Royal Rumble winners are an exclusive fraternity of WWE superstars who almost always launch their careers into superstardom.
For every Steve Austin or Shawn Michaels, there lingers a Lex Luger who just wasn't quite able to effectively use a Royal Rumble win as a vehicle to the top.
Some of the more underwhelming winners of years past are bona fide stars in their own right; however, they were either unable to capitalize on these wins or won the Royal Rumble in unspectacular fashion.
Recent history has suggested that winning the Royal Rumble no longer guarantees an imminent world title reign. Some winners know this better than others.
In all fairness to Big John Studd, he won the Royal Rumble in an era where the match was more or less a crowded sideshow. The winner was guaranteed nothing.
Hulk Hogan dominated the '89 Rumble, running wild on the field with nine solo eliminations. Studd had a comparatively low two eliminations. This is doubly disappointing when the hoss' immense size is taken into consideration.
Studd's Royal Rumble win in '89 will be one that few wrestling fans, if any, will cherish as a meaningful occurrence in Royal Rumble history.
Randy Orton and Legacy dominated the 2009 Royal Rumble. Orton went into the event as a heavy favorite, given his positioning in the main storyline, so the predictability of his win may have soured its novelty.
Orton's win would lead to a very flat, forgettable WrestleMania XXV main event against Triple H. The match had the insurmountable task of following the instant classic between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, widely considered the best match in WWE history.
Alberto Del Rio was mired in the first and only 40-man Royal Rumble. At the time, his gimmick was hot, and the sky seemed to be the limit. But after rising above a saturated field as the winner, Del Rio went on to take part in the first World title match ever to open a WrestleMania.
To make matters worse, Del Rio lost that match to Edge, along with losing a considerable amount of momentum.
Nothing Lex Luger did in the WWE was all that special, even when he bodyslammed Yokozuna atop the USS Intrepid.
Luger's victory was further sullied by the fact that he had to share it with Bret Hart in the only Royal Rumble match to officially recognize two winners.
Come WrestleMania X, Luger would fall in defeat to the aforementioned Yokozuna. That same night, Luger's Rumble winner cohort Bret Hart successfully converted on his share of the Royal Rumble victory.
Vince McMahon was such a bad fit to win the Royal Rumble that he didn't even make it to WrestleMania to earn his WWF title shot. Instead, that honor was vacated since fellow corporation member The Rock held the WWF championship at the time.
Vince McMahon spent very little time competing in that year's Royal Rumble. Instead, he played cat-'n-mouse with Steve Austin before eliminating the Rattlesnake while Austin was distracted by The Rock.