On the surface, statistics when it comes to wrestling is pretty innocuous. I mean why go through the trouble of generating statistics for an enterprise that is “fake”? (Oh, god, please don’t let Bret Hart read that, or tell this guy.) Well if you are reading this, then you must. Unless you thought this was a posting full of embedded cat videos from YouTube. We can make that happen. Just wait until our feature story on the best cat fights in wrestling history.
Of all of the events, or should I say matches, the Royal Rumble may be my favorite. By doing the inverse of the battle royal construct and having two wrestlers start before adding another participant every 90 seconds or two minutes (or 60 seconds in case of the 1995 Royal Rumble – the shortest traditional Rumble match ever), Pat Paterson created the greatest gimmick match in WWE history and arguably in all of wrestling. The match is so old that it is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year at the Alamodome in San Antonio, twenty years after the event emanated from the venue. That was the same event where WWE extended an olive branch to the Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) by having some of its star performers (Heavy Metal, Perro Aguayo, Jerry Estrada) on the undercard. Interestingly enough, the these three wrestlers were also on the card for AAA’s When Worlds Collide, a Nov. 1994 PPV produced by World Championship Wrestling that also included former WWE Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana and future WWE champions Chris Benoit (as The Pegasus Kid), Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio, Jr.
The Royal Rumble is the only WWE event I can recall where numbers are of the upmost importance in terms of positioning and promotion. Every year the highlight package has to be updated to include the latest trivia tidbits and information on eliminations (most by a wrestler and cumulative total), most wins (it’s Steve Austin with three, BTW), winners from a particular entrance number, and of course the iron man (Rey Mysterio Jr. holds that distinction going the distance at #2 in 2006 for 62:12 – the longest WWE match in modern history, though 19 minutes shorter than this WWWF record holder).
With that noted, what I want to know is why were the intervals of the 1995 event only 60 seconds? Did we really need 12 minutes of The Undertaker and IRS, 18 minutes of Scott Hall (uh, I mean Razor Ramon) and Jeff Jarrett, 16 minutes of BBB/Tatanka against The 1-2-3 Kid/”Spark Plug” Bob Holly, and 27 minutes of Kevin Nash (Diesel) and Bret Hart?
But wait! There’s more!
You’re about to be bowled over by the statistics you’re about to behold below.
ROYAL RUMBLE WINNERS
Having read the paragraphs above you know that Steve Austin has won the most Royal Rumbles with three. He is also one of only three wrestlers (the other two being Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels) to win back to back rumbles.
Two wrestlers have won the Royal Rumble drawing No. 1: Shawn Michaels (1995) and Chris Benoit (2004).
Three WWE superstars won the Rumble drawing No. 30. They are The Undertaker (2007), John Cena (2008), and Triple H (2016).
No. 27 is the entry number with the most wins: 4.
In the traditional Royal Rumble (30 competitors), no one has won drawing the numbers 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, or 26.
The longest span in between wins is 14 years: Triple H (2002, 2016).
Three winners of the Royal Rumble have never gone on to win a WWF/E championship: Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Big John Studd, and Lex Luger.
Batista is the only man to win the Royal Rumble drawing No. 28. He accomplished this feat twice.
Until 2016, Ric Flair had the only distinction of being declared heavyweight champion by winning the Royal Rumble.
Yokozuna won the 1993 Royal Rumble having drawn No. 27. He would defeat Bret Hart for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania IX. At the 1994 Royal Rumble, Bret Hart was a co-winner drawing the same number. He would defeat Yokozuna for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania X.
Neither winners Steve Austin (1997) nor Vince McMahon (1999) competed for the championship belt at WrestleMania.
13-9: The Win-Loss record for Royal Rumble winners at WrestleMania, including a 7-year winning streak from 2001-2007.
Steve Austin (10 in 1997), Kane (11 in 2001), and Roman Reigns (12 in 2014) are the only wrestlers with double-figure eliminations.
Steve Austin also holds the distinction by having the most eliminations at four Royal Rumble events (1997 – 10; 1998 – 7; 1999 – 8; 2002 – 7).
Santino Marella holds the dubious honor of quickest elimination. At the 2009 Royal Rumble he was eliminated in 00:00:01. That broke the previous record of 00:00:02 held for twenty years by The Warlord.
In 2015, 60% of the field was eliminated by three superstars: Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns and Rusev had 6 eliminations each.
When including his entry as Dr. Isaac Yankem in 1996, Kane has the most cumulative eliminations with 44.
In the history of the Royal Rumble, nine competitors have eliminated themselves. Furthermore, there have been eight instances where wrestlers drawn to compete never appeared in the Rumble match.
ROYAL RUMBLE’S IRON MEN
Bob Backlund (1993) is the only wrestler to go more than 60 minutes in a Royal Rumble and not win.
John Cena has the shortest Iron Man time. His performance at the 2010 event clocked in at 22:11.
Rey Mysterio Jr. is the longest Iron Man with 62:12.
Chris Benoit and CM Punk are the only men to be the Iron Man of the Royal Rumble twice. Benoit’s 2004 performance was 61:30. A year later he lasted 47:26. CM Punk lasted 35:21 at 2011’s 40-Man Royal Rumble. In 2014, he lasted 49:15.
Bam Bam Bigelow, Steve Austin and John Cena are the only Iron Men to draw numbers in double digits (15, 19, 19) for their respective years (1994, 2002, 2010).
Triple H holds the cumulative record of time spent in the Royal Rumble with 3:59:37.
ROYAL RUMBLE MISC.
Kane has the most appearances in a Royal Rumble with 19. That includes his appearances as Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel. Shawn Michaels is second with 12 appearances.
There have been seven Non-PPV Royal Rumble Matches of varying formats. The first occurred at a January 17th, 1994, Madison Square Garden house show. Owen Hart was the victor in a 30-man traditional rumble.
Other rumbles include an 18-man Royal Rumble (House show in Osaka, Japan on May 9, 1994); a 10-tag team Royal Rumble (Raw, June 15, 1998); the Corporate Rumble (Raw, January 11, 1999); a 15-man SmackDown! Royal Rumble (SmackDown, January 29, 2004); a Midget Wrestler “Mini Royal Rumble” (Raw, January 14, 2008); and a 7-man Raw Rumble (Raw, January 31, 2011).
Tags: Bob Backlund, Bret Hart, John Cena, Rey Mysterio Jr., Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Triple H