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WWE Royal Rumble: 5 alternate past Rumble endings that could have changed the course of history

Matty Paddock
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
Published 16 Jan 2020, 06:12 IST
16 Jan 2020, 06:12 IST

HBK celebrates at Wrestlemania, but what if he
HBK celebrates at Wrestlemania, but what if he'd never won the 1996 Royal Rumble?

The Royal Rumble pay per view well and truly kicks off what fans, commentators and Superstars refer to as ‘Wrestlemania Season.’

One of the biggest nights of the year, the Rumble boasts the infamous hour-long Royal Rumble match, pitting 30 – or sometimes more – top competitors against each other with one goal – the opportunity to challenge for a championship at Wrestlemania. 

But whereas so many of those who’ve won Rumble matches have gone on to savour in some of the best title wins of all time, there’s a school of thought that alternative endings might also have thrown up some fascinating and memorable rivalries, matches and championship victories. 

So the question is, who suffered the greatest agony of all in only just missing out? Who got lucky at the Rumble and cashed in big time at Wrestlemania? There’s plenty to consider.

To help you on your way, here are five alternate endings for Royal Rumbles of yesteryear that could have changed the course of WWE – all with my trademark 1990s theme, of course...


#5 Not so bad after all (1995)

Michaels enjoys his win at the 1995 Royal Rumble
Michaels enjoys his win at the 1995 Royal Rumble

WWE historians and those who have followed the company for so many years often accept the fact that 1995 was, all told, far from a vintage year.

With few stand-out, established main event stars, the launch and debut of some questionable new characters and storylines, it wasn’t 12 months that sits too fondly in the memory for long-time fans.

For much of 1995, the then WWF Champion was Kevin Nash, then wrestling as the towering monster, Diesel. Whether it was timing, execution, or just an accumulation of factors unknown, Big Daddy Cool’s title run just failed to hit the heights it had promised back when the seven-footer defeated Bob Backlund in a record-setting eight seconds at Madison Square Garden at the tail end of 1994.

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So what could have made 1995 better? What would have perhaps aided the company in faring better in the year during which many felt they faltered? Perhaps the answer lies in the 1995 Royal Rumble. Having lasted the entire Rumble and eliminated the British Bulldog at the finale, Shawn Michaels had his hand raised and went on to meet his on-off buddy at Wrestlemania XI that year. 

It was a fairly tepid main event that, for many, set the tone for the rest of a fairly mediocre run with the title for Diesel. Perhaps, then, the call to have Michaels win the Rumble that year was the wrong one? What if, say, Lex Luger had been better rewarded for his 18 minutes in the match? What if Crush had been given a mighty push and sent to ‘Mania to tangle with the champ? 

The possibilities are plenty.

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Modified 16 Jan 2020, 06:12 IST
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