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[1991-12-07-WWF-Superstars] Update: Jack Tunney declares the WWF World title vacant, winner of the Royal Rumble will be the new champion

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This is my most anticipated Update of any yearbook, I think just because I loved all the chaos of the Hogan/Undertaker finish because it was so well done. What is going to happen? Jack Tunney warns that this will not be a popular decision, but he has to do what is right, which is to declare the WWF title vacant. The winner of the Royal Rumble will be the new champion. Because of Hogan and Undertaker's special standing, they will draw entry numbers only from 21-30. This Rumble was really well set up.

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Tunney throws referee under the bus for his call at Tuesday in Texas. He won’t overturn the decision though. Instead the title has been held up and the winner will be determined in the Royal Rumble! Now the Rumble means a lot more compared to previous years. With Undertaker/Hogan being the previous champions, I liked that they gave them a later draw.

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Tunney saw with his own eyes what was a flagrant and far-reaching oversight on the part of the referee. However, Tunney is left with little choice but to decree that the WWF title be vacated, to be put up in the Royal Rumble. Hogan and Undertaker will be guaranteed spots from 20-30.

 

Okerlund's forced surprise ("WHAT?") and attempts to portray this is as live are pretty flimsy. It's nice to see Tunney stiffly handing down decisions again, though.

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Really important update as Tunney acts swift and stern with his ruling that the title is vacant. Survivor Series coming out just in time for Christmas is a smart marketing ploy. The Rumble feels like a huge event already in early December. Bravo WWF.

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I haven't seen the Tuesday in Texas match yet, so I'll just say that putting the title on the line at the Rumble was inspired, if a bit self-serving, thinking on Vince's part. He knew that Flair had to be champ at some point to maximize his potential, but there was no way he wanted Hogan losing to Flair in a title match, even via the kind of screwjob we saw at MSG in November. What to do?

 

Set it up so that Flair doesn't have to pin anybody to get the belt, yet can still be put over as a world-class athlete and a worthy titleholder. Flair can rightfully brag that he beat every top star in the WWF to win the title, and each entrant in the Rumble can claim that Flair still hasn't pinned them one-two-three, so he can be set up believably against any one of them. Of course, guys like Nikolai Volkoff and Jerry Saggs aren't getting anywhere near the title, but that's beside the point.

 

As a side benefit, this introduces the stipulation that the winner of the Rumble will receive either the title (in years when it's vacant) or a shot at the title at WrestleMania, which they still use today and which has made the Rumble the special event that it is. When Vince gets a good idea, it's a really good one. Of course, we all know what happens when he gets a real stinker, don't we?

 

I agree about Mean Gene trying to pass off Tunney's announcement as live being a rotten, badly executed idea. He's never done it before, and I hope to hell he never tries it again.

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One of the better bits of booking from the WWF this year. Tunney's announcement had some kind of response from Hogan we didn't see, which I'm completely okay with.

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