Ranking the top 5 WWE Championship matches in Royal Rumble history
The Royal Rumble speaks for itself. It is the first stop on the road to WrestleMania, providing us viewers with an exciting hour of pure madness filled with memorable moments and nail-biting finishes.
It is the most exciting match of the year and is the evident selling point of its own event. However, Royal Rumble as an event has grown bigger and bigger over the years, becoming a staple in the WWE's calendar as one of the Big Four pay-per-views.
The undercard also plays a big role in the success of an event, along with the added importance of the 30-man, once 40-man, match in the main event. Even though a second Royal Rumble match, this one for the women, has been introduced to the event, the title matches are still pretty important.
Sometimes, WWE may opt to have a placeholder challenger for the world title at the Royal Rumble, so that the bigger stars can enter the Rumble. But there have been many instances where the WWE Championship match has stolen the show at the Royal Rumble.
On a few rare occassions, it has overshadowed the Rumble match as a whole. The annual 30-man match has been bumped down to the semi-main event spot quite a few times, to accommodate for a huge championship match in the main event. With these five matches, it has not been the case.
They have all carried out their role perfectly, giving fans an excellent match right before the hour-long parade of shocks and surprises. In one case, however, the WWE title match was the main event and served all purposes involved. Here are the five greatest WWE Championship matches in WWE Royal Rumble history.
But first, here are a couple of stellar honourable mentions.
- Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker - Casket Match (1998)
- John Cena vs Umaga - Last Man Standing Match (2007)
#5 Brock Lesnar vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins (2015)
The 2015 Royal Rumble match was pretty terrible, as was most of the show. The one saving grace was the triple threat match between Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This almost did not happen as well, with the original match being Cena vs Lesnar.
The inclusion of Rollins made this match good and exciting. There would not have been much doubt about the Beast retaining his title and marching into WrestleMania 31 as the champion, but Rollins and his Money in the Bank briefcase made for an intriguing dynamic.
The match was incredible, as all three wrestlers flourished. Rollins and Cena did most of the work, while Lesnar applied a certain amount of blockbuster worth on it. It quickly became a must-see match, as Seth Rollins stole the show.
He showed off his incredible moveset on both megastars, even sending Lesnar through the announce table with an elbow drop and kayfabe breaking his ribs.
The Beast would ultimately prevail, but not before an epic nail-biting sequence involving all three men. This saved the pay-per-view from being a total disaster from top to bottom.