Vince Russo reveals why Vince McMahon booked himself to win the 1999 WWE Royal Rumble 2 months in advance.
The Royal Rumble is one of the most awaited WWE Pay Per View. The event hosts a 30 men (most of the times) countdown battle royal dubbed the Royal Rumble. The winner of this match is rewarded a World Championship match in the main event (usually) of Wrestlemania.
The 1999 edition of the Pay Per View is unusual in that the winner of the Royal Rumble was not part of the title match at Mania. In fact, he forfeited his position the night after winning. Yep, Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble and surrendered his prize immediately after.
While this may seem like indecisiveness on WWE’s part and a decision made on a whim just for the sake of shock value, it appears that the result had been decided well in advance; Two months to be precise and now we know what the mindset was behind these plans.
Vince Russo reveals why Vince McMahon booked himself to win WWE Royal Rumble 2 months in advance
“There really wasn’t, bro [any other contenders],” Vince Russo said during the Off The SKript podcast. “I mean, that was such a big moment. We knew. We probably knew that, bro, I would say at the Survivor Series [November 1998]. 100 percent we knew Vince was going over at the Royal Rumble [January 1999].”
“We knew Vince isn’t going to be in the main event because Vince isn’t going to deliver that match, but it also gave us great program and great storytelling leading up from January to WrestleMania of exactly how we were gonna get Vince out of that match and what the story was going to be.”
The program Russo is referring to is the match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. After McMahon relinquished his place in the main event, Shawn Michaels, who was the commissioner then, granted the spot to Austin, who was the runner up.
Austin gave an irate Vince the chance to prevent him from headlining Mania so long as he could beat him in a match without the Corporation interfering. The WWE Chairman agreed and the two battled in a steel cage match.
The match marked Big Show’s WWE debut, who came from under the ring and threw Austin onto the cage walls. The walls collapsed and dropped Austin to the floor, thus handing him the win in the most unusual way.
The Texas rattlesnake booked his place at Mania and beat The Rock to finally reclaim his WWE (Then the WWF) Championship.
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