Pro Wrestling Powerhouse
PWP’s Derron Browning ranks the best Royal Rumbles in the pay-per-view’s history
Since the special events, Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Stairs and NXT Takeover: R-Evolution is in the books, the next special event is the 27th annual, Royal Rumble, which will take place next month. The Royal Rumble is the start of the Road to WrestleMania and it is exciting each and every year and we have witnessed many great moments in its long history. As the Royal Rumble draws near, I list my top five favorite Royal Rumbles.
- Royal Rumble 2013 – We start off this list with last year’s show. I thought that 2013’s show was a fun show. The Rumble match, despite John Cena winning a second time was entertaining and full of surprises. Chris Jericho, Goldust and The Godfather all returned to the WWE. I didn’t like the idea of a Cena/Rock II at WrestleMania XXIX but it made sense for Cena to win. As much as some of us don’t want to admit it, it was a cool moment to close the show with The Rock as WWE Champion again. The two under-card title matches weren’t bad either.
- Royal Rumble 2000 – The 2000 Royal Rumble hosted the very first Tables match, which featured The Hardys and the Dudleys. Also, Triple H and Cactus Jack went to war in one hell of a Street Fight that cemented Triple H as a main event player. The Rumble match itself wasn’t as interesting to me as the Street Fight but was good enough. I strongly believe that The Rock should have undoubtedly won and faced Triple H for the title at WrestleMania that year but I digress.
- Royal Rumble 2007 – Some may disagree with this pick but I enjoy this Rumble. The undercard wasn’t great but was solid. The Hardys and MNM wrestled in a great opener (wasn’t as great as the classic they had a month earlier at the December to Dismember PPV). John Cena wrestled one of the best matches of his career by defeating the late Umaga to retain the WWE Championship. Also, the World Championship and ECW World Title matches were watchable. The highlight of 2007’s show was the Royal Rumble match, which had a star-studded cast at the time. The finish of the Rumble was an epic battle between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. Undertaker would ultimately win the Royal Rumble match for the first time in his career.
- Royal Rumble 2001 – I truly believe that Royal Rumble 2001 was a truly underrated show. Most only remember this as the Rumble that Kane eliminated 11 men, only to be eliminated by the winner, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. However, the undercard for 2001’s show was solid as well. The Dudleys and Edge & Christian had a solid opener. Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit wrestled a great Ladder match for the Intercontinental title, which stole the show. Triple H and Kurt Angle had a good match for the WWE Championship, which set up the first-ever 3 Stages of Hell match between Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Kane’s Royal Rumble elimination record stood for 13 years, until Roman Reigns broke the record last year with 12. With four down, my favorite Royal Rumble of all time is…
- Royal Rumble 1992 – My personal favorite is the 1992 Royal Rumble! The only reason why I love this Royal Rumble is because of the Rumble match itself. The undercard was not bad either as Roddy Piper won the Intercontinental Championship from The Mountie and the New Foundation (Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. Orient Express was a solid tag match. Royal Rumble ‘92 has been the only time where the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was defended in a Rumble match. The whole story was of that match was Ric Flair, entering the match at #3 and fighting all the way towards to the end. After numerous close calls and assist from Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair would do the impossible (at the time) by winning the match. Flair’s win was history-making and helped set up an amazing match at WrestleMania VIII between Flair and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Bobby Heenan’s commentary during the Rumble match was amazing as well. Heenan’s commentary felt like he really had money on Flair and if Flair lost, he would be “Swimming with the fishes”. If you haven’t watched this on the WWE Network yet, make it an effort to do so. Nothing tops it!