WWE Royal Rumble: Essential Stats to Know Ahead of 2020 PPV
For more than 30 years, the Royal Rumble has been one of WWE's biggest events.
It houses arguably the single grandest match in any year because of the field of 30 wrestlers (sometimes more) competing to outlast the rest of the field.
An entire book of miscellaneous records and trivia could be written about its 1,000-plus entrants.
Here are some essential statistics to know in preparation for Sunday's Royal Rumble matches.
Technically speaking, every Superstar stands a one-in-30 chance of winning every year, but there are a handful who managed to also beat those odds more than once.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin holds the record for most Rumble victories with three, having won in 1997, 1998 and 2001.
Six other wrestlers have won the event twice: Hulk Hogan (1990, 1991), Shawn Michaels (1995, 1996), Triple H (2002, 2016), Batista (2005, 2014), John Cena (2008, 2013) and Randy Orton (2009, 2017).
For three of them to win back-to-back years proves that if someone is a hot act, WWE doesn't mind repeating itself 12 months later.
Triple H has the biggest gap between wins at 14 years, showing age does not preclude anyone from victory if they are good enough.
Winning Entry Numbers
A big deal is made about the entry numbers, as it stands to reason that being No. 1 or No. 2 makes for the hardest run and No. 30 has the shortest time in the ring, but that is far from the case.
Twice, the No. 1 entrant went the distance: Michaels in 1995 and Chris Benoit in 2004. Rey Mysterio won from No. 2 in 2006, and Ric Flair won from No. 3 in 1992. That is good news for Brock Lesnar, who will enter first this year.
While No. 30 should have the most wins, it took 19 years for someone to win from that spot, but it was then repeated again the next year. The Undertaker won from the last spot in 2007, with John Cena following suit 12 months later. Triple H won from No. 30 in 2016.
The Deadman and Cena situation is the only time any number has produced the winner in back-to-back years, so don't expect the entrants at No. 10 and No. 28 in the men's and women's matches, respectively, to be crowned again.
No. 27 has had the most winners—Big John Studd in 1989, Yokozuna in 1993, Bret Hart in 1994 and Austin in 2001—while Nos. 24, 28 and 30 all have three wins apiece.
Batista is the only person to win more than once with the same number, having won as entry No. 28 in 2005 and 2014.
Statistically, the 21-30 spots are the best to draw, with an auspicious trend from No. 26 and above.
Eliminations are the name of the game in the Rumble matches, and Kane holds the record, throwing 43 Superstars over the top rope. It should be 44, but one of those was under the moniker Isaac Yankem, DDS, and isn't counted.
The Big Red Machine's top-scoring makes sense, though, as he has been in more Rumble matches than anyone else (19). Goldust is in second place with 13. Mick Foley holds the record for most entries and times being eliminated in a single match with three in 1998.
Kane had the most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble from 2001 until 2014 with 11, but Roman Reigns beat that figure with 12 six years ago.
Braun Strowman has the overall record following his 13 eliminations at the Greatest Royal Rumble in April 2018. As he won that match, he also set the record for the most dominant winning performance.
In comparison, the least impressive number of eliminations for a winner goes to Vince McMahon in 1999 and Randy Orton in 2017. All they needed to do was eliminate one person (Austin and Reigns, respectively) to win their matches.
On average, the most dominant Superstar in any particular Royal Rumble match tends to eliminate six people, so if anyone goes on a tear this year, expect them to take out several wrestlers in the process.
Eliminations make up the offense of the match, but the defense is outlasting everyone else.
Naturally, sticking around is harder the longer you have to do it, so the first entrants have the roughest time.
However, entry No. 1 holds the distinction of having the most Iron Man spots with 12. Those wrestlers last the longest, even though only two have won.
On average, coming in before No. 5 tends to lead to the longest time for any Superstar until they are taken out in the final four or as the runner-up.
Chris Jericho has the longest cumulative time in the ring over his Royal Rumble appearances at more than five hours—a full hour more than the next most, Triple H, who is likely to be overtaken by third-place Rey Mysterio in 2020, who trails him by just six minutes.
Daniel Bryan has the record for the longest time in a single match, having lasted 76 minutes in the Greatest Royal Rumble.
As far as the two women's division Rumble matches, Natalya has the record with 56 minutes in 2019 and 81 minutes total for the two years. She's set to add even more time in this year's match.
As great as Mysterio, Bryan and others have been, there are those who haven't had the same luck.
Santino Marella has the record for the shortest time in any Royal Rumble, lasting 1.9 seconds in 2009. Liv Morgan has the worst women's time at eight seconds in 2019.
Interestingly, while the longest time someone took to win the match was Rey Mysterio with 1:02:12, the shortest time any Superstar ever spent to win a Royal Rumble was Edge in 2010. He was only in the match for seven minutes and 37 seconds, having entered at No. 29.
World Champions Competing in Royal Rumble Matches
This year, the big hook for the men's match is that Lesnar will enter while holding the WWE Championship, although this isn't the first time that's happened, albeit under different circumstances.
Before the Royal Rumble prize was a title shot at WrestleMania, Hulk Hogan entered as champion in 1989, 1990 and 1991.
In 1992, the title was on the line and granted to Flair for last eliminating Sid Justice. This was also the case in 2016, with Triple H winning the title from then-champion Reigns.
While not quite considered a world title to some, ECW champion Chavo Guerrero competed in the 2008 Royal Rumble, which brought up confusion that if he had won, he would have been able to challenge another champion, just like this year's scenario.
Current Roster Winners
This year, Asuka and Becky Lynch will fight for the Raw Women's Championship, meaning if neither is in the Royal Rumble, we will be guaranteed a new winner.
For the men's match, though, a number of previous winners are already confirmed to participate.
Lesnar, Mysterio, Nakamura, Orton, Reigns, Seth Rollins and Strowman are looking to win for the second (or, in Orton's case, third) time. Sheamus would be another on that list if he enters the match.
Former winners Edge, John Cena and The Undertaker could always appear. You never quite know with the Royal Rumble.
The Endgame at WrestleMania
Most years, winning the Royal Rumble match grants that Superstar a championship opportunity at WrestleMania.
Originally, Rumble winners were likely to claim the title, but the success rate has dropped off considerably over the years.
The women's winners are 1-1, with Asuka losing and Lynch winning.
For the male Superstars, there have been 25 attempts with only 15 wins. Only four wins have occurred over the past 13 years, however, so don't expect the men's winner to come out of WrestleMania 36 with the WWE or Universal Championship.
But all of these numbers relate only to what has already happened. There's no telling what new surprises are in store for both 2020 Royal Rumble matches that can throw off the math and create all sorts of alternative records for the history books!
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.