WWE Royal Rumble 2012: 10 Past Superstars Who Should Not Have Won
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The Royal Rumble is on the horizon, and the excitement is building for the big night.
Because the winner of the match will certainly become a huge centerpiece for future storylines going forward.
Winning the Royal Rumble is, in most cases, as big if not bigger than actually winning the WWE Title.
It is an honor that can been only given to a few select stars. Huge names ranging from Hulk Hogan to Stone Cold Steve Austin have all won the match, and they have gone on to find huge success at the forefront of the WWE.
However, this is not true for all stars. Sometimes, WWE gets it wrong. They choose the wrong result for the Rumble match, and it completely backfires.
In the end, it all comes down to how big WrestleMania was for that star after their big win.
Sometimes, it is a triumph. Sometimes, it makes you question why WWE ever made the decision to do it in the first place.
Following are 10 Royal Rumble wins that should never have happened and why.
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Royal Rumble 1994
The 1994 Royal Rumble was witness to the first-ever, and only, co-champions.
WWE went beyond its typical mold by overbooking this idea to the extreme.
Lex Luger and Bret Hart would land at the same time on the outside. As such, they would both be declared the winner.
WWE made this angle so that they could have three separate big matches at 'Mania, as then-champion Yokozuna had to face Luger and then Hart back-to-back for the title.
To make it fair, Hart also had to wrestle a second time on the night. He would end up wrestling his brother in an amazing contest that would overshadow either title match.
The only reason that Luger had for winning the Rumble was so that he could allow the Hart brothers to finally wrestle.
As a whole, Luger's presence was pointless, as he lost his match and just moved on.
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Royal Rumble 1993
This is not a hit against Yokozuna, but rather his horrendous booking following this win.
At the time, Bret Hart was champion, so Yokozuna would have a short and poorly-constructed match, lasting a grand total of nine minutes with "salt to the eyes" as the finisher.
Yokozuna won the belt, though, so his RR win meant something...for a minute.
What happened next would ruin the whole concept of the night.
Hulk Hogan would come down to the ring, and he would challenge Yokozuna to a match. In the simplest terms, he just asked for the main event of WrestleMania, and he got it.
He would beat the new champion in a 21-second contest.
It was a horrible decision storyline-wise, and it completely ruined the prestige of winning the Rumble.
Why WWE decided upon giving Yokozuna the reign in the first place is questionable to the extreme.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
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Royal Rumble 1997
Now, hold on a second, I'm not saying he shouldn't have won ever. I just don't think he should have won in 1997.
Because Stone Cold didn't even wrestle for the title at WrestleMania. He lost that chance at In Your House 13 when he lost a four-corners match for the title.
It was all for the best in the end, because Stone Cold had one of the greatest matches of all time that year with Bret Hart, but Undertaker walked out of WrestleMania with the title.
Why Taker didn't win the match is a strange series of ideas that I can't hope to explain.
All I can say is that Stone Cold made up for it with two great wins and 'Mania matches following the Rumble.
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Royal Rumble 1988
It was a pointless contest that really shouldn't matter, but we hear about it again and again in recaps heading into the Rumble.
Did Duggan deserve the honor of being the first-ever Rumble winner?
In all honesty, I can't see why.
It hardly helped Duggan going forward. He would never win a major title with the WWE, so this would end up being his only accolade.
Many other bigger stars were in the contest who could have used the bragging rights, but none of them got that chance.
Instead, Duggan stands as the first and possibly the weakest Rumble winner of all time.
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Royal Rumble 2000
Now, I'm for it. Saying Rock should not have won the one Rumble that he did? Blasphemy.
Why do I say the Rock should not have won this Rumble? Because the main event devolved beyond all comprehension.
It doesn't help that the Rock never even won, but he was rewarded the victory. The Rock actually was eliminated before Big Show, yet he was given the win.
Show eventually would win the title match opportunity from Rock at No Way Out, but then the whole entire scene became massively convoluted.
To make a long story short, the match turned into a fatal four way with The Rock vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley vs. Triple H.
The Rock would go on to win the belt at Backlash, but by that point, the Rumble win he never truly gained was irrelevant.
It was horrible booking, and they could have easily just given Big Show the win that he actually gained.
In general, this was just bad booking.
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Royal Rumble 2007
I know. This is a big one.
Taker has only won one Rumble ever, surprisingly, but this was not the right setup and follow-through for such a win.
The final decision to have Taker face Batista was great because they had a great feud and a good match at WM, but...
They didn't even have close to top billing on the card.
They had the fourth match of the eight-match card and got only 15 minutes.
Meanwhile Shawn Michaels was going 30 minutes with John Cena in the main event.
Again, we see the Rumble win being undervalued. This began a year ago, but at least that match was truly a ground-breaking moment for the winner.
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Royal Rumble 2008
It was shocking.
That's about it.
When John Cena came back and won the Royal Rumble, nobody saw it coming.
However, it led to nowhere. He actually openly wasted the shot at No Way Out, then lost again at 'Mania.
In fact, Cena would not win the title any time in the near future.
The next champion was the man who almost certainly should have won: Triple H.
Not that he needed the win, but HHH was the man destined to become champion at that point.
He should have been given this win. Instead, Cena was booked to squander it. It merely came up as a reason to get him back on TV.
Alberto Del Rio
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Royal Rumble 2011
For WWE so loved the Royal Rumble at this point that it gave away a win to a man that the company had so little faith in that they put him in the opening match.
It was a sad day for the Royal Rumble this year.
As much as I do like Alberto Del Rio (much more than most) and thought this would be a good decision going in, WWE completely destroyed this win.
They booked Del Rio to lose in the opening match to Edge and gave them 11 minutes.
Seriously, that is horrible booking on all levels.
If that was how WWE wanted WM to go, they should have just given Cena that win.
It was truly the darkest hour for the Rumble, which now can only be classified as giving you a title match at the show. This idea of main-eventing at WrestleMania is officially gone from the Rumble match.
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Royal Rumble 2010
Do you ever think about what would have happened had Edge not returned here?
He would have had time to rest and come back stronger.
Maybe he would still be seen in the ring today, though, that is completely unknown since he was out on a much different injury than he had to retire for.
But that's not why he's on this list...entirely.
He is on here because of the followup.
Edge was rusty. Still worn down.
As a result, he went to WrestleMania and gave us a very pedestrian match against Chris Jericho, of all people.
While these guys could have had a classic, they instead had a mid-card match that felt like a mid-card match.
Edge also lost and went on to watch Jack Swagger, of all people, become champion.
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Royal Rumble 1999
Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, the list goes on and on.
All of these superstars and many more never won the Royal Rumble.
Who did? Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
Not only did Mr. McMahon win the Rumble. He immediately relinquished his main event title shot.
So the entire Rumble was pointless, especially since the win was to stop Stone Cold Steve Austin from winning, but he ended up going on to the main event anyway.
It was horrible booking that really devalued the concept of the Rumble.
In the end, these wins did come to pass, and their booking came through.
Let's hope this year has a true success story at the end.
Thanks for reading!