10 WWE Royal Rumble Eliminations More Significant Than You First Thought

The surprising backstage stories behind some infamous eliminations

Bret Hart Royal Rumble

Since its inception, the Royal Rumble has often served as a breeding ground for WWE's headline storylines leading into its biggest show, and is regarded by many fans as the most must-watch show of the calendar year.

Unfortunately, these matches often have unintended consequences. In the last decade, fans have almost become accustomed to being disappointed by the Rumble match itself, and for good reason - at times, it does seem like Vince McMahon and his cronies have went out of their way to p*ss them off. Oftentimes, it can be a single elimination that sends the WWE Universe into meltdown - be it a fan favourite getting eliminated early, a heel getting a win he didn't deserve or even a disappointing return, even a single elimination can prove to have a butterfly effect, going on to drastically change WWE's plans for the rest of the year.

Be it good or bad, there's almost too much to say about some of WWE's booking choices in the last 30 years - here are some of the most unintentionally significant eliminations in Royal Rumble history.

10. Chris Jericho (2012)

Bret Hart Royal Rumble

In November 2011, ominous vignettes started airing promoting the return of an unknown wrestler. These vignettes showed a, well, creepy young boy and girl standing in an empty classroom spouting vague, prophetic lines such as “The power will come with vengeance, to render his anger with fury” while rapidly alternating between shots of the children and shots of “scary” images, such as swing sets or erm…. trees.

The internet immediately began swarming with rumours that these vignettes were promoting a returning Undertaker, or maybe even the debut of Sting. They were for Chris Jericho. Maybe was undergoing another character transformation? Well, he was slightly snarkier now, but thats about it. Jericho ended up debuting weeks later, announcing he was going to win the Rumble and it would be “the end of the world as we knew it”. He came close, entering at #28 and eliminating two people in five minutes. He then traded near-eliminations with Sheamus, before he was thrown out following a failed codebreaker attempt. Sheamus, who just months earlier had been feuded with Mark Henry over Henry being “a bully”. All that hype… to be trolled?

What makes this elimination so significant?

It was just another reminder to the fans that Vince McMahon pushes who he wants, and it was a prime example of WWE taking the more complicated route just for the case of suspense. And what about the first ever Undisputed Champion? Well, he ended up facing CM Punk for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 28 anyway. Was it really worth the trolling? Imagine if he had just won the Rumble instead - it would have been a legitimate storyline worth investing in.

It's easy to forget how Sheamus’ title shot went, but it doesn't take more than 18 seconds to remember.


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