With the Royal Rumble only hours away, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to write this article.
The Royal Rumble is my favourite event in the wrestling calendar, not just WWE’s! The chance to see all your ‘favourite superstars’, a few surprises and unique storylines all happening within the same match is definitely great to watch. Plus the opportunity to get together with friends to predict who will enter and when, who the surprise(s) will be and most importantly who will win, makes for an awesome viewing experience!
With that being said, there have been some pretty dull Royal Rumble matches and some pretty strange winners, which I will discuss now.
Here are a few previous winners that shouldn’t have won:
1988 Winner: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan – The first ever winner of the Royal Rumble and quite possibly the weakest ever winner.
1989 Winner: Big John Studd – Awful choice of winner as there were 2 better alternatives.
1993 Winner: Yokozuna – Although it was good to see the big man win, there was again, better alternatives.
1999 Winner: Vince McMahon – You have to question the decision to have the owner of the company winning a match that guarantees you a title shot at WrestleMania but lets be honest, it’s his company so he can do what he wants!
2011 Winner: Alberto Del Rio – The winner of the first ever 40 man Rumble, won it too early in his WWE career and didn’t deserve it.
2012 Winner: Sheamus – It’s not that Sheamus is a bad wrestler or anything but his storyline going into the Royal Rumble just wasn’t as good as the alternative.
2014 Winner: Batista – Wow, this was a terrible decision. WWE got it totally wrong on two counts, 1) Batista should never have returned as a babyface, which he himself was shocked about and 2) this was Daniel Bryan’s year. Although, we may not have witnessed one of the best WrestleMania moments ever if Bryan had won.
2015 Winner: Roman Reigns – Not even The Rock could save Reigns from the negative crowd reaction! Unfortunately for Reigns, the match was not structure very well. Having to battle Big Show and Corporate Kane at the end didn’t help, resting in the back for the majority of the match hurt him more!
Before we get to my countdown, here are some superstars that just missed out on making the list…
Jake “The Snake” Roberts – It’s a huge surprise that he didn’t win one of the earliest matches due to his undoubted popularity.
Eddie Guerrero – It’s a shame that Eddie never won the Rumble before his death. In last few years of his life he was more popular than ever and I believe if he hadn’t of past away then he could have been in line to win the 2006 Rumble.
Andre The Giant – Maybe if he wasn’t involved in a contract signing with Hulk Hogan at the first ever Royal Rumble then Andre The Giant could have entered and won but as it was he never did win a Rumble and that is a shame given his stature and household name.
Ultimate Warrior – He just missed out on my final 8 due to his short runs with the company and because he came up against Hogan and Macho Man in the years he probably could have won!
Anyway, let’s begin! Here are my 8 superstars that should have a Royal Rumble victory to their name…
8. Big Show
I’m sure I’m not the only one that is surprised Big Show hasn’t won a Rumble. The World’s Largest Athlete isn’t always billed as the biggest threat due to bad storyline booking but the fact is he should have won a Rumble by now. In a land where wrestlers are meant to be larger than life it seems strange that one of its largest ever has never been able to throw all smaller competitors over the top rope!
If Big Show had won the Rumble in 2000 instead of The Rock then all future winners that eliminated Big Show on route to winning are instantly given more credibility. Instead, how many times have we seen Big Show eliminated last by the eventual winner?! As bad as it is that Big Show hasn’t won, it’s not as a bad as this next superstar not winning…
Having entered the Royal Rumble a record number of times, it is surprising that Kane has never won one! In a previous record, 2001 saw Kane eliminate 11 superstars and still not win. Surely, The Big Red Monster deserved to win that year?! Why couldn’t Stone Cold just have battled Kane at the next PPV for the main event title shot at WrestleMania? Or have Kane do something unprecedented and challenge for another title all together? Stranger things have happened in the WWE!
It’s just a shame that Kane will probably go his career without winning the Rumble after being in so many.
6. “Million-Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
As I mentioned earlier, there were 2 superstars that could have won the 1989 Rumble instead of Big John Studd. Hulk Hogan being one and the other being the Million-Dollar Man. Now although Hogan could have won in 1989 instead of the following year, Ted DiBiase had such a great storyline going into the match and a character fitting the Rumble that he should have won!
He had a lot of focus on him before the start of the match and even bought the number 30 entrance. The crowd booed him and ate up his act. He would have been a great nemesis for Hulk Hogan at the time and a Royal Rumble win would have been a great starting point for their feud.
The following year DiBiase started at number 1 and lasted 45 minutes. Maybe his son will win it this year instead, ha!
5. CM Punk
2014 could be the year for CM Punk to win the Royal Rumble! He should have previously won the 2011 Rumble instead of Alberto Del Rio. In the first ever 40 man Rumble, CM Punk eliminated 7 people and lasted around 35 minutes before being eliminated by SuperCena. Obviously, WWE had plans for Cena to interact with The Rock in that years WrestleMania main event but it really should have been John Cena vs CM Punk, instead of The Miz.
Although if CM Punk had won in 2011 then there is one thing to consider, would we have ever seen the infamous Pipe Bomb promo later that year?!
4. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle will probably go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time and he did a lot in WWE. This year’s Hall of Famer has never picked up a Royal Rumble victory though! This is very surprising seeing as once The Rock and Stone Cold had left the WWE, it seemed almost a guarantee that he would win.
Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit and Batista won the event from 2002 to 2005 and there is argument to say that Kurt was more deserving of a win than at least 2, if not, 3 of them. He was a main eventer for most of his WWE run and it’s a shame he couldn’t have ended his time with the company having secured a Royal Rumble victory!
Unfortunately for Kurt Angle, his time has passed (although I hope he surprises us tonight) but there still may be time for my next superstar…
3. Chris Jericho
Ok, so Y2J is unlikely to win the Rumble tonight but saying that means I’ve probably earned my way on to his list.
The reason he is so high on MY list is because he should have undoubtedly won the 2012 Royal Rumble. There is no question in my mind that WWE dropped the ball with the decision to have Sheamus win. Y2J had just returned and had set his sights on CM Punk, feuding with him over who was “best in the world”. It would have been great to have Jericho win and add that to his bragging rights whilst going against the WWE Champion at the time. Everything about the storyline screamed for The Ayatollah Of Rock ‘N’ Rolla to be victorious but alas it did not happen.
2. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
One of the greatest performers of all time, Savage will always be mentioned in this category and did almost everything in WWE. Championships, 5 star matches, great feuds, entertaining the fans but never was the lone survivor in the Rumble match itself.
That being said, he was normally in the middle of a memorable feud leading into the Rumble so that could explain the reason he never won but it’s a shame that he couldn’t add this to his list of achievements.
The reason he is not number 1 is because the Macho Man didn’t really need the victory as he was already a main event star. My final superstar definitely deserved to be a main eventer and also provided us with one of the greatest surprises in Royal Rumble history…
1. Mr Perfect
In 2002, Curt Hennig made a surprise return to the WWE entering the Royal Rumble at number 25. It was an awesome sight! He looked in great shape and as if he was in the 1989 Rumble all over again. Mr Perfect entered 5 Rumble matches during his career and if you exclude 2002, he could have won any of them!
1989 saw him come into the event undefeated and last longer than any other competitor, entering at number 4 and lasting 28 minutes. In the 1990 Rumble match he was the last one eliminated by the winner Hulk Hogan. 1991 saw him enter as the Intercontinental Champion and undoubtedly one of its brightest stars and in 1993, WWE should have realised what an perfect match he would have had against Bret Hart at WrestleMania.
Mr Perfect is a legend who could have been so much more. A Royal Rumble victory leading to the WWE title and we would never be talking about what ifs!