The Royal Rumble is an annual 30-man brawl, where you can only be eliminated from the match by going over the top rope of the ring, with both feet touching the floor on the outside. The winner of this match goes on to fight for the world championship in the main event at WrestleMania.
The Royal Rumble is the start of the Road to WrestleMania and a steppingstone for WWE superstars to prepare for their big moment at ‘The Grandest Stage of Them All’. Every year the Rumble is one of the most exciting pay-per-views. With the anticipation of surprise returns, guessing who the winner will be and the anticipation of the WrestleMania main event, the Royal Rumble is worthy of all the hype it receives.
Let’s take a look at the 5 best Royal Rumble matches in the WWE’s history:
#5 WWE Royal Rumble 1997
- Stone Cold Steve Austin won after last eliminating Bret Hart. This was Stone Cold’s first win in the event’s history.
- Austin was eliminated by Bret Hart, but sneaked back into the ring while officials were distracted by a brawl between Mankind and Terry Funk on the other side of the ring. Austin then dumped both Undertaker and Vader out of the ring, while Hart eliminated “Diesel”. As Hart was celebrating, thinking he had won, Austin came in from behind and tossed him over the top rope.
- For the third time since the original Rumble in 1988, at least 15 wrestlers in the Rumble field were taking part in their very first one.
- Royal Rumble 1997 was the highest attendance for a Royal Rumble event in history at that point with a whopping 60,477 in attendance in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
#4 WWE Royal Rumble 2006
- Rey Mysterio won the Royal Rumble Match as the second entrant, competing in the match for 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 12 seconds.
- The 2006 Rumble match is the only time in which two different men breached the one-hour mark (Triple H and Rey Mysterio).
- Royal Rumble 2006 took place a few months after the shocking death of Eddie Guerrero in November 2005. A lot of the build going into this match centered around Rey Mysterio promising to win it for his fallen friend.
- Kane set a new record for the Rumble match by making his eighth consecutive appearance.
#3 WWE Royal Rumble 2001
- Stone Cold Steve Austin entered the match at #27 and won the Royal Rumble match for the third time in his career
- Austin blasted Kane with three chair shots before sending him over the top rope to win.
- Kane eliminated 11 men and lasted the longest (53 minutes) in the match.
- Television Celebrity Drew Carey was a participant in this Royal Rumble match and eliminated himself after being intimidated by Kane.
#2 WWE Royal Rumble 2000
- The Big Show had The Rock on his shoulder, and attempted to throw him over the top rope, but The Rock hung onto the rope, and pulled The Big Show over to win the match.
- The final four participants in the Royal Rumble match were The Rock, The Big Show, Kane, and X-Pac.
- Chyna entered into her second Rumble match, even managing to eliminate Y2J before the Big Boss Man dumped her out.
- During the match, non-participants Kaientai (Funaki and Taka Michinoku) repeatedly and randomly entered the ring, and attacked the participants.
#1 WWE Royal Rumble 1992
- The 1992 Royal Rumble was the 5th annual Royal Rumble battle royal, with the vacant WWF Title going to the winner for the first and only time.
- The match was won by Ric Flair, who last eliminated Sid Justice to win the match and the WWF Championship.
- Hulk Hogan, who was still at ringside after being eliminated, grabbed Sid’s arm and distracted him long enough for Flair to eliminate him to win the match.
- Ric Flair won the match from entering at the No. 3 slot.
- The final four participants were Sid Justice, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Ric Flair.