Torch Flashbacks WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV COUNTDOWN - 1999 PPV Report: Vince McMahon wins the Rumble, The Rock vs. Mick Foley notorious "I Quit" match
Jan 26, 2010 - 5:00:58 PM
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This week, we will be publishing two Royal Rumble PPV flashback reports every day going back to 1997 leading to this year's Royal Rumble PPV. At 11:00 a.m., we'll be publishing an even-numbered PPV. At 5:00 p.m., we'll be publishing an odd-numbered year.
Royal Rumble PPV Flashback Report - 1999
January 24, 1999
Originally published: Torch Newsletter #531 (VIP Sign-Up)
Report by Wade Keller, Torch editor
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the event...
(1) Big Bossman pinned Road Dog at 11:43 in a non-title match. Road Dog worked the crowd with mic work before the match, but because Heat just took place the crowd wasn't quite as jazzed as a crowd would be for the start of a PPV - but we need to get used to that. At 3:45 Road Dog yanked Bossman crotch-first into the ringpost. Bossman, though, dominated during the body of the match, but his offense was conventional. Bossman went to a bearhug at 6:30. At 9:30 Road Dog made a comeback and applied a sleeper. During a late flurry of moves by Road Dog, Bossman caught him in mid-air and flattened him with a Sidewalk Slam for the clean win. Well executed, but easily forgettable. Good, clean finish for an opening match. (*3/4)
(2) Ken Shamrock beat "Bad Ass" Billy Gunn at 14:23 via anklelock submission. Gunn did a few seconds of pre-match mic work that, as usual for him, seemed forced. Shamrock charged the ring and began brawling with Gunn immediately. They brawled at ringside at 6:30, then upon returning to the ring Shamrock began working over Gunn's leg. At 12:00 Shamrock accidentally clotheslined the ref. Val Venis ran in and DDT'd Shamrock. Gunn covered him, but Shamrock kicked out which popped the crowd. Gunn came off the top rope with an axehandle, but Shamrock moved and Gunn landed wrong on his ankle. Shamrock seized the opportunity and applied an anklelock. Shamrock comes across as such a natural, cool leader during UFCs as opposed to his faked wrestling persona which is so forced and uncool. He should just be himself. (*3/4)
(3) X-Pac pinned Gangrel at 5:53 with the X-Factor. Gangrel took some really good bumps. The two had good timing and worked a non-stop match. X-Pac's offense was great. Another good, clean finish that helps establish that nearfalls are worth paying attention to. (**3/4)
Kevin Kelly interviewed DX backstage where Hunter said they are as tight as any group, but they'll be out for themselves during the Rumble.
(4) Sable beat Luna via DQ at 4:50. Shane McMahon introduced Luna, then said Sable would be unable to wrestle, so she should come to the ring to forfeit the title. Sable held her back as she walked to the ring. When she entered the ring, she said, "Ring the bell." Shane did color commentary. It started out passable, but got sloppy near the end when fatigue was a factor. The woman who's been stalking Sable hit Luna as the ref was arguing with Shane. Sable then touched the fourth turnbuckle for the win. (1/2*)
(5) The Rock defeated Mankind in an "I-quit" match to capture the WWF Title. A hardcore brawl with Rock playing out his conservative role well and Mankind carrying the match. Mankind went too far in relying on shock value rather than sound psychology and subtle drama (which is possible even in this type of match). The finishing chairshots were unpleasant, unnecessary, and even sickening and took away from an otherwise entertaining match. (***3/4)
(6) Vince McMahon eliminated Steve Austin to win the 30-man Royal Rumble and earn a WWF Title shot at Wrestlemania. Order of entry was as follows: Austin, McMahon, Golga, Droz, Edge, Gillberg, Steve Blackman, Dan Severn, Tiger Ali Singh, Blue Meanie, Mabel, Road Dog, Gangrel, Kurrgan, Al Snow, Goldust, Godfather, Kane, Ken Shamrock, Bill Gunn, Test, Big Bossman, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Val Venis, X-Pac, Curt Hennig, Jeff Jarrett, D-Lo Brown, Owen Hart, and Chyna.
As announced, Steve Austin and Vince McMahon were the first two entrants into the Royal Rumble. When the bell rang, Austin attacked McMahon with a series of punches and kicks, including a stomp to McMahon's crotch. He followed with a Thesz press. Golga then was the third entrant. He gave McMahon a chance to flee the ring. Austin eliminated Golga, then chased after McMahon. McMahon ran into a women's bathroom in the concourse of the arena. It was a ploy since Team Corporate was waiting for Austin. They gang attacked him and left him lying face down on the floor. Meanwhile, the fourth entrant Droz stood in the ring with no one to fight. Edge then came in. They fought for a minute, then Droz eliminated Edge. A few minutes later as Steve Blackman fought Dan Severn in the ring, Austin was shown being stretchered out of the bathroom and into an ambulance.
Head Banger Mosh was scheduled to be the 11th entrant, but Mabel attacked him. Before Mabel could "unofficially" enter the Rumble, Undertaker and the Acolytes stopped him in the aisle. Undertaker spoke to him for a second, then they dragged him out of the arena and threw him into the back of a hearse. Meanwhile, Road Dog fought Kurrgan in the ring. When Kane entered as no. 18, he eliminated in rapid-fire fashion Road Dog, Kurrgan, Godfather, and Goldust.
McMahon returned to ringside having recovered from the beating Austin gave him. Rather than re-enter the match, he sat at ringside and told the announcers that he accomplished what he wanted. He said Austin would not return to the Rumble. He added, "I think I made a pretty good showing in the match." In reality, he took a beating and got in no offense. As Billy Gunn fought Shamrock in the Rumble, an ambulance drove up to the arena. McMahon's eyes bugged out as Austin stepped out of the driver's seat. Austin returned to ringside. He went after McMahon, who ran around ringside and into the ring. When Austin entered the ring, Shamrock cut him off. Austin fought with Shamrock and eliminated him. McMahon returned to ringside as Austin continued to fight various wrestlers in the ring who were vying for the $100,000 bonus if they were able to eliminate him. X-Pac gave Austin a high-impact wheel kick. X-Pac later took a shot at Hunter, then gave Big Bossman the Bronco Buster. McMahon got nervous when Austin managed to survive the various attempts to eliminate him. Austin went to ringside and threw a pitcher of water in McMahon's face. The final Rumble entrant, Chyna, entered the ring and almost immediately eliminated Mark Henry. Austin then clotheslined Chyna over the top rope. That upset Hunter, so Hunter and Austin fought for a minute. Austin eliminated Hunter. Austin and Owen Hart then fought, perhaps their first exchanges in 18 months since Owen's piledriver briefly paralyzed Austin and cost him five months of ring time. Austin eliminated Owen. D-Lo Brown frog splashed Austin. Austin recovered and went after McMahon at ringside. He beat up McMahon and even nailed him with a stiff chairshot. Michael Cole on commentary declared that Austin would win the Rumble and Wrestlemania's main event would be Austin vs. The Rock. That was a dead giveaway that Austin wasn't going to win since wrestling announcers never accurately declare a winner ahead of time.
McMahon re-entered the ring; he was the last person who could stop Austin. McMahon gave Austin a low-blow, but Austin was able to comeback and give McMahon the Stone Cold Stunner. At the 56 minute mark, Rock returned to ringside. He distracted Austin long enough for McMahon to recover from the stunner. McMahon then caught Austin from behind by surprise and eliminated him. Austin fought Rock in the aisle as a groggy and beaten up McMahon celebrated with the stooges and his son in the ring.
There was nothing memorable about the match outside of the storylines involving Austin and McMahon, Undertaker and Mabel, and maybe Chyna. There was never a time when there were more than a handful of wrestlers in the ring at once which took away from the "every man for himself" selling point of the match. The battles of Shamrock vs. Gunn and Severn vs. Blackman at least had storylines behind them, but they fell victim to being pure backdrop material for Austin and McMahon. It made a farce of the rules to have McMahon and Austin both disappear from the match for 30-plus minutes only to return at the end. Why doesn't every wrestler do that if there is no countout rule? (**1/2)
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