WWF Royal Rumble ‘95
January 22, 1995
Not only is this widely considered the worst Royal Rumble in history, but is considered one of the worst pro wrestling pay per views of all time.
While the focus was still on the 30-man Royal Rumble match, the company switched things up this year by shortening the intervals between entrances in the Rumble match down to sixty seconds, as opposed to the traditional two minutes that had been the staple up to that point.
Clearly that was done to mask the utter lack of depth of the roster. The undercard featured all the credible talent on the roster. Bret Hart and Diesel had another great WWF Title match, as those two always had great chemistry with each other. Jeff Jarrett won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time, IRS and The Undertaker bored the audience to tears in another chapter of Undertaker’s long running feud against Ted DiBiase’s Million $ Corporation.
The one highlight was the WWF Tag Title match that saw the underdog lightweights Bob Holly and 1-2-3 Kid get by Ted DiBiase’s team of Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka. The true memorable moment came post-match when Bam Bam Bigelow got into an altercation with NFL superstar Lawrence Taylor, which led to their huge celebrity bout against each other that main evented WrestleMania XI.
The true dud that anchored this show down was the 30-man Rumble match. The one-minute intervals immediately shortchanged the bout, but the participants included certainly did not help things. Seven legitimate matching tag teams, a random legend appearance (Dick Murdoch), two previously released talents (Rick Martel and Crush) and three brand new unproven characters (Henry Godwinn, Aldo Montoya and The Mantaur) made up the underwhelming rank and file of the bout.
Literally the only people with any shed of credibility in the match where Shawn Michaels, Lex Luger, Davey Boy Smith, Bob Backlund, Owen Hart and King Kong Bundy. Wisely Michaels and Smith were tasked to work the whole match, going coast-to-coast from the #1 and #2 positions respectively.
While Michaels’ victory as heralded as something special, being he won the match from the #1 spot, realistically the match was only half as long as other Rumble matches. The one bright spot of the match (other than the appearance of a smoking Pamela Anderson ringside) was Michaels’ near elimination at the end of the match that saw only one of his feet touch the floor. It completely established the “both feet must hit the floor” rule that is now beat into fans’ heads every year prior to the Rumble.
The year 1995 was a not a great one in WWE’s history, and this Royal Rumble was certainly a poor way to start off the year.
- Buck Quartermaine beat The Brooklyn Brawler in a dark match that happened live before the pay per view went on the air.
- Jeff Jarrett pinned Razor Ramon to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
- The Undertaker beat Irwin R. Schyster.
- WWF Champion Diesel went to a draw with Bret “Hit Man” Hart when Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, The Roadie, Bob Backlund and Owen Hart all interfered.
- Bob Holly & 1-2-3 Kid beat Tatanka & Bam Bam Bigelow in the finals of an eight-team tournament to win the vacant WWF Tag Team Championships.
- Shawn Michaels won the 30 man Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Davey Boy Smith. Other participants included Headshrinker Sionne, Jacob Blu, Doink the Clown, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, Bart Gunn, Crush, Mo from Men on a Mission, Rick Martel (replacing Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart), Timothy Well, Jimmy Del Ray, Adam Bomb, Dick Murdoch, Bushwacker Luke, Kwang, Bob Backlund, Headshrinker Fatu, Billy Gunn, Aldo Montoya, Henry Godwinn, Owen Hart, Eli Blu, Steven Dunn, Mantaur, King Kong Bundy, Tom Prtichard, Mabel from Men on a Mission, Bushwacker Butch and Lex Luger.