Triple H makes massive in-ring return, Royal Rumble edition - This week in WWE history (January 16-January 22)

Major Royal Rumble moments took place this week in WWE history
Major Royal Rumble moments took place this week in WWE history

The world of WWE never slows down. There's a constant influx of major news stories and top-tier events taking place on a weekly, if not daily, basis. This has become even more prevalent with Vince McMahon's shocking return to the company.

World Wrestling Entertainment currently airs three major televised shows each week, with Monday Night RAW, NXT, and Friday Night SmackDown providing seven hours of entertainment for fans all over the world. There's more than enough content to keep fans busy.

Even with that kind of content regularly churned out, die-hard fans can't get enough of wrestling action!

Even if fans love today's product, they would still want to go down memory lane and potentially re-live the major moments from wrestling's past. This weekly article provides fans with an opportunity to do just that.

This time around, the article will look at five Royal Rumble events that took place this week in WWE history, ahead of the 2023 Royal Rumble set to air next weekend.

#5. Ric Flair won the WWF Championship in what many believe to be the greatest Royal Rumble Match ever on January 19th, 1992

Ric Flair from the 1992 Royal Rumble
Ric Flair from the 1992 Royal Rumble

The 1992 Royal Rumble is often regarded as the best event in the show's illustrious history, although that primarily comes down to just one match. The big WWE event was held on January 19th at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York.

Five matches took place on the main card. Roddy Piper clashed with The Mountie in a singles competition, plus three tag team matches helped fill out the undercard. Of course, the main event was the 30-man Royal Rumble Match.

The bout featured numerous top stars from that era, but it ultimately came down to Ric Flair and Sid Justice. Hulk Hogan, who Justice eliminated, pulled the big man out of the ring, which ultimately allowed Flair to win the bout. This also meant that The Nature Boy became the new WWE Champion.

#4. The WWE Royal Rumble was held at the Alamodome for the first time on January 19th, 1997

The 2023 Royal Rumble is set to take place at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The big venue is exciting, but fans may not realize that Royal Rumble was once held at the same venue on January 19th, 1997.

The event featured six big-time bouts involving a plethora of stars. In what was a rare decision, the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match didn't actually headline the event. Instead, the bout was the second-to-last event with Stone Cold Steve Austin winning.

The actual main event of the 1997 WWE Royal Rumble event was a bout between Shawn Michaels and Sycho Sid. San Antonio's own, The Heartbreak Kid, defeated the big man to reclaim his coveted championship in front of thousands of adoring fans.

#3. Several big returns occurred during the Royal Rumble Match on January 20th, 2002

The WWE held their 2022 Royal Rumble event at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on January 20th. The card featured six matches, including Vince McMahon vs. Ric Flair and The Rock vs. Chris Jericho.

The final bout of the night was the Royal Rumble Match. It featured the in-ring returns of several stars, including Mr. Perfect and The Godfather. The most notable return was Triple H, who had announced the bout would be his first since returning from a serious leg injury.

Kurt Angle and Triple H were the final two stars featured in the match. After a hard-fought encounter, The Game eliminated Angle and earned his ticket to headline WrestleMania X8, where he went on to fight Chris Jericho.

#2. Bret Hart & Lex Luger became the first-ever dual winners of a Royal Rumble Match on January 22nd, 1994

The WWE Royal Rumble was held on January 22nd, 1994. The event took place at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island. There were five bouts on the main card, with numerous stars of the era featured, including Bam Bam Bigelow, Tatanka, Razor Ramon, and Bret Hart, among others.

One of the most memorable bouts of the year also took place on the card. The Undertaker and Yokozuna clashed in a Casket Match, but a plethora of heels showed up to help the big-man vanquish The Phenom. The Deadman got the last word, though, promising that he'd rise again.

As is typical, the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match closed the show. Despite that, the ending was anything but typical. Both Lex Luger and Bret Hart, the final two stars left in the bout, were eliminated at the same time. Both of their feet hit the floor at once. This led to the officials declaring the two co-winners for the first-time ever.

#1. Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble Match starting from #1 on January 22nd, 1995

Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog
Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog

The 1995 WWE Royal Rumble was held on January 22nd from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. The show was at the height of The New Generation and featured the likes of Bret Hart, Diesel, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker in prominent roles.

The main event of the show was a 30-Man Royal Rumble Match. At just 38 minutes, the bout was shorter than most. This was due to the intervals between entrants being significantly shorter than usual.

Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog entered the bout as entrants #1 and #2 respectively. Shockingly, they were also the final two stars left in the bout. Despite nearly losing, The Heartbreak Kid made history by winning the bout from the #1 spot, the first wrestler to ever do so.

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Edited by Sidharta Sikdar
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