In this series, we look back on every Royal Rumble event to date. Up next: Royal Rumble 1990, featuring Ted DiBiase setting a new benchmark and Hulkamania running head on into the Ultimate Warrior.
Event: Royal Rumble 1990
Date: January 21, 1990
Location: Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida
Winner: Hulk Hogan
Last Eliminated: Mr. Perfect
Iron Man: Ted DiBiase
Quickest Out: Shawn Michaels
Most Eliminations: Ultimate Warrior
There were two big stories in this match, starting with Ted DiBiase entering at number one. The announcers went out of their way to make mention that DiBiase had entered at number 30 in the previous year's Rumble and been eliminated last, having come so close to winning the match.
This time around if he wanted to win he would have to do so from the number one spot.
He wasn't able to pull it off but he did set a new high mark as the match's Iron Man, managing to remain in the match for an unbelievable 44:47 before finally being dumped by the Ultimate Warrior.
Speaking of Warrior, he was really hot at this time, coming in as the Intercontinental champion at the 21 spot. The crowd, already hot as hell for the match itself, exploded with his entrance, as he went right to work becoming the man with the most eliminations in the match at six, one more than the eventual winner and the man who entered four spots later at number 25, Hulk Hogan.
The big moment came when the two cleaned house -- including Warrior eliminating a younger Shawn Michaels in just 12 seconds -- and were left in the ring alone. The building shook as the two biggest stars in the company came head-to-head. They went with the perfect psychology too, running a criss-cross on the ropes before a double clothesline took them both out until the next man came into the match.
Eventually, Warrior was dangling over the ropes at the hands of Rick Rude and the Barbarian before Hogan hit a clothesline on the back of the two of them, leading to Warrior dropping to the floor. He jumped back in the match and took out Rude and Barbarian before diving through the ropes and sprinting to the back, leading to this awesome exchange between commentators Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura:
Schiavone: "He's a wild man."
Ventura: "He's an idiot."
This, of course, was the precursor to the monster WrestleMania 6 encounter between Hogan and Warrior just a few months later.
In the end, it came down to Hogan fending off Rude and Mr. Perfect, and he was able to eliminate both to win the Rumble as the reigning WWF champion.