20 WWE Royal Rumble Undercard Nightmares

Royal Grumbles from over 30 years of WWE's most beloved institution.

The Undertaker Yokozuna

Generally a huge highlight in any wrestling fan's calendar, the Royal Rumble is (almost) the safest bet for a quality night of entertainment from WWE.

Usually headlined by the innovative titular battle royals with WrestleMania implications, the remainder of the card is often there - rather fittingly - just to make up the numbers. It gives something for the existing champions to do that may not once have been deemed worthy of pay-per-view, and tests out feuds and programmes not always able to fit elsewhere on WWE's supercard calendar.

Despite the abbreviated line-up often providing pleasant surprises, the January classic has wielded its fair share of duds and disasters over the last three decades. WWE are to be credited with their experimentation underneath the late Pat Patterson's near-perfect creation, but a sizeable number of probable after-thoughts have been anything but bland on the night itself.

WWE's propensity for only dealing in extremes is never quite as widely exposed as when their card-filler selections end in sheer horror. Rather than euphoria, the announcement of the Rumble match itself has often subsequently been greeted with unashamed relief from an under-nourished live crowd.

20. The Big Show Vs. Brock Lesnar (2014)

Yokozuna Undertaker

Much is made of Brock Lesnar's WWE contract, which apparently stipulates a specific number of appearance dates over the contracted period. But it's pointless uses of 'The Beast's time in matches such as these that leave fans questioning if he can remotely be worth the money to the organisation.

Big Show and Brock had worked together at the Royal Rumble in 2003, but back then the two actually had a real reason to fight and a story most fans took at least a passing interest in.

Back in 2014, Show simply got in Brock's business once, then the two had two virtually identical pull-aparts on Raw to set up a match with no stakes and little anticipation.

The contest itself generated similar apathy. Brock decked Big Show before the bell, dismantling him with a steel chair in a laboured assault before nailing an academic F5 for the win after only two minutes of an actual match.

Just two months later, Brock ended the Undertaker's WrestleMania streak in an era-defining scene. It came not a moment too soon when watching here how little momentum 'The Beast' had less than two years into his WWE comeback.


Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back almost 35 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz" Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast and its accompanying YouTube channel, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 60,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times, GRAPPL and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett