The WWE’s Royal Rumble match is one of the most unique events in professional wrestling and kicks off the WWE’s pay-per-view schedule every year. The first Royal Rumble was held back in 1988 and the match has evolved over time. One of the biggest changes to the Royal Rumble match was guaranteeing the winner a main event championship match at that year’s WrestleMania.
The Royal Rumble is seen as the unofficial kickoff to the “Road to WrestleMania” and winning this classic match can really do a lot for a guy’s career. Wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, and The Undertaker are some of the more deserving Royal Rumble winners over the match’s nearly 30 year history.
Sometimes winners of the Royal Rumble are not so deserving for a variety of reasons. Some of these guys were mid-card wrestlers before they won, and were catapulted to the top too soon. Others were the beneficiaries of poor booking or just plain bad competition. Some of the Royal Rumble winners on this list certainly didn’t connect with the fans after their victory and left everyone shaking their heads as a result.
10 John Cena
8 “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
7 Rey Mysterio
5 Roman Reigns
4 Alberto Del Rio
3 Big John Studd
1 Vince McMahon
Although Vince McMahon has seen his fair share of in the ring action, back in 1999 he was not even considered to be a part time wrestler. McMahon decided to enter the Royal Rumble match, which turned into quite the circus. After participating in the “Corporate Royal Rumble” on Raw, McMahon was the #2 entrant and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was #1. McMahon put up a $100 thousand bounty for anyone that could eliminate Austin. Mr. McMahon actually spent the majority of this match outside the ring, even doing commentary at one point. The first two competitors in the match were also the last two, and McMahon took advantage of a distraction by The Rock to win the Royal Rumble.
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