Aaron Wood
This Week In WWE Vintage Collection History: Four Matches...Ninety Seven Wrestlers...
By Aaron Wood
Jan 29, 2012 - 2:08 PM

Okerlund opened up this week's show talking about how sijnce it's inception in 1988, the Royal Rumble has provided some of the most memorable moments in WWE history. But why show us those? Be it a Rumble or any other type of Battle Royal, it is a test of endurance, athleticism or suvival by any means necessary. And so we'd be looking at other Battle Royals from back in the day, the main event being for the IC Title.

But first, why not start out with another title match? In this case, Chavo Guerrero's Crusierweight Title as he defended it against the rest of the vanilla midgets in a Over The Top Rope Challenge Battle Royal on the Smackdown episode that aired on March 31st 2005, the very final show beore Wrestlemania 21.

After the break, we went to WCW World War 3 event in 1996, the winner of whcih would be the new No.1 Contender to Hulk Hogan's WCW World Title, as we saw a few guys coming out before it ended with the nWo contingent.

Our next Battle Royal was of the 20-man variety and took us to the Superstars episode that aired on February 25th 1995, airing only a few weeks after the Royal Rumble which Shawn won thanks to only one foot touching the floor. Indeed, this match was taped only 2 days after the Rumble. The two who ended the Rumble, Michaels & British Bulldog, would be entered into this, but would they once again be the last men standing?

We went back to the studio for Gene to set up our main event, mentioning that when HHH beat Kane in a Title unification match, the Intercontinental Title was put on the back burner. Or at least it was until Co-GM Stone Cold Steve Austin decided to bring it back. He invited former IC champions to take part in a Battle Royal at Judgement Day 2003 for the title. However, he made one exception, letting the non-previous IC winner Booker T into the match too. So would one of the other 8 men in the match add another IC notch to their bed posts, or would the one guy who hadn't won the belt yet get to lose his IC cherry?

Gene noted he mentioned before the quality of surviving by any means necessary, and Christian did just that. And despite it's controversial finish, the IC title was now back after 7 months on the shelf. As for Booker, he would get his revenge later in the year, beating Christian for the title on a random episode of RAW. Okerlund signed off by noting that next week, we'd be looking back at WCW's marquee February event, Superbrawl.

I'm not doing to go through what happened with every single person involved in these matches. I don't have the time, and even if I did, I'm not that much of a mental. So I will just concentrate on the main players involved.

Naturally, the CW Title was nowhere to be seen 3 days laters at Mania. On the following week's Smackdown, London defended the title against Billy Kidman in an infamously bloody match, retaining the title. Chavo would once again challenge for the title in the following couple of months until an episode of Smackdown in which the debuting Mexicool interrupted the match, doing so again the following week. Nunzio then stepped up to challenge, and while London would retain the title at the Great American Bash PPV, he would lose to Nunzio on an episode of Velocity not long after, thanks to the debuting Big Vito, as he formed the FBI with Nunzio.

After this, London went on a short losing streak, the heelish gimmick being he would beg the fans to protest his loss. One of these matches would actually include a loss to Frankie Kazarian in one of his few matches in WWE. However, not long into that, he remained a babyface anyway and formed a team with Brian Kendrick.

As for Chavo, his challengership came to an end because he was drafted over to RAW in int he Draft Lottery at the end of June. Once there, he took on the persona "Kerwin White", pretending to be a Caucasian guy who spent a lot of time at the golf club, a gimmick with ever-so-slightly racist overtones. It was a gimmick notable however for being the start of the man who is now Dolph Ziggler, who paired with Chavo as Guerrero's "caddy".

The Giant, who hadn't been in the nWo for that long, would end up growing a pair and requesting that he get his title shot against nWo chief Hulk Hogan. Giant promptly found himself booted from the group. He'd get the title shot, at the year-opening Souled Out event, but lost thanks to the usual nWo interference. He then lined up with the likes of Luger & Sting to face the nWo on WCW's behalf.

Indeed, in the following month's Superbrawl, Giant and Luger would win the WCW Tag Titles from Hall & Nash, only for nWo member and WCW company President Bischoff to over turn this and return the titles back. Luger would win a Title Shot against Hogan, although he blew that. He would get revenge however when he would beat Hogan on an edition of Nitro for the WCW Title, the first time in a year where a non-nWo person had won the belt.

Despite winning his Battle Royal, the reward for British Bulldog lay somewhere between Bugger and All. His next move would actually be to start teaming with Lex Luger, under the name The Allied Powers. However, this didn't go very far outside of beating the Blu Twins at Wrestlemania and a loss to Owen Hart & Yokozuna in a Tag Title match at an In Your House event. Not long after this, the team broke up, with British Bulldog turning heel and attacking Diesel.

Shawn Michaels faced Diesel at Wrestlemania, albeit losing in the main event. This build included HBK hiring Sid as his new man-whore, only for Sid to turn on him the night after Mania. HBK headed home for some time thanks to a disagreement about his direction.

Bret's Wrestlemania match would be a rematch of his "I Quit" match against Bob Backlund wherein Bret had lost his WWE Title to Bob (only for Bob to lose it a couple of days later to Diesel at a house show) which he would win. After this, his feud with Jerry lawler restarted, with matches at the first In Your House PPV and the "Kiss My Foot" match at King Of The Ring, leading onto the match with Lawler's dentist "Issac Yankem" at Summerslam.

After stealing the IC title win from Booker, Christian would appear on RAW the next night on Jericho's Highlight reel, debuting the short haired and long trunks look that he's familiar for today, As noted by Gene, Booker won the title a month of so later on an edition of RAW. However, at a house show a month after that, Booker was injured, forcing Christian to win the title there and then. With Booker out, Christian moved onto the angle with Jericho, Lita & Trish.

Booker would return from the injury in October, being named to Team Austin for that year's Survivor Series. As a result of that, he entered into a short feud with Mark Henry, the man who eliminated him in that match. He would soon begin a tag team with Goldust, however, winning the Tag Titles from Ric Flair & Batista in February the following year.

Anyway, enough Battle Royal talk, it's The Royal Rumble tonight, and I'll be on hand for the beginning of the road to Wrestlemania!

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