WWE Royal Rumble 2014: Power Ranking Every Battle Royal Winner

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJanuary 8, 2014

WWE Royal Rumble 2014: Power Ranking Every Battle Royal Winner

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    At WWE Royal Rumble 2014, 30 men will look to join the illustrious list of winners of that grueling match.

    The very best Rumble victors won in spite of drawing an unfavorable entry number, spent the bout crushing foes' dreams and created enduring memories for WWE fans.

    Of the 22 men who have emerged as the last one standing at the Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin are among those who impressed the most at the event.

    Will Batista join them by winning his second Rumble? Will Daniel Bryan be the latest new marathon man? 

    Every Rumble winner so far is ranked here based on how many times they won the event, how many men they eliminated along the way, how long they lasted in the match and if they won the championship bout that followed, along with the how memorable and dominant their wins were.

22. Big John Studd

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    Won the Rumble in 1989

    Number of Eliminations: 2

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 12:21

    Won Championship? N/A

    When Big John Studd became the second man to ever win the Royal Rumble, there was no championship opportunity awaiting him.

    A Rumble victory meant less back then because of that. Studd ended up on that year's WrestleMania card as a referee while Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan fought for the WWE title.

    The big man only tossed Akeem and Ted DiBiase out en route to his win. Too many Superstars eliminated more men and lasted for much longer for him to have a higher spot on the list.

21. Alberto Del Rio

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    Won the Rumble in 2011

    Number of Eliminations: 2

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 9:33

    Won Championship? No

    Alberto Del Rio won the biggest Royal Rumble match ever, but did so in underwhelming fashion.

    He was the 38th entrant of 40 and had to only eliminate two men in order to win. Santino Marella was the second of the two, a man who is not a foe worth boasting about besting.

    Del Rio didn't make the most of the win either, losing to Edge at WrestleMania XXVII and failing to capture the World Heavyweight Championship. He only passes Big John Studd on the list because of the enlarged field the Rumble had that year.

20. The Rock

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    Won the Rumble in 2000

    Number of Eliminations: 4

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 14:47

    Won Championship? No

    The Rock tossed out more folks in his Rumble win than Alberto Del Rio and Big John Studd, but he didn't have much more time in the ring than those two Superstars.

    Rikishi and Big Show who had Kane-like performances that year made a more memorable impact than even the winner. The Rock just didn't come off as dominant as other winners for that reason.

    He ended WrestleMania 2000 watching Triple H walk away with the WWE Championship, making his Rumble victory less meaningful than the men who rode theirs to title glory. 

19. Lex Luger

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    Won the Rumble in 1994

    Number of Eliminations: 5

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 21:58

    Won Championship? No

    Take points away from Lex Luger for failing to win the WWE title at WrestleMania X and for sharing his Royal Rumble victory with Bret Hart, but his win was punctuated with a high number of eliminations and lasting an impressive amount of time in the match.

    Luger sent Adam Bomb, The Great Kabuki, Bam Bam Bigelow, Crush and Genichiro Tenryu over the top rope that night.

    The fact that the other co-winner of the Rumble ended WrestleMania with gold around his waist makes "The Hitman" seem like the true winner in retrospect despite Luger's impressive performance.

18. Edge

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    Won the Rumble in 2010

    Number of Eliminations: 2

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 7:19

    Won Championship? No

    In terms of most of the criteria for this list, Edge didn't do well. He came in late in the Royal Rumble match, only took out two foes and failed to dethrone Chris Jericho at WrestleMania.

    Few entries and wins were more dramatic than Edge's, though.

    An Achilles tendon injury took "The Rated-R Superstar" out of action and he surprised the WWE world by entering as the 29th entrant in 2010. The power of that moment gets him past names like Lex Luger and Alberto Del Rio on this list, but not any higher, thanks to other wrestlers lasting longer and doing more damage in their wins.

17. Vince McMahon

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    Won the Rumble in 1999

    Number of Eliminations: 1

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 56:38

    Won Championship? No

    Vince McMahon is often mentioned as one of the worst Royal Rumble winners in WWE history thanks to him being over 50 years old at the time and the fact that he is a non-wrestler.

    Give him credit for having one of the most unforgettable and dramatic wins the event has ever seen, though. Steve Austin had won the last two Rumbles and seemed destined to win his third in a row when McMahon shocked the world.

    He and Austin were the first two men in and the last two men out. Their rivalry powered that Rumble and McMahon emerged victorious, nearly lasting an hour in the process.

    He does get docked major points for vacating his title opportunity after the win, a move that devalued his victory and the Rumble itself.


16. Bret Hart

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    Won the Rumble in 1994

    Number of Eliminations: 3

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 15:08

    Won Championship? Yes

    Bret Hart and Lex Luger both claimed victory in 1994. It was Hart, though, who rode that win to a spot in the WrestleMania main event, knocking off Yokozuna to become WWE champ.

    The win helped push Hart to the top of the company, having him become Hulk Hogan's heir as company top dog.

    "The Hitman" stayed in the match a solid amount of time and had a solid number of eliminations. That and his title win is enough earn him a spot in the middle of the list, but not enough to surpass the Rumble's iron men.

15. Randy Orton

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    Won the Rumble in 2009

    Number of Eliminations: 3

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 48:27

    Won Championship? No

    Despite not making the most of his Royal Rumble win at WrestleMania time, Randy Orton's lengthy stay in the ring in 2009 has him stand out.

    He entered eighth and outlasted men like Big Show, Kane, Triple H and Undertaker. Using his cronies Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to help him to victory made his victory memorable as well.

    Orton came off as a villainous mastermind as well as a predator in the ring. Only champions and history makers rank ahead of him here.

14. Jim Duggan

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    Won the Rumble in 1988

    Number of Eliminations: 3

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 14:43

    Won Championship? N/A

    Jim Duggan didn't get a shot at a title at WrestleMania, but he'll never be forgotten as he was the first-ever Royal Rumble winner.

    In a match where Bret Hart withstood defeat for nearly half an hour, where One Man Gang set the bar for eliminations, it was Duggan who emerged with the victory. Duggan last tossed out One Man Gang to make his mark on history.

    His decent amount of time in the ring, even combined with the power of his pioneering, to earn him a higher spot. Bigger, more dramatic Rumble performances followed Duggan's.

13. Brock Lesnar

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    Won the Rumble in 2003

    Number of Eliminations: 4

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 8:59

    Won Championship? Yes

    The Royal Rumble 2003 was one of many moments that Brock Lesnar seized at the peak of his momentum.

    Coming in at 29 to win the match isn't as impressive as what the Rumble's iron men have pulled off, but Lesnar was a beast in his short time in the match. Four men, including The Undertaker, fell victim to Lesnar's power.

    He capitalized on his WrestleMania title shot as well, knocking off Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XIX in an outstanding bout.

12. Undertaker

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    Won the Rumble in 2007

    Number of Eliminations: 3

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 13:15

    Won Championship? Yes

    Undertaker is one of the few men to enter last and win the Royal Rumble. Even with that advantageous position, he still had to battle longer than Brock Lesnar did.

    In the process, he eliminated The Great Khali and Shawn Michaels.

    At WrestleMania 23, Undertaker defeated Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship, making his Rumble victory even more meaningful. A small number of eliminations, spending less than 15 minutes in the bout and a certain Celtic warrior keeps him from ranking any higher.

11. Sheamus

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    Won the Rumble in 2012

    Number of Eliminations: 3

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 22:21

    Won Championship? Yes

    Lasting longer than Brock Lesnar and Undertaker slides Sheamus past them on this list.

    The word in 2012 was that Chris Jericho was set to win. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick that ended that scenario and eventually made him world champ.

    Sheamus took out Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger in addition to Jericho. As strong as he looked tossing those guys to the outside, more dominant performances have others ranked higher than him.


10. Triple H

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    Won the Rumble in 2002

    Number of Eliminations: 4

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 23:14

    Won Championship? Yes

    Lasting nearly half an hour, defeating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania X8 and getting four eliminations along the way earns Triple H a spot in the top ten here.

    Taking out Kurt Angle and Mr. Perfect, Triple H spent longer than everyone but Steve Austin battling in the 2002 Royal Rumble. His performance was impressive, claiming victory in the longest Rumble ever, but the competition stiffens at this point in the list.

    Marathon performances and dominance get others Superstars past "The Game."

9. Yokozuna

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    Won the Rumble in 1993

    Number of Eliminations: 7

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 14:53

    Won Championship? Yes

    Yokozuna was the first beneficiary of a WrestleMania title shot after a Royal Rumble victory. He didn't waste it, taking out Bret Hart at WrestleMania IX.

    That reign, of course, lasted just minutes thanks to Hulk Hogan, but Yokozuna made history in 1993.

    Owen Hart, Randy Savage, Bob Backlund and Tito Santana all fell victim to the big man's power. Surprisingly, he is the only super heavyweight to ever win the Rumble despite men like Big Show and Andre the Giant seemingly being perfectly suited for this type of match.

    As memorable as Yokozuna's overpowering performance was, the rest of the list is occupied by men whose wins took marathon-like battles and those who have won the Rumble multiple times.


8. Batista

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    Won the Rumble in 2005

    Number of Eliminations: 5

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 10:54

    Won Championship? Yes

    Royal Rumble 2005 was one of the first major coronations in Batista's career.

    He followed up the victory with a win over Triple H in the main event of WrestleMania 21. It was a huge step for a rising star, making that Rumble win even more significant. 

    Eliminating five Superstars isn't bad either, especially when the list of victims includes Edge, Chris Jericho and John Cena.

    Coming in at 28 and having to last just over 10 minutes holds Batista back on this list, though.

7. Chris Benoit

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    Won the Rumble in 2004

    Number of Eliminations: 6

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 1:01:30

    Won Championship? Yes

    Chris Benoit broke Bob Backlund's record for longest time spent in a single Rumble, becoming just the second man at the time to surpass an hour in the bout.

    He wasn't just in hide-and-survive mode either. Benoit lasted from the beginning to the end of the match by ousting Mark Henry, A-Train and Bradshaw, becoming a giant killer of sorts.

    "The Wolverine" famously went on to win the world title against Shawn Michaels and Triple H at WrestleMania XX.

    That Rumble resume doesn't quite get him past the event's biggest and best winners, though. Winning the match more than once would have earned him a higher spot as would remaining the record holder for longest Rumble win.

6. Rey Mysterio

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    Won the Rumble in 2006

    Number of Eliminations: 5

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 1:02: 12

    Won Championship? Yes

    Rey Mysterio did everything that Chris Benoit did in 2004, he just lasted a touch longer and he came off as an even bigger underdog.

    Not only did Mysterio enter as the second entrant and be the last man standing, he did so as a David in a ring full of Goliaths. Dedicating the match to the late Eddie Guerrero, Mysterio sent Randy Orton, Super Crazy and others crashing to the floor.

    He stood as the victor, dredging up a number of powerful emotions along the way. A spot in the top five is out of reach, though, thanks to two-time winners and Ric Flair.


5. Hulk Hogan

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    Won the Rumble in 1990, 1991

    Number of Eliminations: 6, 7

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 12:49, 19:55

    Won Championship? N/A

    Hulk Hogan took control of the Royal Rumble in the early '90s much the way he dominated the WWE Championship picture.

    He was the company's top star and the Rumble served as further proof of his dominance. Rick Rude, The Ultimate Warrior and Earthquake weren't able to stop from him becoming the first-ever two-time Rumble winner.

    Even with as much history as he made, as the first kingpin of the event, the fact that a spot in a WrestleMania main event wasn't on the line at the Royal Rumble yet, makes his victories less valuable than those of the men above him on this list.


4. John Cena

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    Won the Rumble in 2008, 2013

    Number of Eliminations: 4, 4

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 8:27, 26:39

    Won Championship? Yes in 2013

    Often called the modern-day Hulk Hogan, John Cena matches "The Hulkster" in Rumble victories. He didn't eliminate as many foes as Hogan, but boasts a lengthy stay in the 2013 Rumble.

    It was that year that Cena claimed victory at both the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. There would be no upset win from Ryback and no second straight win for Sheamus; Cena's popularity and position with the company earned him the right to outlast his opponents for the second time in a Rumble.

    Winning two Rumbles puts Cena in select category, but isn't enough to top the memory of the tear in Ric Flair's eye.

3. Ric Flair

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    Won the Rumble in 1992

    Number of Eliminations: 5

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 59:26

    Won Championship? Yes

    In 1992, the Royal Rumble's importance jumped upward. The vacant WWE title was on the line and any of the 30 Rumble entrants could take it home.

    Ric Flair eliminated Randy Savage, Kerry Von Erich and Sid Justice to become the only man to win both the Rumble and the WWE Championship on the same night.

    In what some call the greatest Rumble match in event history, Flair emerged on top and delivered perhaps the best promo of his career. No Rumble meant more or is remembered more fondly and that fact has "The Nature Boy" rank higher than even two-time winners John Cena and Hulk Hogan.

    Two other wrestlers with multiple Rumble wins edge him out thanks to stunning dominance, however.

2. Shawn Michaels

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    Won the Rumble in 1995, 1996

    Number of Eliminations: 8, 8

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 38:41, 26:09

    Won Championship? Yes in 1996

    Like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels won two Rumbles in a row.

    The difference, though, was that Hogan came as the 24th and 25th entrants in his wins and Michaels' victories were booked more like odysseys. Michaels was the first man in for the 1995 Rumble and even though he drew number 18 the next year, had to spend nearly half an hour toiling in the ring to win.

    Although Kane is more famous for tossing foes out of the ring at an impressive rate, "The Heartbreak Kid" sent home a large number of opponents unhappy each time he won.

    In 1996, he rode the Rumble victory to a title win at WrestleMania when he outlasted Bret Hart in an Iron Man match.

    As great as that resume is, there's a man who is the undisputed king of the Royal Rumble that has to rank above Michaels.

1. Steve Austin

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    Won the Rumble in 1997, 1998 and 2001

    Number of Eliminations: 3, 7 and 10

    Time Spent in Rumble Match: 9:10, 15:53 and 45:07

    Won Championship? Yes in 1998 and 2001

    WWE showcased Steve Austin's dominance with two straight Rumble victories and by making him the only man to win three of them.

    He lasted just over 45 minutes in 1997 where he eliminated big names like Bret Hart, Undertaker and Vader en route to being the last man standing. Austin's red-hot popularity during this period coincided with him being seemingly unstoppable at times. Outlasting his foes three times in the Rumble is a prime example of that.

    His Royal Rumble performances were a big part of creating his aura of badassness, making him the alpha male able to toss aside all the other incoming lions.

    Unless John Cena wins his third Rumble match at some point or some young stud gets their win total up to three, Austin will remain the most impressive and memorable Rumble winner.