The 1992 Rumble match was unique because it was the first (and only) time that the WWE Championship would be awarded to the winner. Due to a number of controversial finishes to end 1991 the title was held up and all 30 men in the match were essentially number one contenders.
I was 11 years old when I first watched this match and I had no idea who was going to win. I figured it was probably going to be Hogan because quite frankly Hogan won everything in those years, so what else is new? I was never a huge Hogan fan, though. I liked the villains way more. Cue Ric Flair.
Flair was "new" in WWE at the end of 1991 and they used this Rumble match to show the WWE audience that he was the best in the business. He was the focus of the match as the #3 entrant.
It seemed like everybody in the match went after him while announcer and Flair ally Bobby Heenan kept talking about how it wasn't fair. "It's not fair to Flair" is the phrase Heenan kept saying. It was one of Heenan's greatest performances calling a match too.
The Flair story was great because he didn't dominate the match from the standpoint of eliminating a lot of people. He only eliminated four men during the 59:26 minutes he was in the match. It was a testament to Flair's ability to tell a story, to outlast everybody else and to capitalize on opportunities.
After Hulk Hogan got eliminated by Sid Justice, he held onto Sid's arm while he was on the floor and that led to Flair sneaking up behind Sid to win the match. It was a crafty move by the man known as the "dirtiest player in the game."
In my opinion this is still the best Royal Rumble match ever. There was a lot of star power in the match with Hall of Famers like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Ted Dibiase, Sgt. Slaughter and Roddy Piper to name a few.
I think if you look at it from a star power point of view, it was definitely the most loaded Rumble match of the 1990s and I would say a few Rumble matches in the 2000s (particularly 2001) could match it in terms of big names involved. That made Flair's win mean that much more.
The night ended with another great Flair moment as he talked about how, with a tear in his eye, it was the greatest moment of his life. For me, a diehard fan of World Wrestling Entertainment, it's still one of the best moments in the history of the company over twenty years later.
There were a lot of other things I could have included in this list of favorite memories because I love the Rumble match so much. I can think of all the quick eliminations (Warlord, Lawler, Santino), the painful falls (Taka landing on his face) or when Vince McMahon gave an order while sitting down because he tore his quad entering the ring.
There are so many memories that make the Royal Rumble special and that's why it's arguably the second biggest event that the WWE puts on every year.
If you're into Royal Rumble stats then you should pay a visit to MondayNightWarriors.com because they do a great job of showing them in an easy to read format.
What are some of your favorite Royal Rumble memories? Please let me know what moments stood out to you, what you thought of my selections and what you think I may have missed.
John Canton is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. You can read more of his work at his website TJRWrestling.com along with his talented staff of writers and also LayfieldReport.com as well. You can follow John on Twitter @johnreport, too.