I don't think I'm in the minority by saying that the Royal Rumble match is one of the biggest highlights of the year. Since the debut of WWE Network, I've spent every January watching every single match in order to relive some of the best and worst moments in order to get me pumped for the incoming event. I enjoy the match so much that this year I've decided to take my fascination a step further to answer the ultimate question on everyone's minds, who is the most valuable Royal Rumble competitor of all-time?
Every year we see the same promo package with the same exact numbers and stat information (two guys have entered #1 to win, including Shawn Michaels...) but this year I've decided to take it a step further . What makes for a good rumble competitor? Wins are obviously an important aspect, but what should be valued more - eliminations or match longevity? We'll talk about this when we hit the discussion of certain wrestlers, but as you'll see below I'm rewarding the iron men of Rumble history. Eliminations are one thing, but how many time has a "big man" ran in, eliminated 3 guys and then found themselves eliminated less than two minutes later. Should those numbers be rewarded moreso than iron man numbers?
There have been 322 individual Rumble competitors not including multiple gimmicks (IE: Kane/Fake Diesel/Yankeem all count as one person). To determine a wrestler's value, I went and developed a point system based off of a few categories important to the match. Here's what I came up with:
Royal Rumble Win - 3 Points
Eliminations - .5 point per elimination, shared and solo eliminations included
50 + Minutes in one match - 1 point
25 - 50 Minutes in one match - .5 point
10 - 25 Minutes in one match - 0 points
2 - 10 Minutes in one match - -.5 points
30 secs - 2 minutes in one match - -1 point
Under 30 secs in match - -2 points
Self Eliminations - -.5 points
Non-Participant (officially part of match, but never made it to ring, IE Spike Dudley 2004) - -1 point
Appearances - .1 point for additional appearance outside of their debut match. (IE: One timers do not get the .1 for participating in one match)
We're gonna do this series in about 4 or 5 parts with today's version featuring the least valuable superstars. I will go through and write little blurbs on certain superstars, but to save myself time and patience I will be listing a lot of these without any depth of information because for real, you don't care about 8-Ball's history in the Rumble Match. I've decided not to include the one women's match from last year since there's not enough data to make a determination on value. Which means Beth Phoenix will only have one rumble counted under her belt. Also, Greatest Royal Rumble appearances will not count for this list. So sit back and enjoy, and get ready for a lot of interesting surprises.
322. Papa Shango/Kama Mustafa/Godfather/Goodfather: -7.8 points
Between four gimmicks, Charles Wright competed in a total of 8 Royal Rumble matches. He was always a consistent hand and his popular run in the early 2000's as The Godfather earned him Hall Of Fame honors. So how come he is the worst Rumble competitor of all time? Under three of his four gimmicks he was eliminated in under 30 seconds right off the bat giving him -6 points. In 3 other instances, he was eliminated in under 2 minutes. With only one elimination to his credit and a surprising final four appearance, the Rumble was not the kind of train that The Godfather was able to hop aboard.
321. The Hurricane/Gregory Helms: -5.1 Points
The Hurricane was always seen as a comedy gimmick and it reflected as such in his 5 rumble match appearances. His typical rumble appearance consisted of him going up to the biggest or most popular superstar and attempting to chokeslam them before easily being tossed over the top rope. With no appearances over 10 minutes of time and zero eliminations, no one ever had to stand back when The Hurricane came through the rumble.
320. Santino Marella: -4.6 Points
Similar to The Hurricane, Santino's 5 appearances were all used as comedy routines. He holds the record for the shortest time in the rumble beating the longtime record of The Warlord with his 1 second appearance in 2009. However, his best moment came in 2011 as he took a page out of Jerry The King Lawler's book by hiding under the ring and popping back in when there was one man left standing. It was a fun moment, but this has been an idea WWE has gone back to the well with far too often (Rusev in 2015, Naomi in the Mania Battle Royal). Along with a Cobra vs. Socko fight with Mick Foley in 2012, Santino at least had some memorable moments to go along with being the 3rd worst Rumble wrestler of all time.
T318. K-Kwik/R-Truth: -4.3 Points
You see a continuing trend here at the bottom with another comedic gimmick appearance. R-Truth shockingly enough eliminated BOTH Big Show and Mark Henry at the same time in 2010, but in 8 matches those remain his only eliminations achieved. His run has also included a Dudley Boy cosplay and a Money In The Bank guffaw where he entered the ring with a ladder, reached up and grabbed absolutely nothing. We can hold out hope for improvement though because he's entering this year's match at #30, so this may be the year that R-Truth finally legitimizes himself as a serious rumble competitor... that is if he's finished his vacation in the lovely town of Stamford, Connecticut.
T318. Bushwhacker Luke: -4.3 Points
Another Hall Of Famer in the bottom five, but as we all know you don't need to have a .300 career batting average in order to meet WWE's standards. As mentioned in their speech, Butch rattled off about how he lasted 20 minutes in a Rumble match while Luke was eliminated in less than 5 seconds, but they both received the same amount of pay! Luke showed up 3 times and lasted under 30 seconds for 2 of those appearances, which is pretty much par for the course for the kiwi cousin.
317. The Warlord: -4.1 Points
The original shortest Rumble appearance prior to Santino that was featured on every Rumble promo package known to man was The Warlord stepping over the ropes, screaming and eating a Hulk Hogan clothesline to be eliminated in 2 seconds. He would go on to make 4 more appearances but was never able to get his revenge on Hogan for being the Rumble's biggest embarrassment for almost two decades.
316. The Miz: -4 Points
Yup, you read that right. This is our first shock of the countdown as the 11-time Rumble veteran has had about as much success in the match as he's had in Hollywood. For someone as big of a name as him, he's only had one impressive Rumble run and that came in 2012 where he entered #1 and lasted 45 minutes and racking up 2 eliminations. Those were his ONLY eliminations he's ever had in a rumble match he competed in. Technically he eliminated Cena in 2011, but he was the Champion as the time and not officially involved in the match so we don't count that. Other notable, awful Miz appearances came in his first Rumble in 2007 where the former reality TV star was tossed in mere seconds and the following year where he was eliminated by none other than Hornswoggle hiding under the ring. Because of tag team responsibilities, we aren't sure if he's involved in this year's match. If he is, it's due time that he increase his value for next year's list.
T313. Zack Ryder: -3.2 Points
Four appearances, 3 of them coming within the 30 second to 2 minute window. Including one where CM Punk attempted to recruit him for the Straight Edge Society. More negative than positive moments for my fellow Long Islander, but nothing that stands out as overly embarrassing unlike his fellow bottom 10 on the least valuable list.
T313. Chris Masters: -3.2 Points
At one point, Masters was seen as a huge future asset to the company. But that lasted for as much time as the Master Lock Challenge did. Four appearances in total, two in his first run with the company in 06-07 and two in the latter half of 10-11. Nothing spectacular, nothing memorable. But bad enough to crack the bottom 10.
T313. Scotty 2 Hotty: -3.2 Points
Scotty's Rumble runs were quite sad looking back in hindsight. In his first match he tried to ease the tension between his Too Cool buddies by busting into a mid-rumble dance break. Rikishi would turn on him for the sake of the match and toss him over the ropes after getting a Worm in. In 2005 he suffered another disappointing moment when he was attacked by a furious Muhammad Hassan before entering the ring prohibiting him to compete in the match. It looks like the Rumble match was a little "too much" for the king of the open topped bucket hat.
T311. Jack Swagger: -3 Points
A few former World Champions find themselves just outside the bottom 10. Swagger holds the distinct unimpressive record of most rumbles without an elimination sharing that title with someone else who we'll mention shortly. The All-American American may go down as one of the most uninspiring champions of all time and his title run certainly mirrors his Rumble track record.
T311. Bradshaw/JBL: -3 Points
Six Rumble matches for the former longest reigning Smackdown Champion, but his impact was fairly minimal. 5 of his 6 matches were participated by the Bradshaw character (both Blackjack and APA) and his one JBL appearance came from straight fromthe commentary table in a year where they decided to enter him in the rumble instead of Daniel Bryan. Again, nothing spectacular here aside from a decent run in his first match way back in 1998 lasting for over 25 minutes.
Since many of the next handful of competitors have no interesting Rumble stories, I will be straight up listing them with no description until I find something worth discussing.
T309. Simon Dean, Billy Gunn: -2.9 Points
T306. JTG, Bart Gunn, Red Rooster/Terry Taylor: -2.8 Points
305. Titus O'Neil: -2.7 Points
304. Faarooq: -2.6 Points
303. Yoshi Tatsu: -2.4 Points
T300. Jeff Jarrett, Shelton Benjamin, Damien Sandow: -2.3 Points
T297. Kwang/Savio Vega, Steve Blackman, Chavo Guerrero: -2.1 Points
T283. Enzo Amore, James Ellsworth, Adam Rose, Epico, Jamie Noble, The Sandman, Sylvan, Tazz, Gillberg, Tom Brandi, Fake Razor Ramon, Squat Team Member #1, Timothy Well: -2 Points
These 13 competitors hold a distinctive honor of having the most imperfect Rumble score. To become a member of the Imperfect Club you need three things. 1) compete in only one rumble match in your entire career. Safe to say that none of these guys will ever appear in a Rumble again. 2) Record zero eliminations. 3) Get eliminated in under 30 seconds. They always book the Rumble to have a few blunders every year, but to enter your first and only rumble just to stick around for nano seconds? The right kind of embarrassing. For guys such as Sylvan, Tom Brandi and Timothy Well, I don't believe I've seen them in a match outside of their quick rumble elimination.
T283. Prince Albert/Albert/Hip Hop Hippo/A-Train/(Lord) Tensai: -2 Points
As mentioned above with Jack Swagger, the two of them share the record for most participated rumbles without an elimination. It's not surprising for NXT's current head trainer that a career of mid-card obscurity lead to Rumble mediocrity. Although he gimmicked his way through the Rumble years, Matt Bloom's legacy at this point will hopefully be determined by how many Rumble winners and participants he's trained rather than his own personal experience in it.
T280. Goldust: -1.9 Points
Another Rumble vet who overall hasn't quite had the success that his appearances would indicate. In 12 matches, Goldust was eliminated within 2-10 minutes 7 times, lasted for over 25 minutes only once and scored a lackluster 4 eliminations. There is one category that Goldust (probably) leads the Rumble field in and that's being a surprise entrant. It almost feels as if every year Goldust enters the rumble as an unsuspecting participant, but after a while it becomes so unspectacular in hindsight that the surprise factor falls completely flat.
T280. Mo, Koko B. Ware: -1.9 Points
T278. The Great Khali, Tommy Dreamer: -1.8 Points
T276. Marty Jannetty, Honky Tonk Man: -1.7 Points
275. The Brian Kendrick: -1.5 Points
Almost a member of the imperfect club, however he had to go and record an elimination in those 15 seconds he lasted in the ring. Boourns.
T267. Hunico/Sin Cara, Alex Riley, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Grand Master Sexay, Gangrel, Duke The Dumpster Droese, Doink The Clown: -1.4 Points
T265. Bushwhacker Butch, William Regal: -1.3 Points
T263. Jerry The King Lawler, Mark Henry: -1.2 Points
Mark Henry's Rumble history feels strange to me. The matches he's been in have been scattered throughout long periods of time. He was in the 98-99 Rumbles and didn't appear again until 2004. After 04, his next appearance wouldn't be until 2008. He string together 4 rumbles in a row before taking a break after 2011 until seeing him return in 2016 and 17. We didn't really miss much during that time because as a typical Rumble big man, he only has 5 eliminations in 9 showings, 7 of them clocking in from 2-10 minutes. I guess its just cause that's what he do.
262. Dolph Ziggler: -1.1 Points
Another one that shouldn't feel as lackluster as it does. He would've scored better had he held on for 13 more seconds in 2013 giving him a point for being a 50 minute Iron Man. However, it has to be mentioned that him and Kofi Kingston both have quite the streak going as they both have participated in every Rumble since 2009. If you believe the dirt sheets, this may be the year where Dolph's streak is snapped.
T243. Tyler Breeze, The Boogeyman, Michael Cole, Primo, Tyler Reks, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Muhammad Hassan, Rico, Ernest The Cat Miller, Spike Dudley, Drew Carey, Latin Lover, Cibernetico, Hakushi, Squat Team Member #2, Jimmy Del Ray, Bastion Booger, Max Moon: -1 Point
Most of these competitors (aside from Super Crazy) were one and done lasting less than 2 minutes in the match. In the case of Tyler Reks, he came 4 seconds away from joining the elite imperfect squad mentioned above.
T227. Apollo Crews, Xavier Woods, Baron Corbin, Fandango, Jey Uso, Jonathan Coachman, Tajiri, Perry Saturn, Chyna, Ahmed Johnson, Jacob Blu/8-Ball, Adam Bomb, Samu, Skinner, Jerry Sags, Tugboat/Typhoon: -0.9 Points
Unlike the group above, this cast of characters are mostly 2-time unspectacular Rumble competitors. Some of these folks like Crews, Woods and Corbin have a chance to improve their score this Sunday, but for right now there's some work to do before the find themselves in the black.
T222. Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, MVP, Virgil: -0.8 Points
I feel its appropriate to mention here that all three former members for 3MB share the same Rumble value points. I'd assume Drew's stock will move waaaaaay up after this Sunday.
T219. Big E, Jeff Hardy, Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V: -0.7 Points
A bit shocking that Hardy hasn't fared well in these matches. Viscera was always the guy who's music hit and the entire crowd went into a GASP (see his 2000 entrance, it's the most N64 Wrestlemania 2000 reaction from a real crowd that I've ever seen) and although he eliminated 8 people in 9 years, he always fell victim to everyone ganging up and tossing him out. As for Big E, I'm hoping that this is the year he finally comes through with an impressive Rumble showing, how about maybe even a final four?
218. Bob Backlund: -0.6 Points
I think he might be the only guy to have scored in the 50+ minutes category and the under 30 seconds one. Sounds about right.
T171. Adam Cole, Aiden English, Tye Dillinger, Jack Gallagher, Mojo Rawley, Kalisto, Big Cass, El Torito, Jimmy Uso, Sin Cara, Brodus Clay, Kharma, Beth Phoenix, Evan Bourne, Elijah Burke, Sabu, Paul London, Mark Jindrak, Kenzo Suzuki, Daniel Puder, Nunzio, Bill DeMott, Christopher Nowinski, Lance Storm, Raven, Bull Buchanan, The Blue Meanie, Tiger Ali Singh, Dan Severn, Flash Funk, Mil Mascaras, Barry Horowitz, Doug Gilbert, Takao Omori, Steven Dunn, Mantaur, Tom Prichard, Rick Steiner, Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa, Saba Simba, Paul Roma, Ronnie Garvin, Junkyard Dog, B. Brian Blair, Boris Zhukov, Butch Reed: -0.5 Points
Again, another group filled with one and doners except this time, they lasted for under 10 minutes instead of under 2. It's a pretty craptacular group of names with only one, Adam Cole (baby), that I have hope to see rise up in the future.
T154. Ezekiel Jackson, Orlando Jordan, Rene Dupree, Diamond Dallas Page, Maven, Crash Holly, Ken Shamrock, Mosh, Marc Mero, Aldo Montoya, Eli Blu/Skull, Scott Steiner, Owen Hart, The Berzerker, Road Warrior Animal, The Texas Tornado, Nikolai Volkoff: -0.4
The only real notable name here with more than 2 rumble appearances is Owen Hart who competed in 7 averaging 1 elimination per match. Sad to see that he was never a rumble Iron Man which would've been a joy to witness. On another note, before doing this research I had no idea which Blu brother played which DOA member. And that information seemed next to impossible to find as every profile on the Harris Twins feature them as a team rather than individuals.
T151. Erick Rowan, 1-2-3 Kid/X-Pac, Dino Bravo: -0.3
I kinda cheated a bit. If you go by history, it says that Curtis Axel was a non-participant entrant in the 2015 Rumble. But frankly, Rowan competed in the damn thing. If you list it like that for one you gotta list it for the others. Foley attacked Test in 04, he was considered the Rumble entrant. Sami Zayn attacked Dillinger last year, he was considered the participant as well. This little snafu has only helped Axel's value, which is surprisingly not horrible.
T148. Al Snow, Jimmy Snuka, Haku: -0.2
147. Test: -0.1
Test was the 2000 Royal Rumble's iron man. How about that?
T123. Kevin Owens, Neville, Darren Young, Ricardo Rodriguez, Kevin Thorn, Kenny Dykstra, Eugene, Trevor Murdoch, Bobby Lashley, Luther Reigns, Rosey, Droz, Chainz, Dory Funk Jr., King Kong Bundy, The Great Kabuki, Carlos Colon, Damien Demento, Brutus Beefcake, Tully Blanchard, Hillbilly Jim, Danny Davis, Sam Houston, Harley Race: 0 Points
Here are your folks in purgatory that didn't do enough to receive a positive score, but didn't suck enough to receive a negative one. Most of the names here wrestled in one rumble, eliminated one person and lasted under 10 minutes meaning the 0.5 and -0.5 scores canceled each other out. Lashley and Owens should find themselves above this threshold at some point you'd think, but for everyone else? Looks like you'll never be of any value.
So we got all of the least valued Rumblers out of the way today. Tomorrow we'll be back with 73 more superstars who valued on the positive side, but failed to achieve much more than a few points.
I'll be on the 20x20 Podcast this week to talk a little more about this list. Check out the new show here.