5 WWE Royal Rumble runner-ups who still headlined WrestleMania
The Royal Rumble match is widely regarded as possibly the most exciting bout in all of professional wrestling. The annual free-for-all has been instrumental in kicking off the road to WrestleMania every year for more than three decades now. The winner of the match gets a guaranteed shot at the top title at The Show of Shows, minus a few exceptions, like when the winner of the 2016 Rumble won the WWE title instead of bagging a WrestleMania main event.
The Rumble's storied run has seen Superstars winning the whole thing and going on to etch their name in history by headlining WrestleMania. On the other hand, there have been instances where a Superstar was a runner-up in the match and was the last one to be eliminated, but somehow still managed to headline that particular year's WrestleMania. Let's take a look at 5 of these Superstars in the slideshow below.
Before we move on to the next part of the listicle, gear up by listening to what Sheamus has to say regarding his Royal Rumble opponent, Shorty G. Also you will get to know how Edge had guided The Celtic Warrior in the early days of his career!
#5 Roman Reigns - 2017, 2018
Roman Reigns entered in at #30 at the 2017 Royal Rumble match, but was last eliminated by Randy Orton who went on to face his former ally Bray Wyatt for the WWE title at WrestleMania 33. On the same night, Reigns faced The Undertaker in the main event, and became the second Superstar to put down The Deadman at a WrestleMania. The rivalry had kicked off at the Rumble itself, after Reigns had eliminated The Phenom from the free-for-all.
A year later, Reigns again fell short in the Rumble, and was eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura who then revealed that he would face AJ Styles for the WWE title at The Show of Shows. Reigns went on to resume his feud against Brock Lesnar, and the two Superstars headlined WrestleMania 34. Nakamura failed to defeat Styles and turned heel after the match. Reigns suffered the same fate and was defeated after being subjected to 6 F-5s by The Beast.