On January 15th, 1989 the WWF presented Royal Rumble 1989 in the Summit in Houston, Texas. This marked the second annual edition of the event. It included the 20-man Battle Royal as its featured event but included a series of matches that were also a focal point. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura were both on commentary. Ventura immediately picks Ravishing Rick Rude as his pick for the Rumble. Howard Finkel begins with announcing the first match.
International Rules (2 out of 3 Falls)
Dino Bravo & The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/Frenchie Martin and Jimmy ‘The Mouth of the South’ Hart vs The Hart Foundation & ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan.
Bravo and The Rougeau’s make their way to the ring first followed by the Hart Foundation and Hacksaw. Once everyone is in the ring, both sides convert to go over their respective game plans. Dino Bravo and Jim Neidhart begin the match for their respective teams. Bravo locks in a side headlock in the middle of the ring but can’t seem to knock Neidhart down upon hitting a shoulder tackle. Both men then miss respective elbow drops on one another.
Neidhart then tags in Duggan and Bravo responds by tagging in Raymond Rougeau. Fans are chanting USA as these two lock up. Ray then gets caught with a suplex and then a knee drop by Hacksaw. Bret Hart is then tagged in and he and Ray are meeting in the ring. Hart hits an assortment of pinning combinations but only for counts of two. Jacques is then tagged in and he continues to work over Bret. That is only temporary as the Hitman recovers and then all six-men make their way. The Rougeau’s and Bravo were beaten down. The Hitman then gets tossed over the top rope with the referee distracted.
Dino Bravo comes in and he works over the Hitman. Then, Raymond is tagged in and with the help of Jacques they finish off Bret to get the first fall.
Winners of the first fall go to The Rougeau’s and Dino Bravo (1-0).
Bret Hart must start the next fall and is still recovering from losing the first fall. Raymond is putting the boots to the Hitman. He then hits a gut wrench suplex and then makes a pinfall attempt but only for a count of two. Jacques is then tagged in and he continues to work over Bret. The Hitman is then whipped hard sternum first into the corner turnbuckle. Then Bravo comes in and makes a pinfall attempt but only for a count of two. Ray is then tagged in and he and Jacques continue to work over the Hitman.
Bravo is then tagged in and he catches the Hitman in a bearhug. But after tagging in Jacques he holds onto the leg of Bret. Jacques continues to work over the Hitman. He then has a modified chinlock then turns into him grabbing a handful of hair. Bravo is then tagged in and he picks up the Hitman but misses a clothesline. Jacques is tagged in and he has Bret in a Boston Crab. Fans continue to chant USA! Neidhart is tagged in but the referee doesn’t see the tag. Ray then has Bret in an abdominal stretch but the referee is distracted by Dino Bravo who is helping to add extra leverage.Jacques continues to synch in the abdominal stretch leading to Ray Rougeau making his way back in. He tries to pin the Hitman but only for a count of two. A tag is then made to Jacques who then attempts a monkey flip on Bret in the corner and reverses it into an inverted atomic drop. Bret is fighting to make a tag to Hacksaw who then comes in! Duggan beats on all three members of the opposition. Hacksaw then uses Neidhart into the ring like a catapult. Duggan then makes the pinfall for the three count.
Winners of the second fall Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Hart Foundation (1-1)
Duggan makes his way back in the ring as he prepares to battle Raymond Rougeau. Hacksaw is taking a beating in the corner turnbuckle. He lays in a series of fists in the corner. Duggan then attempts to attack all three members of the opposition and gets caught. Dino Bravo comes in and he begins to work over Hacksaw along the middle rope. A series of driving Hacksaw’s head into the corner turnbuckle is to no avail. The Anvil and Hitman make their way in the ring to stop the attack from happening behind the referee’s back.
Bravo continues to work over Hacksaw. He then hits an inverted atomic drop on Duggan but back into his own corner! The Hitman is tagged in and takes out the opposition. He attempts an elbow drop from the middle rope but the referee didn’t see Hart pushed off the top rope. He also didn’t see Bravo hit in the back with the 2×4 from Duggan. Hart makes the cover on Bravo for the three count and the win.
Winners of the third fall and match 2-1, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Hart Foundation.
We see the replay with how the final fall came to an end. They then feature backstage segments with entrants in the Royal Rumble. First is the Million Dollar Man who picks his number but wants to likely trade with the Doctor of Style. Followed is the Honky Tonk Man and then the Bushwhackers, Luke and Butch. Bad News Brown is next and doesn’t seem upset with the number he has drawn along with Jake Roberts. The Rockers then draw their numbers and don’t seem bothered either with their numbers.
WWF Women’s Championship
Rockin Robin (c) vs. Judy Martin
Robin makes her way to the ring with Martin awaiting in the ring. Sensational Sherri then gest on the microphone and immediately challenges the winner before it begins. Martin beats on Robin early on. Robin makes a comeback and hits a series of dropkicks on Martin. Martin thwarts Robin’s attack in the corner turnbuckle. Sensational Sherri then gets on commentary sharing her thoughts of both opponents.
Martin catches Robin and slams her down to the mat. Sherri doesn’t care who does or doesn’t walk away the winner. Martin yells at the referee for her count. Robin is able to recover and slaps a Boston Crab on Judy Martin. Martin then attempts a pin but Robin recovers. Judy Martin attempts a pin but only gets a count of one. Rockin Robin recovers and she takes the fight to Judy Martin. However, she misses a dropkick and Judy Martin attempts to regain control. Martin holds the ropes as Robin attempts a roll up.
Judy Martin then attempts another pin but again only for the count of two. A second two count on Martin but then Robin hits a DDT but again she gest only a count of two. Rockin Robin then attempts to pick up Martin. Martin blocks it, slams Robin but only gets a count of two. A failed backslide Martin leads to Robin kicking out at two. Robin then hits a kick to the chest followed up by a small package on Martin but only for a count of two.
Robin faked out Martin only to hit a flying crossbody on Martin for the pinfall and the win.
Winner: AND STILL WWF Women’s Champion, Rockin Robin.
After the match, we see highlights of how Robin retained. We then see that Sunday, April 2nd, 1989 will be WrestleMania V. Sean Mooney interviews the Doctor of Style, Slick along with Akeem and The Big Boss Man aka the Twin Towers. They discuss what took place earlier in the evening when the draw takes place with the Million Dollar Man and his discussion with Slick.
After the video footage, Slick then says he misunderstood that it’s none of Mooney’s business as to what he and the Million Dollar Man did earlier in the night.
Howard Finkel introduces Mean Gene Okerlund for the Super Posedown. Fans will determine the winner by their approval or disapproval and be declared the People’s Choice.
Royal Rumble 1989
Ravishing Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs. The Ultimate Warrior
It isn’t a traditional wrestling match as it is strictly intended to based on the physique’s of the two competitors. Rude gets on the microphone and says he is the best and sexiest man alive. This brings out the Intercontinental Champion, The Ultimate Warrior making his way down to the ring full of intensity. Heenan says he wants Warrior under control and all he needs to do is get to the fans in attendance to show their support for him.
At this point, Rick Rude announces the that first pose would be a double bicep pose. Fans need to look for the peak in the bicep, definition, and symmetry. Rude is first and strikes his first pose, rotating all-around to each side of the ring. Fans gave a smattering of boos. At this point, it is the Ultimate Warrior’s first pose to which fans showed their support immediately.
The second pose would be the best abs pose. Heenan then puts oil on the chest of Rude who then rubs in the oil to aid the definition of the abdominal muscles. Next up is the Ultimate Warrior, who then demonstrates his abs to which fans are showcasing their support for the Warrior.
Rick Rude then names his fourth and final pose is held up as he does a few push-ups and uses the flexing bar to aid his preparation. The final pose is called ‘a medley of poses’, which is a montage of various poses all at the same time. Sidearm, double bicep, abdominal, and back are all featured in this final pose by Rude. Next up, The Ultimate Warrior hits a double bicep, a sidearm, an overhead, a single-arm, and a double curl. However, Rick Rude attacks the Warrior from behind with the exercise bar.
He repeatedly beats on him and then tries to choke him out while applying a camel clutch temporarily. Rude and Heenan both leave the ring as the Ultimate Warrior is being attended to in the ring. Warrior then throws everyone off of him and cleans house in the process. He then charges to the back to get a hold of Rude and Heenan in the backstage area.
Winner: No Decision.
After the posedown, we see another plug for the upcoming fifth edition of WrestleMania. Then various managers speak of how their men will fair in the event. First off, Mr. Fuji speaks of how the Powers of Pain will do in the event, next is Miss Elizabeth speaking on behalf of the Mega-Powers. Jimmy Hart then shares how Greg Valentine and the Honky Tonk Man will both provide double trouble in the Rumble.
Jesse Ventura then sits on the throne and addresses how there will only be either Haku or Harley Race will be the undisputed King.
King Haku w/Bobby Heenan vs. Harley Race
Haku is then being carried down to the ring on his throne. At this point, the former King of the Ring, Harley Race comes down to the ring and dumps over the throne that Haku is sitting on to the floor. Race beats down on Haku immediately. He hits a suplex on Haku and then makes a pinfall attempt. Race only gets a count of two and then rolls out of the ring. However, Haku recovers and brings the fight to Race. He proceeds to step on Race. But Race hits an inverted atomic drop on Haku.
Race then makes a pinfall attempt but only for a count of two. Haku recovers and then whips Race into the corner turnbuckle and then stands on the second rope seeking the approval of the fans only not to get them. Once Race is brought back into the ring, Haku hits Race with a series of chops and kicks a series of times. However, Race recovers and attempts hit each other with headbutts. Neither man will go down. That is until, Race hits Haku with a clothesline. He follows up with a piledriver and makes a pinfall attempt. Race only gets a count of two.
We then see both men hit heads leading to Haku dropping down inside the ring and Race on the floor. Race attempts to come into the ring but he does so the hardway with a suplex. Haku makes a pinfall attempt but only for a count of two. He then attempts an elbow drop but misses. Race then hits a vertical suplex on Haku and makes a pinfall attempt only for the count of two. Race then attempts a piledriver on the floor but is hit with a big back body drop.
Both men continue to battle on the floor. Haku drives Race’s back into the frame of the apron time and time again. Race then hits a piledriver on Haku on the outside. But that isn’t enough as Haku makes his way back in the ring. Race catches him with a neckbreaker on Haku. Again he attempts a pin but only for a count of two. Race then drives a series of fists into the face and head of Haku but it isn’t knocking him down. Haku then has Race backed into the corner and then hits a slam in the middle of the ring. Haku attempts a diving headbutt only for Race to move. Race then attempts a diving headbutt only for Haku to move as well.
Both men are recovering in the middle of the ring. Race whips Haku into the ropes but he ducks and hits Race with a superkick/thrust kick. He makes the pinfall for the three count and the win.
Winner: King Haku
After the match, Brutus Beefcake comments on his entry into this year’s Royal Rumble and what he needs. Beefcake claims that he will be the last man standing. Greg Valentine then shares how he can’t trust anyone and as far as he’s concerned he’s going to be the winner of the Rumble. Once again, Mr. Fuji is shown with Warlord and The Barbarian his Power’s of Pain to which they will compete in the Rumble as well. Big John Studd then shares how things have changed for him and he knows that he will give it everything he’s got. Mr. Perfect shares that 1989 is a new year and that this is the year of Perfection. That he will cement the year’s perfection with his win in the Rumble.
The Macho Man shares that everyone will be watching the Royal Rumble and that it’s every man for himself. He knows that he will show everyone why he is number one. Everyone will feel the pain and the intensity of the Macho Man Randy Savage. That he will be the champion of the Royal Rumble as well…oh yeah!
Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Million Dollar Man in a last minute interview asking him about the upcoming Royal Rumble and his discussion taking place with the Doctor of Style, Slick. DiBiase said it’s none of Okerlund’s business. We then see Sean Mooney with Bobby Heenan and members of the Heenan Family. Surrounded by the Brain Busters, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard it was clear that they were there in a supporting role for Andre The Giant who is the odds on favorite.
Finally, Hulk Hogan spoke with Mean Gene Okerlund said that the Rumble is the resurrection of Hulkamania and he swears to be the one to walk out victorious in the end. What if Randy Savage and he collide with Hogan? He said he feels sorry for him but when it comes down to who rules that it will be the Hulkster that prevails in the end.
Royal Rumble 1989
30-Man Royal Rumble 1989
Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are prepared to begin the Royal Rumble matchup. The rules are that all 30 men drew a number and that after the first two men enter the next man will enter two minutes afterwards. It is only considered an elimination if you are thrown over the top rope to the floor. The first entrant is one-half of the WWF Tag Team Championships, Ax of Demolition. He is followed by the other half of the WWF Tag Team Championships, Smash of Demolition. This is a case of tag teams going at one another to start the match.
Both men batter at one another early on in this match. Ax brings the fight to Smash and beats down on him. Smash recovers and slams Ax moments later. At this point, Smash begins to beat down on Ax and then begins to pull at the face of his tag team partner. Ax recovers and tries to throw Smash over the top rope but he doesn’t hit the floor. Smash then places Ax on the top rope.
The third participant in the match is Andre The Giant led by Bobby Heenan. Both men immediately stop beating on each other and begin to work over Andre. They pound on him and press boots across the throat of the Giant. They then choke and attempt to lift him up but that ends quickly. With both men working on Andre, the fourth entry comes down to the ring and it’s Mr. Perfect.
Ax and Smash continue to work over Andre. But as Perfect comes in the ring he makes his way over to everyone. Smash is then eliminated by Andre. Ax and Perfect work over Andre trying to work him over in the corner. Mr. Perfect is then whipped face first by Ax who is then beaten over by Andre. The fifth entrant in the match comes down and its Rugged Ronnie Garvin making his way to the ring. Now everyone tries to hoist Andre up who is tied up in the ropes. But Andre is able to fight off everyone each time they grab at his legs.
Andre then breaks free of the ropes and he sits on Ax in the corner turnbuckle while fighting off Garvin and Perfect. He drills Perfect with a right hand. The sixth entrant then makes his way to the ring and its Greg Valentine led by Jimmy Hart. Everyone in the ring focuses their attention on Andre and tries to eliminate him as he’s the biggest threat in the match. Andre then tosses Ronnie Garvin over the top rope to the floor.
The Giant chokes Greg Valentine against the top rope while Ax and Mr. Perfect battle each other on the other side of the ring. We then see Andre with a choke across the throat of Ax. The seventh entrant makes his way down and its Jake Roberts. But Roberts is caught immediately by Andre. Valentine tries to drill Andre from the back with a couple of running forearms to the back of the Giant. Ax and Perfect continue to work over one another on the other side of the ring.
Perfect and Valentine work over Ax. But that is momentary as Valentine tries to eliminate Perfect. Andre continues to work on Roberts in a corner. The eighth entrant in the ring makes their way out and its Outlaw Ron Bass. Roberts is then eliminated by Ron Bass. Now as Andre works on Valentine Perfect attempts to help him in the process. Perfect tries to beat down on Andre as does Valentine but he piles them up in the corner. Then Ron Bass comes over and attempts to help them as well.
Perfect and Ron Bass battle in a corner turnbuckle when the ninth entrant comes down and its Shawn Michaels. Michaels comes in and immediately goes after Ron Bass. Ax is then tossed over the top rope by Mr. Perfect. He tries to do the same to Shawn Michaels but he catches himself. Michaels dropkicks Perfect who goes over the top rope but not to the floor. Valentine and Perfect work on Michaels. But Michaels and Perfect face each other in the corner.
The tenth entrant makes their way to the ring and its Butch of the Bushwhackers. As Butch comes down to the ring. Jake Roberts runs back down to the ring and throws Damian in t he ring at this point Andre immediately eliminates himself climbing over the top rope to the floor. The Giant couldn’t get out there fast enough. Roberts then leaves the ring and takes Damian with him going back up the aisleway.
Perfect and Ron Bass work on Shawn Michaels while Butch and Greg Valentine battle on the other side of the ring. The eleventh entrant makes their way to the ring and its the Honky Tonk Man with Jimmy Hart. Mr. Perfect goes right at the Honky Tonk Man who is teetering over the top rope but that’s momentarily. Honky Tonk and Shawn Michaels battle in the corner and then Greg Valentine tries to throw Michaels out but cannot. Mr. Perfect tries to throw out Honky Tonk when the twelfth entrant makes their way to the ring, Tito Santana. Santana goes right after Mr. Perfect trying to eliminate him.
Butch tries to throw out Honky Tonk until Ron Bass stops that. Bass then hits a back body drop on Shawn Michaels in the middle of the ring. Old rivals Santana and Valentine battle momentarily. We then have the thirteenth entrant of the match, Bad News Brown, he immediately goes after Ron Bass. Santana and Honky Tonk battle and with the help of Butch the Honky Tonk Man is eliminated.
Tito Santana and Greg Valentine continue to battle. Then Shawn Michaels and Bad News Brown battle in one corner while, Mr. Perfect and Butch battle in the middle and Valentine and Santana on the far side. Greg Valentine hits an atomic drop when the fourteenth entrant makes their way down, Marty Jannetty. But Ron Bass stops him and beats on Jannetty. That is when Shawn Michaels comes to Jannetty’s aid and they hit a double dropkick eliminating Outlaw Ron Bass.
Marty Jannetty then works on Greg Valentine and then makes his way to working on Mr. Perfect. Tito Santana then hits a flying forearm on Greg Valentine and tries to throw him over the top rope but to no avail. The fifteenth entrant makes their way to the ring and its Macho Man Randy Savage. Savage goes right after Bad News. He beats on him in the corner. Then Greg Valentine stops Savage and continues to battle with him in a corner.
Tito Santana helps Savage beat down on Valentine. Then Mr. Perfect and Savage have an exchange. Bad News recovers and he goes after Savage as well. The sixteenth entrant makes their way to the ring and it’s Arn Anderson with Bobby Heenan just as Greg Valentine is eliminated by Randy Savage. Shawn Michaels and Arn Anderson battle. With the help of the Macho Man, Shawn Michaels is eliminated. Jannetty goes after Anderson in the corner.
Each of the corners was occupied with various pairings. Marty Jannetty catches Arn Anderson on the top rope as the seventeenth entrant makes their way to the ring, Tully Blanchard the other half of the Brain Busters. Arn and Tully work over Butch. Then Blanchard works on Mr. Perfect in the corner. Jannetty and Tully Blanchard eventually pair off. A spinebuster by Arn Anderson on Marty Jannetty followed by an elbow by Tully Blanchard on Jannetty. The eighteenth entrant makes his way just as Marty Jannetty is eliminated from the match, Hulk Hogan.
Hogan immediately helps Savage and eliminates Mr. Perfect in the process. Hulk then works on Bad News in the corner. Tito Santana is then eliminated as Savage and Blanchard battle in the corner. We then see Brown trying to eliminate Hogan in the corner. Savage is tied up with Butch trying to eliminate him. This is when the nineteenth entrant, Luke of the Bushwhackers makes his way to the ring. Luke and Savage work on Anderson. It was at this point when Hogan eliminates Butch from the match.Everyone appears to try and team up to eliminate Bad New Brown but that ends. Eventually, Brown and Savage square off. The Hogan takes on Luke and Tully Blanchard. Hogan then makes his way to beat on Arn Anderson. Then we get the twentieth entrant in Koko. B. Ware. Koko and Luke battle temporarily. Then Koko and Bad News Brown battle. We then see Hogan catch Arn Anderson and slams him off the top rope. Savage rams the brain busters together. Hulk then eliminates Koko B. Ware. He then eliminates Luke of the Bushwhackers. We then see The Brain Busters beat on Hogan while Bad News Brown beat down on Randy Savage.
The twenty-first entrant comes down and its Warlord of the Powers of Pain. It is at that moment he eliminates both of the Brainbusters. Three soon-to-be-four men remain in the ring until Hogan clotheslines Warlord immediately as he gets into the ring eliminating him. Then Hogan eliminates Bad News Brown and Randy Savage at the same time. Savage is irate at what just took place! He comes back in and slaps him on the back pushing him upset at what just happened. Miss Elizabeth then runs down to the ring and tries to calm both men down.
A lot of finger-pointing by Savage to Hogan and then trying to explain himself to Elizabeth. He then puts his hand out as the two shake hands. The twenty-second entrant makes their way to the ring and it’s the Big Boss Man. Boss Man and Hogan are set to battle in the middle of the ring. Hogan works over the Boss Man and then slams him. Hulk tries to whip Hogan in the corner only to have the Boss Man reverse it, splash him in the corner, and then hit a piledriver. Boss Man tries a splash until the twenty-third entrant, Akeem makes his way to the ring. Hogan tries to cut off the other half of the Twin Towers.
He slams Akeem but then the Boss Man comes up and they double team, Hogan. Boss Man tries to eliminate Hogan but the Hulkster blocks it. An assisted splash by the Boss Man followed by Akeem. Hogan is then eliminated by both Twin Towers. The twenty-fourth entrant makes his way to the ring, Brutus Beefcake and immediately battles with Akeem at ringside. All three participants make their way to the ring but Hogan refuses to leave the area. He pulls the Boss Man from the ring and fights with him up the aisleway.
Back in the ring, Akeem and Beefcake battle back inside the ring. The twenty-fifth entrant makes their way to the ring and its the Red Rooster. He comes in and immediately helps Brutus. Beefcake and the Rooster work on eliminating Akeem but only temporarily. They then try to eliminate him at another turnbuckle. Both men try to eliminate Akeem as the twenty-sixth entrant makes his way to the ring, the Barbarian of the Powers of Pain is led to the ring by Mr. Fuji.
Now Beefcake and the Barbarian battle on one side of the ring while the Red Rooster and Akeem battle at another turnbuckle. Akeem then hits a big splash on the Red Rooster who celebrates. It was at this point the twenty-seventh entrant makes their way to the ring and its Big John Studd. Studd comes in pushes the Red Rooster out of the way and immediately goes after Akeem. The two men battle in the corner turnbuckle. Now all five men battle on the same rope. It was the twenty-eighth entrant that makes their way to the ring and its Hercules. Both Beefcake and Hercules work on the Barbarian but that ends quickly.
All six men partner off now. It was at this point when the twenty-ninth entrant makes their way to the ring, Rick Martel. Martel comes in and tries to take on Akeem until Big John Studd pushes him off and battles with Akeem by himself. It is now when the final entrant makes their way to the ring and its the Millon Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. DiBiase comes in and goes right after Hercules followed by the Red Rooster. The Millon Dollar Man hits a series of chops and whips the Red Rooster into the corner who then goes over the top rope to the floor being eliminated.
DiBiase then goes after Hercules once again. The two men battle in the middle of the ring. They then make their way to the corner. Beefcake then comes over and pulls Hercules off of DiBiase. Seven men are in the ring at the moment and the Millon Dollar Man and the Barbarian eliminate Hercules and Brutus Beefcake at the same time. Five men now remain in the ring. After a power slam the Barbarian hits a diving headbutt on Rick Martel in the middle of the ring. He then tries to clothesline Martel who ducted and then eliminates the Barbarian.
Martel and the Millon Dollar Man battle. But Rick Martel gets caught with a cross body who is then tossed over the top rope by Akeem. The Millon Dollar Man and Akeem work on Big John Studd as only three men remain now. DiBiase is directing Akeem to beat on Big John Studd. But DiBiase gets caught and crushed in the process. It is at this point where Studd eliminates Akeem leaving DiBiase and Studd alone in the ring. DiBiase is offering to buy his way out of the match. Studd catches DiBiase by the throat and tosses him into the corner turnbuckle.
Studd hits a double arm suplex on DiBiase that sends him across the ring. He follows that up with a gut-wrench suplex. He then hits a clothesline on DiBiase and follows that up by throwing DiBiase over the top rope to the floor. Big John Studd is the last man standing.
Winner of the Royal Rumble 1989: Big John StuddImmediately after throwing DiBiase over the top rope, Virgil runs into the ring and attacks Big John Studd. He then tosses Virgil from one end of the ring to the other. Studd continues to beat down on Virgil. After Virgil is tossed over the top rope the floor, Howard Finkle announces Big John Studd as the winner of the Royal Rumble.