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.
It should be said this match is difficult to apply this gimmick to if only because it was very clearly laid out in such a way that they celebrated various wrestlers from the past who helped pave the way to get the wrestlers of today to a point where they would even get to be in a Royal Rumble. That, unfortunately, meant WAY too many spots where women were outside the ring on the floor. Normally, that would be a mark against them -- not the hanging out on the outside part but the coming back in to keep fighting when you’ve already set a precedent that hiding out is a good strategy part -- but we’ll overlook that for this match because it’s understandable for what they were trying to accomplish. Everything else applies.
- Sarah Logan comes in fresh at number three and goes to work on tossing Becky Lynch out. Banks decided to blast her in the back. Credit to Corey Graves for immediately calling this out on the broadcast. More history for The Boss! The first stopped elimination and first dumbass act in a women’s Royal Rumble.
- Once again, Sarah Logan was trying to eliminate someone, in this case Torrie Wilson, and Banks ran over to lay into her. Once again, Corey Graves wondered what the hell she was doing.
- At one point, alongside Becky, she just watched Michelle McCool toss Ruby Riott over the top rope but get gut shot while trying to follow up and push Riott off the apron. Ruby then climbed back into the ring unimpeded. Sasha literally just stood there and watched this happen, only choosing to engage Riott once she was back in the ring.
- My god. She gets the better of Trish Stratus, eliminating the WWE Hall of Famer. She proceeds to gloat about it right next to the ropes with her back turned to everyone in the ring. The only reason she wasn’t chucked here is because Asuka was equally dumb.
- One step forward, two steps back. Banks actually does well after the idiocy following the Trish elimination, immediately convincing Asuka to band together to attack Brie Bella. She then turned on Asuka immediately, choosing instead to form an alliance with The Bella Twins to take out Asuka, clearly the most dangerous threat left in the match. This is smart! Then she hangs back while Nikki and Brie have Asuka in the corner and are just laying into her. Good stuff! Then, inexplicably, she literally pulls the Bellas away, says “I got this,” and sets Asuka up for her double knees in the corner. When she jumps up to execute, the Bella Twins grab her and throw her over the top rope. It was the fitting end she deserved.
- It’s unbelievable how dumb she was here. Lita picks her up and puts her over the top rope, where she manages to land on the apron. Lita tries to drive a shoulder into her but Mandy moves and plants Lita with a knee. Instead of hurrying back into the ring, she TURNS HER BACK and plays to the crowd. Lita literally just bumped her and she was eliminated.
- Oh good lord. Lita punches her in the head and Tamina basically no sells it. Lita then looks over to see how close to the ropes she is and then looks back and commands Tamina to come after her. Tamina obliges by running straight at her, never once attempting a move of any kind, or even really coming all that close to making contact with Lita at all, who pulled the top rope down a tad to help Tamina out. Unreal.
- There were multiple times Sane went up to the top rope in this match, which is understandable in the sense that she wanted to hit her big elbow drop, but also incredibly dumb. Still, you can find creative ways to forgive it once or twice but she just kept going up there. That’s not the big one, though. The big one was Dana Brooke coming in, picking her up and sitting her on the top turnbuckle in the corner, and Sane making no effort to get herself down. She literally kicked Dana away twice -- looking out at the crowd and shaking her head after the first one -- but didn’t bother to get back down on her feet in the ring. It was no surprise, then, when Brooke just pushed her and eliminated her.
- This is just awful. Torrie Wilson lifts her up over the top rope where Brooke manages to land on the apron. So what does she do? Just stands there and stares at Wilson, who kicks her legs out from under her and eliminates her.
- Almost the exact same thing as Brooke except even worse! Sonya Deville gets in and gets Torrie over the top rope. Wilson actually manages to fire off an elbow to give her time to climb back in the ring to safety. Except she used that time to just stand there and wait for Sonya to kick her straight out of the match.
- Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan have Sasha Banks on the apron and really close to elimination. Becky decided the right thing to do here would be to rush over from the other side of the ring and start fighting with Logan.
- See the above dumbass mark for Sasha, except applied here because she, too, just stood and watched Ruby.
- Natalya had Kelly Kelly on the ropes, doing her best to get her out. Maybe if she just had some help. Oh, here comes Becky to ... literally drag Nattie away to suplex her. “See, I don’t understand this strategy,” Graves remarked upon seeing this.” No one does, Corey.
- She got into the ring screaming at everyone, demanding their attention. When she got it, she ran away. Everyone caught her and threw her out.
- I don’t care if this needed to be done to set up an elimination save. Nia Jax tossed Naomi over the top rope but she managed to stay on the apron. After hitting Nia with a kick to the head, Naomi didn’t climb back in the ring. Nope, not her. She just stood there and waited for Jax to punch her off. The only reason she wasn’t eliminated was because there was an entire group of women standing right there to catch her and put her on the barricade.
- She trusted Natalya, giving her a big hug and generally leaving herself open to be slapped and tossed out.
- Mickie James was fresh and working on getting Natalya up and out of the match. Asuka saw this in the corner and decided to engage with James.
- She won the match in the end but oh boy was she real, real dumb here. Sasha Banks had just eliminated Trish Stratus and was being an idiot gloating about it right next to the ropes with her back turned to the entire ring. Asuka sees this and slowly walks up behind her, stops in the middle of the ring, and just stands there waiting for Banks to back up into her.
- But wait, it gets better! Instead of engaging her, Asuka actually allows Sasha to talk her into forming an alliance to attack Brie Bella. Banks then turns on her immediately before then recruiting the Bellas to attack Asuka.
- This is just funny. She sat herself up on the top rope in the corner and Trish went for the Stratusphere. Mickie, thinking she’s slick, threw her legs off and said “not today.” What she didn’t do, was climb back down from the ropes. So Trish just got up and kicked her in the head. Out goes Mickie.
- This was bad for two reasons: 1. She got thrown over the top rope by Asuka but managed to keep herself alive. Instead of climbing back in the ring, though, she just hung out on the apron for an absurd length of time. That opened Nikki up to turn on her and Bellahammer her ass right out of the match. 2. She trusted Nikki and got eliminated for it. You can give her some leeway, because it was her twin sister, but not that much leeway, because it was her twin sister. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The Dumbest Ass
The Boss was impressively stupid in this match. Yes, she was Iron Woman but she spent a lot of time outside the ring not even in the match and much of her time spent in the ring she was engaging in all kinds of dumbass behavior. But, hey, another history making moment for Banks!
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
2018 (men): Sheamus