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 multiple instances of wrestlers stopping eliminations or generally engaging in activity that leads to their own elimination. Special consideration for other assorted stupidity.
The Royal Rumble we wanted, and the Royal Rumble we needed.
- Rhyno gets in at number three while just Rusev and Finn Balor are in the ring. He runs wild and is in the process of getting Balor over the top rope when Rusev goes barreling across the ring to stop him. Michael Cole called it a “weird strategy.” Not weird, Cole, stupid.
- Apollo Crews comes in fresh and is in the process of getting Sami Zayn up and out of the match when Rusev, who was in the corner next to them, sees this and decides his best course of action is to attack Crews. Zayn, the guy he just saved, walked away as Rusev was following up trying to toss Apollo out. Lesson learned.
- This guy. Comes in at 4 with a full head of steam and lays into Balor in the corner. His follow up was to literally launch Finn ... to the other side of the ring? If you’re picking a dude up to throw him in a Royal Rumble match, it should be over the top rope. Guess who tossed Corbin a short time after this? You got it! Corbin’s entire character is “massive failure” and this is why.
- This takes the dumbass cake. When Corbin was eliminated, he flew into an idiot rage and laid everyone out, including Heath Slater, who was just making his entrance at number 5. Each subsequent entrant took a shot at Slater on their way to the ring, to the point that he still wasn’t in the match by the number 11 entrant, Sheamus. So what does the Celtic Idiot do? He picks Slater up and throws him into the ring! He then has to climb in right after, using the ropes to help him up, putting him in prime position for Slater to clothesline him out. Maybe next time leave the least threatening guy outside the ring and deal with him later instead of putting him in a perfect position to eliminate (and embarrass) you.
- Speaking of Slater, after his elimination of Sheamus, he celebrated it with his back turned to everyone in the ring. Bray Wyatt turned him around, hit Sister Abigail, and threw him out.
- Happy Rusev Day and all but don’t sing about it while you’re on the top rope in a Royal Rumble. You might get kicked by Finn Balor and eliminated, and you’ll definitely be a dumbass.
- I especially like this dumbassery because he really thought about it. Cena put a couple shots on Nakamura in one corner and then turned around to see that Finn Balor had Seth Rollins in danger up and nearly over in the other corner. His reaction was to leave Nakamura -- the guy who won this match, by the way -- and stalk his way over just to kick Balor in the gut. The best part? Right after Rollins got back down into the ring, he punched Cena in his big dumb head.
- Goldust was fresh as could be and had literally just thrown Balor over the top rope. He was about to follow up to ensure he pushed him off the apron but Cena was right there to make sure it didn’t happen. How did this guy win two Royal Rumbles?
- Look, I get it. There are spots WWE does just for the sake of the spot. But you can’t forgive Almas launching himself up and off the top rope toward an extremely fresh Randy Orton with no clear plan of attack. It was the old flying nothing. Like he literally threw himself toward Orton just to eat the inevitable RKO. Just as inevitable was the follow up elimination.
- He’s in the corner recovering and looks up to see both John Cena and Adam Cole (baybay) teaming up trying to force Finn Balor out. So he walks over, fist raised to choreograph his next move, and punches Cole.
- He comes running into the ring to find John Cena has Seth Rollins sitting up on the top rope, vulnerable as all get out. Naturally, his plan of attack is to grab Cena and drag him away to start punching him.
- He trusted someone in a Royal Rumble match, in this case Roman Reigns. They teamed up to throw out The Miz and Rollins wasn’t ready when Reigns followed up by taking advantage of Seth having his back to him. Head on a swivel in the Rumble, Seth, you know that.
The Dumbest Ass
There really wasn’t much dumbassery in this Royal Rumble, and it greatly improved the quality of the match itself. Sheamus didn’t have the most dumbass acts but his clearly stood out above the rest. It’s truly incredible that he lasted all of two seconds and was still somehow the Dumbest Ass in the entire thing. Honorable mention goes to John Cena.
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
2016: Roman Reigns
2017: Chris Jericho