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Wrestling / Royal Rumble

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3, 2, 1! *buzzer*

"Who will be the One?"

Royal Rumble is WWE's annual January pay-per-view event; it started as a television special for the USA Network in 1988 as a way to screw with the buyrate of the NWA's second PPV Bunkhouse Stampede, and has been a PPV since 1989.

The show is built around the titular Royal Rumble match, the brainchild of wrestling legend Pat Patterson, a massive 30-person battle royal featuring competitors from WWE's full roster that usually serves as the show's main event (due to the match's length and its importance to the build towards WrestleMania).

Put simply, the Royal Rumble is the Gimmick Match.

So, in the immortal words of Howard Finkel...

"Here are the rules!"

  • Prior to the match, each wrestler draws a number from a lottery that determines when he or she enters the Rumble, or in some cases, spots are assigned by other means, the most common being winning a match to secure a desirable position. The competitors who draw or are assigned the #1 and #2 slots start the match in the ring.

  • Once the match has begun, the next wrestler in the match will enter the ring after a specified time period has passed. Traditionally 90 seconds, though two minutes hasn't been unheard of, and it was as low as one minute in 1995. This continues until all participants have entered the Rumble.

  • There are no pinfalls, no submissions, no countouts, and no disqualifications.note 

  • Eliminations occur after a wrestler is thrown over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor.

    • A wrestler who exits or is removed from the ring without going over the top rope is not eliminated from the contest. An injured wrestler removed from the match can also return to the ring as long as the match is still ongoing (such as Roman Reigns in 2016), but not if the match has already ended (such as Curtis Axel in 2015).

    • 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. Also, touching the floor with anything other than your feet or your feet touching anything other than the floor means you are not eliminated as long as you can keep your feet off the floor.

    • Eliminations caused by other means are ruled legitimate, including self-eliminations (such as Mil Mascaras diving out of the ring in 1997), elimination by previously-eliminated participants (such as The Undertaker eliminating Maven in 2002), or non-participants (such as The Miz eliminating John Cena in 2011).

  • The last wrestler remaining after all others have been eliminated is declared the winner.

Until 1992, there was no official "prize" for winning the Royal Rumble match, although the feat itself was considered a big honor, and it was implied that there was a large cash prize for the taking. In 1992, the winner of the Royal Rumble match - Ric Flair - was given the vacated WWE Championship; the following year, the match became an important part of the "Road to WrestleMania" - 1993 was the first year the winner of the match was granted a guaranteed shot at the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. From 2005note  to 2013, the Royal Rumble match winner had the choice of using his guaranteed title shot to go after either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship.note  This ended in 2014 when WWE unified the two titles into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, leaving the winner with one title to go after. In 2016, then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns defended his title as a participant in the titular match. Starting in 2017, after the second Brand Split, the winner now has a choice between the Universal and WWE Championships. As of 2020, the NXT Championship is also a viable option for the winner.

When the Women's Royal Rumble started in 2018, the winner was guaranteed a Wrestlemania title match against her choice of either the Raw or Smackdown Women's Champions. The Women's Champions themselves were excluded from the event, although they usually sit at ringside for the Rumble winner to pick which title she'll challenge for.

The first Royal Rumble match, held in 1988, had only twenty participants. From 1989 onwards, the match featured thirty participants,note  with the exception of 2011, when WWE expanded the match roster to forty participants (mostly to include every member of the New Nexus and the Corre, as the two groups left WWE with an unusually bloated roster size). 2018 had both the first Women's Royal Rumble match in January and a 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble in April.

    List of Men's Royal Rumble winners 


  • Winner: "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
  • Entry No.: 14
  • Time: 14:44
  • Runner-Up: The One Man Gang
  • Notable Events:
    • The only 20-Man Rumble and the only event to air on cable rather than PPV.note 
    • Bret Hart was the first ever entrant in a Royal Rumble match, and held a record for longevity time lasting 25:42.
    • Butch Reed was the first ever elimination in a Royal Rumble match.

  • Winner: Big John Studd
  • Entry No.: 27
  • Time: 12:21
  • Runner-Up: Ted DiBiase
  • Notable Events:
    • The first 30-Man Rumble (which would become the standard) and the first to be presented on PPV.
    • The beginning of "Lucky Number 27", which would produce more winners (four) than any other number, until both No. 28 and No. 30 would catch up in 2022, and then #30 would surpass it with five winners as of 2023.
    • Mr. Perfect broke Bret Hart's record for longevity time by lasting 27:58.
    • The Warlord set the record for shortest time in Royal Rumble with 2 seconds, when he was eliminated by Hulk Hogan.

  • Winner: Hulk Hogan
  • Entry No.: 24
  • Time: 21:00
  • Runner-Up: Earthquake
  • Notable Events:
    • Hulk Hogan became the first man to win the Royal Rumble twice, and the first person to win it back-to-back.
    • Rick Martel set a new longevity record with a time of 52:17.
    • This Rumble only has 29 competitors, as Randy Savage no-showed the match after costing Ultimate Warrior the WWF Championship earlier in the night.

  • Winner: Ric Flair
  • Entry No.: 3
  • Time: 1:00:02
  • Runner-Up: Sid Justice
  • Notable Events:
    • The match was for the WWF Championship, which had been vacated after a controversial finish to a match between Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker.
    • Flair set a new longevity record with a time of 1:00:02.
    • Widely considered the best Rumble match by wrestling critics and longtime fans thanks to smart booking and the ridiculous amount of star power. It also features one of the greatest performances of heel wrestling announcing ever from Bobby Heenan (where he's unabashedly cheering on Flair so hard that he starts losing his voice two-thirds of the way into the match), to the point that WWE included this match in its entirety on Heenan's DVD.

  • Winner: Yokozuna
  • Entry No.: 27
  • Time: 14:53
  • Runner-Up: "Macho Man" Randy Savagenote 
  • Notable Events:
    • The first Rumble with the stipulation that the winner gets a world title match in the main event of WrestleMania.
    • Yokozuna became the second Rumble winner to win as the 27th entrant.
    • Bob Backlund sets a new longevity record at 1:01:10.
  • WrestleMania IX Result: Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart to win the WWF Championship, but would lose it minutes later to Hulk Hogan.

  • Winners: Lex Luger/Bret Hart
  • Entry No.: 23/27
  • Time: 21:58/15:08
  • Runner-Up: Shawn Michaels
  • Notable Events:
    • The first Royal Rumble with the stipulation where the winner gets a championship title match at the next Wrestle Mania, a concept which has endured ever since.
    • Both wrestlers crashed to the floor simultaneously which ended the match, as a result, both men were declared co-winners.
    • Bret Hart became the third person to (co-)win the Rumble as the 27th entrant.
    • This Rumble only had 29 Competitors. Bastion Booger was drawn 25th, but no-showed due to suffering food poisoning before the match. In actuality, it was attempt to fake out the audience that the injured Bret Hart had been withdrawn from the match.
  • WrestleMania X Result: The concept of the Triple Threat Match didn't exist yetnote , as a result, a compromise was reached: Lex Luger would face Yokozuna for the WWF Championship in the middle of WrestleMania and the winner of that match would face Bret Hart in the main event (in the interest of fairness, Bret would also wrestle his brother Owen in the opening match of the night). Luger lost to Yokozuna by disqualification after shoving Special Guest Referee Mr. Perfect, but Bret would defeat Yokozuna in the main event to win the WWF Championship.

  • Winner: Shawn Michaels
  • Entry No.: 1
  • Time: 38:41
  • Runner-Up: British Bulldog
  • Notable Events:
    • Shawn Michaels became the first wrestler to win the Rumble from the No. 1 spot, in the process cementing the rule that both feet must touch the floor to be eliminated. Michaels also became the first previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match.
    • Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog "went the distance" in the Rumble, being the first two entrants and the last two wrestlers in the match.
    • Shortest Rumble in history at only 38 Minutes and 41 Seconds. This was mostly due to the time between entrances being 60 seconds as opposed to the usual 90.
  • WrestleMania XI Result: Michaels lost to WWF World Heavyweight Champion Diesel.

  • Winner: Shawn Michaels
  • Entry No.: 18
  • Time: 26:09
  • Runner-Up: Diesel
  • Notable Events:
    • Michaels became the second man to win the Royal Rumble twice, as well as the second person to win it back-to-back.
    • Big Van Vader's WWF debut and The Ringmaster's debut on WWF PPV.
    • Somewhat notorious for having a pretty thin field, with Dory Funk Jr., Doug Gilbert, Takao Omori, and The Headhunters brought in to get the numbers up. If you've never heard of any of those people (except the first one), well, neither had anyone watching the shownote .
    • First Rumble to use entrance music for all 30 competitors rather than only the first two.
  • WrestleMania XII Result: Michaels went on to defeat Bret Hart in an Iron Man match to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

  • Winner: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
  • Entry No.: 5
  • Time: 45:07
  • Runner-Up: Bret Hart
  • Notable Events:
    • Austin was eliminated by Bret Hart, but snuck back in the ring while officials were distracted by a brawl between Terry Funk and Mankind on the other side of the ring. As Hart was celebrating, thinking he had won, Austin came in from behind and tossed him over the top rope. Since Austin was still considered to be in the match and was the only man left in the ring, the officials declared him the winner.
    • Bret Hart became the first previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up.
    • Most self eliminations in a Rumble: Ahmed Johnson leaves the ring to attack Faarooq, Mil Mascaras eliminates himself to attack other luchadors, and Faarooq is chased away by Johnson after he reappears with a 2x4.
    • As part of a cross-promotional deal, four luchadors from AAA take part in the Rumble: Mil Mascaras, Pierroth, Latin Lover, and Cibernético. The same cross-promotional deal also gave us a trios match with Canek, Héctor Garza and Perro Aguayo defeating Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal and Jerry Estrada earlier on the card; a minis match with Mascarita Sagrada Jr. and La Parkita beating Mini Mankind and Mini Vader on the pre-show; and two more dark lucha matches before the show went to air. In total, 22 AAA luchadors appeared on the card.
    • Technical problems result in the clock not displaying until a sixth of the way through the match.
  • WrestleMania 13 Result: 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 a WWF Championship match at WrestleMania 13. Instead, a Fatal Four Way match between Hart, Austin, The Undertaker, and Vader (the final four of that year's Rumble) would be held at February's In Your House event to determine who would receive it, but because champion Shawn Michaels forfeited the title, plans were changed for the match to be for the title itself, Bret Hart won the match to become the new champion but lost the title to Sycho Sid the following night on Raw due to interference from Austin. Due to being the runner-up to the title in the Fatal Four Way, Undertaker was made the number one contender and was booked to challenge Sycho Sid for the title at WrestleMania. However, on the March 17 edition of Raw Is War, Sid defended the title against Hart in a steel cage match, with the winner defending his title at WrestleMania. During the match, both Undertaker and Austin interfered. Undertaker came out to help Sid because he wanted to wrestle Sid for the title while Austin helped Hart because he wanted to make his scheduled submission match with Hart a title match. Sid won the match and retained his title and as a result, Sid vs. Undertaker remained the main event of WrestleMania. At WrestleMania 13, Undertaker on to went to defeat Sid (with some inadvertent help from a newly-Heel Bret Hart) win the title in WrestleMania's main event.

  • Winner: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
  • Entry No.: 24
  • Time: 15:58
  • Runner-Up: The Rock
  • Notable Events:
    • Austin becomes the third man to win two Royal Rumbles, and the third person to win it back-to-back.
    • This Rumble only had 27 Competitors. Mick Foley entered the match three times under his Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack personas, and Skull no-showed due to being attacked by Los Boricuas after having been mistaken for Austin.
  • WrestleMania XIV Result: Austin defeated Shawn Michaels to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

  • Winner: Vince McMahon
  • Entry No.: 2
  • Time: 56:38
  • Runner-Up: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
  • Notable Events:
    • McMahon became the first person to win the Rumble as the second entrant.
    • Austin became the second previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up.
    • The second time the final two contestants were the first two entrants.
    • This was the first Rumble to feature a female participant.
  • WrestleMania XV Result: The following night on Raw, Mr. McMahon renounced his title opportunity to challenge WWF Champion The Rock at WrestleMania. 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 (thanks in large part to the cage wall breaking open due to the debuting Big Show). Austin went on to defeat The Rock in a No Disqualification match to win the WWF Championship.

  • Winner: The Rock
  • Entry No.: 24
  • Time: 14:47
  • Runner-Up: Big Show
  • Notable Events:
    • The Rock became the third person to win the Rumble as the 24th entrant. He also became the second previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match.
    • At the end of the match, both Rock and Show went over the top rope, but before the Big Show's feet touched the ground, the Rock's feet were already on the floor. This was ignored and the Rock was declared the winner.
  • WrestleMania 2000 Result: 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 to make it a four-way match for the WWF Championship. At WrestleMania, Triple H defeated Rock, Foley, and Show in a fatal four-way elimination match to retain the WWF Championship.

  • Winner: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
  • Entry No.: 27
  • Time: 09:38
  • Runner-Up: Kane
  • Notable Events:
    • Austin becomes the first, and to date only, man to win three Royal Rumbles. He also sets the record for longest amount of time between Rumble wins at 3 years
    • Kane set the new elimination record, with 11 eliminations.
    • Drew Carey becomes the first celebrity entrant in the Royal Rumble.
  • WrestleMania X-Seven Result: Austin defeated The Rock in a No Disqualification match to win the WWF Championship, with a little help from Vince McMahon.

  • Winner: Triple H
  • Entry No.: 22
  • Time: 23:14
  • Runner-Up: Kurt Angle
  • Notable Events:
    • Undertaker assaulted and eliminated Maven following his own elimination by Maven.
  • WrestleMania X8 Result: Triple H lost his WrestleMania 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.

  • Winner: Brock Lesnar
  • Brand: SmackDown!
  • Entry No.: 29
  • Time: 9:00
  • Runner-Up: The Undertaker
  • Notable Events:
    • The first instance where the last two entrants were also the finalists.
    • First post-Draft Rumble, featuring 15 Wrestlers from Raw and 15 from SmackDown.
    • First Rumble where the winner was able to challenge from the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • WrestleMania XIX Result: As a member of the SmackDown brand, Lesnar earned a match for his brand's WWE Championship. At WrestleMania, Lesnar defeated Kurt Angle to win the championship.

  • Winner: Chris Benoit
  • Entry No.: 1
  • Brand: SmackDown!
  • Time: 1:01:35
  • Runner-Up: Big Show
  • Notable Events:
  • WrestleMania XX Result: 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.

  • Winner: Batista
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 28
  • Time: 10:54
  • Runner-Up: John Cena
  • Notable Events:
    • Only 29 Competitors, Scotty 2 Hotty was drawn 15th, but was attacked on the ramp by Muhammad Hassan (who had just been eliminated by everyone in the ring at the time).
    • Before the match, Kurt Angle stole Nunzio's entrance number and replaced him in the match
    • Batista and Cena both went over the top rope and hit the floor at the same time (and unlike 1994, this was a legitimate botch). Vince McMahon came to the ring (in the process legitimately tearing both his quadriceps muscles when his knees were caught on the apron) and ordered the match to be restarted with the final two participants. Batista eliminated Cena following a spinebuster to win the match.
  • WrestleMania 21 Result: Batista, a Raw wrestler, chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship and defeated Triple H for the title at WrestleMania. Cena himself also won the WWE Championship at the same event by defeating JBL.

  • Winner: Rey Mysterio
  • Brand: SmackDown!
  • Entry No.: 2
  • Time: 1:02:12
  • Runner-Up: Randy Orton
  • Notable Events:
    • Rey Mysterio broke the longevity record, lasting 1:02:12. He also became the second person to win as the number two entrant.
  • WrestleMania 22 Result: Mysterio, a SmackDown! wrestler, 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, making it a triple threat match. at WrestleMania, Mysterio defeated champion Kurt Angle and Orton in a triple threat match to win the championship.

  • Winner: The Undertaker
  • Brand: SmackDown!
  • Entry No.: 30
  • Time: 13:35
  • Runner-Up: Shawn Michaels
  • Notable Events:
    • The Undertaker was the first wrestler to win the Royal Rumble match from the number 30 spot. He also became the third previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match.
    • Michaels became the second person in Rumble history to finish as runner-up twice. He also became the third previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up.
    • With the introduction of the third ECW Brand in 2006, this is the first year the ECW brand was allowed to participate, as a result the ECW Championship was added as an option for the Royal Rumble winner.
    • Glenn Jacobs (Kane) made his eleventh appearance in a Royal Rumble match, breaking his own and Solofa Fatu (Rikishi)'s record for most Royal Rumble appearances. It was also his ninth-consecutive appearance, also billed as a record for Kane.
    • Nelson Frazier, Jr. (Viscera) was eliminated by 9 wrestlers, setting a record for the highest number of wrestlers involved in a single elimination. The record stood until 2023 when Nia Jax was eliminated by 11 wrestlers in the women's Rumble, although it is still the record for the men's Rumble.
  • WrestleMania 23 Result: The Undertaker, a SmackDown wrestler, chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship and defeated Batista to win the title.

  • Winner: John Cena
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 30
  • Time: 08:28
  • Runner-Up: Triple H
  • Notable Events:
    • Cena wasn't expected to return until after WrestleMania due to an injury (a torn pectoral muscle) that required surgery. With his win, he became the second Rumble winner in as many years to win as the last entrant and the fourth previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match.
    • Triple H (who entered at #29) became the fourth previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up.
    • Finlay became the first Royal Rumble entrant to be disqualified, for using a weapon and "jumping the gun" by failing to wait for his entry number to be called. A confrontation between Hornswoggle (#9) against super-heavyweights Mark Henry and Big Daddy V is when Finlay made his move, prioritizing Hornswoggle's well-being over his own Rumble aspirations.
    • Hall of Famers Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper were both surprise entrants during the match. They entered consecutively, Snuka at 18 and Piper at 19.
    • Because the Rumble was happening at Madison Square Garden, WWE was able to get Michael Buffer as a special guest ring announcer for the Rumble match itself. Buffer even used his legendary catchphrase "Let's get ready to rumble!"
  • WrestleMania XXIV Result: Instead of waiting until WrestleMania, Cena 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, however, Orton defeated Cena and Triple H to retain the title.

  • Winner: Randy Orton
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 8
  • Time: 48:30
  • Runner-Up: Triple H
  • Notable Events:
    • Orton became the fifth previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match.
    • Santino Marella entered at No. 28 and was eliminated by Kane in one second. Breaking the Warlord's record for shortest elimination in the Royal Rumble.
    • Triple H (who entered at #7) becomes the first person to finish as runner-up consecutively (both times to the entry immediately following him) and the third person overall to finish in this position twice.
    • First time the last two in the Rumble went on to face each other at WrestleMania.
  • WrestleMania 25 Result: 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.

  • Winner: Edge
  • Brand: SmackDown
  • Entry No.: 29
  • Time: 7:37
  • Runner-Up: John Cena
  • Notable Events:
    • By spending only 7 minutes and 37 seconds in the ring, Edge set a then-record for shortest amount of time a competitor in Royal Rumble spent in the match before winning. He also became the second person to win the titular match as the penultimate entrant. Like John, Edge was a surprise entry returning from injury.
    • John Cena became the fourth person in Rumble history to finish as runner-up twice, and the fifth previous Rumble winner to finish in this spot.
    • Last Rumble where the ECW Championship was an option for the winner before the title and the brand were retired only two weeks later.
    • Beth Phoenix became the second female wrestler to participate in a Royal Rumble, after Chyna in 1999.
    • Edge was making his return following a six-month hiatus due to injury.
  • WrestleMania XXVI Result: Edge, a SmackDown wrestler, chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship, but lost to Chris Jericho at WrestleMania.

  • Winner: Alberto Del Rio
  • Brand: SmackDown
  • Entry No.: 38
  • Time: 09:33
  • Runner-Up: Santino Marella
  • Notable Events:
    • The only 40-man Rumble.
    • The last Royal Rumble of the original brand extension era, which ended in August 2011. Following its disillusion, all on-screen personnel were no longer tied to Raw or Smackdown and now could appear on both shows.
    • Booker T was a surprise entrant at #21, returning to WWE after 3 years.
    • Alex Riley was mistakenly eliminated early by Kofi Kingston and John Cena. Riley was supposed to help eliminate Cena later in the match, but The Miz would do it by himself instead, with a distraction from Riley. After Alex Riley was eliminated, WWE Champion The Miz, who joined commentary during Riley's performance, interfered in the match and eliminated Cena.
  • WrestleMania XXVII Result: Del Rio, a SmackDown wrestler, chose to challenge for his own brand's World Heavyweight Championship, but lost to Edge at WrestleMania.

  • Winner: Sheamus
  • Entry No.: 22
  • Time: 22:22
  • Runner-Up: Chris Jericho
  • Notable Events:
    • Sheamus became the second person to win the Rumble as the 22nd entrant.
    • The entire commentary team (Jerry Lawler. Booker T, and Michael Cole) competed in the match; Lawler (number 12) and Booker (number 17), both eliminated by the time of Cole's entry (at number 20), would eliminate Cole as he tried escaping from female wrestler Kharma (number 21).
  • WrestleMania XXVIII Result: Sheamus chose to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship and defeated champion Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania in a negatively-received 18-second squash match.

  • Winner: John Cena
  • Entry No.: 19
  • Time: 26:39
  • Runner-Up: Ryback
  • Notable Events:
    • The first year NXT was allowed to compete with inclusion of Bo Dallas.
    • Cena successfully defended his title shot against CM Punk on the February 25 episode of Raw.
    • Cena became the fourth man to win two Rumbles. He also becomes to the first man to accomplish this without winning two Rumbles back-to-back.
    • Cena sets the record for longest amount of time between Rumble wins at the time at 5 years, breaking "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's record of 3 years in 2001.
    • Last Royal Rumble where the World Heavyweight Championship was an option for the winner before the title was retired later in the year.
  • WrestleMania 29 Result: Cena chose to challenge for the WWE Championship, at WrestleMania, Cena defeated The Rock to win the WWE Championship.

  • Winner: Batista
  • Entry No.: 28
  • Time: 14:34
  • Runner-Up: Roman Reigns
  • Notable Events:
    • Batista became the fifth man to win two Rumbles, and also became the first person to win multiple Rumbles from the same spot. He also set a record for longest amount of time between Rumble wins, at 9 years, breaking John Cena's record of 5 years in the previous year.
    • By eliminating 12 men, Roman Reigns broke the record of 11, set by Kane in 2001.
    • invoked The event is known for the overwhelmingly negative crowd response during the Orton-Cena title match, as well as towards the end of (and after) the Royal Rumble match, when the fans booed the Rumble winner Batista, repeatedly chanted for Daniel Bryan (who had competed earlier in the night and was not involved in the main event), and rooted for the man in second place, Roman Reigns (who was a heel at the time).
    • The event also marked the final WWE appearance of CM Punk, who walked out on the company the next day despite still being under contract, and subsequently retired from professional wrestling later that year, until 2021 when he debuted with rival promotion All Elite Wrestling.
  • WrestleMania XXX Result: After months of feuding, Triple H agreed to face Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, 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.

  • Winner: Roman Reigns
  • Entry No.: 16
  • Time: 27:29
  • Runner-Up: Rusev
  • Notable Events:
    • invoked It's that Rumble.
    • Curtis Axel was supposed to enter at #6 but was attacked by Erick Rowan who took his place.
    • Reigns became the sixth previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match.
    • Reigns successfully defended his title shot against Daniel Bryan at Fastlane
    • This match would be replayed on Monday Night Raw (minus commercial breaks) the next night after a blizzard shut down the entire northeastern U.S. and WWE was forced to cancel the scheduled live Raw from Hartford, CT and do a studio show from WWE headquarters in Stamford.
  • WrestleMania 31 Result: Reigns went on to challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. 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.

  • Winner: Triple H
  • Entry No.: 30
  • Time: 09:03
  • Runner-Up: Dean Ambrose
  • Notable Events:
    • Triple H becomes the sixth man to win 2 Rumbles, and the third person to win it as the final entrant. He also sets the record for longest amount of time between Rumble wins at the time at 14 years, breaking Batista's record of 9 years in 2014.
    • The last Royal Rumble event to occur before the reintroduction of the brand extension in July, again splitting the roster between the Raw and SmackDown brands.
    • The event also marked the WWE debut of AJ Styles, who entered at number 3.
  • WrestleMania 32 Result: 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. Reigns regained the championship in a rematch at WrestleMania.

  • Winner: Randy Orton
  • Brand: SmackDown
  • Entry No.: 23
  • Time: 20:52
  • Runner-Up: Roman Reigns
  • Notable Events:
    • Orton became the seventh man to win 2 Rumbles. He also became the second person to win the match as the 23rd entrant.
    • First year where the Universal Championship was an option for the Royal Rumble winner.
    • Reigns became the fifth man to finish as runner-up twice, and the sixth previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up.
  • WrestleMania 33 Result: 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, 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. At WrestleMania, Orton defeated Wyatt to win the WWE Championship.

  • Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Brand: SmackDown
  • Entry No.: 14
  • Time: 44:38
  • Runner-Up: Roman Reigns
  • Notable Events:
    • Nakamura became the second person to win the Rumble as the 14th entrant, the first being inaugural winner "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
    • Roman Reigns sets the record for most times as the runner-up, with his third time being the last eliminated. He also became the second person in Rumble history to finish in this position back-to-back.
  • WrestleMania 34 Result: Nakamura, a SmackDown wrestler, chose to challenge for his own brand's WWE Championship, but lost to AJ Styles at WrestleMania.

Greatest Royal Rumble
  • Winner: Braun Strowman
  • Entry No.: 41
  • Time: 22:14
  • Runner-Up: Big Cass
  • Notable Events:
    • A special 50-man Royal Rumble held at the PPV of the same name in April 2018. The match was not for a title opportunity at Wrestlemania (in fact it was the first WWE PPV after Wrestlemania that year), but instead for a trophy and the Greatest Royal Rumble Championshipnote . Despite this, it is recognized as a official Royal Rumble, with Braun Strowman's elimination record and Daniel Bryan's longevity record being recognized as the canonical records.
    • Thanks to the aforementioned 50 competitors, this is longest Royal Rumble in history at 1:17:20.
    • Braun Strowman sets the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble, with 13.
    • Daniel Bryan sets a longevity record with 1:16:05.

  • Winner: Seth Rollins
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 10
  • Time: 43:00
  • Runner-Up: Braun Strowman
  • Notable Events:
    • Strowman became the seventh previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up.
    • First time NXT UK is represented in the Royal Rumble with the inclusion of Pete Dunne.
    • By competing in his first Royal Rumble since 1999, Jeff Jarrett sets a record of the longest duration between Royal Rumble appearances, at 20 years.
    • Nia Jax attacked the #30 entrant, R-Truth, and took his spot, becoming the fourth woman to compete in a Men's Rumble and the first person to compete in both the Men's and Women's Rumble in the same year.
  • WrestleMania 35 Result: Rollins, a Raw wrestler, chose to challenge for his own brand's Universal Championship and defeated champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.

  • Winner: Drew McIntyre
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 16
  • Time: 34:11
  • Runner-Up: Roman Reigns
  • Notable Events:
    • McIntyre became the second person to win the Rumble as the 16th entrant, which was ironically done by his runner-up Roman Reigns.
    • Brock Lesnar becomes the second man to enter the Royal Rumble despite already being WWE Champion. Unlike the previous time it occurs in 2016, there were no official changes to the rules of the match, despite Lesnar holding one of the two world championships that the winner could challenge for, but it was heavily implied that if he won, Lesnar would not have to defend his Championship at WrestleMania.
    • Brock Lesnar eliminated 13 men, setting the record for most eliminations in a traditional Rumble and tying the official record with Braun Strowman. Brock entered at 1 (of his own volition, unlike Reigns in 2016 thanks to a rigged draw) and scored his eliminations consecutively before McIntyre eliminated him with an assist from Ricochet.
    • Roman Reigns breaks his own record for most times as a runner-up, earning it for the fourth time.
  • WrestleMania 36 Result: McIntyre, a Raw wrestler, chose to challenge for his own brand's WWE Championship and defeated champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.

  • Winner: Edge
  • Brand: Free Agent
  • Entry No.: 1
  • Time: 58:30
  • Runner-Up: Randy Orton
  • Notable Events:
    • Edge becomes the third man to be victorious after entering at number 1.
    • Edge becomes the eighth man to win 2 Rumbles.
    • Edge becomes the first Rumble winner to win the titular match as part of both the first two and last two entrants (his first win was in 2010 in which he was the 29th entrant)
    • Edge is the first person to win the Royal Rumble after being inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame.
    • With his last win being 11 years prior, Edge came short of tying Triple H's record for longest amount of time between Rumble wins at 12 years, which the latter set in 2016.
    • Randy Orton became the eight previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up, and the sixth person to finish in this position twice.
    • Third instance in which the first two entrants were the finalists.
  • WrestleMania 37 Result: Edge chose to challenge Roman Reigns for Smackdown's Universal Championship, with the match to be held at WrestleMania 37. Following the controversial end of a Universal title defense against Daniel Bryan at WWE Fastlane, Bryan was added to the title match on the March 27 SmackDown, making it a Triple Threat Match. At WrestleMania, Reigns retained the title over Edge and Bryan. This made for the first time a multi-time winner of the Royal Rumble failed to win their title opportunity and the first time a two-time winner lost both of their championship challenges at WrestleMania.

  • Winner: Brock Lesnar
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 30
  • Time: 2:32
  • Runner-Up: Drew McIntyre
  • Notable Events:
    • Lesnar becomes the ninth man to win 2 rumbles. He also sets the record for longest amount of time between Rumble wins at 19 years, breaking Triple H's record of 12 years in 2016.
    • Lesnar becomes the fourth man to win the Royal Rumble from #30, officially tying the record with #27 for the number with the most winners in the men's Royal Rumble match, and also overall number with the most winners with #27 and #28, which was the position Ronda Rousey won the women's Rumble from earlier in the night.
    • By spending only 2 minutes and 32 seconds in the ring, Lesnar breaks Edge's record for shortest amount of time a competitor in Royal Rumble spent in the match before winning by a whole 5 minutes.
    • Drew McIntyre became the tenth previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up.
    • Johnny Knoxville and Bad Bunny competed as celebrity guest entrants. Bunny, entering at 27, successfully replicated his Canadian Destroyer from his prior WrestleMania appearance at Matt Riddle's expense.
  • WrestleMania 38 Result: The night after the Royal Rumble, Lesnar selected Universal Champion Roman Reigns as his opponent at WrestleMania. He would then win the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber, turning their upcoming WrestleMania match into a Champion VS Champion match. At WrestleMania, Reigns defeated Lesnar to win both titles.

  • Winner: Cody Rhodes
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 30
  • Time: 15:08
  • Runner-Up: Gunther
  • Notable Events:
    • Cody becomes the fifth man to win the Royal Rumble from #30, officially surpassing #27 for the number with the most winners in the Royal Rumble match.
    • This was Cody's return after tearing his pectoral muscle 8 months earlier.
    • Gunther sets a new longevity record in a traditional Royal Rumble match with 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 25 seconds in the Rumble.
    • For the first time; the final two in the Rumble were the first (Gunther) and last (Rhodes) entrants.
    • There were only 29 entrants in this Rumble. Rey Mysterio drew #17 but never arrived to the ring, it was revealed moments later that his son Dominik (who drew #18) attacked him and stole his mask.
    • Edge was eliminated by Finn Balor and Damian Priest (Dominik's Judgment Day teammates, the faction itself originally formed by Edge) who he had eliminated moments earlier.
  • WrestleMania 39 Result: Rhodes automatically challenged Roman Reigns as the latter was holding both World Titles. At WrestleMania, Reigns would retain.

  • Winner: Cody Rhodes
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 15
  • Time: 45:01
  • Runner-Up: CM Punk
  • Notable Events:
    • Andrade's entrance (at number 4) marked his return to WWE three years after leaving for All Elite Wrestling.
    • Punk (entering at number 27) made his first Royal Rumble appearance since the 2014 Rumble, which was itself his final WWE appearance before walking out on the company until his return in late 2023.
    • Cody's victory made him the tenth wrestler to win multiple Royal Rumbles, the fourth overall to win back-to-back Rumbles, and the first to do so in 26 years (the last instance of this was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the 1997-1998 Rumbles).

    List of Women's Royal Rumble winners 


  • Winner: Asuka
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 25
  • Time: 19:41
  • Runner-Up: Nikki Bella
  • Notable Events:
    • Asuka became the second person to win the Rumble as the 25th entrant.
    • Michelle McCool held the record for most eliminations in a single Women's rumble, and most eliminations overall with five.
    • Sasha Banks was the first ever entrant in the Women's Royal Rumble match, and held a record for longevity time lasting 54:46.
    • Mandy Rose was the first ever elimination in a Women's Royal Rumble match.
    • Ronda Rousey was rumored to be a surprise entrant in the women's match, and although she denied that she would be at the event, she appeared after the match's conclusion, confirming she had signed full-time with WWE
  • WrestleMania 34 Result: Asuka won the Rumble as a Raw wrestler, but challenged Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship. At WrestleMania, Asuka lost to Flair.

  • Winner: Becky Lynch
  • Brand: SmackDown
  • Entry No.: 28
  • Time: 13:20
  • Runner-Up: Charlotte Flair
  • Notable Events:
    • Lynch became the third 28th entrant in Rumble history to win the titular match. Amusingly, she was only the second person to do it as Batista won with this number twice.
    • Lana came out as the #28 entrant, but a storyline ankle injury suffered on the pre-show (where she had been at ringside for Rusev, and likely sustained in part due to wearing high heels during the pre-show match) kept her from competing. Becky Lynch (who plead her case to a ringside official) was allowed to take her spot.
    • Natalya broke Sasha Banks' longevity record at 56:01.
    • Liv Morgan set the record for fastest elimination in the women's Rumble, at 8 seconds (being eliminated by the aforementioned Natalya).
  • WrestleMania 35 Result: 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 was given an opportunity to be added back to the match if she could defeat Flair, which she did by disqualification and was thus added back into the match at WrestleMania to make it a triple threat match for the championship. Flair then won the SmackDown Women's Championship on the March 26 episode of SmackDown. In response, Stephanie McMahon announced that both titles would be on the line, making the match Winner Takes All. At WrestleMania, Lynch defeated Rousey and Flair to win both titles, becoming a double champion.

  • Winner: Charlotte Flair
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 17
  • Time: 27:19
  • Runner-Up: Shayna Baszler
  • Notable Events:
    • Charlotte Flair became the seventh previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match, and the first female to do so.
    • Bianca Belair and Shayna Baszler both break the record for most eliminations in a Women's Royal Rumble with 8 each.
    • From this Rumble onwards, the winner is now allowed the select to challenge for the titles in NXT, as well as Raw and SmackDown.
  • WrestleMania 36 Result: 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, Flair defeated Ripley to win the NXT Women's Championship.

  • Winner: Bianca Belair
  • Brand: SmackDown
  • Entry No.: 3
  • Time: 56:49
  • Runner-Up: Rhea Ripley
  • Notable Events:
    • Bianca Belair breaks the longevity record, at 56 minutes and 49 seconds. She also became the second person in Rumble history to win the titular match as the third entrant.
    • Alicia Fox becomes the first person to win a title during a rumble match after 24-7 champion R-Truth enters the ring and gets rolled up by Fox after the pair fend off a pack of challengers that were pursuing R-Truth. Truth would win it back after Fox was eliminated.
  • WrestleMania 37 Result: Belair decided on the February 26 episode of SmackDown that she would challenge Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women's Championship at WrestleMania. At the event, Belair defeated Banks to win the SmackDown Women's Championship. Ripley herself won the Raw Women's Championship at the same event by defeating Asuka.

  • Winner: Ronda Rousey
  • Brand: Free Agent
  • Entry No.: 28
  • Time: 10:16
  • Runner-Up: Charlotte Flair
  • Notable Events:
    • This was Rousey's first WWE appearance since 2019.
    • Rousey becomes the second woman to win at number 28, and overall fourth winner from that number, which ties it with No. 27 and No. 30 (a feat set by Brock Lesnar later in the night) for the most winners produced.
    • Charlotte Flair becomes the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble despite already being Women's Champion. There were no official changes to the rules of the match, despite Flair holding one of the two Women's Championships that the winner could challenge for, though Flair declared she would choose her challenger at WrestleMania had she won the event.
    • Charlotte became the ninth previous Rumble winner to finish as runner-up, and the seventh person to finish in this position twice. She is also the first woman to achieve both.
    • As part of a cross-promotional deal, Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Champion Mickie James took part in the Rumble. Mickie even entered to her Impact theme "Hardcore Country" instead of her old WWE theme.
  • WrestleMania 38 Result: Rousey chose to challenge Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship. At WrestleMania, Rousey lost to Flair.

  • Winner: Rhea Ripley
  • Brand: Raw
  • Entry No.: 1
  • Time: 1:01:03
  • Runner-Up: Liv Morgan
  • Notable Events:
    • Rhea Ripley becomes the first woman and overall fourth person to win from the #1 position. She also became the eighth previous runner-up to eventually win the titular match, and the second female to do so.
    • Third time the last two in the rumble were the first two entrants and the first time in the women's rumble.
    • Michelle McCool was in the audience with her children. When she was called at #25, she quickly entered the ring and competed.
    • Nia Jax returned to WWE at #30, accidentally entering too early as she entered as the 10 count to her entry began instead of when it ended.
    • Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan set a new longevity record in the Women's rumble at 1 hour, 1 minute, and 3 seconds.
    • Chelsea Green was eliminated in 4 seconds, setting the record for shortest time in the women’s rumble history. Chelsea also set the record for shortest combined time in the women's Rumble with 16 seconds across two Rumble appearances.
    • Nia Jax set the record for most amount of people needed to eliminate someone in Royal Rumble history, with 11 having to eliminate her.
  • WrestleMania 39 Result: Ripley won the Rumble as a Raw wrestler but chose to challenge Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship. At the event, she defeated Charlotte to win the SmackDown Women's Championship, getting payback for their previous WrestleMania encounter three years previously.

  • Winner: Bayley
  • Brand: SmackDown
  • Entry No.: 3
  • Time: 1:03:03
  • Runner-Up: Liv Morgan
  • Notable Events:
    • Naomi entered at the #2 spot, marking her first appearance in the company since her walk-out in 2022.
    • TNA Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace entered the rumble at number 5, marking the second time the reigning Knockouts Champion entered, the first being Mickie James in 2022. Jordynne had actually won the title from Naomi (who had been competing in TNA under her actual first name Trinity) not long before the Rumble.
    • Nia Jax had the most eliminations with 8, tying the record of Shayna and Bianca in 2020.
    • Valhalla had the shortest time with 5 seconds, tying the record set by Chelsea Green a year before. The former Sarah Logan had drawn number 24, leading to a mix-up involving R-Truth (who had drawn that same number for the men's Rumble) which is believed to have had a major role in her very quick elimination.
    • Jade Cargill entered at the #28 spot, making her in-ring debut with WWE. She then proceeded to single-handedly eliminate Nia Jax (who needed eleven wrestlers to eliminate her the previous year).
    • Naomi broke the record for longest time in the match with 1 hour and 2 minutes, this record was then broken by Bayley with 1 hour and 3 minutes, 3 seconds.
    • Liv Morgan became the first female wrestler to finish runner-up in the Women's Rumble twice in a row. Like Edge's two victories, Liv's runner-up finishes are as one of the first two (she entered the previous year's Rumble at number 2) and one of the last two (she was entry number 30 this year).

Royal Rumble records, stats, and odditiesnote 

  • Kane holds the record for most appearances, with 18. Add in his entry to the 1996 Rumble as Isaac Yankeem D.D.S. and his 1997 entry as Fake Diesel and Glenn Jacobs has 20 in total. Dolph Ziggler is the runner up with 15, Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston each have 14.
  • Liv Morgan and Natalya are the only wrestlers to appear in all seven women's Rumbles.
  • Chris Jericho has the longest cumulative time in Rumble matches at 4:59:33, spread out over 11 entries. Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and Triple H have also spent over 4 hours in Rumble matches. Charlotte Flair is the current women's record holder, at 2:21:28 over four matches.
  • Daniel Bryan holds the ironman record at 1:16:05 if you count the Greatest Royal Rumble, or Gunther holds the record at 1:11:40 in the 2023 Rumble if you only count the ones in January. Bayley is the current ironwoman record holder at 1:03:03, in 2024. The record for shortest iron(wo)man time belongs to John Cena in 2010, as his time of only 22:11 weirdly gave him the honors that year in a Rumble with 40 men. This is far from a guarantee of actually winning, the ironman/woman has only won 11 of 45 Rumbles and neither Danielson nor Gunther won the matches they set the record in, though Bayley did (as did Mysterio, the previous holder of the record held by Gunther for the traditional Rumble and Danielson overall, as well as Rhea Ripley who set the record Bayley took over). Seth Rollins is the only one of those winners to enter after #3 (the number from which Flair won the 1992 Rumble as well as Bayley in the 2024 women's Rumble), winning as the 10th entry (with a time of 43:00) in 2019. Triple H (in 1996) has an ironman record with a twist; he lasted 48 minutes without making a single elimination.
  • Steve Austin is the only person to win the match more than twice, with 3 (1997, 1998, and 2001). 10 guys have won it twice (in chronological order of their second win): Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Batista, Triple H, Randy Orton, Edge, Brock Lesnar, and Cody Rhodes. There's yet to be a two-time women's Rumble winner, but there's also only been 7 women's Rumbles. Hogan, Michaels, Austin, and Rhodes are the only people that have won 2 years in a row.
  • Royal Rumble winners have won 20 of their automatic WrestleMania title matches and lost 14, with 4 winners not getting the automatic title shotnote , though if you want to include Triple H's defense of the title he won in the 2016 match at Wrestlemania 32 it drops to 20-15. Rumble winners had a 7 year win streak from 2001 to 2007. The men are 16-12, the women are 4-2.
  • Unsurprisingly, #30 has the most winners across both genders, with 5. What probably is surprising (or not if you understand how pro wrestling booking works) is that the #1 entry has won 4 times and the #2 entry (which is essentially the same thing as being #1) has won twice. #27 and #28 have also produced 4 winners each. Both Rumbles that had more than 30 people had the winner enter after #30 (Alberto Del Rio from #38 in 2011, Braun Strowman from #41 in the Greatest Royal Rumble.) Batista is the only person to win twice with the same number, as both his wins came from the #28 spot.
  • In 43 attemptsnote  entry numbers 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 20, 21, and 26 have never won.
  • Given that he has the most appearances it's not a shock that Kane also the most total eliminations, with 45 (46 if you count the one he got as Isaac Yankeem). Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are next on the list with 40 each, Rhea Ripley leads the women's side with 20.
  • Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar are tied for the single match elimination record with 13 (Brock scored his consecutively in a traditional Rumble). Nia Jax, Bianca Belair and Shayna Baszler are tied for the women with 8 apiece.

3! 2! 1! *bzzt* The next trope to enter the Royal Rumble is...

    open/close all folders 
  • Alliterative Title: The Royal Rumble.
  • Always Second Best:
    • Big Show has yet to win the Rumble and came up short twice.
    • Kane has appeared in more Royal Rumbles than any other wrestler in history (regardless of whether or not you count Glenn Jacobs' previous gimmicks towards his total) and the most combined eliminations from his Royal Rumble appearances (again, regardless of whether or not you count Glenn Jacobs' previous gimmicks towards his total), yet he has never won.
    • Subverted by Shawn Michaels, Triple H, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair, and Drew McIntyre. HHH already won the Rumble before he became a two time runner-up (both runner-up finishes happened consecutively, and both to the entry immediately after his), while Orton already won twice when he finished 2nd again. The rest have already won a single Rumble during the second time they finished in the spot (in Reigns' case, he would finish second three more times, which gives him a record which will be detailed below). In fact Cena and HHH won the Rumble again after their second stints as second placers.
    • In 2018, Roman Reigns broke Big Show's record of most times finishing as runner-up after coming short for the third time. He would break his own record two years later. Of course, having already won a Rumble match (2015) prior to the second time he finished second downplays this, but a record is a record.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
  • Best for Last: Theoretically, the last entrant has the most advantage in the Rumble match due to still being fresh while the other participants are already worn out. Indeed, the #30 spot produced the most winners with five LIST , while similarly late entries #27LIST  and #28LIST  are tied with second by producing four winners. Neither #40 in 2011 nor #50 in the Greatest Rumble won those respective matches, although both were won by a number never before drawn in a Rumble (2011 winner Del Rio drew #38, while Greatest Rumble winner Strowman entered at #41). In the second Rumble from 1989, Ted DiBiase tried to take advantage of this by "buying" the No. 30 position; that, or he learned who drew No. 30 and paid off that wrestler to enter with his number. DiBiase saw his scheme blow up in his face when he was beaten down by a newly-turned-face Big John Studd and was the last elimination.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
  • Bookends: The 1995, 1999, and 2021 events saw the first two entrants being the last two standing. 2023 would join them with the women's side. (In a variant, the 2006 event saw the first two entrants being among the last three standing, alongside the last entrant.) If you want to take things further, the 1995, 2004, 2021 men's, and 2023 women's events had the very first win the whole thing.
  • Brick Joke: In the 2011 Rumble, Santino Marella, who at that point had averaged about 15 seconds in two previous Rumble matches, would get knocked out by Sheamus within 20 seconds of his appearance and would have the fortune to fall under the bottom rope. Later on, Alberto Del Rio would be celebrating his apparent victory only to turn around and get hit with The Cobra! Unfortunately for Santino, he would take a few seconds too long to celebrate, and would instead go home as the runner up when Del Rio reversed his elimination attempt.
  • Cain and Abel: As the saying goes, it's every man or woman for themselves. Siblings like the Hardy Boyz and the Bella Twins were more than ready to fight and backstab each other if they were in the Rumble at the same time. This is averted at certain times, such as by The New Day in 2020, and The Brothers of Destruction in 2001, in which cases the teammates will refuse to fight one another. Interestingly, the Rumble has never come down to the final two participants being members of the same team or stable (if one member of a team or stable is part of the final two and they were not the only member of said team or stable to enter the Rumble, they're always the last member remaining).
  • The Cameo: It's almost tradition now for one of the surprise participants in the Rumble to be a legend from a bygone era. Of course, they never actually win the event, but they almost always get a huge pop and often notch an elimination or two before going over the top rope themselves. The only subversions were the 2016 (unless you were to count Sami Zayn's entry into the match), most likely because it was for the World Title itself rather than the usual shot at it) and the 2024 Royal Rumble (unless Andrade's and Naomi's returns are counted).
  • Canon Discontinuity: The 2004 Royal Rumble match is barely alluded to. This is due to the Unpersoning of the victor in regards to his controversial death.
  • Carnival of Killers: In late 2005, after pillorying and firing Monday Night Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff on live television (and having him thrown into a garbage truck as a final insult) WWE Chairman Vince McMahon assumed full control of Raw (a position he would not relinquish until appointing William Regal the new general manager in 2007) and began to take on some of the characteristics of a Mafia crime kingpin. One of the first things he did was launch a vendetta against Shawn Michaels for refusing to serve as his lackey (just as Michaels had done in Real Life at the 1997 Survivor Series), going so far as to pay off a number of heels to eliminate Michaels from the 2006 Rumble match. But Michaels thwarted all of these efforts by eliminating the eliminators, so Vince was forced to do it himself, having his son Shane launch a sneak attack while Vince provided a distraction at ringside. (This angle then continued for most of the year as Michaels raised the stakes by reforming D-Generation X with Triple H, with the McMahons recruiting even more henchmen, including heels from SmackDown and WWE's ECW.)
  • Catchphrase: The Rumble has often been described as "every man for himself", and more than lives up to it. Superstars are capable of being Enemy Mine allies to eliminate tougher opponents even if they hate each other, while siblings and close friends have betrayed each other for a chance to win.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Three Month Rule often gets put on the backburner during the Rumble match; because of the sheer number of superstars involved (and the fact that the bookers probably do this on purpose), two wrestlers who had feuded some months back are bound to run into each other at some point during the Rumble. This can often result in some Oh, Crap! moments for heels, particularly when the returning wrestler in question hasn't been seen on TV for a while.
    • The first ever women's Royal Rumble in 2018 had a proportionally higher amount of nostalgia entrants than usual to help reinvigorate the crowd, who had been worn out by the men's Royal Rumble an hour prior and had been dead for the following two matches, and because of the much smaller women’s roster size. As a result, there were a number of nods to the previous fifteen years of women's wrestling in WWE, such as a reunion between the Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix and Natalya), a face-off between old rivals Mickie James and Trish Stratus, and even a reference to the onscreen alliance/friendship between Michelle McCool and Vickie Guerrero.
    • In the 2023 event, Sami Zayn made a Heel–Face Turn when he hits Roman Reigns with a steel chair from behind, reminiscent of Seth Rollins hitting Reigns from behind with a steel chair to solidify his 2014 betrayal of The Shield.
  • Crossover: The 2022 edition of the Women's Royal Rumble match had Mickie James entering as Impact Wrestling's Knockouts World Champion. Two years later, with Impact having revived their old TNA name, Jordynne Grace (holding the same title under a new name related to the TNA name's revival) entered the Women's Rumble.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Jobbers tend to get eliminated very quickly. Most humiliating of all was Santino Marella getting eliminated after only one second. Some years earlier, one of The Bushwhackers managed to last a few seconds longer but didn't have time to throw a punch, getting dumped out before he could stop doing his comical "swinging-arms" march (and not even breaking stride when his feet hit the floor, continuing to vogue-march as if nothing had happened).
  • Darkhorse Victory:
    • Steve Austin's 1997 victory, in which he caught everyone by surprise and eliminated Vader, Undertaker and Bret Hart despite having gone over the top rope. The refs didn't see him go over, as they were busy trying to break up a brawl between Terry Funk and Mankind. Gorilla Monsoon rectified the situation by later organizing a four-way match between the four wrestlers for the right to challenge the WWF champion at WrestleMania. Due to Shawn Michaels vacating the title in February '97, the four-way became a title challenge, which Bret Hart won. The Undertaker eventually wound up challenging Sycho Sid at WrestleMania for the title that year and won it.
    • Alberto Del Rio in 2011 was one as well, though he had been bragging for weeks that it was his "destiny" to win the Rumble.
    • Sheamus in 2012 is a particularly glaring one, as he was kind of floating in midcard hell when he won. Even more shocking is that he eliminated Chris Jericho to win, seeing as Jericho was a returning superstar who was undoubtedly there for WrestleMania, and amid rumors that he was here to work a program with CM Punk, who was WWE Champion at the time. When that turned out to be true, and considering the match that occurred between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan at 'Mania was the infamous "18 seconds" squash match, many felt Jericho should have won. Especially in hindsight, with Jericho establishing himself as an all-time legend whereas Sheamus' career would largely flounder in the midcard since then, many feel it was wrong that Jericho never won a Rumble in his life.
    • Randy Orton in 2017, as popular rumors/predictions at the time were the likes of The Undertaker, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Chris Jericho, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, or Bray Wyatt winning it.
    • Shinsuke Nakamura himself was this in 2018, as popular rumors/predictions at the time pointed towards Roman Reigns and, to a lesser degree, John Cena. Ironically, Nakamura had to eliminate both of them at the end to win the match.
    • Though people generally expected him to do well on account of a well-received face turn and a few major victories leading up to the event itself, nobody expected Drew McIntyre to not only win the 2020 Rumble, but to eliminate overwhelming odds-on favorite Roman Reigns and reigning WWE Champion Brock Lesnar (a low blow from Ricochet helped in the latter elimination) and have literally the best match of his entire career in the process.
    • While Edge was included in the 2021 Rumble as the first entrant, nobody actually expected him to keep fighting for just under an hour and actually win the whole thing. Most people expected Daniel Bryan or Seth Rollins to score the last elimination, not the returning veteran who has been out of action for over eight months.
  • Demoted to Extra: Starting 1993, and with the sole exception of 1997,note  the Rumble winner has been main eventing WrestleMania to fight the WWE Champion. Things started to change from 2006-2012, as all Main Event privileges were given to someone else (mostly to John Cena) except 2008note  and 2009.note  The trend started repeating itself since 2017, where Roman Reigns would headline WrestleMania over the Royal Rumble winners. But then came 2019, with women's Royal Rumble winner Becky Lynch main-eventing WM 35 alongside Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey.
  • Determinator:
    • Frequently one wrestler will last from very early on until the final phase of the match (usually over 40 minutes), often referred to as the "Iron Man / Woman" of the match by fans. This happens so often that the absence of one in 2010note  was noted as being surprising.
    • 2016 had a variation with Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose, who had just wrestled a brutal Last Man Standing match for the Intercontinental Championship earlier that night, and entered the Rumble anyway. Owens managed to eliminate AJ Styles before being eliminated himself, while Ambrose made it to the final two before being eliminated by Triple H.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Beth Phoenix entered a Men's Rumble as the only female participant, she faced off against the Great Khali. Beth gave Khali a long kiss to distract him, and then eliminated him when he lowered his guard.
  • Double Knockout:
    • First happened in 1994 when Bret Hart and Lex Luger eliminated each other. The event has only been repeated itself since in 2005, when the match was simply restarted when John Cena and Batista eliminated each other. While the former was done on purpose, the latter was an accident (and a legitimate one at that). It is one of the few times that instant replay can be used to decide a match in WWE. There are three contingencies for this event according to an episode of WWE's YouTube series, 5 Things... - declare both of the last two men the winner, as seen in 1994; order Sudden Death Overtime, and have the last two men fight until one is thrown over the top rope again, as in 2005; or restart the match in its entirety, which hasn't happened (yet).
    • Triple H and Shawn Michaels competed in a Last Man Standing match for the former's World Heavyweight title in 2004. The match ended in a draw, as neither men were unable to stand for the ten count.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The first Royal Rumble match in 1988 only had 20 entrants.
    • The prize of a WrestleMania world title shot that now signifies the event wasn't added until 1993. Hulk Hogan, who won in 1991, did get a world title shot that year but not through the Rumble itself. Also, when Hogan won the Rumble the previous year, he was already the reigning champion.
    • The first Royal Rumble event didn't take place on PPV like all the others, but was a television special on the USA Network.
    • The early Royal Rumble matches also did not play entrance music for its entrants until 1997. This deprives those first number of Rumbles of the famous pops for major names and surprise entrants.
  • Enemy Mine:
  • Exact Words: The rules state that “both feet” must touch the floor for a participant to be eliminated from the match, leading to many of the more athletic participants (especially Kofi Kingston) taking advantage of this by either keeping one foot off the floor, being held by an ally who was conveniently eliminated immediately before, or is about to enter the match, or jumping to the barrier and back. Naomi made a Running Gag of this, doing everything from walking along the barrier, climbing into a chair and pulling it with her hands to get back to the ring, or using a plank to walk from the barrier to the ring steps without touching the floor.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • In the 2021 Women's Rumble match Rhea Ripley (a known Dragon Ball fan) demonstrated that Transformation Is a Free Action does not apply when Alexa Bliss started transitioning into her Fiend persona by quickly running up behind Alexa and throwing her over the top rope as soon as the screens in the Thunder Dome started to show the image of a purple sky.
    • Seth Rollins in the 2020 Royal Rumble brings fellow faction members AOP and Buddy Murphy to the ring in an attempt to win through their interference, something which faction leaders like Mr. McMahon (leader of the The Corporation, though he would later win the 1999 Rumble) and Faarooq (leader of The Nation of Domination who has had a really hard time in the Rumble) didn't think of. This goes both ways however, as the wrestlers eliminated by Seth's faction members are also Genre Savvy and realize that Seth is defenseless without his boys and drag AOP and Buddy Murphy backstage while Seth is left alone with fighting a bunch of pissed-off wrestlers.
  • Guest Fighter: As part of a deal WWE made with a Mexican wresting association called Lucha Libre AAA World Wide, four luchadors under their employment entered the 1997 Royal Rumble.

  • Harmful to Minors: Mick Foley's children were present during his infamous I-Quit match against The Rock in the 1999 event.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The 2023 edition has Sami Zayn hitting Roman Reigns from behind with the steel chair, tired of his abuse of him and his brutal beatdown of Kevin Owens, resulting in him being kicked out of the Bloodline.
  • He's Back!: The Rumble match has been used as a re-launching pad for various wrestlers for a while now. The 2002 event had a number of returns advertised beforehand, but they have occasionally thrown in some surprises since. Special mention must go to John Cena, whose entry as #30 in the 2008 Royal Rumble match was genuinely surprising as he was injured and was supposed to be out until after WrestleMania, and Edge, who was injured during the summer of 2009 and was supposed to be out for up to a year, only to return as #29 in the 2010 Royal Rumble match. Both would go on to win the match. Edge managed to do this again in 2020 entering #21, coming back from retirement.
  • History Repeats:
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has won the event a record three times, while Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, John Cena, Edge, Batista, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, and Cody Rhodes have all won twice.
    • Overlapping with The Notable Numeral, the 27th and 28th entrants have won four times, the 1st and 24th entrants have won thrice, and the 2nd, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, and 29th entrants have all won twice...on the men's side. For the women, the 3rd and 28th entrants have won twice. The 30th entrant has five wins as of 2024.
    • The WWE Title was on the line twice during the eponymous Rumble match. Coincidentally (or not), both events saw a former (or future) Evolution member crowned as the new champion (HHH and Ric Flair).
    • Speaking of Batista, he was the first 28th entrant to win twice mentioned above.
    • Speaking of Orton, he was part of a Power Trio stable in the two events that he won (Legacy in 2009, The Wyatt Family in 2017). Both times the final few came down to Orton, at least one trio mate, and his runner-up.
    • Big Show, Triple H and John Cena have all been runner-up on two different occasions, while Roman Reigns ended up in second place four times. Hunter's were in consecutive Rumbles, both to the entrant immediately after him (2008, to #30 entrant Cena after Trips entered at 29, and 2009, to #8 entrant Orton after Trips entered at #7).
    • Speaking of Reigns, he was eliminated by two former Evolution members in the two events that he placed 2nd. If you count the 2016 event where HHH eliminated him, he was eliminated by a former Evolution member three times. Of course, he has yet to appear in a Rumble with Ric Flair.
    • Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens have faced each other for the Universal Championship in this event three times (2017, 2021, and 2023), with Kevin winning the first bout while Reigns won the latter two (both of Reigns' victories came during the same title reign).
    • The number 30 entrant has won consecutive men's Rumble matches twice. First it was Undertaker in 2007, followed by John Cena in a surprise return as number 30 in 2008 (which 'Taker and his runner-up Shawn Michaels started). Then Brock Lesnar won the 2022 Rumble as number 30, which Cody Rhodes backed up with his own win from the same entry.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Zig-zagged at the 1994 Rumble; Undertaker was set to challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Championship at the event, but Jim Cornette, serving as Yokozuna's "American Spokesperson," weaved a little "Smokey Mountain Magic" and was able to add the stipulation in the match contract that it would be the only opportunity Taker would have to challenge Yokozuna as long as he had the championship (a trick Cornette had pulled on Lex Luger at the previous year's SummerSlam). Paul Bearer, however, took a page out of Cornette's own playbook and weaved a little black magic of his own, and made the match a Casket Match - to win, you had to stuff your opponent in a casket at ringside and shut the lid. Since it was touted as Taker's specialty, and since Yokozuna seemed to have a severe phobia of caskets, it looked like Taker would be win the title - he was even dominating the match. But, Yokozuna's manager Mr. Fuji would have the last laugh; taking full advantage of the no disqualification aspect of the match, Fuji arranged for more than half a dozen heels to come down and gang up on Taker, who eventually ended up getting stuffed in the "double wide, double deep" casket that he had made special for the 500 pound-plus champ.
  • Idiot Ball: As noted by Cageside Seats in its "Dumbest Ass" awards, there's at least one moment or elimination per Royal Rumble match that can be attributed to someone picking up, if not outright juggling, the Ball.
  • Invincible Hero: Not that there's never been a heel winner of course, but it's kind of suspicious how the person who wins the Rumble is always a main eventer in the middle of getting a big push. It's pretty rare for an actual underdog to win, and a lower card wrestler never wins, despite the fact that if the winner wasn't predetermined, you'd think almost everyone would have a pretty equal chance of winning.
  • Jobber: A few of them show up to the Royal Rumbles and are quickly eliminated. Usually in a matter of seconds.
    • Gillberg in the 1999 Rumble didn't even seem to realize what was going on and immediately posed on top of the ropes upon his entrance, which leads to him being quickly eliminated by Edge.
    • Kaientai weren't even in the 2000 Rumble, and their repeated interference always resulted in them being swiftly ejected by the much more taller and musclebound wrestlers.
  • Joke Character: One of the popular ways of structuring the Rumble is to have one or two of these to show up partway through:
  • Kill Streak:
    • Kane set the record of the most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match during the 2001 with 11. This would last until 2014, when Roman Reigns (then a member of The Shield) picked up 12 in his first appearance in the match. Braun Strowman would go on to break the record in 2018, coming in at 13 eliminations during the Greatest Royal Rumble, and Brock Lesnar would tie the record in 2020. The Lesnar example in 2020 actually took this to its logical extreme, as he entered the Men's Royal Rumble match at number 1, and proceeded to eliminate the first 13 men to come after him (the next two candidates to continue that chain, Ricochet and Drew McIntyre, worked together to eliminate him via Ricochet hitting Brock from behind with a low blow leaving him vulnerable to the Claymore that eliminated him).
    • In the Women's Royal Rumble match, Bianca Belair and Shayna Baszler established a record eliminating 8 participants each in 2020. Similar to the Lesnar example, Baszler (the last entrant in the match) made her record in part by quickly eliminating 7 of the remaining 8 participants in a row.
  • Large Ham:
    • Long-time announcer Howard Finkel counts in general anyway, but some of his Royal Rumble match introductions cranked the hamminess up to eleven, and his year-after-year summaries of the rules have sometimes seeped into the territory of Overly Long Gag.
    • If a wrestler (usually a heel) manages to eliminate everyone else in the ring and there's still about a minute left until the next entrant is scheduled to appear, he will often grab a mike (the match is otherwise almost totally nonverbal) and talk to the audience, either bragging about how well he is doing or spewing some political or ideological screed. CM Punk in 2010 and Bray Wyatt in 2015 dragged this out for a ridiculously long period of time, stopping only to eliminate several competitors in succession as they entered the ring before going right back to the mike, with Wyatt even leading the crowd in an impromptu performance of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
    • Subverted - hilariously - by Stone Cold Steve Austin in 2002 when he simply waited quietly for each new Superstar to appear, effortlessly threw each out, and then waited some more, occasionally looking bored and miming glancing at a wristwatch. He had attempted something similar in 1997, except that then his attempt at being nonchalant was ruined when Bret Hart entered.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Expect to see a lot of wrestlers hanging to the ropes for dear life. Especially if they're the more athletic ones. The particularly tall guys (usually also on the heavier side) can't do this as well since the extra height works against them.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Because you're only eliminated if you go over the top rope, some of the more Genre Savvy wrestlers will use this clause to stay out of the ring (or, like Jerry Lawler, hide under it) until later in the match if knocked out through the middle or bottom rope, only to jump back in when everyone else involved is fatigued - or as seen in 2001, in the the midst of the Hardcore title's 24/7 era, come back armed with weapons. Subverted in 2000 when, after weeks of arguing his case, Big Show proved that the Rock, the official victor of the match, did not deserve the win, as at the end he was thrown over the top rope and - though he held on and came back in to win - his feet still touched the mat and he would have been eliminated if a ref saw it, the loophole being that such decisions can't be reversed so long after a bout. This resulted in a match at No Way Out over who got to challenge Triple H at WrestleMania, and the Rock lost. Double Subverted when Vince McMahon teamed up with Rocky to make it a Triple Threat Matchnote  so Rock main evented anyway.
    • Since the rules say you're only eliminated if you go over the top rope AND both feet touch the floor, you can land on one foot, hop to the stairs, and get back into the ring and not be considered eliminated.
    • Kofi Kingston practically becomes Houdini when in the Royal Rumble match. In 2012, he did a handstand on the outside to get into the ring. In 2013, he piggy-backed Brodus Clay to the announce tables, then bunny-hopped on JBL's chair to get to the apron. And in 2014, he topped them all by riding Rusev to the guardrail, and jumping from the guardrail to the ring apron. In 2015, he was saved by Adam Rose's rosebud crew. In 2016, he rode on Big E's shoulders to stay in.
    • During the first Women's Royal Rumble in 2018, Naomi combined three of Kofi's saves in one. She landed on the guardrail, walked her way on the guardrail towards guest ring announcer Maria Menounos, convinced her to give up her chair, put her feet on said chair, and walked with her hands to the ring steps with her feet still not touching the floor thanks to still being on the chair. Corey Graves lampshaded the similarities to Kofi, wondering if Naomi had been watching one of Kofi's Rumble highlight reels. Naomi has made a Running Gag of this in seeming to be eliminated, only to somehow keep her feet from hitting the floor and then creatively making her way back into the ring. Sadly, she's usually eliminated for real soon after.
    • Also, the rules only say you're eliminated if you go over the top rope and both feet touch the floor, no matter how it happens. This has led to eliminated wrestlers (and on rare occasions, wrestlers simply holding a grudge) entering the ring and eliminating a wrestler still participating in the Rumble. It's also possible for wrestlers to eliminate themselves by going over the top rope and dropping to the floor on their own.
    • During the early days of the Brand Extension, it was believed that the winner of the Royal Rumble match simply received a shot at their brand's championship. In 2004, Chris Benoit pointed out that it was only stated that the winner received a main event title opportunity at WrestleMania and nothing about being restricted to their current brand's title, and took the opportunity to jump ship from SmackDown to Raw and compete for the World Heavyweight title instead of the WWE title, partly because then-GM Paul Heyman had been making his life hell at the time. All future Royal Rumble match winners were granted the opportunity to choose which championship they wanted to compete for, until the 2014 event, at which point WWE had unified the WWE and World Heavyweight titles, eliminating the need for the choice. This particular loophole led to one of the biggest face turns in recent WWE history in 2005, when Batista was about to sign the contract to go after the WWE Championship on SmackDown (with Evolution stablemate Triple H having the World Heavyweight Championship on Raw), giving a big thumbs up to Trips and Flair...then turning it into a thumbs down (in a mirror of what Trips did to Randy Orton when he won the title), leaving Evolution, and signing the contract for Trips' championship instead. That said, Benoit currently holds the distinction of being the only winner so far to have exploited this, as almost all victors since have challenged for their brand's main belt.
      • This stipulation was formally brought back in 2018 (the second year of the second brand extension) where it was stated that the winners (Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura) could go after any champion of their choice, regardless of show. Although, because this stipulation doesn't specify that you have to go to compete for a world championship (for men's Rumble winner) or a Women's championship (for women's Rumble winner) as the reward for winning the Royal Rumble, this can potentially lead to the Rumble winner (male or female) to declare their intentions to compete for any other championship that WWE currently have.note  Thankfully, no one has fully invoked this loophole just yet.
    • Early in the Rumble's history, Ted DiBiase tried to sidestep a rule that stated that the number they drew is the number they must enter at, and no switching was allowed. In a pretaped segment featuring the wrestlers drawing their numbers, DiBiase was shown being very unhappy with his draw but, upon learning Slick was very happy with the numbers his men drew, he took him aside and convinced him to trade numbers for a cash payoff. As such, DiBiase entered at No. 30. Although this did not work out for "The Million Dollar Man" in the end (DiBiase was left alone with Big John Studd and ended up a squash victim), future Rumbles were supposedly set up to prevent a situation such as what DiBiase attempted to pull off.
    • You can also be eliminated by a wrestler not participating in the Rumble match, as in the 2021 Men's Rumble, when AJ Styles brought his bodyguard Omos to the ringside, where he eliminated Big E and Rey Mysterio, in addition to saving Styles from being eliminated several times.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Particularly during the brand extension years when it was rare to see wrestlers from Raw and SmackDown in the ring together, though it always brought together wrestlers who would otherwise not be likely to fight one another, being higher or lower on the card. With the introduction of WWE NXT, it also had the added benefit of introducing the audience to potential future stars that were currently still in developmental. Of particular note is the 2018 PPV, which has four such stars across both Rumbles.note  WWE went even further in 2022, with Mickie James entering as Impact Wrestling's Knockouts Champion (followed two years later by Jordynne Grace with the same title under a different name after Impact revived their old TNA name).
  • Medium Awareness: In 2002, the match actually stopped dead for several minutes (the ring was temporarily empty) so that the cameras could show the Undertaker chasing Maven all the way up to the convention center's hallway ringing the arena and smashing him into a popcorn vendor's stall. None of the other participants were at all confused by this (especially those who were still competing when the chase started), and conveniently waited for the camera crew to return to the ring before entering the arena.

  • New Rules as the Plot Demands:
    • In early years, whether or not an elimination counted if the person doing the elimination has already gone over the top rope himself depended on how convenient it was that year, until it was set that yes, it counts. This was most notable when Randy Savage accidentally eliminated himself in the 1992 Royal Rumble match and then re-entered the ring, at which point the announcers had to ad-lib a reason for him still being there.
    • In 2008, Finlay was eliminated by disqualification for entering the match before his number was called to help Hornswoggle.
    • In 2023, Rey Mysterio was unable to enter the match before the next number was called out (due to being beaten up by his son Dominick who ironically came out next), so he was disqualified.
  • The Notable Numeral:
    • The numbers with the most Rumble victories are #1, #27, #28, and #30; 4 wrestlers have won as entrants #1 and #27 and 5 #30note , while the first two instances where #28 won was done by the same personnote . This tends to get brought up by commentators whenever the #27 entrant arrives. Played for Laughs in the 2017 Royal Rumble match: Brock Lesnar entered at #26 and laid waste of everyone in the ring, and then waited for the #27, who the commentators wondering who got both the notable number and now the task of having to deal with Lesnar. It turned out to be... Enzo Amore, who cemented his status as the Joke Character of the moment when Lesnar quickly eliminated him.note 
    • Typically, before the match, they go through all the statistics that have accumulated over the history of the Royal Rumble.
  • No Theme Tune: Prior to the 1996 Royal Rumble, only the two first entrants had entrance music as they walked to the ring. Even eventual winners like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Yokozuna lacked their entrance music, which is especially jarring for those used to the loud pops that these main-eventers' theme songs bring.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Whenever a main eventer enters. The effect is often sweetened by delaying the wrestler's entrance music for a few moments after the countdown.
    • André the Giant, when – minutes after eliminating Jake Roberts (by completely squashing him) – he saw the first sign of Damien the snake and eliminated himself. Andre didn't quit running until he was almost all the way to the back. note 
    • This can also happen whenever a Wrestling Monster (like The Great Khali or the Big Show) enters the Royal Rumble match. They may eliminate a lot of people when they first get in, although as the past has shown, giants have a lesser chance of winning due to being ganged up on by everyone else.
    • In the 2001 Royal Rumble match, there's two Oh Crap! moments during that year. First, Drew Carey realizing he has to face Kane after the Hardy Boyz were eliminated. The second is Scotty 2 Hotty realizing that the only other people in the ring were Kane and The Undertaker, who were working in tandem and just finished eliminating everyone in the ring (except The Rock who was still knocked out outside the ring, thanks to the Big Show). Scotty, who usually danced his way to the ring, somberly walked there instead with a look on his face that clearly said "This Is Gonna Suck".
    • The Great Khali's first Royal Rumble match appearance in 2007, where most of the superstars stop fighting to see him. Not even a huge number of superstars were able to take him down. Ironically, Khali would end up having a moment of his own during the same match when the #30 entrant was revealed to be The Undertaker, with whom he had feuded months before, and would go on to eventually eliminate Khali.
    • Especially noticeable is the 2009 Royal Rumble match, where when the Undertaker entered, every single superstar in the ring immediately stopped fighting and moved towards one side of the ring to await for his arrival.
    • Roman Reigns had two moments in the 2016 Rumble. After entering at #1 and eliminating #2, Rusev, Reigns looks confident as he waits for #3 to come out, only for it to be AJ Styles, in his WWE debut. He then starts pacing the ring, a look that says "Oh, what have I gotten myself into?" He even shakes his head in disbelief. Then again once #30 comes out, and it's Triple H, for the first time since Reigns attacked him at TLC.
  • Player Elimination: In-universe. It's a variation on the Battle Royale match from WWE that adds staggered entrances, starting with two wrestlers in the ring, and others join at regular intervals. In this case, while elimination can occur at any time, victory cannot be claimed until all 20-50 included wrestlers have made their entry.
  • Ring Oldies: It's almost tradition now for one of the surprise participants in the Rumble to be a legend from a bygone era. Of course, they never actually win, but they almost always get a huge pop and often notch an elimination or two before going over the top rope themselves... except until 2021, where Edge managed to win the match from the No.1 position, no less!
  • Rule of Symbolism: The final six of the 2018 Men's Rumble had Roman Reigns, Finn Bálor, and Shinsuke Nakamura on one side of the ring staring down John Cena, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio in a new vs. old moment. Of course, Nakamura started wrestling around the same time as Cena and Orton, with only Mysterio having more experience, but it looked cool.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jerry Lawler's predictions turning out badly, which has been repeated with a few other commentators like Tazz.
    • Starting in 2012, Kofi Kingston will always find some crazy or incredibly flukey way of avoiding elimination, whether it's walking on his hands over to the steps without letting his feet touch the floor, or being sent flying out to be caught by Adam Rose's posse of Rosebuds, who aren't quite keeping up with the action and end up putting him back in again. Unfortunately averted in 2020, when Brock Lesnar tosses Kofi out so quickly he doesn't have a chance to do a spot at all.
    • During the 2018 Men's Rumble, Heath Slater was assaulted by Baron Corbin while on his way to the ring and left lying in a heap on the ramp. The following five or so entrants would all abuse him in various ways, wiping him out before he could officially enter the match, culminating in Big E stuffing his face with pancakes. Heath's pain would end when Sheamus took pity on him and finally got him into the ring (only for Heath to immediately clothesline Sheamus out in return as soon as he climbed through the ropes).
    • In every Rumble match from 1998 to 2002, the #30 entrant note  would chuck out precisely one person before being eliminated themselves shortly thereafter. This gag ended in the 2003 Rumble when the Undertaker drew #30 and went on a Foe-Tossing Charge.
    • Naomi has taken a page from Kofi's book and made a running gag of somehow saving herself from elimination and creatively getting back in the ring. Sadly, she's usually eliminated for real soon after.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Drew Carey entered the Rumble in 2001, finding himself alone in the ring after Matt and Jeff Hardy eliminate each other. He celebrates... until Kane is the next entrant. After fruitlessly trying to beg the referees for help, offering the Big Red Monster a handshake and even attempting to bribe him, Kane has him in position for a chokeslam, and only the arrival of Raven, who hits Kane in the back with a pool cue, saves him from certain doom. Carey decides to capitalize while Raven distracts Kane... to climb over the ropes and eliminate himself.
    • The 2020 Women's Royal Rumble saw the return of Santino Marella — or rather, his sister/female alter ego, Santina, who promptly gets caught between Natalya and Beth Phoenix, and at first considers breaking out the Cobra... before just tossing "herself" over the top rope and out of the match.
    • In 2024, Pat McAfee, who was one of the commentators, was surprised to hear his number being called out and entered the ring in a dress shirt and shoes, only to see extremely angry Bron Breakker and Omos in the center. Wisely, he decides to go over the top rope, then to get back into the ring and square up... only to change his mind once more and actually eliminate himself. Omos in particular (standing 7-plus feet tall and weighing 400-plus pounds) would've been very bad news for the former NFL punter had they actually clashed.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Before the Women's Rumble was created, a few Rumbles had at least one female participant. She was usually a particularly buff woman like Chyna or Beth Phoenix who could credibly mix it up with the men. The second year of the Women's Rumble had Nia Jax (one of those particularly buff women who could credibly mix it up with the men) replace #30 entrant R-Truth after ambushing him during his entrance.
  • Sore Loser: Some wrestlers have responded to getting eliminated very badly:
    • In the second ever Rumble in 1989, when Jake Roberts entered he immediately charged André the Giant (they were feuding at the time) and André proceeded to pummel the life out of Jake until a barely-conscious Jake was tossed. A few minutes later Jake ran back with Damien in tow, causing André to eliminate himself and get the hell away from Damien.
    • One of the earliest examples (and a rare non-heel one) of this is Hulk Hogan of all people; both times he was eliminated in a Royal Rumble match, he immediately screwed the person who eliminated him out of winning too. note 
    • The Undertaker was in an extremely foul mood after Maven took him out from behind in 2002. Cue No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the point that Maven would be unable to continue, despite not having gone over the top rope.
    • Kurt Angle was eliminated by Shawn Michaels in 2005. Angle came back in later to eliminate Michaels and continued to attack him afterwards.
    • Booker T was eliminated by Kane in 2007, and came back in later and eliminated Kane.
    • Wade Barrett was also not too happy he got eliminated by NXT newcomer Bo Dallas, considering Wade's the first winner of NXT. Bo might have lasted a bit longer if Wade hadn't rushed back to eliminate him.
    • Shawn Michaels became almost catatonic on the outside of the ring after Batista eliminated him in 2010. Then, after a Heroic BSoD, he started manhandling and superkicking referees out of frustration despite being a face (Michaels had become obsessed with redeeming his WrestleMania XXV loss to The Undertaker, and winning the Royal Rumble match was his only guaranteed chance as Taker was champion at the time). He would eventually get that rematch with 'Taker... after costing him the title in the Elimination Chamber match at its own titular PPV inbetween the Rumble and Mania.
    • Baron Corbin flipped after he was eliminated during the beginning of the 2018 Men's Rumble, and beat the hell out of the only remaining entrants at the time, Finn Bálor and Rusev, then knocking down incoming entrant Heath Slater as he was being forcibly escorted to the back by officials.
    • In the 2018 Women's Royal Rumble, Vickie Guerrero attacked incoming entrant Carmella with the latter's Money in the Bank briefcase after she was eliminated from the Women's Rumble by every other entrant in the ring at the time (including former accomplice Michelle McCool).
    • In the 2019 Women's Royal Rumble, Mandy Rose, after being eliminated by Naomi, attacked her and eliminated her.
    • In the 2019 Men's Royal Rumble, Bobby Lashley, after been eliminated by Seth Rollins, attacked him with help of his manager Lio Rush and threw him to the announce table.
    • In the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble, Lana, after being eliminated by Liv Morgan, attacked her and eliminated her.
    • In the 2022 Women's Royal Rumble, Sonya Deville, after being eliminated by Naomi, interfered and eliminated her.
    • In the 2024 Men's Royal Rumble, Karrion Kross, after being eliminated by Bobby Lashley, attacked Lashley and later eliminated him from the Rumble match. Their subsequent brawl (involving the Authors of Pain on Kross' side and the Street Profits on Lashley's) would reach the entrance just as Ludwig Kaiser, the next entrant, came out.
  • Stealth Insult: After Daniel Bryan was eliminated during the 2015 Rumble match, Goldust makes his entrance. The latter's titantron reads "Shattered Dreams", which many fans and even some reviewers read as WWE's way of sticking it to the fans, as while Bryan was the most popular wrestler at the time, this was during WWE's initial mega-push of their pet project, Roman Reigns.
  • Still Got It: "YOU STILL GOT IT" chants usually accompany a Ring Oldie's performance in the Rumble.
  • There Can Only Be One: Averted in 1994, but played straight since. The most notable instance of this is when John Cena and Batista had been eliminated at the same time at the end of the 2005 Rumble. Since this was during the Brand Extension and Batista was on Raw and Cena was on SmackDown at the time, the referees from both brands were arguing their case — eventually, Vince ordered a redo in order to avoid a repeat of '94, and Batista went on to win. note 
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • In 1993, Randy Savage seemed to forget the rules to the Royal Rumble match, attempting to pin Yokozuna near the ropes, which of course led to the big man simply tossing him right over to win the match.
    • In 2012, Jack Swagger got a K.O. Punch from the Big Show when he wasn't too happy that Big Show eliminated him outside the ring.
    • In 2016, R-Truth got his Gimmick Matches mixed up, thinking he was in a Ladder Match. He was greeted with bewildered looks, and Kane tossed him right out.
      • This happened twice in 2024: at first he entered the Women's Rumble (he thought his number was called up just as Valhalla was heading into the ring), only to be eliminated by Nia Jax a few seconds later (Valhalla would be quickly eliminated herself, setting the match's shortest time of competing at five seconds). He later went to participate in the Men's Rumble, where he put the eliminated JD McDonagh back into the match only for him to be tossed out against, and then Truth, assuming it was a tag team match, waited for Dominik Mysterio to tag him in. Once he got tagged, Truth quickly unleashed a barrage of moves at Gunther, only to be quickly smashed by the Ring General.
  • Tonight in This Very Ring: The Royal Rumble match usually main events the Royal Rumble show, but it has been averted in 1988, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2013 and 2023.
  • Underestimating Badassery: When Beth Phoenix entered the 2010 Rumble, she faced off against the Great Khali. He gestured to the back, clearly saying she shouldn't be in the ring. When she refused to leave, he picked her up and placed her on the apron, telling her to jump down and head to the back so she wouldn't be hurt. Instead, Beth gave him a long kiss...distracting him long enough for her to flip him over the ropes and eliminate him before scrambling back into the ring.
  • Unnecessary Roughness:
    • At the 1999 event, Mick Foley took ten unprotected chair shots to the head during his "I Quit" Match with The Rock. The Rock wasn't supposed to keep on hitting him, and Mick himself classified the match as "having gotten away" from both of them; i.e. they both got caught up in the drama and neither was willing to end it before the scheduled finish. This was made worse by the fact that Foley's family was at ringside, and were clearly traumatized. The Rock didn't apologize to Foley for his actions, and this later became a bitter sticking point on Foley's part, though he said that when he eventually confronted The Rock about it, The Rock thought that he had checked on Foley after the match, and became very upset upon realizing he hadn't. In his second book, Foley admits both did wrong in the scenario but he was more in the wrong. Once the Rock was made aware of the situation, he apologized immediately. Foley was aware of the slight for several months but let it simmer unknown and lead him into bitterness (mostly as fuel for a Face–Heel Turn during the Rock 'n' Sock Connection days against the Rock that never materialized.)
    • Rather invoked in the 2019 Men's Rumble Match towards Nia Jax of all people: After ambushing R-Truth at the entrance walkway, then later eliminating Mustafa Ali, she immediately gets a Superkick, a 619, and an RKO (in that order) for her troubles.
  • Unexpected Character: Invoked. The event is increasingly sold on the unpredictability of the Rumble's match format leading itself to unexpected entrants – and consequently some of the biggest pops of the entire wrestling year:
    • Mick Foley in 2004 (at number 21 in place of a knocked-out Test). Subverted by The Undertaker, who made his presence felt but did not actually appear.
    • The early and ultimately victorious returns from injury of both of John Cena (2008, from a torn pectoral muscle, at #30) and Edge (2010, from an achilles injury, at #29) often top lists of surprise entrants. Especially Cena, who nobody thought would be back until after WrestleMania.
    • 2009 had the one-night return of Rob Van Dam.
    • 2011 had Booker T and Diesel.
    • 2012 had Road Dogg and Kharma. The latter entered immediately after Michael Cole (the last of the three commentators to enter), who tried to bail... leaving his co-commentators Jerry Lawler and Booker T (both had been eliminated by Cole's entry) wide open to complete the elimination of Cole.
    • Chris Jericho, NXT Wrestler Bo Dallas and The Godfather in 2013.
    • An unexpected non-character in the 2014 Rumble. Fans had been waiting the entire match for Daniel Bryan to appear, and after all 30 entrants appeared with no Bryan the fans were pissed, with the fans taking their anger out on poor #30 entrant Rey Mysterio and eventual winner Batista. Kevin Nash enter the Royal Rumble at #14.
    • 2015 had Bubba Ray Dudley and Boogeyman. Bubba Ray, entering at number 3, would subject #1 entry The Miz to two Dudley Boyz signature moves (with #2 entrant R-Truth playing the role of Bubba Ray's usual partner D-Von).
    • The 2016 Rumble had the debut of AJ Styles. You could tell that he was the last person Roman Reigns expected to see coming down the ramp.
    • Also from the 2016 Rumble, though to a lesser extent, was the recently returned-from-injury Sami Zayn. Kevin Owens, whose night was already going less-than-ideally (having previously lost a Last Man Standing match earlier that night to eventual runner-up Dean Ambrose), had a minor Villainous Breakdown at that one, which reached its apex when Zayn eliminated him from the match.
    • Roman Reigns as the last entrant in 2017 in a meta-example, as most fans were expecting either the debut of either Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura, or the return of either Finn Balor or Kurt Angle in the famous #30 spot; when Roman's music hit, the fans did not take it well.
    • In 2018, the men's Rumble had Rey Mysterio, who had shown some vague interest in eventually returning to WWE but not anytime soon, and The Hurricane, a massive fan favorite from the days of old. To a lesser extent were the entries of NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas and Adam Cole, both of whom had wrestled in absolutely grueling matches at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia the previous night.
    • The first women's Rumble in 2018 had a fair few, which was only compounded by the novelty of the event. Among them include Torrie Wilson, Molly Holly, NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon, Kairi Sane, Lita, Beth Phoenix and Trish Stratus. Lita was an early entry while Trish entered at 30.
    • In the 2019 women's Rumble they were mostly from NXT: Xia Li, Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro, Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley.
    • The 2019 men's Rumble had Jeff Jarrett and NXT wrestlers Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne and Aleister Black. Of course, these were all totally overshadowed by Nia Jax ambushing #30 R-Truth and taking his spot in the men's Rumble.
    • The IWC typically accepted Edge's denials of a return in late 2019-early 2020 at face value, given his abrupt retirement in 2011 because of fears a single bump gone wrong could easily paralyse him. This only made his return at the 2020 Rumble (entering at number 21) even more shocking (and sweeter), with 40,000 fans in attendance blowing the proverbial roof off. NXT cameos included Keith Lee and Matt Riddle, and the event also saw the return of Montel Vontavious Porter.
    • In the 2020 Women's Rumble, mostly from NXT: Bianca Belair, Mercedes Martinez,note  Mia Yim, Dakota Kai, Chelsea Green, Toni Storm, Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox, alongside legends Mighty Molly and Beth Phoenix. Perhaps the most surprising entrant in that match, however, was the return of Santino Marella in his long-forgotten "Santina" gimmick, complete with the theme of Billy & Chuck and Rico from the gimmick's first run.
    • In the 2021 Men's Rumble had Carlito, Kane, Hurricane Helms, Christian (entering at number 24 and reuniting with long-time tag partner and real-life BFF Edge, who entered at number 1), Seth Rollins and NXT wrestler Damian Priest.
    • In the 2021 Women's Rumble had Jillian Hall, Victoria, Alicia Fox, Torrie Wilson and Mickie James.
    • In the 2022 Women's Rumble had Melina, Cameron, Ivory (in her Right to Censor gimmick nonetheless!), Summer Rae, Sarah Logan and Ronda Rousey. Rousey, entering at 28, went on to win the match.
    • In the 2022 Men's Rumble had non-combatant and rapper Bad Bunny while Shane McMahon made his brief in-ring return at the 28th spot (the spot immediately after Bunny, who entered at 27).
    • The 2023 Women's Rumble had Michelle McCool, Chelsea Green and Nia Jax, as well as the NXT Women's Champion Roxanne Perez, Zoey Stark and Indi Hartwell from NXT. Michelle entered from the crowd at 25, Jax entered through a slight timing botch at 30, and Green lasted only four seconds.
    • The only real surprise entrant in the 2023 Men's Royal Rumble was Booker T.
    • The 2024 Women's Rumble had Naomi, Jordynne Grace, Jade Cargill and NXT's Tiffany Stratton (entries 2, 5, 28, and 29 respectively). Jade lasted until the final three (with a single-handed elimination of Jax to her credit) while Naomi (who had previously clashed with Grace while competing under her real name Trinity with TNA) only missed out on the ironwoman title by less than a minute to the victorious number 3 entrant Bayley (both lasting longer than the previous winner Rhea Ripley did).
    • The 2024 Men's Rumble saw the return of Andrade, Bron Breakker, and Omos. Pat McAfee had the double-whammy of making an unannounced appearance as co-commentator along with Michael Cole and Corey Graves, as well as also being announced as the #22 entrant (who swiftly eliminated himself after realizing he'd be getting in a ring with Bron and Omos).
  • Uniqueness Decay: 2018 had three Royal Rumble matches; the first ever Women's Royal Rumble match and the Greatest Royal Rumble match, along with the usual Men's Royal Rumble match.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The championship belt which was awarded to the winner of the first Greatest Royal Rumble (Braun Strowman), disappeared afterwards and is never mentioned again.


Video Example(s):


Joe Walks Out of Gargano's Way

Samoa Joe casually sidesteps Johnny Gargano as the latter attempts a flying attack against him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / NonchalantDodge

Media sources: