WWE Royal Rumble Match Statistics

The 26th annual Royal Rumble is just hours away, there have been countless memories and moments, most of which surround the main attraction of WWE’s premiere January pay-per-view, the Royal Rumble Match. If you are a “stat monkey” like me, then you really enjoy interesting facts and statistics, so for a person who is a major fan of statistics and a major fan of the Royal Rumble Match, this article was nothing but fun for me.

In this special article, we will take a look at the past quarter-century of Royal Rumble matches and highlighting those who have etched their names in history.

Number of Royal Rumble match winners: 26

The very first Royal Rumble Match took place in 1988 with just 20 Superstars and the inaugural Rumble’s winner, as we all know, was “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Starting with the 1989 Royal Rumble Match, every Rumble would feature 30 Superstars (with the exception of the 2011 Rumble, which featured 40 Superstars) and the 1989 edition was also the first to be broadcast on pay-per-view as the first Rumble Match aired on the USA Network.

The first Superstar to make an everlasting impact in Rumble history was the always famous, often infamous, Hulk Hogan, who won back-to-back Royal Rumble Matches in 1990 and 1991.

The 1992 Royal Rumble Match marked the first and only time in WWE history that a Rumble Match would determine a new WWE Champion as Ric Flair won the Rumble to win the vacant championship. The following year, in 1993, Yokozuna won the annual Rumble Match, becoming the biggest Royal Rumble Match winner in history. The first major controversy in the history of the Royal Rumble Match came in 1994 when Lex Luger and Bret Hart eliminated each other at the exact same time, leading to both men being crowned the co-winners of the Royal Rumble Match, the first and only time in Rumble history that this has occurred.

The 1995 Royal Rumble Match would begin the launch of one of the most legendary careers in professional wrestling history as “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels would not only win the Rumble Match, but would become the first Superstar in history to enter the Rumble at #1 and win the whole match. Michaels would follow up his amazing Rumble Match victory in 1995, with a second in 1996, where Michaels brought the “both feet must touch the floor to be eliminated” rule to the forefront as, with only Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog left in the Rumble, Bulldog would toss Michaels over-the-top rope, but only one of the future Hall of Famer’s feet would touch the floor, keeping him in the match. HBK would then catch Bulldog by surprise, eliminating Bulldog to win his second consecutive Rumble Match.

The Rumble would continue to launch careers with the 1997 Rumble Match, where Stone Cold Steve Austin would continue his ascent to main event status by winning that year’s Rumble in controversial fashion as, for the first and only time in Rumble history, Austin was actually eliminated by Bret Hart, but since the referees were busy breaking up a post-elimination brawl between Mankind and Terry Funk, the elimination went unnoticed and Stone Cold would come back into the ring and into the match. Austin would catch Vader and The Undertaker from behind, hoisting both over-the-top rope to the floor. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring, Bret Hart would eliminate the fake Diesel (who was portrayed by Glen Jacobs, aka Kane) with “The Hitman” having no clue that Austin was waiting behind him. Austin would then send Bret over-the-top rope, winning his first of three Rumble Matches.

Stone Cold would win his second consecutive Rumble Match in 1998, being the third and, to date, last Superstar, to win two back-to-back Rumble Matches. In what has to be the most unusual Royal Rumble Match ever, the 1999 instalment began with Stone Cold Steve Austin and WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon starting the Rumble at #1 and #2, respectively. What makes this match unusual is that both Austin and McMahon would exit the ring, under the bottom rope to avoid elimination, and, while the Rumble Match continued in the ring, “The Texas Rattlesnake” would wage war with his evil boss throughout the backstage area. Stone Cold would end up in the waiting clutches of The Corporation, who would pummel Austin in the backstage area and Stone Cold was later seen being loaded onto a gurney and into an ambulance. While Austin vs. McMahon was the main attraction of the 1999 Rumble Match, the match was full of bizarre occurrences. At one point in the match, only Mabel and Road Dogg were in the ring when the lights would go out in the arena and, when the lights came back on, Ministry members Mideon & The Acolytes had eliminated Mabel as part of their “abduction” on behalf of The Undertaker, who would put Mabel into a trance (leading to Mabel becoming a part of The Ministry of Darkness and given the name Viscera). The 1999 Royal Rumble Match also saw the very first female entrant in Chyna, who shocked everyone by entering the Royal Rumble Match that year. Later on in the match, Mr. McMahon would return to the Rumble Match, but quickly decided to sit in on commentary instead of getting back into the ring. As the Rumble Match continued, Stone Cold Steve Austin would drive an ambulance in the arena, making a beeline for the Chairman. Austin and McMahon would later pick up where they left off, in the centre of the ring. However, interference from “The Corporate Champion” The Rock would give the battered McMahon the opportunity to catch Austin off-guard, eliminating Austin to win the 1999 Royal Rumble Match.

Arguably, the winners of the next four Royal Rumble Matches did not really need to win the Rumble Match as 2000 winner The Rock, 2001 winner Stone Cold Steve Austin, 2002 winner Triple H, and 2003 winner Brock Lesnar were main event stars before winning the Rumble with all four Superstars having already won the WWE Title before. The 2001 Rumble Match was the most hardcore Rumble to date as a slew of formerly “extreme” stars such as Raven, Al Snow, Tazz, Crash Holly, Hardcore Holly, and Steve Blackman brought chairs, kendo sticks, trash cans, and everything in between into the Rumble Match. The hardcore Rumble would conclude with Steve Austin using a series of brutal steel chair shots to the skull of Kane that would finally allow the bloody Austin to eliminate Kane (who had set his own record in the 2001 Rumble with a record 11 eliminations) as Stone Cold won his third Rumble Match, the only Superstar to do so.

The 2004 Royal Rumble Match did exist, despite WWE’s attempts to conceal it. Why, you ask? Well, let’s just say that the 2004 Royal Rumble Match winner become an eternal heel in the eyes of the WWE and the world over. Of course, you know who I’m talking about; Chris Benoit. Moving on quickly to the 2005 Royal Rumble Match, the 2005 event was again with controversy as John Cena and Batista eliminated each other at the exact same time. However, unlike eleven years prior, Cena and Batista were not named co-winners, but instead, the Royal Rumble Match would resume and Batista would eliminate Cena to win the Rumble.

The untimely passing of Eddie Guerrero in late 2005 opened the door for an opportunity for WWE’s “Biggest Little Man” Rey Mysterio as the masked veteran entered the 2006 Royal Rumble Match at #2 and would survive the entire match, last eliminating Randy Orton to punch his ticket to WrestleMania. The following year, The Undertaker would win the first Royal Rumble Match of his legendary career, but was both epic and foreshadowing was a memorable showdown between “The Deadman” and Shawn Michaels as, with just the two of them left, the two legends waged war, but, ultimately, Undertaker eliminated HBK to win the Rumble. Two years later, Michaels and The Undertaker would face off again, this time on the much grander stage of WrestleMania. The winner of the 2008 Royal Rumble Match was, at the time, one absolutely no one saw coming as, just a few months after suffering a career-threatening pectoral tear that forced him to vacate the WWE Championship and was supposed to keep him sidelined for upwards of seven months, John Cena would shock the world by entering the Rumble Match at #30, last eliminating Triple H.

The following year in 2009, Randy Orton would win the Royal Rumble Match, which would kick off an intense and personal feud with Triple H throughout 2009. The 2010 Royal Rumble Match provided another surprise winner as “The Rated-R Superstar” Edge made his unexpected return to action, eliminating rival Chris Jericho to win the big event. 2011 marked the first time since the inaugural Rumble Match in 1988 that the match did not feature 30 Superstars as the WWE presented a super-sized 40-Man Royal Rumble Match, which was won by Alberto Del Rio, who was nearly eliminated by a Superstar who was never officially eliminated, Santino Marella. The 2012 Royal Rumble Match saw the true arrival of Sheamus, who would kick off a stellar year by winning the Rumble Match to earn a title opportunity at WrestleMania.

Royal Rumble match winners to win a world title at WrestleMania: 12

Out of the 26 Royal Rumble Match winners in WWE history, less than half of those Superstars have actually succeeded in their guaranteed title match at WrestleMania. The first Rumble winner to make the most of his grand opportunity was Yokozuna, at WrestleMania IX in 1993, the super heavyweight defeated Bret Hart to win the WWE Title. Even though his title reign only lasted a mere 22 seconds (the shortest reign in the history of the WWE Championship), it does not take away from Yokozuna making history that year. Speaking of Bret Hart, “The Hitman” co-won the 1994 Royal Rumble Match with Lex Luger and, at WrestleMania X, both Luger and Hart would get their championship shots. Unfortunately for Lex Luger, his title match would end in a disqualification after he shoved Special Referee Mr. Perfect. The two workhorses of WrestleMania X were Bret Hart and reigning WWE Champion Yokozuna as both men competed twice in one night. After losing to his brother, Owen, Bret would more than rebound in his WWE Title match against Yokozuna as “The Hitman” capitalized on Yokozuna missing the Banzai Drop to win the WWE Championship.

The next man to make the most out of his earned opportunity via the Royal Rumble Match was Shawn Michaels as, in 1996, “The Heartbreak Kid” faced Bret Hart in one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all-time at WrestleMania XII in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match. This famous title match would go into overtime, where HBK would put the final touches on “The Hitman” to win his first ever WWE Championship.

Not only is Stone Cold Steve Austin the only Superstar to win three Royal Rumble Matches and only one of three Superstars to win two back-to-back Rumbles, but Stone Cold also twice won the WWE Title by virtue of winning the Royal Rumble Match in 1998 & 2001. In 1998, Austin would challenge Shawn Michaels for the WWE Title at WrestleMania XIV with Mike Tyson as the Special Enforcer. In a much-talked about exchange, Tyson would betray Michaels and D-Generation X by making the count for Stone Cold, allowing Austin to win the WWE Title. In 2001, a shocker of monumental proportions would secure the WWE Championship for Stone Cold at WrestleMania X-Seven as Austin’s longtime rival, Mr. McMahon would blatantly screw The Rock out of the WWE Title in favour of crowning a new champion, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Stone Cold would also be the kick-start of a seven-year Rumble tradition as, from 2001-2007, ever Royal Rumble Match winner would go on to win a World Title at that year’s WrestleMania. As mentioned above, Stone Cold defeated The Rock to win the WWE Title at WrestleMania X-Seven, followed by Triple H winning the Undisputed WWE Championship from Chris Jericho at WrestleMania X-8, Brock Lesnar winning the WWE Title from Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XIX, Chris Benoit winning the World Heavyweight Title (the first time that a Rumble winner opted to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania) from Triple H in a Triple Threat Match that also involved Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XX, Batista taking the World Heavyweight Title from Triple H at WrestleMania 21, Rey Mysterio defeating Kurt Angle and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat Match to win the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 22, and The Undertaker winning his first World Heavyweight Title by defeating Batista at WrestleMania 23. John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge, and Alberto Del Rio would all fail to win gold in their WrestleMania performances the following years before Sheamus would bring the tradition back in 2012, where he defeated Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds to win the World Heavyweight Title.

Most career eliminations: Shawn Michaels (39)

Throughout an already epic career in the WWE, Hall of Famer “The Hearbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels also holds the current record for most eliminations in a single career with 39 eliminations in HBK’s career. Michaels competed in his first Royal Rumble Match in 1989, going on to compete in the Royal Rumble Match in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2010. Throughout his twelve Royal Rumble Match performances, Shawn Michaels would deal the eliminations of Ron Bass, Tito Santana, Diesel (twice), Mabel, Sparky Plugg, Marty Jannetty, The British Bulldog (twice), Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, Tom Prichard, Jacob Blu, The Bushwhackers, Aldo Montoya, Lex Luger, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Yokozuna, The 1-2-3 Kid, Vader, Owen Hart, Isaac Yankem, Charlie Haas, Simon Dean, Kurt Angle, Trevor Murdoch, Edge, Finlay, Shelton Benjamin (twice), Randy Orton, The Undertaker, Drew McIntyre, John Morrison (twice), Ted DiBiase, Carlito, Cody Rhodes, and Triple H. Kane, a Rumble record-holder of his own, is not far behind HBK with 35 career eliminations.

Most consecutive Royal Rumble match appearances: Kane (13)

Most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match: Kane (11)

Former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion Kane has to be the most successful Superstar to compete in the annual Royal Rumble Match without ever winning the guaranteed WrestleMania title shot. “The Big Red Monster” holds two distinct and difficult records in Rumble history as Kane holds the record for most consecutive Royal Rumble Match appearances, appearing as an entrant in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, & 2011, but the streak was broken due to a pre-existing rivalry with John Cena in 2012.

Kane’s Royal Rumble Match dominance has always been the talk of every year’s Rumble, but this has never been more true than in 2001 where “The Big Red Monster” eliminated a staggering eleven Superstars in a single Royal Rumble Match, taking out The Rock, Raven, Tazz, Al Snow, Perry Saturn, Scotty 2 Hotty, Grandmaster Sexay, Albert, Steve Blackman, Crash Holly, & The Honky Tonk Man before a chair-wielding Stone Cold Steve Austin was finally able to eliminate Kane to win the Rumble Match that year.

Most times being a Royal Rumble runner-up: 2

Only Superstar to be Royal Rumble runner-up two years in a row: Triple H

In the history of the Royal Rumble, there have been four accomplished Superstars who have been the last man eliminated from a Royal Rumble Match twice in their careers. In 2000 & 2004, Big Show only had one Superstar between him and WrestleMania glory, only to be thwarted by The Rock and Chris Benoit, respectively. Although being a two-time Royal Rumble Match winner is rare and beyond impressive, Shawn Michaels came within an eyelash of doing the unthinkable by winning four Royal Rumble Matches as, in 1994 & 2007, “The Hearbreak Kid” narrowly missed out on the glory of being in the spotlight of that year’s WrestleMania. John Cena is another Superstar with a “hit and miss” record in the Royal Rumble Match as the 2008 Rumble winner missed out on the glory in 2005 and 2010, where he was the last one eliminated. While John Cena, Big Show, and Shawn Michaels all narrowly failed to emerge victorious in two different Royal Rumble Matches, only thirteen-time World Champion Triple H holds the unfortunate distinction of being the Rumble runner-up two years straight in 2008 & 2009.

Number of Superstars to win in their Royal Rumble match debut: 9

There is a short, often forgotten-about, list of Royal Rumble winners who had no trouble adapting to the chaos of the Royal Rumble Match as nine of the twenty-six Royal Rumble Match winners won (or co-won) the Royal Rumble Match the very first time they entered the match. The first Superstar to do this was, obviously, the winner of the very first Royal Rumble Match in 1988, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Big John Studd would etch his name in history by winning his first Rumble in 1989, followed by Ric Flair in 1992, Yokozuna in 1993, and Lex Luger (co-winner) in 1994. The tradition of rookie Rumble winners would then be put on hold until 1999 when Mr. McMahon’s unlikely Rumble victory brought “beginner’s luck” back. In following years, Brock Lesnar (2003), Chris Benoit (2004), and Alberto Del Rio (2011) would all follow suit by winning in their debut Rumble outing.

Number of Superstars to eliminate themselves in the Royal Rumble match: 9

While nine Superstars have won their Royal Rumble Match debut, a different set of nine Superstars, for one reason or another, took themselves out of the match. The first Superstar to do this was the legendary Andre The Giant. For the majority of his career, fans and fellow wrestlers alike thought that Andre was a fearless giant, but one legend exposed Andre’s biggest fear; his fear of snakes. The man to bring out Andre’s fear was Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who tortured the supersized athlete with his “pet”, Damien, time-and-time again, but in the 1989 Rumble, Roberts would bring out his snake and a terrified Andre would hastily eliminate himself to escape the snake. Even though it went unnoticed, “Macho Man” Randy Savage technically eliminated himself in 1992, but still stayed in the match until being officially eliminated later on by Ric Flair & Sid Justice.

Three of the nine Superstars who eliminated themselves in Rumble history all took place in the same Royal Rumble Match in 1997 as Ahmed Johnson, Faarooq, and Mil Mascaras all decided to take themselves out of contention. In the case of Ahmed Johnson, Ahmed let his personal hatred of Faarooq cost him dearly as, upon seeing The Nation of Domination leader making his way down the aisle, Johnson jumped over the top rope to chase Faarooq down. Later on in that year’s Rumble, Faarooq would officially enter the match as an entrant, but upon seeing Ahmed Johnson charge down the aisle, Faarooq would leap over the top rope in a failed attempt to escape Ahmed. The legendary masked luchador, Mil Mascaras, also eliminated himself from the 1997 Royal Rumble Match when he dove from the top rope to the outside, which the commentators claimed was due to the Mexican sensation not understanding the rules of the Royal Rumble Match.

In 1999, Kane would enter the Royal Rumble Match, eliminating four Superstars before eliminating himself, due to a group of orderlies coming down to try and take Kane back to the asylum. Ironically, two years later, Kane’s arrival into the 2001 Royal Rumble Match would scare celebrity entrant, Drew Carey, into taking himself out of the Royal Rumble Match.

A few years later, Mick Foley would let his intense rivalry with Randy Orton cost him a major opportunity as, in 2004, “The Hardcore Legend” sacrificed himself to take Orton out of that year’s Rumble Match. The last Superstar to eliminate himself from the Rumble, to date, was MVP in 2010 as, following a backstage attack by The Miz, MVP would return to the ring with revenge in mind and, much like Foley in 2004, MVP sacrificed himself to eliminate The Miz.

Number of Superstars to enter at #1 and win: 2 (Shawn Michaels & Chris Benoit)

Number of Superstars to enter at #2 and win: 2 (Mr. McMahon & Rey Mysterio)

Number of Superstars to enter at #30 and win: 2 (The Undertaker & John Cena)

Two is an interesting number in the annuls of Royal Rumble history for a plethora of reasons, but three of the most talked-about entry numbers in the annual Royal Rumble Match have all produced two winners, the #1, #2, and #30 spots. On paper, one would think that the majority of Royal Rumble Match winners would have entered very last at #30 (with the exception of the 1988 and 2011 Rumble winners, that is), but the #30 spot has produced the same amount of winners as the Superstars who start the match at #1 and #2. The first Superstar to ‘defy the odds’ and win the Royal Rumble Match despite being the first entrant into the match was Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, who entered the 1995 Royal Rumble Match and survived 29 other Superstars to win that year’s Rumble. It would be nine years before another Superstar was able to pull off this unlikely feat with Chris Benoit winning the 2004 Royal Rumble Match after having entered at #1.

The two men who have won the Rumble Match having entered at #2 are also two of the most unlikely Royal Rumble winners ever. In 1999, one of the most bizarre Royal Rumble Matches produced one of the most unexpected Rumble winners as, with a major assist from The Rock, Mr. McMahon was able to eliminate Stone Cold Steve Austin (the #1 entrant, no less) to win the 1999 Royal Rumble Match. Seven years later, Rey Mysterio would enter the 2006 Royal Rumble Match at #2 and, after dedicating the Royal Rumble Match to the late, great Eddie Guerrero, Mysterio would last over one full hour in the Rumble Match, ultimately winning the Royal Rumble Match.

While the #30 spot is often regarded as the most prestigious spot in the Royal Rumble Match, it was not until 2007 that a Superstar actually won the whole thing after entering last and who better to do it than the legendary Undertaker, who walked into the 2007 Royal Rumble Match and walked out as the winner. A year later, in 2008, the #30 entrant would again win the Royal Rumble Match as, following his shocking return to the WWE, John Cena would last eliminate Triple H to emerge victorious in the 2008 Royal Rumble Match.

Honorable Mentions

Let’s face it, if we were to highlight every fact and figure from Royal Rumble Match history, this article would never end. With that said, here are some other Royal Rumble facts and figures. From 1988 to 2012, there have been a total of 724 Superstars who have entered the Royal Rumble Match and failed to win. Santino Marella holds the current record for being eliminated the fastest from the Royal Rumble Match as he was eliminated by Kane in 1.9 seconds in the 2009 Royal Rumble Match, beating The Warlord’s twenty-year long record as, in 1989, The Warlord was eliminated in two seconds.

Recently announced 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Mick Foley also has his own distinct piece of Royal Rumble history as, in 1998, “The Hardcore Legend” made history by becoming the first and only Superstar to appear under three different monikers in a single Royal Rumble Match. In that year’s Rumble, Foley appeared as Cactus Jack (entered at #1), Mankind (at #16), and Dude Love (at #28). The man behind the mask of Kane, Glen Jacobs, has also appeared under three different monikers, though they were not in the same year. As Isaac Yankem, Jacobs entered the 1996 Royal Rumble Match (more than a year before his debut as Kane) at #27. In 1997, Jacobs appeared as the fake Diesel (after Scott Hall [Razor Ramon] and Kevin Nash [Diesel] left the WWE, the company tried to ‘recast’ the roles of Diesel and Razor Ramon, but the doppelgangers failed to get over with the fans, who took to booing them heavily), entering at #23 and nearly won the entire match, but was eliminated by Bret Hart moments before Bret was eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin, who won that year’s Rumble.

While the Royal Rumble Match is formally referred to as the “30-Man Royal Rumble Match”, there have been three female competitors to enter the Royal Rumble Match in the Rumble’s history. The barrier was first broken in 1999 by Chyna, who entered the Royal Rumble Match and, while she only lasted 35 seconds in the match, Chyna managed to eliminate Mark Henry from that year’s Rumble. It would be eleven years before another Diva would make her way into the Royal Rumble Match as, in 2010, “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix would take part in the 2010 Royal Rumble Match, using her “womanly ways” to score an elimination over The Great Khali. To date, the last Diva to compete in the Royal Rumble Match was Kharma, who made her surprise entry into last year’s Royal Rumble Match, eliminating Hunico and getting her hands on Michael Cole before Booker T & Jerry Lawler took it upon themselves to eliminate Cole from the match. Kharma would last a little over a minute before she was eliminated by Dolph Ziggler.

One of the biggest factors in the Royal Rumble Match is time and time has certainly played its role in Rumble history. The winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble Match, Rey Mysterio, currently holds the record for spending the most time in the Rumble Match, spending one hour, two minutes, and sixteen seconds in the match. On the opposite end, WWE Hall of Famer Edge holds the record for the fastest Royal Rumble Match win in history as, after his surprise entry at #29 in the 2010 Rumble Match, Edge would only spend seven minutes and nineteen seconds in the ring, winning that year’s Rumble in record time.

What will happen in this year’s Royal Rumble Match? What records will be broken and who’s career will be made with a guaranteed shot at either the WWE or World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania?


Latest Articles

WWE RAW 25 Results: January 22, 2018

WWE RAW 25 Results: January 22, 2018

Riverdale S02E10 Review: The Blackboard Jungle – Not much happened, but you still got whiplash!

Riverdale S02E10 Review: The Blackboard Jungle – Not much happened, but you still got whiplash!

Celebrating 25 years of WWE Monday Night Raw: Memories and highlights

Celebrating 25 years of WWE Monday Night Raw: Memories and highlights

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: January 16, 2018

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: January 16, 2018

WWE Spoilers: Two more title matches announced for the Royal Rumble

WWE Spoilers: Two more title matches announced for the Royal Rumble

WWE RAW Results: January 15, 2018

WWE RAW Results: January 15, 2018

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: January 9, 2018

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: January 9, 2018

WWE RAW Results: January 8, 2018

WWE RAW Results: January 8, 2018