7 Things You Should Know About WWE Royal Rumble 1997
3. Steve Austin Had A Star Making Performance
The best singular performance in any Royal Rumble is probably Ric Flair in 1992, but Steve Austin in 1997 might be the next best. Others lasted longer and won the match in a legitimate way. However, none of them had the star power of Austin, nor did their wins really propel them to the next level the way that Austin's did. Austin started the match at #5, lasted the longest at 45:07 and eliminated a then record number of people with 10 eliminations. Three of them were controversial, but they still count. He dominated the early portion of the match. He would toss guys out, then start looking at his watch that he didn't even have on. It was his way of taunting by saying it was too easy. Then the music of his rival Bret Hart hit, Austin had an "oh crap" look on his face and the match picked up in intensity from there. The booking of Austin was great the whole match. While he was starting to get some cheers, he was still a heel and was booked that way. Fans were interested in what he was going to do next because he was unlike anybody else in WWE at the time. Other wrestlers were boring. Austin was like a ticking time bomb ready to go off at any time. What was obvious from watching this again was that Austin's work in the ring was great, but his facial expressions were very key to his success too. It helped his personality really get over. He was declared the winner of the match even though he didn't win clean. It was the first of his record three Royal Rumble victories.
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