The Royal Rumble
In my series of wrestling spectaculars or pay-per-view cards, I felt it necessary to include the Royal Rumble next because my first “wrestling spectacular” article was about the Survivor Series and how Vince McMahon created it to run at the same time when the NWA/WCW ran their Starrcade pay-per-view card.
Well, he did the same thing with the Royal Rumble. Vince ran it opposite of the NWA/WCW’s pay-per-view card, the Bunkhouse Stampede. Only Vince put this on free TV in January of 1988 on the USA Network. Following its success, Vince decided to make it a pay-per-view card in 1989. Glens Falls, New York’s favorite son, Hacksaw Jim Duggan won the first Royal Rumble in 1988. It didn’t mean anything then except the glory of outlasting nineteen other men. That changed in 1992 when Ric Flair won the vacated World Heavyweight Championship when he won the Rumble. Beginning in 1993, the winner of the match was to receive a shot at the World champion at Wrestlemania.
The Royal Rumble started with thirty wrestlers in 1993 and the premise of the match is simple enough. Before the match, all the participants draw a number from one through thirty and that is when you come into the match. Numbers one and two start it off and two minutes or so later on another wrestler joins and this keeps going until all thirty wrestlers have been in the ring. You are eliminated if you are thrown out of the ring OVER the top rope and both feet touch the floor. Obviously, the advantage goes to the person who draws number thirty while numbers one and two are the most disadvantaged. This match goes for well over an hour and that is a long time to be in the ring and avoid being ousted while trying to toss others over the top rope.
Like the other pay-per-view cards, there are other matches on the card besides the Rumble. Those are title matches and grudge matches for the most part. The Royal Rumble is one of the most action packed matches on pay-per-view in my humble opinion and I look forward to it every year. If you have never seen it, please do because you will not be disappointed. The following is a list of winners of the past Royal Rumbles:
1988 – Hacksaw Jim Duggan
1989 – Big John Studd
1990 – Hulk Hogan
1991 – Hulk Hogan
1992 – Ric Flair He also won the vacated World Title
1993 – Yokozuna
1994 – For the first time there were co-winners of the Rumble. Bret Hart and Lex Luger eliminated each other and hit the floor together at the same time.
1995 – Shawn Michaels
1996 – Duke Droese This match also saw the first person who drew number one, last to the remaining two. That person was Triple H.
1997 – Steve Austin. Austin was eliminated but the refs did not see it and he eliminated Bret Hart who thought that he had won and was eliminated while he celebrated.
1998 – Steve Austin
1999 – Vince McMahon
2000 – The Rock
2001 – Steve Austin
2002 – Triple H
2003 – Brock Lesnar
2004 – Chris Benoit
2005 – Batista
2006 – Rey Misterio
2007 – The Undertaker
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