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5 WWE Superstars you may have forgotten won the Royal Rumble match

WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon celebrating in the ring after winning the 1999 Royal Rumble match
WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon celebrating in the ring after winning the 1999 Royal Rumble match
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Danny Wolstanholme

The 2022 Royal Rumble Premium Live Event is almost upon us. The 35th annual spectacle will occur at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday, January 29.

The first-ever over-the-top-rope match took place in 1988 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. That night, WWE Hall of Famer "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan outlasted nineteen other superstars to win the match, last eliminating the One Man Gang.

Since then, the Rumble event has become a crucial part of WrestleMania season. The winners of the respective Men's and Women's Battle Royals go on to challenge the champions of their choice in the main event of the Show of Shows.

Pat Patterson was more than the first Intercontinental Champion & father of the Royal Rumble Match. He helped lay the foundation for WWE as we know it. His mentorship shaped careers, his creativity sparked innovation and his friendship lifted spirits. Love you, Pat. We miss you. https://t.co/TugpAOrN6O

Former WWE Champions, including Hulk Hogan, Randy Orton, John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Edge, have all won the match twice. Stone Cold Steve Austin, who has won the Battle Royale three times, currently holds the record for the most wins.

From the long list of Rumble winners, fans might not recall some of them or would like a timely reminder. That being said, let's take a look at five WWE Superstars you may have forgotten won the Royal Rumble match.


#5 Shinsuke Nakamura won the Royal Rumble match in 2018

Shinsuke Nakamura eliminates Roman Reigns and wins the 2018 Royal Rumble. He will get a world championship match at WrestleMania in New Orleans. https://t.co/QSuTCJ4bTK

It has been four years since Shinsuke Nakamura won the Men's Royal Rumble match. He entered the match as the #14 entrant and lastly eliminated Roman Reigns to secure the main event spot at WrestleMania.

The win marked the anniversary of the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion's signing with the company two years ago. The victory signaled a remarkable push for the Japanese superstar in WWE, who initially debuted on NXT in April 2016.

Shinsuke Nakamura faced AJ Styles for the WWE Championship in a dream match. The two had previously contested against each other in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but never in North America.

The bout saw The Phenomenal One retain his championship using his Styles Clash finisher. However, after the match, Nakamura turned heel by delivering a low blow to Styles in the middle of the ring after handing him the title.

Nakamura and AJ Styles' feud continued, concluding on June 17 in which the latter came out on top once more. It is fair to say, since this period, Shinsuke hasn't quite hit the same heights and has remained a mid-card talent for the company.

No matter how his career turns out in WWE in the future, his name will always remain amongst some of the elite superstars of all time as a Royal Rumble winner.

#4 Big John Studd won the Royal Rumble match in 1989

Jan 15, 1989: the 2nd annual WWF Royal Rumble was held. #80s Big John Studd was the winner. https://t.co/wPBRmHymx9

Modern-day fans of WWE may not be familiar with 1989 Royal Rumble winner Big John Studd. He began his career in the '70s and performed for promotions like Mid-Atlantic Championship Wresting and AWA.

He first wrestled for Vince McMahon's company between 1982 and 1986, with his most notable feud being against Andre the Giant. Initially, his gimmick involved taking his opponents out on a stretcher after he'd beaten them.

Studd retired but eventually returned to WWE in 1988. Winning the Royal Rumble match in 1989 is considered his greatest accolade in WWE. During this time, the winner didn't receive a match at WrestleMania. Instead, he served as Special Guest Referee for a match between Andre The Giant and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

Studd left the WWE that same year citing pay reasons. He sadly passed away in 1993. However, his career was honored in 2004 when the company inducted him into the Hall of Fame.


#3 Rey Mysterio won the Royal Rumble match in 2006

January 29th 2006. @reymysterio lasted 62 minutes and 12 seconds to win the Royal Rumble, a WWE Record. #WWE https://t.co/YbeQBqT99l

In November 2005, the wrestling world lost one of its most adored superstars. Eddie Guerrero tragically passed away on the eve of a televised taping in which he was reportedly set to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

Rey Mysterio, one of Eddie's best friends, continued his legacy and made sure nobody would ever forget him. In his honor, Rey entered the Rumble match entering #2 and lasted 62 minutes before lastly eliminating Randy Orton to win the match.

It was an incredible feat for Mysterio, who was one of the smaller wrestlers on the roster at the time. He went onto WrestleMania 22 to challenge the World Heavyweight Championship and defeated Randy Orton and Kurt Angle to win the title.

Eddie Guerrero's spirit was with Rey, and the WWE Universe reveled in every moment.

#2 Sheamus won the Royal Rumble match in 2012

January 29th 2012, Royal Rumble. Sheamus eliminated Y2J to win the Royal Rumble. @WWESheamus #WWENetwork #RAW #WWE http://t.co/681eRYE5FC

In 2012, Sheamus pulled off an upset to win the 30-man Royal Rumble match. In a match that also saw Michael Cole enter, the Irishman stood tall and earned his place at WrestleMania after entering the contest at #22.

The accolade of winning the over-the-top-rope match added to his already long list of achievements in WWE. Six months after his main roster in-ring debut in June 2009, The Celtic Warrior had won the WWE Championship, defeating John Cena in a Tables match.

Following his Rumble victory, Sheamus challenged Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. The match kicked off the show of shows, with the Dublin-born star defeating Bryan in just 18 seconds.


#1 Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble match in 1999

Vince McMahon wins the 1999 WWF Royal Rumble lastly eliminating Steve Austin with help from The Rock #WWE https://t.co/zDGWvb6ApD

Yes, that's right. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon once won a Royal Rumble match to earn himself a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.

It came amid his all-time great feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He and McMahon entered the match at #1 and #2, respectively. The Texas Rattlesnake gave The Chairman an early beating before the latter exited the ring under the bottom rope.

Austin and McMahon eventually brawled through the arena. Somehow, at the end of the contest, it was just Stone Cold, and McMahon left in the ring after they returned.

However, WWE Champion The Rock distracted Austin, only for Vince to throw the beer-swilling superstar over the top rope to win. The following night, McMahon forfeited his win for the benefit of The Rock.

The move backfired as then-WWE Commissioner Shawn Michaels revealed that runner-up Stone Cold Steve Austin would be handed a WrestleMania championship match because of the forfeit. The Rattlesnake proceeded to win the title at WrestleMania.

live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Were you shocked in 1999 when Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble match?

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Edited by Angana Roy
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