As far as individual wrestling matches go, the Royal Rumble's dramatic storytelling potential is unparalleled.
WWE's signature over-the-top battle royal is a monster. The best incarnations (1992, 2001, etc.) not only create boatloads of gif-worthy spots and poppable moments, but tell multiple stories within themselves, from Diesel/Kane runs and quickfire Bushwhacker Luke/Santino Marella eliminations to Mick Foley entering as each of his three faces and sensational comebacks. On top of this, a great Rumble will forecast WWE's storytelling future by setting up multiple Road to WrestleMania programmes, its purpose far greater than just finding a number one contender.
This year's match promises similar implications. Who will eliminate WWE Champion Brock Lesnar to spark a WrestleMania 36 feud? Is this the year Drew McIntyre finally ascends? Will Edge, CM Punk, or Paige really come out of retirement? Can an NXT wrestler win for the first time ever? It's full of intrigue - and we can't wait.
As an expansive storytelling vehicle itself, it's only natural that the Rumble has generated as many fascinating backstage stories as it has compelling in-ring narratives. Here, we've cherry-picked some of the finest examples. Let's run through them...
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