Pat Patterson's original Royal Rumble concept was initially rejected, according to Chris Masters.
The former WWE Superstar appeared on the latest edition of SK Wrestling's Inside SKoop with Dr. Chris Featherstone for an exclusive interview. The pair discussed the history of the Royal Rumble and Pat Patterson's involvement in bringing the spectacle to life.
Masters was asked if he knew who decided that it would be a thirty-man match. As it turns out, the whole idea for the Royal Rumble itself was initially rejected.
"You know, I don’t know. I think that was just… Unfortunately, you’d have to ask Pat Patterson and we know you can’t do that. But I think Pat Patterson came out with the number (30). I remember hearing this story, obviously not too long ago because we just lost Pat, but about how Pat kind of had the whole idea for the Royal Rumble and had pitched it, but they didn’t go for it initially. And I think, you know, the Royal Rumble was actually because NBC wanted them (WWE) to give them something more exciting, outside of Saturday Night’s Main Event. Or I think it might have been. I’m not sure about Saturday Night’s Main Event, but they had a deal where they did those regularly. So that’s when they went with the Pat idea." Said Masters.
Thankfully, what we now know as the Royal Rumble became an annual event and has since become one of the most anticipated matches on the WWE calendar. But it's interesting to note that television ratings may have played a part in it's creation. Patterson passed away in December at the age of 79.
Chris Masters on the Royal Rumble having 30 Superstars
Chris Masters would go on to discuss how WWE used to struggle to fill the thirty available spots in the Royal Rumble and had to bring in lesser-known competitors from outside the promotion.
"As far as 30, I don’t know, because honestly, there’s been times in history at Royal Rumble’s where the roster was so slim they barely had enough. I remember when for the 1997 Royal Rumble they had to bring in… they brought in a lot of guys that were Luchadores. Guys that you didn’t typically see on the card in WWE. A lot of Luchadores and Mexican wrestlers and stuff like that. But I think nowadays it’s easy. 30 is no problem with all these brands. Wrestling has changed so much."
You can watch the full clip between Dr. Chris Featherstone and Chris Masters below:
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