WWE Royal Rumble 2012: 15 Greatest Moments in Royal Rumble Match History
The Royal Rumble match is the best match of the year without a shadow of a doubt.
Twenty-four Royal Rumbles have produced some very memorable moments, and I have created a slideshow highlighting the top 15.
There are many statistics stuck to the Rumble, but this won’t be a list of statistics, more a list of the funniest, most shocking moments of the match’s 24-year history.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the read!
Honourable Mention: It Only Takes a Second...
Santino spent a total of one second in the 2009 Royal Rumble, beating the previous record of two seconds, set by The Warlord 20 years previously in 1989.
Honourable Mention: It's Time, It's Time...
Vader was a huge guy whose debut had been hyped for weeks before he graced the ring.
When he finally did get a piece of the action, he showed his stiff work and dominance and eliminated Jake “The Snake” Roberts with a single punch.
Vader would come close to winning the WWF title in his career, but he never actually managed it.
He didn’t win this Royal Rumble either, Shawn Michaels did.
Honourable Mention: Two Winners, One Title
The 1994 Royal Rumble had a very strange ending, as Bret Hart and Lex Luger tumbled over the top rope and hit the floor at exactly the same time.
The referees, stuck with an extremely hard decision, opted not to restart the match and instead declared both men winners of the 1994 Royal Rumble.
This led to a fairly bad storyline leading up to WrestleMania, and it hasn’t happened again.
A similar situation occurred at the 2005 Royal Rumble where Batista and John Cena ended up in the same mess.
After coming down to the ring and tearing his quadriceps, Vince McMahon ordered the match to be restarted and Batista eliminated Cena to win, thus avoiding a similar situation to 1994.
15. 29 Men, 1 Woman
Don’t treat me like a woman, don’t treat me like a man, treat me like a Royal Rumble participant.
Yes, Chyna paved the way for women like Beth Phoenix as she made an appearance in the 1999 competition.
She even went as far as eliminating Mark Henry before being swiftly eliminated herself by the eventual runner-up, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
14. Holy Shh...
Diesel’s return at last year’s Royal Rumble shook the WWE Universe.
Many thought he would re-sign with TNA, but the big man came back to the WWE and revived his old gimmick.
He showed he could still go in the ring and also had an exciting stare-off with the Big Show.
It’s a shame nothing came of it.
13. Coast to Coast
In 2004, Chris Benoit pulled a Shawn Michaels and went coast to coast, winning the Royal Rumble after drawing number one.
It’s a shame it hasn’t been mentioned since his controversial death, because it is a brilliant piece of Rumble history.
12. 10 Seconds of Destruction
In his first Royal Rumble, Kane showed how dominant he would be in years to come by eliminating everyone in the ring in the space of about 10 seconds.
Unfortunately, he then eliminated himself because he exited the ring to chase off mental health wardens.
I would have like to have seen more of Kane in this Royal Rumble as he probably would have beaten his 2001 record for most eliminations before he even set it.
11. Royal Rumble 2006-19
Rey Mysterio came in at No. 2 in 2006 and did what everyone thought would be impossible.
After being in the Royal Rumble for over an hour, it was just Mysterio and Randy Orton left.
The Legend Killer looked to be a sure bet, but Rey managed to hang on and eliminate the future Viper, securing his place at WrestleMania.
10. Can We See Taka Michinoklu Again?
“He landed right on his face!”
Kaientai were a Japanese tag-team in the WWF at the time of the 2000 Royal Rumble, and they were annoyed that they hadn’t been entered as participants in the Royal Rumble match.
Therefore, they decided to keep on interfering.
After many failed attempts to derail Rumble proceedings (due to being eliminated over and over again), Taka Michinoku smacked the floor with his face, prompting Jerry Lawler to keep showing replays of the unfortunate elimination.
This was when Lawler was excitable on commentary and great to listen to.
I dread to think what he would be like if something funny like that happened at this year’s Royal Rumble.
Taka Michinoku actually received a concussion from the aforementioned fall.
9. The Three Faces of Foley
Cactus Jack, Mankind and Dude Love all made an appearance at the 1998 Royal Rumble as Mick Foley pulled a triple-header.
Despite using all three gimmicks, he could not get the job done and The Rattlesnake managed to survive.
It was a fun idea that made this Rumble one of my favourites.
8. Maven's a Deadman...
Maven did the unthinkable in 2002 and eliminated The Undertaker with a dropkick to the back of the head.
He was then swiftly eliminated by the Deadman and paid for his unbelievable shocker by being literally beaten all over the arena. He was left in a pool of his own blood by The Undertaker.
It didn’t stop him from trying exactly the same thing at the 2003 Royal Rumble though...
7. A Perfect Rumble
Mr. Perfect’s return was a much talked about performance as he showed he could hang with the younger stars and lasted until the final three.
The skills he displayed on this night earned him a contract with the WWE which didn’t last long due to misbehaviour on the plane ride from hell involving Brock Lesnar.
Mr. Perfect died in 2003, just over a year after this appearance.
6. John Cena!
This was a return that the IWC couldn’t even predict.
The crowd goes absolutely mental when it hears John Cena’s music, as does Jim Ross.
Entering at No. 30, Cena cleared the ring, leaving just himself and Triple H.
One Attitude Adjustment later and the returning Cena was on his way to WrestleMania.
5. 36.6 Percent Elimination Record
Kane eliminated no less than 11 people in his 2001 Royal Rumble campaign.
This is a record that remains unbroken and is unlikely to be, unless he beats it himself this year.
The Big Red Machine made it to the last two, but was eventually eliminated by Steve Austin, who made a record of his own, that being his third Royal Rumble win.
4. A First-Time Clash
The 1990 Royal Rumble marked a momentous occasion in the world of wrestling at the time, as it was the first time ever that Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior had met in the ring.
The crowd went crazy for it and people were on their feet as they squared up to each other.
Neither moved as they shoulder-blocked each other and danced around for the crowd.
A double clothesline took them both out until The Barbarian entered the match. Hogan went on to win the Royal Rumble despite being the WWF champion at the time.
Could the same happen this year?
3. One Foot
This really highlighted the famous rule of “both feet must touch the floor”, as Shawn Michaels survived as only one was needed for him to regain his composure and eliminate the British Bulldog.
This also meant that he won the Royal Rumble after drawing No. 1, an amazing feat.
Michaels would repeat his good fortune the year after by winning the Royal Rumble again.
2. WrestleMania XXV Preview...
In what could be classed as a preview to WrestleMania XXV, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels battled for the Royal Rumble title as the final two participants in 2007.
The crowd was deafening at the thought of seeing the two legends do battle to decide who was going to WrestleMania.
Needless to say, everyone was on the edge of their seats as the contest went back and forth.
The Heartbreak Kid was eventually eliminated by The Undertaker despite being in his hometown.
A vacant WWF championship meant the winner of the 1992 Royal Rumble would receive the coveted prize.
With talents such as Hulk Hogan entered in the competition, Flair was somewhat of an underdog.
After an assist from Hogan, he managed to win the WWF championship by last eliminating Sid Justice, showing that he had the charisma to carry the company and be the top guy.
He would face Randy Savage at WrestleMania VIII in a losing effort.
After regaining the belt for a short run in the later part of 1992, he would make his last appearance at the 1993 Royal Rumble.
2012 and Beyond!
The 2012 Royal Rumble will begin in less than 24 hours and one can only wonder if there will be in any memorable moments from the hotly anticipated event.
Will something different happen? Will there be co-winners again?
The unpredictability of the event is sure to present some excellent moments, ready for the 2013 slideshow.
Thanks for reading!