The Royal Rumble event is one of the biggest shows of the year and many fans actually prefer it to WrestleMania. While WrestleMania is the bigger spectacle, the Royal Rumble is more exciting and unpredictable because of the Royal Rumble battle royal match. Thirty men entering the ring to compete for a spot in WrestleMania main event gives fans hope for their favorite stars. The match is the perfect place to start a push, create a storyline or give the audience reason to root for their favorite star. There’s typically more unpredictability in play at the Rumble and the match itself is the high point of the wrestling calendar for quite a few wrestling fans.
Over the course of twenty-eight years, we have seen an array of memorable Royal Rumble moments. Maven shockingly eliminated The Undertaker. Drew Carey was a competitor for a few minutes before Kane scared him out of the ring. Mick Foley entered the match three times with the different characters of Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love. There’s been a plethora of entertaining highlights but the strength in the concept has been the storytelling and star power. Most of the winners are on the road to becoming big stars or are continuing to write their legacy among the all-time greats. You can argue every current Royal Rumble winner will have a realistic chance at making the WWE Hall of Fame, except Chris Benoit for obvious reasons.
The best Royal Rumble stories would include Ric Flair winning the WWE Championship, Shawn Michaels showing his endurance from the #1 position, Steve Austin cheating to screw Bret Hart and John Cena making a shocking return to win in Madison Square Garden. Through the excitement, unpredictability and foolproof concept, the stories to come from the match have been the most impressive aftermath. Unfortunately not all of the Royal Rumble matches have led to great moments. There have been bad wrestlers, bad booking and bad timing that led to awful situations. We will look at this and the top twelve worst Royal Rumble winners of all-time.
12 Roman Reigns
11 Hacksaw Jim Duggan
10 Alberto Del Rio
9 Hulk Hogan
8 Brock Lesnar
7 Rey Mysterio
6 Big John Studd
3 Lex Luger
1 Vince McMahon
There was definitely not a worse Royal Rumble winner than Vince McMahon. Regardless of if you look at it from a purely wrestling perspective or booking decision, McMahon getting the victory was a complete mess. Vince wasn’t an active wrestler and this was just a way to prolong his feud with Steve Austin. The cheap finish made the other wrestlers in the match look like a joke. You can’t argue with the results of the Austin vs. McMahon feud in wrestling history, but there was no reason for McMahon to win the match. It could have been a debuting Big Show or any actual wrestler with the same sloppy booking to change the direction before WrestleMania that gave Austin the eventual WrestleMania XV title match. The owner put his ego on display by winning the 1999 Royal Rumble and was the worst victor in the match’s history.
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