Sunday, January 21, 2018

Royal Rumble winners

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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It's hard to believe the Royal Rumble has been around 30 years. So ahead of next week's show, I came up with some fun facts, mostly about the winners, but I had to stretch on some of them. Most of these I knew, but full disclosure, I had to look some info up.

1988 - Jim Duggan: First Royal Rumble winner

1989 - "Big" John Studd - Went on to WrestleMania 5 to be a special guest referee and not wrestle. 

1990 - Hulk Hogan: First time a WWF Champion won the Rumble.

1991 - Hulk Hogan: First Superstar to win back to back Royal Rumbles

1992 - Ric Flair: The first heel to win the Royal Rumble and for the first time the WWE Championship was awarded to the winner.

1993 - Yokozuna: First Superstar to win the match under the stipulation that the winner gets a championship match at WrestleMania.

1994 - Bret Hart & Lex Luger: First (and only) co-winners of the Royal Rumble.

1995 - Shawn Michaels: First Superstar to draw number one and win the Rumble.

1996 - Shawn Michaels: Won the match a second time and had the same number of eliminations both years (8). 

1997 - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: First time a Superstar was eliminated from the match and came back to win the Rumble. 

1998 - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: Went toe to toe the night after winning the Rumble with Mike Tyson on Monday Night Raw.

1999 - Vince McMahon - First non-Superstar to win the Rumble.

2000 - The Rock: First time a Royal Rumble winner went on to WrestleMania to face three other competitors for the Championship.

2001 - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: First three-time winner of the Rumble.

2002 - Triple H: First time the winner challenged for the "Undisputed WWE Championship". 

2003 - Brock Lesnar: First winner of the Royal Rumble under a brand split.

2004 - Chris Benoit: Won the Rumble as a SmackDown! Superstart but switched brands to challenge the Raw Champion (Triple H).

2005 - Batista: Won the Rumble and for the first time, the second runner-up challenged the opposing show's champion (John Cena challenged JBL). 

2006 - Rey Mysterio: First Superstar under 200 pounds to win the Rumble.

2007 - Undertaker: First Superstar to draw number 30 and win the Rumble.

2008 - John Cena: First time a Superstar no one could see won the Royal Rumble.

2009 - Randy Orton: First time the final two men in the Rumble went on to face each other WrestleMania. Triple H won the WWE Championship the next month at No Way Out in the Elimination Chamber.

2010 - Edge: Up to that time the Superstar who spent the least amount of time in the match to win the Rumble (7:19).

2011 - Alberto Del Rio: First Superstar to outlast 39 other Superstars.

2012 - Sheamus: Yes, Sheamus won. But this marked the first time all three members of the commentary team also competed in the Royal Rumble (Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole and Booker T).

2013 - John Cena: First year an NXT Superstar competed in the Rumble (Bo Dallas).

2014 - Batista: Eliminated Roman Reigns moments after the "Big Dog" set a new record for most eliminations in a single Rumble match (12).

2015 - Roman Reigns: First time a Royal Rumble winner was pinned in the Championship match by a Money in the Bank winner cashing in (Seth Rollins). 

2016 - Triple H: First time the WWE Championship was defended in the match. Reigns came in as champ and lost the title that night, only to go on and regain it from Triple H at WrestleMania 32.

2017 - Randy Orton: Announced he was giving up his Championship match after Bray Wyatt won the gold at No Way Out, but it turned out to be a swerve by Orton.

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