Royal Rumble (1988)

Royal Rumble (1988)

Infobox Wrestling event
name=Royal Rumble (1988)

promotion=World Wrestling Federation
date=January 24 1988
venue=Copps Coliseum
city=Hamilton, Ontario
event=Royal Rumble
lastevent=Survivor Series (1987)
nextevent=WrestleMania IV
nextevent2=Royal Rumble (1989)

Royal Rumble (1988) was the first annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on January 24 1988 at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. Unlike the subsequent Royal Rumble events, this event was not shown on pay-per-view and was instead a television special shown on the USA Network.

The main event was a two out of three falls match where The Islanders (Haku and Tama) defeated The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers).cite web|url=|title=Royal Rumble 1988 official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-29] The undercard featured were the first-ever Royal Rumble match won by Jim Duggan,cite web|url=|title="Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (spot No. 13) wins the 20-Man Royal Rumble Match|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-29] Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki) defeating The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin and Leilani Kai) in a two out of three falls match for the WWF Women's Tag Team Championshipcite web|url=|title=Royal Rumble 1988|publisher=The Powerdriver Review|date=2008-02-12|accessdate=2008-05-29] and Ricky Steamboat defeating Rick Rude by disqualification.


Pat Patterson was the one who invented the idea of the Royal Rumble match.cite web|url=|title=Pat Patterson's Bio|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-29] The rules of this match were that each superstar had to choose a number between 1 to 30. The #1 and #2 entrants would start the match while the other entrants would join the match after two minutes.cite web|url=|title=Royal Rumble Match|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-29] Participants had to eliminate other opponents, and the winner of the event would be the last wrestler remaining after all others would been eliminated. It was similar to battle royal. Eliminations had to be done over the top rope and to get eliminated, both feet needed to touch the floor. It was originally a television special shown on USA Network.cite web|url=|title=Royal Rumble 1988 review|publisher=Complete WWE|accessdate=2008-05-29]


Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki) feuded with The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin) over the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship. Kai and Martin were awarded the titles in August 1985 in Egypt.cite web|url=|title=WWF Women's Tag Team Title History|publisher=Solie's Title Histories|accessdate=2008-05-29] On television, it was mentioned that they had defeated Velvet McIntyre and Desiree Peterson to win the titles, but it was a fictitious match as the match never occurred. [cite web|url=|title=WWF Show Results 1985|publisher=Angelfire|accessdate=2008-05-29] They feuded with many female tag teams and held the titles for over two and a half years. In November 1987, they began calling themselves "Glamour Girls". [cite web|url=|title=Glamour Girls Profile|publisher=Online World of Wrestling|accessdate=2008-05-29] At Survivor Series 1987, Glamour Girls were part of WWF Women's Champion Sensational Sherri's team in a Survivor Series match against Fabulous Moolah's team. Jumping Bomb Angels, part of Moolah's team pinned the tag champions in the end to become the survivors for the match. [cite web|url=|title=Survivor Series 1987 official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-29] After pinning the women's tag champions, Jumping Bomb Angels signed to a title shot against Glamour Girls at Royal Rumble. [cite web|url=|title=WWF Show Results 1988|publisher=Angelfire|accessdate=2008-05-29]

Beyond this feud, the other feud was between many of major WWF superstars over the Royal Rumble match scheduled to take place at the first-ever Royal Rumble event. The idea of this match was invented by former WWF Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson. Many of the top superstars of World Wrestling Federation drew their numbers between 1 and 20 and prepared themselves to compete in what is the most unique match in WWE history today.


The first match of the first-ever Royal Rumble event was between Ricky Steamboat and Rick Rude. Steamboat started the match with using his popular chops. He hit a back body drop on Rude sending him outside to the floor. The duo began a test of strength. Steamboat applied an armbar. Rude punched out of the hold but Steamboat hit him a chop and slapped on the armbar again. Rude punched Steamboat again and tried to whip him in the corner but Steamboat hit an arm drag on Rude before locking in the armbar again. His arm began hurting. Steamboat came off the ropes but after Rude hit him a knee lift, Steamboat fell on the floor. Rude suplexed Steamboat and went for a near-fall. He applied a chinlock on Steamboat but Steamboat picked him up and gave him an electric chair drop. He went to the top rope and landed on Rude for a top-rope splash but Rude hit his knees and hit an atomic drop. He again applied the chinlock on Steamboat but Steamboat pushed him into the corner. He hit a chop in Rude's forehead and went for a near-fall. He got many nearfalls before Rude clotheslined him. Rude went for a suplex but Steamboat hit a suplex of his own. He went to the top rope and landed for a diving crossbody on the mat where Rude pulled the referee. Rude caught Steamboat in a Canadian backbreaker rack and the referee ended the match. Many thought that Rude won by submission but it was announced that Steamboat won the match by disqualification.

Dino Bravo made a world record attempt to bench press 715 pounds. He was successful, but with help from spotter Jesse "The Body" Ventura. The second match was a womens tag team two out of three falls match for the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship, as the champions The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin and Leilani Kai) defended the titles against Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki). The challengers hit the champions with a double dropkick. Kai hit Yamazaki from corner to corner before tagging with Martin. Yamazaki kicked out in a great way out of a pinfall attempt and then rolled-up Martin for a near-fall. She tagged in with Tateno. She hit a bridging German suplex on Martin for a near-fall. Martin caught Yamazaki in a running crossbody and threw her to the mat. She missed an elbow drop on Yamazaki and tagged in with Kai. Yamazaki hit Kai with a high knee and tagged in with Tateno. Kai was destroyed by Jumping Bomb Angels who tried to pin her but she kicked out at 2. Tateno applied an octopus hold on Kai. Martin came to break it up and accidentally kicked Kai instead of Tateno. Tateno applied an Indian deathlock on Kai and reversed it into a bow and arrow. Yamazaki tagged in and Martin tagged in. Martin hit an Alley Oop on Yamazaki and pinned her for the first fall. Martin worked on Tateno in the second fall but after she missed a big splash, Yamazaki tagged in. She hit a series of clotheslines on Martin. Martin went for an Alley Oop again but Yamazaki pinned her with a sunset flip to get the second fall. After each team had scored one fall, now a final fall had to be scored. Jumping Bomb Angels double-teamed Kai before Martin tagged in and received an enzuigiri. Yamazaki tried to hit a fisherman suplex on Martin but she kneed out of it. Kai tagged in and went on to hit Yamazaki with a snapmare and a Northern Lights suplex. Martin tagged in and kicked Yamazaki in her own corner, allowing her to tag with Tateno. Martin slingshotted Tateno into her corner, allowing Kai to choke Tateno. Tateno hit a series of atomic drops. Yamazaki tagged in and hit a knee drop on Kai for a nearfall. Martin tagged in and received a butterfly suplex. Tateno tagged in but missed a senton bomb. Martin took advantage and pinned her for a near-fall. Yamazaki tagged in and clotheslined Martin from the middle rope for a near-fall. Kai tried to interfere while the referee Joey Marella tried to get her to the outside. Jumping Bomb Angels took advantage and hit Martin with a double missile dropkick and pinned her to win the match and the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship.

Hulk Hogan and André the Giant had a contract signing for a WrestleMania III rematch, scheduled to take place on February 5 edition of "The Main Event". Ted DiBiase bought André's contract from Bobby Heenan and told André that if he beat Hogan for the WWF Championship and gave DiBiase the belt, DiBiase would give him money. Next was the match, the event was based on - the Royal Rumble match. Pat Patterson had invented this idea just a weeks before. The first two wrestlers ever to enter a Royal Rumble match were Bret Hart of The Hart Foundation and one half of WWF Tag Team Champions Strike Force, Tito Santana. Hart hit Santana in the corner. Santana fired back but Hart hit him an inverted atomic drop, followed by a middle rope axe handle elbow drop. Butch Reed entered at #3 while Santana hit a flying forearm smash on Hart. Reed began nailing Santana until Santana dropkicked both Hart and Reed. However, the two men got the better of Santana. Reed tried to hit Santana who sidestepped, and Hart was accidentally nailed until Hart's tag team partner Jim Neidhart entered at #4. He helped Reed and his tag team partner Hart in eliminating Santana. Santana held on to ropes until Jake Roberts entered at #5, making the save for Santana. He tossed Reed out of the ring and eliminated him which would be the first elimination of first-ever Royal Rumble match and the first elimination in the history of the Royal Rumble ever. He began pounding on Hart Foundation. Santana and Roberts tried to hit a Double DDT on Hart, but Neidhart attacked both men, saving his partner. Hart hit a jumping piledriver on Santana while Harley Race entered at #6. Neidhart and Race tried to eliminate Roberts while Santana nearly tossed Hart. Jim Brunzell entered at #7 and almost eliminated Hart before Neidhart attacked Brunzell, saving Hart again. Sam Houston entered at #8 and went after Hart Foundation. They tossed Santana out of the ring to even the score 3-3.

Danny Davis entered at #9 and began attacking Houston. Race attacked Roberts through the ropes. Roberts tried to hit a DDT on Davis but Davis blocked it. Boris Zhukov entered at #10, but was beaten though. Zhukov's The Bolsheviks tag team partner Nikolai Volkoff and Don Muraco were quarrelling that who was #11. The referees informed them that Muraco was #11 and Volkoff was #12. Zhukov was eliminated by Roberts and Brunzell. Brunzell dropkicked Hart but it had no great effect on Hart. Volkoff entered at #12 as Muraco clotheslined Race. Jim Duggan entered at #13 and received a nice reaction by the Canadian fans. All the wrestlers continued to beat each other until Ron Bass entered at #14. Volkoff prevented from Brunzell eliminating Davis. Brunzell pounded on Volkoff but was thrown out by Volkoff. B. Brian Blair entered at #15 and Hillbilly Jim entered at #16. He eliminated Neidhart and Reed. Dino Bravo entered at #17. Bass had Houston on his shoulders and he threw Houston over the top rope, thus eliminating Houston in the process. The Ultimate Warrior entered at #18 as Duggan eliminated Bret Hart. Though, Hart did not win the match, he set the first Royal Rumble longevity record for being eliminated at 25:42. One Man Gang entered at #19 and he eliminated Blair and then Roberts. The final participant entering at #20 was Junkyard Dog. Duggan tossed Volkoff out of the ring while on the other side of the ring, OMG eliminated Hillbilly Jim and later Ultimate Warrior. Bass surprisingly attacked JYD and eliminated him from behind while Muraco surprisingly clotheslined Bass over the top rope as the final four left - Muraco, Duggan, Bravo and OMG. OMG nailed Duggan with a big splash in the corner and then OMG and Bravo began double-teaming on Muraco. Muraco managed to control both men until Frenchy Martin came out and distracted Muraco. Bravo and OMG were able to eliminate him. They went to do the same on Duggan. OMG attacked him but Duggan ducked and OMG accidentally eliminated Bravo. After a brawl with Duggan, he was eliminated by Duggan as Duggan won the first-ever Royal Rumble.

The main event was a two out of three falls match between The Islanders (Haku and Tama) and The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers). As the match started, Roma hit a diving crossbody and got a near-fall on Haku before tagging with Powers. Roma and Powers hit double back elbows on Haku. Powers applied an armbar on Haku, who broke lose and tagged in with Tama. Tama missed an elbow drop and tagged out with Haku. Haku and Tama double-teamed Powers resulting in a double knockout for Haku and Powers. Roma tagged in and dropkicked Tama but Tama tossed Roma out and over the top rope and to the floor. Roma's knee was injured and he got counted-out, giving the first fall to Islanders. He entered into the ring and Tama worked on Roma's leg before he slipped and tagged Powers. Haku tagged in but Powers hit him a series of clotheslines, dropkicks, vertical suplexes and back elbows for a series of nearfalls. Haku punched out and took control of Powers. However, Powers pinned Haku with an inside cradle but Haku kicked out at 2. Haku hit a backbreaker on Powers for a near-fall. Tama tagged in and hit a jumping back elbow on Powers. Haku tagged in and hit a standing dropkick and a gutwrench suplex on Powers to get another near-fall. He then applied an abdominal stretch on Powers but Powers hip tossed Haku. Haku tried to hit a big splash but missed it as Powers tagged Roma. Roma punched away before Haku kicked in Roma's knee. Tama splashed on Roma's knee and Haku forced Roma to submit with a half crab and won the match.


Hulk Hogan and André the Giant battled in their WrestleMania III rematch for the WWF Championship on February 5, 1988 edition of "The Main Event", where André controversially defeated Hogan for the WWF title. [cite web|url=|title=André the Giant's first WWE Championship reign|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-31] [cite web|url=|title=The Main Event results - February 5, 1988|publisher=Online World of Wrestling|accessdate=2008-05-31] André sold the title to Ted DiBiase and DiBiase gave him a large sum of money. However, WWF President Jack Tunney vacated the title, making André the shortest reigning WWF Champion with a reign of 47 seconds. [cite web|url=|title=WWE World Heavyweight Championship|publisher=Complete WWE|accessdate=2008-05-31] The title was determined in a 14-man tournament at WrestleMania IV, where Randy Savage defeated DiBiase in the finals of the tournament to become champion. [cite web|url=|title=Randy Savage's first WWE Championship reign|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-31] [cite web|url=|title=WrestleMania IV official results|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-31] [cite web|url=|title=Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase WWE Championship Tournament Finals|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-05-31]



*cite book|author=Brian Shields|title=Main event–WWE in the raging 80s|publisher=Pocket Books|chapter=Supercard/PPV History| pages=166-168|year=4th Edition 2006|id=ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6
*cite news|title=2007 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac & Book of Facts|work=Wrestling’s historical cards|publisher=Kappa Publishing|date=2007|pages=86
* [ - Royal Rumble '88 results]
* [ - Royal Rumble]

External links

* [ Official 1988 Royal Rumble website]

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