Royal Rumble 2014 [VIDEOS]: Top 8 Worst Royal Rumble Winners In Events History [PHOTOS]
Tomorrow night,, the WWE will showcase its 27th annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view live from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The event has showcased some of the most incredible moments over the course of WWE history with superstars winning the Royal Rumble match.
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Whether it be Ric Flair winning the WWE Championship in 1992, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin launching the road to his first title reign in 1998, Shawn Michaels winning the match from No.1 for the first time ever in 1995 or John Cena shocking the world with a return and win as the No.30 entrant in 2008, the Royal Rumble has provided a lifetime of memories while serving as the first stop on the road to WrestleMania.
Not all winners of the 30-man over-the-top-rope main event have been the perfect choices and not everything that happens at the event is memorable in a good way, however. Last week, we looked at the Top 10 winners in the events history, this week we'll showcase the Top 8 worst winners in the history of the event. Whether it's due to just a bad choice of winner, poor booking, or the WWE ignoring a better winner in favor of another man, these eight victories don't stack up to the rest of the pack.
8) 2006-Rey Mysterio Wins From No.2:
It wasn't the choice of victor in this one that hurt its appeal, it's the way the WWE went about it. After the death of Eddie Guerrero, the WWE exploited his passing by putting it into a storyline. While it was nice to have Mysterio win the match for his fallen friend, the way the WWE used Guerrero's name as cheap heel heat for his opponents going forward put a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of fans. Mysterio would ultimately score his first World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22, and while his performance was great at the Rumble and it added to the unpredictability of the match to have a smaller guy win it, his subsequent title win was poorly booked and the Guerrero stuff was too out of control. Mysterio lasted an impressive 62:02 in the triumph.
7) 2012-Sheamus Wins From No.22:
Chris Jericho made a great return to the WWE heading into the Royal Rumble, coming out and not saying anything to the fans while just running around the ring and high-fiving them before leaving. It was peculiar but refreshing and it only made sense that "Y2J" would take the momentum of his new character to win the Royal Rumble match, but the WWE had other plans. The match came down to a relatively stale "Celtic Warrior" Sheamus and the refreshingly resurgent Jericho. While conventional wisdom would seem that the WWE would give the veteran Jericho a win to give him something else to brag about, Sheamus ended up dumping him out and winning the Royal Rumble match. Sheamus would go on to defeat Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXVIII in what proved to be an 18 second squash match.
6) 1994-Bret Hart and Lex Luger Are Co-Winners From No.27 and 23, Respectively:
The WWE was met with an intriguing storyline in 1994 when it wasn't ultimately obvious if they'd hitch their wagon to Bret Hart or Lex Luger for the big WrestleMania X showdown against Yokozuna, and when it came time for the Royal Rumble to determine which babyface would take on the WWE's unstoppable villain, the WWE copped out. For the first and only time in history, the WWE declared co-winners after both men fell out of the ring at the same time and touched the floor at the end of the match. Rather than just restart the match to declare one winner as they would do 11 years later in 2005, after testing crowd reactions by announcing each man as the winner individually, the WWE declared co-winners. This set up two main events for WrestleMania X with Luger taking on Yokozuna and then the winner (Yokozuna) facing Bret Hart later in the night. It also led to the classic Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart match which was one of the best openers in history, so it wasn't all bad, but the ending was disappointing in 1994.
5) 1990-WWE Champion Hulk Hogan Wins His First Rumble From No. 25:
Before the WWE decided that the winner would face the champion at WrestleMania, the WWE Champion actually competed in the elimination match. Hogan was already way-over and didn't really need the win, though his win did make the match feel important after mid-carders won the match the first two years of its existence. The little known story is that "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig was set to win the Rumble match as a way to catapult himself as one of the premiere heels in the WWE. Backstage politics intervened and Hogan notched his first of two career Rumble victories. The match did lead to the altercation between Hogan and Warrior that led to their clash at WrestleMania VI while it took away Mr. Perfect's heat and he never rose above the midcard thanks to the Hogan win. As a consolation, Perfect was the last superstar eliminated in the match and went on to eventually win the Intercontinental Championship.
4) 1988-"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan Wins The First Royal Rumble Match From No.13:
The inaugural televised Royal Rumble match was used more to test out match than the highly anticipated contest it would become in later years. The new concept was aired on a USA Network special in 1988. The match had only 20 entrants and the WWE's main two feuding stars--Hulk Hogan and "Andre the Giant"--weren't in the match. It was also in the middle of the show and didn't close it out. While the overall concept was great, the group of mid-carders and tag team wrestlers in the match make it one of the least star-studded Rumbles ever leading to Duggan's claim to fame as being the first ever Rumble winner. The show was a success hence the annual tradition, but the ending left a lot to be desired.
3) 2011-Alberto Del Rio Wins From No.38:
For some reason despite the fact that their roster was thin on star power, the WWE decided to bump up the number of entrants in the 2011 Royal Rumble match from 30 to 40 entrants and while it had some entertaining spots and segments, there were a lot of nobodies in the match. It was nice to see the WWE finally not make the winner obvious and give the win to a surprise star, but Del Rio didn't seem ready at the time for such an honor to be bestowed upon him and the WWE could have built him up more. While Del Rio has blossomed since, it may have been better for the WWE to pull the trigger on a more over surprise winner. That and the fact that Santino Marella lasted to the end by staying on the outside, make this a forgettable Rumble. The WWE ended the 40-man experiment after this.
2) 1989-Big John Studd Wins From No.27:
The number 27 has yielded the most Royal Rumble winners with four, and Big John Studd was the first man to ever win from that number back at the second event--and first on pay-per-view--in 1989. While Studd's size and strength made it believable that he'd win and also added to the unpredictability of the match, the long-term effect was nothing great as the large superstar performed in a referee capacity at WrestleMania V and was out of the promotion six months later. Still, it was shocking to see Hulk Hogan get eliminated, though the crowd died once Hogan and Macho Man were out.
1) 1999-Vince McMahon Shockingly Wins From No.2:
Perhaps there was no worse ending to a Rumble match than when a non-wrestler won the event for the first and only time. While the Attitude era was controversial for its strange booking, cutting edge storylines and shock-value, it doesn't age well and a lot of booking decisions are questioned to this day. One such instance is McMahon winning the 30-man match. With the McMahon and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin struggle dominating the storylines and being mostly entertaining, the WWE took it a bit too far with this one. While the company was backed into a corner planning on Austin meeting "The Rock" at WrestleMania XV and not wanting to give Austin a third Royal Rumble win in a row, writer and booker Vince Russo came up with the idea to give McMahon the Rumble win with a lot of help from The Rock in one of the most shocking and controversial moves ever. Austin would beat McMahon the next month in a steel cage match and go on to win the belt at WrestleMania. The Rumble match itself was used as a backdrop to the Austin/Vince saga, which took away from the most exciting match of the year. While the storyline was good, McMahon's win was the worst in history.
The WWE Royal Rumble airs tomorrow night,, and hopefully the WWE has better booking in store than these eight winners from the past.