Every WWE Royal Rumble's Best Performer

The MVPs, the anchors, the marathon men and women, and those who held every Rumble together.

To many wrestling fans, the annual Royal Rumble is the most enjoyable PPV of the year. Sure, WrestleMania may have the glitz and glamour, but the Rumble show usually has at least one or two great matches on the card, not to mention the over-the-top titular match itself. The reason that fans love the Royal Rumble match is down to a whole variety of reasons; there€™s the anticipation of possibly seeing a debuting face; there€™s the hope of an old favourite of yesteryear appearing; there€™s the chance that the match is used to make somebody into a main event player; and there€™s even the slightest of hope (which is seemingly getting slighter with each passing year) that will be given an unpredictable finish. Quite often, though, the real key to a Royal Rumble match is its anchor; a superstar who slugs it out and serves as the base of the match, overseeing new arrivals and eliminating those in need of a boot off the apron. Whether you call them VIPs, marathon men or simply the stars of the match, it€™s these guys who serve as the glue to a great Rumble and its these performers who can make or break the match. So, with that said, let€™s look at the anchor, the star, the glue of each and every Royal Rumble match to date.

1988 - Bret Hart

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Sure, in 1988 Bret Hart was still a good few years away from his big singles push, but he was easily the MVP of the very first Royal Rumble match.

The match itself was won by 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan, but Duggan didn't really stand out and neither did anybody else bar The Hitman. To put it into perspective, the '88 Rumble lasted only a little longer than half an hour, and Bret Hart was in the ring for a solid 25 minutes, starting at #1 before eventually being eliminated by Don Muraco.

Being the inaugural Royal Rumble match, it was certainly a concept in its infancy, as reflected by having 20 superstars in the match as oppose to 30. It's also testament to Hart at how well a job he did with what he had to work with. Guys like Jake Roberts and eventual winner Duggan were over huge with the crowd, but most of the superstars out there were names like Ron Bass, Boris Zhukov, Hillbilly Jim, Sam Houston, Danny Davis and One Man Gang.

It may have been a shorter version of what fans are accustomed to today, but the first Royal Rumble was fun for what it was, and Bret Hart stood head and shoulders above the competition.


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