The Royal Rumble is over for this year, but we have now listed the greatest surprise participants in past Royal Rumble matches for you. We did however not include those, that were announced beforehand, like for example Mr. Perfect in 2002.
Our list only includes those, that were legitimate unannounced surprises when they came through the curtain (not including internet rumors of them being there though).
9. Bubba Ray Dudley (2015)
After being in TNA Total Nonstop Wrestling (iMPACT Wrestling) as “Brother Ray” and “Bully Ray” from 2005 till 2014, Bubba Ray Dudley returned to the WWE as a surprise entrant in the 2015 Royal Rumble match.
He drew #3 and was eliminated after 05:22 minutes by Bray Wyatt.
8. Chris Jericho (2013)
After being gone for more than 6 months, Chris Jericho surprised the WWE fans when he returned at the beginning of the 2013 Royal Rumble match.
“Y2J” drew #2 and managed to stay in the match for 47:53 mins, before being eliminated by Dolph Ziggler.
7. Mick Foley (2004)
After a few beatdowns by “The Legend Killer” Randy Orton in 2003, plus him even spitting him Mick Foley’s face, Foley came out as a surprise entrant during the 2004 Royal Rumble match and attacked Orton right away.
The former Mankind, Dude Love & Cactus Jack drew #21 and eliminated himself after 43 seconds in the process of eliminating Randy Orton.
Royal Rumble has been an annual tradition in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) since 1988. Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View is one of the most exciting events of the year.
Not only does it feature traditional Pro-Wrestling matches, Title bouts, but also the Royal Rumble match itself, with the winner getting a World Title shot at WrestleMania (this stipulation began in 1993).
Let us take a look at 5 moments in Royal Rumble history that changed the course of WWE forever:
Honorable Mention: Royal Rumble 1992 (WWF World Title On The Line)
After the controversial finish to both WWF World Title bouts at Survivor Series 1991 and This Tuesday in Texas 1991 PPV between The Undertaker & Hulk Hogan, Jack Tunney announced that the Title has been vacated and the winner of the Royal Rumble match will be crowned the new champion.
This decision not only made that Royal Rumble match special, but this match made a great impact in the minds of wrestling fans and became a Mega Event in the WWF (as in the previous Royal Rumble PPVs, this match was just for the event’s namesake).
Ric Flair won that match and became the WWF World Champion.
Let us take a look at 10 interesting Royal Rumble facts that you must know!
1. Most Time Spent in Royal Rumble Matches Over The Years
We all know that the longest time spent by a wrestler in a single Royal Rumble match is by Rey Mysterio in 2006 (1:02:16) when he won the Royal Rumble match.
But who has spent the most time in the ring during the Royal Rumble matches over the years ?
The answer is : “The Game” Triple H. The King of Kings spent a total time of 3:59:37 in the ring during the Royal Rumble matches in which he entered during his career. He won the Royal Rumble match in 2002 & 2016, was a runner up in 2008 & 2009 and finished third in 2006.
2. A Family That Has Competed In The Match
All the wrestling members of the Rhodes family – “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes (a.k.a Goldust) & Cody Rhodes (a.k.a Stardust) have participated in the Royal Rumble match.
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In one of his rare matches on weekly television, WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan wrestled WWF Veteran & now WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz in a match that aired that day on TBS during the WWF’s short stint on Ted Turner’s TV channel.
Former WWF World Champion The Iron Sheik gave a hilarious interview.
“The Magnificent” Don Muraco explains why he chose Mr. Fuji as his manager
André The Giant was interviewed about his rival Big John Studd in an interview that aired on TBS that day.
World famous singer Cindy Lauper interviewed “Captain” Lou Albano
Earlier that day, before the Royal Rumble PPV, a taped episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling aired.
Here’s the opening intro and the closing of the show, which is pretty interesting as The Honky Tonk Man is seen here, yet by the time this show aired he was gone, as he left the WWF before the Rumble PPV, where he was scheduled to be an entrant in the 30 man Royal Rumble match.
The actual Royal Rumble PPV was held at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York that day.
JANUARY 19, 1997
The Royal Rumble 1997 event was live on PPV that day, held at the famous Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas infront of 60,477 fans.
JANUARY 19, 1998
During this episode of WWF RAW IS WAR the famous Mike Tyson/Steve Austin face-off happened, which turned out to be an important moment in WWF History, as this very storyline eventually ended up winning them back the weekly TV ratings.
While the year 2015 was already long into the PG era, so the exact opposite of anything “Old School Wrestling” related, this episode of WWE RAW was titled ‘RAW Reunion’ and featured quite a few Old School Wrestling Veterans & Legends.
Old School WWF Legends & former Royal Rumble winners Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair had a debate about who would win the 2015 30 man Royal Rumble match.