Royal Rumble: The Complete History

Royal Rumble 1992

Prior to the event, it was announced the winner of the Royal Rumble would win the vacant WWF Title, which had been stripped from Hulk Hogan after two controversial title switches between Hulk and the Undertaker, first at the 1991 Survivor Series and later at the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view event.

Date: 19th January, 1992
Venue: Knickerbocker Arena
City: Albany, NY
Attendance: 17,000
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon &
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

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Background

Royal Rumble 1992 promotional poster

Royal Rumble 1992 promotional poster

Prior to the event, it was announced the winner of the Royal Rumble would win the vacant WWF Title, which had been stripped from Hulk Hogan after two controversial title switches between Hulk and the Undertaker, first at the 1991 Survivor Series and later at the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view event. Hogan and Undertaker were among the 30 entrants in the event. WWF President Jack Tunney gave Hogan and Undertaker an advantage in the random draw to determine the order in which wrestlers would enter the ring, promising them numbers between 20 and 30.

The Royal Rumble match helped begin Justice’s slow-building turn into a villain. Justice – who was returning from a recent injury – entered at No. 29 and was among the final four wrestlers, along with Hogan, Randy Savage and Flair. Justice eliminated Savage and then Hogan, leaving himself and Flair in the ring. During the initial live pay-per-view broadcast, Justice’s elimination of Hogan was loudly cheered by the audience in attendance even though, as per storyline plans, Sid “sneaked up from behind” to throw Hogan out. As such, the original reaction was edited out of future television replays as well as the Coliseum home video release of the event, with play-by-play announcer Gorilla Monsoon adding new comments condemning Sid for his actions (Monsoon had originally said Justice’s elimination of Hogan was fair). Hogan, who was still at ringside after being eliminated, grabbed Sid’s arm and distracted him long enough for Flair to eliminate him to win the match and become the new WWF Champion. After the match, Sid and Hogan got into an argument in the ring and had to be separated by security.

In his book, To Be The Man, Ric Flair mentions not knowing he was going to be winning the Royal Rumble (WWF Title) until arriving at the arena the day of the event, and also felt he was brought in at #3 in order to showcase his skills and endurance. Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan mentioned in his autobiography, Bobby The Brain, that it was his initial suggestion that Flair enter the Rumble at #3 for dramatic purposes, and that Vince McMahon claimed it as his own idea.

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Match Results

Dark Match: 
Chris Walker defeated Brooklyn Brawler by disqualification

Tag Team Match:
The New Foundation defeated The Orient Express (with Mr. Fuji) (17:18)

Intercontinental Championship:
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper defeated The Mountie (c) (with Jimmy Hart) (5:22)

Tag Team Match:
The Beverly Brothers (with The Genius) defeated The Bushwhackers (with Jamison) (14:56)

WWF Tag Team Championship:
The Natural Disasters (with Jimmy Hart) defeated Legion of Doom (c) by count-out (9:24)

WWF Championship Royal Rumble Match:
Ric Flair won by last eliminating Sid Justice (1:02:02)

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Aftermath

The confrontation between Hogan and Justice was played out over a series of future WWF television programs. On the Superstars program aired January 25, 1992, WWF President Jack Tunney held a press conference, where he announced that Hogan would face Flair for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania VIII. Justice, who was also in attendance and began standing up as if Tunney were about to proclaim him the top contender, was outraged and termed the announcement “the most bogus act Jack Tunney has ever pulled off.” Sid later apologized and Hogan accepted, but on the February 8 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Justice abandoned Hogan during a tag-team match against Flair and The Undertaker, completing his heel turn and leading to a match at WrestleMania VIII.

Flair, meanwhile, began feuding with Savage over the WWF Championship. According to the storyline, Flair claimed that he had a previous relationship with Savage’s wife, Miss Elizabeth, going as far as presenting pictures of Elizabeth in which Flair had himself superimposed. This culminated in a title match at WrestleMania VIII; Savage won the match and his second WWF Championship.

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Royal Rumble Stats

Draw
Entrant Order Eliminated by Time
1 The British Bulldog 7 Flair 23:33
2 Ted DiBiase 1 British Bulldog 01:18
3 Ric Flair WINNER 59:26
4 Jerry Sags 2 British Bulldog 01:06
5 Haku 3 British Bulldog 01:51
6 Shawn Michaels 10 Santana 15:46
7 Tito Santana 9 Michaels 13:55
8 The Barbarian 11 Hercules 12:55
9 The Texas Tornado 8 Flair 09:20
10 Repo Man 6 Big Boss Man 06:23
11 Greg Valentine 5 Repo Man 04:12
12 Nikolai Volkoff 4 Repo Man 01:03
13 The Big Boss Man 13 Flair 03:38
14 Hercules 12 Big Boss Man 00:56
15 Roddy Piper 26 Justice 34:06
16 Jake Roberts 15 Savage 10:55
17 Jim Duggan 19 Virgil 20:45
18 Irwin R. Schyster 23 Piper 27:01
19 Jimmy Snuka 14 Undertaker 02:27
20 The Undertaker 17 Hogan 13:51
21 Randy Savage 27 Justice and Flair 22:26
22 The Berzerker 18 Hogan 09:00
23 Virgil 20 Duggan 07:29
24 Col. Mustafa 16 Savage 02:36
25 Rick Martel 25 Justice 12:39
26 Hulk Hogan 28 Justice 11:29
27 Skinner 21 Martel 02:13
28 Sgt. Slaughter 22 Justice 04:37
29 Sid Justice 29 Flair and Hogan 05:55
30 The Warlord 24 Hogan and Justice 01:43

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