There is more than one Royal (family) Rumble and I will pick thru the family tree of all things numbers and rankings as we prepare for the most unique and my personal favorite event of the wrestling year.
While we know most stats that Michael Cole and or JBL have regurgitated into our ears the last few decades, I will still go over and thru the 34 previous yearly editions and the special 50man Greatest Rumble encounter to give my updated consensus on what is really intriguing about an hour or so long game of the Floor is Lava. What I will not be doing is going over the number of pizza slices I consume before all 30 entries, or how many NXT stars might make an appearance or how much money you should put on #27. With that being said, let's get ready to rumble!
Stone Cold leads the way with 3 victories. His back to back in 97’ and 98’ was the last time a person repeated. The other 2 wrestlers to do so, Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan. Randy Orton, HHH, John Cena, Batista and Edge all have 2 wins but not in consecutive years. The #30 in 07 and 08 produced back to back wins but different wrestlers and Batista is the only one to win twice from the same entry spot at #28.
The Statistics discussed in this article can be found in Mike MacDonald's excellent Tableau, previewed below and can be found here:
Steve Austin's 3rd victory in 2001 came at the expense of a record breaking run by Kane with 11 eliminations. In fact, Kane has a record of 20 total rumble appearances and his total time involved is more than Stone Cold’s but he still has not won. Also, Dolph Ziggler, Cm Punk, and Cody Rhodes have spent more time in the ring than Stone Cold but still no wins. Chris Jericho actually holds the top spot of most overall time in a rumble at half a minute under 5 hours and he's never won too. The last wrestler in the top 15 of total time in ring spent without a rumble win is Kofi Kingston. Besides Kane, Kofi along with Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Big Show, Goldust and Shawn Michaels have the most appearances at a dozen or more.
Now as I've pointed out, time spent and or appearances doesn't guarantee one at chance at winning. Only 9 times has the person in the rumble the longest, been the winner. 3 of the last 3 years we have seen this but none other since 07. The longest time in one rumble or the ‘ironman run' has granted a win to only 5 of the top overall 13 times in history. 2 of those ironmen were the runners up, Stone Cold to Mr. McMahon in 99, and Randy Orton to Edge in 21. While some of these occasions, they may get hurt and or disappear for strategy so the time is ‘enhanced’, the top ironman time was Daniel Bryan at the Greatest Royal Rumble with a time of 1 hour and 16 minutes. Strowman entered #41 out of 50 and wins a cool green belt. The only other rumble with more than 30 was the 40 men version where #38 Alberto del Rio won. The 37 other rumbles had 30 wrestlers compete and 11 spots have yet to win. #4, #6, #7, #9, #11, #12, #15, #17, #20, #21, #26. The luckiest entry is #27 which has 4 winners. #1, #24, #28 and #30 have 3 winners each.
The entry spot matters only so much though because one still has to eliminate their opponent. Twice has a winner had to eliminate only 1 other wrestler. 10 times has the person who eliminated the most actually go on to win. Only once since 2007 has this happened. In 2014, Roman Reigns debut match he broke Kane’s record with 12 eliminations but ended as a runner up. He sits all time tied for 6th most with HHH and Big Show. They sit 1 back of Strowman. Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold have 35+ each and Undertaker is 2nd behind Kane each with 40 or more. Not in the top 10 all time though is the current single rumble record holder, Brock Lesnar at 13. While he was champ at the time, it wasn't the 1st time that has happened. Hogan is the only one to enter the rumble as champ and win even though the stakes were nil. Roman defended his title unsuccessfully in 16 and Flair won with a tear in his eye when the belt was up for grabs in 92. Anytime after that, the winner would go on to Wrestlemania to challenge for the title. The Royal rumble winner is 16 for 27 challenging at Mania which is a 61% win rate.
Some last minute entries into intriguing stats I like to impress my friends with are that all 4 women entries eliminated at least 1 person before themselves were eliminated. Also, 3 wrestlers have participated in a rumble in 4 different decades, Edge being the most recent.
No, I didn't utilize the women’s rumble matches as they are their own entity and I didn't want to mix records. Seeing as it is still in its 5th year, many records could fall this year. Maybe Bianca is the 1st back to back? Maybe Charlotte or Becky are 1st to win multiple and as reigning champs? Or does Asuka return and become the 2 time champ?
Regardless of what records are broken, I'm excited to begin our road to Wrestlemania!