5 Best No. 28 Entries in the Royal Rumble
Since 1993, with the exclusion of 2016, the winner of the Royal Rumble has gone on to Wrestlemania with a guaranteed title shot. However, the rule has had a few exceptions, and that is without taking into account Roman Reigns being required to defend his WWE Championship from the number 1 spot in the 2016 Royal Rumble.
In 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin was stripped of his Wrestlemania title shot against Shawn Michaels as he had previously been eliminated from the Rumble before re-entering to eliminate Bret Hart. However, after the Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels vacated the WWF title due to injury.
The WWF decided that the final four would contest for the vacant title at In Your House: Final Four, with Bret Hart beating Austin, Vader, and the Undertaker for the belt. Hart would lose the belt the next week on an episode of Monday Night Raw and would instead face Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 13.
Two years later, Vince McMahon would win the Royal Rumble after eliminating Austin to win the Royal Rumble. However, with the Rock as champion, Mr. McMahon decided to renounce his shot at the title, not wanting to compete against his Corporation stablemate.
Commissioner Shawn Michaels then gave the title opportunity to Austin as the runner up and put McMahon in a cage match against Austin for the Wrestlemania spot, which Austin won.
The following year, the Rock won the match though it was later revealed his feet had touched the floor first and therefore Big Show was the rightful winner. Instead of stripping The Rock of his title opportunity, the Big Show was added to the title match at Wrestlemania, along with Mick Foley. However, Triple H retained the title in the fatal four-way.
Randy Orton also renounced his shot at the WWE title at Wrestlemania after the leader of the Wyatt family, Bray Wyatt, had won the WWE title. Orton later changed his mind and would win back the number one contender spot from AJ Styles. He would go on to defeat Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33 for the WWE title in a bizarre match.
This doesn't even include all the people that gambled their Wrestlemania title shots or used them early.
You can see the other entries in this series below:
# 5 Randy Orton (2012) - Eliminated 28th - 3 Eliminations
Randy Orton has a long history at the Royal Rumble, having won the match on two separate occasions in 2009 and 2017. Orton would also place in the final four on many other occasions, as one of the biggest stars of the company for much of the last 10 years. Orton had another final four finish in the 2012 Royal Rumble, which would eventually be won by Sheamus.
Coming in at entry number 28, Orton would attack many of the superstars in the ring, including his former Legacy stable member Cody Rhodes. Quickly after entering, Orton would eliminate Jey Uso and Wade Barrett, making it to the final four alongside other WWE veterans Chris Jericho and the Big Show. Orton would eliminate the Big Show but would then be dumped out by fellow veteran Chris Jericho after lasting 5 minutes and 46 seconds in the Royal Rumble.
Orton would go on to face and lose to Kane at Wrestlemania after the two began a rivalry on an episode of Smackdown at the start of March.