The 15 Best WWE Royal Rumble Matches, Ranked

wwe rr mobile

Hey everyone! It's The Wrestling Classic here with another list for ONE37pm.

The Royal Rumble is just around the corner and it has always been a favorite of mine. I always look forward to the Royal Rumble event, because it really is the kick-off for the annual "Road to WrestleMania." The first-ever Royal Rumble took place in 1988. In 1993, the winners of the annual battle royal would be granted the main event spot at WrestleMania for the World Championship which added more stakes to the match and set the tone for WrestleMania.

The match is normally a 30-man battle-royal, although the original match had 20 participants, and in 2011 they had 40 men in the rumble due to an overly stacked roster. The Rumble usually features returns or surprise appearances and sometimes even wrestlers from other promotions. In 2018, they introduced a second battle royal for the ladies at the height of the "Women's Revolution." There have been 34 Royal Rumbles in total and they are all fun to watch. However, I narrowed it down to my favorite 15 Royal Rumble Matches. Let me know if you agree.

Be sure to share this article and debate with your friends. Also, be sure to let me know how you feel about this list on Instagram or Twitter.

RELATED: The 21 Best WWE Documentaries, Ranked

15. Royal Rumble 1990

14. Royal Rumble 2019

13. Royal Rumble 1997

12. Royal Rumble 2005

  • Final Four: Rey Mysterio, Edge, John Cena, and Batista
  • Winner: Batista

The 2005 Royal Rumble is the one everyone remembers for Vince McMahon making major decisions from the mat because he tore both of his quads sliding into the ring. The match ended with both Batista and John Cena claiming victory in the battle royal as they both went over the top rope at the same time. Instead of having the same outcome as 1994 when Lex Luger and Bret Hart became co-winners, they restarted the match for the final two. Batista would ultimately win the match, but both men would go on to win the championships for their respective brands at Wrestlemania.

The finish of the match really showcased the direction for the future of the company. The match started with Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit who both were champions the year prior. The unforgettable feud between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels began in this match too. It's also the only Rumble to feature the infamous Muhammed Hassan character.

11. Royal Rumble 2003

  • Final Four: Batista, Kane, The Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar
  • Winner: Brock Lesnar

The 2003 Royal Rumble was the first Rumble after the brand extension. This meant there would be 15 stars from Raw and 15 stars from Smackdown in this match. It was one of those rare occasions early in the brand extension that both brands would clash. It kicked off with the Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho feud being escalated. Michaels was busted open early during that fateful encounter that showed early signs of their WrestleMania XIX classic.

Then some of the best wrestlers would come in one after another which reminded me just how stacked the company was at this time. Rey Mysterio, Edge, Christian, Tajiri, RVD, Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, John Cena, Batista, Jeff Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, and Booker T to name a few. It would be a battle of three big men in the end with the Brothers of Destruction and young Brock Lesnar. The "Next Big Thing" would be able to come over the odds at the end.

10. Royal Rumble 2010

9. Royal Rumble 2007

maxresdefault 2
  • Final Four: Randy Orton, Edge, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker
  • Winner: The Undertaker

The 2007 Royal Rumble was action-packed and it flew by watching it back. It was also the first Royal Rumble to feature ECW stars such as Sabu and the Sandman who both had memorable spots. Sabu took a nasty chokeslam through a table. There were also weapons introduced in this match from guys like Tommy Dreamer and Ric Flair. This was also shortly after Rated RKO got together and feuded with DX, so they worked together a ton during this match.

The final four ended up being Rated RKO, Michaels, and Undertaker which was seemingly favorable for Orton and Edge. Undertaker and Michaels would still manage to be the final two in the match. This allowed the two legends who didn't cross paths since Michaels returned to wrestling in 2002 to give us an unforgettable back-and-forth matchup for the finish. Undertaker was also the first person to win the Royal Rumble from the number 30 spot which was always portrayed as the best number to enter.

8. Royal Rumble 2017

7. Royal Rumble 2018 (Women's)

6. Royal Rumble 2020

5. Royal Rumble 2008

4. Royal Rumble 2002

RR 01202002 0031
  • Final Four: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mr. Perfect, Kurt Angle, and Triple H
  • Winner: Triple H

The key to a successful Royal Rumble is making fans believe that there are a handful of top talents that could potentially win the match. In 2002, the strong prediction was that the returning Triple H would win the Royal Rumble. Although that was the prediction you would potentially bet on, it wasn't easy to just disregard big names such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Undertaker, Kurt Angle, and Kane as guys who could win the match. This was also one of the first times I recall the WWE hyping up major returns to the company for the Royal Rumble. Mr. Perfect, Goldust, Val Venis, and The Godfather were all set to return in this match.

The Undertaker who was a strong favorite entered the match early and although successfully eliminating a handful of wrestlers, he was shockingly eliminated by a young rookie Maven. This was a memorable spot in this match as the Undertaker continued to beat up Maven in the backstage area. The Final Four of this match included Mr. Perfect, which was cool because I didn't expect him to be in that spot on his first night back in WWE. Triple H would ultimately win by eliminating Kurt Angle but the fans were here for this match.

3. Royal Rumble 2016

2. Royal Rumble 2001

RR 01212001 0103
  • Final Four: Billy Gunn, The Rock, Kane, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
  • Winner: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

The 2001 Royal Rumble Match was the last one of the Attitude Era and the "Monday Night Wars." Three months into 2001, WCW would go out of business when the WWE would purchase the assets of the company. By the time we reached the 2002 Royal Rumble, the company went through an entire "Invasion" angle and started moving in a new direction by slowly ushering in the "Ruthless Aggression Era." A lot of WWE's popular personalities and characters from 97-01 were featured in this match and they went out with the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin winning his third Royal Rumble. This is a record that he holds alone to this day.

There was even a moment in this match between Austin and The Rock who happened to both babyfaces competing for the top spot that got fans around the world excited. At the time, I wasn't aware it was foreshadowing our Wrestlemania main event. Raven introduced weapons in the match since he was the Hardcore Champion. Comedian and actor Drew Carey would also enter this match as the first celebrity to enter a Royal Rumble match and the Honkey Tonk Man made his first Rumble appearance since 1996. Big Show and Haku made their returns in this match. It's just a fun Royal Rumble to go back and watch with a bunch of top legends of the business and a satisfying ending.

1. Royal Rumble 1992

I hope you all enjoyed this list of the best Royal Rumble Matches, in my opinion. Tell me if you disagree and let me know what you think over on social media. Ya dig? Oooh Yeah!

Instagram - @thewrestlingclassic

Twitter - @twcworldwide

Youtube - thewrestlingclassic

Weekly Podcast - TWC Show

Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Thumbs Down