Our first Royal Rumble disaster didn’t actually take place at an actual Rumble PPV, as it took place before the event had even been spawned.
In 1987, at a St. Louis house show on Oct. 4, WWE trialed its first-ever Royal Rumble match in an untelevised contest that was, by all accounts, deemed to be downright terrible.
1,976 fans came down to see One Man Gang win a Rumble match that lasted just 12 minutes, with a dozen entrants coming out at one-minute intervals. Gang was adjudged to have won after tumbling over the top at the same time as Junkyard Dog – the same man with whom he’d already had a disappointing four-minute match earlier in the show – and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted in 2011 that “loud” chants of “bulls**t” greeted the announcement of Gang’s victory.
Hardly the best of ways with which to test-drive the concept, though thankfully they managed to adapt the formula with a 20-man Rumble in January of the following year, which proved to be the first of 30, soon to be 31, events in the PPV’s chronology.