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WWE: The Ultimate Royal Rumble Numbers

Around this time of year, people create montages running numbers, statistics, and records of the Royal Rumble Match. WWE will upload a 4-minute video package showcasing “By the Numbers” and giving you every Royal Rumble statistic that may or may not break this year.

This will be a change of pace. Instead, we’re going through each entry number 1 to 30. We are going to tell you the best wrestler to be introduced from that number.

We’ll base this on several categories:

  • If they won the match
    • And did they win at WrestleMania
  • How long they lasted
  • How many eliminations they had
  • Star power
  • Surprise factor
  • Drama

With one major caveat: Once the wrestler has been used, they can’t be re-used in this article, much like a Royal Rumble event. There will be no Three Faces of Foley. We’re about to have ourselves the Greatest Royal Rumble of all-time!

Number 1) Shawn Michaels

Michaels has entered #1 twice in his career. He won the 1995 Royal Rumble from that 1 spot, he had 8 eliminations before going on to lose to Diesel for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania. But that performance allowed him to go back to next year’s Royal Rumble, win it, and go on for the Boyhood Dream to come true.

Michaels also entered #1 in the 2003 Royal Rumble being eliminated by Chris Jericho, setting up a classic match at WrestleMania 19 that year between Jericho and Michaels.

Number 2) Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio is only one of two men to win the Royal Rumble from the 2 spot, and the other (Vince McMahon) is in the process of getting canceled right now. Mysterio lasted 62 minutes in that Rumble and the underdog won the 2006 Rumble, dedicating the victory to his friend Eddie Guerrero who passed away November 2005.

Number 3) Ric Flair

Flair entered the 1992 Rumble at #3 overall, but not for a title opportunity, but for the actual world championship. The WWF Championship was vacant going in and Ric Flair, recently moving from WCW, had 5 eliminations with 60 minutes in the ring.

If the victory isn’t deserving of the best #3 entrant ever, it’s certainly the promo after that’s withstood the test of time: “With a tear in my eye.”

Number 4) The Rock

The Rock won back in 2000 from #24, but I believe his 1998 performance was the best. The Rock stayed in the ring for the majority of that match with 51 minutes and was really one of the pivotal moments from “Rocky Maiava” to “The Rock.” You could say it worked out for him.

Number 5) Stone Cold Steve Austin

Stone Cold is an obvious choice here. Entering at #5 in 1997, Stone Cold won his first of three Royal Rumble Matches. He had a dominant performance eliminating 10 men and lasting 45 minutes to headline that year’s WrestleMania against Bret Hart. The iconic blood dripping from Austin’s bald head in the Sharpshooter helped immortalize Austin, and we don’t get there without Stone Cold’s historic performance in the 1997 Rumble.

Number 6) Kane

Kane became synonymous with the Royal Rumble because of his 2001 performance from the 6th entry. Kane would eliminate 11 men, a record that stood for over a decade. On top of that, he stayed in there the longest that match with nearly 54 minutes.

He made such a great impact in this match, some still consider it a travesty Kane never won the Royal Rumble in his career.

Number 7) Triple H

Nobody has won from the #7 spot, but Triple H got close in 2009. He had 6 eliminations that match and was in there for the longest time at 50 minutes. However, he was dumped over by his former pupil Randy Orton.

When I say Triple H got close, he still entered WrestleMania as WWE Champion and defeated Randy Orton. So who got the last laugh?

Number 8) Randy Orton

Ironically, I’ll put Orton as the best entrant to come from #8. It’s the same Rumble and he did eliminate Triple H and get to point at the WrestleMania sign at the end of the night. But Orton is the only one who has won from the 8-spot in WWE history.

Number 9) Dakota Kai

I was between three with very similar resumes. Big Boss Man in 2000, then Drew McIntyre and Dakota Kai in 2023. I’m giving the nod to Dakota Kai. She had the most eliminations with 5 and still stayed in 22 minutes. It’s time we got a woman on this list as well.

Number 10) Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins entered the 2019 Rumble at the 10 spot and is the only one to ever win from this number in the Royal Rumble’s history. Rollins also lasted the most amount of time in that match with 43 minutes and would go on to be the “Beast Slayer” and become the new WWE Universal Champion.

Number 11) Sheamus

There were some okay performances from #11, but the Celtic Warrior took the cake in 2013. He eliminated 5 people (tied most for that Rumble) and lasted 37:23 (third-longest that year). Ambrose nearly unseated him the following year in 2014 with 3 eliminations in 33 minutes because it was almost an arrival moment for Ambrose as a singles competitor, but Sheamus got him beat.

Number 12) Natalya

I personally believe Natalya is underrated and doesn’t get the appreciation she deserves. I also believe the Royal Rumble Match is a perfect place for someone like her who can be a ring general for anyone new coming in, lock up with a lot of superstars, and have the endurance to go however long she needs.

In 2022, Natalya did just that. She entered at 12 and lasted over 36 minutes with 2 eliminations. I’d like to see Natalya reset her personal-best at this year’s Royal Rumble.

Number 13) Jim Duggan

At the end of the day, only one person was won the match from #13, and it was the first ever Royal Rumble back in 1988. This is a rare 20-man Royal Rumble but Duggan eliminated 3 people and lasted 14 of the 33 minutes to be the first ever to do it!

I guess that number’s been lucky for only one man, right?

Number 14) Shinsuke Nakamura

Like Duggan, Nakamura is the only person to win from his spot. Nakamura lasted nearly 45 minutes and had 3 eliminations. While WWE didn’t capitalize on his momentum at that year’s WrestleMania, losing to AJ Styles and then turning heel, this was still a big win for Nakamura’s career that started too late.

Shinsuke Nakamura in his prime at WWE, with the right booking, would’ve been a different animal.

Number 15) Roman Reigns

I’ve elected not to use Roman’s win from 2015 when he won from the 19-spot. The fans were booing, nobody wanted it, and it was a year too late. 2014 was the year Roman Reigns should’ve won it from the 15-spot. He beat Kane’s 11-elimination record with 12 that year and everyone thought Reigns would do it! Unfortunately, we got Boo-tista.

The result doesn’t take away from Roman being red-hot in 2014 with those 12 eliminations. Arguably, this was his most over moment as a babyface.

Number 16) Drew McIntyre

Before the world ended, we had this moment. After Brock Lesnar had tossed 13 people to beat Roman’s elimination record we just mentioned, everyone was tired. McIntyre heads down and his superstar-making moment was in that match. McIntyre hit the Claymore on the Beast Incarnate and eliminated the reigning WWE Champion from the Rumble!

After eliminating McIntyre, Drew would go on to eliminate 6 total and stay in the match for 34 minutes to win. This elimination really marked the tale of two halves to the Royal Rumble Match that year. If you didn’t watch this live, I’m sorry because this moment was special.

Number 17) Charlotte Flair

2020 took a lot from us, but McIntyre and Flair have the best 16th and 17th entrants into the Royal Rumble because of that year. Charlotte won her first Rumble match by staying in over 27 minutes and eliminating 4 people, lastly NXT’s Shanya Baszler.

To pour salt in the wound, Charlotte would challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship and beat Rhea Ripley at the only WrestleMania to take place in the WWE Performance Center.

Number 18) Hulk Hogan

As tempted as I was to put Shawn Michaels here (entered 18 twice and won in 1996) or even “Macho Man” Randy Savage (never eliminated from his 18th spot), I had to go with the Hulkster back in 1989. Hogan eliminated 10 people in under 12 minutes. The elimination record of 10 was tied by Stone Cold in 1997 and later broken by Kane in 2001.

But 10 people in 12 minutes? That’s impressive!

Number 19) John Cena

Cena has won two Rumbles (2013 at #19 and 2008 at #30). It’s VERY tempting to use Cena at the 30 spot with his return from injury, but I’ll give it to him in 2013 at the nineteen spot. At the time, Cena was only the 4th person in history to win two Royal Rumbles joining Hogan, Michaels, and Austin.

“Super Cena” eliminated 4 people in the 2013 match and saved us from having Ryback in the main event of WrestleMania. So thank you!

Number 20) Mickie James

Nobody has won from the 20 spot, but you could argue Impact Wrestling did. Then reigning as the TNA Knockouts Champion, Mickie James surprised everyone by showing up in the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble Match. This was the first TNA or Impact Wrestling talent to be under contract and make a surprise entrant into the Rumble Match.

Also after the trash bag incident, it’s a surprise enough Mickie James would show back in WWE. It was a moment nobody ever saw coming, but it was a moment that’ll live forever!

Number 21) Edge

The greatest return in Royal Rumble history happened at this number. Edge has won two Royal Rumbles (2021 at #1 and 2010 at #29), but arguably this was his greatest moment. After nine years away with a career-ending neck injury, Edge made a miraculous return to the ring and entered the 2020 Royal Rumble at #21.

For that alone, he’ll always be the best entrant to ever come from #21.

Number 22) Sheamus

Considering I’ve already used Triple H at #7, I can use the only other winner from the 22 spot, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus back in 2012. Lasting the final 22 minutes with 3 eliminations, Sheamus went onto that year’s WrestleMania to Brogue Kick Daniel Bryan in the opening match and win the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds.

Winning a Royal Rumble Match in 22 minutes and then winning the world title at WrestleMania in 18 seconds is collecting a good paycheck. He doesn’t get paid by the hour!

Number 23) Lex Luger

Orton won from the 23 spot but he was used at #8, so that leaves me the other winner from this spot, Lex Luger in 1994… or should I say, the co-winner. In 1994, Luger and Bret Hart’s feet simultaneously hit or we didn’t have a good camera angle. Therefore, both were declared co-winners and it’s the only time to happen in WWE history, although we could’ve seen it back in 2005 with John Cena, Batista, and Vince McMahon’s double quad tear stealing the show.

Luger was in the match longer than Bret (21:58 to 15:08) and had more eliminations (7 to 5). I’ll give the Lex Express the nod in this 23rd spot.

Number 24) Christian

Three people have won from 24 and all three have been used already on this list (The Rock at 4, Stone Cold at 5, and Hulk Hogan at 18). So that left me with two viable options, Big Show in 2004 or Christian in 2021.

Big Show leads statistically (22:38 and 4 eliminations) over Christian (18:12 and 2), but much like Edge, we were not supposed to see Christian wrestle again and unfortunately he didn’t get his return in front of a live crowd. However, Christian did get the moment in the ring hugging Edge that year when Edge would go on to win the 2021 Royal Rumble from the 1-spot. For the story and the moment alone, Christian gets #24.

Number 25) Asuka

WWE held their first Women’s Royal Rumble in 2018 and Asuka entered at 25, eliminated 3 people in nearly 20 minutes, and etched her name in history as the first women’s winner of the Rumble. Much like Jim Duggan at 13 earlier in this article, nobody can take that away from her.

Number 26) Kofi Kingston

At 26, nobody has surprisingly won at that number. It’s the latest entry that doesn’t have a winner in a Royal Rumble Match. But in 2011, Kofi Kingston benefited from the only 40-Man Royal Rumble Match in history as he stayed in the match for 26 minutes with an elimination to his credit!

Truthfully, Kofi Kingston is a genius. By creating a moment each Rumble by almost getting eliminated and miraculously saving himself, he’s created himself longevity and now has the second-most appearances in the Royal Rumble Match behind Kane. Kofi had to be on this list and it’s well deserved at 26. And ironically enough, Kofi hasn’t won the match but we did get Kofi Mania in 2019 at WrestleMania 35.

Number 27) Yokozuna

I could have granted 1994 co-winner Bret Hart the 27 spot like I did Lex Luger at 23, but that’s not the case. Yokozuna decisively won the 1993 Royal Rumble from this spot and eliminated 7 people in under 15 minutes.

27 also has a tie with the number 30 (and 28 if you include women’s) with the most wins from a Royal Rumble standpoint with 4, so I had to go with someone who won without much controversy in the late, great, Yokozuna.

Number 28) Batista

We have mentioned people win the Royal Rumble twice, we have mentioned Stone Cold winning it three times… but NOBODY has won the Royal Rumble from the same number twice, except this man. Batista entered the 2005 and 2014 Royal Rumble at 28 and won BOTH!

If Batista was to have a lucky number, it would be 28.

Number 29) Brock Lesnar

You could have placed him at #1 for his performance in 2020 with the elimination record (13). It was pure dominance. But we don’t get the 2020 Royal Rumble without 2003. In his rookie year as a WWE superstar, Lesnar had done it all. He won and lost the WWE Championship, thanks to Paul Heyman. So he enters the 2003 Rumble at 29 for 9 minutes, eliminates 4 competitors, and goes on to WrestleMania 18, challenging Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship.

While his Shooting Star Press didn’t quite accurately land on Kurt Angle in the main event of WrestleMania, the 2003 Rumble was a catapult for Brock Lesnar’s career.

Number 30) The Undertaker

Everyone wants to be #30, but not everyone can be The Undertaker. In 2007, The Undertaker eliminated 3 people in the final 13:15 of the match to secure a main event at WrestleMania.

WrestleMania became synonymous with The Undertaker and his undefeated streak, but this was the only time he ever won the Royal Rumble. He would go on to main event against Batista and win the World Heavyweight Championship. But The Undertaker did something nobody else did up until that point… literally.

The Undertaker was the first to point at the WrestleMania sign after winning the Royal Rumble Match. Ever since, every winner has pointed to the sign. Often imitated, never duplicated.

The Royal Rumble is this weekend and we’ll see if anyone is dethroned from their number. If you enjoyed this article, we have a Royal Rumble 2024 Preview on the website to help you prepare for one of WWE’s biggest events of the year!

Michael Davis also hosts a weekly wrestling podcast Drop the Mike where he discussed the Royal Rumble in detail with other content creators as his guests, along with some major WWE breaking news. You can watch the podcast on Tobacco Road Sports Radio’s YouTube channel at this direct link.






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