Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes #8

It's Royal Rumble day! Hooray!

This means it's time again for another go around with some old school wrestling VHS boxes. I'd put this series on hiatus last year because I ran out of tapes to scan. While I have yet to add any new tapes to the collection, I did manage to find some good quality scans of tape covers online, so that's what this edition will consist of. I'll give full credit of where the scan came from in the caption.

In this particular edition, since it's Royal Rumble day and since the event turns 30 today, I thought there'd be nothing better than to look at some old Royal Rumble covers. I've gotten covers from most of the early Rumbles except for 1988 (which was never released on video) and 1992 (sadly, I couldn't find a good scan of the front and back cover anywhere).

WWF Royal Rumble 1989

Scan credit: The Canadian Collection
This was the first Royal Rumble event broadcast on pay-per-view and the first one with 30 participants. The prior year it was shown on the USA Network and only featured 20 entrants. I just re-watched this recently and it was a decent show, nothing special, but the Rumble match told a good story throughout. I also liked the six-man tag match and the Haku vs. Harley Race match, which got cut out of the VHS release. I hadn't actually seen this box since I rented the tape ages and ages ago from a place called West Coast Video, which had the largest wrestling selection in town. I got the tape, took it back to my grandparents house, and popped it in the VCR in the basement. That was the last time I saw this show until recently. As a matter of fact, I think that was the last tape I ever rented from that store as I'm pretty sure it closed shortly after.

WWF Royal Rumble 1990

Scan credit: VHS Wasteland
The Royal Rumble was starting to finally find it's feet by this time and 1990 was an interesting show, especially with the underneath matches. It's probably best remembered, at least by hardcore wrestling fans, for the excellent submission match between Ronnie Garvin and Greg Valentine. It also had a memorable face-off between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior that teased their match against each other at WrestleMania 6. Also, there's a very unfamiliar voice on commentary as long-time WCW announcer Tony Schiavone called the action with Jesse Ventura. Schiavone would wrap up his WWF run soon after and head back to WCW.

WWF Royal Rumble 1991

Scan Credit: VHS Wasteland
Here we have a very strong contender for one of my favorite VHS covers of a wrestling tape ever. I mean, just look at it. How could you not call this a work of art. You've got every major star of the time rumbling down a dark alley in search of a fight. It has a very gritty, almost gang warfare aspect to it. The back though, isn't as impressive with the matches and some studio shots of the wrestlers. The design on the front though was so amazing that it was brought back the next year (1992) and ten years later (2001). It should be noted as well that the tape did not contain "each and every exciting match" as the Koko B. Ware vs. Mountie match was cut out for time. It did, however, contain the awesome opening tag match between the Rockers and the Orient Express and the historic WWF Championship change when Sgt. Slaughter beat Ultimate Warrior to set up Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter at WrestleMania VII.

WWF Royal Rumble 1993

Scan Credit: The Canadian Collection

The WWF in 1993 was in the midst of change from the Hulk Hogan era to the New Generation era. I remember the first time I watched this particular event, I didn't really like it and to be honest, I found the Rumble match kind of boring. However, this show has really grown on me and now when I'm in the mood for a show from this time period, I tend to put this on. While the Rumble match on this show is still a bit boring and predictable, the undercard is what really makes this show shine with an awesome Steiner Brothers vs Beverly Brothers match, a really good Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty match, a fun match between Big Boss Man and Bam Bam Bigelow (in what was Boss Man's final WWF pay-per-view until 1998) and a good Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon match. This was also the last pay-per-view that Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan would call together and it was the last one  where Monsoon himself was the lead play-by-play announcer for the company as he would be replaced by Jim Ross at WrestleMania.

WWF Royal Rumble 1994

Scan Credit: The Canadian Collection
I'll wrap up this post with one of the most memorable shows (and not in a good way) of the mid-90s. This is the show most remembered for two things. First, the goofy "levitation" of the Undertaker after he was beaten by about 12 of the most random collection of heels, or bad guys, in the company. Then, there was the whole co-winner of debacle at the end of the Rumble match itself where Bret Hart and Lex Luger supposedly both touched the ground at the same time. It was a bad ending for a bad show. The box art however, kind of makes up for it with the pretty fun cartoonish drawing of everyone just battling each other. The background kind of looks like their coming out of a TV as well. Just a really fun cover for a really interesting time period.

Well, that does it for this round of VHS boxes. Hope everyone enjoys the Royal Rumble tonight and the first "double Rumble" in WWE history with both a men's and a women's Rumble match. Hopefully, I'll be able to find enough scans to continue this series as it's really one of my favorites to write.


  1. Enjoy the Rumble. I am looking forward to the double Rumble this year, should be fun and interesting as always, with a few surprises!

    1. Hopefully it's a better show than the past few years, although last year wasn't bad.

  2. Yes, Yes, Yes!!! The return of the VHS box posts. I love these. The 1991 box is probably the first I really remember standing out in my mind when I was younger. I'm pretty sure I had a poster of that from WWE Magazine or something. Enjoy watching tonight!

  3. I'm going to miss the Rumble, but I hope to catch it when I subscribe in a month or two. As for these, I loved the 1993 Rumble as it was the first one I remember seeing as an uncle rented a copy from a video store. The Rumble is my favorite event of the year, but I just finished a 3 month trial with the Network and was running out of ideas to watch. Hope they add Thunder episodes soon and I'll be back.

    1. I've heard rumors of them adding Thunder later this year but the next series of old school uploads is supposed to be Coliseum Video.

  4. So many great names. Loved watching WWF in the late 80's and early 90's.