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." Special considerations made for other stupidity.
Here, we'll hand out the award for "Dumbest Ass" in each of the Royal Rumble matches that have taken place so far.
The guy who loves to overcome things could not overcome his own stupidity.
- Tyler Breeze gets into the match fresh at number 4, grabs Roman Reigns, and starts working on getting him over the top rope. Styles sees this and stops him. That's the WWE world heavyweight champion he saved.
- Ryback ran through everyone in the ring before settling on trying to eliminate Chris Jericho. For some reason, Goldie thought it a great idea to put a stop to this.
- ONE VERSUS ALL! Except it really wasn't. In fact, Ryback was trying to eliminate Kofi Kingston right in front of Reigns and he gut punched THE BIG GUY for his efforts. Great strategy, Romey. No wonder you lost. Even better, he immediately punched Kingston.
- Oh, Romey. After he does the smart thing and takes advantage of Sheamus' idiocy by Superman punching him out while he was still on the apron, he stood over the ropes and stared down at him, even pointing at him to taunt him. You know exactly what came next: Triple H ran over to take advantage and tossed him out. Unreal.
- I'm including this because it was dumb as hell. R-Truth ran out and climbed up a ladder, mistakenly under the impression he was in a ladder match for the title. Kane, instead of pushing the ladder to eliminate him when he was at the top of it, yanked him down. Sure, he immediately threw him out right after but it was dumb to risk Truth getting any offense in on him.
- Fine, I'll include him for thinking he was in a ladder match instead of a Royal Rumble.
- Kane had put him over the top rope and he fought him off enough to give himself time to get back into the ring and relative safety. Except he didn't. He hung out on the apron trying to recover there. Big Show came in and punched him right off to eliminate him.
- Kevin Owens has Neville up on the top rope spread across the turnbuckle and is actively attempting to push him out when Jericho walks all the way across the ring to kick him.
- This guy. Sami Zayn is still relatively fresh and picking Luke Harper's legs up to get him out when Jericho comes up behind him and rips him away.
- He's battling it out with Triple H really late in the match, only five guys in the ring. He manages to hit a Codebreaker and starts celebrating after standing up. Dean Ambrose immediately took advantage and threw him out. This is especially inexcusable because Ambrose had tried to do the EXACT same thing like two minutes before after Jericho hit a kick on Roman Reigns.
- Erick Rowan comes in and throws him over the top rope. He manages to stay in, climbing back up on the apron and standing up. Rowan just stares at him and Neville looks back, stupidly deciding to stay on the apron. Luke Harper comes over and clotheslines him out.
- I'm putting the blame on Bray for the situation with The Wyatt Family. He very smartly commanded his goons to storm the ring and beat down Brock Lesnar so they could get him out of the match. This was really the only way to get him out. If it worked for Brock, though, why not have them stick around and help out the rest of the way? After all, there are no disqualifications in a Royal Rumble. This falls on Bray because he's the one who gives the orders and controls the big idiots. They sure would have come in handy later when he was tossed by Sheamus and Triple H.
- He was actually smart to start with. He came out during Brock Lesnar's reign of terror and decided to hang out on commentary while that situation sorted itself out. Ultimately, Brock tossed the entire Wyatt Family (other than Bray) before they came back to eliminate him and leave again. It was then that Miz got back into the match. Why wouldn't he just wait until the very end? Because he's a dumbass. It was very shortly after this that Reigns decided to get back into the match and the first thing he did when he got back in the ring was throw Miz out.
- He tries to hit Dean Ambrose with a Brogue Kick but Deano ducks and he goes over the top ropes. He keeps himself in the match by landing on the apron but instead of getting back into the ring to continue the fight this moron tries to reach over the top rope to get to Dean. Reigns comes over with a Superman Punch and eliminates him.
Vince McMahon, League of Nations
- They had a good reason to book a beatdown of Roman Reigns to get him out of the match for an extended period of time. That said, it still doesn't make any damn sense at all for the League of Nations to drag Reigns out of the ring instead of throwing him over the top rope. They allowed him to get back into the match later, risking Triple H's eventual victory. I'm including Vince because he never at any point told these idiots to put him back in the ring and throw him over the top. The reason I'm not including this as a mark against Rusev, Sheamus, or Alberto Del Rio above is because they were seemingly under orders to ensure Reigns was hurt so Triple H could win later. None of them were ever going to win anyway and the assumption is they were aware of this. It's still dumb, but at least they were following orders. Whatever.
The Dumbest Ass
There have been far too many Royal Rumble matches for anyone to make the silly mistake of eliminating a guy and then standing over the ropes to taunt him. Undertaker won the Dumbest Ass Award in back-to-back years for doing exactly this. In this case, it's especially bad because it didn't just cost Reigns the Rumble, it cost him the WWE world heavyweight championship. What really puts it over the top is something I didn't even mention above: He didn't need to be there at that time! He was backstage getting medical attention and decided himself to come back into the match early. He could have waited and went out when Triple H tossed Dean Ambrose and had a glorified one-on-one match and never left himself open to making the stupid mistake that cost him everything. Honorable mention to Bray Wyatt for his being the worst cult leader in history and Chris Jericho for doing something similar to Reigns.
Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners:
1989: Bad News Brown
1990: Ultimate Warrior
1991: British Bulldog
1992: Hulk Hogan
1993: Randy Savage
1994: Lex Luger
1995: Lex Luger
1997: Mil Mascaras
1998: Disciples of Apocalypse
1999: Stone Cold Steve Austin
2000: Big Show
2001: The Rock
2004: Big Show
2005: Rey Mysterio
2006: Big Show
2007: Shawn Michaels
2010: John Cena
2011: Rey Mysterio
2012: Chris Jericho
2013: Dolph Ziggler
2014: Seth Rollins