The WWE Royal Rumble was the brainchild of legendary professional wrestler Pat Patterson, who played an important backstage role in the company for many years. As our readers may well know, Pat Patterson was described as Vince McMahon's right-hand man when he served as a backstage producer for WWE.
And the idea for the Royal Rumble was initially rejected, according to former WWE Superstar Chris Masters, as revealed in a Sportskeeda Wrestling exclusive:
"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.
What is the Royal Rumble?
The first Royal Rumble match took place in 1988 and it was won by Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Since then, it's become an annual tradition that usually happens in January and is traditionally considered the beginning of the 'road to WrestleMania.'
30 participants traditionally take part in the Royal Rumble, each arriving after a certain duration. Eliminations happen by throwing a participant over the top rope onto the floor. Both feet must touch the ground.
Royal Rumble winners earn title shots at WrestleMania each year. A women's version of the multi-person contest was started in 2018, and Asuka became the first-ever winner.
A special 'Greatest Royal Rumble' event was conducted in Saudi Arabia in 2018 with fifty participants.