It's Royal Rumble time once again and I, for one, am tickled pink for the greatest yearly spectacle in all of sport. Nothing else combines the excitement of a multi-man melee with the allure of a potentially career-making opportunity: the guaranteed title shot at WrestleMania.
Like clockwork, WWE has released its obligatory Rumble stat package. Though slickly produced, it's a bit... perfunctory for my tastes. So I decided to do what I do best, and dig into the numbers to find out not only who were the best Royal Rumble participants of all time, but quantify their success with a patented scoring system.
OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS ROYAL RUMBLE EDITION FORMULA:
Win the Royal Rumble = 10 points
Eliminate a wrestler = 1 point
That's the whole formula. Simple, right?
There are a couple of clarifications to cover before we get into the Wrankings. I count combined eliminations as one for each man involved. So when it took 5 guys to eliminate Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V every year, all of the wrestlers involved with tossing the big guy over the top rope got a full point.
As for the 1994 Rumble where Lex Luger and Bret Hart were deemed "co-winners?" Same deal, both men received a full 10 points for the win, rather than splitting it between the two of them.
Also, only official Royal Rumble participants can earn points. If a non-registered competitor throws someone over the top rope, they do not get any points. You can; however, eliminate yourself and earn your point for eliminating someone (you're welcome Drew Carey!)
Without further delay, let's get to the scores!
0 Points: 2 Cold Scorpio, Adam Bomb, Alex Riley, B-2, Barry Horowitz, Bart Gunn, Bastion Booger, Bill DeMott, Blue Meanie, Borus Zhuchov, Brian Blair, Brutus Beefcake, Bull Buchanan, Bushwhacker Luke, Butch Reed, Christopher Nowinski, Cibernetico, Colonel Mustafa, Crash Holly, Damien Demento, Dan Severn, Daniel Puder, Danny Davis, Doink the Clown, Dory Funk Jr., Doug Gilbert, Drew McIntyre, Droz, Duke Droese, Elijah Burke, Epico, Ernest Miller, Eugene, Evan Bourne, Finlay, Genichiro Tenryu, Gillberg, Grand Master Sexay, Gregory Helms, Hakushi, Harley Race, Headbanger Mosh, Headbanger Thrasher, Headshrinker Samu, Heath Slater, Honky Tonk Man, Hunico, Irwin R. Schyster, Jack Swagger, Jamie Noble, Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Sags, Jey Uso, Jimmy Del Rey, Jinder Mahal, Jonathan Coachman, JTG, Junkyard Dog, Justin Gabriel, Kenny Dykstra, Kenzo Suzuki, Koko B. Ware, Lance Storm, Latin Lover, Mantaur, Marc Mero, Mark Jindrak, Matt Morgan, Max Moon, Michael Cole, Mike Knox, Mo, Muhammed Hassan, Nunzio, Orlando Jordan, Papa Shango, Paul London, Paul Roma, Perry Saturn, Primo, Prince Albert, Psicosis, Raven, Red Rooster, Rick Steiner, Rico, Ronnie Garvin, Rosey, Sabu, Sam Houston, Sandman, Scott Hall, Scotty 2 Hotty, Sgt. Slaughter, Shane Douglas, Simon Dean, Skinner, Spike Dudley, Squat Teamer #1, Squat Teamer #2, Steve Blackman, Steven Dunn, Super Crazy, Sylvan, Tajiri, Takao Omori, Tazz, Texas Tornado, Timothy Well, Tom Brandi, Tom Prichard, Tommy Dreamer, Tony Atlas, Trevor Murdoch, Tyler Reks, Typhoon, Tyson Kidd, Warlord, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu
1 Point: 8 Ball, Animal, Arn Anderson, Berzerker, Beth Phoenix, Brian Kendrick, Bushwhacker Butch, Carlos Calon, Chainz, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Demolition Ax, Diamond Dallas Page, D'Lo Brown, Drew Carey, Dusty Rhodes, Ezekiel Jackson, Gangrel, GOdfather, Great Kabuki, Henry O. Godwin, Hillbilly Jim, Hornswoggle, Issac Yankem, JBL, Jim Brunzell, Jimmy Snuka, Joey Mercury, Justin Credible, Ken Shamrock, Kevin Thorn, Kharma, King Kong Bundy, Luther Reigns, Marty Janetty, Mason Ryan, Maven, Mr. Kennedy, Nikolai Volkoff, Pierroth, Rene Dupree, Rhyno, Ricardo Rodriguez, Santino Marella, Savio Vega, Scott Steiner, Skull, Snitsky, Tiger Ali Singh, Tito Santana, Umaga, Val Venis, Virgil, X Pac
2 Points: Ahmed Johnson, Bad News Brown, Carlito, Charlie Haas, Chyna, Dick Murdoch, Dino Bravo, Greg Valentine, Haku, Hawk, Hercules, Husky Harris, Jerry Lawler, Jim Neidhart, Kurrgan, Miz, MVP, Phineas Godwin, R Truth, Rick Rude, Roddy Piper, Ron Bass, Tatanka, Ted DiBiase Jr., Tully Blanchard, Wade Barrett
3 Points: Al Snow, Billy Gunn, Bob Backlund, Brian Knobs, Chuck Palumbo, Dolph Ziggler, Don Muraco, Eddie Guerrero, Goldberg, Goldust, Jeff Hardy, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Michael McGilicutty, Mil Mascaras, Terry Funk, Test, Vladimir Kozlov
4 Points: Bam Bam Bigelow, Christian, Demolition Smash, Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin
5 Points: Bob Holly, Farooq, Jake Roberts, Road Dogg
6 Points: Andre the Giant, Barbarian, Mr. Perfect, Sid, Ultimate Warrior, Vader
7 Points: Big Boss Man, Crush, Earthquake, Owen Hart
8 Points: Akeem, Cody Rhodes, Mabel, Randy Savage, Rick Martel, Rob Van Dam, Zack Ryder
9 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
10 Points: Great Khali, Ted DiBiase
11 Points: Booker T, Mick Foley, Vince McMahon
12 Points: Big John Studd, Kevin Nash,Rikishi
13 Points: Alberto Del Rio, British Bulldog, Chris Jericho
14 Points: Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Jim Duggan, Sheamus
15 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
16 Points: Bret Hart
17 Points: Ric Flair
18 - 19 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
20 Points: Lex Luger, Rock, Yokozuna
21 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
22 Points: Rey Mysterio
23 Points: Batista
HISTORICAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS ROYAL RUMBLE EDITION TOP 10
T10. Big Show, Chris Benoit -- 24 points
Both of these grapplers arrived in the ten spot in very different ways. Benoit won the 2004 Rumble and accumulated most of his elimination points there as well. Big Show has never won, but is a lock for a few solid points every year via eliminations. Of course, Show is still going strong while Benoit... isn't.
25 - 26 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
T7. Edge, John Cena, Randy Orton -- 27 points
The three biggest superstars of the latter half of the last decade have each won a Rumble and eliminated 17 men. Of course, this flat-footed three way tie is destined to be broken as Edge retired a couple years ago while Cena and Orton are counted among the favorites this year and likely for years to come.
28 - 34 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
6. Kane -- 35 points
Kane is the most prolific participant eliminator in Rumble history among those who have yet to win it all. That could easily change this year. This fire shows no signs of burning out.
36 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
5. Triple H -- 37 points
The King of Kings has been around since the mid-90's, so he's had plenty of time to accrue points. He won in 2002, but had never eliminated more than six men in a single Rumble.
38 - 43 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
4. Hulk Hogan -- 44 points
The most famous wrestler in history is also one of the best. He won it all twice, even as he was wrapping up his original dominant run in the WWF. If Pat Patterson had invented this thing a few years earlier, then I suspect Hogan would be at the top of the list rather than here.
3. Undertaker -- 45 points
Undertaker has become a WrestleMania specialist, but he has seen ten Royal Rumble matches, winning one and scoring at least one point in all of his appearances. That's a recipe for the Top 3. Of course, given that he's already dead, there's no telling how many more Rumble matches he will participate in. Probably 100.
Moreover, we can't possibly hope to fathom the extent of the Deadman's powers, so he may well possess the ability to travel backwards in time to compete in Rumbles past. Who knows? He probably has already done this and altered the timeline in which we all live. Let's try not to dwell on it.
46 - 59 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
2. Shawn Michaels -- 60 points
Mr. WrestleMania could have called himself Mr. Royal Rumble in the mid-90's. He famously won two Rumbles while consistently drawing early entrances. Of course, he used those long stretches in the ring to eliminate more wrestlers than anyone in Rumble history.
61 - 65 Points: (No Applicable Superstars)
1. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin -- 66 points
The Texas Rattlesnake appeared in only six Royal Rumbles, won three of them, and darn near won two more. The only Rumble match that Austin participated in that he did not dominate was in 1996 when his weak Ringmaster persona led to an early exit. Even then, he still managed to eliminate Rikishi!
Simply put, Austin is the man!
So there you have it, Cagesiders. Austin, HBK, and 'Taker top the list to the surprise of nobody. I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive look at the history of the Royal Rumble. Let us know your take on the Wrankings in the comments section.
Enjoy the 2013 edition of the Royal Rumble, everybody. I know I will!