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 strategy in this match was sound early on. Andre the Giant entered at number three and wrestlers worked together quite often in an attempt to get him out as quickly as possible. In fact, there were 11 entrants in the match before the first wrestler stopped an elimination.
- Shortly after Honky Tonk Man got in, Mr. Perfect went to work on him in the corner. As he was actively attempting to toss him, Bass showed up and put a stop to it.
- Bushwhacker Butch was working on Honky Tonk Man when Bass punched him in the back. Honky had already raked the eyes, but Bass but still being dumb here. It should be noted that not long before this, he had gone for a pin on Tito Santana shortly after he entered the match.
- Greg Valentine and Honky Tonk Man were working on Shawn Michaels when Perfect pulled Honky away.
- He rushed Ron Bass and kneed him in the back while Ron was attempting to throw Shawn Michaels out.
- Bad News was trying to get Macho Man out of the match and Tito tore him away. This is doubly worse considering Savage was the top guy at the time as the WWF champion.
Bad News Brown
- Arn Anderson was just about gone after Marty Jannetty racked him on the top rope but ol' Bad News showed up to make sure that didn't happen.
- This one is really bad. Brown was working in tandem with the Brainbusters to get a fresh Hulk Hogan out and peeled away just to stop Randy Savage from eliminating Bushwhacker Butch, of all people.
- As soon as he got in, he saw Bushwhacker Butch trying to dump Arn Anderson so he went over to make the save for his tag team partner. Special consideration for that being the case.
- The Brainbusters were working hard to get Jannetty out and while he was ultimately eliminated, Butch ran in and tried to put a stop to it.
- As soon as he got in the match, he turned his attention to Mr. Perfect, who was actively trying to eliminate Randy Savage. They were working a tag team at the time as the Mega Powers. Later, though, Hulk would be the one to eliminate Savage while he was tied up in the ropes with Bad News Brown.
- Like his partner before him, Anderson put a stop to someone trying to toss his fellow Brainbuster out when he kicked Hulk Hogan in the gut while he was trying to slam Tully Blanchard out of the ring.
- The Mega Powers were about to toss Bad News Brown out when Arn showed up and made sure they didn't. What a guy.
Koko B. Ware
- As Bad News had Randy Savage halfway over the top rope, Koko, fresh into the match, went over and yanked him off. He saved the WWF champion. Fittingly enough, he was eliminated by said champion's tag partner, Hulk Hogan, shortly after.
- Akeem was working on getting Brutus Beefcake out of the match when Rooster, coming in hot, decided the best play would be to stop Akeem from doing so. You could make an argument that this wasn't the worst decision considering Akeem's size relative to Beefcake and the better play would be to team with Brutus to get Akeem out before turning his attention to The Barber. That's actually exactly what happened, though it didn't work out.
- Brutus Beefcake and Barbarian were trying to toss Rick Martel while Hercules was also trying to toss Barbarian. This doesn't count against Hercules because in tossing Barbarian he would also dump Martel. Really, that's great strategy, as we saw Hulk Hogan employ earlier in the match when he eliminated both Bad News Brown and his own tag partner, Macho Man Randy Savage. Rooster, dumb as hell, decides to get in on this but actually pulls Hercules off first and then tries to eliminate him separately. Considering the smarts he showed earlier, this was strange.
- Remember when I mentioned Rooster and Beefcake teaming to get Akeem out? The reason it didn't work out is because Barbarian's dumbass came in fresh while Beefcake and Rooster were on the verge of dumping Akeem, in need of just a bit of extra muscle, and instead of assisting them and making himself the immediate favorite, Barbarian chopped Rooster and punched Beefcake. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura immediately called him out for his stupidity. Barbarian was also entrant 26 and there were only three other guys in the ring, so this was particularly egregious.
- Hercules was working on getting Barbarian out and Ted came up and kicked him in the gut. A weird decision considering Barbarian, despite being in longer than Hercules, would arguably be the worse match-up. What's more, DiBiase came in at 30. Why keep a guy in when you can help throw another out to get that much closer to the end?
- This was much worse. Rick Martel was close to getting Akeem's big ass out all by his lonesome and DiBiase, wandering aimlessly, decided the right call was to stop him from doing so.
THE DUMBEST ASS
Bad News Brown
DiBiase's tactics were highly questionable, especially considering his juicy entrance number, but Brown had the Brainbusters helping him in an attempt to eliminate Hulk Hogan and he broke away from this just to stop an elimination. Hulk was still relatively fresh at that point too, having gotten in less than two minutes before with just one elimination. He would go on to set the record for eliminations in a single Royal Rumble with 10, a record that would stand for over a decade. The lesson? When you have a chance to eliminate Hulk Hogan in a Royal Rumble match, you eliminate him. That's a lesson, sadly, many did not learn from this match and paid the price for it in the next two Royal Rumbles.