The Royal Rumble is one of the “Big Four” WWE pay-per-views of the year – and maybe the most exciting. 30 men entering the ring one at a time (usually every 90 seconds) all vying to be the one to outlast all the others and punch their ticket to a title match at WrestleMania.
And while there are stats and numbers for everything WWE, the way the Royal Rumble is set up it is just ripe with different numbers and statistics looking back over its thirty-year history.
When we think of the Royal Rumble, we think of 30 superstars entering the ring. However, two Royal Rumbles in the history of the event have not had a 30-superstar field. the first one ever was a 20-man field and the 2011 Rumble featured 40 WWE superstars.
As one might expect: The first Royal Rumble (with only 20 combatant) is also the shortest Rumble of all time, clocking in at 33 minutes. And the 2011 40-superstar Rumble was the longest ever, 1 hour and 10 minutes. What is interesting about that though is that the 1:10 time for the 2011 Rumble was less than a minute longer than the 2002 Rumble. Ten more wrestlers but only about 40 seconds longer total time.
While the longest Royal Rumble was in 2011, the longest amount of time spent in-ring for the over-the-top bout did not occur in the historic 40-man match. The year was 2006 and Rey Mysterio spent 1 hour 2 minutes and 12 seconds in the ring and outlasted 29 other superstars to get the victory. Not only does Rey Mysterio hold the record for the longest time in the ring during a single Royal Rumble, but he also won the Rumble that year as well
At the complete opposite of that spectrum is Edge, who holds an interesting stat as the shortest amount of time in-ring to win the Rumble. In 2010, was the 29th superstar to enter the Royal Rumble ring. And just 7 minutes and 19 seconds later was standing alone as the winner.
While Edge and Mysterio hold interesting stats for winning the Royal Rumble, there is one man who won it the most— “Stone Cold” Steve Austin! The Texas Rattlesnake won back-to-back Rumbles in 1997 and 1998 and then again just a few years later in 2001 he got his third Royal Rumble win.
And if being the only three-time winner isn’t enough to garner Austin the title of greatest Royal Rumble Superstar of all time, how about this: He is also tied with Shawn Michaels for the most final four appearances at a Royal Rumble and he came in second place at the 1999 Rumble, losing to Mr. McMahon, but coming that close to getting the three-peat!
While Austin will go down as an all-time great in the Rumble Match, there are a few who competed and can be considered the worst for eliminating themselves. This one may surprise you. Sure, there was Drew Carey who got out of the ring nice and quick once Kane arrived at the 2001 Royal Rumble, but the eight other self-eliminations were actual, legit WWE Superstars taking themselves over the top rope. Kane did it in 1999, Mick Foley did it in 2004, and MVP did it in 2010. Even Andre The Giant took himself out at the 1989 Royal Rumble.
Another cool stat for the Rumble is there are certain entrant numbers with more winners than others. This one may surprise you, but Superstars that have been the first to enter the Royal Rumble ring—and therefore have had to outlast the most other opponents—have gone on to win the Rumble four times. And while that may not sound like a lot given that there have been 30 Royal Rumbles thus far, four wins by a specific entrant number is the most by any number one through 30. And is tied atop that list with number 27 – whose entrants over the last three decades have also gone onto win four times.
There is a slight technicality here, in that of the four “first entrant” winners: Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio – McMahon and Mysterio were actually the number two entrants in their respective winning Rumbles. However, since the Royal Rumble doesn’t officially begin until both number one and number two have entered the ring, they are for all intents and purposes the same.
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