After Vince McMahon was found not guilty in his 1994 steroid distribution trial, he set upon attempting to rebuild WWE's cracked and weathered image. One way he worked to win back lapsed fans was through celebrity rubs. SummerSlam 1994 saw NFL great Walter Payton and deadpan comic actor Leslie Nielsen get involved. Survivor Series featured legendary martial artist Chuck Norris as a guest enforcer. As the calendar rolled to 1995, William Shatner was slated to get involved in a few television angles.
As far as the Royal Rumble goes, there would be two celebrities that would help build the bridge to WrestleMania. One was Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson, who was set to escort the Royal Rumble match winner for his WrestleMania championship shot. The other was punishing All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor, whose pre-ordained skirmish with a livid Bam Bam Bigelow was designed to grab as many headlines as possible.
If ever a wrestling show overachieved, it was the 1995 Royal Rumble. The roster lacked the depth that it had in previous years, but there was Shawn Michaels to power the body of the Rumble match, and an undercard boasting three good-to-great championship matches, with Diesel and Bret Hart leading the way. Even in middling, sub-standard times, WWE still possessed the elements to put together a winning show.
Here are ten facts about the 1995 Royal Rumble you may not have known.
Justin has been a wrestling fan since 1989, and has been writing about it since 2009. Since 2014, Justin has been a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine. Justin also writes for History of Wrestling, and is a contributing author to James Dixon's Titan series.