The Royal Rumble is one week away and I am hyped for it like I am every year for it. I truly believe that the Royal Rumble and especially the match is one of the most looked forward to shows of the year. So I'm looking back at my personal favourite Royal Rumble shows ever I'll go over the highs and lows of the show, now I want to note that this is the overall show and not just the Rumble match which would likely be a very different list.
10) Royal Rumble 1997-January 19th 1997 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
The Royal Rumble match-Won by Steve Austin, who entered number 5, the match was pretty solid from his entrance onwards. The finish saw Bret Hart eliminate Steve behind the referee's back leading to him coming back in and eliminating the final 4 guys including Hart.
Shawn Michaels vs. Sycho Sid for the WWF title-Maybe not Shawn's best match but one of Sid's for sure. This was Shawn's revenge for losing to Sid at Survivor Series but did you know that was meant to be Vader? The duo was meant to wrestle at Summerslam, Survivor Series and the Rumble trading wins but Shawn shut it down after the first match because of how Vader worked.
Ahmed Johnson vs. Faarooq-The hype video got you hyped, sadly in the ring the work failed mainly because of Ahmed who has become a running joke to fans now.
Luchadore 6 Man tag-Being in Texas WWE decided to use a lot of luchadores on this show, sadly the fans didn't care one bit (except for Mil Mascaras) and personally I'm just not a fan of that style.
WWE took a massive gamble by doing this show at the Alamodome, which is a big stadium instead of an arena, having Shawn as the focal point helped draw a big crowd of 60, 525 but still not a sell out. What's funny is that TNA will be running Lockdown there and if they get a 10th of that crowd they'll call it a good turn out.
9) Royal Rumble 1994-January 22nd 1994 in the Providence Civic Centre in Providence, Rhode Island
Quebecers vs. Bret & Owen Hart for the WWF Tag titles-A very good tag match which was only let down by the bad finish of the ref ending it out of no where. After the match Owen Hart turned on his brother which lead to one of the best Wrestlemania matches of all time. The Quebecers are a very overlooked tag team in my view especially Jacques Rougeau.
The Royal Rumble-Not the greatest Rumble match looking back but it was the first time that you had a wrestler dominate the match in Diesel who became the first man to wait for an opponent to come out. This is also the rumble which saw co-winners in Lex Luger & Bret Hart, a finish that has been copied many times but it's never worked as well as in this match.
Razor Ramon vs. Irwin R. Schyster for the Intercontinental title-You just can't take IRS seriously and Ramon was good in the ring but not great. This match was really only there to build to Ramon/Michaels Ladder match at Mania.
Yokozuna vs. Undertaker in a Casket match for WWF title-Taker may have become a better worker over the past few years but back here he was awful and Yoko wasn't the best worker outside look how big he is. A very slow moving match with an insane finish of the entire locker room beating up Taker leading to him being taken of TV for months and coming back as the Purple Taker.
8) Royal Rumble 2010-January 31st 2010 in the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia
Undertaker vs. Rey Mysterio for the World title-I said Taker became a better worker and here's an example of that. Just the visual of these 2 facing off made you think it would be one sided but they put on a great match and really made it look like Rey could win.
Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the ECW title-Without a doubt Jackson's best match and Christian showed how good he truly is. Now Jackson is pretty much doing nothing and we're all better off.
The Royal Rumble-Won by the surprise return of Edge the match was only highlighted by the return, Shawn Michaels who showed so much in this match and by CM Punk's domination of the ring at the beginning where he would cut amazing promos.
Miz vs. MVP for the US title: This was basically a one sided squash in favour of MVP until Miz rolled him up when he was getting into the ring, not a good way to build the man they were planning to push later that year.
Sheamus vs. Randy Orton for the WWE title-Sheamus was not ready for this run and the match was pretty bad. Orton can put on good matches and Sheamus has improved greatly but back here they just didn't click. Also the "break up" of Legacy was just awkward at best. Basically everyone left this match looking weak.
7) Royal Rumble 2008-January 27th 2008 in Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
Edge vs. Rey Mysterio for the World title-2 fantastic workers who you knew were going to have a great match. Edge was the ultimate heel and Rey was the ultimate underdog and it worked great. Edge would win by hitting a mid-air spear to Rey after Vickie Guerrero interfered leaving it open to a rematch.
John Cena return-The Rumble match was not the best but the surprise return at number 30 was something to see. The place exploded from surprise, sadly soon after Cena would begin to wrestle and it became business as usual towards him and boos would arise.
Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy for the WWE title-Jeff was one of the hottest guys in wrestling at the time and they probably should have pulled the trigger on him here instead of waiting a year, although he was still as over then. When it comes to the match it was a really good affair, I think Randy put in some effort as he wasn't in there with Cena or Triple H who dominated the title picture at the time.
JBL vs. Chris Jericho-Jericho had just returned the previous month and wasn't back into the swing of things, JBL had just came out of retirement and needed to get the rust off. It was a hard hitting match but it just wasn't good.
MVP vs. Ric Flair-This was nearing Flair's "end" and while he could survive of the Career Threatening gimmick it could only go so far. No one believed MVP would win and Flair didn't put much effort it.
6) Royal Rumble 1995-January 22nd 1995 in the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida
Jeff Jarrett vs. Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental title-This is a personal favourite of mine and I don't know why. I think I secretly loved the Double J gimmick the flashing hat & jacket, the promos, the ring gear and so much more. But on a serious note I thought these 2 flowed really well. Jeff originally won by countout after the Roadie attacked from behind but Razor wanted to continue and Jeff would roll him up out of the Razor's Edge to win the title.
Diesel vs. Bret Hart for WWF title-Diesel's best matches were with Hart and Michaels. Diesel was only champion for a matter of months here but the match suffered by several false finishes. During the match interference happened on both men at different times in front of the ref and the match continued. It ended in a draw when both men were attacked at the same time but besides that fact it was a very decent match.
Undertaker vs. IRS-These 2 were pretty awkward in the ring together and it just didn't come off well. The storyline was beyond stupid and the match was even worse.
The Royal Rumble-While Shawn Michaels gets a lot of praise for this match it wasn't that great. The match is the fastest in Rumble history and Shawn only wrestled for 40 minutes. However the beginning 2 becoming the final 2 was a first.
The Royal Rumble match was done with new wrestlers coming in every 60 seconds for one reason the lack of star power. Vince was afraid that the fans wouldn't recognise the names they had so they kept it fast to keep the fans attention, he had a point as during the match even Vince forgot who some guys were. The Rumble winner was meant to win Pamela Anderson for wrestlemania however Shawn Michaels would come out with Jenny McCarthy and Diesel got Anderson, personally Shawn won there in my view.
5) Royal Rumble 2000-January 23rd 2000 in Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
Triple H vs. Cactus Jack in a Street Fight for the WWF title-Jack was getting ready to retire and this was his final push in the main event. To me this was the program that made Triple H a true main eventer as Jack made him look great. An insane bloody brawl which Triple H barely survived is remembered as one of the best WWF title matches ever.
Hardys vs. Dudleys in a tables match-This was when tag team wrestling meant a lot and these were 2 of the 3 key teams of WWE at the time. This match is remembered as a classic tag encounter and it really was great, you made 2 teams look fantastic in one night.
Tazz vs. Kurt Angle-This may not have been a long match but what an debut for Tazz. The fans loved it and Tazz looked amazing. Sadly he would quickly die down but going from this you would of thought they had a superstar in the making.
Miss Royal Rumble-This was a massive waste of time. Oh look how hot these women are and then Mae Young goes "topless" leading to the win.
New Age Outlaws vs. the Acolytes for the tag titles-This wasn't long or good. And when you take into account this was for the tag titles you should have got more.
Chris Jericho vs. Chyna vs. Hardcore Holly-Not only was Chyna in this match, a women who wasn't that great in the ring, but Holly was as well (one of my all time most hated wrestlers for many reasons). Jericho must have been shaking his head and thinking "I left WCW for this"
4) Royal Rumble 2011-January 30th 2011 in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World title-This kicked off the show and was a fantastic match. Dolph showed he was a main event guy and this was early 2011, he should have been World champion by now and I mean a long reigning champion. Edge was just a few months from having to retire but at the same time he was producing some of the best matches of his career.
The Royal Rumble-The only time 40 men would compete in the match and it worked extremely well. In my view it kept you interested from start to finish. It began with the New Nexus dominating the match until Cena came in and cleared the ring, it became bad for a bit when he & Hornswoggle buried many wrestlers but it picked back up soon after. I also loved the false finish with Santino Marella coming up from out of no where, people really thought he had a chance to win but Alberto Del Rio ultimately won.
Fatal 4 Way for the Divas title: This was one of the many Kharma teases that went no where, especially when Eve Torres came out. No one cared and while there were the odd cool spot it wasn't anything worth of note.
Miz vs. Randy Orton for the WWE title: The 2nd year in a row that Randy would work with someone who wasn't really ready for the title. I personally liked the Miz's heel title run but he had a lot against him and just didn't click at first.
3) Royal Rumble 2003-January 20th 2002 in the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia
Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon in a Street fight-The only way you could get a good match out of Vince was in a street fight or gimmick match. But this was a great match and it was a back and fourth match which made sense as Vince was bigger than Flair and with the hardcore rules added more could take place. This was Flair's wrestling debut and it went great. Very surprising that this stole the show.
Chris Jericho vs. The Rock for the Undisputed title-I loved Jericho as the champ, this run and his entire 2001/2002 run is very underrated in my view. These 2 just had magic in the ring together and they are known as 2 of the best of the modern era of wrestling. The promo package showed exactly what the fans thought and that was that Jericho would be over looked as champ and while he tried his hardest to not make that true I think that's sadly the case.
The Royal Rumble: A lot happened in this rumble and it kept you entertained throughout. There were big moments like Maven eliminating Undertaker, surprise returns like Mr. Perfect and great action. Triple H would ultimately win by eliminating Kurt Angle.
Dudleys vs. Spike Dudley & Tazz for the WWF tag title-Honestly not a lot of lows on this show but this was a low. In ECW putting Spike against the Dudleys was a sure fire thing but here it just wasn't great. Spike & Tazz as champs just looked silly to me.
2) Royal Rumble 1992-January 19th 1992 in the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York
The Royal Rumble-Without a doubt (in my mind) the best Royal Rumble match in the history of WWE. It has to be the most packed Rumble in terms of star power and it's one of the best in terms of quality. It also has to be one of the best called Rumbles with Bobby Heenan being amazing in his role. This match was really the Ric Flair show he put on an outstanding performance as well as a great pre-match promo and a great post match promo. Even Hogan being a glory hog couldn't hurt this match.
The New Foundation vs. The Orient Express-WWE tried to copy the previous years rumble by putting a tag match in the opener and while it wasn't the classic last years was it was a pretty solid match. This really was Owen's showcase match and while he wouldn't become a star round this time you could see the potential there.
Beverly Brothers vs. the Bushwhackers-What was this? How did the Bushwhackers get a run in the WWE? Seriously I don't see the appeal. Beyond stupid and beyond bad, this match just sucked.
Natural Disaters vs. the Legion of Doom for the WWF tag titles-Oh this was brutal, none of these guys were great workers and both work better as heels. You had 4 big men who didn't want to sell for the others.
1) Royal Rumble 2007-January 28th 2007 in the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
John Cena vs. Umaga in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE title-I believe that John Cena's best year was 2007 he was just amazing in the ring that year and it started here. An insanely brutal match that built well and it not only made Cena look great but Umaga looked great as well because of how far Cena had to go. There were insane spots like Umaga running across all 3 announce tables and Cena locking on a STF with a loose tope rope.
Batista vs. Mr. Kennedy for the World title-Much like Cena Batista had a great year in 2007. Kennedy was so close to becoming a world champ and this match was the testing ground. The fans were into it, the action went well and because of JBL on commentary Kennedy came off as a winner in losing (something WWE should seriously look into doing more often).
The final 2 of the Rumble-Honestly this years Rumble wasn't great and is probably one of the worst ones in history until you get to the final 2 of Taker and Michaels. These 2 put on a mini match for 10 minutes which was outstanding. A saving grace to say the least.
Bobby Lashley vs. Test for the ECW title-WWE tried so hard to get Lashley over as the next guy but he just sucked so much in pretty much every aspect. Test also had to be in there with the right guy to get a real good match and Lashley wasn't that guy. Combine that with an awful countout finish and you got one seriously bad match.
Looking forward to next weeks Royal Rumble PPV I have to say I'm really looking forward to it. I always love the Rumble just for the look and the surprises, I think Punk/Rock will be great and I'm interested to see who will win. I do plan on watching if I can and I should be able to. I hope this blog has hyped you up for the Rumble as well.