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.
Macho King Randy Savage
- Jake Roberts was trying to toss Ted DiBiase out when Macho came running in for his entrance and went right after The Snake. Then he teamed up with The Million Dollar Man to put a beating on Jake.
- Later in the match, Savage saw Piper close to sending DiBiase out and rushed in to make the save. Tony Schiavone wondered why he would do such a thing. "He must have been paid off!"
- While Jake Roberts and Roddy Piper were trying to throw Macho King out, DiBiase came over to rip Roberts away. It made some level of sense considering Savage had helped DiBiase but this is the Rumble.
- Warlord was working on sending Roddy Piper out when The Hitman decided to back shot him. Piper is a wild card, why not help get him out as quickly as possible? Perhaps he thought Warlord a bigger threat because he teamed with Roddy in a beatdown of him just after. A lot of alliances early in this match.
- Ted DiBiase had Dusty Rhodes teetering on a turnbuckle when Hart headbutted him. At the time, Demolition was working on Andre the Giant and Dusty is a big fella. Meanwhile, DiBiase was the number one entrant and badly fatigued at this point. Not a smart play by Bret here. It would prove to be the biggest mistake he could possibly make when, not long after, he was eliminated by none other than The American Dream.
- Jake Roberts had Ted DiBiase close to gone but Warlord thought it would be better to let Ted stay in the match.
- Dino Bravo was a fresh entrant in the match and decided he would go after one of the toughest guys in the ring, Haku. Superfly decided to stop an elimination just to run their heads together. Haku sold this by just standing still for like five seconds and then leaning over the ropes, so at least it led to a funny moment.
- Demolition were working on getting Ted DiBiase, who was proving to be a very tough out, over the top rope when Dino showed up to rip Axe away for no good reason at all.
- Ted DiBiase, running on fumes, was lifting Smash up to go over but Neidhart stopped it.
- Ultimate Warrior was trying to throw Rick Martel out when Neidhart walked up, punched Warrior, and pulled Martel back into the ring to throw hands. Just an absurdly stupid thing to do.
- Both Jim Neidhart and Smash were trying to throw Ted DiBiase out but Haku put the boots to Smash. Immediately after, he teamed with him for a brief moment to attack Ultimate Warrior. Literally just a guy wondering around doing whatever.
- A fresh Rick Martel was teaming up with a still fresh Ultimate Warrior in an attempt to get Smash out and Haku, again just wandering around doing shit, punched both of them off. A very short time later, he eliminated Smash himself. He was legitimately just a dude in there doing stuff. You know, things.
- After being in for so long and not doing anything stupid, Warrior does just the dumbest thing imaginable. Barbarian and Rick Rude have Hulk Hogan in an extremely vulnerable position, inching closer to taking him out, when Warrior goes over and stops the elimination. Jesse Ventura rightly calls this out, wondering why he would save the then WWF champion. "If the Warrior would have been smart he would have come over and helped them get rid of him," Ventura commented. This immediately comes back to bite Warrior because Barbarian and Rude then turn all their attention to him and Hogan, who is a winner and not a dumb ass, runs over and blasts everyone in an attempt to eliminate all three. Only Warrior ended up going over. Warrior then got back in the ring, knocked over Barbarian and Rude but not Hogan, and ran back out. "He's a wild man," Tony Schiavone says. "He's an idiot," Ventura corrects.
The Dumbest Ass
Bret Hart gets an honorable mention here for his stupidity, which was tactically bad and also led to his elimination, but Warrior's was even worse both for who he was saving -- he didn't learn from Bad News Brown the year before -- and for how he acted after it cost him everything. Had he done what he should have, Warrior would have been the clear favorite. Instead, he was the dumbest ass.
Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners: