January 22, 2009
The Royal Rumble stats pack
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling

Ah, the glory years of 1994's Royal Rumble...

When you're a stats guy like I am, you can't help but look at events like the Royal Rumble with a different set of eyes.

Afterall, everything about the Battle Royal-esque match screams numbers. Thirty superstars. Two begin. Another enters every xx seconds (what are the intervals this year by the way?). The match ends when one is left in the ring, who goes on to WrestleMania XXV. 

So with those figures in mind, it's time to drum up some facts, in what I like to call, the 2009 Royal Rumble Stats Pack.

  • An unheard of 18 superstars that competed in the 2007 Royal Rumble either were former or future heavyweight title holders, three of whom were champs in ECW (Sandman, Sabu and Tommy Dreamer).
  • The 2008 Rumble featured only two Canadians - Santino Marella and Roddy Piper. It was the third consecutive year of only a pair of Canucks being in the big match (2005, by comparison, had five hosers).
  • Chris Benoit is the only wrestler to have been one of the first two wrestlers in the Rumble in consecutive years (2004, 2005).
  • Kane has been in 10 consecutive matches. In fact, since 1996, Glen Jacobs has only missed one Rumble. That was 1998. In 1997, Jacobs appeared as Fake Diesel and in 1996 as Isaac Yankem.
  • Shawn Michaels has been in 11 Royal Rumbles, the most under one name for any wrestler. Surprisingly, Triple H has only been in six.
  • Without question, Vince McMahon, going one for one has the best winning percentage at the Rumble. Next up is Hulk Hogan, coming out on top in three of his four Rumbles. Other good winning percentages are Yokozuna and Lex Luger, who each won one of the two Rumbles they were in (albeit Luger's was a shared victory with Bret Hart).
  • Of the 18 Rumble winners (two being "half winners"), nine are still employed by WWE, three have passed way (Big John Studd, Yokozuna and Benoit) and four (Studd, Hogan, Hart and Ric Flair) are in the WWE Hall of Fame. Steve Austin will be the fifth winner inducted into the Hall.
  • Only Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Big John Studd and Lex Luger are Rumble winners who have not won a WWE Heavyweight title. Interestingly, none won the Intercontinental Title either.
  • Luger, Hogan, Flair, Bret Hart and Benoit are the only wrestlers to hold the WCW Heavyweight Title and also win the Rumble.
  • Since the "winner gets a title shot at WrestleMania" stipulation was added to the Rumble in 1993, only Luger, Michaels, McMahon, The Rock, and John Cena have not been able to go on and capture gold on the biggest stage of them all. For what it's worth, neither McMahon or Cena used their shots at WM.
  • Odds are unfortunately strong that a Canadian won't win this year. The CanCon quota appears to be one Maple Leaf per decade (Hart in '94, Benoit in '04) can be the last man in the ring. Oh well, there's always next year.
  • All multiple winners of the Rumble - Hogan, Michaels and Austin - have also won in consecutive years. Should Cena opt to make a surprise appearance again, he has the opportunity to join this elite club.
  • From the 2008 list of entrants, 22 are still with WWE. Six wrestlers (Hardcore Holly, Chuck Palumbo, Gene Snitsky, Mick Foley, Big Daddy V and Elijah Burke) are no longer employed by the Fed, while two others (Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper) are long retired but still make occasional appearances.
  • Even more scary is that only 12 (Triple H, Rey Mysterio, The Big Show, Kane, Carlito, John Morrison (Nitro), Chavo Guerrero, Matt Hardy, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Goldust and Randy Orton) of the entrants from 2006 are still in WWE. Of the 18 no longer with the company, only one, Booker T, is with TNA.
  • Take this one for what it's worth. Three of 1998's competitors, Bradshaw, Goldust and Mark Henry, are still with WWE. By comparison two wrestlers, Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley (who that year pulled off the hat trick of three appearances in the Rumble, as Cactus Jack, Mankind and Dude Love) are now in TNA.
ROYAL RUMBLE HISTORY


Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.



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