Later this month, 30 men will step into the ring on the 29th of January in hopes to be the last man standing. But it is not just about surviving 29 other wrestlers and winning, it is also about WrestleMania. The winner of the Royal Rumble earns a chance to go on to headline WrestleMania 28 for the WWE Championship or World Heavyweight Championship.
The Royal Rumble is not just another PPV. It is one of the four big PPVs of WWE and is one of its longest running PPVs in the company. This year's Royal Rumble will be WWE’s 25th Royal Rumble to date. The event also symbolizes the start of the road to WrestleMania, the longest running WWE PPV and the grandest stage of all.
The first Royal Rumble event took place at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario on January 24th, 1988. This event was not a PPV like subsequent Royal Rumbles, but instead was a television special on USA Network. The match was also different in that it only had 20 participants rather than the usual 30 (the only other event to break this rule was Royal Rumble 2011, which had 40 wrestlers rather than 30, but this year will return to having 30 wrestlers again). Bret Hart was the first wrestler to enter the first Royal Rumble, but he did not go on to win this match.
Stone Cold Steve Austin holds the record for most Rumble wins with three victories, and Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels have each won the Rumble twice. Over a period of 24 years, there have been many great moments at the Royal Rumble, so I have decided to create a slideshow listing the best 20 moments in Royal Rumble history. Some moments have even started or shaped a wrestler's career.