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.
The match that featured the all time dumbest moment.
- Right away, we got a dumbass. Bob Backlund was trying to toss Ric Flair when Shango, coming in at number three, stopped it just as soon as he got in the ring. Consider the fact that Flair had won the previous year's match -- and the WWF title -- by lasting nearly an hour. Why save that guy of all people? The best part of all this is that while Shango was working to get Backlund out on the other side of the ring, Flair came over and tossed him over.
- The same story as Shango. He runs in while Backlund is trying to dump Flair out and yanks Bob away to fight with him. You stupid dumb idiots.
- While Ric Flair and Ted DiBiase were trying to get Brian Knobbs' big ass out, Backlund grabbed Flair and yanked him away to fight in the corner.
- I.R.S. was working to get Jerry Sags up when Backlund peeled away from helping Damien Demento double team Tatanka to break it up. Strange decision for a guy who had been in for a long time at that point.
- Virgil was on the apron and holding on to the top rope. Flair yanked it and forced Virgil back in. Strange decision, Ric.
- Damn it, Perfect. Like Hulk Hogan the year before him, he had Ric Flair up on the top rope and as vulnerable as it gets. Instead of throwing him out of the match, however, he threw him back in the ring. "Perfect doesn't want to win the Royal Rumble, he wants to put Flair in the hospital," Bobby Heenan explained. In fairness, these two were feuding and Perfect was going HARD at his nemesis. You could at least make an argument that Perfect wanted to keep him in to continue the beating (which is what he did). He also eliminated Flair not too long after, so it's at least forgivable with hindsight. In the moment, however, it was a really dumb decision.
- I.R.S. and Damien Demento were working on Bob Backlund when Tatanka came in hot and just found a back to hit. Dumb.
- Rick Martel was lifting Carlos Colon up and working hard to get him out when Tatanka walked over, sized him up, and kicked him. The hell, Tatanka?
- Here's a funny one. Fatu had just gotten in and was moving from guy to guy just laying blows in. He sees Typhoon in the corner, walks over, and kicks him in the leg. Then he sees that Typhoon is actively attempting to eliminate Bob Backlund, so he joins in.
- About that Fatu thing, Typhoon broke off his elimination attempt to push Fatu away as Tatanka and Jerry Sags were coming up behind them to all get involved. Just a total clustermuck.
- Well, this is new. The big man comes into the match and immediately stops his own tag partner in The Natural Disasters, Typhoon, from eliminating I.R.S. I'm putting this here because you're a dumbass for stopping an elimination, no matter the circumstances, but I loved Earthquake's tactical approach, that he understands how tough Typhoon is and he might as well get him out as early as possible. Sure enough, he eliminated him shortly thereafter.
- Earthquake had Fatu with one leg up and about to go over the top rope when Sags jumped on his back. You could argue the same strategy Earthquake used on Typhoon but the circumstances are a bit different considering Sags isn't his tag partner who knows him well. Plus, Fatu is a tough out. Let Earthquake toss him and wait him out. He's big, he'll gas.
- Tito Santana, still fresh, was trying to send Bob Backlund out. I.R.S. put a stop to it. Backlund was so tired at this point he basically took a nap after this save.
- He got in and immediately saved Rick Martel from being tossed by Jerry Sags.
- Oh, Randy. It came down to just Savage and Yokozuna and Macho Man took a sustained beating while trying to get the big man off his feet. Yes, that makes NO sense at all as a strategy in a match where the idea is to get your opponent over the top rope. Yet Savage went with it and when Yoko finally went to his back, Randy came off the top with his patented Flying Elbow Drop. And then he TRIED TO PIN Yokozuna. It was right near the ropes, so Yokozuna just kicked out strong and that sent Savage flying over the top rope and out of the match.
The Dumbest Ass
Everything about Savage's strategy was incredibly dumb but to attempt a pin in a Royal Rumble is a new level of idiocy. To add insult to stupidity he was eliminated on the kickout. I'm not sure there will be a moment in any Royal Rumble dumber than this.
Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners: