The Top 50 Royal Rumble Moments EVER: 40-31

Benjamin BenyaCorrespondent IIJanuary 26, 2010

So far, we've seen a McMahon take down the whole thing, a few tag teams showing their in-ring dominance, and even a few titanic clashes between super-heavyweights and superstars, and that was just moments 50 through 41!

In case you missed it, you can find the first ten moments right here

Up next, we openly welcome moments 40-31 in Royal Rumble History. From incredible matches to memorable finishes and classic turns, this group has it all.

40. The 1-2-3 Kid Turns on Razor Ramon, 1996

It was well documented that Razor Ramon had bigger things on his mind when he headed into the 1996 Royal Rumble match to face the bizarre newcomer, Goldust. 

In the weeks leading up to the contest between the two, we were lead to believe that Goldust may have had more on his mind than just winning the Intercontinental Title from the defending champion. So with these homoerotic mind games formulating from the challenger to champion, Razor had good reason to be uneasy. 

But when it came time to compete, Razor didn’t count on one of his closest allies, the 1-2-3 Kid, being his big downfall. The Kid hit the ring like a bolt of lightning, attacking Razor, and costing him what would be his last IC title. 

39. Cena and Umaga silence critics, 2007

At a time when nearly all wrestling fans were hesitant to support it, the WWE gave us a main event that made all the "smart marks" cringe. John Cena was to do battle with Umaga in a Last Man Standing Match at one of the big four pay-per-views for the WWE Championship. 

Cena, who was in the midst of one of the worst patches on Anti-Cena hatred in his career, was going to have to tussle with a 300-plus pound Samoan that was mostly unproven in a big atmosphere. After their quick-but-not-bad finish at New Year’s Revolution three weeks earlier, the stage was set for a surefire failure. 

And then, surprisingly, the two men turned in an incredibly good match that was easily a highlight of the year. Both men delivered originality and storytelling that the match demanded, but did so with the flash and brilliance of old professionals. When the 23-minute match concluded, not a fan in the audience was disappointed with the quality presented to them.


38. Piper’s Pit Redux, 2008

It wasn’t all-too-unheard of when Jimmy Snuka graced the Madison Square Garden crowd with his surprise entry at number 18 in 2008. But when the familiar bagpipes hit just 90 seconds later, old school fans knew something seemingly too perfect was in the works. 

All the action in the ring halted as Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper locked up one last time in an attempt to rekindle the old magic of Tuesday Night Titans.  It lasted less than two minutes, as Kane would take out both men upon entry. 

However, in the small time they were in the ring, they provided us some great highlights, like C.M. Punk corpsing and The Undertaker selling a Snuka headbutt. Wrestling Law No. 24: Samoans have the hardest heads in the world.

37. Two Words: Drew Carey, 2001

Poor Lo Down.  In case you’ve forgotten, Tiger Ali Singh had the dubious honor of choosing which member of his upstart tag team, D-Lo Brown or Chaz, would compete in the Royal Rumble match. Well, he had the choice up until Vince McMahon announced that he would be replacing those two with a more suitable Rumble competitor: Drew Carey. 

The improvisational specialist and (at the time) star of his own ABC sitcom was on top of the world promoting his upcoming pay-per-view when we were all blindsided by the prospect of Carey actually competing in the 30-man battle royal.  He didn’t disappoint. 

Carey entered fifth, and after the Hardy Boyz eliminated each other, for one brief moment, he stood atop the wrestling world as the only man in the ring during the Royal Rumble match. And then, at No. 6, the Big Red Machine Kane made his way to the ring. 

Ever the consummate professional, Drew Carey attempted to bribe Kane with cold hard cash before finally slinking away and throwing himself over the top rope.  It was his first and last match, yet he still has the distinction of outlasting other perennial favorites in the Royal Rumble match like Santino Marella (twice), Tazz, and The Warlord.

36. A Woman in the Rumble, 1999

We’ve already established that the 1999 Royal Rumble match wasn’t really about the usual draw. Amidst the first appearance by a McMahon in the Rumble, we also got the first appearance of a woman: Chyna. 

Just a week earlier, Chyna shocked the world when she won the Corporate Rumble on WWF Raw is War, a victory that guaranteed her the number 30 spot in the over-the-top battle royal. While her face time was brief, she did manage to extract some revenge on her former love interest, Mark Henry. 

She would also appear in the 2000 Royal Rumble, but by that time, the fanfare over such a novelty had completely worn off.

35. Ax and Smash open at 1 and 2, 1989

We all know that tag teams should have a distinct advantage if they ever meet up in the Royal Rumble match. Recently, both Rated RKO and MNM had sizable runs during the match when they were working together, but no team ever had a better opportunity than the first three-time WWF Tag Team Champions, Demolition. 

In what can only be called a fluke, both Ax and Smash had already hinted that it was going to be a long night during a pre-match interview spot, but who knew that the dominating tandem would be the first two into the ring? 

And while you might expect these two to strategize on how they can be the last two standing, they instead brutalized one another for the better part of the next two minutes, until finally focusing on the imminent third entrant: Andre the Giant. 

Andre eliminated Smash just a few minutes later, breaking up any chance the duo had of taking the whole thing for themselves.

34. Unveiling the Narcissist, 1993

Bobby “the Brain” Heenan kept quite busy during the early '90s in the World Wrestling Federation. At first, he was pumping up the “Real World’s Champion” Ric Flair. But after Flair departed the company, Heenan soon began brewing a new sort of stew. 

Heenan promised that he would reveal his next big protégé, the Narcissist, at the 1993 Royal Rumble. Many were left wondering just who it would be when the big unveiling occurred, but nobody could have predicted that it would be recent WCW World Champion Lex Luger. 

Behind the scenes, Luger had jumped ship from the WCW and was actually recruited be the cornerstone of Vince McMahon’s World Bodybuilding Federation. Luger made only a few appearances for the WBF before it, like most of McMahon’s non-wrestling ventures, folded. 

With still a few more years left on his contract, Luger returned to the ring as the heel Narcissist, but would abandon the character by Summer in favor of the All-American, "Lex Express" Luger that was created to replace Hulk Hogan. His odyssey will continue later in this countdown.

33. Hassan gets mauled, 2005

Very few gimmicks were as controversial or talked about as Muhammad Hassan. Unlike previous evil foreigner tags, Hassan brought to the table an unsettling Arab-American presence in a post-9/11 society. 

His promos were scathing indictments of the American people and all they believed, and the crowd, as well as his opponents, ate it up.  He truly could have been the most hated heel in the history of professional wrestling in time, and no demonstration of this was more evident than his first and only appearance in the Royal Rumble match. 

After four Raw and four SmackDown stars had squared off just minutes earlier, all eight stopped their own antics and turned their attention to Hassan, who was making his way to the ring.  Hassan stood in the center of the ring and posed briefly, before all eight men, Raw or SmackDown, face or heel, attacked with a vengeance and ousted the Arab sympathizer. 

In reality, Mark Copani had played the role so well that the WWE simply didn’t know what to do with him when life imitated art later that year. Copani was released from his contract and the Hassan character disappeared before ever fully living up to its potential.

32. Virgil turns on Ted DiBiase, 1991

For several months in the late 80’s, it appeared as if Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase was going to become the next WWF World Champion. 

DiBiase had done as many different underhanded and devious things as he possibly could to take the title, but when the wheels came off, DiBiase began to blame his longtime bodyguard, Virgil. For years, Virgil took the abuse lying down, but after a critical loss to Dusty and Dustin Rhodes, DiBiase finally pushed him one step too far. 

Virgil would fight back for the first time, leading up to his own confrontation with DiBiase at both WrestleMania and SummerSlam that year.  Virgil would even go as far as to become one of only three men to ever win the Million Dollar Belt, solidifying his place as a wrestling superstar. 

31. Batista, Cena, and McMahon stumble through the end, 2005

It had been a truly awesome night for Rumbles. Even before the 2005 Rumble match commenced, Edge and Shawn Michaels had a very underrated match. Kane surprised the people by helping out the Undertaker in a Casket Match, and the Big Show destroyed a ringside barricade with the aid of JBL and Kurt Angle. All of this, however, didn’t look like it would compare the awesome Royal Rumble match ahead. 

We had the groundwork placed for Angle/HBK, the aforementioned Hassan incident, and some great pure wrestlers getting plenty of face time. When the final two emerged, it seemed as if wrestling’s future was about to shine when it came down to Batista and John Cena. Too bad things took a most awkward turn from there. 

When Batista attempted his patented Batista bomb on Cena, he lost his footing and stumbled over the top rope and to the floor. He and Cena appeared to hit at the same time, and while many believed it was a 1994 rehash, the truth was that this was a major botch for both parties. 

Complicating matters, Mr. McMahon attempted to run to the ring to sort out the mess.  He would tear both of his quadriceps in the process and ended up having to sit down in the ring while the match was restarted between the two men. They rushed through a new ending with Batista officially eliminating Cena to win the match. 

Both would still become World Champions at WrestleMania 21, while McMahon spent the next several months in a wheelchair nursing his injuries.

Check back all this week for the next 10 moments, leading up to No. 1 and the 2010 Royal Rumble!


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