Welcome back again as I dabble in my free time to give you utter nonsense to skim through on your lunch break at work. Okay, maybe not utter nonsense, but it's some type of nonsense. The good kind. Anyway, for those of you just checking in and need some catching up, this week I've been posting some data that I've collected based upon every single Royal Rumble competitor of all-time to determine who the most valuable is. Parts one and two feature rankings from 322nd to 50th and today we'll strictly focus on 49-26. Tomorrow will be the grand finale revealing who I've determined to be the top 25 Rumble participants of all-time.
If you missed the last two days, check them out here. See part one for how points were calculated.
Let's dig deep into this next group featuring a few past winners, some Hall Of Famers and a few current stars that could potentially move up the rankings very soon.
49. Vader: 2.7 Points
Before there was AJ Styles, Vader was the Rumble debut that was hyped up and talked about the most. In what should've been a dominant run for the Mastadon, his WWF career turned out almost the same way as his first Rumble appearance did. In 96, he entered the match to much fanfare, elimination a handful of superstars before being eliminated himself. Then for the first time that I can recall, Vader came back in the ring and threw people over the top rope but the refs decided to reverse the decision and allow those men to re-enter the match. Just like his 3 year WWE career, the creative team seemed to have reversed the decision on what looked to be a major push after a big WCW and New Japan run.
T47. Luke Harper, Rusev: 2.8 Points
Both men have put together some decent outings in the last few years of competing in the match. Harper usually had the advantage of siding with the Wyatt Family, therefore he's racked up a decent 6 eliminations. Rusev had to cheat a tad bit to get to this spot. He took a page out of Santino's book in 2015 as he played opossum under the ring sneaking back in order to attempt to eliminate Reigns. It was bad booking, as was the entire 2015 match that we'll never speak of again.
T45. Big Boss Man, Mr. Perfect: 2.9 Points
Again, nothing too spectacular here, but good enough to make the most of 5 outings each for both men. Boss Man eliminated 8 and Perfect eliminated 6 with one appearance over 25 minutes. They both hold the distinction of being the only wrestlers to compete in both the 1989 and 2002 Rumbles for those of you who love nerdy, but very much useless statistics.
T43. Finn Balor, Bam Bam Bigelow: 3 Points
Finn entered his first Rumble last year at #2 and had one of the all-time best Iron Man runs lasting a total of 57 minutes and eliminating 4 people. This year he'll forgo the match and will likely take an L to Lesnar, but I think we can anticipate him stringing together impressive performances in future years. As for Bam Bam, he seems to be a lock for this year's Hall of Fame, but his Rumble history spanned just one year in 1994 as he himself was also an Iron Man lasting 30 minutes. His true Rumble claim to fame had nothing to do with the match itself, but in 1995 he had a confrontation with New York Giants Linebacker Lawrence Taylor that led to one of the strangest Wrestlemania main events in history.
42. Seth Rollins: 3.1 Points
Seth is the clear cut favorite to win this year's match and challenge Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania, so let's expect his placement here to be very temporary. He's had a nice showing for only competing in two Rumbles, he lasted over 25 minutes in 2014 after entering #2 and made a decent run in last year's match. Before we get more in-depth with his value, let's just see where he ends up on Sunday and if he skyrockets himself closer to the top 25.
T40. Alberto Del Rio, One Man Gang/Akeem: 3.2 Points
Alberto Del Rio takes the crown of the least valuable competitor to ever win a Rumble match. After entering in at #38 in the only 40-man Rumble in 2011, he was able to pull off somewhat of a lackluster win. At the time, it felt like WWE was creating a star, but it turned out that whenever Alberto got close to the top, he'd find a way to spoil it. In only 2 other rumble matches, he doesn't have one elimination to his name. As for the African Dream, he was able to rack up 8 eliminations under two different characters in just 3 matches. Solid performance.
39. Hacksaw Jim Duggan: 3.4 Points
Our first ever Rumble winner you'd think would have more impressive numbers, but they are ordinary at best. Keep in mind that his win came in a year that there were only 20 men competing, so he only has 4 total eliminations and no big time Iron Man runs. In two of his remaining four appearances he came as a surprise entrant in both 2009 and 2012. Always good for a pop and a hooooooo!
T37: Ted DiBiase Sr., Crush: 3.8 Points
The Million Dollar Man has had a fun Rumble history attached to him. in 1989, he purchased the #30 entry spot from Slick, because it's a very DiBiase thing to do, then he ended up in the final two before being eliminated by eventual winner Big John Studd. The following year he'd enter at #1 and last for over 25 minutes. He finished his Rumble legacy with 9 eliminations in 4 showings. As for Crush, he's entered the Rumble as a Demolition member, a Mr. Fuji disciple and a member of the Nation of Domination. He survived to the Final 4 in 1995, but besides eliminating an overall total of 8 men in his Rumble career, value doesn't determine interest. Fan fact: Crush and DiBiase have both entered Rumbles at #1 and #30. Many others have done this such as The Undertaker, Dolph Ziggler, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair and the man next on this list...
36. Rikishi/Fatu/The Sultan: 3.9 Points
A very respectable 10 Rumble matches for the big man who had to dabble through a few gimmicks before finally settling on the one that made him a star. His most notable performance came in 2000 where he cleaned house after entering #5. Then he eliminated his Too Cool brothers and the next two men who entered giving him a total of the first 7 eliminations of the match which I believe is a record in that fashion. As a big man, longevity was never his strength so he always had to rely on eliminations which he had 12 of during his decade of Rumble matches.
T34. Rob Van Dam, Big John Studd: 4 Points
Studd won his first and only Rumble back in 1989 from that lucky #27 spot. If you listened to STWW's recent episode on the 04 Rumble, they briefly mention that Studd was the least over Rumble wrestler during the time that Bruce Prichard was with the company. I tend to agree, but see it as a gold watch for someone who never got to hold a title but made a very good career for himself. RVD entered 6 Rumble matches including two where he was introduced as a surprise. The 06 Rumble was an expected surprise since he was returning from injury, but in 09 the place came unglued when he made his shocking return in the match as a one off appearance. 8 eliminations during that run is a very solid Rumble legacy for the whole f'n show.
33. Dean Ambrose: 4.3 Points
Ambrose has been somewhat sort of a sneaky Iron Man in Rumble matches. In 4 appearances, he's lasted over 25 minutes 3 times. That's been his strength in the match. His elimination totals are fine, only 5. But you'd have to think he's another wrestler who will improve his numbers after this weekend's bout.
32. Mick Foley/Mankind/Cactus Jack/Dude Love: 4.4 Points
So there is probably some debate here how I calculated his 3 Faces of Foley run from the 1998 match. I felt like the best thing to do was combine all 3 characters numbers into one, or else he would probably find himself a bit further down the list since neither Mankind or Dude Love lasted very long in the match. Outside of those memorable moments, Foley isn't that well known for his Rumble outings as he's been in more after his first retirement than he was in his prime. Those matches were used either as comedy or revenge entries to further a feud with Randy Orton or play Socko vs. Cobra against Santino. Foley's Rumble legacy will forever be held in both 1999 and 2000 matches which were two of the most gruesome (outside of KOTR 98) in his career.
31. Vince McMahon: 4.5 Points
Just a depressing reminder than Vince actually won a Rumble that he barely competed in only to get over a story with Austin. 1999 was not one of the best Rumbles due to a lack of presence and interest outside of the Vince/Austin ordeal, but it did birth the legendary theme song "No Chance In Hell" that Vince still uses to this very day. Vince is the only Rumble winner to have only eliminated the last competitor in the match, but on a technicality he also survived 50+ minutes due to entering the match at #2. Weird stats, but makes sense due to the circumstance.
30. Shinsuke Nakamura: 5 Points
I never thought that the most recent Rumble winner would've already reached his plateau for Rumble match value, but a year later, a failed low blow of a feud with Styles and depressing US Title run, here we are with Nakamura. We don't know if he's officially competing this year, but this is the first time that he'll be featured on the pre-show in his 2 year main roster run. It looks like all hope is lost for the King Of Strong Style, but let's cherish the one main roster victory that'll give him credibility after he leaves for AEW in 3 months. I kid. Or do I?
29. Diesel/Kevin Nash: 5.8 Points
His best Rumble outing came in his debut match entering #7 in 1994. Diesel at the time was still kind of just seen as Shawn Michaels' bodyguard and not much more, but many say that this match was his break out moment eliminating 7 men in a very impressive showing. He'd compete in a total of four matches, two of those as a surprise in 2011 and 2014, and totaled 13 eliminations. All in all, not bad for the limited amount of time that he had.
28. Ric Flair: 5.9 Points
28th on this list? That's not fair to Flair!! Sorry, I had to! Flair's legendary 1992 match win lasting close to an hour after entering #3 definitely earned him the most points to get this high. But remember, Flair only wrestled in two Rumbles in his prime. The latter Rumbles of 05-07 did diminish a little bit of his value as he didn't last more than a few minutes in each of those matches. 1992's match still goes down as one of the very best of all-time and might be the turning point that made the Rumble the type of must see event that we know it as today.
27. Braun Strowman: 6.1 Points
Braun has the highest point value for anyone who's been in 2 or less Rumble matches that hasn't won. He was a monster among competitors in both matches totaling 12 eliminations in both. Had we included his Greatest Royal Rumble numbers, his value would've been off the charts with a win and 13 eliminations. Alas, he still makes a big impression on this list nearly cracking the top 25. We should assume that his stock will only rise in the coming years and at some point he'll get that actual Rumble win.
26. Bray Wyatt/Husky Harris: 6.9 Points
Yeah! Husky Harris almost cracked the top 25! Kinda. The real Bray Wyatt did most of the heavy lifting as he's been a consistent presence in the match since 2015, unlike his presence on Raw these days. His best performance came in 2015 that has a bit of a sour reputation to it. He entered at #5 and lasted for over 47 minutes, but one of his 6 eliminations happened to be Daniel Bryan in a spot where the Rumble had barely gotten under way. 5 Rumbles, no appearances for under 10 minutes and 12 eliminations. Let's see if he's up for any surprises this year.
That should do it for today's edition. One part left in this series that features the 25 most valuable Rumble competitors ever. 18 winners, many legends and Hall of Famers, and a few surprises spliced in there that you may not be expecting. Until then, I hope this series has gotten you pumped up for an exciting event this Sunday.