The Royal Rumble match is a 30 man over the top rope battle royal, and it's every man for himself. That invites strategy. It's a tactical war as much as a test of physical strength and endurance. Too often, wrestlers either forget this fact or ignore it completely. They do so by engaging in such ridiculously dumb behavior like outright stopping eliminations from occurring. There are exceptions, of course, like tag teams or factions attempting to work together to give themselves the best chance to win but generally, it's a really stupid idea to stop an elimination.
In each Royal Rumble, there are always wrestlers who stop multiple eliminations. In some cases, a wrestler will stop an elimination that has a monumental effect on the match and is detrimental to his chances of winning in a way he ultimately cannot overcome. I like to refer to such a wrestler as the "Dumbest Ass."
Here, we'll hand out the award for "Dumbest Ass" in each of the Royal Rumble matches that have taken place so far.
Widely considered the worst Royal Rumble in history, and it absolutely deserves that label because it was, without a doubt, the dumbest Royal Rumble in history.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
- He could have eliminated Vince McMahon within the first two minutes of the match and the only reason he didn't is because he wanted to keep beating on the old man. This would prove costly.
- After allowing Vince to stay in the match, Golga got the drop on Austin while he was attacking his boss. Then, for some reason, he followed Vince out of the match and through the crowd all the way to the women's bathroom, where it was revealed a trap had been laid that Austin walked right into.
- Having found his way back into the ring, Austin was just running around wild like Ultimate Warrior, just hitting people. This included Test, who was just about to toss Triple H. What the hell, Steve?
- Another issue: After Vince McMahon came back and sat in on commentary, still active in the match, Austin made his way back. At first, he chased Vince but then got in the ring and settled on fighting with others. And that continued for the remainder of the match. Vince is literally showing that you don't have to be active in the match to stay in, and Austin is in the ring killing himself fighting a bunch of dudes instead. This is also dumb considering he had chased him through the crownd and into the women's bathroom earlier. So he chased him when there was no one else in the ring and didn't when there was? That should be the other way around.
- It was down to the final two, just Austin and Vince, which never should have been the case considering Stone Cold kept McMahon in the match early, and The Rock came out. There is literally only one reason for him to be there, and that's to distract or attack. That Steve would entertain him in any way makes no damn sense. That he chose to do so directly led to his getting eliminated and losing the match. This is all after he once again could have easily tossed Vince at any point and chose not to so he could hit an extra elbow or two.
- I have to include him. Being an idiot was basically the character. He was entrant 6 and only Edge and Droz were in the ring fighting. Both were still fresh, of course. Gillberg ignroes both to stand on the ropes and play to the crowd. Edge gently pushes him and he goes over the top.
- Steve Blackman enters and Droz actually gets the better of him. As he's putting him up over the top rope, he yells at Edge to "get over here" to help him. Sound strategy. Edge, going full dipshit, walks over and pokes Droz in the eye.
- As mentioned, he requested Edge's help in dumping Steve Blackman and was met with a poke to the eyes. When he recovered from that poke, he went over and went back to work on Blackman before again requesting that Edge assist him. It's like he learned nothing from what had occurred just seconds before. Then he hit Edge anyway.
- Droz was just lifting Edge up in the corner in an attempt to get him out and Blackman came over and yanked him off.
- He gets in at number 16 and there are only two men in the ring, Road Dogg and Kurrgan's big ass. Goldie decided the right play would be to attack the former, who was actually beating on the latter. Michael Cole explained on commentary that Goldust was going after the guy who was the most tired but that's a horrible strategy. Kurrgan is a big fella and if Road Dogg is tired anyway, the better play is to work together to get Kurrgan out and go from there. Naturally, Kurrgan recovered and attacked Goldust immediately.
- My god, this match sucks. Kane comes down, eliminates all four guys in the ring, and a bunch of dudes in white come down to put a straitjacket on him. He easily disposes of the two who climb in the ring before eliminating himself to chase after the rest, who all went hauling ass through the crowd.
- Owen Hart had Boss Man up on his shoulder and about to go over when Brown left Steve Austin, who had a $100,000 bounty for his elimination, mind you, to stop it. He didn't follow up on Hart either, he started going after Boss Man.
Billy Gunn, Triple H, Val Venis, Boss Man, Ken, Shamrock, Test, X-Pac, Mark Henry, Jeff Jarrett, D'Lo Brown, Owen Hart, Chyna
- Every one of these people are compiled here because they were all in the ring with Austin and spent time fighting someone else. This is inexcusably stupid because Vince McMahon put a $100,000 bounty on Austin's head, and whoever eliminated him would collect that cash. Winning means a shot at the title at WrestleMania, but that's a lot of money. Why wouldn't this be the complete focus of what you're doing in this match while Austin was in?
- This was one of the worst matches in the history of wrestling matches. How the hell do you screw up a Royal Rumble? It's a simple concept that works incredibly well with very little planning necessary. Russo couldn't help but overbook the hell out of it, and Vince McMahon gets honorable mention for going along with this nonsense. There were multiple times in this match where a guy was standing in the ring all by himself waiting on the next opponent and it wasn't because that guy was a great competitor, it was because dudes were eliminating themselves to chase after dorks in white wielding straitjackets. One of these times involved ROAD DOGG waiting around and the next entrant was KURRGAN. Thrilling stuff! Vince McMahon won the match, which is dumb enough to get an award, but how they got there was so unbelievably stupid. Vince just left, led Austin into a trap, then came back a while later and got on commentary while the rest of the match was going on. This is bad and dumb and kills the entire point of a Rumble match. It also sets a precedent that makes future Royal Rumble matches dumb for not utilizing this as a strategy. If they're going to allow you to leave the ring and come back 50 minutes later, why not do that? The only time they did this before was with Jerry Lawler hiding under the ring and he was caught, dragged out, and made an example of in his elimination. All of this is without mentioning the $100,000 bounty gimmick and how no one in the ring seemed to care about it at all. It was a major story going in, and a complete non-story in the match itself. This was so very bad.
The Dumbest Ass
Stone Cold Steve Austin
In the interest of keeping this award for wrestlers in the match, the award goes to Austin as opposed to Russo. His arrogance cost him more than anything but that's no excuse for stupidity. He could have easily won this match and chose not to. That's almost as bad as eliminating yourself. Even without considering that, his tactics were questionable. Put it all together, though, and it's an award winning combination of dumb.
Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners: