WrestleMania is the biggest event in all of professional wrestling. The entire year builds up to one Sunday night where the largest wrestling company in the world puts their best foot forward (usually) and reminds you why you love the WWE. Now, while WrestleMania is the most important event of the year, for my money the Royal Rumble is the most anticipated event of the year. A 30-man over the top rope battle royal to determine who will go on to WrestleMania to challenge the World Champion for their title. Pat Patterson my fellow Montrealer, you are a damn genius for this concept alone.
Often times, a memorable performance in the Royal Rumble match will set a large impression on the WWE fans. Whether it be because of the amount of people a superstar eliminates or the amount of time you last in the ring. What's even more impressive than throwing out 20 men or lasting longer than Val Venis with a mortgage to pay though is actually winning the match on top of setting records.
Before ranking these performances there are a few things to note. You will notice that there aren't many superstars from the early years of the rumble. It's partially because that they're simply aren't that many great performances. It's also because in the early days of the Rumble, winning the match meant nothing. So if winning the match means nothing to the superstar, why should fans care either?
Now while elimination numbers, ring time and victory in the match are all important like I mentioned, important is also being memorable in the match. Being an iron man in the Rumble is one thing, but if nobody remembers it, is it truly impressive? That doesn't mean that lesser known names will excluded, but they will be left out of the higher spots.
Also just for variety's sake, only one performance per wrestler will be included on this countdown. Now for the first entrant in this countdown. 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...
10 10. Rick Martel, 1991
9 9. Bob Backlund, 1993
8 8. Triple H, 2006
7 7. Shawn Michaels, 1995
6 6. Kane, 2001
Watching WWE programming over the past few years might make new fans think that Kane is a wimp but at one point in time, there were very few more over and more believable as a monster than the Big Red Machine. He spoke little yet said more with his actions than 90% of the roster. His entrance, his mask and his agility for a big man all made him of one the most unique superstars in wrestling history.
5 5. Chris Benoit, 2004
4 4. Roman Reigns, 2014
3 3. Stone Cold Steve Austin, 1997
2 2. Ric Flair, 1992
1 1. Rey Mysterio, 2006
It seemed impossible. There was no way in hell that the WWE would actually pull the trigger on a Rey Mysterio push. He's too small, he's not a believable World Champion, he's not charismatic enough bla bla bla... On the heels of Eddie Guerrero's death in November 2005, WWE fans embraced Guerrero's best friend Mysterio as the man to lead the SmackDown brand and carry on his legacy. While events didn't pan out that way, Mysterio did have an emotional road to WrestleMania 22, which kicked off with his 2006 Royal Rumble win. Mysterio set a record for longest time in a Rumble match, lasting 62:12, a mind-boggling achievement for a man who doesn't break the 200-pound mark. The biggest little man in professional wrestling defied all conventions with his 2006 victory, the greatest performance in Royal Rumble history.
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