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.
Man, there was some impressive stupidity in this match. Strap in, folks.
- He was the fourth guy in and immediately stopped Bret Hart's last ditch effort to send Greg Valentine over. They briefly teamed up to work over The Hitman before Roma turned on Valentine.
- Texas Tornado had come in and there was some mix and match brawling with Bret Hart and Greg Valentin still in. Roma actually fought Tornado off, having successful survived the initial adrenaline rush of a new entrant, and immediately rushed over to keep Bret from eliminating Valentine.
- Not long after that happened, Rick Martel entered the match. He did so full of piss and vinegar, rushing right over to Bret Hart, who had been in the longest, and tried eliminating him. He came close but, you guessed it, Paul Roma used a kick to put a stop to it. Considering Martel's positioning, Roma actually had to work to stop this one.
- I can't believe this. Not very long after this ordeal, the roles are reversed and Hart is on the verge of dumping Martel in nearly the same position in the opposite corner. So what does Roma do? Peels away and kicks Bret this time! This idiot has more elimination stops than anyone in Rumble history at this point and there's a lot of Rumble to go. He looks like the clear winner already.
- I am not joking with you, this man did it again. After briely brawling with Saba Simba, who had just entered the match, Roma peeled away and stopped Texas Tornado from tossing Rick Martel.
- Not long after Paul Roma had turned on him, Valentine stopped Bret Hart from throwing Roma out. Incredibly stupid.
- Texas Tornado was trying to get Bret Hart over the top rope and Valentine, bored or something, walked over and engaged with Tornado. Bret just slowly walked away.
- This one was weird. He saw Tito Santana close to tossing Rick Martel and initially went over to help. Then, Animal hit him in the back and he responded by no selling it and elbowing Tito, stopping the elimination. Not the worst thing, considering what had happened to him.
- He was in the middle of teaming up with Greg Valentine to get Paul Roma out -- and they badly needed Roma out at this point, as he had made five elimination stops up to that point -- when he suddenly stopped and raked Valentine's eyes.
- As soon as he got in the match, he rushed to the aid of Paul Roma, his teammate in Power & Glory, and stopped Bushwhacker Butch from eliminating him.
- Much later in the match, Haku was on his way to sending Rick Martel over when Hercules stopped him.
- Later still, Jim Neidhart was close to tossing Rick Martel when Hercules stopped him. You could at least argue this was strategic, seeing as he had stopped Martel from being eliminated before and The Model had been in the match for like 45 minutes at this point, so he was sucking air.
- Texas Tornado was working on Bushwhacker Butch when Roberts back shotted him.
- He was the first guy in the match and went quite some time before doing something stupid. When the dumb struck, though, it hit hard. Tito Santana was on the verge of tossing Rick Martel when Greg Valentine came over and tried to throw Santana out, which would have eliminated both men. Hart was relaxing in the corner for this, saw the situation, and walked over to back shot Valentine and save everyone. Considering how long he had been in the match and how many guys could have been dealt with at one time, this was monumentally dumb. It's worth noting that he ended up engaged with Valentine near where the next wrestler would enter the match. That next wrestler would end up being Undertaker and he immediately grabbed Hart by his throat and threw him out.
- As mentioned above, he back shotted Greg Valentine while he was helping Tito Santana toss out Rick Martel.
- He helped his partner in Demolition, Crush, by attacking Animal and British Bulldog.
- British Bulldog was working on getting Rick Martel out and Smash hit a double axe handle to the back for no good reason at all.
- He again helped his partner, Crush, by punching Greg Valentine while he was teaming with British Bulldog to get Crush out.
- This was a particularly egregious error on Perfect's part. Hulk Hogan came in fresh and went after Earthquake just after tossing Smash. While he was working on getting the big man out, Perfect hit him from behind. Earthquake is a tough out. You gotta take advantage of a fresh Hogan doing the dirty work for you.
- Immediately after Mr. Perfect saved Earthquake, he turned the tables and started working to get Hulk Hogan out. He was getting there too, until British Bulldog showed up to stop it. That's a really bad play, as we've learned from past Royal Rumble matches. When you get the chance to eliminate Hulk Hogan, you have to eliminate Hulk Hogan.
- Unbelievably enough, he did it again! This man saw Earthquake about to toss Hulk Hogan and RAN across the ring to stop it. ARE YOU SERIOUS? YOU DUMB BASTARD.
- Didn't think he could possibly get any dumber? Believe it, baby. This man dumped Rick Martel out and turned to see both Brian Knobbs and Earthquake working to get Hulk Hogan out. These were the final four men in the match. So what did Bulldog do? He ran over to start fighting the two guys trying to toss Hogan! Unreal. The best part? Those two guys teamed up to throw Bulldog out of the match right after he did this. GOOD.
- His success in the match doesn't mean he's exempt from stupidity. Crush was trying to get Shane Douglas out when Hogan decided to kick him in the gut.
- He picked a bad time to become a dumbass. Mr. Pefect had Hulk Hogan in a vunerable position, teetering on the top rope, when Haku ripped him away. Guess what the Hulkster did? He immediately chopped Haku and started beating him down before attempting to eliminate him.
- Shane Douglas was working on sending Rick Martel out when Haku kicked him in the gut. Anyone saving Martel at this point had a defense because he had been in for the longest and was completely out of gas.
- Hulk Hogan had Mr. Perfect on the ropes when Haku rushed him with punches. Dumb as hell, made even more dumb because he didn't use that to assist Perfect in tossing Hogan, thinking it would be better to get him out ASAP. He just walked off. What a dummy.
- British Bulldog and a fresh Tugboat were working on sending Rick Martel out when Haku AGAIN saved him. It's a definite pattern at this point.
- This one was really bad. Haku, Hercules, and Earthquake had all come together in an attempt to get Hulk Hogan out. That's a lot of beef working on the toughest out in the match. Douglas sees this and does the dumbest thing imaginable, running over and punching Earthquake, then Hercules. One of the stupidest decisions I've ever seen in a Royal Rumble.
- Unbelievably enough, he did it again. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's the same story as British Bulldog. This man saw Earthquake about to toss Hulk Hogan and RAN across the ring to stop it. ARE YOU SERIOUS? YOU DUMB BASTARD. He then threw a punch at Earthquake. My god, what an idiot.
- This was strange, although I suppose defensible. Martel, who had been in for over 50 minutes at this point, used an eye poke to keep Hulk Hogan from dumping Brian Knobbs.
- I'm going to put him on this list because while he didn't stop an elimination at any point during the match, he did attempt to pin Hulk Hogan after a slam when they were the final two and it led to the second "Hulk Up" spot and Hogan winning not long after.
The Dumbest Ass
I thought for sure I was going Paul Roma here. I believe only one wrestler was eliminated while Roma was in the ring and that's a damn miracle. It was as though he got in and thought "nope, no one is getting thrown out as long as I'm in here!" Most idiocy is dumb but harmless; this man was frustratingly stupid in this match, the kind of dumb you get mad at. Then I thought it would be Shane Douglas, whose stupidity was unforgivable. Hulk Hogan would not have won the Royal Rumble were it not for Douglas saving his ass multiple times, one of which was particularly bad because ALL the big muscle was working on getting Hogan out. However, Bulldog saved Hogan's ass not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES, one of which was after he had dumped Martel and the only two other guys in the match, Brian Knobbs and Earthquake, were working on getting him out. Naturally, they teamed up to throw Bulldog out immediately after. So dumb I can't comprehend it.
Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners: