The Royal Rumble is generally a pay-per-view that has it all. Huge swerves, massive returns and the consistently entertaining Royal Rumble match.
However, sometimes the show does have a tendency to let fans down. There have been 26 previous editions of the Rumble—and some stick out as being particularly worse than the others.
Whether it is down to a lack of roster depth at the time, a disappointing main event or just an all-round disappointing card—some Rumbles have been rather forgettable.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the five worst Rumble cards in history.
It's important to emphasize that the legendary "I Quit" match between The Rock and Mankind is well and truly excused from this shambles of a Royal Rumble. It was a championship match for the ages—and didn't belong at a Rumble like this.
We opened with The Big Boss Man beating Road Dogg in a singles match—that was an encounter that belonged on Sunday Night Heat before the pay-per-view began. Likewise, X-Pac vs. Gangrel for the European Championship.
Billy Gunn ridiculously lost the Intercontinental Championship match to Ken Shamrock—with many expecting him to win.
Then there was the Rumble—which Vince McMahon won, of course. The only problem was the cameras spent the majority of the match focusing on Austin and McMahon going at it backstage—before they came into the ring to finish it off.
It had too many sporadic interferences throughout, and it was a pretty poor Rumble.
The 2006 edition featured some pretty horrendous matches that, in truth, should have been nowhere near a pay-per-view.
The most striking of those is without doubt John "Bradshaw" Layfield taking on The Boogeyman. Yes, The Boogeyman. We opened with a six-way match for the cruiserweight belt that lasted less than eight minutes—and was unbelievably forgettable.
The Rumble match wasn't the main event, too—two matches followed it, for some bizarre reason. The two matches that did follow it included John Cena winning the WWE Championship from Edge just three weeks after the latter had regained the belt.
And the main event? Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry.
I know exactly what you're thinking—how could the Royal Rumble where Shawn Michaels became the first man to enter at No. 1 and win it be on the list of worst Rumble cards?
Although Michaels did indeed win that Rumble, the rest of the competition—with perhaps the exception of The British Bulldog—suggested that Michaels was going to go close right from the start.
Much of the WWE's top talent at the time was booked in other matches that evening—Diesel, Bret Hart, The Undertaker and Razor Ramon all were not in the Rumble. Like 2006, there was a real thinness to the Rumble card.
The 1995 Rumble brought us the likes of Bob Backlund, Kwang and Mo—who lasted just three seconds. Yes, Michaels created history that evening. But the Rumble lineup has to be the worst ever.
This edition making the list has absolutely nothing to do with Sheamus winning the event. In truth, his emergence as a Rumble winner was one of the bright spots of the card.
But 2012 was a pretty forgettable Rumble for several reasons. First of all, the majority of the card was disappointingly poor before the main Rumble match.
John Cena and Kane's match at the event ended in a ridiculous double count-out—and they kept fighting backstage until Kane saw fit to dismantle Zack Ryder in the middle of the ring—with Eve Torres weeping over Ryder's broken body—and career.
Then we had Brodus Clay beating Drew McIntyre in just over a minute—make your own assumptions as to why that match had to take place at such a marquee pay-per-view.
And the Rumble itself was pretty flimsy by its own high standard. The fact all three commentators from the evening—Booker T, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler—all entered just about sums it up.
That's without mentioning Santino Marella and Mick Foley having a sock puppet competition. 2012, you were a poor, poor Rumble.
This Rumble proved that there is quite simply not enough talent—or time—to have a main event with 40 men competing in it.
The rest of the card suffered horrendously as a result of the extension to the main event. There were just the two main championship matches and a five minute Divas match. The WWE Championship match had The Miz successfully defend his title—which almost makes it bad enough to top the list on its own.
Putting Edge and Dolph Ziggler's impressive match aside, the Rumble was just terrible. Characters such as Hornswoggle managed to last for almost 10 minutes—something which should never be allowed at a pay-per-view.
Diesel's return brought a pretty decent pop from the crowd, but there was little to shout about. Even the fact Alberto Del Rio won the event left me feeling a little bit flat.
It's a tough call, but the 2011 Royal Rumble may well be the worst ever.