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10 Things We Learned From WWE Royal Rumble 1991

Sgt. Slaughter beats Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Championship…

3. Extra Hammer Time

WWE

There were a number of “iron men” in the 1991 Rumble match, with 10 different men breaching the 20-minute mark, and four of them making it past a half hour. The man who posted the second-longest duration was Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, who survived a shade over 44 minutes from the number three draw.

According to Dave Meltzer in his write-up of the show, Valentine was actually being punished by having to work for such a long period of time. Valentine, with no formal WWE contract in place, had taken dates in late-1990 with Herb Abrams’ UWF promotion that January, and Vince McMahon was reportedly none too pleased with Valentine’s decision to work those shows. Valentine would later note in a shoot that he jumped back to WWE after working those January UWF cards, and Abrams cancelled his checks as retaliation. Seems “The Hammer” just couldn’t win.

2. A Model Of Endurance

WWE

Fans watching the Rumble match had to get used to seeing a tanned and fit wrestler in purple trunks on their screen for much of the match. Rick “The Model” Martel was at the peak of his days as a narcissistic villain, and would post the longest match time in a Rumble that saw many wrestlers log a good share of minutes.

In all, Martel set a new Rumble record by lasting 52 minutes and 17 seconds, making him the first man to pass the 50 minute mark in Rumble history. Martel would record four eliminations (tied for second most with Earthquake), and came in fifth place after being clotheslined out by Davey Boy Smith, who himself survived for more than 36 minutes.

1. Saturday Night Watch Party

WWE

Okay, wrap your heads around this one if you can. The 1990 Royal Rumble did approximately 260,000 buys. Two years later, the 1992 version of the show would do roughly the same amount, 260,000. Based on how trends tend to go, you’d think that the 1991 Royal Rumble would fall in line somewhere around there, right? Think again.

The 1991 Rumble pulled in a staggering 440,000 buys, with the Saturday night placement having no negative effect on the show at all. In fact, the 1991 show would mark one of three Rumbles (1997 and 2003 being the others) that did a greater buyrate than the WrestleMania that followed. The Slaughter/Hogan angle would manage just 400,000 buys come ‘Mania Sunday, narrowly aced out by the 30-man brawl that preceded it.

Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.

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