I love Rumble season. Wrestling gets exciting again and it feels like anything can happen. Today we are going to count down the 10 very best Royal Rumble events. This is based on the whole card, not just the rumble match itself. CHECK OUT THE LIST AFTER THE JUMP.
10.) Royal Rumble 1998
The 1998 edition of the Royal Rumble was a pretty damn solid event. The Rock and Ken Shamrock had a good match for the IC title. LOD battled the New Age Outlaws, Shawn Michaels beat the Undertaker in a stellar Casket Match for the WWF Championship, and Stone Cold picked up his 2nd Royal Rumble victory last eliminating the Rock, which would pretty much set up the next 4 years of programs. A big knock is that the Royal Rumble match wasn’t last, which in my opinion it always should be. The Rumble match also featured Mick Foley portraying all 3 faces throughout the match, which was pretty cool.
9.) Royal Rumble 1995
The 1995 edition of the Royal Rumble gets a pretty big boost from Shawn Michael’s legendary performance in this years Rumble match. HBK entered at number 1 and became the first man to win it all from that position. His performance is nothing short of spectacular and should be witnessed at least once. 1995 also featured a stellar WWF Championship bout between Bret Hart and Diesel. As well as a solid IC Title bout between Jeff Jarrett and Razor Ramon.
8.) Royal Rumble 2003
The 2003 entry gets saved by an excellent WWE Championship match between Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. The match is stellar and elevates the rest of the shitty card up. The Rumble itself is pretty good also, with Brock Lesnar picking up the big win.
7.) Royal Rumble 2002
2002 has a few great matches. Ric Flair and Vince McMahon bloodied the hell out of each other in a street fight and Chris Jericho beat The Rock to retain the WWF Championship in a stellar bout. The Rumble match itself is amazing. It features plenty of surprise returns, the biggest being Goldust and Mr. Perfect. Triple H also completes his improbable comeback from quad surgery with a huge win.
6.) Royal Rumble 1997
Alright, 1997 isn’t that good of a year, but I’ll be damned if the Rumble match isn’t excellent. Steve Austin dominating the entire match is perfect. His reaction when Bret Hart’s music hits…amazing. Jerry Lawler getting eliminated instantly and going right back on commentary…legendary. The Rumble match is a great setup for one of the greatest feuds of all time in Austin vs. Hart as well. Sid and Shawn have a decent match as the main event, and Undertaker vs. Vader isn’t half bad either.
5.) Royal Rumble 1992
1992 is my favorite Rumble of all time. The match itself is excellent and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Ric Flair puts on a performance for the ages and Roddy Piper isn’t far behind. The rest of the card prevents this from being any higher though. Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart have a good match against the Orient Express, but other than that there isn’t anything else worth watching. The Rumble match itself though is pure gold and is the best of all time in my opinion.
4.) Royal Rumble 1999
1999 is so high because of two things. The Rumble match is highly entertaining, and The Rock vs Mankind “I Quit” Match, for the WWF Championship is one of the most legendary bouts of all time. The brutality shown throughout the match has perhaps never been seen again in a WWF ring. It is a match that everyone needs to see at least once. The Rumble itself is entertaining, even with McMahon winning. The way it was done was fine and it totally enhanced McMahon’s heelness and his feud with Austin.
3.) Royal Rumble 2004
2004 features a bunch of short matches, 1 excellent match, and an amazing Rumble match. Shawn Michaels vs Triple H, Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship is a great match. Their feud during this time was filled with great matches and this one ranks up there among their very best. The Rumble is one of the greatest of all time. Chris Benoit puts on one of the great Rumble performances of lore. Benoit pulling Big Show over the top rope to win it all is an everlasting image. The 2nd man to win the match from number 1 will forever be forgotten.
2.) Royal Rumble 2000
2000 is a tremendous year. Taz’s debut has become legendary. The Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boys had an excellent tag team tables match. The Rumble match itself is solid with The Rock winning his one and only Royal Rumble. But, the street fight makes the show. Easily one of my favorite matches of all time, Cactus Jack vs Triple H for the WWF Championship. The street fight at MSG. The feud between Triple H and Foley is one of my favorites of all time and this was their very best match. A truly intense brawl with excellent storytelling and emotion.
1.) Royal Rumble 2001
2001 is a near perfect card from top to bottom. The Dudley Boys met Edge and Christian for the Tag Team Championship. Chris Jericho and Benoit had a legendary ladder match for the IC title. Kurt Angle beat Triple H in a stellar match for the WWF Championship, and the Rumble match itself is an excellent example of how to do a Rumble match right. Austin picks up his 3rd and final Rumble win but more importantly this sets up the legendary X7 match with The Rock.