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The Royal Rumble is a professional wrestling pay-per-view event, produced every January by professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).[1] The event was created in 1988 with the inaugural event held on January 24, 1988 at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. The event however was not a pay-per-view but was originally shown as a television special on USA Network. The following year's event was the first Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. The first Royal Rumble match was won by Jim Duggan. The event's main feature is a Battle Royal-type match,[2] entitled the Royal Rumble. The pay-per-view is a part of WWE's "Big Four", along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series.[3] The Royal Rumble has been classified as being one of WWE's most popular pay-per-view events.[4]

Professional wrestling is a non-competitive professional sport, where matches are prearranged by the promotion's writing staff, and is also considered an athletic performing art, containing strong elements of catch wrestling, mock combat, and theatre. Each PPV event features several professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers are portrayed as either villains or heroes in the scripted events that build tension and culminate into a wrestling match or series of matches.

HistoryEdit

MatchEdit

The match is based on the classical Battle Royal match, in which a number of wrestlers, usually thirty, aim at eliminating their competitors by tossing them over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor.[1][2][5] The winner of the event is the last wrestler remaining after all others have been eliminated.[1][4]

The Royal Rumble differs from the classical Battle Royal as the thirty contestants do not enter the ring at the same time but instead are assigned entry numbers, usually via lottery, although they can win guaranteed, desirable spots via a number of other means, the most common being winning a match. This usually takes place before the Rumble begins.[1] The match begins with the two wrestlers who have drawn entry numbers one and two, with the remaining 28 wrestlers entering the ring at regular timed intervals, either ninety seconds or two minutes, according to their entry number.[1] These peculiarities are credited to Pat Patterson.[6]

File:Stone Cold Steve Austin.jpg

The match has no stipulations or rules other than that elimination must occur by a participant being placed over the top rope and both feet touching the floor. If they have any other part of the body touching they are out as well. A wrestler who exits the ring without going over the top rope is not eliminated from the contest. For example, during the 1999 Rumble match, both Vince McMahon and Steve Austin left the ring, only to return later in the match.[8] Elimination is also valid if brought about by an external force (such as a non-participant or a previously eliminated participant). For instance, in 2006, Shawn Michaels was exited from the match by Shane McMahon, who was never admitted in the match and simply was interfering to eliminate Michaels. In the 1994 match, the last two participants Bret Hart and Lex Luger were declared co-winners when it was decided that both of their feet touched the floor at exactly the same time.[9] A similar situation occurred in the 2005 match, however the match was restarted after Batista and John Cena eliminated each other at the same time. Batista eliminated Cena afterwards to win the match.[10] Though various referees are charged with observing the match, some eliminations have remained unnoticed with the eliminated participant sneaking back into the ring to continue. For example, Stone Cold Steve Austin was eliminated this way during the 1997 event but re-entered and eventually won the match.[11]

The reward for the 1992 Royal Rumble was the WWF Championship.[12] The tradition of granting a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania started in 1993.[13] Despite being introduced in late 2002, it was not until 2004 that a winner had the option to choose a match for the World Heavyweight Championship instead of the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.[13] With the revival of the ECW World Championship in mid-2006, the title became a third option for the winner to choose since the 2007 event.[14] From 2001 to 2007, the Royal Rumble match winner had gone on to win a World Championship title at WrestleMania.[7] After winning the 2008 match, John Cena became the first winner to use his championship opportunity at an event (No Way Out 2008) other than WrestleMania.[15] He also became the first man since 2000 to win the Royal Rumble match but fail to win the title in his championship opportunity as a result.

The Rumble winner may also put his championship opportunity on the line in a match, if he chooses. This was first done in 1999, when Stone Cold Steve Austin offered to forfeit his title opportunity to the Big Boss Man, who won third place in the Rumble (Austin was actually the runner-up in that rumble, but the winner - Vince McMahon himself - had voluntarily given up his title opportunity) if Vince McMahon could beat him in a cage match at St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House, which Austin would go on to win. The second time that this happened was in 2006, when Randy Orton goaded Rey Mysterio into putting his main event spot at WrestleMania 22 on the line at No Way Out, which Orton would go on to win. Mysterio was eventually reinserted into the main event at WrestleMania and went on to win the World Championship match.

EventEdit

The Royal Rumble is a pay-per-view consisting of the Royal Rumble match, championship matches, and various other matches. The first Royal Rumble took place on January 24, 1988 and was broadcast live on the USA Network.[16] The following year, the event was rebranded as a pay-per-view.[17] It is part of WWE's "classic four" pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and SummerSlam.[18]

The Royal Rumble match is usually located at the top of the card, though there have been exceptions such as the 1997, 1998 and 2006 events.[19]

The first Rumble match featured only twenty men,[20] and it was called the Rumble Royale.[16] It lasted approximately thirty-three minutes of the two-hour broadcast.[7] The modern Rumble matches are much longer, with the longest match, at the 2002 event, lasting over one hour and nine minutes of an approximately three-hour pay-per-view.[7]

With the brand extension introduced in mid-2002, the 30 entrants from 2003 to 2006 consisted of 15 wrestlers from both the Raw and SmackDown brands. At first, the winner of the match received a shot at their brand's champion.[21] Starting in 2004, the Rumble winner had the option of challenging any brand's champion.[13] For instance, Chris Benoit switched brands in 2004 and won the World Heavyweight Championship.[13] From 2007 to 2010, participants from the ECW brand competed along with the Raw and SmackDown brands, while the ECW World Championship became available for the winner to challenge for regardless of their designated brand.[14] During ECW's participation, the entries for each brand were not evenly divided.[22]

The 2008 Royal Rumble was the first WWE pay-per-view to be available in high-definition.[23]

Dates, venues, & winnersEdit

# Event Date City Venue Winner Entry # Ref.
1
Royal Rumble (1988) January 24, 1988 Hamilton, Ontario Copps Coliseum Jim Duggan 13 [24][25]
2
Royal Rumble (1989) January 15, 1989 Houston, Texas The Summit Big John Studd 27 [26][27]
3
Royal Rumble (1990) January 21, 1990 Orlando, Florida Amway Arena Hulk Hogan 25 [28][29]
4
Royal Rumble (1991) January 19, 1991 Miami, Florida Miami Arena Hulk Hogan 24 [30][31]
5
Royal Rumble (1992) January 19, 1992 Albany, New York Knickerbocker Arena Ric Flair 3 [32][33]
6
Royal Rumble (1993) January 24, 1993 Sacramento, California ARCO Arena Yokozuna 27 [34][35]
7
Royal Rumble (1994) January 22, 1994 Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Bret Hart
Lex Luger
27
23
[36][37]
8
Royal Rumble (1995) January 22, 1995 Tampa, Florida USF Sun Dome Shawn Michaels 1 [38][39]
9
Royal Rumble (1996) January 21, 1996 Fresno, California Selland Arena Shawn Michaels 18 [40][41]
10
Royal Rumble (1997) January 19, 1997 San Antonio, Texas Alamodome Steve Austin 5 [42][43]
11
Royal Rumble (1998) January 18, 1998 San Jose, California San Jose Arena Steve Austin 24 [44][45][46]
12
Royal Rumble (1999) January 24, 1999 Anaheim, California Arrowhead Pond Vince McMahon 2 [47][48][49]
13
Royal Rumble (2000) January 23, 2000 New York, New York Madison Square Garden The Rock 24 [50][51][52]
14
Royal Rumble (2001) January 21, 2001 New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans Arena Steve Austin 27 [53][54][55]
15
Royal Rumble (2002) January 20, 2002 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena Triple H 22 [56][57][58]
16
Royal Rumble (2003) January 19, 2003 Boston, Massachusetts Fleet Center Brock Lesnar 29 [59][60]
17
Royal Rumble (2004) January 25, 2004 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wachovia Center Chris Benoit 1 [61][62][63]
18
Royal Rumble (2005) January 30, 2005 Fresno, California Save Mart Center Batista 28 [64][65][66]
19
Royal Rumble (2006) January 29, 2006 Miami, Florida American Airlines Arena Rey Mysterio 2 [67][68][69]
20
Royal Rumble (2007) January 28, 2007 San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center The Undertaker 30 [70][71][72]
21
Royal Rumble (2008) January 27, 2008 New York, New York Madison Square Garden John Cena 30 [73][74][75]
22
Royal Rumble (2009) January 25, 2009 Detroit, Michigan Joe Louis Arena Randy Orton 8 [76][77]
23
Royal Rumble (2010) January 31, 2010 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena Edge 29 [78][79]
24
Royal Rumble (2011) January 30, 2011 Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden TBD [80]

Royal Rumble recordsEdit

Most Rumble Victories

  • Steve Austin - 3[81]

Longest Time Spent in a Single Royal Rumble
Only wrestlers that have lasted at least one hour are listed. As of the 2010 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler Time Year
Rey Mysterio1:02:122006[81]
Chris Benoit1:01:302004[81]
Bob Backlund1:01:101993[81]
Triple H1:00:092006

Shortest Time Spent in a Single Royal Rumble
Only wrestlers that have lasted under 5 seconds are listed. As of the 2010 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler Time Year
Santino Marella0:00:01.92009[81]
The Warlord0:00:021989[81]
Mo0:00:031995[81]
Owen Hart0:00:031995[81]
Luke Williams0:00:041991
Jerry Lawler0:00:041997

Most Eliminations in a Single Royal Rumble
Only wrestlers that have eliminated 10 or more competitors are listed. As of the 2010 Royal Rumble.

Wrestler # of Eliminations Year
Kane112001[81][82]
Steve Austin101997[81][83]
Hulk Hogan101989[81][84]

Diva Entrants

Diva Rumbles Entered
Chyna2 (1999,[48] 2000)[51]
Beth Phoenix1 (2010)[79]

Total Eliminations in Cumulative Royal Rumbles
The ten wrestlers with the most eliminations. As of the 2010 Royal Rumble.[85]Template:Verify source

Wrestler # of Eliminations Rumbles Entered
Shawn Michaels3912[81][86]
Steve Austin366[81]
Kane[1]3514[87]
Undertaker3410
Hulk Hogan274
Triple H268
Big Show197
Edge176
Chris Benoit144
Davey Boy Smith136

^ Totals include Kane's previous personas as Issac Yankem and the new Diesel.

Video box setEdit

WWE released a complete DVD box set entitled Royal Rumble: The Complete Anthology, which showcases every Royal Rumble event in its entirety, up to the 2007 Royal Rumble, on March 13, 2007.[88]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

General

Specific

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  2. 2.0 2.1 Waldman, Jon (2005-02-02). "Statistical survival - breaking down the Royal Rumble". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2005/02/01/917194.html. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  3. Ian Hamilton. Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition (p.160)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk (2006-01-30). "Mysterio claims Rumble; Cena reigns again". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/PPVReports/2006/01/30/1418142.html. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  5. "Specialty Matches: Battle Royal". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/inside/specialtymatches/battleroyal. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  6. "Hall of Fame: Pat Patterson". WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-11-24. http://web.archive.org/web/20071124132009/http://www.wwe.com/superstars/halloffame/patpatterson/bio/. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Royal Rumble: Facts & Figures". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/facts/. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
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  11. "Royal Rumble 1997: Main Event". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble/history/1988114111/mainevent/. Retrieved 2007-12-03. "Stone Cold was actually eliminated during the match, but the referees failed to detect it, so he sneaked back in." 
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Further readingEdit

  • Harley Race and Gerry Tritz (2004). King of the Ring: The Harley Race Story. Sports Publishing. ISBN 1582618186. 
  • Davies, Ross (2002). Kevin Nash. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 0823934926. 
  • Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Professional Wrestlers. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1582618178. 
  • Brian Fritz and Christopher Murray (2006). Between the Ropes: Wrestling's Greatest Triumphs and Failures. ECW Press. ISBN 1550227262. 
  • Steve Austin and Jim Ross (2003). The Stone Cold Truth. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0743477200. 
  • Scott Keith (2004). Wrestling's One Ring Circus: The Death of the World Wrestling Federation. Citadel Press. ISBN 080652619X. 

External linksEdit

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