Ranking the Royal Rumble

1992 Royal Rumble

1992 Royal Rumble (credit: WWE.com)

This past Saturday marked the 21st anniversary of Ric Flair’s legendary 1992 Royal Rumble victory. To celebrate, I sent out a very unassuming tweet, which ultimately resulted in some fun debate regarding the match’s star power. While reading the varying opinions certainly was entertaining, I decided to ultimately decide if the 1992 Royal Rumble was, in fact, the biggest Rumble in regards to star power. Here’s how the calculation went down:

Hall of Fame: First, I counted how many Hall of Famers were in each match. Two points were awarded to the match for each HOFer.

“Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: Two more points were added for each person who should be and/or will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Let’s face it, Randy Savage had a Hall of Fame career. As a result, he should garner the same amount of points as any other Hall of Famer. Note that only points were awarded for slam-dunk, first ballot Hall of Famers. I’m a tough judge.

World Champions: One-and-a-half points were awarded to the match for each World Champion it featured. It’s important to note that this only includes Superstars who were World Champions prior to the match taking place (for Future World Champions, see below). The World Championships taken into consideration here include the WWE, WCW, AWA, and pre-1994 NWA Championships. Why only pre-1994 NWA Title reigns? Because Dan Severn, Brent Albright, and Blue Demon Jr should never be held in the same regard as Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Dory Funk Jr.

Also, it should be noted that the Hall of Fame receives more prestige simply because it is a more prestigious honor. It is the pinnacle of the sports-entertainment industry. Minus Koko B. Ware, you can’t get in by accident. It truly is reserved for the best of the best. On the flip side, a World Champion can be crowned “by accident,” for lack of a better term. See Tommy Rich, Jeff Jarrett, and David Arquette.

Future World Champions: Finally, one point was awarded for Superstars who went on to become a World Champion after the corresponding year’s Royal Rumble. Less points are awarded here because theoretically the Superstar had considerably less star power prior to becoming a World Champion. See Shawn Michaels in 1989 and JBL in 1998.

1988 Royal Rumble

Hall of Famers: 7 (Bret Hart, Tito Santana, Harley Race, Don Muraco, Nikolai Volkoff, Jim Duggan, Junkyard Dog)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 2 (Jake Roberts, Ultimate Warrior)

World Champions: 1 (Harley Race)

Future World Champions: 2 (Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior)

Winner: Jim Duggan

Note: This was not a pay-per-view event

Total Rating: 21.5

 

 

1989 Royal Rumble

Hall of Famers: 11 (Andre the Giant, Mr. Perfect, Greg Valentine, Shawn Michaels, Tito Santana, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Hulk Hogan, Koko B. Ware, Big John Studd, Ted DiBiase)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 6 (Demolition, Jake Roberts, Honky Tonk Man, Randy Savage, Rick Martel)

World Champions: 6 (Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Ronnie Garvin, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Rick Martel)

Future World Champions: 1 (Shawn Michaels)

Winner: Big John Studd

Total Rating: 44

 

1990 Royal Rumble

Hall of Famers: 11 (Ted DiBiase, Koko B. Ware, Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka, Tito Santana, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Mr. Perfect)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 8 (Jake Roberts, Randy Savage, Demolition, Ultimate Warrior, Rick Martel, Honky Tonk Man, Rick Rude)

World Champions: 6 (Randy Savage, Dusty Rhodes, Andre the Giant, Rick Martel, Hulk Hogan, Curt Hennig)

Future World Champions: 3 (Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Shawn Michaels)

Winner: Hulk Hogan

Total Rating: 50

 

1991 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 11 (Bret Hart, Greg Valentine, Kerry Von Erich, Tony Atlas (as Saba Simba), Tito Santana, Jimmy Snuka, Hawk, Animal, Jim Duggan, Mr. Perfect, Hulk Hogan)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 6 (Rick Martel, Jake Roberts, Undertaker, Davey Boy Smith, Smash, Randy Savage)

World Champions: 5 (Rick Martel, Randy Savage, Curt Hennig, Hulk Hogan, Kerry Von Erich)

Future World Champions: 2 (Bret Hart, Undertaker)

Winner: Hulk Hogan

Total Rating: 43.5

 

1992 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 13 (Ted DiBiase, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Tito Santana, Kerry Von Eric, Greg Valentine, Nokolai Volkoff, Roddy Piper, Jim Duggan, Jimmy Snuka, Iron Sheik (as Col. Mustafa), Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 7 (Davey Boy Smith, Smash (as Repo Man), Jake Roberts, Undertaker, Randy Savage, Rick Martel, Sid Justice)

World Champions: 8 (Ric Flair, Undertaker, Randy Savage, Iron Sheik (as Col. Mustafa), Rick Martel, Hulk Hogan, Kerry Von Erich, Sgt. Slaughter)

Future World Champions: 2 (Shawn Michaels, Sid Justice)

Winner: Ric Flair

Total Rating: 54

 

1993 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 7 (Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Lawler, Mr. Perfect, Koko B. Ware, Tito Santana, Yokozuna)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 6 (Bob Backlund, Undertaker, Rick Martel, Owen Hart, Smash (as Repo Man), Randy Savage)

World Champions: 7 (Ric Flair, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Curt Hennig, Rick Martel, Randy Savage, Undertaker)

Future World Champions: 1 (Yokozuna)

Winner: Yokozuna

Total Rating: 37.5

 

1994 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 3 (Shawn Michaels, Greg Valentine, Bret Hart)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 6 (Owen Hart, Diesel, Bob Backlund, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, Rick Martel)

World Champions: 5 (Bob Backlund, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, Rick Martel, Bret Hart)

Future World Champions: 4 (Scott Steiner, Diesel, Jeff Jarrett, Shawn Michaels)

Winners: Lex Luger & Bret Hart

Total Rating: 29.5

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1995 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 1 (Shawn Michaels)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 6 (Davey Boy Smith, Rick Martel, Owen Hart, Lex Luger, Bob Backlund, Dick Murdoch)

World Champions: 3 (Rick Martel, Lex Luger, Bob Backlund)

Future World Champions: 1 (Shawn Michaels)

Winner: Shawn Michaels

Total Rating: 19.5

 

1996 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 5 (Jerry Lawler, Dory Funk Jr., Yokozuna, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 8 (Triple H, Bob Backlund, Jake Roberts, Vader, Owen Hart, Diesel, Kane (as Isaac Yankem), Davey Boy Smith)

World Champions: 6 (Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Dory Funk Jr., Yokozuna, Vader, Diesel)

Future World Champions: 4 (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Kane (as Isaac Yankem)

Winner: Shawn Michaels

Total Rating: 39

 

1997 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 6 (Steve Austin, Mil Mascaras, Ron Simmons, Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, Terry Funk)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 9 (Jake Roberts, Davey Boy Smith, Triple H, Owen Hart, Kane (as “Fake” Diesel), The Rock, Mankind, Vader, Undertaker)

World Champions: 7 (Ron Simmons, Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, Terry Funk, Vader, Undertaker)

Future World Champions: 5 (Steve Austin, Triple H, The Rock, Mankind, Kane (as “Fake” Diesel)

Winner: Steve Austin

Total Rating: 45.5

 

1998 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 3 (Terry Funk, Steve Austin, Ron Simmons)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 6 (Mick Foley (as Mankind, Dude Love, and Cactus Jack), The Rock, JBL, Owen Hart, Honky Tonk Man, Vader)

World Champions: 3 (Terry Funk, Ron Simmons, Vader)

Future World Champions: 6 (The Rock, JBL, Mankind, Jeff Jarrett, Mark Henry, Steve Austin)

Winner: Steve Austin

Total Rating: 28.5

 

1999 ROYAL RUMBLE

Hall of Famers: 2 (Steve Austin, Edge)

Additional “Should Be/Will Be” Hall of Famers: 4 (Vince McMahon, Kane, Triple H, Owen Hart)

World Champions: 2 (Steve Austin, Kane)

Future World Champions: 5 (Vince McMahon, Edge, Triple H, Mark Henry, Jeff Jarrett)

Winner: Vince McMahon

Total Rating: 20

Note that the rankings stop at 1999. I’d argue that anything from 2000 and beyond is too recent to rank its significance. For example, look at this past year’s Rumble; it’s almost impossible to tell if Superstars such as Dolph Ziggler or The Miz will reach Hall of Fame status. Same for 2003; while it probably won’t happen, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shelton Benjamin came back and earned Hall of Fame status. With all this in mind, the unofficial turn of the century seemed like a logical place to temporarily stop.

ANALYSIS

Most Star Power: 1992 (54 points)

Least Star Power: 1995 (19.5 points)

Most Hall of Famers: 1992 (13 Hall of Famers)

Most Combined HOF & Should Be/Will Be: 1992 (20 Superstars)

Fewest Hall of Famers: 1995 (1 Hall of Famer)

Fewest Combined HOF & Should Be/Will Be: 1999 (6 Superstars)

Most World Champions: 1992 (8)

Fewest World Champions: 1988 (1), followed by 1999 (2)

Most Future World Champions: 1998 (6)

Interesting Fact: The 1998 Royal Rumble is the only Rumble pay-per-view to not feature a former WWE Champion in the Rumble match.

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7 Comments

  1. JK says:

    Heads up, Smash was Repo Man.

  2. Brandon says:

    If it was me, I’d have actually stopped around 2004 or 2005. I think after 2005 is when you started having the current crop of guys coming in. But great listing, nonetheless. I guess 1992 is as star-packed as most folks claim it is.

  3. I’m sorry, but for some reason I can’t get over Taker’s face in the photo above. Just too funny!

  4. Justin devine says:

    You messed up your 1997 rankings, razor and diesel are not the razor and diesel we think of they are the fake ones,,, one of which happens to be Glen Jacobs aka Isaac Yankem and Kane.

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