The 2017 Royal Rumble is here and already it seems that WWE is hoping to make the 30th Anniversary of the annual event, one of the biggest of all time.
The Royal Rumble has been one of the biggest Pay-Per-View events now for many years, and it seems that this year’s main event match is now one of the most unpredictable of all time.
The last few years have seen the likes of Batista, Roman Reigns, and Triple H walk out victorious in the 30-man over-the-top rope Battle Royal, but this years seems much less predictable.
The event is set to take place live from the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas this Sunday. And ahead of what is set to be a historic night, here are 15 fast facts to get you ready for the Royal Rumble.
15. The First Match Took Place In 1988 And Was Won By Hacksaw Jim Duggan
The first ever Royal Rumble match took place on January 24 1988 live from the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. Unlike many other Royal Rumble matches that would come after it, the first ever Rumble was actually on the undercard of the show and was contested between just 20 men.
WWE opted to make the main event of the night a Tw0-Out-Of-Three Falls match between The Islanders and The Young Stallions instead. This Royal Rumble match is still considered one of the most historic despite its place on the card, and it was won by WWE Hall of Famer ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan.
14. There’s Only Been 28 Royal Rumble Pay-Per-Views
As noted above, the first ever Royal Rumble event was one that didn’t fully highlight the Rumble part of the show very much. It was just WWE’s way of showing the sponsors/fans/employees what kind of match they could have if this was to become one of their main four Pay-Per-View events.
This also means that the first ever Royal Rumble event wasn’t on Pay-Per-View. All other events afterwards did feature on Pay-Per-View but because this was the first one and Vince McMahon was not very hot on the idea, the match was instead shown on the USA Network free of charge. The match was a hit and would become an annual Pay-Per-View event afterwards.
13. Vince McMahon Thought The Idea Was Stupid
Vince McMahon has never been the kind of man who minces his words. So when WWE Hall of Famer Pat Paterson told him his idea to have a Battle Royal, but instead begin the match with just two people and then have a new person enter the match every few minutes, he thought it was stupid.
When Vince was asked to produce a show at the beginning of the year and Vince told Pat to tell them his ‘stupid’ idea. But the cable network didn’t think it was stupid, they decided to run with it and Vince even helped to come up with the name. If Vince had his way, the Rumble would never have happened.
12. There Have Been Two Rumbles Without 30 Entrants
It may be the 30th Anniversary of the Royal Rumble this year, but in those years there have been two Royal Rumble matches that have not been a 30-man match. The original of course (which was 20) and the big bout six years ago.
This happened back in 2011. WWE made the executive decision to make the match a 40-man Battle Royale for the first time in history and it seemed to have worked. The match was won by number 38 Alberto Del Rio who will always stand out in history as the man who won the biggest Rumble of all time.
11. The WWE Championship Has Been On The Line Twice
The Royal Rumble is the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania. This is because the winner receives a shot at a championship in the main event of WrestleMania, merely months later.
But this wasn’t the case in 1992 and 2016. The first time the WWE Championship was on the line in the Rumble was back in 1992. The title was vacated in December 1991 and WWE made the decision to put the title on the line in the match. Ric Flair was the last man standing after he eliminated Sid Justice and won the WWE Championship. The first time the title was defended in the Royal Rumble was back in 2016 when Roman Reigns entered the match at number one and attempted to retain the title. Sadly Triple H won the Rumble and the title after last eliminating Dean Ambrose.
10. Rey Mysterio Holds The Record For The Longest Match Time
There are many Superstars who hold records relating to the Royal Rumble, but Rey Mysterio has to be the one who holds the most deserving. Mysterio entered the match back in 2006 at number two and managed to last over an hour in the match before he won it when he eliminated Randy Orton.
The two then embarked on a feud that was settled when Mysterio won the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22, but it was his performance in the Rumble that turned many heads. Mysterio’s official match time for 2006 was 62 minutes and 12 seconds, a record that is still yet to be beaten.
9. The WrestleMania Match Stipulation Was Only Added In 1993
Following the success of the 1992 Royal Rumble, where Ric Flair won the WWE Championship, it was decided the following year that there would be an added stipulation to the Rumble match.
The added stipulation was that the winner gets a main event championship opportunity at WrestleMania. It is thought that this was added to the event because WWE was having the Royal Rumble every year and it wasn’t leading to anything. This way it led nicely onto WrestleMania, back when it was only their second event of the year, along with SummerSlam and Survivor Series.
8. Santino Marella Holds The Record For The Shortest Match Time
If Rey Mysterio was deserving of his record match time in the Rumble, then you could argue that Santino is just as deserving of his. The comedic style Superstar entered the 2009 Royal Rumble and was quickly clotheslined back out by Kane before his feet could even touch the ground.
Santino Marella’s official match time was just about a second long which added him into the record books above Warlord who had previously held the record for many years. It will be a hard one to beat as well, given that Santino didn’t even have a chance to stand up straight before he was knocked straight back out to break the record.
7. The Royal Rumble Has Been Won By Two Men Twice
Technically, it depends how you look at the history books. Lex Luger and Bret Hart both won the 1994 Royal Rumble when both their feet touched the ground at the same time and were announced as dual winners, but back in 2005, John Cena and Batista also won the Royal Rumble together when they accidentally fell out of the ring at the same time. Cena went for the head scissors and the momentum saw both men crash out of the ring and land on the mats outside the ring at the same time.
Vince McMahon ran out to the ring and tore both of his quadricep muscles in the process, to restart the match and force an outright winner. It was then Batista who won the match after a Spine Buster. History obviously only remembers The Animal’s win but the fans who watched the match live, know different.
6. Kane Holds The Overall Elimination Record
Kane has been a destructive force in WWE for more than two decades. So it comes as no surprise that ‘The Big Red Machine’ holds the overall elimination record when it comes to Royal Rumble matches. The official figures have Kane eliminating 44 men over the past few years, all on his own.
The closest person to Kane is Shawn Michaels who has also eliminated 39 people over the course of his career. Kane also once held the elimination record for a singles match with 11 men being tossed out by ‘The Demon’ but that recently broken. Sometimes WWE fails to recognize Kane’s eliminations in the 1996 Royal Rumble because he was Isaac Yankem back then so this sometimes knocks down his elimination tally. And even though Shawn Michaels has eliminated 41 men over the past few decades.
5. Three Women Have Appeared In The Royal Rumble
Even though the match is called a 30-man over the top rope Battle Royal, it doesn’t mean that there can’t be a female presence. Over the past 30 years, just three women have stepped between the ropes and involved themselves in one of the most competitive matches of all time.
Chyna was the first woman back in 1999 and even though she was quickly eliminated, she managed to take Mark Henry out. Beth Phoenix followed him her footsteps in 2010 and took The Great Khali out before she was quickly eliminated by CM Punk. And Kharma was the final female to have been allowed to crash the event in 2012. She eliminated Hunico before Dolph Ziggler returned the favour.
4. The Shield Have Never Met In The Rumble As Singles Stars
This is quite a shocking statistic and one that doesn’t look likely to change in 2017, but The Shield have only ever met in one Royal Rumble match, back in 2014. Roman Reigns, eliminated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins that day, before being eliminated by eventual winner Batista.
The trio debuted at Survivor Series back in 2012, but didn’t play a part in the match in 2013. Seth Rollins missed the 2015 Royal Rumble because he faced Brock Lesnar and John Cena in a Triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and Rollins then missed 2016 through injury. This year it seems that Roman Reigns will be the one missing from the match.
3. Triple H Holds The Record For Most Time
Kane holds the record for the most appearances in the Royal Rumble over the past few decades. Kane has appeared an incredible 19 times in the annual event and has also competed in the most consecutive Royal Rumbles (13) between 1999 and 2011.
But, while Kane has appeared in the most Rumble matches, it is Triple H who holds the record for the longest amount of time spent in the Rumble. ‘The Game’ has racked up a time of 3:59:37 in a WWE ring during the Royal Rumble over the past twenty years.
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin Holds The Rumble Win Record
It comes as no surprise that ‘The Texas RattleSnake’ holds the record for the most amount of Royal Rumble wins. Steve Austin has won three Rumble matches. Consecutively winning the 1997 and 1998 Rumbles before winning the 2001 match as well.
Austin remains just one of three men to have won back to back Rumbles, with Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels, and joins Superstars like John Cena, Triple H and Batista who have also won the event twice. Batista is also the only person to have won the Royal Rumble from the same spot both times, he had entered at number 28 before each of his wins.
1. Roman Reigns Holds The Record For The Most Eliminations In One Match
Roman Reigns made history in his first ever Royal Rumble match back in 2014 when he entered at number 15 and went on to eliminate 12 Superstars. Kane previously held the record from 2001 with 11 eliminations, but Roman obviously ended his 13-year reign with the record.
Reigns has not been able to equal this in recent years but he did win the event in 2015 and he went on to defend WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble last year. It will be interesting to see how WWE tops last year’s match this Sunday.
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