Royal Rumble match

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The Royal Rumble match is a professional wrestling match based on the classic Battle Royal match in which a number of wrestlers (traditionally 30) aim at eliminating their competitors by tossing them over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor.[1][2] The match is typically the main event of WWE's January pay-per-view event known as the Royal Rumble. The winner of the event is the last wrestler remaining after all others have been eliminated.[1][3] According to Hornswoggle, who worked for WWE from 2006 until 2016 and participated in three Royal Rumbles, participants will remember when their eliminations are coming by knowing the two wrestlers who are eliminated before them and which wrestler is entering the Royal Rumble just before their elimination. He also states all the competing wrestlers are lined up in the back based on their number.[4] According to CM Punk, who worked for WWE from 2006 until 2014, wrestlers are given a list of entry numbers and eliminations and are supposed to build the match from there.[5]

Concept[edit]

The Royal Rumble differs from the classical battle royal as the contestants do not enter the ring at the same time, but instead are assigned entry numbers, usually via a lottery, although desirable spots are occasionally assigned by other means, the most common being winning a match.[1] The match begins with the two wrestlers who have drawn entry numbers one and two, with the remaining wrestlers entering the ring at regular timed intervals, either 90 seconds or two minutes, according to their entry number.[1] This format is credited to Pat Patterson.[6] To date, only five men who have been one of the starting two wrestlers have won the Royal Rumble: Shawn Michaels in 1995, Vince McMahon in 1999, Chris Benoit in 2004, Rey Mysterio in 2006, and Edge in 2021 (Michaels, Benoit, and Edge were entrant number one whilst McMahon and Mysterio were number two), while only three men who have been the final entrant won the Royal Rumble: The Undertaker in 2007, John Cena in 2008, and Triple H in 2016. The most common number to win is number 27, and sixteen eventual winners entered at number 25 or later.

2010 Royal Rumble match

The Royal Rumble match traditionally involves 30 wrestlers and usually lasts an hour (the 2011 edition had a 40-man field). The Greatest Royal Rumble (the only edition to have a 50-man field)[7] was the longest, lasting one hour and 17 minutes of a five-hour pay-per-view event while the first televised Rumble match in 1988 involved only 20 men[8] and lasted 33 minutes of the two-hour broadcast.[9] The 1998 Royal Rumble nominally had the traditional 30-man field, but only 28 individual wrestlers competed as Mick Foley entered the Royal Rumble match three different times—first as his Cactus Jack gimmick, then as his Mankind gimmick, and finally as his Dude Love gimmick.[10] The 2018 Royal Rumble was the first to include a women's Royal Rumble match,[11] contested under the same rules as the men's match, including having 30 participants.[12][13]

Steve Austin holds the current record for most Royal Rumble match wins, with three[9]

According to the rules, participants are eliminated from the match if moved over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. Hence, a wrestler who exits the ring without going over the top rope is not eliminated from the contest. For example, during the 1999 match, both Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin left the ring only to return later in the match.[14] Furthermore, a wrestler who only touches the floor with one foot is not eliminated from the match, a rule which greatly affected the 1995 match, allowing Shawn Michaels to re-enter the ring and win the match. Although he has not won a Royal Rumble match, Kofi Kingston has become synonymous with finding various ways to keep at least one of his feet from touching the floor.[15] In the 1994 match, the last two participants (Bret Hart and Lex Luger) were declared co-winners when officials were unable to determine whose feet touched the floor first.[16] Although this was the intended outcome, a similar situation occurred by a legitimate accident in 2005, when Batista and John Cena eliminated each other and hit the ground at exactly the same time. This time, the match was restarted.[17] Though various referees are charged with observing the match, some eliminations have gone unnoticed to allow the eliminated participants to sneak back into the ring to continue. Stone Cold Steve Austin was able to re-enter the ring in this way and win the 1997 match.[18]

Although the vast majority of eliminations are caused by active participants, eliminations caused by other means have been ruled legitimate, including self-eliminations (such as Andre the Giant after seeing a snake in 1989, Mil Mascaras diving out of the ring from the turnbuckle in 1997, and Kane in 1999, although Randy Savage's jump over the top rope in 1992 was not ruled as self-elimination), elimination by previously-eliminated participants (such as The Undertaker eliminating Maven in 2002, Kurt Angle eliminating Shawn Michaels in 2005, Kane eliminating CM Punk in 2014, and The Wyatt Family eliminating Brock Lesnar in 2016), or non-participants (such as Shane McMahon eliminating Shawn Michaels in 2006 and The Miz eliminating John Cena in 2011). Furthermore, an injured wrestler can return to the ring as long as the match is still ongoing (such as Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1999, Roman Reigns in 2016, and Randy Orton in 2021), but not if the match has already ended (such as Spike Dudley in 2004, Scotty 2 Hotty in 2005, Curtis Axel in 2015, and R-Truth in 2019).

Prize[edit]

Since 1993, the winner of the Royal Rumble match is traditionally awarded a title match for WWE's top championship at WrestleMania—WWE currently promotes three major brands with a top championship for each, and the winner can choose which championship to challenge for, regardless of the brand they belong to. For the men, that is the WWE Championship on Raw, the Universal Championship on SmackDown, and the NXT Championship on NXT.[19] Similarly, the winner of the women's Royal Rumble match (first contested in 2018) is awarded a match at WrestleMania for their choice of one of WWE's top women's championships: the Raw Women's Championship, the SmackDown Women's Championship, or the NXT Women's Championship.[11][20]

With the first brand extension introduced in mid-2002, the 30 male entrants from 2003 to 2006 consisted of 15 wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands, respectively. At first, the winner of the match received a shot for their brand's top championship, either the World Heavyweight Championship or WWE Championship.[21] Starting in 2004, the Royal Rumble winner had the option of challenging for either brand's top championship. For instance, Chris Benoit switched from SmackDown to Raw after winning the 2004 event to challenge for Raw's top championship at the time.[19] From 2007 to 2010, participants from the ECW brand competed along with the Raw and SmackDown brands, with the ECW Championship added as an option, although no winner ever chose it.[22] During ECW's participation, the entries for each brand were not evenly divided.[23] The ECW Championship was deactivated in 2010, leaving the World Heavyweight Championship and WWE Championship as the only choices until those two titles were unified in December 2013 as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which became the only option until July 2016, when the brand extension returned, which introduced the Universal Championship—the WWE World Heavyweight Championship reverted back to being called the WWE Championship. Like the first brand extension, the winner of the 2017 event earned a match for their brand's top championship, the Universal Championship or WWE Championship, but beginning with the 2018 event, the winner has a choice (which is also true of the women, who had their inaugural Royal Rumble match that same year). As a result of NXT becoming one of WWE's three main brands in September 2019, NXT's championships became eligible choices, beginning with the 2020 event. Since the return of the brand extension, the number of participants from each brand has not been evenly divided, as each match has featured wrestlers from NXT as well as surprise appearances from former, returning, or debuting wrestlers.

WWE's top championship has been booked as on the line during the Royal Rumble match on two occasions. In 1992, the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship was contested in the 1992 Royal Rumble match, which was won by Ric Flair,[24] while in 2016, Roman Reigns was scheduled to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship as a participant of that year's Royal Rumble match as entrant number one. This has thus far been the only time that a reigning champion had to defend his title in the match, which was ultimately won by Triple H, who eliminated Reigns before lastly eliminating Dean Ambrose to win—Reigns would earn a rematch against Triple H at WrestleMania 32 and won back the title. In 2020, although he did not defend his title in the match, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar entered the Royal Rumble match as entrant number one, feeling as if no one on any brand deserved to challenge him at either the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. This was the first time in which a reigning world champion competed in the match in which the winner could challenge them—Lesnar's participation was used as a way to set up his WrestleMania challenger, which ended up being Drew McIntyre, who eliminated Lesnar, won the Rumble match, and then challenged Lesnar for his title at WrestleMania 36.

The Royal Rumble winner may also choose to put his championship opportunity on the line in a match. This was first done in 1996, when Shawn Michaels risked his WrestleMania XII WWF World Heavyweight Championship opportunity in a match against Owen Hart at In Your House 6. The second time was in 2002, when Triple H lost his WrestleMania X8 Undisputed WWF Championship opportunity at No Way Out to Kurt Angle, but regained his spot in a rematch against Angle on the following Raw. The third time was in 2006, when Randy Orton defeated Rey Mysterio at No Way Out for Mysterio's WrestleMania 22 World Heavyweight Championship opportunity, though Mysterio was reinserted into the title match, making it a triple threat match. The fourth time was on the February 25, 2013 episode of Raw, where John Cena successfully defended his WrestleMania 29 WWE Championship opportunity in a match against CM Punk. The fifth time was in 2015 at Fastlane, where Roman Reigns defended his WrestleMania 31 WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity against Daniel Bryan. In a reverse case in 2008, John Cena decided that instead of waiting until WrestleMania XXIV, he would use his world championship opportunity and challenge WWE Champion Randy Orton at the preceding No Way Out event, though won the match but not the title when Orton intentionally got himself disqualified; however, after Triple H became Orton's WrestleMania opponent, Cena earned another opportunity and was inserted into that championship match, making it a triple threat match. In another case in 2017, Randy Orton relinquished his WrestleMania 33 WWE Championship opportunity after his stablemate Bray Wyatt won the title, but later turned on Wyatt and reverted his decision; he then defeated AJ Styles, who had become the new title challenger, to re-earn his title shot at WrestleMania.

During the Greatest Royal Rumble in April 2018, the winner received a trophy and the Greatest Royal Rumble Championship.[25]

Dates, venues and winners[edit]

List of Royal Rumble dates, venues and winners
Event Date City Venue Winner Entry no. Ref.
1 Royal Rumble (1988) January 24, 1988 Hamilton, Ontario Copps Coliseum Hacksaw Jim Duggan 13 [26][27]
2 Royal Rumble (1989) January 15, 1989 Houston, Texas The Summit Big John Studd 27 [28][29]
3 Royal Rumble (1990) January 21, 1990 Orlando, Florida Orlando Arena Hulk Hogan 25 [30][31]
4 Royal Rumble (1991) January 19, 1991 Miami, Florida Miami Arena 24 [32][33]
5 Royal Rumble (1992) January 19, 1992 Albany, New York Knickerbocker Arena Ric Flair 3 [34][35]
6 Royal Rumble (1993) January 24, 1993 Sacramento, California ARCO Arena Yokozuna 27 [36][37]
7 Royal Rumble (1994) January 23, 1994 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Bret Hart
Lex Luger
27
23
[38][39]
8 Royal Rumble (1995) January 22, 1995 Tampa, Florida USF Sun Dome Shawn Michaels 1 [40][41]
9 Royal Rumble (1996) January 21, 1996 Fresno, California Selland Arena 18 [42][43]
10 Royal Rumble (1997) January 19, 1997 San Antonio, Texas Alamodome Stone Cold Steve Austin 5 [44][45]
11 Royal Rumble (1998) January 18, 1998 San Jose, California San Jose Arena 24 [46][47][48]
12 Royal Rumble (1999) January 24, 1999 Anaheim, California Arrowhead Pond Mr. McMahon 2 [49][50][51]
13 Royal Rumble (2000) January 23, 2000 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden The Rock 24 [52][53][54]
14 Royal Rumble (2001) January 21, 2001 New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans Arena Stone Cold Steve Austin 27 [55][56][57]
15 Royal Rumble (2002) January 20, 2002 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena Triple H 22 [58][59][60]
16 Royal Rumble (2003) January 19, 2003 Boston, Massachusetts FleetCenter Brock Lesnar 29 [61][62]
17 Royal Rumble (2004) January 25, 2004 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wachovia Center Chris Benoit 1 [63][64][65]
18 Royal Rumble (2005) January 30, 2005 Fresno, California Save Mart Center Batista 28 [66][67][68]
19 Royal Rumble (2006) January 29, 2006 Miami, Florida American Airlines Arena Rey Mysterio 2 [69][70][71]
20 Royal Rumble (2007) January 28, 2007 San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center The Undertaker 30 [72][73][74]
21 Royal Rumble (2008) January 27, 2008 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden John Cena 30 [75][76][77]
22 Royal Rumble (2009) January 25, 2009 Detroit, Michigan Joe Louis Arena Randy Orton 8 [78][79]
23 Royal Rumble (2010) January 31, 2010 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena Edge 29 [80][81]
24 Royal Rumble (2011) January 30, 2011 Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden Alberto Del Rio 38 [82]
25 Royal Rumble (2012) January 29, 2012 St. Louis, Missouri Scottrade Center Sheamus 22 [83][84][85]
26 Royal Rumble (2013) January 27, 2013 Phoenix, Arizona US Airways Center John Cena 19 [86][87][88]
27 Royal Rumble (2014) January 26, 2014 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Consol Energy Center Batista 28 [89][90]
28 Royal Rumble (2015) January 25, 2015 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center Roman Reigns 19 [91]
29 Royal Rumble (2016) January 24, 2016 Orlando, Florida Amway Center Triple H 30 [92][93]
30 Royal Rumble (2017) January 29, 2017 San Antonio, Texas Alamodome Randy Orton 23 [94]
31 Royal Rumble (2018) January 28, 2018 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center Shinsuke Nakamura 14 [95][96]
32 Asuka 25 [97][98]
33 Greatest Royal Rumble April 27, 2018 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia King Abdullah International Stadium Braun Strowman 41 [99][100]
34 Royal Rumble (2019) January 27, 2019 Phoenix, Arizona Chase Field Becky Lynch 28 [101]
35 Seth Rollins 10 [101]
36 Royal Rumble (2020) January 26, 2020 Houston, Texas Minute Maid Park Charlotte Flair 17 [102]
37 Drew McIntyre 16 [102]
38 Royal Rumble (2021) January 31, 2021 St. Petersburg, Florida Tropicana Field Bianca Belair 3
39 Edge 1

Male Royal Rumble winner's championship opportunity[edit]

Championship Wins Losses Total Success rate
WWE Championship[a] 10 8 18 .556
World Heavyweight Championship 5 2 7 .714
WWE Universal Championship 1 0 1 1.000
Total 16 10 26 .615
  – WrestleMania victory
  – WrestleMania loss
  – Did not receive title match
Winner Event Year Championship match
1 Yokozuna WrestleMania IX 1993 Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
2 Lex Luger WrestleMania X 1994 Luger lost to WWF World Heavyweight Champion Yokozuna by disqualification.
2 Bret Hart WrestleMania X 1994 Hart defeated Yokozuna to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
3 Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XI 1995 Michaels lost to WWF World Heavyweight Champion Diesel.
4 Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XII 1996 Michaels successfully defended his title shot against Owen Hart at In Your House 6. Michaels went on to defeat Bret Hart in an Iron man match to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
5 Stone Cold Steve Austin WrestleMania 13 1997 Due to Austin re-entering the Rumble match because the officials did not see when he was thrown out of the ring, WWF President Gorilla Monsoon ruled that he would not be receiving his WWF World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 13. A match in February was signed to determine who would receive it, but because champion Shawn Michaels forfeited the title, plans were changed, Bret Hart won the match to become the new champion and lost the title to Sycho Sid the following night on Raw, who went on to lose the title to The Undertaker in WrestleMania's main event.
6 Stone Cold Steve Austin WrestleMania XIV 1998 Austin defeated Shawn Michaels to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
7 Mr. McMahon WrestleMania XV 1999 The following night on Raw Is War, Mr. McMahon renounced his title opportunity to challenge WWF Champion The Rock at WrestleMania XV. WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels awarded the title opportunity to the runner-up, Stone Cold Steve Austin, who defeated Mr. McMahon in a steel cage match to retain his opportunity. Austin went on to defeat The Rock in a No Disqualification match to win the WWF Championship.
8 The Rock WrestleMania 2000 2000 Video footage later showed Rock's feet hit the floor first before runner-up Big Show. After multiple attempts to name a rightful number one contender failed, both The Rock and Big Show were added to the main event along with Mick Foley, who came out of retirement after losing a Hell in a Cell match to champion Triple H, to make it a four-way match for the WWF Championship. At WrestleMania 2000, Triple H defeated Rock, Foley, and Show in a fatal four-way elimination match to retain the WWF Championship.
9 Stone Cold Steve Austin WrestleMania X-Seven 2001 Austin defeated The Rock in a No Disqualification match to win the WWF Championship.
10 Triple H WrestleMania X8 2002 Triple H lost his WrestleMania X8 title shot to Kurt Angle at No Way Out. The following night on Raw, Triple H was given a rematch by WWF co-owner Ric Flair and defeated Angle to win his title shot back. Triple H went on to defeat Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWF Championship at WrestleMania X8.
11 Brock Lesnar WrestleMania XIX 2003 As a member of the SmackDown brand, Lesnar earned a match for his brand's WWE Championship. At WrestleMania XIX, Lesnar defeated Kurt Angle to win the championship. Had Angle gotten counted out or disqualified, he would have lost the title per the stipulation.
12 Chris Benoit WrestleMania XX 2004 Benoit won the Rumble as a SmackDown! wrestler, but switched to the Raw brand to challenge Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels, who was feuding with Triple H, found it unfair that Benoit had left his own brand and inserted himself into their feud and added himself to the match. Benoit went on to defeat Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
13 Batista WrestleMania 21 2005 Batista from Raw chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship and defeated Triple H for the title at WrestleMania 21.
14 Rey Mysterio WrestleMania 22 2006 Mysterio from SmackDown! chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship, but lost his title shot to Randy Orton at No Way Out. On the following episode of SmackDown!, General Manager Theodore Long added Mysterio to the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 22, making it a triple threat match. At WrestleMania, Mysterio defeated champion Kurt Angle and Orton in a triple threat match to win the championship.
15 The Undertaker WrestleMania 23 2007 The Undertaker from SmackDown chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship and defeated Batista to win the title.
16 John Cena WrestleMania XXIV 2008 Instead of waiting until WrestleMania XXIV, Cena from Raw used his championship shot at No Way Out to challenge Randy Orton for Raw's WWE Championship. Cena won the match by disqualification, but Orton remained champion. Triple H then became Orton's opponent at WrestleMania by winning an Elimination Chamber match, while Cena earned another opportunity and was added, making it a triple threat match. At WrestleMania XXIV, however, Orton defeated Cena and Triple H to retain the title.
17 Randy Orton WrestleMania XXV 2009 Orton won the Rumble as a Raw wrestler, but challenged SmackDown's Triple H for the WWE Championship. At WrestleMania XXV, Orton lost to Triple H. Had Triple H gotten counted out or disqualified, he would have lost the title per the stipulation.
18 Edge WrestleMania XXVI 2010 Edge from SmackDown chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship, but lost to Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXVI.
19 Alberto Del Rio WrestleMania XXVII 2011 Del Rio from SmackDown chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship, but lost to Edge at WrestleMania XXVII.
20 Sheamus WrestleMania XXVIII 2012 Sheamus chose to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship and defeated champion Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXVIII.
21 John Cena WrestleMania 29 2013 Cena chose to challenge for the WWE Championship and successfully defended his title shot against CM Punk on the February 25 episode of Raw. At WrestleMania 29, Cena defeated The Rock to win the WWE Championship.
22 Batista WrestleMania XXX 2014 After months of feuding, Triple H agreed to face Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXX, with the stipulation that whoever won would be inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between champion Randy Orton and Rumble winner Batista. Bryan defeated Triple H in the opening match and went on to defeat Orton and Batista in a triple threat match to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
23 Roman Reigns WrestleMania 31 2015 Reigns successfully defended his title shot against Daniel Bryan at Fastlane. Reigns went on to challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 31. During the match at WrestleMania, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, converting the singles match between Reigns and Lesnar into a triple threat match. Rollins then pinned Reigns in the impromptu triple threat match to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
24 Randy Orton WrestleMania 33 2017 As a member of the SmackDown brand, Orton earned a match for his own brand's WWE Championship. After his fellow Wyatt Family member Bray Wyatt won the championship at Elimination Chamber and retained it on the following SmackDown Live, Orton relinquished his championship opportunity. On the next episode of SmackDown, however, Orton reverted his decision and turned on Wyatt. The following week, Orton defeated AJ Styles, who had become the new number one contender for the title, to re-earn his title shot against Wyatt at WrestleMania 33 where he defeated Wyatt to win the WWE Championship.
25 Shinsuke Nakamura WrestleMania 34 2018 Nakamura from SmackDown chose to challenge for his own brand's WWE Championship, but lost to AJ Styles at WrestleMania 34.
26 Seth Rollins WrestleMania 35 2019 Rollins from Raw chose to challenge for his own brand's Universal Championship and defeated champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 35.
27 Drew McIntyre WrestleMania 36 2020 McIntyre from Raw chose to challenge for his own brand's WWE Championship and defeated champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36.
28 Edge WrestleMania 37 2021 Edge from Raw, who is the first wrestler to win the match after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, chose to challenge SmackDown's Universal Champion Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 37. After a controversial finish in the main event of Fastlane, a decision was made to add Daniel Bryan to the match, making it a triple threat match.

No WrestleMania title opportunity was awarded in the 2016 Royal Rumble match as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship itself, held by Roman Reigns, was at stake. Triple H won the Royal Rumble match, and Reigns regained the championship in a rematch at WrestleMania 32.

  1. ^ The WWE Championship has had various names due to company name changes and title unifications. Since the 1993 Royal Rumble, these include the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, the WWF Championship, the Undisputed WWF Championship, and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Female Royal Rumble winner's championship opportunity[edit]

Championship Wins Losses Total Success rate
WWE Raw Women's Championship 1 0 1 1.000
WWE SmackDown Women's Championship 0 1 1 .000
NXT Women's Championship 1 0 1 1.000
Total 2 1 3 .667
  – WrestleMania victory
  – WrestleMania loss
Winner Event Year Championship match
1 Asuka WrestleMania 34 2018 Asuka won the inaugural Rumble as a Raw wrestler, but she decided to challenge Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship. At WrestleMania 34, Flair submitted Asuka that also ended her 914-day undefeated streak.
2 Becky Lynch WrestleMania 35 2019 Lynch won the Rumble as a SmackDown wrestler, but challenged Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women's Championship. Lynch was removed from the match and suspended after continuously attacking The McMahon Family and was replaced by the Rumble runner-up, Charlotte Flair. At Fastlane, Lynch defeated Flair and was reinserted into the match at WrestleMania. Flair then won the SmackDown Women's Championship on the March 26 episode of SmackDown Live. In response, Stephanie McMahon announced that both titles would be on the line, making the match Winner Takes All. At WrestleMania 35, Lynch defeated Rousey and Flair to win both titles, becoming a double champion.
3 Charlotte Flair WrestleMania 36 2020 Flair won the Rumble as a Raw wrestler, but challenged Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship, marking the first time a Royal Rumble winner chose to challenge for an NXT title. At WrestleMania 36, Flair defeated Ripley to win the NXT Women's Championship.
4 Bianca Belair WrestleMania 37 2021 Belair from SmackDown chose to challenge for her own brand's SmackDown Women's Championship, held by Sasha Banks.

Royal Rumble records[edit]

Males[edit]

Most Royal Rumble victories[edit]

Wrestler Royal Rumble wins Year
Stone Cold Steve Austin 3 1997, 1998, 2001
Hulk Hogan 2 1990, 1991
Shawn Michaels 1995, 1996
John Cena 2008, 2013
Batista 2005, 2014
Triple H 2002, 2016
Randy Orton 2009, 2017
Edge 2010, 2021

Most times being a Royal Rumble runner-up[edit]

Wrestler Times Year
Roman Reigns 4 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020
Big Show 2 2000, 2004
Shawn Michaels 1994, 2007
Triple H 2008, 2009
John Cena 2005, 2010
Randy Orton 2006, 2021

Winners by entry number[edit]

No Year
27 1989, 1993, 1994, 2001
1 1995, 2004, 2021
30 2007, 2008, 2016
24 1991, 1998, 2000
23 1994, 2017
19 2013, 2015
28 2005, 2014
22 2002, 2012
29 2003, 2010
2 1999, 2006
16 2020
10 2019
41 2018 (GRR)
14 2018
38 2011
8 2009
5 1997
18 1996
3 1992
25 1990
13 1988

Longest time spent in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

Top 20 individual longest times in a single Royal Rumble match.

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

No Wrestler Time Year
1 Daniel Bryan 1:16:05 2018 (GRR)
2 Rey Mysterio 1:02:12 2006[103]
3 Chris Benoit 1:01:30 2004[103]
4 Bob Backlund 1:01:10 1993[103]
5 Triple H 1:00:16 2006
6 Chris Jericho 1:00:13 2017
7 Ric Flair 1:00:02 1992[103]
8 Roman Reigns 59:48 2016
9 Edge 58:30 2021
Randy Orton
11 Finn Bálor 57:38 2018
12 Mr. McMahon 56:38 1999
Stone Cold Steve Austin
14 Kane 53:46 2001
15 Rick Martel 52:17 1991[103]
16 The Rock 51:32 1998
17 Chris Jericho 50:47 2016
18 Triple H 49:55 2009
19 Dolph Ziggler 49:47 2013
20 Rey Mysterio 49:26 2009

Note that bold indicates the winner of that year's match.

Longest cumulative time spent in Royal Rumbles[edit]

(Two hours minimum).

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler Time
Chris Jericho 4:59:33[104]
Randy Orton 4:31:47
Rey Mysterio 4:05:41
Triple H 4:00:50
Shawn Michaels 3:47:32[104]
Edge 3:31:51
Kane/Diesel/Isaac Yankem, DDS 3:19:40
Cody Rhodes/Stardust 3:06:45
John Cena 2:48:32
CM Punk 2:48:11
Dolph Ziggler 2:47:53
Stone Cold Steve Austin/The Ringmaster 2:45:04
Roman Reigns 2:44:06
Chris Benoit 2:37:24
Kofi Kingston 2:33:03
The Undertaker 2:31:21
Daniel Bryan 2:24:21
Sheamus 2:15:53
The Miz 2:10:19
The British Bulldog 2:06:02

Shortest time spent in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

(10 seconds maximum)

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler Time Year
Santino Marella 0:00:01 2009[103]
The Warlord 0:00:02 1989[103]
Sheamus 2018[103]
No Way Jose 2019
Mo 0:00:03 1995[103]
Owen Hart
Mike Kanellis 2018 (GRR)
Xavier Woods 2019
Bushwhacker Luke 0:00:04 1991
Jerry Lawler 1997
Titus O'Neil 2015
The Godfather 0:00:05 2013[103]
Titus O'Neil 2019
Gillberg 0:00:07 1999
The Miz 2007
Montel Vontavious Porter 2010
Adam Rose 0:00:08 2015
Erick Rowan 2020
John Morrison 0:00:09
Tazz 0:00:10 2001

Non-eliminated wrestlers[edit]

Several times, wrestlers were drawn to compete in the match, but did not actually compete. Their participation is counted as zero seconds, with the exception of Hornswoggle's appearance in 2008:

  1. In 1991, "Macho King" Randy Savage was drawn 18th, but no-showed due to leaving the building after costing Ultimate Warrior the WWF Championship against Sgt. Slaughter.
  2. In 1994, Bastion Booger was drawn 25th, but no-showed due to suffering food poisoning before the match.
  3. In 1998, Skull was drawn 22nd, but no-showed due to being attacked by Los Boricuas after having been mistaken for Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  4. In 2004, Spike Dudley was drawn 13th, but was attacked on the ramp by Kane.
  5. In 2005, Scotty 2 Hotty was drawn 15th, but was attacked on the ramp by Muhammad Hassan.
  6. In 2008, Hornswoggle was drawn 9th, but did not enter the ring until being forced to by Mark Henry and was then saved by Finlay (who had drawn 27th) and escorted to the back and never re-entered the match. Finlay was then disqualified after coming out before his number came up to help Hornswoggle.
  7. In 2015, Curtis Axel was drawn 6th, but was attacked on the ramp by Erick Rowan, who then illegally entered the match as he was not a competitor.[105] Unlike other occasions, this was notable for actually being worked into a gimmick for Axel, where he began to imitate Hulk Hogan and wear shirts emblazoned with "AxelMania" and claim that he was never eliminated from the Royal Rumble, therefore he won it, deserving a spot in the main event of WrestleMania.

Wrestlers who had their number stolen or were replaced[edit]

Several times, wrestlers were drawn to compete and were instead either attacked backstage or pulled from the match at the last minute and replaced by other wrestlers.

  1. In 1999, Mosh was drawn 11th, but was attacked by Mabel, who took Mosh's spot.
  2. In 2001, the team of Lo Down (Chaz and D'Lo Brown) defeated Kaientai (Funaki and Taka Michinoku) to earn one entrance spot in the Royal Rumble match, but that was later overturned by Vince McMahon who entered Drew Carey in their spot.
  3. In 2004, Test was drawn 21st, but was attacked by Mick Foley, who then took Test's spot under orders from Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  4. In 2005, Nunzio was drawn 20th, but had his spot stolen by Kurt Angle before the match; Angle then challenged Nunzio to fight for the spot.
  5. In 2015, Curtis Axel was drawn for 6th spot, but was attacked by Erick Rowan, who stole his spot.
  6. In 2018, Tye Dillinger was drawn 10th, but was attacked by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, the latter of whom took Dillinger's spot.
  7. In 2019, R-Truth was slated for the 30th spot, but was attacked by Nia Jax, who took his spot.

Most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

(Six eliminations minimum).

As of the 2020 Royal Rumble:

Wrestler No. of eliminations Year
Braun Strowman 13 2018 (GRR)
Brock Lesnar 2020
Roman Reigns 12 2014
Kane 11 2001[103][106]
Hulk Hogan 10 1989[103][107]
Stone Cold Steve Austin 1997[103][108]
Shawn Michaels 8 1995, 1996
Stone Cold Steve Austin 1999
Hulk Hogan 7 1991
Yokozuna 1993
Diesel 1994
Stone Cold Steve Austin 1998, 2002
Rikishi 2000
The Undertaker 2002
The Great Khali 2007
CM Punk 2011
John Cena 2011
Bray Wyatt 2015
Braun Strowman 2017
One Man Gang 1988
The Ultimate Warrior 6 1990
Hulk Hogan
Sid Justice 1992
Lex Luger 1994
Chris Jericho 2003
Chris Benoit 2004
Batista 2005
Rey Mysterio 2006
Triple H 2006, 2008, 2009
Big Show 2009
Shawn Michaels 2010
Cody Rhodes 2012
Rusev 2015
Roman Reigns
Braun Strowman 2019
Drew McIntyre 2020

Note that bold indicates winner of that year's match.

Most eliminations in row in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

(five eliminations minimum).

As of the 2020 Royal Rumble:

Wrestler No. of eliminations in row Year
Brock Lesnar 13 2020
Hulk Hogan 8 1989
Diesel 7 1994
Rikishi 2000
The Great Khali 2007
CM Punk 2011
Braun Strowman 2017
Kane 6 2001
The Undertaker 2002
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Shawn Michaels 2010
John Cena 2011
Bray Wyatt 2015
Braun Strowman 2018 (GRR)
Sid Justice 5 1992
Mabel 1999
Big Show 2009

Note that bold indicates winner of that year's match

Total eliminations in cumulative Royal Rumbles[edit]

(20 eliminations minimum).

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler No. of eliminations Royal Rumbles entered
Kane/Diesel/Isaac Yankem, DDS 46 20[103][109][110]
The Undertaker 40 11
Shawn Michaels 40 12[111][112]
The Ringmaster/Stone Cold Steve Austin 36 6[103]
Braun Strowman 33 6
Big Show 32 12
Roman Reigns 32 6
Triple H 32 9
Hulk Hogan 27 4
Randy Orton 27 13
John Cena 25 8
Brock Lesnar 24 4
Edge 23 8

Highest number of wrestlers in a single elimination[edit]

Highest number of wrestlers working together to eliminate one wrestler (four wrestlers minimum).

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler No. of wrestlers involved in elimination Year
Mabel/Viscera 8 2007
7 1994
Rikishi 6 2000
Muhammad Hassan 2005
The Canadian Earthquake 5 1990
Diesel 1994
Kurrgan 1998
Brodus Clay 2013
Crush 4 1994
John Morrison 2011
Mark Henry
(Alexander) Rusev 2014
Bobby Lashley 2021

Most Rumble appearances[edit]

(10 appearances minimum)

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler Royal Rumbles entered First Royal Rumble Most recent Royal Rumble
Kane 20 1996 2021
Dolph Ziggler 14 2009 2021
Goldust 13 1997 GRR 2018
Randy Orton 2004 2021
The Miz 2007
Kofi Kingston 2009 2020
Shawn Michaels 12 1989 2010
Big Show 2000 2017
Rey Mysterio 2003 2021
The Undertaker 11 1991 2017
Chris Jericho 2000 GRR 2018
Shelton Benjamin 2003 2020
Fatu/The Sultan/Rikishi 10 1993 2004
Mark Henry 1998 GRR 2018

Wrestlers who have competed multiple times in the same night[edit]

These wrestlers have competed more than once in either the same Rumble match or multiple Rumble matches in the same night; while Foley entered the same match three times, Jax competed in both the Women's and Men's Royal Rumble matches.

Wrestler Times entered Year
Mick Foley 3 1998
Nia Jax 2 2019

Female entrants in male Royal Rumble matches[edit]

Wrestler Royal Rumbles entered
Chyna 2 (1999, 2000)[50][53]
Beth Phoenix 1 (2010)[81]
Kharma 1 (2012)
Nia Jax[a] 1 (2019)
  1. ^ Since the inception of the Women's Royal Rumble in 2018, Jax is the only wrestler to ever take part in both the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches on the same card, and one of two, along with Beth Phoenix, to score eliminations in both.

Females[edit]

Most Royal Rumble victories[edit]

Wrestler Times Year
Bianca Belair 1 2021
Charlotte Flair 2020
Becky Lynch 2019
Asuka 2018

Most times being a Royal Rumble runner-up[edit]

Wrestler Times Year
Rhea Ripley 1 2021
Shayna Baszler 2020
Charlotte Flair 2019
Nikki Bella 2018

Winners by entry number[edit]

No Year
3 2021
17 2020
28 2019
25 2018

Longest time spent in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

(Top 10)

No Wrestler Time Year
1 Bianca Belair 56:52 2021
2 Natalya 56:01 2019
3 Sasha Banks 54:46 2018
4 Ember Moon 52:23 2019
5 Charlotte Flair 50:01
6 Naomi 47:43 2021
7 Shayna Baszler 41:47
8 Rhea Ripley 39:06
9 Charlotte Flair 33:45
10 Bianca Belair 33:20 2020

Note that bold indicates the winner of that year's match.

Longest cumulative time spent in Royal Rumbles[edit]

(Top 10)

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble

Wrestler Time
Charlotte Flair 1:51:05
Natalya 1:38:18
Bianca Belair 1:30:09
Naomi 1:17:57
Ember Moon 1:00:26
Sasha Banks 54:46
Lacey Evans 48:40
Bayley 48:38
Rhea Ripley 47:01
Shayna Baszler 46:14

Shortest time spent in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

(Top 10).

No Wrestler Time Year
1 Liv Morgan 00:08 2019
2 Chelsea Green 00:12 2020
3 Sarah Logan 00:28
4 Tamina 00:39
5 Liv Morgan 00:44
6 Carmella 00:45 2021
7 Vickie Guerrero 00:57 2018
8 Santina Marella 01:01 2020
9 Alexa Bliss 01:02 2021
10 Naomi 01:28 2019

Wrestlers who had their number stolen or were replaced[edit]

  • In 2019, Lana was drawn 28th, but due to an ankle injury she suffered earlier in the PPV, she was unable to compete and Becky Lynch was allowed to take her spot. Becky Lynch went on to win that Royal Rumble.

Most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

Only wrestlers with at least three eliminations are shown.

Wrestler No. of eliminations Year
Shayna Baszler 8 2020
Bianca Belair
Rhea Ripley 7 2021
Shayna Baszler 6
Michelle McCool 5 2018
Charlotte Flair 2019
Charlotte Flair 4 2020
Bianca Belair 2021
Nia Jax 2018, 2021
Nikki Bella 3 2018
Sasha Banks
Asuka
Natalya
Trish Stratus
Bayley 2019
Ruby Riott
Rhea Ripley
Nia Jax
Alexa Bliss 2020

Note that bold indicates the winner of that year's match

Most Rumble appearances[edit]

Only wrestlers who have appeared in more than one Rumble are shown. As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler Royal Rumbles entered First Royal Rumble Most recent Royal Rumble
Carmella 4 2018 2021
Dana Brooke
Liv Morgan
Mandy Rose
Naomi
Natalya
Tamina
Kairi Sane 3 2020
Sarah Logan
Sonya Deville
Alicia Fox 2021
Bayley
Ember Moon
Mickie James
Lana
Nia Jax
Ruby Riott
Alexa Bliss 2019
Charlotte Flair
Nikki Cross
Becky Lynch 2 2018 2019
Beth Phoenix 2020
Kelly Kelly
Molly Holly/Mighty Molly
Torrie Wilson 2021
Candice LeRae 2019 2020
Xia Li
Zelina Vega
Billie Kay 2021
Lacey Evans
Peyton Royce
Rhea Ripley
Bianca Belair 2020
Dakota Kai
Shayna Baszler
Shotzi Blackheart
Toni Storm

Highest number of wrestlers in a single elimination[edit]

Highest number of wrestlers working together to eliminate one wrestler. Only wrestlers who were eliminated by 3 or more people are shown.

Wrestler No. of wrestlers involved in elimination Year
Nia Jax 6 2018
Vickie Guerrero 4

Total eliminations in cumulative Royal Rumbles[edit]

(3 eliminations minimum)

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler No. of eliminations Royal Rumbles entered
Shayna Baszler 14 2
Bianca Belair 12 2
Nia Jax 11 3[a]
Rhea Ripley 10 2
Charlotte Flair 3
Ruby Riott 6 3
Natalya 4
Michelle McCool 5 1
Alexa Bliss 3
Bayley
Nikki Bella 4 1
Becky Lynch 2
Asuka 3 1
Sasha Banks
Trish Stratus
Lacey Evans 2
Mandy Rose 4
  1. ^ Jax took part in both the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches on the same night at the 2019 event, and scored eliminations in both, however only her women's Royal Rumble match eliminations are counted

Most eliminations in row in a single Royal Rumble[edit]

(three eliminations minimum).

As of the 2021 Royal Rumble:

Wrestler No. of eliminations in row Year
Shayna Baszler 7 2020
Michelle McCool 5 2018
Nia Jax 4 2018, 2021
Ruby Riott 3 2019
Rhea Ripley
Charlotte Flair 2020

Note that bold indicates winner of that year's match

Male entrants in female Royal Rumble matches[edit]

Wrestler Royal Rumbles entered
Santina Marella 1 (2020)

Other Royal Rumble matches[edit]

WWE has also booked several Royal Rumble matches outside of pay-per-view events:

  • The very first Royal Rumble match took place at a house show in St. Louis, Missouri on October 4, 1987 where the One Man Gang won a 12-Man Royal Rumble, last eliminating the Junkyard Dog, to earn a WWF World Heavyweight Championship match against Hulk Hogan at the following month's St. Louis house show.
  • A 20-man Royal Rumble match took place at a house show in Hartford, Connecticut on March 16, 1988 where Ravishing Rick Rude was the winner.
  • A 30-man Royal Rumble on January 17, 1994 at Madison Square Garden was won by Owen Hart, last eliminating Fatu.
  • An 18-man Royal Rumble match took place on May 9, 1994 in Osaka, Japan and was won by The Undertaker, last eliminating Bam Bam Bigelow.
  • There was a tag team Royal Rumble on the June 15, 1998 episode of Raw. Kane and Mankind won the match and earned an opportunity for the WWF Tag Team Championship against The New Age Outlaws.
  • On January 11, 1999, a corporate Royal Rumble involving members of The Corporation and D-Generation X was held on Raw to determine the 30th entry in the Royal Rumble that year. The match was won by Chyna, who last eliminated Vince McMahon.
  • A 5-man Royal Rumble took place on the September 16, 1999 episode of SmackDown to crown a contender for Triple H's WWE Championship later that night.
  • A 4-man Royal Rumble took place on the January 8, 2004 episode of SmackDown, when Paul Heyman pit Chris Benoit against the three members of the F.B.I..
  • A 15-man Royal Rumble was held during the January 29, 2004 episode of SmackDown to crown a contender for Brock Lesnar's WWE Championship at No Way Out. Eddie Guerrero won the match, last eliminating Kurt Angle.
  • A 7-man Royal Rumble took place on the January 22, 2007 episode of Raw. However instead of entrants coming out to timed intervals, Jonathan Coachman called each entrant out at his own discretion.
  • On January 14, 2008, Vince McMahon organized a mini-Royal Rumble, involving midget wrestlers. Hornswoggle won the match.
  • A 4-man Royal Rumble took place on the January 28, 2011 episode of SmackDown as Alberto Del Rio competed in a 'Royal Rumble Exhibition'. It is the only Royal Rumble match to end in a no contest.
  • On the January 31, 2011, episode of Raw, a Royal Rumble to crown the contender for The Miz's WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber was held. Jerry Lawler won the match, last eliminating Sheamus.
  • In 2017, the female superstars of NXT held a Halloween Royal Rumble. It was held in a house show. Shayna Baszler won the match as Darth Baszler.
  • At the 2018 Royal Rumble, WWE aired an advert for KFC in the form of a 9-man KFC Colonel Rumble, segments of which had been filmed as a dark match at a SmackDown taping two weeks prior. Ric Flair won the version that was aired, last eliminating The Miz.
  • In 2018, the male superstars of NXT held a Halloween Royal Rumble during a house show.
List of Royal Rumble dates, venues, and winners
Event Date City Venue Winner Ref. Note
1 House show October 4, 1987 St. Louis, MO St. Louis Arena One Man Gang [113][114] 12-man Royal Rumble
2 House show March 16, 1988 Hartford, CT Hartford Civic Center Rick Rude [115][116] 20-man Royal Rumble
3 House show January 17, 1994 New York City Madison Square Garden Owen Hart [117] 30-man Royal Rumble
4 House show May 9, 1994 Osaka, Japan Castle Hall The Undertaker [117] 18-man Royal Rumble
5 Raw June 15, 1998 San Antonio, Texas Freeman Coliseum Kane and Mankind [117] 10-tag team Royal Rumble
6 Raw January 11, 1999 Houston Compaq Center Chyna [117] 10-person Corporation vs. DX corporate Royal Rumble for the number 30 spot in the 1999 Royal Rumble
7 SmackDown September 16, 1999 Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Centre The Undertaker [118] 5-man Royal Rumble to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship later that night
8 SmackDown January 8, 2004 Huntsville, Alabama Von Braun Centre Chris Benoit [119] 4-man Royal Rumble
9 SmackDown January 29, 2004 Washington, D.C. MCI Center Eddie Guerrero [120] 15-man SmackDown! Royal Rumble to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship at No Way Out
10 Raw January 22, 2007 Lafayette, Louisiana Cajundome The Great Khali [121] 7-man Royal Rumble
11 Raw January 14, 2008 Mobile, Alabama Mobile Civic Center Hornswoggle [122] Mini Royal Rumble; 6-man, all participants were midget wrestlers, with the exception of The Great Khali.
12 SmackDown January 28, 2011 Cincinnati, Ohio U.S. Bank Arena [123] 4-Man Royal Rumble
13 Raw January 31, 2011 Providence, Rhode Island Dunkin' Donuts Center Jerry Lawler [124] 7-man Raw Rumble to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber
14 Royal Rumble (2018) January 28, 2018 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center Ric Flair[kfc 1] [125][126] KFC Colonel Rumble (9-man)
  1. ^ AJ Styles won the SmackDown dark match; the end of the match was subsequently re-recorded for the advert prior to the Royal Rumble event.

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