In Boo This Man, ThreeManBooth will call out someone or something that really gripes us.
The Royal Rumble is one of the most exciting events in wrestling. The premise is simple, except when it’s not: 30 Superstars (first, it was 20 Superstars; once, it was 40 Superstars) compete in an “every man (sometimes women enter too) for himself” over the top rope battle royal. 2 Superstars begin the match and the others enter in 2 minute (sometimes 60 second, sometimes 90 second) intervals. The last person in the ring (meaning both feet of all the other competitors have touched the arena floor) is the winner (except when there’s a tie). The winner earns a WWE (or WWF or World) Championship title shot at Wrestlemania (unless you’re John Cena who chose to cash in at Elimination Chamber).
But one time, the stakes of the Royal Rumble were higher than a title shot. In 1992, the winner of the Royal Rumble became the new WWF champion! That meant all the biggest Superstars entered: future legends like The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, former WWF Champions like Macho Man Randy Savage, Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan. Also, Virgil entered. Ultimately, Ric Flair, who had recently come from WCW with the World Heavyweight Championship belt, entered at number 3 and not only won the Rumble match but left the Royal Rumble as champion!
So what does Ric Flair winning have to do with with booing Hulk Hogan? Everything.
Once eliminated from the Rumble, you need to leave ringside and not interfere in the match. Those are the rules. Hulk Hogan, winner of the 1990 and 1991 Royal Rumbles, knows the rules. Maybe it’s because Hogan is a former winner (consecutive winner, even!), he thinks he’s above the rules. Maybe that is why Hogan didn’t leave ringside. Maybe that is why Hogan ignored the referee’s instructions to leave ringside. Maybe that is why Hogan grabbed Sid Justice’s arm and helped Ric Flair eliminate Sid Justice!
So Ric Flair’s amazing feat – being the first Superstar to last over 60 minutes in a royal rumble and being the first ever winner of a royal rumble title match – is tainted because Hulk Hogan is a sore loser. Yes, Sid came from behind to eliminate him. But the Royal Rumble is EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF! Surely, a two-time Rumble winner should understand that. And listen, we’re not advocating the alternative: Justice entered at number 29 and, statistically, had the odds in his favor to win. We didn’t want to see Sid win the championship and headline Wrestlemania 8, except that still kinda happened.
Due to the fallout, Jack Tunney held a “press conference” to determine the number 1 contender to Flair. Tunney chose Hogan over Sid, Savage or The Undertaker, even though Sid – again, statistically – should have been the choice. Hogan and Justice reconciled at the Saturday Night’s Main Event just before Wrestlemania 8. This didn’t last: Justice walked out on Hogan in the middle of a tag match, causing Hogan to decline his title shot and face Justice at Wrestlemania 8 instead. Fans still won out: Ric Flair faced Macho Man Randy Savage in the main event (1 of 2), which is a much better choice than Justice or Hogan. But Hogan faced Justice in the last match of Wrestlemania 8 because Hulk was a poor sport twice! Thanks, Brother.
Boo This Man!