Royal Rumble

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The Royal Rumble is a yearly professional wrestling pay-per-view event, aired every January by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).[1] The show's main event is a Battle Royal-type match,[2] named the Royal Rumble match. The pay-per-view is part of WWE's "Big Four", along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series.[3] The Royal Rumble is also one of WWE's more popular pay-per-views.[4] Since 1993, the winner of the Rumble match has received a title match at that year's WrestleMania.

History[change | edit source]

Match[change | edit source]

Year Winner Entry
1988 Jim Duggan 13
1989 Big John Studd 27
1990 Hulk Hogan 25
1991 Hulk Hogan 24
1992 Ric Flair 3
1993 Yokozuna 27
1994 Bret Hart
Lex Luger
27
23
1995 Shawn Michaels 1
1996 Shawn Michaels 18
1997 Steve Austin 5
1998 Steve Austin 24
1999 Vince McMahon 2
2000 The Rock 24
2001 Steve Austin 27
2002 Triple H 22
2003 Brock Lesnar 29
2004 Chris Benoit 1
2005 Batista 28
2006 Rey Mysterio 2
2007 The Undertaker 30
2008 John Cena 30
2009 Randy Orton 8
2010 Edge 29
2011 Alberto Del Rio 38
2012 Sheamus 22
2013 John Cena 19
2014 Batista 28

The idea behind the Royal Rumble match is credited to Pat Patterson.[5] Before the match begins, the contestants draw spots in the Rumble.[1] The match consists of thirty men, beginning with the two men who chose entry numbers one and two in the ring.[1] At regular timed intervals, usually ninety seconds, one of the remaining 28 wrestlers enters the ring.[1] Participants must eliminate all other opponents, and the winner of the event is the last wrestler remaining after all others have been eliminated.[1][4]

Similar to a Battle Royal, a wrestler is eliminated when thrown over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor.[1][2][6] A referee, who is seated at ringside, must see an elimination in order for it to be valid.[7] A wrestler who is eliminated without a referee noticing may sometimes sneak back into the match. For example, Stone Cold Steve Austin was eliminated during the 1997 event, but he re-entered without the referees' seeing and eventually won the match.[7] A wrestler who leaves the ring without going over the top rope is not eliminated from the match. During the 1999 Rumble match, both Vince McMahon and Steve Austin left the ring, only to return later in the match.[8] In the 1994 match, the last two wrestlers, Bret Hart and Lex Luger were declared co-winners when it was decided that both of their feet touched the floor at the same time.[9] A similar situation occurred in the 2005 match, however the match was restarted after Batista and John Cena eliminated each other at the same time. Batista eliminated Cena afterwards to win the match.[10]

The reward for the 1992 Royal Rumble was the WWF Championship.[11] The tradition of granting a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania started in 1993.[12] Beginning in 2004, the winner had their choice of a World Heavyweight Championship or WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.[12] Due to the revival of the ECW World Championship as a brand championship in mid-2006, the 2007 Rumble added this championship as a choice to the winning wrestler.[13] From 2001 to 2007 the Royal Rumble match winner has gone on to win a World Championship title at WrestleMania.[14] After winning the 2008 match, John Cena became the first to use his championship opportunity at an event other than WrestleMania.[15] He also became the first man since 2000 to win the Royal Rumble match but fail to win the title in his championship opportunity as a result.

Pay-per-view[change | edit source]

The Royal Rumble is a pay-per-view consisting of the Royal Rumble match, championship matches, and various other matches. The first Royal Rumble took place on January 24, 1988 and was broadcast live on the USA Network.[16] The following year, the event became a pay-per-view.[17] It is part of WWE's "classic five" pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series, SummerSlam, and King of the Ring.[18]

The Royal Rumble match is usually at the top of the card.[19] However, it is not always the case, as the 2006 event had the match in the middle of the pay-per-view.[19]

The first Rumble match featured only twenty men,[20] and it was called the Rumble Royale.[16] It lasted about 33 minutes of the 2-hour broadcast.[14] Today, Rumble matches are much longer, with the longest match, at the 2002 event, lasting over 1 hour and 9 minutes of a 3-hour pay-per-view.[14]

With the brand extension introduced in mid-2002, the 30 entrants from 2003 to 2006 had 15 wrestlers from both the RAW and SmackDown! brands. At first, the winner of the match received a shot at his brand's champion.[21] Starting in 2004, the Rumble winner had the option of challenging either brand's champion.[12] For instance, Chris Benoit switched brands in 2004 and won the World Heavyweight Championship.[12] The 2007 Royal Rumble marked the first year participants from the ECW brand competed along with the RAW and SmackDown! brands.[22] The winner of the Royal Rumble now has the option to challenge for the ECW World Championship as well.[13]

The 2008 Royal Rumble was the first WWE pay-per-view to be aired in HD.[23]

Dates and venues[change | edit source]

Steve Austin holds the current record for most Royal Rumble match wins with three.[14]
Event Date City Venue
Royal Rumble (1988) January 24, 1988 Hamilton, Ontario Copps Coliseum
Royal Rumble (1989) January 15, 1989 Houston, Texas The Summit
Royal Rumble (1990) January 21, 1990 Orlando, Florida Orlando Arena
Royal Rumble (1991) January 19, 1991 Miami, Florida Miami Arena
Royal Rumble (1992) January 19, 1992 Albany, New York Knickerbocker Arena
Royal Rumble (1993) January 24, 1993 Sacramento, California ARCO Arena
Royal Rumble (1994) January 22, 1994 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center
Royal Rumble (1995) January 22, 1995 Tampa, Florida USF Sun Dome
Royal Rumble (1996) January 21, 1996 Fresno, California Selland Arena
Royal Rumble (1997) January 19, 1997 San Antonio, Texas Alamodome
Royal Rumble (1998) January 18, 1998 San Jose, California San Jose Arena
Royal Rumble (1999) January 24, 1999 Anaheim, California Arrowhead Pond
Royal Rumble (2000) January 23, 2000 New York, New York Madison Square Garden
Royal Rumble (2001) January 21, 2001 New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans Arena
Royal Rumble (2002) January 20, 2002 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena
Royal Rumble (2003) January 19, 2003 Boston, Massachusetts Fleet Center
Royal Rumble (2004) January 25, 2004 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wachovia Center
Royal Rumble (2005) January 30, 2005 Fresno, California Save Mart Center
Royal Rumble (2006) January 29, 2006 Miami, Florida AmericanAirlines Arena
Royal Rumble (2007) January 28, 2007 San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center
Royal Rumble (2008) January 27, 2008 New York, New York Madison Square Garden
Royal Rumble (2009) January 25, 2009 Detroit, Michigan Joe Louis Arena
Royal Rumble (2010) January 31, 2010 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena
Royal Rumble (2011) January 30, 2011 Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden
Royal Rumble (2012) January 29, 2012 St. Louis, Missouri Scottrade Center
Royal Rumble (2013) January 27, 2013 Phoenix, Arizona US Airways Center
Royal Rumble (2014) January 26, 2014 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Consol Energy Center

Video box set[change | edit source]

On March 13, 2007, WWE released a full DVD box set called Royal Rumble: The Complete Anthology, which showcases every Royal Rumble event in its entirety.[24]

Footnotes[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Specialty Matches: Royal Rumble". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/inside/specialtymatches/royalrumble. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jon Waldman (2005-02-02). "Statistical survival - breaking down the Royal Rumble". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2005/02/01/917194.html. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  3. Ian Hamilton. Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition (p.160)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk (2006-01-30). "Mysterio claims Rumble; Cena reigns again". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/PPVReports/2006/01/30/1418142.html. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  5. "Hall of Fame: Pat Patterson". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/superstars/halloffame/patpatterson/bio/. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  6. "Specialty Matches: Battle Royal". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/inside/specialtymatches/battleroyal. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Royal Rumble 1997: Main Event". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/1988114111/mainevent/. Retrieved 2007-12-03. "Stone Cold was actually eliminated during the match, but the referees failed to detect it, so he sneaked back in."
  8. "Royal Rumble 1999: Main Event". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/19881143/mainevent/. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  9. "Royal Rumble 1994: Main Event". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/198811421/mainevent/. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  10. "Royal Rumble 1995: Main Event". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/198811/mainevent/. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  11. "Royal Rumble 1992: Main Event". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/19881152/mainevent/. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Eric Cohen (2007-04-25). "The Fate of the Royal Rumble Winner". About.com. http://prowrestling.about.com/od/thewrestlers/a/rumblewinnerfat.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Brett Hoffman (2007-02-05). "Tickets punched for WrestleMania". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/archive/02052007/. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Royal Rumble: Facts & Figures". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/facts/. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  15. "Randy Orton vs. John Cena (WWE Championship match): A battle for redemption with 'Mania implications". WWE. 2008-01-28. http://www.wwe.com/shows/nowayout/matches/6235888/preview/. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ric Flair. Ric Flair: To Be the Man (p.161)
  17. "Royal Rumble results". ProWrestlingHistory.com. http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/usa/wwf/rumble.html#89. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  18. Brian Shields. Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (p.166)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk (2007-01-29). "Old guard dominates Rumble". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/PPVReports/2007/01/28/3473071.html. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  20. "Royal Rumble 1988: Main Event". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/1988114/mainevent/. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  21. John Powell (2004-01-26). "Benoit wins the 'Rumble'". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/PPVReports/2004/01/26/325195.html. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  22. Louie Dee (2007-01-28). "A Phenom-enal Rumble". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/2007/matches/35535102/results/. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  23. Clayton, Cory. "How do I get WWE HD on my HDTV?". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/inside/news/wwehdfaqs. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
  24. "Royal Rumble: The Complete Anthology Box Set". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shop/dvd/royalrumbledvd. Retrieved 2007-01-18.

Other Websites[change | edit source]

General

Specific

  • Ian Hamilton (2006). Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. Lulu.com. ISBN 1411612108.
  • Ric Flair (2004). Ric Flair: To Be the Man. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0743456912.
  • Brian Shields (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1416532579.

Further reading[change | edit source]

  • Harley Race and Gerry Tritz (2004). King of the Ring: The Harley Race Story. Sports Publishing. ISBN 1582618186.
  • Ross Davies (2002). Kevin Nash. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 0823934926.
  • Dave Meltzer (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Professional Wrestlers. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1582618178.
  • Brian Fritz and Christopher Murray (2006). Between the Ropes: Wrestling's Greatest Triumphs and Failures. ECW Press. ISBN 1550227262.
  • Steve Austin and Jim Ross (2003). The Stone Cold Truth. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0743477200.
  • Scott Keith (2004). Wrestling's One Ring Circus: The Death of the World Wrestling Federation. Citadel Press. ISBN 080652619X.

Other websites[change | edit source]