Finally, the day has arrived, and it's time for the Road to Wrestlemania to truly begin, and the first stop on the way is the 2019 Royal Rumble. With this year's event boasting a 30-man and 30-woman Royal Rumble match for the second successive year, and a wide-open field, it will be interesting to see who can come away victorious in both matches.
While both the men and the women's Royal Rumble will include the usual array of surprise entries from legends, to returns, to appearances from NXT superstars, most of the participants of both matches have been announced.
In the men's Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Seth Rollins, Jeff Hardy, Dean Ambrose, Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe, Elias, Baron Corbin, Jinder Mahal, Apollo Crews, Andrade, Mustafa Ali, Rey Mysterio, Titus O'Neil, Randy Orton, and guaranteed 30th entry R-Truth have announced their participation.
In the women's match, Ember Moon, Natalya, Bayley, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Alicia Fox, Zelina Vega, Naomi, Mickie Hames, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Charlotte Flair, Tamina, Dana Brooke, Lana, Nia Jax, Nikki Cross, Alexa Bliss, Lacey Evans, and guaranteed 30th entry Carmella have been advertised for the Royal Rumble.
John Cena has also been announced for the match, but there are rumors regarding his involvement after potentially suffering an ankle injury during a house show in the lead up to the event.
The most coverted spot of them all is the #30 spot in any Royal Rumble match. The key to surviving an over-the-top rope elimination match is to stay as fresh as possible and hope that more than half the competitors are already out of the game. This is exactly what the last entry post offers.
The spot is so popular that superstars often compete in grueling matches beforehand with the Number 30 entrance spot on the line. It gives you a huge strategic advantage and hence, today we look at five superstars who made the most of entering at #30.
Honourable Mention: Chyna (1999) - Eliminated 23rd - 1 Elimination
While Chyna's statistics from the 1999 Royal Rumble were nothing particularly special, her appearance was groundbreaking. Chyna became the first woman to ever appear in the Royal Rumble, having qualified for the match after winning the DX vs Corporation Battle Royal last eliminating Vince McMahon to enter the match 30th.
Chyna would appear in two successive Royal Rumbles and would forge a path that only two women, Beth Phoenix and Kharma, would be able to follow. In a time when women's wrestling was being taken less and less seriously, Chyna was the first woman booked as a legitimate threat, and also booked against male wrestlers.
You can see the other entries in this series below:
#5 Trish Stratus (2018) - Eliminated 26th - 3 Eliminations
During the early 00s, the WWE women's division was held up by Trish Stratus and Lita. The former fitness model was first signed to the WWE in 2000 and allied with Test and Albert in a stable known as T and A, before transitioning herself into an in-ring competitor.
From 2001 to 2006 Stratus was the queen of WWE, winning 7 Women's Championship reigns during the time, putting her two reigns clear of Mickie James's 5 reigns, and second overall in terms of combined reign length after the Fabulous Moolah.
Stratus was one of the many legends that appeared in the female Royal Rumble, coming in at the 30th entry. Stratus had gone into semi-retirement 12 years prior to the Royal Rumble in 2006. however, she last appeared in a WWE ring 7 years before at Wrestlemania.
After entering the Royal Rumble, she would share a spot with former ally and later rival Mickie James before she eliminated James, she would then eliminate Nia Jax and Natalya, making it to the final 5. Trish would eventually be eliminated by the Iron Woman of the Rumble, Sasha Banks.
Stratus would retreat once again into her semi-retirement after the Royal Rumble but would be brought back out for a tag team match at WWE's historic all-female pay-per-view Evolution, teaming with Lita against Alicia Fox and Mickie James.