|Savage (c) & Hogan in the 89 Rumble (WWE)|
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In the early days of the Royal Rumble pay per view, the world champion was a part of the match too. At least that was the case in 1989 and 1990 (Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan). The first world title match was at the 1991 event when the Ultimate Warrior defended against Sgt. Slaughter. Then in 92 as we've discussed, the title was on the line in the Rumble match. A year later, the winner of the Royal Rumble became the number one contender to the world title and was given a shot at the belt at Wrestlemania.
It's been that way ever since. I know with the current stipulation of having the title match as the "prize" for the Rumble, it would make little sense to have the world champions in the battle. I liked last year how they had Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler both enter the Rumble match after coming up short in their bids for the title earlier in the evening. Of course in 2011, there were 40 entrants and they needed to come up with something to get that many wrestlers involved.
|Elimination Chamber 2011 (WWE)|
Another scenario I've seen pitched online (I think it was former WWE writer Dave Lagana of I Want Wrestling). Let the winner of the Rumble earn the right to face the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. I'm not sure if I like that scenario, as I think there are less guys with a legitimate shot of ending the streak as there are winning the world title. Can you name anyone at this point other than John Cena who could pose a real threat to the streak ending? Triple H has tried it twice before and will presumably get another shot this year, but that the subject for another blog down the road.
|Hogan (c) & Warrior at 90 Rumble (WWE)|
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