Winning the WWE Royal Rumble is no easy task, especially when you battle 29 other men vying for the same opportunity. Many legendary names didn't get to be the last-man-standing in the ring, despite appearing in the Battle Royale multiple times.
Over the years, we have witnessed some incredible Royal Rumble performances. This includes some current AEW stars who almost managed to survive until the end when they appeared in the match during their tenure in Vince McMahon's company.
Although these men didn't win, their performances couldn't be overlooked. In this article, let's look at five current AEW Superstars who came close to winning the Royal Rumble.
#5. Chris Jericho had a couple of chances to win the WWE Royal Rumble
Chris Jericho is amongst the most decorated Royal Rumble competitors of all time. The former WWE star has competed in the Grand Battle Royal 11 times but couldn't win even once.
He had a chance to make history in 2012 when he reached the final two. Fans were clearly behind Y2J and wanted him to emerge victorious. Unfortunately, Jericho was thrown out by the winner, Sheamus.
Five years later, Jericho got another chance to win the Rumble. He lasted an hour in the 2017 Royal Rumble match, picking up a few notable eliminations. But he still couldn't get the job done and was eliminated by Roman Reigns.
#4. Andrade El Idolo reached the Final Four in 2019
Andrade El Idolo's WWE career was full of ups and downs. But whenever he got the opportunity to showcase his potential, the Mexican star proved his worth.
He participated in only two Royal Rumbles matches during his tenure and left a big impression. In 2019, Andrade almost managed to outlast the other 29 competitors.
He was amongst the final four competitors, alongside Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, and Braun Strowman. He teamed up with the other two to take out The Monster Among Men. That strategy immediately backfired, and Andrade was thrown out of the ring by Strowman.
#3. The Big Show (fka Paul Wight) never won the WWE Royal Rumble
AEW star Paul Wight, known to many fans as The Big Show, is easily one of the greatest Royal Rumble performers of all time. He has 32 Rumble eliminations to his name, the sixth-most by any superstar in history.
The Big Show came close to winning the WWE Royal Rumble in 2000. He only needed to eliminate The Rock to secure his victory. The Giant had the size advantage and could have easily overcome the Brahma Bull.
Unfortunately, The Rock outsmarted the gigantic superstar to punch his WrestleMania ticket. It was a bitter loss for the veteran, as he might have been the first Rumble winner of the new millennium.
#2. Christian Cage could have won the WWE Royal Rumble last year
After seven years of absence, Christian Cage finally returned to WWE Royal Rumble 2021. It was an emotional night, as the star got the chance to bid goodbye to his best friend, Edge.
Christian entered the bout as the 24th entrant, lasting over eighteen minutes. The former World Heavyweight Champion showed excellent survival skills during this contest. He also played a major role in Bobby Lashley's elimination.
Captain Charisma was one of the last five men remaining in the match. It was quite an achievement to make it that far, considering he hadn't wrestled for almost half a decade. Had he been a bit more resilient, we might have seen Christian take home the victory instead of his friend.
The 48-year old was ultimately thrown out by Seth Rollins, making him the Architect's fourth elimination.
#1. Jon Moxley (fka Dean Ambrose) could have become Double Champion at WWE Royal Rumble 2016
Jon Moxley could have changed the pro wrestling landscape if he had won the Royal Rumble match six years ago.
After successfully retaining his Intercontinental Championship earlier in the night, Moxley entered the Royal Rumble match at Number 19. His sights were set on winning the WWE Championship by outlasting the remaining participants.
The former Lunatic Fringe managed to stay in the ring until the end. The only person standing between him and a historic title win was Triple H. Mox did everything possible to get rid of the Cerebral Assassin but couldn't succeed.
The Game proved to be too good for an already-exhausted Ambrose. After brawling for a few minutes, Triple H threw the Lunatic Fringe off the top rope, thus ending his Royal Rumble aspirations.