WWE: Top 10 Royal Rumble Performers of All Time

Anthony Rizzuti@@Anthony_RizzutiSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 5, 2012

WWE: Top 10 Royal Rumble Performers of All Time

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    As one of the WWE's "Big Four" pay-per-views, the Royal Rumble is certainly one of the most exciting events in sports entertainment.

    You have 30 of the company's best fighting for a shot to headline the company's biggest show all in one ring. There are always a few surprises and many memorable moments in store at the annual event.

    So in celebration and anticipation of the upcoming event, let's take a look at the top 10 performers in the history of the Royal Rumble.

10. The Rock

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 4

    Wins: 1

    Although he participated in just four Royal Rumble matches, The Rock has certainly made the most of it. 

    His first event came in 1997 under his Rocky Maivia alias. Maivia entered 25th, lasted a solid 13 minutes and was eliminated by future friend and foe, Mankind.

    The Great One, however, would see much more success in his next two Rumbles. The Rock finished as the match's runner-up to Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1998 and ended up winning the traditional event in 2000.

    Rocky eliminated The Big Show in front of the intense New York crowd at Madison Square Garden to win the 13th edition of the Rumble. The Rock did not cash in his title shot opportunity as a result of winning in 2000. The Great One lost to Triple H at WrestleMania 2000 in a Fatal-Four-Way match between himself, The Game, Mick Foley and The Big Show.

9. Randy Orton

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 4

    Wins: 1

    Just like The Great One, Randy Orton has appeared in four Royal Rumble matches. The difference, however, is that we can expect to see The Viper in a hell of a lot more times. With that being said, his first four weren't too shabby.

    Orton's Royal Rumble debut came in 2004. He drew the No. 2 entry in the match and lasted an impressive 33 minutes and 43 seconds until being the 17th man eliminated.

    In the 2006 edition, Orton finished as the match's runner-up after being eliminated by Rey Mysterio. Although he lost his opportunity at headlining WrestleMania here, Orton would still be booked into a World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania 22 against Mysterio and Kurt Angle.

    His first and only Rumble win came in 2009 when The Viper took out Triple H after a grueling 48 minutes and 27 seconds of work. He would go on to the main event at WrestleMania XXV for the WWE Championship, only to lose to the very man he eliminated to win the Rumble, Triple H.

8. Big Show

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 8

    Wins: 0

    The Big Show has yet to win the annual event, but that doesn't mean he isn't a great performer in it.

    Whenever that countdown clock hits zero and Show's music hits, you know business is about to pick up. (All rights to good ol' J.R.). He does hold a number of impressive statistics in the event:

    Most times as runner-up: 2 (tied for first all-time)

    Most consecutive eliminations in a single Rumble: 4 (tied for fourth all-time)

    Total eliminations in Rumble career: 21 (seventh all-time)

    Rumbles entered: 8 (tied for fourth all-time)

    Again, he hasn't won one, but these numbers should count for something.

7. John Cena

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 6

    Wins: 1

    The leader of the Fruit Loop Troop has had his fair share of success at the Rumble. 

    John Cena has competed in the event a total of six times, winning one of them in 2008 at Madison Square Garden. There Cena became just the second superstar of all-time to win as the 30th entrant in what was admittedly one of the greatest moments in the pay-per-view's history.

    Surprisingly, Cena did not capitalize on this win. Cena and Triple H fell victim to Randy Orton in their Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXIV.

    In his Rumble career, Cena has also finished as runner-up twice, made five final six appearances and has eliminated a total of 18 men which ranks eighth all-time.

6. Triple H

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 8

    Wins: 1

    Triple H's Royal Rumble career began in 1996. Known then as Hunter Hearst Hemsley, The Game drew the unfortunate No. 1 entry and lasted an impressive 48 minutes and 1 second before being ousted by his fellow Kliq member Kevin Nash.

    His crowning moment at the pay-per-view came in 2002 where he eliminated Kurt Angle to win the annual event. Of course, this was a part of Triple H's comeback storyline trail which would later see him defeating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania X8 for the Undisputed Championship.

    The Game's overall work in the Royal Rumble easily makes him one of the greatest to ever participate. In addition to his emotional win in 2002, Triple H has finished as runner-up twice, eliminated the sixth highest total of superstars in history and holds the fourth longest time spent in a single Rumble at one hour and nine seconds.

5. Undertaker

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 10

    Wins: 1

    It's hard to believe the Undertaker has accumulated just one Royal Rumble win in his storied WWE career. Nonetheless, The Deadman has certainly made his mark on the annual event.

    His Rumble debut was back in 1991. Taker entered as the 12th man and was subsequently eliminated by both Animal and Hawk after 14 minutes in the ring.

    Undertaker would have to wait 16 years after his first Rumble match to actually win one. The victory came in 2007 when he eliminated Shawn Michaels after coming in as the 30th entrant. Taker went on to headline WrestleMania 23 and defeated Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship.

    Although his Rumble win in '07 was a great one, perhaps his most memorable moment came in 2002. Unfortunately for Taker, the moment came at the expense of newly crowned Tough Enough winner Maven. The rookie ousted Taker from the Rumble with a dropkick to the back and received quite a rousing ovation from the Atlanta crowd in the Philips Arena.

    Overall, Taker has five final six appearances, the fourth highest total of superstars eliminated and the third highest total of Rumble appearances.

4. Kane

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 15

    Wins: 0

    That 0-for-15 clip you see above may not indicate a successful career at the Royal Rumble, but Kane has wreaked nothing but havoc when appearing at the event.

    Kane's first Rumble came in 1996 under his Isaac Yankem character. He entered at No. 27, but did not last long as he was ousted by Shawn Michaels after just seven minutes of in-ring work.

    Although he has yet to win the event, the Big Red Machine holds quite a few records at the Royal Rumble:

    Total eliminations in a single Rumble: 11 (first all-time)

    Total Rumble appearances: 15 (first all-time)

    Final Six appearances: 6 (tied for first all-time)

    Total eliminations in Rumble history: 37 (second all-time)

    Consecutive eliminations in a single Rumble: 6 (tied for third all-time)

    Time spent in a single Rumble: 54:49 (eighth all-time)

    Those numbers speak for themselves and make Kane the fourth greatest performer in Royal Rumble history.

3. Hulk Hogan

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 4

    Wins: 2

    The most iconic figure in professional wrestling history, Hulk Hogan, is No. 3 on the list. 

    Of the four Rumbles he has competed in, Hogan proved victorious in two of them. Both of those wins came in 1990 and 1991, making him the first superstar to win consecutive Rumbles.

    His 1990 win came in Orlando after he eliminated Mr. Perfect, the 30th entrant. Hogan's second win in 1991 saw him taking out none other than Earthquake after spending a total of 19 minutes and 55 seconds in the match.

    Although he has competed in just four Rumbles, Hogan certainly made the most of it. In his career at the pay-per-view, he eliminated a total of 27 men, the fifth highest total of all-time. Hogan's average of 6.75 eliminations per Rumble is by far the highest such total in WWE history.

    Hogan also holds the record for most consecutive eliminations with eight and his two wins are tied for the second most in Royal Rumble history.

2. Stone Cold Steve Austin

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 6

    Wins: 3

    Stone Cold Steve Austin breaks the glass and lands in the No. 2 spot on this countdown.

    As you may already know, Austin holds the record for most Rumble wins with a total of three. Those victories came in 1997, 1998 and 2001. Austin used two of those wins to capture the WWE title on two different occasions. One came at WrestleMania XIV against Shawn Michaels and the other at WrestleMania X-Seven against The Rock.

    Austin is easily one of the greatest to ever participate in the event, indicated by his fairly impressive numbers:

    Rumble wins: 3 (first all-time)

    Final Six appearances: 5 (tied for second all-time)

    Eliminations in a single Rumble: 10 (tied for second all-time), 8 (tied for third all-time), 7 (tied for fourth all-time)

    Total eliminations in Rumble history: 36 (third all-time)

    Consecutive eliminations in a single Rumble: 6 (tied for third all-time)

    Time spent in a single Rumble: 56:38 (sixth all-time)

1. Shawn Michaels

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    Royal Rumble Appearances: 12

    Wins: 2

    Sure, Shawn Michaels didn't win as many Rumbles as the man before him on this countdown, but that doesn't mean he isn't the greatest performer in the event's history.

    The Heartbreak Kid's Rumble debut came in 1989. After lasting 14 minutes and 30 seconds in the match, Michaels was eliminated by fellow wrestling legends "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Arn Anderson. Fortunately for Shawn, he would see much greater success in his upcoming appearances.

    In 1995, Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble after being the very first entrant of the match. He spent a total of 38 minutes and 41 seconds in the ring and eliminated the British Bulldog, the No. 2 entrant, to pick up his first Rumble victory. Michaels became the first man to win the event as the No. 1 entrant.

    Michaels' second victory at the Rumble came along the very next year in Fresno, California. Here, Michaels entered 18th and ousted longtime friend Kevin Nash to win the match.

    Although HBK hasn't won the most of these matches, he is undoubtedly the best Royal Rumble competitor of all-time. In addition to his two victories, Michaels was the first man to win the event after entering first, the second man to win back-to-back Rumbles and holds the record for most men eliminated in the event's history.

    Here are Michaels' notable statistics in his Rumble career:

    Eliminations in Rumble history: 39 (first all-time)

    Rumble wins: 2 (tied for second all-time)

    Rumble appearances: 12 (second all-time)

    Final Six appearances: 6 (tied first all-time)

    Eliminations in a single Rumble: 8 (tied for third all-time), 7 (tied for fourth all-time)

    Consecutive eliminations in a single Rumble: 6 (tied for third all-time)

    The Show-stopper certainly stops the show at the Rumble, making him the greatest Royal Rumble performer in WWE history.

What Do You Think?

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    So what do you think?

    Agree? Disagree?

    If so, please feel free to leave your opinion in the comment section below.

    Thanks for viewing and I hope you enjoy the 2012 WWE Royal Rumble.

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