The over-the-top Royal Rumble match format has provided fresh drama each year but some displays stand out more than others.
7. Santino Marella 2009
In 2009 Santino Marella- inventor of the WWE’s most ridiculous finishing move, the Cobra- turned out a performance that was memorable for its brevity. Santino spent just one second in the Royal Rumble in 2009 before being blasted out of the ring by Kane. He claimed he wasn’t ready and tried to re-enter but was ejected by the officials.
6. Kane 2001
For 53 minutes the Big Red Machine dominated the Royal Rumble and set a record for single event eliminations that would stand for 13 years. Kane didn’t win the Royal Rumble but his performance made the 2001 event one of the most memorable and a favourite among fans.
5. Roman Reigns 2014
Roman Reigns established himself as ‘the big dog’ with his dominant display in 2014, when he broke Kane’s record of 11 eliminations. Reigns finished as the runner-up at the event, something he would repeat in both 2017 and 2018. Reigns will not be in the 2019 event as he continues his battle with cancer.
4. Shawn Michaels 1995
Michaels originated the Royal Rumble ironman archetype with his display in 1995 when he went coast to coast in a battle with the British Bulldog and scored the first of his two Royal Rumble wins. His perfomance in 1995 has almost certainly been mentioned in every single broadcast of the Rumble since.
3. Rey Mysterio 2006
In 2006 Rey Mysterio took the ironman exploits of Shawn Michaels to the next level with his phenomenal effort to win the Rumble having spent over an hour in the match. Mysterio also became the smallest man to win the Rumble.
2. John Cena 2008
In 2008 John Cena made a surprise return at the Royal Rumble and capped that with an incredible win in front of a sold out Madison Square Garden. He spent just eight minutes in the match but his shock entrance at number 30 goes down as a great moment in sports entertainment history.
John Cena’s most surprising returns to the WWE
1. Ric Flair 1992
In an era known for its monsters, Ric Flair’s 1992 Royal Rumble win is evidence of why he is considered one of the all time greats of the business. Flair paved the way for Shawn Michaels’ heroics in the event just a few years later. Flair spent over an hour in the match having entered at number three and delivered the first truly great Royal Rumble.