In 1988, the WWE (Formerly WWF) held a television special on the USA Network that featured a unique take on the traditional Battle Royal called the Royal Rumble. In traditional Battle Royal rules, the match begins with all competitors, usually 20-30, inside the Ring and the only way to eliminate your opponent is the throw them over the top rope so both feet touch the outside floor with the last man left inside the ring being declared the winner. The Royal Rumble would tweak this concept by having the match begin with just two competitors and after two minutes passed another wrestler would enter the match. This allowed for a new situation where one wrestler could potentially be left in the ring alone to recover before another wrestler enters the match.
While there was no real prize from 88-91, in 1992 the WWE champion would be determined in the Rumble match after the title was vacated the month prior, Ric Flair would go on to win that year. The Royal Rumble would evolve in 1993 with the rules changing to allow the winner to get a shot at the WWE title at Wrestlemania.This year also boasts a unique stipulation as for the first time current champion Roman Reigns will enter at the number 1 spot and defend his title against 29 other wrestlers, including the Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar.
So, let’s recap! Two competitors start off the match, one on one, in the Royal Rumble. Every two minutes another competitor enters the ring, only being eliminated when they are thrown over the top rope to the outside and both feet touch the ground. The Winner is declared when one man is left in the ring and the 29 other competitors have been eliminated. Got it? Good! You are now caught up enough to watch and thoroughly enjoy WWE’s Royal Rumble this coming Sunday!
Now, let’s get some Royal Rumble fun facts for you!
Win/Loss Ratio for Rumble Winners at Wrestlemania
Combining all the Rumble winners who would go on to challenge for the title at Wrestlemania, the current record stands at 13 wins and 9 losses!
The most Rumble matches ever won by a single competitor belongs to Stone Cold Steve Austin who won 3 Rumble matches in 97, 98, and 01. Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, and Batista are all tied with 2 wins each. Hogan would be the first wrestler to win consecutive years, winning in 90 and 91.
Top 10 Individual Times Spent in the Royal Rumble Match
10. Triple H – 49:55 (2009)
9. The Rock – 51:32 (1998)
8. Rick Martel – 52:13 (1991)
7. Kane – 53:46 (2001)
Tied for Number 6. Vince McMahon – 56:38 (1999)
5. Ric Flair – 1:00:02 (1992)
4. Triple H – 1:00:09 (2006)
3. Bob Backlund – 1:01:10 (1993)
2. Chris Benoit – 1:01:31 (2004)
1. Rey Mysterio – 1:02:12 (2006)
Shortest Time Spent in a Single Rumble
Warlord – 2 seconds (1989)
Mo – 3 seconds (1995)
Owen Hart – 3 seconds (1995)
Bushwhacker Luke – 4 seconds (1991)
Jerry Lawler – 4 seconds (1997)
Titus O’Neil – 4 seconds (2015)
The Godfather – 7 seconds (2013)
Gillberg – 7 seconds (1999)
Miz – 7 seconds (2007)
MVP – 7 seconds (2010)
Taz – 10 seconds (2001)
Top 3 Individuals with the Most Eliminations in a Single Rumble
3. TIE Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin – 10 (1989 and 1997)
2. Kane – 11 (2001)
1. Roman Reigns – 12 (2014)
Most Eliminations Cumulative
4. Undertaker – 35
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin – 36
2. Shawn Michaels – 39
1. Kane/Fake Diesel/Issac Yankem – 43
Most Rumble Apperances
And then there’s this guy…
Curtis Axel was knocked down before he ever entered the Royal Rumble in 2015 so he claims to be the TRUE winner of the Rumble. Buuuuut Rules also state you must enter the Ring BEFORE the next competitor is entered. Axel did not, so he is technically eliminated.
This Sunday January 24 is the 2016 Royal Rumble!! Check it out as Roman Reigns enters at number 1 DEFENDS his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against 29 other competitors in the Royal Rumble!!