The Royal Rumble is one of my favorite matches of the year and I'm not the only one. The excitement of the clock counting down, not knowing who is going to come out next, the surprise returns or legends is all part of this match.
I'm not saying I've always been a fan of who won the match but that doesn't ruin it for me. I look forward to it every year. Hell I love battle royals themselves.
I remember watching the first ever Royal Rumble live on the USA Network, January 24, 1988. That night "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan won last eliminating the One Man Gang pulling down the top rope as the Gang charged at him tumbling to the floor. It was exciting! However, on this night the match that really stood out to was The Jumping Bomb Angels defeating The Glamour Girls for the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship.
The Royal Rumble became an annual event on Pay-Per-View every January after that. With 1992 being my all time favorite match beginning to end.
The WWE has held other Royal Rumble matches that were not on the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View including the first ever Royal Rumble match. According to Something to Wrestle With.....Bruce Prichard had several Royal Rumble matches before the live TV special but called them Bunkhouse Battle Royals.
Here is a list of those matches;
October 4, 1987 The Arena, St. Louis, Missouri
The One Man Gang won a Royal Rumble Match when he and Junk Yard Dog went over at the same time, Gang was declared the winner
March 16, 1988 The Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Rick Rude won a Royal Rumble Match
January 17, 1994 Madison Square Garden
Detailed results courteous of The History of WWE
Owen Hart won a 30-man Royal Rumble match at 1:10:06 by last eliminating Fatu; order of entry: Diesel (00:00), Mo (00:00), Bushwhacker Butch (2:25), the 1-2-3 Kid (4:20), Scott Steiner (6:47), Iron Mike Sharpe (8:26), Samu (10:42), Bob Backlund (12:25), Jeff Jarrett (14:35), Virgil (16:35), Bam Bam Bigelow (17:58), Randy Savage (20:45), Adam Bomb (23:03), Sgt. Slaughter (24:53), Crush (27:13), Mabel (29:22), Jim Powers (31:07), Bastion Booger (33:12), Bushwhacker Luke (35:16), Owen Hart, Rick Martel (39:18), Bret Hart (41:20), IRS (43:30), Johnny Polo (44:56), Scott Putski (46:53), Fatu (49:00), Marty Jannetty (51:02), Bart Gunn (53:22), Shawn Michaels (56:05), and Doink the Clown (57:18); order of elimination: Mo by Diesel (1:54), Butch by Diesel (3:16), the Kid by Diesel; during the elimination, the Kid sustained a leg injury that kept him sidelined for 2 months (5:53), Sharpe by Scott (8:46), Diesel by Savage after Diesel failed a boot to the face and landed across the ropes (21:18), Jarrett by Savage after ducking a clothesline (21:36), Bomb by Slaughter, Backlund, & Steiner (25:06), Scott by Crush (27:55), Savage by Crush (29:27), Bigelow by Crush (30:07), Slaughter by Crush after being thrown into the corner (30:43), Powers by Mabel after a splash in the corner (31:50), Mabel, Virgil, & Backlund by everyone else as they attempted to eliminate Mabel (33:47), Booger by Crush via a clothesline (34:26), Samu by Luke (35:32), Luke by Crush (36:16), Crush by Bret via a dropkick to the back (43:26), Jannetty by Michaels via a backdrop (57:14), Polo by Owen after knocking him off the top (58:08), Putski by Fatu via a backdrop (58:23), Martel by IRS via a backdrop (59:02), Bart by Doink via a clothesline (1:00:12), Doink by Michaels via a clothesline (1:00:29), IRS by Bret via an atomic drop (1:01:09), Bret by Michaels as Bret attempted to eliminate Fatu (1:02:55), Michaels after Owen hit a spinning heel kick to Fatu and Fatu collided with Michaels, knocking him over the top; Michaels was distracted by Razor Ramon on the floor which led to the elimination; after the elimination, Razor and Michaels brawled to the back (1:05:35); once the match was down to two, Samu returned ringside to help Fatu while Bret Hart came out to support Owen; Fatu by Owen after crotching him on the top and hitting a clothesline; after the bout, Bret and Owen fought off both Headshrinkers
May 9, 1994 Castle Hall, Osaka, Japan
The Undertaker won an 18 Man Royal Rumble Match last eliminating Bam Bam Bigelow
January 3, 1996 USWA Memphis, Tennessee
Doug Gilbert won a Royal Rumble Match earning a spot in the match at the Royal Rumble PPV later that month
|Doug Gilbert in the WWE 1994 Royal Rumble|
Rocky Maivia won a 20 man Royal Rumble Match
June 15, 1998 Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
Kane & Mankind w/ Paul Bearer won a 10 Tag Team Royal Rumble match last elimination Terry Funk & 2 Cold Scorpio becoming number one contenders
January 11, 1999 Compaq Center, Houston, Texas
Chyna won a 10 person Corporate Royal Rumble last eliminating Vince McMahon to earn the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble match
September 14, 1999 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Undertaker won a 5 man Royal Rumble Match last eliminating Rock & Big Show, other participants Kane and Mankind
January 6, 2004 Von Braun Civic Center, Hunstville, Alabama
Chris Benoit won a 4 man Royal Rumble match defeating The FBI: Johnny Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, and Nunzio
January 27, 2004 MCI Center, Washington DC
Eddie Guerrero won a 15 man Royal Rumble Match last eliminating Kurt Angle to become the number one contender
January 14, 2008 Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Hornswoggle won a 6 man Royal Rumble match, other participants Mini Mankind, Mini Kennedy, Mini Batista, Mini Kane, & The Great Khali w/ Runjin Singh
January 31, 2011 Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Jerry "The King" Lawler won a seven man Raw Rumble Match last eliminating Sheamus to become the number one contender
When I started this I remember a few of these and there were others I had never heard of which is exciting for me to discover them. I realize that there are several other companies that have had Royal Rumble style matches, including the New Japan Rumble before each Tokyo Dome show on January 4th, however I decided to include the USWA Royal Rumble Match because the winner Doug Gilbert earned a spot in the WWF Royal Rumble.
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