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 multiple instances of wrestlers stopping eliminations or generally engaging in activity that leads to their own elimination. Special consideration for other assorted stupidity.
A whole lot of beef but not a lot of brains.
Right away, we have to acknowledge an issue with everyone in this match not named Chris Jericho. There are many strategies to employ in a Royal Rumble match, one of which is hiding on the outside. WWE should have come up with a rule to protect against this long ago, but they haven't, so it's something they still use from time to time and has to be accounted for. It's easy to ignore when no one does it in a given match but when someone does employ the strategy it sets a precedent for it in that particular match, thereby making everyone who doesn't employ it a dumbass for not employing it. So, then, because Jericho used it to avoid Braun Strowman, and then just bought himself a bunch of time with it at various points, everyone else in the match gets at least one dumbass mark against them for not doing the same but to save space we won’t list it under each person’s name. Cool? Cool.
Now, on to the dumbassery.
- He sprinted to the ring from the number three spot. Even Corey Graves made note of how dumb he was for wasting energy like that, especially that early in the match.
- He also sprinted to the ring. Gimmick or not, that's dumb as hell.
- My man brings an umbrella into the ring and starts taking everyone out with it. Down goes Cass, down goes Mojo Rawley, down goes Kalisto and then he starts celebrating in the middle of the ring like he won something. He forgot about Chris Jericho, who came up behind him and knocked him to the floor.
- Mark Henry got into the match, totally fresh, and Gallagher headbutted him in the tit. Unspeakable stupidity here.
- Oh my god, Gallagher, you idiot. After the aforementioned failed headbutt to the tit, Henry threw him out through the middle rope. So he wasn't eliminated and even got the chance to grab his umbrella before reentering the ring. He did so by climbing up to the top rope with it and coming down with the FLYING NOTHING, even though he saw Henry staring right at him waiting. The umbrella was open! What the hell was the point of this?!? Henry just grabbed him up and eliminated him right after.
- RIGHT AFTER GALLAGHER celebrated for doing very little and Jericho made him pay the price, Jericho body slammed him and did the same thing. This led to his taking an umbrella to the nuts. He deserved it.
- This is truly baffling. As noted previously, Jericho decided his best course of action when Braun Strowman showed up to the match was to slide out under the bottom rope and completely avoid the big fella. Smart! He's a huge dumbass, though, for deciding the right time to get back in the ring was to confront Big Show after he had just chokeslammed Strowman and was still fresh. He didn't even sneak up on him! The only reason he wasn't eliminated here is because Big Show is also a dumbass.
- He has to get another dumbass mark against him for going against his own strategy and getting back in the ring at the wrong time. He spent significant time selling the WMD from Big Show and dumbly climbed back in the ring while it was full, including a fresh Sheamus, who promptly Brogue Kicked him and took him out. His response was to slide right back under the rope and out of the ring.
- Again, have to give him another mark here for getting back in the ring before it was down to two. If you set the precedent that hiding on the outside is a legit strategy, you're dumb for not seeing it through to the end. Here, it's a bit tougher because at least this time when he got back in he eliminated both Cesaro and Sheamus. After, though, he engaged in the match instead of going back to his hideout strategy.
- This is the worst of all: After lasting to the final four, he gets thrown over the top rope by Reigns. He manages to hold on and then uses a forearm to fend off Roman rushing in. Does he quickly get back in the ring to reestablish himself? Nope! He rushes over to the top rope to set up for ... something ... and Reigns, who came in at number 30 and is still relatively fresh, runs right over and hits the Superman Punch to eliminate him. Again, this is after he was employing the right strategy and changed his mind at various times for reasons that will never be known.
- It pains me to do this, but he continously made a cardinal mistake in this match and the only thing that saved him was his sheer Braun-ness: He stood near the ropes and stared down guys he had just eliminated. He first did it with Mojo Rawley and very nearly got taken out by Big Cass on a big boot, then did it with Cass and almost got taken out by little ass Kalisto on a dropkick. You gotta keep your head on a swivel in the Royal Rumble.
- When Tye Dillinger came in with a head of steam, he made the mistake of attacking Strowman in the corner and climbing up to the second rope to do so. This gave Strowman all the leverage he would need to simply dump Tye out. He even picked him up and had the chance! So what did he do? Walked to the center of the ring and just stood there until Sami Zayn attacked him from behind. I love the big lug but he's dumber than a brick.
- Ol BigDumb McStupidIdiot hits a double suplex on Sami Zayn and Tye Dillinger. That's when James Ellsworth's music hits and he comes down to the ring, sees Strowman, and decides not to get in. Braun completely ignores the guys he just suplexed to stand right next to the ropes and grab at Ellsworth. Naturally, Zayn and Dillinger get up and rush to throw him out. They don't succeed but it's a good thing Strowman has all that brawn because there is nothing but air in his head.
Look at this shit:
You think he took advantage of this by walking a few steps and tossing Jericho over the top? Oh, then you don't know Big Show. No, he literally just dropped Jericho and punched him in the face before walking away while Jericho rolled out of the ring. This is especially bad because it makes clear he never learned from the many other times he's been in situations like this. By the way, he left Jericho to move back to Strowman, who eliminated him right after.
- He comes in hot, sprinting to the ring. Dumb, yes, but forgivable in the sense that this was his main roster debut and we can't hold it against him that he was really excited, right? But we can hold it against him that during an attack on Braun Strowman, he went up on the second rope in the corner. This is a stupid move no matter what but it's really stupid when dealing with a big man who could easily just toss you out with a flick of the wrist. He got lucky Strowman was too dumb himself to actually do so.
- After making the smart decision not to get in the ring when he came out and Braun Strowman was waiting for him, he watched Tye Dillinger and Sami Zayn come THIS CLOSE to eliminating Strowman RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM and did nothing. Strowman's feet were inches from the floor and Ellsworth hadn't even officially entered the match yet and he did nothing to get Braun out when he easily could have. Guess who eliminated him after he did get in the match? You bet cha!
- He's also a huge dumbass for how he got into the match. Dean Ambrose came out and convinced Ellsworth to get in the ring and attack Strowman together. It was a trick, of course, because Dean wasn't going to be an idiot. Ellsworth, however, is dumb as hell. He got in, was clotheslined, and immediately thrown out.
- Sami Zayn attempts to throw Dean Ambrose out and Kofi Kingston tries to take advantage by rushing over to toss Zayn while he's vulnerable. Seeing this strategy right in front of his face did nothing to stop Corbin from rushing over to blast everyone in the back to stop any elimination from taking place.
- Look, his elimination saves are cool spots each year. That doesn't mean he has to be a total dumbass to set them up. He certainly was here. Baron Corbin set him up on the top rope and he fought him off with a kick. When Corbin turned around in the middle of the ring, he watched Kingston stand up on the rop rope and put his hands up in surrender. Corbin literally called him stupid and casually walked over to knock him off. Kofi saved himself by hanging onto the ring post but this was really dumb.
- There's an argument to be made for teaming up with your tag partner to get to the final two and THEN going at each other but you can't trust anybody in a Royal Rumble so his stopping Rusev from eliminating Cesaro makes him a dumbass.
- He lasted quite a while without doing anything dumb. That came to an end when he saw from across the ring that Kofi Kingston and The Miz were teaming up to get Dean Ambrose out and decided to walk over and literally drag Kingston away.
- As mentioned for Sheamus, you can't trust anyone in a Rumble. The Miz had Kofi Kingston out but Woods kept him in by tossing him back.
- Same as Woods, except this is much worse. He kept both of his teammates in and left himself -- and Kofi and Xavier -- wide open for elimination. Sure enough, Cesaro and Sheamus were right there to dump all three out at the same time.
- Dolph Ziggler is fresh and literally has Miz by the neck running him to the ropes to chuck him out. Ambrose sees this and grabs at Ziggler to stop it.
- He hit F-5's on both The Miz and Randy Orton. Said move requires he has those men up over his head on his shoulders. Why throw them down to the mat instead of out of the ring? Because dumbass.
- This idiot. He comes out, sees that only Brock Lesnar is standing in the ring, Lesnar who is still fresh and steady killing folks, and he SPRINTS to the ring, hypes himself up, then rushes right at Brock with no real plan to speak of. He was promptly clotheslined out of his fur and eliminated seconds later.
- He did the full sparks entrance! Why would you breath that shit in before taking that long walk down the entrance to get into a Royal Rumble match?!? It's low end dumbassery but he was already sweating his ass off before he even got to the ring.
- He made the ultimate mistake: After eliminating Luke Harper he stood over the ropes and glared down at him. This allowed Undertaker to get up and eliminate him. Easy peasy. It's at least somewhat forgivable because he had just speared Undertaker before tossing Harper and everyone else was down in the ring selling but there's just no excuse for committing cardinal sins like this after WWE has run this many Royal Rumble matches. Learn from the mistakes of others, folks.
- He picked Roman Reigns up for a big chokeslam -- to the mat. He never learns. If you're expending that much energy and picking a guy up that high, you have to send him over the top rope. Guess who eliminated Undertaker not long after this?
- He chokeslammed Chris Jericho in the ring too.
- Worse, after chokeslamming Jericho he stood over him and did the throat slash gimmick far too close to the ropes. Reigns came up behind him and tossed him out.
The Dumbest Ass
Sadly, it has to be Jericho. Abandoning a winning strategy multiple times is aggressively dumb and the manner in which he was eliminated is simply unforgivable dumbassery. Honorable mention for Gallagher, Strowman, and Undertaker.
Previous "Dumbest Ass" award winners:
1989: Bad News Brown
1990: Ultimate Warrior
1991: British Bulldog
1992: Hulk Hogan
1993: Randy Savage
1994: Lex Luger
1995: Lex Luger
1997: Mil Mascaras
1998: Disciples of Apocalypse
1999: Stone Cold Steve Austin
2000: Big Show
2001: The Rock
2004: Big Show
2005: Rey Mysterio
2006: Big Show
2007: Shawn Michaels
2010: John Cena
2011: Rey Mysterio
2012: Chris Jericho
2013: Dolph Ziggler
2014: Seth Rollins
2016: Roman Reigns