Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rumble Ramblings: #1 Warrior gets royally screwed

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Since the 2017 Royal Rumble is right around the corner, I've decided to countdown to this year's event with my 10 favorite non-Rumble Royal Rumble matches. 

The Ultimate Warrior had a great year in 1990. He won the WWF Championship while still holding the Intercontinental title. He had successful defenses against the likes of Ted DiBiase, Rick Rude and Mr. Perfect. So when it was announced he'd be facing American patriot turned Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter at the Royal Rumble, I figured he'd add another successful defense to his resume.

Warrior vs. Slaughter
Courtesy: WWE
I was wrong. In my 17-year-old mind, Warrior would steamroll over Slaughter and face Hulk Hogan in a rematch for the title at WrestleMania VII and Hogan would get "his" belt back. I was working that night and my friend who watched the Rumble called me when I got home and broke the news. I could not believe Slaughter was the champion.

Courtesy: WWE
Now 25+ years later I better understand the reasoning for putting the belt on Sarge and taking it off Warrior. We all know by now that "Macho King" Randy Savage attacked Warrior during the match and ended it by slamming Warrior in the head with his royal scepter. The two had been going back and forth with each leading up to the Rumble match. It made perfect sense for Savage to get involved.

WrestleMania VII
Courtesy: WWE
I picked this as my favorite non-Rumble Royal Rumble match because it was a total shock to me. There was no internet to spoil things or speculate on storylines. And Savage's interference led to what remains my favorite WrestleMania match of all time, Warrior vs. Savage. The buildup to it, the execution of it and the aftermath of it still holds up 26 years later. Hogan got to beat the anti-American villain and fans celebrated as their two heroes were still on top, but with the Hulkster as champ. 

10 Favorite Non-Rumble Royal Rumble matches
3. Mankind get ROCKED
2. Dustin's golden opportunity

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