Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Royal Rumble: Hitman Gets Stunned

Austin waits for his moment
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Continuing to look at some of my favorite moments from past Royal Rumbles, and today's submission is from the 1997 event.  At the time we didn't know it, but it would be Bret Hart's last Royal Rumble.  Of course he may still return and be a surprise entrant at some point in the future, but it won't be like things were in his heyday.

Hart had eliminated Stone Cold Steve Austin and focused his efforts on (fake) Diesel.  However, Mankind and Terry Funk were brawling outside the ring and the referees missed Austin getting dumped out.  He took advantage and came back into the match, eliminating Undertaker, Vader, and Hart.

Hart was understandably upset and I think this was one of the first seeds planted in his heel turn that year.  The bad guy had cheated to win and the fans loved it.  Bret hated it, even resented it.  But this was the start of a new era in wrestling.

This would end up resulting in a four way battle between Austin, Taker, Vader, and Hart the following month to determine who would face the world champion at Wrestlemania 13.  Undertaker would eventually get the nod and go against Sid.

Enjoy

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