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.
This is widely considered the very best Royal Rumble match in history, and rightfully so. There was still plenty of dumbassery.
- British Bulldog and Ric Flair had been going at it for the majority of the match, considering they were entrants 1 and 3, respectively, and Bulldog had tossed entrant 2, Ted DiBiase, by the time Flair had gotten in. During one of their battles, Flair had Bulldog halfway over when Santana, fresh, back shotted Flair.
- Despite being engaged with Barbarian, and having just gotten the edge with a flying crossbody, Tito peeled away to again stop Flair from eliminating Bulldog. What the hell, Tito?
- British Bulldog was working on Shawn Michaels in the corner when Repo Man stepped in. Actually glad to see Ric Flair nutshot him not long after.
- This was amazing. Big Boss Man had just gotten in and was running wild on everyone. He settled on Shawn Michaels and hit him with a shot to the chin are enough to send ol' HBK over the top rope. While he was trying to finish the job, Repo Man came up and stated punching him. He did so while completely no selling Texas Tornado laying in some punches of his own. It even looked like Tornado said something to Repo Man and dude just ignored it. Probably something along the lines of "hey dickhead, get with the program." He didn't, so Tornado turned his attention to finishing what Boss Man started while Repo Man just peeled away and started acting like he was going to creep up on someone else. For his stupidity, Boss Man came up behind him and threw him out. What a moron.
- As a fan of his, this one is disappointing. Also, one of those really stupid moments when he was wandering around looking for someone to fight, saw Greg Valentine and British Bulldog working together to get Barbarian out, and decided to hit both of them. Damn it, Shawn. The worst part? He actually had to dodge Repo Man to get them.
- Although usually the only guys who make the list here are those who stop eliminations, we make special considerations for really dumb decisions. Such was the case here with Barbarian. Greg Valentine had slapped the Figure Four on Ric Flair, a smart play, as Bobby Heenan called it, because it would take Flair's legs out from under him. This after he had been in for quite some time, nearly 20 minutes at this point. Barbarian sees this and punches Valentine in the head. I'm reminded of the John Cena promo: "God make me strong, forget to give me brain."
- Same as Barbarian. Ric Flair had Jake Roberts in the Figure Four and Piper took the opportunity to kick both of them multiple times.
- The first thing he did upon entering the match is stop Ric Flair from sending Hacksaw Jim Duggan over the top. Smart enough to audit your tax return, not smart enough to win a Royal Rumble.
- This is so stupid. Roddy Piper was trying to eliminate Ric Flair when I.R.S. came over and initially started helping him. Then, for reasons no one will ever understand, he suddenly stopped and poked Piper in the eye. Then he just walked away.
- Hulk Hogan had Ric Flair over the top and almost out when I.R.S. RUSHED over to pull Hogan away. Sure, keeping Flair in for the fatigue factor seems smart at this point, considering they were talking about his having been in for like 53 minutes at this point. But that also meant he was super crafty and proving to be a tough out. If anyone could get him gone, it's Hogan.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
- How's this for incredible: I.R.S. had just saved him from elimination when Duggan pulled him away while he was trying to throw Roddy Piper out.
- Ric Flair had Roddy Piper over the top rope and was trying to kick him out when Duggan pulled him off to throw punches in the corner. He hit Flair with three punches and then walked off. I don't get it. I really don't.
- He got in the ring, saw Jim Duggan with Ric Flair on the ropes, and clubbed him in the back. Then, instead of following up with Hacksaw, he started working on Flair! What in the hell is going on in your head to do such a thing?!?
- Randy Savage had just thrown Ric Flair's legs up to go over the top rope when Berzerker came in with a kick. You could defend this as Berzerker wanting to keep the guy who had been in longest even longer to give himself an easier chance later.
- Shocked to be putting him on the list but he stopped Rick Martel from eliminating Virgil immediately after The Model got in the match. Strange decision, although I suppose I would rather get Martel out before Virgil.
- Hulk Hogan was on the verge of getting Rick Martel out when Slaughter yanked him off. This is only defensible if he wanted to work Hogan over in an attempt to tire him out. What did Slaughter do? He started working on Martel instead. Just dumb as hell.
- This is INCREDIBLE. Ric Flair makes what should have been the biggest mistake of the match when he, for no discernible reason, decided to go up to the top rope. Seriously, when he went up top it was after kicking Hulk but he went all the way to the other side of the ring. Even if he wanted to follow up, he was WAY too far away for that. Hogan, who recovered immediately from a lame kick, sees this and goes over to grab him up to throw him BACK INTO THE RING?!?!? For a guy who had won the last two Royal Rumble matches, this was the absolute dumbest thing Hogan had ever done.
The Dumbest Ass
I.R.S. gets the honorable mention for some impressive stupidity but Hogan ruined his chances for winning by not doing the smart thing and dumping Flair when he had him in such a vulnerable position, without even having to work for it, and easily could have. He was ultimately tossed out by Sid Justice while he was engaged with Flair, which never should have been the case because "The Nature Boy" should have been out. Had he not made that mistake, perhaps it's three in a row for The Hulkster.
Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners: