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.
If you blinked, then the chances are that you missed him step into the ring, his participation in the match and his elimination. He holds the record for quickest elimination.
In October of 2007, Cena suffered a torn pectoral muscle and was striped of the WWE Championship. He was estimated to be out of action for up to a year. In 2008, Cena returned as the surprise 30th entrant and went on to win the match.
In the 2011 Royal Rumble, Booker T made a surprise return as the 21st entrant. Diesel aka Kevin Nash also made a surprise return to WWE as the 32nd entrant.
In 2001, Steve Austin won the Rumble for the record-breaking third time. No other wrestler has had as many rumble wins.
In 2009, RVD made a surprise return at the 2009 Royal Rumble but did not go on to win.
In 2010, Beth became the second woman to enter the Royal Rumble, and she gave the men a run for their money.
In the 2001 Royal Rumble, Kane was a machine. He eliminated a record-breaking 11 superstars in one Rumble.
Orton entered the 2009 Royal Rumble as the eighth entrant of the match and in the last moments of the match, it was only him and Triple H left. Orton eliminated HHH and won the match. He was the last member of Evolution to win a Royal Rumble.
At last year's Royal Rumble in Boston, Massachusetts, Del Rio entered the match as the 38th entrant and went on to become to surprise winner of the match.
In 1999, Chyna made history when she was the first woman to enter a Royal Rumble. She also went on to enter the 2000 Rumble.
Austin entered the Royal Rumble as the fifth entrant in the 1997 Rumble. Although he got eliminated, the referees did not see it, so he snuck back into the ring and went on to win the match.
Jim Duggan, who entered the Rumble as the 13th entrant, was the first wrestler to win the first ever Royal Rumble.
In 1992, Ric Flair entered the Royal Rumble as the third entrant and with a little help from Hulk Hogan, who had just been eliminated by Sid Justice, he eliminated Sid Justice and went on to win the match and the vacant championship.
In 2000, The Rock entered the Rumble as the 24th entrant. In the final moments of the match, it seemed as if the Big Show had won when he threw The Rock over the top rope. However, The Rock held on to the rope and tossed The Big show over and won the match.
In May of 2001, Triple H tore his left quadriceps muscle, which sidelined him for eight months. He returned in January to Raw as a face and later went on to enter the Rumble and win.
The Undertaker entered the 2007 Royal Rumble at No. 30 and won the match. He was the first wrestler to enter last and win the match.
In July of 2009, Edge suffered a torn Achilles tendon and it was reported that he could be out of action for up to a year. However, Edge made a surprise return at the 2010 Royal Rumble as the 29th entrant and went on to win the match.
In the 2004 Royal Rumble, Chris Benoit became the second wrestler to enter the Rumble as the No. 1 entrant and go on to win the match.
In 2006, Rey entered the Royal Rumble match as the No. 2 entrant and went on to win the match. Not only was he the underdog of the match, but he also holds the record for longest time spent in a Royal Rumble match.
In 1995, HBK was the first wrestler to enter the Royal Rumble match and was the last to leave. He was the first ever wrestler to enter the Rumble as the first wrestler and go on to win.