The prize for surviving through 29 other man bent on violence against each other is a shot for the biggest prize in the business at the largest event wrestling has to offer in Wrestlemania. Over 55% of the competitors who have won the opportunity to main event on the grandest stage walked away as the world champion in April.
With this blog I decided to share some of my favorite Royal Rumble moments. I also included some Rumble moments that had an impact on the wrestling world for years to come.
Rumble 2005 - Game ChangerIn 2005 in Frenso, California we saw the final 2 competitors in the Royal Rumble being John Cena and Dave Batista. At this time these young men were not the legends that they are known to be today. Cena was a rising United States Champion on the Smackdown brand and The Animal was the muscle of the fading Evolution faction on the Raw brand. These two were the last man standing in a rumble that had to be restarted after they double eliminated each other. The Animal went on to win the match and face Triple H for the world title at Wrestlemania 21. John didn't too bad for himself either after he went on to face JBL for WWF title at that same event. Both young men walked away with their respective titles and dominated the World Title picture for years to come.
The King Reigns in AtlantaIn 2002 Triple H returned to the WWF family after rupturing his quad and nearly ending his career. After 8 months on the shelf The King of Kings returned to Atlanta, GA to win the Rumble and head to Wrestlemania. At that Wrestlemania he defeated Chris Jericho to become the 2nd ever Undisputed Champion in the WWF. He also set the precedent of the returning superstar winning the Rumble. As did John Cena and Edge did in later years. Will Randy Orton be one this year?
Stone Cold liked what The Rock was cookingBefore they faced off in 3 Wrestlemania Main Events and changed the WWF forever, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were the final two in the 1998 Royal Rumble. Both of these men were not strangers and battled over the Intercontinental Championship previously. They were both now raising the stakes in their careers and going after the biggest prize in the game. Not only did The Rock defend his Intercontinental title against Ken Shamrock earlier that night but he entered The Rumble at #4 and lasted 51 minutes before being tossed out by Austin. He was one of the 1st superstars to perform double duty at a PPV. Austin went on to Mania that year to defeat Shawn Michaels and win his 1st WWF title and changed the landscape of the business.
This years event promises to be as wild and unpredictable then any in recent years. Could we be seeing a landmark moment on Sunday that will change wrestling history or will we just be watching a match helps us get a better picture of what Wrestlemania will look like.
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