Royal Rumble 1995 was the eighth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on January 22, 1995, in the USF Sun Dome located in Tampa, Florida. The event featured five matches based on scripted storylines and the results were predetermined by the WWF. The reviews have been mostly positive, although critics have expressed disappointment that wrestlers entered the Royal Rumble match every sixty seconds instead of every two minutes as in previous years.
The main event was the 1995 Royal Rumble match, which Shawn Michaels won after entering first and outlasting the 29 other wrestlers for the first time in WWF history. The event also featured a match for the WWF Championship, when Diesel defended the title against Bret Hart. The match was stopped when several other wrestlers interfered and the referee lost control of the match. Two other title matches took place; Jeff Jarrett won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon, and The 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly won the final match in a tournament that determined the new WWF Tag Team Champions.
Several storylines from Royal Rumble 1995 were carried over to WrestleMania XI, the WWF's next pay-per-view. Bam Bam Bigelow attacked National Football League Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, who was sitting in the crowd; this set up a match between the two at WrestleMania. Pamela Anderson was at ringside and was supposed to accompany the winner of the Royal Rumble match to his WWF Championship match at WrestleMania. Although Shawn Michaels won the match, Anderson came to the ring at WrestleMania with Diesel. The Undertaker's feud with Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation also escalated, as DiBiase's men stole the urn that was said to give The Undertaker his power. Jarrett and Ramon continued to feud for several months, and Bret Hart targeted Bob Backlund because of Backlund's interference in the WWF Championship match.
The storyline behind the WWF Championship match began in 1994, when Bret Hart was feuding with his brother Owen. After Owen was unable to win the title, he helped Bob Backlund win the belt from Bret at Survivor Series 1994. Three days after Survivor Series, Diesel faced Backlund and won the title belt. He agreed to grant a title shot to Bret Hart, who, like Diesel, was also a fan-favorite.
Also at Survivor Series 1994, Shawn Michaels and Diesel had an argument after Michaels accidentally kicked Diesel in the face. Although the pair held the WWF Tag Team Championship together, Diesel said that he did not want to team with Michaels any longer. The title was vacated, and the WWF held a tournament to determine the new champions. During the tournament, The Smoking Gunns were forced to withdraw when Bart Gunn was injured in a rodeo accident. As a result, the 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly took their place. The Gunns requested that they get a title shot after the tournament when Bart had recovered. The 1-2-3 Kid and Holly advanced to the finals, as did Ted DiBiase's team of Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka. The match to determine the new champions was scheduled to take place at the Royal Rumble.
The Undertaker had been feuding with DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation since his return to the WWF from an injury in August 1994. During the match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna at Survivor Series 1994, Irwin R. Schyster, one of DiBiase's wrestlers, interfered in the match by attacking The Undertaker. The feud between The Undertaker and Schyster escalated when Schyster performed a series of vignettes in which he repossessed such items as tombstones and burial plots from people he claimed had not paid their taxes before dying. During the feud, Schyster was escorted to the ring for his matches by a group of hooded druids.
The feud between Jeff Jarrett and Razor Ramon began in late 1994 when Jarrett challenged Ramon for Ramon's WWF Intercontinental Championship. They faced each other several times, but Jarrett was unable to win the belt. Jarrett, who portrayed an aspiring country music star, was accompanied to the ring by The Roadie, who often interfered in matches on Jarrett's behalf.
Although no major feuds were featured in the Royal Rumble match, Baywatch star Pamela Anderson was in attendance at ringside. It was announced that she would accompany the winner of the match during his WWF Championship title shot at WrestleMania XI.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Buck Quartermaine defeated The Brooklyn Brawler
- Jeff Jarrett (w/ The Roadie) defeated Razor Ramon (c) to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship (18:03)
- The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) defeated Irwin R. Schyster (w/ Ted DiBiase) (12:20)
- Diesel (c) vs. Bret Hart ended in a draw for the WWF Championship (27:18)
- Bob Holly and The 1-2-3 Kid defeated Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Ted DiBiase) to win the vacant WWF Tag Team Championship (15:45)
- Shawn Michaels won the 1995 Royal Rumble by last eliminating The British Bulldog (38:41)
Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations
A new participant came in approximately every 1 minute
|2||The British Bulldog||29||Michaels||38:41|
|5||Jimmy Del Ray||1||British Bulldog||1:25|
|8||Doink the Clown||7||Kwang||4:50|
|11||Owen Hart||2||British Bulldog||0:03|
|12||Timothy Well||4||British Bulldog||0:23|
|15||King Kong Bundy||14||Mabel||3:00|
|19||Lex Luger||27||Michaels and Crush||18:51|
|23||Billy Gunn||20||Crush and Murdoch||7:25|
|24||Bart Gunn||19||Crush and Murdoch||6:19|
Other on-screen talent
- This is the only Royal Rumble to have one minute intervals.
- This was the first Royal Rumble in which the first participant in the match (Shawn Michaels) won the Royal Rumble, this didn't happen again until the 2004 event when Chris Benoit won from the #1 position. However, that Rumble had 90 second intervals, making the challenge much harder.
DVD & Video Releases
- Royal Rumble 1995 Official Website
- Royal Rumble 1995 on WWE Network
- Royal Rumble 1995 at CAGEMATCH.net
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|1995 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views|
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