5 most memorable WWE Championship wins in Royal Rumble history
The WWE Royal Rumble is arguably the most anticipated show of the year, besides Wrestlemania. The match itself is interesting due to its unpredictability with regards to special appearances, returns and the eventual winner of the match. The upcoming Royal Rumble event will emanate from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sunday, January 28th. This will be the 30th anniversary of the event and will officially kick off the road to Wrestlemania 34.
Apart from the 30-man Royal Rumble match, there are always other matches on the card. The WWE title is usually also defended on the show in high profile matches. However, there have been two instances in which the Championship was contested in the Royal Rumble match itself rather than in one on one contests, that is the 1992 and 2016 Royal Rumble matches.
Winning the WWE Championship in such a huge pay-per-view show is normally a remarkable feat. Winning the title at Royal Rumble is even more special since it is the first stop on the road to Wrestlemania. It, therefore, gives the winner the coveted main event spot as defending Champion in the show of shows.
Here are the 5 most memorable Championship wins in Royal Rumble history.
#5 Shawn Michaels defeats Sycho Sid - 1997 Royal Rumble
The 1997 Royal Rumble took place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, the hometown of Shawn Michaels. The main event was a WWF World Heavyweight Championship match between Shawn Michaels and Sycho Sid. Shawn's family was in attendance to support him and the entire crowd that was present voiced their support for the hometown hero.
Shawn Michaels challenged Sid for the WWF Championship at the Royal Rumble, however, their feud dated back to the 1996 Survivor Series where Sid defeated Michaels to win the WWF Championship after hitting him with a television camera and performing a Powerbomb.
Sid got his comeuppance at the 1997 Royal Rumble when Michaels ironically hit Sid with a camera and delivered Sweet Chin Music, to allow the referee to count to three. Shawn celebrated this win with his family and the fans in attendance. He went to the ringside and kissed each member of his family that was present and also proceeded to give Vince, who was a commentator for the match, a kiss on the forehead. It was such an emotional moment for HBK and a championship win to remember.