The Battle Royal at the Albert Hall
By Evil Bazz
The British Bulldog, Arguably one of England’s best exports when it comes to pro wrestling, He’s also less arguably more fact the worst, but did you know he was the winner of quite possibly the greatest prise WWF have ever given out.
In 1991 I was 9; I’d just got into what was being called American wrestling. World Of Sport (WOS) has sort of slipped off TV Big Daddy, Giant Heystacks and Kendo although were still big names weren’t really the attraction they had once been, and British wrestling was at the start of its decline into nothingness. So being 9 and being obsessed with wrestling I did what every other 9 year old who like wrestling form the UK did at this time, I moaned and moaned at my parents until they got satellite TV! Unfortunately for me my parents were mean!! And so my moaning moved on to my grandparents! My granddad loved wrestling, he would cut out pictures and stick them to the wall in his garage and then tell me story’s (he’s probably made up) about these giants men. ANYWAY! I digress! My grandparents got sky in the summer of 1991, the first match of WWF programming I ever saw was a Greg the Hammer Valentine vs a jobber match. This it seems would be a staple diet for my early WWF days!
October 13th 1991 the WWF came to the Royal Albert Hall in London, we lived to far away to go but we had sky movies +, so we could watch it live!! So I and my granddad sat down to watch our first WWF PPV/ Live event that wasn’t superstars!! This event blew my tiny little 9 year old mind! Earthquake would be fighting the big boss man! Tito Santana would be kicking the crap out of some really old guy called Ric Flair? And his pretend belt! And then there would be a 20 man battle royal to win a big shiny trophy! HOLY SHIT! Look at that thing! It’s amazingly shit! It looked (even back then) crap. But Mean Gene, Gorilla and Bobby Heenan were doing their best to make this sound like the most important bit of crap you could ever win in the WWF!
The undercard to this event is poor to say the least, the Highlights for me are Flair vs Santana in a great little match, LOD VS Power and Glory (I was a massive power and glory fan when I was a kid! Herc wore chains to the ring and Roma look cool….hey fuck you he did!) whatever the Barbarian had on whilst walking to the ring and the pretend phantom of the opera pretending to play the organ for the undertaker. The WWF also treated us to a ring announcer I’ve never heard of or seen since this event, he kind of reminds me of the bad guy from the James Bond film live and let die, when the guy at the end of the film blows up, just before he pops his eyes start to bug out of his head….that what this guy looks like!
The match… (THE BATTLE ROYAL THE ONE WHERE YOU WIN A TEAPOT IF YOU WIN)
This 20 years ago was amazing, I loved Battle Royals then, and still do now, I love the first few moments of a battle royal, if you look around you can see people not having a clue what to do, you see good guys vs good guys, bad guys vs bad guys and guys not having a single fucking clue whats going on, The British Bulldog, Earthquake, Typhoon and Piper were in this that’s 4 amazing guys right there! (listen I’m British, my idea of a great wrestler was Giant Heystacks or Big Daddy, so I fucking loved Earthquake and Typhoon) the full list of participants went like this…
The Barbarian, Big Boss Man, Jim Duggan, Earthquake, Ric Flair, Hercules, Marty Jannetty, Brian Knobbs, The Legion of Doom, Shawn Michaels, The Mountie, Roddy Piper, Paul Roma, Jerry Sags, Tito Santana, Typhoon, The Undertaker, and Kerry Von Erich.
Flair and Piper go at it straight away, running round the outside of the ring, Mountie and the Bossman follow suit, it’s a usual battle royal, until the end.
It seems like they wasted so much time on the undercard that they had to get this Battle Royal out of the way as quick as they could! Duggan eliminates Quake with his 2×4, after being dumped out buy quake, and the elimination still stands! Piper eliminates the undertaker, then taker gets back on the apron and pulls piper out and that stands, rules….nah fuck em!
The final four for this epic battle are The Mountie (still without his song!) The Big Boss Man, Typhoon and the British Bulldog. No Piper, Flair, Santana, Von Eric or even Paul Roma! (what were you thinking Vince??) So Boss Man gets eliminated by the Mountie. Were left with the song less Mountie, Typhoon and the Bulldog, Mountie quickly goes (probably to work on his song) so were treated to 4 minutes of Typhoon beating the Bulldog up! Yeah!! Its at this point after nearly 2 hours my Granddad recognises the Bulldog and switches from wanting “the fat bloke with a beard in red!” to win to “bloody ell that’s Young Davey, we’ll have him to win this I think!”
Bulldog manages to get Phoon over the top rope and the place explodes, but then one of the greatest and one of the worst things in WWF history happen at the same time, Earthquake comes back down to the ring and slams Bulldog to the mat showing off his heelish powers in all their glory! (not Herc and Roma) he stomps around the Bulldogs fallen body starts the run up for his earthquake splash but bulldog rolls out of the ring, unlucky for him Typhoon is there and grabs him and now quake and typhoon squash the dreadlocked bulldog and crush his tiny body! Awesome stuff! Then quite possibly the saddest sight in WWF history occurs, Andre the Giant hobbles out on crutches knocks the Natural Disasters heads together and chases them off with his crutches!! These two massive monsters get scared of Andre and run away with Jimmy Hart! Bulldog celebrates in the ring with Andre on the outside and everyone is happy…..but where the fuck is the trophy? It may be my copy of the DVD but the 9 year old me also remember this, after nearly 2 and ½ hours of this event and everyone and I mean EVERYONE crowing on and on about this fucking trophy, not only do we not see bulldog lift it, but we never hear about it EVER again, not once! Not even a passing fucking comment, at one point Gorllia Monsoon says “ the (I have no idea how you spell this trophy’s name and the internet isn’t helping either!) Samaphar, samabar, salabim, sim sim salla bim, the tea pot trophy, is enshired with jewels and diamonds” the very next shot is of a stainless steel trophy with no jewels at all! I remember thinking to myself, this is it! this is where the Bulldog becomes the WWF champion, Hulk Hogan wasn’t at this event and the WWF had to have seen the reaction the bulldog got, plus he won the tea pot! What more could you ask for give him a title shot!
FUCK ALL HAPPENED FOR THE BULLDOG! The next big event was the survivor series of 91, were he teamed with Bret, piper and Virgil to fight Flair, the Warlord, The Mountie and Ted Dibiase,AND GOT ELIMINTATED FIRST!! He’s just won a fucking tea-pot!
We never saw the trophy again, we never even heard its name mentioned ever again, we never saw the ring announcer again, and I don’t think we saw Andre again, but we definitely definitely heard the Mountie’s theme song! Watching this event is hard now a days, but the main event is worth all the hard work you have to put in to get there! Fast forward helps too!
Until I can be arsed again, Thanks for reading