3 women who appeared in the men’s Royal Rumble
This weekend, one of WWE’s best-loved traditions will carry forward with the 32nd annual Royal Rumble. Moreover, fans will witness the second ever all-female Royal Rumble as the success of last year’s inaugural edition shores up a second go-round that arguably has even more intrigue attached to it.
But before WWE had two separate Royal Rumble matches at the annual event, there were three occasions when women made their presences felt as official participants in Rumble matches. This article takes a look back at those pioneering first three figures who kicked down the Rumble door before there was a match set aside for them and complicated the narrative of the Rumble being a 30-man match. No, none of them won the match or came all that close to it, but they each had their memorable spots and threatened to shake up the status quo, if just for a few moments.
Chyna was the first woman to ever compete in a Royal Rumble match and made a great deal of sense in that role. Her size, strength and the degree to which she got over with WWE fans had allowed her to work matches with men regularly during this era of her career. As such, while having a woman in the Rumble was unusual, it didn’t feel as revolutionary at the time as it would in retrospect.
Chyna’s role in that Rumble was limited, given she entered the ring last at number thirty and got dumped to the outside by Stone Cold Steve Austin in under a minute. She nonetheless had an impact, though, not just as a novelty entrant, but as the one to actually eliminate Mark Henry from the proceedings.
Chyna would only compete in a Rumble this one time, though she was wrestling men again at the following year’s event, in the Intercontinental Championship scene.