For many wrestling fans around the world, the WWE Royal Rumble is the greatest annual event in the sports entertainment calendar. First staged in 1988, the Rumble’s unique format sees 30 wrestlers embark on a quest to outlast their fellow competitors in a true test of athletic ability and endurance.
The Rumble attracts plenty of interest from other sectors, a point that is evidenced by the fact that numerous leading bookmakers offer odds on who will win the main event. For people more familiar with using 888 football betting tips to decide what to bet on, this is a great opportunity to test their knowledge of other sporting events.
Many of the most iconic stars in wrestling have won the Rumble, thus etching their names forever into sports entertainment folklore. Wrestling fans have been fortunate to witness some memorable Royal Rumbles and deciding which is the best is an almost impossible task. Read on as we pick a few of our favourites.
Royal Rumble 1992
Ric Flair was undoubtedly the real deal as a professional wrestler, with his charisma outside the ring matched by his ability to tell a story in it. His performance in the 1992 Rumble was truly remarkable, with the Nature Boy outlasting the field after joining the fray as the third entrant.
Flair’s victims included Randy Savage, Big Boss Man, British Bulldog and Sid Justice, highlighting the strength of the talent he faced. His victory was made more noteworthy as the WWE title was on the line after the belt had been stripped from Hulk Hogan in the run-up to the event.
Royal Rumble 2001
The 2001 Rumble was stacked with top talent, with the likes of Undertaker, Steve Austin, The Rock, Kane, Big Show, Kane and Rikishi amongst a stellar line-up. Kane turned in his finest performance during the event, eliminating 11 other wrestlers during an epic 53-minute stint in the ring.
However, Kane ultimately came up short as ‘Stone Cold’ finally eliminated him to claim the third Royal Rumble success of his career. The result set up a meeting between Austin and The Rock at WrestleMania X-Seven, with the former securing the WWE Championship after an epic encounter.
Royal Rumble 2007
The Undertaker finally broke his Rumble hoodoo in 2007, securing his first ever victory after failing on his seven previous attempts to claim the prize. The result was also the first time a wrestler entering in the supposedly favourable number 30 spot managed to go on and win the event.
He eliminated The Great Khali and Carlito to set up a showdown with Shawn Michaels that is widely rated as the best final duel in the history of the Rumble. The two stars went head-to-head for around eight minutes, with the Undertaker eventually taking the win to huge pops from the crowd.
Royal Rumble 2000
The WWE is sometimes criticised for the quality of the supporting card at the Rumble, but that certainly was not the case in 2000. A brutal elimination tables match between the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz set the tone for a wild night that ended with The Rock winning the Rumble for the only time in his career.
However, the highlight of the entire event was the street fight for the WWF championship between Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) and Triple H. The pair produced an epic contest that left the clean-up team at Madison Square Garden with a massive job to tackle before the Rumble could start.
Royal Rumble 1995
Michaels proved his main event credentials in the 1995 Royal Rumble, outlasting the entire field after entering in the dreaded number one position. The Heartbreak Kid was pitched against The British Bulldog at the start of the event, and the pair were still around at the end.
The Bulldog thought he had won the Rumble when he threw Michaels over the top rope, but he failed to spot that his opponent had only touched the floor with one foot. Michaels subsequently attacked Bulldog from behind and threw him out of the ring to become the first wrestler to win the Rumble after entering first.
Royal Rumble 2006
Wrestling fans love an underdog story, and the 2006 Rumble delivered one of the best tales in history as Rey Mysterio came out on top. Mysterio had announced prior to the event that he would win to honour the memory of his friend Eddie Guerrero, who had recently passed away.
However, his hopes looked remote as he entered the ring as the number two entrant to go head-to-head with Triple H. The pair survived until the final three alongside Randy Orton, with Mysterio eventually securing an unlikely victory after more than 62 minutes in the ring.