Top 5 Big Men in Royal Rumble History
#4 - Big John Studd (Royal Rumble 1989)
Our next entry is none other than Big John Studd. Studd became known to many fans within' the WWE Universe for his historic feud and match-up with Andre the Giant at the inaugural WrestleMania in 1985.
Studd lost the "$25,000 Body Slam Challenge" to Andre, then quickly began to go downhill for the rest of his first WWE tenure. He was a member of the "Heenan Family", Bobby "The Brain" Heenan's illustrious alliance of heel mid to main event level WWE Superstars. He would briefly retire from wrestling, then return to the WWE in 1989 where things got interesting.
Big John Studd returned to the company and was offered his spot back in the Heenan Family. Studd declined the spot, as Heenan had now aligned himself with Andre the Giant; Studd's former adversary. This would make Big John Studd a babyface, as he would go on to feud with member's of the Heenan family, including Andre. This would lead to the 1989 Royal Rumble match, where Studd would debatably have the biggest moment of his wrestling career.
Studd entered the match at number 27, a number that is now historically linked to many favourites who have won the Royal Rumble match over the last three decades. Studd would eliminate only two WWE Superstars: Akeem and "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase. Studd would eliminate Dibiase to win the 30-man Royal Rumble match.
This victory by Big John Studd was a nice, feel-good moment. This would be Studd's curtain call, so to speak, in wrestling in terms of performing.
Studd would go on to be a special guest referee at WrestleMania V, a few months later, for a match between Andre the Giant and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Studd would wrestle his last WWE match against Hillbilly Jim on May 4, 1989, before eventually retiring for good from the wrestling business due to illness. He would later pass away due to cancer in 1995.