Top 5 opening entrants in Royal Rumble history
There are many factors involved in making a Royal Rumble match good. There should be a running story, possibly multiple, throughout the match that makes it compelling to watch. The entrants and possible surprises also make for some memorable Rumble moments.
The winner of the entire match can also determine the fate of a Royal Rumble, just see the 2014 edition. However, one of the most important elements of the match is the start.
WWE needs to book the two right competitors to kick off each Royal Rumble match. It may be essential to the story at times, but all good Rumbles have at least decent opening pairings.
The number 1 and number 2 entrants often dictate the pace of the match and are likely candidates to go coast-to-coast as the iron men of the Rumble. There needs to be a proper link or chemistry between the opening two entrants, so there is a solid foundation for this match to build on.
Here are five of the greatest opening pairings in Royal Rumble but first, a couple of honourable mentions.
- Ric Flair and Bob Backlund (1993)
- CM Punk and Daniel Bryan (2011)
- Rusev and Finn Balor (2018)
#5 Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog (1995)
Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog started the 1995 Royal Rumble match and ended it as well. It was a remarkable achievement, despite this one being the shortest 30-man bout in history.
1995 was a pretty terrible year for WWE both product and business-wise, with the Rumble being one of the least star-studded it has ever been. Diesel and Bret Hart fought for the world title, meaning that there could have only been one winner, but he did it in the most extraordinary way.
British Bulldog looked to have eliminated the Heartbreak Kid and it seemed like it when his music started playing. However, only one of Michaels’ feet had touched the floor, so he returned to the ring and threw the former Intercontinental champion out of the ring to win the Royal Rumble match.
It was a revolutionary game changer and still stands strong as one of the greatest moments in Royal Rumble history. This and the mere fact that both Michaels and Bulldog went coast-to-coast makes them one of the best opening pairings in Rumble history.