The 2015 WWE Royal Rumble is coming up on Sunday and, as always, it is expected to be very interesting. While the Rumble is usually full of fun moments, it seems like every year we have some moronic ideas or participants involved. Sometimes, accidents happen in the Rumble making things a bit funny. However, the worst ideas are usually the ones we remember most.
The Rumble has always been a match that could make a person’s career. The winners have often gone on to win the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship at WresteMania. Sometimes, the match itself can bring attention to a WWE talent.
We’ve seen how Roman Reigns and Kofi Kingston have had major moments in their respective careers during this match. Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin both kick-started their Championship careers through it as well. So the match is quite important and can help build a WWE Superstar’s legacy.
You’d think that this means WWE has to be careful with who they use in the match. Sadly, WWE doesn’t do always think like this. They try to add filler at times and even have winners that no one wants to see. Sometimes, little add-ons can be fun. However, in this article, we look into some that were terrible, along with people who simply did not have a good showing in certain Rumble matches.
What we tried to do was narrow it down to the worst entrants in Rumble matches. Some will be legends, others you may never have heard of. In the end, however, all were terrible in their respective Rumble.
15. Batista – Royal Rumble 2014
Dave Batista had been away from WWE for a couple years. When we heard as fans that he would be back, it was a decently happy moment. The issue was that WWE wanted to hand Batista the Royal Rumble win when he had not earned it. At this point, fans wanted to see Daniel Bryan in the WrestleMania 31 main event. WWE deciding on Batista winning when he just came back was wrong.
It was even rumored he would go on to win the title. WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon foolishly thought it would be the best main event possible, despite fans clamoring to see something else the entire time.
So WWE had Batista enter the Rumble match a bit late. It made sense, as he probably wasn’t totally ready to come in at number three and last a hour. Batista was rumored to win all along and fans online hated the idea of it. In the arena, Batista was booed from the start. The term “Bootista” came out of this. The reception of Batista’s win was so bad that WWE ended up changing their original WrestleMania plans to include Daniel Bryan in the main event.
This goes down as a terrible entrant because no one wanted to see Batista win and WWE stubbornly made him the victor anyway.
14. Randy Savage – Royal Rumble 1991 and 1992
Randy Savage is finally and deservedly going into the WWE Hall of Fame. Most of his career was glorious. He was always fun to watch. He seemed to never have a bad promo or match….unless we talk the Royal Rumble. The Macho Man was certainly not a Rumble great. In fact, we included two back-to-back Rumbles because Savage was not wonderful in either.
In 1991, Savage got involved in the Ultimate Warrior/Sgt. Slaughter WWE Title match earlier in the night where his distraction lost Warrior the title. In an effort to sell this somewhat, WWE decided to not have The Macho Man enter the Rumble at all. So we had only 29 wrestlers instead of 30 in the 1991 Rumble. Macho’s music hit, but he never came out. WWE was quick to say that he missed it due to being scared off by Warrior.
The 1991 match needed the star-power of Savage and they didn’t have him come out to compete in the match at all? It made sense in some ways, but they could have just had Warrior come out to cost Savage a win by throwing him over, screwing him out of a win as he did to him. However, that did not happen. Yet, this was not the worst Savage Rumble issue.
In the 1992 version, a mistake was made by Savage. Savage had a bit of a rivalry going with Jake Roberts. He threw Roberts out of the ring and was very much in the moment, that he wanted to keep attacking him. He jumped over the top rope on his own accord and attacked Roberts. As we know, if you go over the top rope and both feet touch the floor, you’re eliminated.
We saw this happen to Andre the Giant a couple of years before, where Andre was scared by Roberts’ snake Damien. So much so that he went over the top rope to escape the ring and get away from the snake. He was eliminated as a result. Clearly Savage was not supposed to leap over the top to attack Jake, as he was supposed to be thrown over. So Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan said that you need to be thrown over to be eliminated… but what about Andre? Savage later returned, but did nothing of note until being “officially” eliminated. Honestly, two Rumbles in a row where he technically was terrible would make him a bad entry. But hey, he’s going in the Hall of Fame, so we didn’t put this top ten.
13. Maven – Royal Rumble 2002
Maven was the first winner of WWE Tough Enough, the reality show that found the next WWE Superstar by giving a chance to fans to basically show up and try their hand at being wrestlers. Maven was clearly the star of the group. The former school teacher won the show and a WWE contract. However, he needed a rivalry of sorts.
WWE gave him The Undertaker, which would have been nice if it made a lick of sense. Maven shocked the world when he dropkicked The Undertaker over the top rope as he was distracted yelling at The Hardy Boyz and Lita, of whom he was already in a rivalry with.
The Undertaker was very angry, so he went back in and beat the crap out of Maven, before eliminating him.
The saddest part is that his rivalry with The Undertaker barely went anywhere. Maven didn’t make another impact since that point.
12. Chris Nowinski – Royal Rumble 2003
The Harvard graduate was a big deal when he first came into the WWE. The company loved having a Harvard graduate in the company and established him as a snobbish, smart heel. However, while he was perfect for the business, he only lasted on the main roster for one year really before having to retire due to concussions.
The Rumble he did compete in, he barely did anything of note and stayed outside the ring a good portion of the time, using that smart Harvard mindset. However, due to doing nothing of note, he was a terrible addition that got annoying the entire time he was there.
Nowinski has made a huge name for himself in the world of head injuries with the organization he founded called the Sports Legacy Institute. They have made a lot of discoveries regarding the brain that were once looked over. Due to his work, sports have changed for the better to protect people. He alone is responsible for WWE changing their policy regarding headshots with chairs and things similar.
So Chris made a big thing happen in the world of WWE… just not in the company as a character.
11. Muhammad Hassan – Royal Rumble 2005
Muhammad Hassan was one of the best characters WWE ever had, but one they ran into a major issue with. Due the London bombings a number of years ago, the world was on edge about any terrorist ideology. Hassan was a Middle Eastern character who did what some could call a terrorist concept for a storyline WWE wrote for him on SmackDown. The issue is, SmackDown was filmed on Tuesday before the London issue occurred. So they had a taped segment airing on Thursday that they had to put a notice at the bottom of the screen for. WWE, in response to all of this, released Hassan to get the heat off of them. Hassan was never re-hired despite being quite impressive in his WWE run.
Before all of that, however, the character was a hated one among the boys storyline wise. So in the 2005 Royal Rumble, the only one Hassan would take part in, he was beaten up by virtually everyone. He was pretty much used for no reason but to help guys get over. The idea made sense, but Hassan brought little to the match.
10. Alex Riley- Royal Rumble 2011
The Miz won the WWE Championship from Randy Orton after cashing in on him in late 2010. Since the rookie from WWE NXT, Alex Riley, was very much like him, he took him under his wing. Riley would become a very important part of The Miz’s title run.
However, in the 2011 Royal Rumble, Alex Riley messed up massively. He was set to appear in the match before John Cena. WWE had the plan all along to have Cena vs Miz at WrestleMania, so the idea was to cost Cena the Rumble. Riley was supposed to fill a spot, but he ran into a bout of dumbness. He was shoved over the top rope onto the apron. He would hold onto the ropes and then come back in. This would be a time killer spot of course.
Yet he slipped and fell, which would have been an elimination. The problem is, he was not supposed to be eliminated yet. Most didn’t notice it, unless you were looking. John Cena and Kofi Kingston, then men responsible for putting him on the apron, did notice. Both looked really nervous about it. Riley was supposed to be instrumental in Cena’s elimination, so this was a big issue.
They found a way to do something on the fly to make the Cena elimination work, so it all turned out find with the storyline.
9. Hornswoggle – Every Single Rumble He’s Been In
Hornswoggle has taken part in a few Royal Rumbles as either an official entry or an add on to the match. He has never been an asset to any of these matches and the one shining moment he had was a few years back when he gave the Attitude Adjustment to Tyson Kidd. It was funny in some aspects. The thing is, Hornswoggle is by no means someone you want to waste a Rumble spot on, regardless of how loved he is by people.
8. The Hurricane – Royal Rumble 2002
The 2002 Royal Rumble was a fun one with surprises all around. However, everyone knew who the winner was going to be. Triple H was coming back from a knee surgery and appeared on RAW a few weeks before the Rumble to a massive ovation. To this day, he claims it was one of the best moments of his career. Fans wanted to see him win at this point, as he was quite over at the time.
However, one man thought he was the winner all along and would come in the Rumble trying to eliminate all in sight. He would then use his superhero strength to try and chokeslam everyone around him. He attempted to do this with Stone Cold and Triple H and was subsequently thrown over the top rope, proving he could actually fly. So at least he didn’t lie about that superpower.
7. The Great Khali – Every Royal Rumble He’s In
The Great Khali has been in various Rumbles. It makes sense for him to be there as he is a giant and most think that giants have an advantage in the over the top rope challenge. The problem is, Khali is a terrible performer. The one shining moment Khali ever had in the Rumble was to put over Beth Phoenix. She would kiss the Punjabi Playboy and drag him over the top rope to eliminate him.
This helped her out, but Khali has served no major purpose in the Rumble outside of this moment. In fact, most would tell you that he’s only in there due to his size, so that seven wrestlers can band together and throw him out.
6. Bushwhacker Luke – Royal Rumble 1991
The Bushwhackers were a popular 80’s and 90’s tag team in the WWE. Both were interesting to watch and they had a trademark entrance that was hilarious to see. In the 1991 Royal Rumble, Bushwhacker Luke was set to be a filler spot. He would walk to the arena in his trademark Bushwhacker marching strut with arms going up and down and enter the ring only to be eliminated seconds later. He would literally continue to march from the outside of the ring to the back. It was fun, but he was a terrible Rumble participant that year.
5. Michael Cole – Royal Rumble 2012
The 2012 Rumble was a literal mess. So, the worst person to put in this match was by far WWE announcer Michael Cole. Cole would enter at #20 and come from the announce desk into the ring. He had his wrestling singlet on under his work suit and would enter the ring to a massive sigh.
He would last a little while until only the third woman in history would enter the Rumble in Kharma. She would attack Cole and he would be eliminated shortly after. He was a massive filler spot, but this could have gone to a deserving mid-carder in the back. All of the English announcers were in that Rumble that night, from Jerry Lawler to Booker T.
Both were also unneeded for this Rumble, but Cole was terrible.
4. Vince McMahon – Royal Rumble 1999 and 2005
The WWE Chairman won the Royal Rumble in 1999. It was probably one of the worst ideas WWE could have had, but it made some sense for the storyline that seemingly never would end involving Steve Austin and Vince McMahon.
Vince would enter the Rumble and have no real affect on the match. He was either beat up or out of the way most of the match. His big moment was eliminating Stone Cole when they were the last two men in the ring (he had help, of course).
The night after, Vince would go on to say he gave up his right to challenge then WWE Champion The Rock. However, WWE Commissioner Shawn Michaels claimed that if he gave up his right to face The Rock at WrestleMania, it would go to the last person eliminated. So Austin managed to get the match at Mania. So technically. Austin is a four-time Rumble winner. Most understood why WWE did it, but Vince still goes down as a terrible performer in the Rumble because of it.
Vince also has had issues in the Rumble even when not participating in it. John Cena and Batista would both go over the top rope as the last two men during the 2005 Rumble. It was hard to tell who won. So Vince had to come out to settle things. He walked out furiously and as he came into the ring, an issue occurred. Vince would tear both quads and had to sit down to make the announcement for the match to continue. It goes down as one of the most hilarious things to happen in wrestling to this day, as no one knows how he could have torn both quads at the same time.
3. Warlord – Royal Rumble 1989
The Warlord was an interesting character from the 80’s. He was mostly a mid-carder in his career, but in 1989, he was as jobber as a jobber could be.
He came to the ring very confidently, only to be eliminated by Hulk Hogan after two whole seconds in the ring. He would hold the record for the shortest time in the Royal Rumble for years, until a certain Italian guy broke it.
2. Santino Marella – Royal Rumble 2009
Who was the Italian who broke the record for shortest time in a Royal Rumble match? Santino Marella. WWE would make Santino a comedic character and it turned out to be a fantastic move. He has been hilarious for years within the company. However, in 2009, he entered the Rumble like a house on fire only to be eliminated a second later by Kane. This would make him the record holder for the shortest time ever spent in a Rumble.
In 2011, Santino would make this up as he was in the final two with Alberto Del Rio. Fans would cheer loudly for Santino to win as the roof exploded when he hit The Cobra finisher. Sadly, he was thrown over.
1. Drew Carey – Royal Rumble 2001
Possibly the worst Rumble addition in history was comedian and actor Drew Carey. In 2001, Carey would be at the Rumble mainly for promotion. Vince McMahon had the bright idea to enter him in the Rumble match. He would enter the match and see both Matt and Jeff Hardy face off, only to eliminate each other. This allowed Drew to be alone in the ring, something few have ever had the pleasure of being.
He would come face to face with Kane and try to offer him money to not hurt him. Kane was not amused and was about to chokeslam Drew until Raven came out as the next entry and used a kendo stick to stop the chokeslam from happening. Kane would then focus his attention on Raven. Carey would see this and literally eliminate himself before he could get in any more trouble. Kane would go on to set a then record 11 eliminations in this match.
Though it was somewhat entertaining, in terms of wrestling ability, Drew Carey is certainly the worst Royal Rumble entrant of all time.
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