WrestleMania is awesome. SummerSlam is always fun. The Survivor Series has played host to many classic WWE moments. All that being said, there is nothing quite like the Royal Rumble. There is a magic to the Royal Rumble that makes it so wrestling fans that don’t keep up with the product week to week still manage to find time to watch the Royal Rumble every single year. In a business that is becoming more and more predictable every year, the Royal Rumble remains the one event a year that is almost impossible to predict. Anything can happen.
As history has proven, most things that can happen at the Royal Rumble tend to happen at the Royal Rumble. Because of this, the Royal Rumble has a rich history of moments that range from awful to legendary. So much happens during the average Royal Rumble that it often takes fans the rest of the calendar year to dissect it all. Maybe no fan should be surprised then that interesting Royal Rumble facts can sometimes go unnoticed. You may watch the Royal Rumble every year, but there’s a good chance that these are the 15 things you didn’t know about the Royal Rumble.
15 There Have Been Seven non-PPV Royal Rumble Matches Since 1988...
The Royal Rumble is routinely referred to as one of WWE’s “big four” PPVs. What’s funny about that is the first Royal Rumble in 1988 wasn’t on PPV. It was a USA Network special. What’s even funnier about that is that WWE have actually hosted seven non-PPV Royal Rumble matches since the event’s formal 1988 debut. Four of them have taken place and RAW and usually featured some kind of odd stipulation (such as a tag team Royal Rumble or a 7-man Royal Rumble).
14 …And One That Happened Before 1988
What? WWE has been lying to us all these years about wrestling history? Would they really do that? Yes they would. The do it repeatedly. In fact, every time they tell you that the first Royal Rumble match took place in 1988, they’re lying to you. Well…kind of. Technically, the first Royal Rumble event did occur in 1988. However, the very first Royal Rumble match in WWE history actually took place in 1987 at a non-televised event in St. Louis.
13 Bo Dallas Was The First Royal Rumble Participant Who Was Younger Than the Match Itself
12 Ted DiBiase Sr. And Jr. Are The Only Father/Son Duo To Reach The Royal Rumble Final Four
Speaking of generations of wrestlers, the family nature of the wrestling business means that there have been a few instances of fathers and sons participating in the event. For instance, in 1997, Dustin Rhodes and Dusty Rhodes became the first father and son to wrestle in the Royal Rumble. Later on, Cody Rhodes joined them. Carlito and Carlos Colon have also both been in the Rumble, as have Jey Uso and his father Rikishi.
11 Finlay Is The Only Person To Be Disqualified From The Royal Rumble
Prior to 2008, many people thought that the Royal Rumble was a no-disqualification match. Actually, there were several points in the match’s history that the announcers explicitly said that “the only way to lose is to go over the top rope” (more on that later). The Attitude Era matches even featured several instances of wrestlers using weapons. Stone Cold won the 2001 Royal Rumble with the help of a chair, actually.
10 The Royal Rumble Match Didn’t Headline The First Official Royal Rumble Event
When you think of Royal Rumble PPVs, how often do you think of matches that aren’t the Royal Rumble? Not often, right? That just makes sense. People spend all year looking forward to the Royal Rumble match meaning that even the best non-Royal Rumble matches on the card tend to be overshadowed by the spectacle of the battle royal. That being the case, it’s never made sense why WWE would make any match but the Royal Rumble the main event. Yet, it has happened on five separate occasions. The Royal Rumble wasn’t the main event of the Royal Rumble PPV between 1996 and 1998, and it wasn’t the main event of the 2013 show which was headlined by CM Punk and The Rock.
9 Statistically, The 2014 Royal Rumble Roster Was The Most Accomplished.
8 Only Three Royal Rumble Winners Have Never Been a WWE World Champion
Not every Royal Rumble has been fought for the opportunity to either win the title or go to WrestleMania (1992 was the first time the title was on the line and 1993 was the first year that the winner officially got a WrestleMania shot), but the winner of the Royal Rumble is almost always associated with being champion. Even if the winner of the Royal Rumble doesn’t immediately go on to be the champ, WWE has a great track record when it comes to choosing someone to win who is of a championship caliber.
7 WWE Uploaded A Video of the 2014 Royal Rumble Focused Entirely on CM Punk's Butt
6 Triple H and Bob Backlund Lasted Over An Hour In The Royal Rumble And Still Lost
With the exception of the eventual winner, the one wrestler that usually gets the most publicity following a Royal Rumble match is usually the iron man. The iron man is the wrestler who lasts longest during the Royal Rumble. Even in real world terms, that’s an impressive accomplishment. It takes a lot of skill and stamina to endure that kind of extended time in a wrestling ring.
5 Nobody Is Sure Why Bastion Booger Didn't Wrestle in The 1994 Royal Rumble
One of the things that make the Royal Rumble so great is the way that WWE always find a way to play with your expectations. The best Royal Rumble moments are usually these cleverly implemented moments of mini-booking during the match itself. For instance, occasionally a wrestler doesn’t make it into the match even though they are scheduled to appear. Actually, that’s happened on six different occasions. The tradition started when Macho Man refused to enter the 1991 Royal Rumble out of fear of The Ultimate Warrior and continued when guys like Spike Dudley got beaten up too bad before the match to enter.
4 Five People Have Accidentally Eliminated Themselves From The Royal Rumble
A common question among Royal Rumble fans is “Has anyone ever accidentally eliminated themselves from the Royal Rumble?” It’s an amusing thought. After all, Royal Rumble matches are among the most highly choreographed of all wrestling events. As such, there really is no good reason such a thing should ever happen. Despite this, it’s happened five times. Macho Man eliminated himself in 1992 by jumping over the top ropes, but it was covered up. Batista accidentally eliminated himself during the 2005 Royal Rumble, but the match was restarted.
3 The Ring Was Completely Empty During the 1999 Royal Rumble Three Separate Times
The 1999 Royal Rumble was a complete mess. This was the year that saw Vince McMahon put a bounty on Stone Cold Steve Austin which turned the entire match into an elaborate Vince Russo bad booking special. The booking of this match was so bad that the ring was completely empty three times during the main event. The first happened when Stone Cold chased Vince McMahon around the arena when they were the only two competitors in the ring.
2 Scott Hall Has Never Wrestled In The Royal Rumble (But Razor Ramon has)
Not everyone who has ever wrestled in WWE has entered the Royal Rumble. However, given how many men it takes to fill a 30-man Royal Rumble match roster sheet, there’s a pretty good chance that if you’re in WWE long enough then you’re going to find your way into the match at some point. That’s especially true if you’re a big star like Razor Ramon. This makes it all that much more amazing that Razor Ramon has never participated in a Royal Rumble match. Razor appeared on four Royal Rumble PPVs but was always featured in singles matches (three of which were for the Intercontinental Championship and one for the WWE Championship).
1 Mr. Perfect Was Supposed To Win The Royal Rumble...Twice
Right off the bat, let’s be clear that this entry is based on some very popular speculation. As you might know, Mr. Perfect is considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers to never win the WWE Championship. Had Royal Rumble plans gone differently, that might not have been the case. Supposedly, Mr. Perfect was supposed to win the 1990 Royal Rumble. That changed when Hulk Hogan did some backstage politicking in order to set up a WrestleMania VI match with The Ultimate Warrior.
Perfect was also supposedly set to win the 1991 Royal Rumble before Vince McMahon decided to go all-in on capitalizing on the Gulf War by putting Hulk Hogan over again and having him wave the American flag at the end of the show.
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