Bret Hart recently pointed at the 1994 Royal Rumble as the one he enjoyed participating in most, crediting Lex Luger for perfectly executing the bout’s memorable finish.
In a recent interview with Fightful, Hart discussed the Royal Rumble and his history with the match. One particular highlight for ‘The Hitman’ came in 1994 when he and Lex Luger were the two sole survivors and were left to battle it out for their chance to go on to WrestleMania.
The end of the match saw both men tumble over the top rope at the same time and were ultimately declared joint winners, moving on to face Yokozuna for the WWF Championship in the first joint-main event in the show’s history.
Remembering that night and the careful precision needed to successfully pull of the finish, Hart praised Lex for his athletic ability:
“That was so hard to do if you really think about it. You can both go over the top rope, but you have to land exactly the same time on the ground. It has to be done perfect. There’s no way to guarantee that, there’s no way to ensure that. In fact, they filmed it and they didn’t show it ‘cause they didn’t want anyone to go, ‘Oh, Bret Hart hit the ground, he’s way ahead of Lex,’ or vice versa.
But, I always give Lex credit for that. If you watch Lex, the way I go over the top, Lex grabs me and we just flip over the top rope. It’s great athleticism that both of us landed exactly. I remember they showed the next day, Vince and Pat, ‘We didn’t want to show anyone the camera angle. But, in fact, we can show the camera angle, because you both landed at the same time.’ That’s the beauty of two guys that are good. Lex was always a great athlete. Just two consummate professionals in there.”
While WWF would award both men with championship matches at WrestleMania X, it would be Bret Hart who defeated Yokozuna to become the WWF Champion.
A highlight of the WWE pay-per-view calendar, the Royal Rumble is known for its grand spectacle and unpredictability. In 1995, Shawn Michaels escaped elimination when just one of his feet would touch the ground. He would go on to eliminate The British Bulldog for the victory.
In recent years, Kofi Kingston has evaded elimination across multiple rumbles, outdoing his previous efforts with each year that passes.
Despite Bret Hart emerging as the victor at WrestleMania X, he believes it was Lex Luger that got them there. In a beautifully executed move, Hart admits that the finish was a once in a lifetime moment:
“I give all the credit to Lex on that one. If you watch it, I just sort of grab him and he does the flip. I remember when I was falling over the rope and going to land I remember trying to pull my feet up, and I’m sure Lex is doing the same because I didn’t want my feet to be first. We both hit at the exact same time. It’s pretty much a fluke and impossible. If we had to do it twice, I don’t know that we would have done it twice the same way.”
While ‘The Hitman’ prevailed on ‘The Grandest Stage of Them All’, the original plan was for Lex Luger to lift the strap following his failure to do so at SummerSlam 1993. However, the momentum from Lex’s initial push had died since August and the company chose to go with ‘The Excellence of Execution’ as payback for the main event of WrestleMania IX.
Credit for the interview and transcription: Fightful