The Royal Rumble is fast approaching and here at Sports Obsessive, we have decided to have a look at some of the most interesting stats in its 35-year history by the numbers.
One wrestler has always been the bridesmaid but never the bride
While runners up in the rumble don’t always seem to be as readily documented as the winners there are some interesting stats to look at. The six we have documented as being a runner-up twice or more, only one hasn’t gone on to win the whole thing. Randy Orton, John Cena, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels have been runners-up twice in their careers, but have also all won multiple Rumbles.
Roman Reigns holds the record for being the runner-up on four occasions, cementing his place as the most reliable last two wrestlers over the past eight years. He has also won the Royal Rumble and is the current Universal Champion who will be facing off against Seth Rollins this year. The one man who has been the runner-up twice but has never won the Rumble is the Big Show, coming in second in 2000 and 2004.
Two wrestlers have competed inside a Rumble more than once in the same night.
Two wrestlers have had the honor of competing multiple times in a Royal Rumble match on the same night, neither was done exactly the same. While Mick Foley’s three appearances in one rumble has become legendary someone else has appeared twice in one night, that person is Nia Jax.
Nia Jax made an appearance in the Women’s Royal Rumble in 2019 before attacking R-Truth and taking his place in the men’s rumble later that night. Jax made it clear that she was determined to win a rumble that night, yet she was unsuccessful in both.
Mick Foley on the other hand entered the 1998 Royal Rumble as all three of his different persona’s. The three faces of Foley as they are collectively named. Cactus Jack entered at number one while his mortal enemy Chainsaw Charlie, Terry Funk, entered at number two. Foley’s eliminations had to be perfectly timed in order for him to come back into the Rumble at number 16 as Mankind, eliminating Charlie, before being quickly eliminated so he could enter at Dude Love at number 28.
Four women have appeared inside the men’s Royal Rumble
Chyna was the first woman to appear in a Men’s Royal Rumble, first in 1999 and then again in 2000 making her the only woman to do this twice. Beth Phoenix was the second in 2010 and this was a monumental moment for her. Phoenix has gone on record about how much Chyna inspired her and helped her be more confident in herself as an athletic muscular woman. Her gear for that night event was inspired by the look Chyna sported in 1999.
In 2012 Kharma, better known as Awesome Kong, competed in the Royal Rumble, continuing the tradition of big and powerful women taking on the men inside the WWE. The Women would get their own rumble in 2018 but that didn’t stop Nia Jax from entering herself into the 2019 men’s version after being unsuccessful earlier in the night. She was in the ring for some time, taking on the men and showing off some great chemistry with the likes of Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. The big question is, will we see another Women enter this year or in years to come, my hope is we will.
Five women have gone over 50 mins in the Royal Rumble
While five women have gone the distance and lasted over 50 mins only one has gone on to win the whole thing and can you guess who that is?
In the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble in 2018 Sasha Banks lasted 54 minutes and 46 seconds becoming the iron woman of the first year. The following year, 2019, both Ember Moon and Charlotte Flair would be in the Rumble for 52:23 and 50:01, but neither could compete with the iron Woman of the 2019 event. Natalya lasted a record 56 minutes and 1 second inside of the 2019 Royal Rumble.
The woman with the longest stay inside of the rumble, going the distance and winning the whole thing is Bianca Belair in 2021. She entered at number three staying in the ring for a whopping 56 minutes and 52 seconds, eliminating Rhea Ripley to achieve this feat. Belair went on to main event night one of WrestleMania alongside Sasha Banks, making history as the first time two black women had headlined a WWE pay-per-view. Bianca Belair became the SmackDown Women’s Champion at the event.
Six women have eliminated more than five opponents in one rumble
Shayna Baszler and Bianca Belair hold the record for most opponents eliminated by a female superstar in WWE with a record-setting eight in the 2020 Royal Rumble. Baszler achieved six while Rhea Ripley eliminated seven in the 2021 rumble while Michell McCool in 2018 and Charlotte Flair in 2019 both have five eliminations each.
While seven men have gone over an hour inside the Royal Rumble
Rey Mysterio held the record for over a decade, at an hour and two minutes, before Daniel Bryan stayed in the ring for an hour and 16 minutes in 2018 at the Greatest Royal Rumble. But who held this record before Rey Mysterio and Danial Bryan shattered all expectations? And who else has gone over an hour in one of the most grueling matches on the WWE calendar?
Two years earlier, in 2004, Chris Benoit held the record, staying inside the ring for one hour, one minute, and 30 seconds. He beat the record set by Bob Backlund in 1993 when he stayed inside the ring for one hour, one minute, and 10 seconds. Backlund also held the record for over a decade but was not the first person to go over an hour, that honor goes to Ric Flair who in 1992 lasted one hour and two minutes, entering at number three and winning the whole thing.
The last two men who have gone over an hour didn’t beat the record but should be mentioned as this achievement is a big deal. Triple H lasted for an hour and 16 seconds in 2006. In 2017 Chris Jericho lasted for an hour and 13 minutes.
There Have Been Eight Multiple Time Winners
The only viable candidate to match Stone Cold Steve Austin’s three rumble wins is Randy Orton, having Edge win two years in a row isn’t an unlikely scenario. Orton having a choice between Roman Reigns, who will be facing off against Seth Rollins, and Brock Lesner, who is set to do battle with Bobby Lashley, is an interesting prospect.
Steve Austin has won three rumbles but is also one of three men who have won the rumble in back-to-back years. Before winning the 2001 Rumble he won in back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998. Hulk Hogan was the first man to achieve this feat in 1990 and 1991. Shawn Michaels would follow this up in 1995 and 1996, two years where the WWE was taking a dip in popularity and storyline quality.
The other five men who have won the Royal Rumble twice are John Cena (2008 & 2013), Batista (2005 & 2014), Triple H (2002 & 2016), Edge (2010 & 2021), and the already mentioned Randy Orton (2009 & 2017).
13 is the number to beat when it comes to eliminations
And when we say eliminations, we are talking about the most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match. Braun Strowman broke the previous record held by Roman Reigns at the Greatest Royal Rumble in 2018. Brock Lesner would equal this in the 2020 Royal Rumble before being eliminated by Drew McIntyre. Reigns’ record was 12 and held for four years before being broken, the previous holder Kane eliminated 11 participants in the 2001 Rumble.
Anyone this year could eliminate more than 10 opponents, as unlikely as that is, there is one big man who is up for the job. That man is Omos but if we are also thinking of building new stars maybe that magical 10 number might be just right for a new talent coming up from NXT. Tommaso Ciampa or even Pete Dunne would be perfect candidates for this and maybe they could even break Lesner’s record.
14 men have appeared in more than 10 Rumbles in history
Kane holds the record for the most Rumbles at a whopping 20 between 1996 and 2021, but who might be able to take that crown from him in the near future?
Dolph Ziggler is the next closest with 14 appearances between 2009 and 2021, this year will be his 15th Rumble if he is included. Four men have made 13 appearances as of 2021, with Randy Orton, The Miz, and Kofi Kingston looking likely to enter this year, unlike Goldust who is currently working in AEW under his own name, Dustin Rhodes. Shawn Michaels and Big Show both have 12 appearances while Rey Mysterio is looking to get to that 13th appearance this year.
The Undertaker hasn’t appeared in a rumble since 2017 while Chris Jericho made his last appearance the year after, they are both currently on 11 appearances. Shelton Benjamin is also on 11 he is still an active roaster member and could appear this year. Mark Henry isn’t likely to make an appearance this year, leaving his number at 10 appearances as of 2018. The most interesting person on this list is Solofa Fatu Jr. who has made 10 appearances under three different names, Fatu, The Sultan, and of course Rikishi.
27 is the Magic Number
If you want to win the Royal Rumble entering at the number 27 spot, or higher, will more than likely guarantee that you will be winning the Rumble. There have been four winners from the number 27 spot in 1989 (Big John Studd), 1993 (Yokozuna), 1994 (Brett Hart), and 2001 (Stone Cold Steve Austin). Three wrestlers have won from the number 28 spot Batista won from this position in both 2005 and 2014. Becky Lynch would replace an injured Lana in 2019 and go on to win the whole thing before headlining WrestleMania in the first Women’s match to do so.
Brock Lesner (2003) and 2010 Edge (2010) both won from the number 29 spot while three people have entered at number 30 and won, in 2007 the Undertaker took the crown with John Cena following it up the following year in 2008. In 2016 Triple H would enter at number 30, this match was for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with the winner of the rumble being awarded the championship. This was the second time a championship was put on the line in this way, the first was for the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1992 when Ric Flair won the championship and the rumble.
Three of the biggest wrestlers of the 20th century entered the rumble at number 24, Hulk Hogan in 1991, Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1998, and The Rock in 2000. The previous year, in 1990, Hulk Hogan entered the rumble in the number 25 spot, some 28 years later Asuka would enter in the same spot and become the first winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble.
Coming in at the number one spot, or low down in the rumble, also seems to guarantee victory on the night. Three men have won from the number one sport Shawn Michaels in 1995, Chris Benoit in 2004, and Edge in 2021. Two men have won from the number two spot, Mr. McMahon in 1999 and Rey Mysterio in 2006 while at number three we have seen Ric Flair in 1992 and Bianca Belair in 2021.
Other numbers that have produced winners are 5, 8, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, and 23. This shows that being in the middle of the pack can produce results, but it is more unlikely.
There have been two rumbles with more than 30 participants with the winners of both coming in at the end of the pack. Alberto Del Rio entered at 38 in 2011 in the 40-man rumble while Braun Strowman entered in the 41 spot, winning the whole 50-man rumble in 2018 at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
If you pick the number 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, 20, 21, and 26 spot it is unlikely you will win at all as these numbers have never produced a winner. But there is always this year, will someone from these spots win the 2022 Royal Rumble.