The very first Royal Rumble in WWE history took place January 24th 1988 in Hamilton, Ontario. That’s a great trivia question answer as I don’t think many people would choose Hamilton as being the host to the very first Royal Rumble. The idea for the Royal Rumble event came from the late Hall of Famer Pat Patterson, a longtime employee behind the scenes at the WWE. The winner of the 1988 Royal Rumble was Hacksaw Jim Duggan who was a classic babyface for the organization at the time.

I actually don’t remember too much from the first Royal Rumble even though I was a young kid who loved wrestling at the time but The Royal Rumble itself will always go down as my favorite PPV event of all-time. Nothing beats the anticipation of the countdown and the “pop” when we discover who the next wrestler is going to be.

Before we get to who was in the first Royal Rumble, if your curious here’s what other matches took place at the inaugural event:

Main EventThe Islanders vs The Young Stallions
Undercard Matches – Jumping Bomb Angels vs The Glamour Girls, Ricky Steamboat vs “Ravishing” Rick Rude

The other big storyline that occurred during this event was a contract signing between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant for Wrestlemania III. Andre was accompanied to the ring by Ted DiBiase and his bodyguard Virgil as this was during the Mega Bucks tag team days.


1988 Royal Rumble Stats and Facts

Winner: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Longest Time In Ring: Bret Hart (25:42)
Shortest Time In Ring: Junkyard Dog (2:30)
Most Eliminations: One Man Gang
First Ever Elimination: Butch Reed
Eliminated By 2 Wrestlers: Tito Santana, Boris Zhukov, Don Muraco, Ultimate Warrior
Commentary Team: Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura

1988 royal rumble logo


All Entrants In The First Royal Rumble of 1988

There was 20 entrants for the inaugural Royal Rumble, here they are in order of appearance.

bret hart 1988 royal rumble

Bret “The Hitman” Hart

Draw: #1
Time Lasted: 25:24
Who He Eliminated: Tito Santana
Eliminated By: Don Muraco
Elimination Order: 8th man eliminated

View Bret Hart Profile and Merchandise

tito santana 1988 royal rumble

Tito Santana

Draw: #2
Time Lasted: 10:41
Who He Eliminated: No one
Eliminated By: The Hart Foundation
Elimination Order: 2nd man eliminated

butch reed 1988 royal rumble

“The Natural” Butch Reed

Draw: #3
Time Lasted: 3:18
Who He Eliminated: No one
Eliminated By: Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Elimination Order: 1st man eliminated

1988 royal rumble hart foundation

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart

Draw: #4
Time Lasted: 19:06
Who He Eliminated: Tito Santana
Eliminated By: Hillbilly Jim
Elimination Order: 6th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble jake roberts

Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Draw: #5
Time Lasted: 21:52
Who He Eliminated: Butch Reed, Boris Zhukov
Eliminated By: One Man Gang
Elimination Order: 10th man eliminated

Royal Rumble – The Complete Anthology

1988 royal rumble harley race

Harley Race

Draw: #6
Time Lasted: 10:03
Who He Eliminated: No One
Eliminated By: Don Muraco
Elimination Order: 4th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble jim brunzell

“Jumpin” Jim Brunzell

Draw: #7
Time Lasted: 12:06
Who He Eliminated: Boris Zhukov
Eliminated By: Nikolai Volkoff
Elimination Order: 5th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble sam houston

Sam Houston

Draw: #8
Time Lasted: 14:39
Who He Eliminated: No One
Eliminated By: Ron Bass
Elimination Order: 7th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble danny davis

Danny Davis

Draw: #9
Time Lasted: 17:51
Who He Eliminated: No One
Eliminated By: Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Elimination Order: 13th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble boris zhukov

Boris Zhukov

Draw: #10
Time Lasted: 2:33
Who He Eliminated: No One
Eliminated By: Jake Roberts, Jum Brunzell
Elimination Order: 3rd man eliminated

1988 royal rumble don muraco

Don Muraco

Draw: #11
Time Lasted: 16:10
Who He Eliminated: Harley Race, Ron Bass, Bret Hart
Eliminated By: Jake Roberts, Jum Brunzell
Elimination Order: 17th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble nikolai volkoff

Nikolai Volkoff

Draw: #12
Time Lasted: 11:40
Who He Eliminated: Jim Brunzell
Eliminated By: Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Elimination Order: 11th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble jim duggan

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Draw: #13
Time Lasted: 14:44
Who He Eliminated: Danny Davis, Nikolai Volkoff, One Man Gang
Eliminated By: No One
Elimination Order: Winner of the 1988 Royal Rumble

1988 royal rumble ron bass

Ron Bass

Draw: #14
Time Lasted: 10:14
Who He Eliminated: Sam Houston, Junkyard Dog
Eliminated By: Don Muraco
Elimination Order: 16th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble brian blair

B. Brian Blair

Draw: #15
Time Lasted: 5:50
Who He Eliminated: No One
Eliminated By: One Man Gang
Elimination Order: 9th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble hillbilly jim

Hillbilly Jim

Draw: #16
Time Lasted: 5:55
Who He Eliminated: Jim Neidhart
Eliminated By: One Man Gang
Elimination Order: 12th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble dino bravo

Dino Bravo

Draw: #17
Time Lasted: 8:12
Who He Eliminated: Ultimate Warrior, Don Muraco
Eliminated By: One Man Gang
Elimination Order: 18th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble ultimate warrior

Ultimate Warrior

Draw: #18
Time Lasted: 3:51
Who He Eliminated: No One
Eliminated By: One Man Gang, Dino Bravo
Elimination Order: 14th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble one man gang

One Man Gang

Draw: #19
Time Lasted: 6:50
Who He Eliminated: Jake Roberts, Don Muraco, Brian Blair, Hillbilly Jim, Dino Bravo, Ultimate Warrior
Eliminated By: Jim Duggan
Elimination Order: 19th man eliminated

1988 royal rumble junkyard dog

Junkyard Dog

Draw: #20
Time Lasted: 2:30
Who He Eliminated: No One
Eliminated By: Ron Bass
Elimination Order: 15th man eliminated

Similar Posts