5 Best Royal Rumble Matches

Royal Rumble 2004
Image Credit: WWE
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The Royal Rumble event is one of the big four WWE Premium Live Events of the year. It first aired in 1988. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan made history as the inaugural winner in this multi-man over-the-top rope elimination match-up.

In 2018, WWE introduced the Women’s Royal Rumble match. Asuka became the first female superstar in the history of the company to win the marquee event. The Empress of Tomorrow, however, failed to repeat the same success against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 34.

The multi-man battle royal has produced some quality action over the past several years. It has also teased (and delivered) a couple of dream matches. That being said, let’s take a look at the five best Men and Women’s Royal Rumble matches:

Women’s Royal Rumble Match (2021)

Winner: Bianca Belair

The pandemic brought with it a lot of challenges. Live programming went on hiatus all over the world. Sporting events stopped due to COVID restrictions. Despite the odds, WWE improvised and introduced the ThunderDome — a bio-secure bubble with full-fan service.

The company taped every televised show and PPV event inside the ThunderDome during the pandemic. The 2021 Royal Rumble PLE also happened inside said facility. The Women’s Match-up featured the likes of Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Naomi, and Bayley.

Several legends of the past, including Jillian Hall and Torrie Wilson, made a one-off appearance during the match-up. The 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble was a thrilling spectacle, with the closing stretch between Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley turning out to be the highlight of the night.

Image Credit: WWE
Image Credit: WWE

2004 Men’s Rumble Match

Winner: Chris Benoit

The 2004 Men’s Royal Rumble match-up would’ve still been heavily praised if not for the notoriety brought about by the winner. The Rabid Wolverine kicked off the match with a man he’d drop the world title to later that year: Randy Orton.

Both men spent the most amount of time inside the ring. Orton took and delivered a beating for more than 30 minutes before he was eliminated by Mick Foley. The match also featured Goldberg’s Royal Rumble debut.

“Da Man” went on a spear spree before he was caught off-guard by Brock Lesnar into an F5 followed by elimination. The closing stretch of the match delivered one of the most awesome display of determination by a babyface as Chris Benoit overcame the Big Show to punch his ticket to WrestleMania XX.

Royal Rumble 2001

Winner: Steve Austin

2001 was a pivotal year for WWE. Not only did the company acquire arch-rival WCW, it brought together names from ECW inside the same ring. However, months before the infamous Invasion, Vince McMahon booked an exceptional card with several great matches.

The main event featured an insane amount of star power as The Rock, Steve Austin, Undertaker, and Kane each tried their luck at winning the rumble. The Texas Rattlesnake found himself wearing a crimson mask — thanks to Triple H.

The closing moments brought Austin and Kane together in the ring. It took a couple of brutal chair shots followed by a clothesline for Austin to get him his third and final Royal Rumble win.

Kudos to Kane for looking absolutely dominant in defeat, though!

Men’s Rumble 1992

Winner: Ric Flair

The Royal Rumble 1992 is considered one of the greatest Rumble matches in the history of WWE. The company experimented with putting the world title on the line in this match-up. The bout also featured some of the biggest names in the business at the time.

From the electric atmosphere to in-ring storytelling, everything played out perfectly in the match. The irreplaceable duo of Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon added so much to the in-ring craft. The post-match angle saw one of the greatest promos by “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

Men’s Rumble 2007

Winner: The Undertaker

If Royal Rumble 2001 is the final rumble of the Attitude Era, then its 2007 iteration is the final rumble event of the Ruthless Aggression Era. The 2007 Rumble Match featured two of the best in the business in the prime of their careers.

The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels delivered in what is arguably the greatest closing stretch in a Royal Rumble match. The Heartbreak Kid tried to outlast a busted-wide-open Deadman, but the night belonged to the Master of Darkness.

Honorable Mentions

  • Women’s Royal Rumble 2018

  • Men’s Royal Rumble 2020

  • Royal Rumble 2005

Also read: Best TNA Christmas Themed Matches

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