WWE: Royal Rumble Doesn't Always Guarantee a Main-Event Spot at Wrestlemania

SiegeContributor IJanuary 15, 2012

WWE: Royal Rumble Doesn't Always Guarantee a Main-Event Spot at Wrestlemania

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    WWE has said that the winner of the Royal Rumble match will "main-event" WrestleMania. However, that isn't true. I believe the main event of any show is always the last match. Some matches might be big attractions, but the main event is always going to be the last match on the card.

    In this slide show, I'll take a look at the Rumble winners from each Royal Rumble—from the first Rumble after the 2002 brand extension until the 2011 Royal Rumble—and compare it to the WrestleMania of that year.

    I will also look at the comparisons between Raw and SmackDown winners of the Royal Rumble and the Main Event of the WrestleMania PPV that followed to show SmackDown has been shafted in terms of main-eventing, despite the winner of the Rumble.

    I hope you enjoy.

Royal Rumble 2003

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    Winner: Brock Lesnar of SmackDown

    Brock Lesnar was in the last match on the card of WrestleMania XIX, facing Kurt Angle for the WWE championship.

    So far, the Rumble winner has indeed main-evented WrestleMania, and SmackDown had it's first WrestleMania main event.

     

    *Remember, this is from the brand extension on.

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 1

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner 

    SmackDown: 1

    Raw: 0

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 1

    Raw: 0



Royal Rumble 2004

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    The 2004 Royal Rumble had an interesting result. Chris Benoit, of SmackDown, won the Rumble match, but then would go over to Raw to challenge for the world heavyweight championship.

    Benoit main-evented WrestleMania XX alongside Triple H and Shawn Michaels (when Michaels got into the match by signing the WrestleMania XX contract after he superkicked Benoit so he could face Triple H).

    Benoit would come out on top and become champion.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 2

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 2

    Raw: 0

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 1

    Raw: 1

Royal Rumble 2005

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    2005 saw the emergence of Batista as a top star. He won the Royal Rumble match from being on the Raw brand and would go on to challenge former Evolution stablemate Triple H for the world heavyweight championship at WrestleMania 21. He won the championship and was crowned a top-tier star in the company.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 3

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 2

    Raw: 1

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 1

    Raw: 2

Royal Rumble 2006

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    Here is the first instance of a Rumble winner not being in the main event of WrestleMania.

    Rey Mysterio, of SmackDown, won the Royal Rumble match and would challenge Kurt Angle for the world heavyweight championship in a triple-threat match also involving Randy Orton, who beat Mysterio at No Way Out 2006 for the right to challenge for the title at WrestleMania 22. Mysterio would be put back in the match by SmackDown GM Teddy Long.

    Mysterio would still win the title.

    The true main event of WrestleMania 22 was the Raw match of John Cena vs. Triple H for the WWE championship.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 3

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown3

    Raw: 1

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 1

    Raw: 3

Royal Rumble 2007

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    The winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble was SmackDown's Undertaker. He would go on to challenge for Batista's world heavyweight championship at WrestleMania 23. However, this was another instance of the Rumble winner not being in the main event of WrestleMania.

    The main event of 'Mania 23 was John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWE championship.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 3

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 4

    Raw: 1

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 1

    Raw: 4

Royal Rumble 2008

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    The winner of the 2008 Royal Rumble was Raw's John Cena, who'd go on to challenge for Randy Orton's WWE championship at WrestleMania XXIV in a triple-threat match also involving Triple H. Triple H got into the match by winning a No. 1 contender's Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out 2008. Cena originally challenged for the WWE title at the same event against Orton, which was the only time that has ever happened.

    Cena would be put in the 'Mania match afterwards, but would lose to Orton, who retained his title.

    However, this was not the main event. The main event was Edge vs. The Undertaker for the world heavyweight championship. This was the only time, so far, that the main event of WrestleMania had a SmackDown main event that didn't involve a Rumble winner.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 3

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 4

    Raw: 2

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 2

    Raw: 4

Royal Rumble 2009

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    The 2009 Rumble result had Raw's Randy Orton win the match and then challenge for Triple H's WWE championship. Triple H was a SmackDown star after being drafted to SmackDown the year prior.

    So at WrestleMania 25, we technically had our first SD/Raw main event with a star from both brands. But, Triple H mostly showed up on Raw during that point and would be drafted back to Raw shortly after the event.

    Orton would lose as a challenger in the main event of WrestleMania 25 to Triple H.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 4

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 4

    Raw: 3

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 2.5

    Raw: 4.5

Royal Rumble 2010

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    SmackDown's Edge won the 2010 Royal Rumble match and would challenge for Chris Jericho's world heavyweight championship at WrestleMania 26. He would lose the match, however.

    But, the actual main event involved SmackDown's Undertaker vs. Raw's Shawn Michaels in a match where, if Michaels lost, he'd have to retire.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 4

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 5

    Raw: 3

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 3

    Raw: 5

Royal Rumble 2011

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    SmackDown's Alberto Del Rio won the first ever 40-man Royal Rumble and went to challenge Edge for the world heavyweight championship at WrestleMania XXVII.

    It was also the first time a world-title match opened the show, which saw Del Rio lose to Edge.

    The real main event was The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE championship.

     

    Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 4

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 6

    Raw: 3

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event

    SmackDown: 3

    Raw: 6

Final Tally, Thoughts and Other Facts.

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     Rumble Winner in Main Event of WrestleMania: 4

    SD/Raw Royal Rumble Winner

    SmackDown: 6

    Raw: 3

    SD/Raw WrestleMania Main Event (includes two SD star vs. Raw star main events)

    SmackDown: 3

    Raw: 6 

     

    This just shows the winner of the Rumble doesn't actually always main-event the biggest show of the year for WWE. It also shows that SmackDown get's shafted plenty of times. SmackDown has only had two main events, while Raw has had a monopoly on them.

    It's also obvious the main event of WrestleMania XXVIII this year is Rock vs. John Cena, which is a Raw match. So, no matter who wins the Rumble, they won't main-event.

    Another interesting fact is that the WWE championship has not changed hands to a Rumble winner at WrestleMania since 2003.

    The only times it changed hands was to John Cena at both WrestleMania 21 and 26. Each year, he didn't win the Rumble, but was the last one eliminated in each Rumble match.

    Will the Cena-vs.-Rock match be for the WWE title via Cena possibly winning the title at the Elimination Chamber PPV in February? If that is true, that means the Rumble winner has to be from SmackDown (though technically, a Raw star could challenge for the world title even though that type of thing has only happened twice).

    I'd personally prefer Cena/Rock to be non-title, since that match doesn't need to be for the championship. It would also be the first time Cena has wrestled in a non-title match at WrestleMania.

    John Cena has been in a world-title match at WrestleMania seven years straight (a record) and eight years straight in any kind of title match since he challenged for the US title at WrestleMania XX.

    I hope you enjoyed my little slideshow on the Royal Rumble winners and their matches at WrestleMania.