Since its inception in 1988 the Royal Rumble match has been one of the top draws for WWE. The concept for this match was created by WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson as the WWE were looking to develop a new and exciting way of entertaining fans. The idea stems from the famous Battle Royal match in which all the competitors start in the ring with eliminations taking place when someone is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. The last remaining competitor was the winner. The twist that Patterson put on this match was that only two people would start the match and then every two minutes a new wrestler would enter. This was revolutionary at the time and was an instant hit with fans. The first winner – and subsequent surprise entry in later years – was Hacksaw Jim Duggan who eliminated the One Man Gang!
Since 1993 the prize for winning the Royal Rumble match has been the right to face the Champion at Wrestlemania. This gave the event the big time status it deserved and ultimately cemented its place in the ‘Big-four’ along with Wrestlemania, Summerslam and Survivor Series. Many pay-per-views would come and go with the times but these four happen each and every year.
What makes the Royal Rumble so special is its unpredictable nature. Anything can happen! As soon as the New Year comes around all eyes start to turn towards Wrestlemania and, as WWE will tell you, the road to Wrestlemania begins at the Royal Rumble.
The world was shocked last year when AJ Styles made his WWE debut entering at #3 in the Royal Rumble match. Styles is a world-wide wrestling icon that has performed with many different organisations and hardly anyone could have imaged that he would arrive in WWE at the Royal Rumble. This is the charm and the lustre of the event. Fans talk for months in advance about who they think will be there. Will we see the Honky Tonk Man or Bob Backlund make an appearance as a throwback to their hay-days? Or will we see some of the NXT talent like Samoa Joe or Tye Dillinger make the jump to the main roster? Or even someone we don’t know within WWE circles? The debates are endless and thoroughly entertaining.
These discussions stretch further than just guessing who will be involved. Who will last the longest in the Rumble is another yearly mystery. The current record for the most time spent in a single Royal Rumble match belongs to Rey Mysterio who lasted an energy-sapping 62minutes in 2006 when he entered at #2 and outlasted everyone else to win the Rumble by eliminating Randy Orton. Roman Reigns did come close to breaking this record just last year when he lasted nearly 60 minutes only to be eliminated at the hands of the Cerebral Assassin himself, Triple H. One record that Reigns does hold is the most eliminations by an individual in a single Royal Rumble, a record previously held by Kane. The Big Red Monster set a record of 11 in 2001 – which many felt would never be broken – but ‘The Guy’ Roman Reigns managed to eliminate an impressive 12 in 2014!
With so many massive personalities in this year’s Royal Rumble fans have never been so divided as to who they think will win. Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker and Braun Strowman have all been touted as possible winners (and let’s not forget about Y2J – Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt!). One thing is for sure though, we are going to be kept on the edge of our seats all the way to the very end when we finally find out who will be challenging for either the WWE Universal or WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 33. Let’s get ready to Rumble!
Be sure to let us know who you think will win in the comments!
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