The Royal Rumble is only hours away, so what better way to build the anticipation then to reminisce over moments of Rumbles past. Each year the Royal Rumble throws up some surprises for us, some small, some big and then there is the huge surprises. Here i will list the top 10 biggest and baddest surprises in the history of the Royal Rumble event.
10. In 2014, Batista won the Royal Rumble to fan revolt. Daniel Bryan didn’t get his spot, his Rumble win and the fans where not pleased. However, an underlying story in the Rumble match was Roman Reigns and his record breaking streak. Reigns defeated Kane’s record of 11 eliminations in one match with 12, including superstars such as Kevin Nash, Sheamus and Cesaro. He even eliminated his (former) Shield brethren Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. He was eventually eliminated by Batista who won the match. With a performance so dominant it raises the questuon – Can Roman Reigns go that one step further and win the Royal Rumble in 2015?
9. In recent history the Rumble match has brought us so many highlights, but for most it is Kofi Kingston’s action outside of the ring which entertained more than anything else. It is common place now for Kingston to overcome huge odds to prevent himself from being eliminated from the match, whether hopping on JBL’s chair, running and leaping or his infamous walking handstand, Kingston really brings the fun to the Rumble Match every year and makes his entry in this years Rumble more intriguing and exciting than ever.
8. In 2011, the Royal Rumble was different. For the first time ever we saw a 40-man Rumble match, the highest amount of competitors it had ever been. With this came a flurry of superstars from both brands including some legends. Diesel and Booker T most notably returned for one more slice of the action in the 2011 match and with so many spots available in this years Rumble still up for grabs, who knows which legends we could see this year.
7. You could say that the 2002 Royal Rumble was ‘Perfect’. When the Phillps Arena in Atlanta heard Mr Perfect’s music hit at number 25 it erupted. Towel in hand, Hennig came down the ramp and joined Stone Cold and Triple H in the ring to keep his place until the final 3 only to be eliminated by the winner Triple H himself. Perfect put on a display worthy of his name, this was his last Rumble appearance before his untimely death and it was one to remember.
6. The biggest small guy in the business went into the Royal Rumble match at number 2, the very beginning, yet went the length to defeat 29 other superstars to win the Rumble? You heard me right. In 2006 Rey Mysterio won the Royal Rumble by eliminating a plethora of talent such as Triple H, Rob Van Dam and Randy Orton. This was unthinkable, a guy the size of Mysterio’s going the distance, let alone winning a Wrestlemania title match was madness, however he proved everyone wrong and still to this day, holds the place of possibly the most incredible Rumble win ever.
5. The Royal Rumble is for men only, right? ..Wrong. Only 3 females have entered the match, Chyna, Beth Phoenix and the owner of number 5 on our list – Kharma. One of the surprise entrants in the 2012 Royal Rumble was none other than Michael Cole, however to his surprise, the next entrant was Kharma. All she needed to do was to stare down Cole before he climbed the rope and eliminated himself. She went on to eliminate Hunico in what was a memorable appearance before being eliminated herself.
4. The 1998 Royal Rumble was won by Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was a terrific Rumble match, however it was not remembered for this reason. Mick Foley entered the rumble at Number 1 as Cactus Jack, however was later eliminated. To everyone’s surprise, at Number 16 entered Mankind, another Foley alter-ego but once again he was eliminated. Then unbelievably, a third time, Foley entered the match as Dude Love at number 28. He was eliminated by the eventual winner Stone Cold however put on a blinding and energetic show for the 20 minutes that he was involved in the match.
3. If i told you that the owner of the company who hosts the Royal Rumble event, won the Royal Rumble, it would be hard to believe, however in 1999 Vince McMahon entered himself into the Rumble with the objective of stopping Stone Cold Steve Austin getting to Wrestlemania. However, McMahon went on to win the Rumble match by eliminating Stone Cold himself, with the help of the Rock which started one of the biggest feuds in wrestling history and cemented McMahon’s win as one of the best and most controversial ever.
2. In 2007 Edge was injured, just as he was getting one of the biggest pushes of his career. No one expected him to return as soon as he did and when the countdown clock hit 0 and Alter Bridge belted out of the PA system the place exploded. Edge had returned and he was ready for his Wrestlemania match. He arrived by spearing Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho and John Cena as well as Batista when he arrived, he then threw Cena over the top rope to win 2008’s Royal Rumble. This would surely be the biggest rumble surprise ever?
1. Not to be outdone by Edge, John Cena the face of the WWE, returned at number 30 in the 2008 Royal Rumble, completely unexpected. As the most iconic arena in the industry Madison Square Garden erupted. Cena was back. He eliminated Triple H to win the match in what was the most exhillarating end to a Rumble match ever. This was the first of Cena’s two Royal Rumble wins and in the style he won in 2008, who could rule out one more.
With such an exciting roster of current stars and legends set to appear at the Wells Fargo Centre tonight, be prepared for a whole heap of new Royal Rumble surprises and memories to be made. T-Minus 5 Hours!