In this series, we look back on every Royal Rumble event to date. Up next: Royal Rumble 2004, featuring Chris Benoit lasting longer than anyone ever has and becoming just the second wrestler to win from the number one spot.
Event: Royal Rumble 2004
Date: January 25, 2004
Location: Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Winner: Chris Benoit
Last Eliminated: Big Show
Iron Man: Chris Benoit
Quickest Out: The Hurricane
Most Eliminations: Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit wasn't the first wrestler to last for longer than an hour in a Royal Rumble match but he was the first to do so from the number one position who actually who the match.
By the time it was over, Benoit had lasted 1:01:30 and eliminated six wrestlers on his way to earning a main event slot at WrestleMania 20, where he would win the world heavyweight championship in a triple threat match against Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
Randy Orton was the number two entrant and lasted for over 30 minutes before Mick Foley took him out on the way to their feud and eventual match at WrestleMania that also involved The Rock and Evolution. That was a theme throughout the match. For instance, shortly after Kane entered Undertaker's gong sounded as the lights went down. This distracted him long enough for Booker T to eliminate him from the match. Kane and 'Taker would, of course, have a match at 'Mania.
Goldberg was entrant number 30 and appeared to be on his way to destroying everyone to win before Brock Lesnar interfered and helped get him taken out. Those two would also have a match at "The Grand Daddy of Them All," one of the most infamous matches in its history.
Also be on the lookout for Big Show talking too loud and mics picking up his planning out a big spot to clear out some space late in the match. Also, John Cena's nasty landing upon being tossed out.