If it’s January, then it’s time for WWE to start
ramping up for its biggest event of the year. That all starts with the Royal
Rumble, the annual kickoff to the Road to WrestleMania.
The Rumble match gives fans the first official
confirmation of a world title match, with the winner of the Rumble “headlining”
Winning the January edition of the is seen as a
distinct and prestigious honor – those who have won are held in varying degrees
of high esteem. In theory, if you win the Royal Rumble, you’ve got a huge
spotlight cast on you for at least three months, longer if you manage to win
the world title at WrestleMania. The Rumble can seriously help launch a career,
though sometimes things don’t go quite that well.
Not all Rumble winners are created equally, and not
all Rumble winners ascend the ladder of success. Before 1992, there was no
tangible prize attached to winning the Royal Rumble. The ’92 Rumble was
contested for the then-vacant WWF World Championship, while nearly every Rumble
since has been for a WrestleMania world title shot. Some of those who have won
the Rumble have gone on to win at Mania and become major stars. Others have
lost, squandering months of build-up.
Let’s take a look at the 33 men and one woman who
have won the 33 Royal Rumbles and see how they stack up against each other.
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.