As we enter the road to the Royal Rumble, we can expect one or two tremendous performances from the individuals involved as they look to earn a title shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. They’re going to have to go the extra mile if they want that title shot, like these 10 wrestlers. These 10 pulled spectacular performances out of the bag in the rumble match, but which performance was the greatest?
10. Rikishi (2000)
The Samoan big man made a literally HUGE impact in 2000, eliminating 7 men including the fellow members of Too Cool. Having just came into WWF, this was an impressive showing by Big Kish whose elimination was a result of a combined effort of SIX men. However, this performance was enough for Rikishi to quickly rise as one of the most popular wrestlers in the company.
9. Randy Orton (2009)
Due to him booting Vince McMahon in the head on the RAW before, the Royal Rumble victory for Randy Orton didn’t seem as much of a surprise. But it doesn’t mean that his win wasn’t pulled off well as he lasted 40+ minutes and RKO’d just about everyone in the ring! Orton acquired the victory by throwing Triple H out last to win the 2009 Rumble as the 8th entrant!
8. Bob Backlund (1993)
Having left WWF just before the wrestling industry boomed, Bob Backlund was not particularly well known when he returned as the second entrant of the Royal Rumble. Regardless, Backlund made a tremendous effort in the Rumble. He lasted over and hour and made the final three before being eliminated by Yokozuna. His longevity record lasted up until 2004 and is still one of the longest times in history.
7. Shawn Michaels (1995)
The Heartbreak Kid was about ready to break into the main event picture of WWF. And the first step to that big time was getting through 30 men in the Royal Rumble match. With the entrants coming in every 60 seconds, the match was significantly shorter than usual. However, Shawn was able to go wire to wire and with controversy defied the odds to be the first man in and the last man standing!
6. Triple H (2006)
The Game declared at the top of 2006 that the “King Of Kings” would go back on his throne and his first method of getting there would be to win the Royal Rumble and earn a title shot. However, bad luck was on his side as he drew the dreaded #1 spot in the Rumble match. But that didn’t stop Triple H from being so dominant in the match, eliminating the likes of Big Show, Kane and the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Like Bob Backlund, he made the final three before being eliminated by Rey Mysterio!
5. Steve Austin (1999)
The bullseye was on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the 1999 Royal Rumble, similar to the year before. Vince McMahon set up a $100,000 bounty to whoever eliminated the number one entrant Stone Cold in the Rumble match (which he himself was apart of). Despite every man gunning for Austin, Austin eliminated 8 men and made the final two with McMahon. Ausitn came close to winning the entire thing, but it would be the boss that eliminated Austin with help from The Rock. Austin failed to make it 3 Rumble wins on the bounce, but he came mighty close!
4. Rey Mysterio (2006)
After making the final four of the Rumble match the year before, the Master of the 619 was attempting to go one further and win the entire thing in dedication of his recently deceased friend Eddie Guerrero. Despite being the number 2 entrant, Rey feed off the emotion of the WWE Universe and eliminated Randy Orton last to win the entire thing in the ultimate Cinderella story! His longevity in the match is the longest of any Royal Rumble to date. Could that change at this year’s Royal Rumble?
3. Ric Flair (1992)
Ric Flair walked into WWF declaring himself to be the “real” World Champion of wrestling after many years spent at rivals WCW. He was determined to prove himself to be the undisputed champion. With the WWF Title currently held up, Ric was entered into the Royal Rumble as the 3rd entrant to crown a new champion. This was a star-studded rumble match, with the likes of the Underaker, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and even Shawn Michaels all vying for that title. But it was Flair who stood strong and with help, eliminated Sid last to win the Royal Rumble and his first ever WWF Championship… which was followed by one of the greatest promos of all time!
2. Chris Benoit (2004)
Chris Benoit was spitefully put into the Royal Rumble match by then-SmackDown! General Manager Paul Heyman as the number one entrant. Heyman’s aim was to make sure that Chris Benoit would never win the WWE Championship and the odds was stacked against the 18-year-veteran. However, Benoit survived to the very end of the Royal Rumble when he eliminated the 500-pound Big Show last to become only the second man to win the Rumble match from the very beginning of the match!
1. Kane (2001)
Ah, the Big Red Machine Kane. Despite never winning the Rumble match in his life, Kane’s name is synonymous with the Royal Rumble. When he entered the match as the 6th entrant, he did a great job at making Drew Carey nearly shit himself! After Drew was eliminated Kane, went on a rampage eliminating anyone dumb enough to get in his way. He went to eliminate more than a third of the field in the Rumble match with ELEVEN eliminations including the elimination of The Rock! While finished as a runner up to a certain Texas Rattlesnake, Kane made himself a legend purely on the basis of this match where proved his dominance of nearly everyone in the fold and was unfortunate not to win the match itself!
So what do you guys think? What do you think was the greatest performance in Royal Rumble history? And was there any I missed out or you disagree with? Vote in the poll below, leave a comment or tweet the @ArmbarExpress to tell me who you think made the greatest performance in the Rumble ever!