WWF – Royal Rumble 1996 (1.21.96) DVD Review

Posted: January 27, 2013 in 1996, WWF/E



Free For All Match
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Duke Droese

This is the first ever Free For All Match that was delivered during the half hour preview show before the event. This had an interesting stipulation where the winner would be #30 in the rumble while the loser will get the #1 spot in the match. Helmsley was still new to the WWF and was feuding with characters who represented the opposite of what he was. Being a rich snob he competed against wrestlers with blue collar gimmicks such as farmer Henry Godwinn and here with garbage man Duke. The future Triple H had enough of this match and Disqualified himself in the match to only realize that he got the #1 spot in the rumble much to his ire.
Grade: DUD


1. Ahmed Johnson vs. Jeff Jarrett

The only thing noteworthy here is the birth of a Double J trademark, the guitar smash to the head.
Grade: DUD


2. WWF Tag Team Championship
The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn) (c) vs. The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip) w/Sunny

A tag match with no emotion nor desire by anyone which killed all the potential this match had.
Grade: D+


3. WWF Intercontinental Championship
Razor Ramon (c) vs. Goldust w/Marlena

Marlena (Terri Runnels) makes her debut in the WWF. This was a heavily disappointing wrestling match with no chemistry in the ring despite a terrific build up. One interesting fact here is that it’s Ramon’s fourth straight title match at the Rumble and at the time whoever wrestled in the undercard did not partake in the Rumble match which confirms that Scott Hall never participated in a Royal Rumble match.
Grade: D-


4. Royal Rumble Match
Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Henry Godwinn, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Bob Holly, King Mabel, Jake the Snake Roberts, Dory Funk Jr., Yokozuna, 1-2-3 Kid, Takao Omori, Savio Vega, Vader, Doug Gilbert, Headhunter #1, Headhunter #2, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, Hakushi, Tatanka, Aldo Montoya, Diesel, The Ringmaster, Fatu, Isaac Yankem DDS, Marty Jannetty, The British Bulldog & Duke Droese

This was a very fun rumble with a lot of gimmicks doing their trademarks such as Jake Roberts releasing a gigantic python in the ring to which the participants at the time fled outside. The entertainment value was very high in this one and it also brought up a story with Shawn Michaels returning to the ring after a concussion sustained at a Monday Night Raw that sidelined him.
Grade: B


5. WWF Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer

Bret Hart once again made the best of a match this time with a very gimmicked Taker. The match was long enough for a suitable title match but it didn’t shine very well as it didn’t mesh very well and also the interference of Diesel took a lot of the specialty away but at least it opened another chapter in Taker’s direction.
Grade: C+


Final Thoughts:

Another disappointing show but at least this time around the actual rumble was good enough to be watched for nostalgic purposes. The rest can be easily be lived without. One thing to be noted here is that the seeds were planted for the eventual rise and comeback of the WWF in which stars like Austin, Triple H & Kane were beginning their careers in the WWF at the time which on the long run heavily paid off. I only recommend this show for the actual rumble match and mildly for the main event if you have the patience for it.

Verdict: 6.25/10


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