Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rejected Royal Rumble Stats

Every year, WWE puts out a "Royal Rumble by the Numbers" video, each time slightly updated and usually filled with misleading "facts" and figures. For instance, the 36 Hall of Famers to enter the Rumble have supposedly "headlined" a total of 25 Wrestlemania "main events." There have been 28 Wrestlemanias, so there ought to therefore be only three Wrestlemanias without Hall-of-Famers in the main event. 

Well, there was: Bam Bam vs. LT (WM 11), Undertaker vs. Sid (13), The Rock vs. Big Show vs. Triple H vs. Mick Foley (who is not yet in the Hall of Fame) (16), Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (18), Lesnar vs. Angle (19), Batista vs. Triple H (21), Cena vs. Triple H (22), Orton vs. Triple H (25), Cena vs. Miz (27), and Cena vs. The Rock (28). That's ten Wrestlemania main events without Hall of Famers, leaving only 16 Wrestlemania main events "headlined" by Hall-of-Famers. I'm not sure what exactly WWE's definitions of "headline" or "main event" are, but they apparently allow Hall-of-Famer Edge to "headline" the WM 27 against Alberto Del Río in the opening match "main event."

As you can see from the first minute of the video, WWE's grasp of reality is a tad... skewed. I've therefore put together my own set of statistics that, while accurate to the best of my knowledge, didn't make the cut. Note that these stats don't cover the "unofficial" Rumbles like the MSG Rumble of 1994 or the Osaka Rumble, also of 1994.

13: Number of Rumble Winners not to main event that year's Wrestlemania:
Jim Duggan, Big John Studd, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Shawn Michaels (1995), Steve Austin (1997), Vince McMahon (1999), Rey Misterio, The Undertaker, John Cena, Edge, Alberto Del Río, Sheamus

9: Number of Wrestlemania world title matches featuring Royal Rumble runners-up:
Steve Austin (1999), Big Show (2000), John Cena (2005, 2010), Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Triple H (2008, 2009), Chris Jericho (2012)

9: Number of wrestlers to win the Royal Rumble on their first attempt 
Jim Duggan, John Studd, Ric Flair, Yokozuna, Lex Luger, Vince McMahon, Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, Alberto Del Río

2: Most times a single wrestler has runner-ed up in the Rumble
Big Show (2000, 2004), Triple H (2008, 2009)  

276: Number of wrestlers to enter the Rumble
The breakdown of first-time entrants by year is as follows:

1988 20 1996 12 200410 20128
1989 26 1997 14 200510
1990 6 1998 10 200610
1991 11 1999 12 20079
1992 9 2000 7 20085
1993 12 2001 9 20097
1994 16 2002 8 20106
1995 12 2003 13 201114

0: Fewest eliminations by a female participant
Chyna, 2000

11: Number of wrestlers eliminated by ineligible wrestlers
Big Bossman by Hulk Hogan (1989), Roddy Piper by Bad News Brown (1990), The Undertaker by Giant Gonzalez (not a Rumble entrant, 1993), Owen Hart by Triple H and Chyna (non-entrants, 1998), Mabel by the Acolytes (1999), Maven by The Undertaker (2002), Shawn Michaels by Kurt Angle (2005), Shawn Michaels by Shane McMahon (non-entrant, 2006), Kane by Booker T (2007), John Cena by The Miz (non-entrant, 2011), Michael Cole by Jerry Lawler and Booker T (2012)

5: Most names used by a
single wrestler in Royal Rumbles

Papa Shango, Kama, Kama Mustafa,
The Godfather, The Goodfather

3: Most times thrown over the top rope by ineligible wrestlers
Shawn Michaels by Vader (1996), Kurt Angle (2005), and Shane McMahon (2006)

2: Number of wrestlers to be "eliminated" behind the referees' backs
Steve Austin by Bret Hart (1997), X-Pac by The Rock (2000)

3: Number of wrestlers thrown over the top rope by an ineligible wrestler but allowed to re-enter
Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and Bob Holly by Vader (1996)

2: Number of wrestlers eliminated without being thrown over the top rope
Finlay (disqualified) and Hornswoggle (never re-entered) - 2008

3: Number of wrestlers who have stolen other wrestlers' spots by beating them up
Mabel stole Mosh's spot (1999), Mick Foley stole Test's spot (2004), Kurt Angle stole Nunzio's spot (2005)

5: Number of wrestlers to no-show the Rumble
Randy Savage (1991 - fled the arena after costing the Ultimate Warrior the title), Bastion Booger (1994 - ate too much before the match), Skull (1998 - beaten up before the match), Spike Dudley (2004 - beaten up by Kane before entering the ring), Scotty 2 Hotty (2005 - beaten up by Muhammad Hassan before entering the ring)

36: Total number of eliminations
by Glen Jacobs as Kane
1: Total number of eliminations by
Glen Jacobs as Isaac Yankem or Diesel

#18: Average entry for Rumble winners (#19 for 30-man Rumbles)

1: Number of Rumble winners to draw #18
Shawn Michaels (1996)

2: Number of Rumble winners to draw #9-21
Jim Duggan (#13 out of 20), Shawn Michaels (#18 out of 30)

0: Number of Royal Rumbles
featuring Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall

1: Number of Royal Rumbles
featuring Rick "Razor Ramon" Bognar
- 1997

3: Most number of times a single wrestler has started a Rumble (#1 or 2)
Shawn Michaels (1995, 2003, 2008)

8: Number of men to start a Royal Rumble twice:  
Bret Hart (1988, 1991), Ted DiBiase (1990, 1992), British Bulldog (1992, 1995), Ric Flair (1993, 2007), Triple H (1996, 2006), Chris Benoit (2004, 2005), Rey Misterio (2006, 2009), Dolph Ziggler (2009, 2013) 

5: Number of Wrestlers to enter at both #30 and #1
Crush (1995, 1997), Ted DiBiase (1989, 1990), Undertaker (1997/2003/2007, 2008), Rikishi (2001, 2002), Ric Flair (2005, 1993)

0: Number of Royal Rumbles to start with 2 heels

Of course, no set of wrestling statistics would be complete without a nod to the Grim Reaper...

3: Number of deceased Rumble winners
John Studd, Yokozuna, and... someone else. I want to say Eddie Guerrero, but technically he wrestled under a mask as "Rey Mysterio" that year.

9: Most deceased entrants in a single Rumble 

1991- Dino Bravo (murder), Texas Tornado (suicide), Hercules (heart disease), British Bulldog (heart attack), Road Warrior Hawk (heart attack), Randy Savage (heart attack), Crush (undetermined), Earthquake (cancer), Mr. Perfect (overdose)


  1. I don't know if this should fall under the "eliminated by ineligible wrestlers" column or "eliminated without being thrown over the top rope" column but after hearing Undertaker's gong and getting eliminated, Kane kicked the crap out of Spike Dudley and he never made it to the ring in 2004.

    1. Nice catch. I guess it's technically a no-show, since he never entered but Kane didn't steal his spot.

    2. Same thing happened in 2002, Scotty 2 Hotty got beaten up by the Undertaker after Maven threw the Dead Man out...

    3. Scotty did enter the ring afterward, though.

    4. Scotty did get beaten up by Mohammed Hassan in 2005 and never entered the ring.

  2. Is Maven the tenth person on the list of wrestlers eliminated by an ineligible wrestler?