective and it makes the ridiculous finish to their Royal Rumble match somewhat understandable. Also, although most experienced observers could spot Owenâ€™s heel turn coming from a mile away, the WWF booked the angle so well that you still wanted to pay for the show to see it happen.
Show Grade: C+
Tags: 1994 Royal Rumble, Adam Bomb, Afa, Bam Bam Bigelow, Barry Horowitz, bart gunn, Bastion Booger, Billy Gunn, Bret Hart, Chaz Storm, Crush, Dave Thornberg, Derec Domino, Diesel, Doink, Duane Gill, Fatu, Gorilla Monsoon, IRS, Irwin R. Schyster, Jacques Rougeau, Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, Jim Ross, Kamala, Lex Luger, Ludvig Borga, Marty Jannetty, Owen Hart, Pierre, Randy Savage, Ray Rougeau, Rick Martel, Samu, shawn michaels, Tatanka, the 1-2-3 Kid, The Headshrinkers, The Quebecers, The Smoking Gunns, the undertaker, Todd Pettengill, Tony Roy, vince mcmahon, Virgil, What the World Was Watching, WWE, WWF, WWF Superstars, Yokozuna