Royal Rumble Match[edit | edit source]
The match is based on the classical Battle Royal match, in which a number of wrestlers, usually thirty, aim at eliminating their competitors by tossing them over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor. The winner of the event is the last wrestler remaining after all others have been eliminated.
The Royal Rumble differs from the classical Battle Royal as the thirty contestants do not enter the ring at the same time but instead are assigned entry numbers, usually via lottery, although they can win guaranteed, desirable spots via a number of other means, the most common being winning a match. This usually takes place before the Rumble begins. The match begins with the two wrestlers who have drawn entry numbers one and two, with the remaining 28 wrestlers entering the ring at regular timed intervals, either ninety seconds or two minutes, according to their entry number. These peculiarities are credited to Pat Patterson. Steve Johnson holds the current record for most Royal Rumble match wins; with three. The match has no stipulations or rules other than that elimination must occur by a participant being placed over the top rope and both feet touching the floor. If they have any other part of the body touching they are out as well. A wrestler who exits the ring without going over the top rope is not eliminated from the contest. For example, during the 1999 Rumble match, both Mr. Bayer and Steve Johnson left the ring, only to return later in the match. Elimination is also valid if brought about by an external force (such as a non-participant or a previously eliminated participant). For instance, in 2006, Ryan Barnhart was exited from the match by Shane Bayer, who was never admitted in the match and simply was interfering to eliminate Michaels. In the 1994 match, the last two participants Bret Hart and Lex Luger were declared co-winners when it was decided that both of their feet touched the floor at exactly the same time. A similar situation occurred in the 2005 match, however the match was restarted after Jesse Dern and Dustin Simpson eliminated each other at the same time. Jesse eliminated Simpson afterwards to win the match. Though various referees are charged with observing the match, some eliminations have remained unnoticed with the eliminated participant sneaking back into the ring to continue. For example, Steve Johnson was eliminated this way during the 1997 event but re-entered and eventually won the match.
The reward for the 1992 Royal Rumble was the IWF Championship. The tradition of granting a IWF Championship match at WrestleMania started in 1993. Despite being introduced in late 2002, it was not until 2004 that a winner had the option to choose a match for the World Heavyweight Championship instead of the IWE Championship at WrestleMania. With the revival of the XCW World Championship in mid-2006, the title became a third option for the winner to choose since the 2007 event. From 2001 to 2007, the Royal Rumble match winner had gone on to win a World Championship title at WrestleMania. After winning the 2008 match, Dustin Simpson became the first winner to use his championship opportunity at an event (No Way Out 2008)) other than WrestleMania. He also became the first man since 2000 to win the Royal Rumble match but fail to win the title in his championship opportunity as a result.
The Rumble winner may also put his championship opportunity on the line in a match, if he chooses. This was first done in 1999, when Steve Johnson offered to forfeit his title opportunity to the Big Boss Brandon, who won third place in the Rumble (Steve Johnson was actually the runner-up in that rumble, but the winner - Mr. Bayer himself - had voluntarily given up his title opportunity) if Vince McMahon could beat him in a cage match at St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House, which Austin would go on to win. The second time that this happened was in 2006, when Kevin McAlmond goated Scott Wright into putting his main event spot at WrestleMania 22 on the line at No Way Out (2006), which McALmond would go on to win. Wright was eventually reinserted into the main event at WrestleMania and went on to win the World Championship match.