Every Babyface WWE Royal Rumble Winner Ranked From Worst To Best

Nice guys finish last, when they're supposed to. Which WWE icon earned the most love for going long?

Bianca Belair John Cena Bret Hart

The Royal Rumble, especially following 1993's edict that the winner would receive a golden ticket to the main event of WrestleMania, feels custom built for a babyface victory.

The clash has had over double the amount of heroes go the distance than wily heels, such is the way all of this is supposed to work. WrestleMania is theoretically a night of glorious triumph, and there's no better way to tee up a potential top star on the 'Grandest Stage' than by winning the company's second biggest institution en route.

But how can one win be rated against another?

It's not exactly apples and oranges, but the victors all had wildly different trips to the top of card (or not) by virtue of Royal Rumble glory. The "plans change, pal" era may seem the norm now, but said plans were once made a year in advance, let alone half an hour before the klaxon buzzed.

Nothing's as assured now, making it harder to match the course of a 2020s winner against that of somebody 30 years ago. Ignoring how things turned out in the end, the only way to fairly rank these is in order of how they were received by live crowds at the time. Thus, the only place to start, is slap bang in the middle of the gimmick's lowest ebb...

24. Roman Reigns (2015)

Bianca Belair John Cena Bret Hart

"Anyone but you Roman" was Bray Wyatt's catchphrase right around this period in his character's complex and flawed history, but it might have been adopted by the fanbase at large had it been a bit less wordy.

Infamously loathing both WWE and 'The Big Dog' as the over-pushed project at its helm, audiences heaped scorn on the former Shield man, even with an increasingly-confused Rock doing his level best job of providing the much-needed endorsement.

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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 over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, 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