Ranking the 20 Most Dominant Competitors in WWE Royal Rumble History

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIJanuary 6, 2013

Ranking the 20 Most Dominant Competitors in WWE Royal Rumble History

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    The Royal Rumble has long been considered the kickoff to WrestleMania season, as the man who wins it earns the right to compete in one of the feature matches.

    Over the years, hundreds of superstars from all over the world have been involved in this match, some with enormous success.

    So as the WWE Universe prepares for the 26th Royal Rumble on Jan. 27, it gives us time to reflect on the most dominant superstars who have ever competed in this unique event.

20. Great Khali

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    The Great Khali sneaks onto the list for his performance in the 2007 Royal Rumble, where he eliminated seven other superstars.

    Khali can't go any higher than that due to his other performances in the match, one in which he was the first man eliminated in 2009 and the following year, he was taken out of the match by Beth Phoenix.

19. Rikishi

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    Rikishi competed in 10 Royal Rumble matches during the course of his career, but it was his performance in the 2000 event that earned him a place on the list.

    After dancing with his Too Cool partners, Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty, Rikishi remembered the old adage of every man for himself and promptly eliminated them both.

    In all, Rikishi tossed out seven superstars, but what was equally impressive was what it took to get him over the top rope and to the floor.

    It took six men, one of which was the powerful British Bulldog, to get the big man out.

18. Chris Jericho

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    Chris Jericho has been one of the most resilient Royal Rumble competitors, always finding a way to survive in a match that he has competed in seven times.

    In 2003, Jericho eliminated a star-studded cast of superstars including Shawn Michaels, Edge, Rey Mysterio and Christian en route to being in the ring over 38 minutes.

    'Y2J' has been in the ring for at least 28 minutes in three of his Rumble appearances and was the last man eliminated in 2012.

17. Lex Luger

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    If nothing else, Lex Luger was consistent in his two appearances in the Royal Rumble. Between the 1994 and 1995 events, Luger lasted a combined 40 minutes, 39 seconds in the ring while eliminating a total of 11 superstars.

    Among those eliminations were some of the biggest men in the match. He single-handedly took out Mabel, Mantaur and Henry O. Godwinn in 1995. In '94, he tossed Shawn Michaels and Bam Bam Bigelow from the match before going on to be co-winner along with Bret Hart.

16. CM Punk

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    Competing in every Rumble match from 2007-11, CM Punk was in the ring for at least 22 minutes in the first three Rumble matches he was in. He saved his best performance to date for 2011.

    In the match for over 35 minutes, Punk eliminated seven superstars before falling victim to John Cena.

    Punk is a superstar who is destined to win the Royal Rumble one day.

15. Rey Mysterio

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    Dominant is not usually a word used to describe Rey Mysterio, but his performance in 2006 must be recognized.

    After dedicating the match to his late friend Eddie Guerrero, Mysterio entered the match at No. 2 before going on to perhaps the most memorable Royal Rumble performance of all time.

    Mysterio was in the ring for over an hour before eliminating Triple H and then Randy Orton to claim the victory.

14. Batista

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    Batista took part in four Royal Rumble matches and was the 2005 winner. He always seemed to benefit from having a high entry number, drawing 28 twice and the number 30 in 2010.

    But in 2008, he came into the match at No. 8 and stayed in the ring for over 37 minutes, being one of the final three men in the match. That year, he eliminated Kane and Umaga, two of the more dangerous men in the match.

13. The Rock

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    The Rock only competed in four Rumble matches, but he made his mark in them.

    In 1998, he stayed in the ring for over 51 minutes before finishing as the runner-up to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.

    2000 would be the year The Rock won the match, despite a photo-finish elimination after he and Big Show tumbled over the top rope together.

    In 2001, The Rock would eliminate Big Show again along with Rikishi and The Goodfather before succumbing to Kane and finishing in third place.

12. Triple H

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    A veteran of this match, Triple H has taken part in eight Rumbles and has two runner-up finishes and a third-place finish to go along with his 2002 win.

    Triple H has 26 eliminations in his Rumble career and in 2006, he was in the ring over an hour along with Mysterio.

    But 2002 was the year Triple H really shined. After returning from a devastating quadriceps tear, 'The Game' last eliminated Kurt Angle to win the match.

11. Edge

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    Competing in six Rumble matches, Edge was able to put together a string of strong performances.

    In the 2005 and 2007 events, he eliminated five men in each while remaining in the ring for over 40 minutes in both. But it was in 2010 that he broke through.

    After being a surprise entry in the match, Edge came in and eliminated John Cena and Jericho to become the last man standing.

10. Diesel

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    Diesel was a part of three Royal Rumble matches and had solid performances in 1994 and 1996. It is the '94 event that stands out, as you won't find very many men who were more dominant inside a single Rumble match.

    In that match, Diesel came into the ring after drawing No. 7. He began throwing superstars out at will. After tallying seven eliminations in just over 17 minutes, it took a host of competitors to get "Big Daddy Cool" out of the match.

9. Randy Orton

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    While it can be argued that his buddies won the 2009 Royal Rumble match for him, Randy Orton has had an impressive career in the Rumble match.

    Competing in six of the matches, Orton has a runner-up finish to along with his victory in 2009. He has been in the match for at least 27 minutes three times and on that night in 2009, he lasted for over 48 minutes.

    In his six Rumble appearances, Orton has totaled 18 eliminations.

8. John Cena

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    John Cena has competed in six Royal Rumbles and has been at or near the end in all of them. That is mainly because he has never drawn a number worse than 19, but he has eliminated an impressive 18 competitors in his Rumble career.

    In 2008, Cena shocked everyone when he came in at No. 30, eliminating Carlito, Chavo Guerrero and Mark Henry before finally dumping Triple H to win the match.

    Cena has yet to prove he can come into the match early and hang in there for a prolonged amount of time. Could we see that this year?

7. Big Show

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    Big Show has appeared in nine Royal Rumble matches and as the "world's largest athlete," he has been dominant, as you would expect.

    Big Show has come in second place twice and has eliminated 25 superstars in those nine appearances. Among the superstars he has thrown out of the ring include John Cena, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Undertaker, Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam. Not a bad list.

6. Undertaker

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    Competing in his first Royal Rumble back in 1991, The Undertaker has appeared in 10 of the matches across his long, storied career.

    In 2002, despite being in the match for just seven minutes, he made seven eliminations. In 2007, he became the first man with No. 30, a number he has had three times, to win the match.

    In his 10 Rumble appearances, Undertaker has made 35 eliminations, tied with his brother Kane for the third most ever.

5. Yokozuna

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    Yokozuna doesn't have a long body of work in the Royal Rumble. In fact, he only appeared in the match twice. But in 1993, the Royal Rumble match put Yokozuna on the WWE map for good.

    After entering the match at No. 27, it became increasingly clear that no one would be able to eliminate the massive man. He threw out seven superstars, the last of which was Randy Savage, to claim the win.

    To this day, Yokozuna's performance that night is one of the most impressive in Rumble history.

4. Hulk Hogan

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    Hulk Hogan competed in each Royal Rumble from 1989-92, never entering the match any worse than No. 18. But Hogan ranks high on this list because of what he did after he got into the ring in those four Rumbles.

    He threw out at least four superstars each time, including nine in 1989. Among the superstars Hogan put out of the Rumble during his career were Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Undertaker, Mr. Perfect (twice), and Earthquake.

    What sets Hogan apart from almost every other man that has ever competed in the Royal Rumble are his back-to-back wins in 1990 and 1991.

3. Kane

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    Competing in an amazing 15 Rumble matches, Kane has been one of the best ever in the elimination match.

    Kane has thrown out 39 men in his Rumble career, but it was his performance in 2001 that people will remember.

    Kane was in the ring for over 53 minutes that night, throwing out a Royal Rumble-record 11 superstars before finishing as the runner-up. It is arguably the best performance ever by a superstar who wasn't the winner of the match.

2. Shawn Michaels

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    As he did with just about everything, Shawn Michaels excelled in the Royal Rumble.

    Michaels competed in 12 Rumble matches in his career. He stayed in the match for at least 20 minutes in six of those. His 41 career eliminations are the most ever and he was the winner of the match in 1995 and 1996.

    And while John Morrison and Kofi Kingston have come up with more athletic and creative ways to stave off elimination in recent years, it is Michaels' saving himself in the 1995 event that is one of the event's most iconic images.

1. Steve Austin

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    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is without doubt the most dominant Royal Rumble competitor of all-time.

    Appearing in the match six times, Austin was in the ring for over 45 minutes in 1997 and nearly 57 minutes in 1999. His 36 career eliminations are good for second-most ever. Some of the names Austin tossed out in his Rumble career include Bret Hart, Undertaker, The Rock, Triple H, Owen Hart, Kane and Booker T.

    However, what makes Austin the most dominant of all-time is the fact that he has won the match three times, something no other superstar has ever been able to do.