22 of the 30 entrants in the men’s Royal Rumble match have been officially named. That leaves eight spots to go, although it might actually be less than that if the rumors about some surprise entrants are true.
When it comes to the Royal Rumble event, the top stars are either in the 30-person Royal Rumble match or they are fighting for one of the top titles in WWE. Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, and Becky Lynch are all tied up in championship matches this year, so they have more important things to do than deal with the luck of the draw in the Rumble. The rest of the top stars are all in the Rumble match, including former WWE champions Big E, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, and AJ Styles. Omos is in there too.
But there’s one obvious main event star whose name is missing from the official list of entrants and who is also not competing for the top gold on this card. That would be Edge, the man who actually won the Rumble match last year.
How rare is it for the Rumble winner from one year to not compete in the Rumble or a championship match the following year? I have looked back to 2009 and can’t find anybody else who sits in the same boat as Edge does this year.
- Randy Orton won the Rumble in 2009. He fought Sheamus for the WWE championship on the following year’s Rumble card.
- Edge won the Rumble in 2010 and defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Dolph Ziggler one year later.
- Alberto Del Rio won the Rumble in 2011 and missed the 2012 card due to injury.
- Sheamus won in 2012 and was back in the Rumble in 2013.
- John Cena won in 2013 and challenged Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship in 2014.
- Batista won in 2014 and was no longer with WWE one year later.
- Roman Reigns won in 2015 and was back in the Rumble the following year.
- Triple H won in 2016. He’s a part-timer who did not wrestle at the 2017 event.
- Orton won in 2017 and was back in the Rumble in 2018.
- Nakamura won the men’s match in 2018 and pulled double duty the following year.
- Asuka won the women’s match in 2018 and defended the SmackDown title against Becky Lynch in 2019.
- Seth Rollins won the men’s match in 2019 and was back in the Rumble in 2020.
- Lynch won the women’s match in 2019 and defended the Raw title against Asuka in 2020.
- Drew McIntyre won the men’s match in 2020 and defended the WWE championship against Goldberg in 2021.
- Charlotte Flair won the women’s match in 2020 and pulled double duty the following year.
- Bianca Belair won the women’s match in 2021 and is back in the Rumble match this year.
The pattern seems clear here. Everyone who wins the Rumble is either back in the match the following year, in a match for a top title, or not available to wrestle. Edge doesn’t fit any of these categories. He’s teaming up with Beth Phoenix on the undercard to take on Miz & Maryse, and has yet to declare for the Rumble match. Teaming up with his wife is obviously a priority, but it’s not like Edge can’t do both. He is a marathon man, after all.
It just seems strange that this man who was so consumed with headlining WrestleMania last year and winning the top title in the promotion one last time doesn’t have any interest in repeating his Royal Rumble accomplishment this year. Going back to 2009, I can’t find any other defending Rumble winner who has opted for this path.
Do you think Edge will be a late addition to tomorrow night’s Royal Rumble match, Cagesiders?
(And if anyone would like to take this list of defending Rumble winners back to before 2009, please let us know in the comments below who else made a similar decision to Edge in 2022.)