January is my favorite month of the year. It’s a new year. New chances. We all have holiday hangovers. We all make resolutions. We get to file our taxes. Most of us are in the heart of winter, with snow days circled on the calendar. But you know what else is circled on the calendar? The last Sunday of the month. January is my favorite month most of all because every year I get to look forward to the ROYAL RUMBLE! The Road to WrestleMania begins that night, and the weeks leading up to the event are some of the most exciting in wrestling, with rumors of surprise appearances, and memorable moments abound. Everyone wonders who will win to go main event WrestleMania that year. In this piece, I’m going to list 101 Facts You May Not Know About the Royal Rumble.
1. Only Ric Flair, Triple H, Bob Backland, Chris Benoit, and Rey Mysterio have lasted one hour in the Royal Rumble.
2. 21 wrestlers have lasted over 45 minutes.
3. Triple H has lasted 45 minutes a record three times, including his debut in the match in 1996.
4. No city has hosted the event more than twice.
5. The state of California has hosted five Royal Rumbles.
6. Yet, Los Angeles has not hosted a Royal Rumble. Sacramento, San Jose, and Anaheim have shared the five events.
7. Rey Mysterio, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chris Jericho are the only wrestlers to have been in a Rumble match a total of three hours in their career.
8. Triple H is the all-time leader with 3 hours and 51 minutes in only eight appearances.
9. Only nine wrestlers have entered more than six Royal Rumbles AND averaged 20 minutes per appearance. Steve Austin, Triple H, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, Edge, Randy Orton, and the British Bulldog.
10. Sheamus is the only wrestler to enter more than three Rumbles and last at least 18 minutes in all of them.
12. The Great Khali averages 2 minutes and 44 seconds in eight career appearances. He was eliminated within the first five entrants three times, and has only lasted longer than four minutes once (2012).
13. Mark Henry has seven career appearances. He has only lasted an average of seven minutes and 37 seconds.
14. If you ignore Mark Henry’s debut in the match in 1998 (18 minutes), his career average plummets to only five minutes per appearance.
15. Big Show has averaged 7 minutes and 37 seconds as well.
16. Glen Jacobs (Kane) is the all-time leader with 17 career appearances.
17. Only four men have appeared in more than 10 Royal Rumble matches. Rikishi, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Kane.
18. If Goldust and Big Show appear this year, they will join the list.
19. Shawn Michaels is the all-time leader with 37 eliminations.
21. If Kane enters and eliminates three men in 2015, he will hold the all-time record and be the only man with 40 eliminations in a career.
22. If Big Show enters and eliminates at least four men, he will pass Hulk Hogan and Triple H on the all-time list.
23. John Cena only has 19 career eliminations.
24. 18% of all 808 entrants were former WWE or World Heavyweight Champions prior to entering the match.
25. 25% were former or current Intercontinental Champions.
26. 15% were former or current United States Champions (counting WCW reigns).
27. 7% were former King of the Ring winners.
28. 5% were former Royal Rumble winners.
29. Since its introduction in 2005, 13% of all 280 entrants are former or current Money in the Bank holders.
31. 63% of the 2014 field were former or current WWE Heavyweight, World Heavyweight, Intercontinental, United States Champions, King of the Ring, or Money in the Bank holders.
32. Another 10% of the 2014 field (Rusev, Rollins, and Harper), went on to win the IC/US/MITB briefcase later in the year.
33. 87% of #1 entrants since 2000 are former or future WWE or World Heavyweight Champions.
34. Only 47% of #2 entrants since 2000 are former or future WWE or World Heavyweight Champions.
35. Only 33% of the wrestlers who enter last survive until the final two.
36. Since 2005, 44% of the wrestlers who enter last survive until the final two.
37. From 1989 to 2004, only 22% of the last entrants survived until the final two.
38. The #1 entrant lasts an average of 27 minutes per match and are eliminated an average of 13th.
39. Steve Austin is the all-time leader with 7.4 eliminations per appearance.
41. Undertaker is third with 3.5. [Note: Roman Reigns has only appeared in one Rumble, he did not qualify for this rate stat.]
42. Ten wrestlers have appeared in more than four or more Royal Rumbles and averaged at least 3.0 eliminations per appearance.
43. Brock Lesnar has appeared in only one Royal Rumble.
44. Brock Lesnar has been under contract for the WWE for seven years during two tenures.
45. Daniel Bryan has appeared in only two Royal Rumbles.
46. Both times Daniel Bryan entered, he has been a champion.
47. In 2010, he was the United States Champion, and in 2013, he was the WWE Tag Team Champion.
48. Kane has been eliminated by Triple H three times.
49. Five men have entered #1 twice. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Dolph Ziggler, and CM Punk
50. In 1999, Steve Austin became the only man to be a former WWE Heavyweight, Intercontinental, United States, King of the Ring, and Royal Rumble winner prior to entering.
51. After winning in 2010, Edge became the only man to be a former WWE Heavyweight, Intercontinental, United States, King of the Ring, Money in the Bank, and Royal Rumble winner.
52. Edge wouldn’t enter another Royal Rumble to date.
53. The current Intercontinental Champion has entered the Royal Rumble 17 times.
54. Since its introduction in 2003, the current United States Champion has entered the Royal Rumble 10 out of 11 times. The lone exception was 2008.
55. Since 1993, the winner of the Royal Rumble is 13-10 when they receive their WWE or World Heavyweight Championship opportunity.
56. Five winners (Lex Luger in 1994, Steve Austin in 1997, Vince McMahon in 1999, Alberto del Rio in 2011, and Sheamus in 2012) did not main event WrestleMania that year.
57. From 1989 to 2001, eight winners were eventually inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame
58. The Rock is the only reigning champion (Intercontinental, 1998) to last at least 45 minutes
59. Cody Rhodes, the reigning Intercontinental Champion in 2012, lasted 42 minutes.
61. There have been 684 eliminations by one wrestler.
62. It required eight wrestlers to eliminate Big Daddy V in 2007.
63. It required seven wrestlers to eliminate Mabel in 1994.
64. No other entrant has required more than six men.
65. 19 tag teams have recorded a double team elimination.
66. Steve Austin has won 50% of all Royal Rumbles he has entered.
67. Hulk Hogan has also won 50% of all Royal Rumbles he has entered.
68. Ric Flair and Road Dogg hold the record for longest time between entries at 12 years.
69. If Ron Simmons enters in 2015, he will hold the record at 13 years, as his last entry was in 2002.
70. The longest Royal Rumble was in 2011. It had 40 entrants and lasted 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 52 seconds.
71. The longest 30-man Royal Rumble was in 2002. It lasted 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 17 seconds.
72. The shortest Royal Rumble was in 1995. It lasted 38 minutes.
73. The average Royal Rumble lasts 55 minutes and 28 seconds.
74. Shawn Michaels eliminated Shelton Benjamin three times.
75. All three times were in consecutive years (2006, 2007, and 2008).
76. The Great Khali has eliminated two former and two future WWE or World Heavyweight Champions: Chris Benoit, CM Punk, The Miz, and RVD
77. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase eliminated six men in his career. All six men were glorified jobbers.
78. Ted DiBiase and Ted DiBiase Jr are not the only father/son combination to make an appearance in the Royal Rumble
79. In 1997, Goldust (Dustin Rhodes) and Dusty Rhodes became the first father/son duo to enter the match.
79. In 2006, Carlito joined his father Carlos Colon, Sr. on that list.
80. In 2012, Jey Uso joined his father Solofa Fatu (Rikishi) with that distinction as well.
81. Dusty Rhodes became the first man to have two sons enter the match when Cody Rhodes entered in 2008.
82. Carlos Colon Sr became the second man to have two sons enter the match when Primo Colon entered in 2012.
83. Solofa Fatu (Rikishi) became the third man to have two sons enter the match when both Jimmy and Jey Uso entered in 2014.
84. In 1988, Jake Roberts and his half-brother Sam Houston became the first brothers to enter the Royal Rumble in the same year.
85. Jake Roberts has been eliminated sixth overall three times. More than any other wrestler in the same spot.
86. Ironically, Jake Roberts named his snake Damien, and the number of the beast in Christian mythology is 666.
87. Santino has been eliminated first two times (2008, 2013). More than anyone else.
88. Triple H is the all-time leader in appearance per match with 28 minutes and 57 seconds per appearance [Note: Five or more appearances required].
89. CM Punk is second with 28 minutes and 2 seconds per appearance.
91. In 2014, Rey Mysterio entered #30 and lasted two minutes.
92. Santino is the all-time leader in least time in the match with 1 minute and 11 seconds per appearnace [Note: Five or more appearances required].
93. Santino has lasted more than one minute only once.
94. Faarooq is second with 2 minutes and 31 seconds per appearance and has lasted more than one minute only once as well.
95. El Gigante did not enter a Royal Rumble, but he has one career elimination.
96. There have been 13 entrants with the real name of Mike or Michael.
97. There have been 11 entrants with real names of Jon, John, or Jonathan.
98. There have been 10 entrants with real names of Brian, or Bryan.
99. There have been 9 entrants with real names of James or Jim.
100. There have been 9 entrants related to Afa Anoa’i. The Rock, Roman Reigns, Yokozuna, Umaga, Rosey, Samu, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, and Rikishi.
101. Randy Savage (1989) and Hulk Hogan (1990) are the only reigning WWE Heavyweight Champions to enter the Royal Rumble
– Daniel Bryan wins the Royal Rumble.
– Dolph Ziggler becomes the first wrestler to enter #1 three times. Match needs a workhorse, Seth Rollins is in the main event, CM Punk is gone, and Daniel Bryan is going to come in #30.
– Dolph Ziggler will be the Ironman and last 35+ minutes.
– Kane makes his 18th career appearance and eliminates less than two people to keep Shawn Michaels’ record intact.
– Roman Reigns eliminates the most, with eight eliminations.
– Big Show enters after #20 and eliminates four or more men to pass Hulk Hogan and Triple H on the all-time career list.