The Royal Rumble is always a spectacle to behold but did you know there have been other Royal Rumble matches aside from the yearly traditional ones? We now take a look at all the rumble winners you may not remember or may not even have seen.
One Man Gang
Most people remember the first Royal Rumble as being won by Hacksaw Jim Duggan but this isn’t true. In order to test out the concept before putting on a Pay-Per-View they decided to test out the match by having a 12-man Royal Rumble match at a house show on October 4th 1987. One Man Gang last eliminated Junkyard Dog with the prize of a World Title match against Hulk Hogan at the following house show.
Ravishing Rick Rude
On March 16th 1988 Ravishing Rick Rude joined the ranks of house show winners by winning a 20-man Royal Rumble match. There was no guaranteed title shot for this match. Only the bragging rights of winning it.
On January 17th 1994 at Madison Square Garden there was a 30-man Royal Rumble match. This was the first 30-man rumble not to be televised. The ending of the match saw Owen Hart last eliminate Fatu (better known as Rikishi).
I know what you’re thinking, I remember Undertaker being the first man to win from number 30 in 2007 but that wasn’t the first rumble the deadman won. He won 2 rumbles prior to that. He won an 18-man Royal Rumble on May 9th 1994 in Osaka Japan last eliminating Bam Bam Bigelow and also won a 5-man Royal Rumble on the September 16th 1999 edition of Smackdown to become the new no.1 contender for the WWF Championship.
Kane and Mankind
On the June 15th 1998 edition of Raw we saw currently the only Tag Team Royal Rumble match. There were 10 tag teams in the match and if your partner got eliminated, so did you. The match was eventually won by the team of Kane and Mankind who earned an opportunity at the WWF Tag Team Championships against the New Age Outlaws.
On the January 11th 1999 edition of Raw there was a Royal Rumble featuring members from the Corporation and DX to see who would get the no.30 spot in the main Royal Rumble. It seemed like Vince McMahon had won until the clock started ticking down to reveal DX’s last member Chyna had entered. Chyna entered and eliminated Vince to earn the number 30 spot. Which turned out well for Vince seeing as he won the Royal Rumble from number 2 that year.
Before winning the 2004 Royal Rumble Benoit had to gain entry to the match. Paul Heyman didn’t want Benoit in the Rumble so decided to give him a fair chance. Benoit would have to win a 4-man Rumble on the January 8th 2004 edition of Smackdown competing against the F.B.I. He won the match but was given the number 1 spot in the Rumble as a way to ensure he wouldn’t win but he would go on to win the 30-man version at the PPV.
After Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble and moved to Raw a furious Paul Heyman decided to have a 15-man Royal Rumble on the January 24th 2004 edition of Smackdown to determine a new no.1 contender for Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship. Eddie Guerrero would eliminate Kurt Angle to win. He would go on to win the title at the No Way Out PPV the following month
The Great Khali
On the January 22nd 2007 of Raw there was a 7-man Royal Rumble match to hype up the 30-man match. This 7-man match was won by The Great Khali showing him as a serious threat going into the match.
On the January 14th 2008 edition of Raw Mr McMahon decided to give his illegitimate son Hornswoggle a warm-up match before he would enter the Royal Rumble but putting him in a mini rumble. This 6-man match featured the likes of mini-kane, mini-mankind and mini-batista but Hornswoggle would eliminate every man until The real Great Khali entered. He was going to hurt Hornswoggle until Finlay came out and attacked Khali until he left the ring. This technically means Hornswoggle won the match.
On the January 28th 2011 edition of smackdown there was a 4-man Royal Rumble featuring Alberto Del Rio which ended in no contest. This is the only Royal Rumble to end in a no contest but Del Rio would go on to win the 40-man Royal Rumble at the PPV
On the January 31st 2011 edition of Raw there was a 7-man Royal Rumble match for a title shot against The Miz at Elimination Chamber. This match would be commentated on by Vince McMahon as Jerry Lawler was in the match and Lawler would go on to win by last eliminating Sheamus. He would lose the title match at Elimination Chamber and go on to lose to Michael Cole by DQ at Wrestlemania.
The favourite to win this year’s Royal Rumble has been on a quiet Royal Rumble streak. Shayna Baszler competing as Darth Baszler in 2017 and 2019 won an NXT women’s Halloween 30-woman Royal Rumble at house shows. She won by force chokeslamming other women, having a lightsabre battle with Where’s Wally. We don’t think she’ll be able to rely on the dark side of the force in 2020s Royal Rumble though.
On the January 28th 2018 edition of Smackdown there was a 9-man KFC Colonel Royal Rumble to see who would be the new Colonel. This match was won by Ric Flair after he last eliminated The Miz and Mojo Rawley. It was broadcast on the 2018 Royal Rumble. This ended up making history as with this win every member of Evolution has won 2 Royal Rumble matches making them the only faction to hold that distinction.
Stacey Ervin Jr.
In 2018 Stacey Ervin Jr won the NXT Men’s Halloween house show 30-man Royal Rumble. He earned an opportunity to face Ricochet that night for the North American Championship in which Ricochet would retain his title. This rumble was also notable for having Otis dressed as the golden goddess Mandy Rose (Otis went as Mandy)
In 2019 Bronson Reed would win the NXT Men’s Halloween house show 30-man Royal Rumble. Reed dressed up as the big man Rikishi or his version Reedkishi. After winning the match he and others celebrated in true Too Cool fashion by dancing.
Who is your favourite rumble winner? Who do you think will win this year’s Royal Rumble matches? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.