2017 brought us the 30th edition of the Royal Rumble. The match has evolved over the year’s but has always been a fan favourite. With 30 years, come the memories of Rumble’s past. From Ric Flair winning in 1992, Batista winning it in 2005 and then getting booed out of the building in 2014 to Triple H returning last year to win the WWE Championship once again, the Royal Rumble is a magical event.
To celebrate the 30th Royal Rumble, we bring you 30 amazing stats and facts that you didn’t know about the Royal Rumble.
30: Non-PPV Royal Rumbles?
Even though the Royal Rumble is one of WWE’s top PPV’s every year, there have actually been 7 Royal Rumble’s that were not on PPV.
The first Royal Rumble in 1998 itself was not a PPV and was shown as a USA Network special.
Apart from the first Rumble, there was a 15-man Royal Rumble on an episode of SmackDown in 2004 that was won by Eddie Guerrero. There were also 4 Royal Rumble matches on Raw featuring stipulations such as Tag-Team Royal Rumble and 7-Man Royal Rumble.
Barring these, there were also two Royal Rumble’s on house shows. The first was an 18-man Rumble held in Osaka, Japan in 1994 won by the Under. The second was a full 30-man Rumble held at Madison Square Gardens that was won by Owen Hart, also in 1994.
29: Decades Apart
Shawn Michaels and ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan are the only two WWE Superstar’s to have appeared in Royal Rumble’s in all 4 decades of the PPV’s existence – 1980’s,1990’s, 2000’s and the 2010’s.
Jim Duggan won the inaugural Royal Rumble in 1988 before appearing in Rumble’s across 4 decades. Shawn Michaels, for his part, made his Royal Rumble debut in the 1989 edition and went on to win two Rumbles – the 1995 and 1996.
28: The ring was completely empty on 3 separate occasions during the 1999 Royal Rumble
Go back and rewatch the 1999 Royal Rumble. It was completely bonkers and just a few stages away from being a complete overbooked mess.
You’ll notice that on three separate occasions during the 1999 Rumble, the ring was completely empty of any Superstar. The first instance came when Stone Cold Steve Austin chased Vince McMahon out of the ring.
The second came after Mabel had cleared the ring. He was then kidnapped by members of the Ministry of Darkness. The third came in an eerily similar spot as Kane was chased out by men in white coats after he had cleared the ring again himself.
27: Longest time between Rumble appearances
WWE Hall Of Famer, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, holds the record for the longest gap between two separate Royal Rumble appearances.
The record for the gap stands at 17 years and came between Duggan’s 1992 and 2009 Royal Rumble appearances.
26: Premature victory music
On two occasions during the Royal Rumble, the victor’s music was played prematurely.
In 1995, the British Bulldog’s music was played when he looked like he had won only for Shawn Michael’s (who was not eliminated because only one of his feet had touched the ground) came back and eliminated the Bulldog winning the 1995 Royal Rumble.
The second instance came in 2011. Alberto Del Rio looked like he’d won the Rumble but Santino Marella hadn’t been eliminated yet. Marella came back and tried to blindside Del Rio, who still managed to throw Santino over the top rope and win the Royal Rumble.
25: The women of the Rumble
Women have entered the Royal Rumble on four separate occasions. Two of those entries go to Chyna who entered the Royal Rumble in 1999 and 2000 – eliminating Mark Henry at the 1999 Royal Rumble and Chris Jericho at the 2000 Royal Rumble.
Beth Phoenix became the second female WWE Superstar to enter the Rumble during the 2010 edition and she eliminated The Great Khali.
Kharma became the third woman to enter the Rumble in 2012 when she eliminated Hunico and helped eliminate Michael Cole.
24: Double duty
In 1992, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper became the first wrestler to pull double duty at the Royal Rumble PPV. ‘The Rowdy Scot’ challenged The Mountie for the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the undercard, defeating him to become to new IC Champion.
He later entered the 1992 Royal Rumble match to challenge for the vacant WWE Championship.
Shawn Michaels is the only WWE Superstar to have ever picked #1 for himself when given the choice of picking his Royal Rumble entry position for the year 2003.
Going into the Rumble, Jericho challenged Michaels on Raw to repeat his feat from the 1995 Rumble, going all the way from the #1 entry to win the whole thing. The duo argued about who would get to enter at #1 and it ended with Michaels choosing to enter at #1 and Jericho entering at #2.
22: First team elimination
The Hart Foundation became the first duo to team up and eliminate an opponent from the Royal Rumble which came at the first Royal Rumble in 1988 itself when they eliminated Tito Santana.
Incidentally, it was also the second ever elimination from the Royal Rumble.
21: The bridesmaid
The Big Show sadly holds the record for coming closest to winning the Rumble most times without winning the Rumble match itself.
The Big Show was in the final two of the Royal Rumble match twice – in 2000 and 2004. In 2000 he was eliminated by The Rock and in 2004 by Chris Benoit.
20: Shortest time with an elimination
The record for shortest time in the Rumble match including an elimination mind-blowingly stands at 7 seconds and belongs to none other than former WWE US Champion Montel Vontavious Porter – better knows as MVP.
The record came at the 2010 Rumble where MVP only managed to last 7 seconds but he still managed to eliminate The Miz during his time in the Rumble match.
19: A 100% record
Only two people in WWE history have won the Royal Rumble match on every attempt. The first is Big John Studd who won the 1989 Rumble and was never a part of the Rumble match again.
The second is WWE Chairman Vince McMahon who entered the 1999 Rumble and somehow managed to win it against all odds.
This also means Big John Studd and Vince McMahon have never been eliminated from the Royal Rumble match.
Bo Dallas created two new records simultaneously when he entered the 2013 Royal Rumble.
He was the first NXT Superstar to ever enter the Royal Rumble when he entered. Bo was also the first person to ever enter the Royal Rumble who was younger than the Royal Rumble match itself.
17: Scott Hall has never entered the Royal Rumble
Scott Hall is a WWE Legend and a WWE Hall Of Famer. He was one of pro wrestling’s top stars from the 90’s and is one of the founding members of the NWO and a former 4-time WWE Intercontinental Champion.
He also a former 2-time WCW US Champion, a former WCW US Champion and a former 7-time WCW Tag-Team Champion.
However, apart from never winning a World Championship during his illustrious career, there’s one other blot in Hall’s career – he has never entered a Royal Rumble match. Interestingly, Hall won WCW’s version of the Royal Rumble – World War 3 – in 1997.
The Razor Ramon character did enter the Royal Rumble in 1997 but sadly it was the fake Razor Ramon.
16: The only person to be disqualified from the Royal Rumble?
The rules for the Royal Rumble are clear. The only way you can be eliminated from the match is by being thrown over the top rope. As Roman Reigns proved last year, it’s cool if you go to the back and recuperate from a beating before coming back and re-joining the match. There have also been instances of chairs and weapons being used during the Rumble, especially during the Attitude Era.
In 2008, Finlay was DQ-ed from the Royal Rumble for rushing in early and attacking Superstars in the ring with a Shillelagh. Interestingly, Al Snow entered early in the 2001 Rumble but he wasn’t DQ-ed.
15: Most men needed to eliminate someone
The record for most men required to team up and eliminate a single participant in the Royal Rumble currently stands at 8 from the 2007 Royal Rumble. It took 8 men to eliminate the ‘World’s largest love machine’ Viscera from the Royal Rumble.
The previous record stood at 7 from the 1994 Royal Rumble, when it took 7 men to eliminate Viscera’s alter-ego Mabel from the Royal Rumble match.
14: Most uninterrupted eliminations
The record for most interrupted eliminations is currently held jointly by 6 different Superstars and the number stands at 7.
The men who hold the record are Hulk Hogan, CM Punk, Kane, Rikishi, Diesel and The Great Khali.
13: Money In The Rumble
In 2013, Dolph Ziggler became the first WWE Superstar to enter the Royal Rumble while holding the Money In The Bank briefcase.
Realistically, if Ziggler had ended up winning the 2013 Royal Rumble, he would have had two guaranteed shots at the WWE title.
12: The Royal Rumble match didn’t headline the first Rumble event
Surprisingly, the Royal Rumble match has not headlined every Royal Rumble event, not even after it became its own PPV.
The most glaring instances of this are the first Rumble special itself which was headlined by a 2-out-of-3-falls tag-team match between The Islanders and The Stallions, as if anyone remembers that.
11: Lucky #28
As of writing, Batista is the only Royal Rumble winner to have won the event twice from the same entry number.
Batista entered the Royal Rumble match at #28 in the 2005 and 2014 editions and ended up winning on both occasions. Interestingly, the last part of the 2005 match had to be restarted after both Cena and Batista ended up getting eliminated together accidentally.
6 men in the history of WWE have won both the Royal Rumble and the King Of The Ring – Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Edge and Sheamus.
Out of them, Austin, Bret Hart and Lesnar even managed to win both events within one calendar year, making their achievement even more spectacular.
9: Wrestlers who accidentally eliminated themselves
In the history of the Royal Rumble, 9 wrestlers have actually eliminated themselves.
The first instance came in 1989 when Andre The Giant tossed himself over the top rope. This was followed by the 1992 Royal Rumble when the Macho Man dived over the top rope. However, this elimination was covered up.
In 1996, Stone Cold Steve Austin while he was still known as ‘The Ringmaster’ accidentally lost grip and eliminated himself from the Rumble match. Farooq, Ahmed Johnson and Mil Mascaras eliminated themselves at the 1997 Rumble. Kane, Mick Foley and MVP also ended up eliminating themselves from the 1999, 2004 and 2010 Royal Rumble’s respectively. Also, lest we forget, Drew Carey sent himself over the top rope in 2001 after Kane made his way down to the ring.
Alex Riley also accidentally eliminated himself from the Rumble match. This was especially sad for Riley because he was supposed to be involved in the spot that eliminated John Cena later on in the match.
The most famous case of accidental elimination came at the 2005 Rumble when Batista went over the top rope and accidentally eliminated himself along with John Cena. This led to Vince McMahon coming out and the last part of the Rumble match getting restarted.
8: The music
We now take it for granted that every entrant at the Royal Rumble will have their entrance music played but this wasn’t always the case. Until the 1996 Royal Rumble, only the #1 and #2 entrant of the Rumble had their entrance music played when they came out.
Thereby, when Bob Backlund came out at #3 during the 1996 Royal Rumble, he was the first person who was not a #1 or #2 entrant for the Rumble to have their music played when they came out.
7: Most Royal Rumble appearances
Glenn Jacobs, better known by his most famous in-ring persona Kane, holds the record for most appearances during the Royal Rumble match.
Kane has entered the Royal Rumble match a total of 15 times while Jacob’s previous persona – Dr. Isaac Yankem – entered the Royal Rumble twice, taking Jacob’s total Rumble appearances to 17.
Edit: Kane also had two appearances as Dr. Isaac Yankem which makes his total to 19.
6: Winner with the least eliminations
Vince McMahon holds the record for winning Royal Rumble with the least number of eliminations to his name – 1.
The record came at the 1999 Royal Rumble, most of which Vince spent outside the ring. His only elimination came right at the end when The Rock came out to distract Stone Cold. Vince took full opportunity of the distracting and toppled Austin over the top rope.
5: Like father, like son
The ‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase and his son Ted DiBiase Jr. hold a unique Royal Rumble record. They are the only father and son duo in the history of the Royal Rumble to reach the final four in a Rumble match.
Regrettably, neither of them ever won a Royal Rumble match.
4: Almost every winner of the Royal Rumble has been a WWE Champion….
Here comes another great stat. Every winner of the Royal Rumble has gone on to become WWE Champion during their career except three unlucky WWE Superstars – Jim Duggan, Big John Studd and Lex Luger.
Since 1993, when the Rumble winner was guaranteed a title shot at Wrestlemania, Luger is the only winner to have never been WWE Champion. Oops.
3: First time’s the charm
9 men have actually won the Royal Rumble on their very first attempt. Those men are Jim Duggan (who won the first ever Royal Rumble in 1988), Big John Studd (1989), Ric Flair (1992), Yokozuna (1993), Lex Luger (1994), Vince McMahon (1999), Brock Lesnar (2003), Chris Benoit (2004) and Alberto Del Rio (2011).
Could anyone join this illustrious list in 2017?
2: Entering the Rumble as champion
Only two men have ever entered the Rumble as WWE Champion.
The first instance came in 1990, when then-champion Hulk Hogan, entered the Rumble while holding the WWE Championship and won the Rumble match.
The second instance came in when WWE Champion Roman Reigns entered the Royal Rumble and defended the belt in the Rumble match itself. Unfortunately for Roman, he couldn’t retain his title unlike the Hulkster, and the championship was won by Triple H.
1: The Rumble that took place before 1988?
What? The first Royal Rumble didn’t take place in 1988? That’s actually right. The first Royal Rumble event in WWE actually took place a year earlier, in 1987. The location for the event was St. Louis and apparently, the non-televised event drew pretty poorly.
This Rumble was probably a test run for the Rumble in 1988 and the man who won this Rumble, One Man Gang, was the last man Jim Duggan eliminated at the 1988 Royal Rumble.
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