WWE Royal Rumble Winners

Updated On

Out of all the big events in the WWE universe, the Royal Rumble takes the cake for me. No disrespect to Wrestlemania but there is just something about the Rumble that no other wrestling main event can match. When the clock starts ticking down and the crowd starts the 10, 9, 8 … countdown the anticipation of who will come down the ramp next is unmatched. There is also no other “pop” like the one at a Royal Rumble event when a surprise wrestler makes an entrance.

The first ever Royal Rumble took place in 1988 with the winner being Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Since then the event has been held every year with the winner getting an automatic shot at the Championship Belt at Wrestlemania. Here is every single Royal Rumble winner in order by year.

#1 Hacksaw Jim Duggan

jim duggan royal rumble win

Who He Beat To Win
One Man Gang

Eliminations
Danny Davis
Nikolai Volkoff
One Man Gang

Year – 1988
Royal Rumble # – 1
Entry Number – 13
Time Lasted – 14:44

How He Won – One Man Gang put a beaten-down Hacksaw on the ropes as he ran towards the opposite ropes to bounce off. He tried to hit a running clothesline but Hacksaw dropped down and pulled on the top rope sending One Man Gang up and over to the ground.

#2 Big John Stud

big john stud royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Million Dollar Man

Eliminations
Akeem
Ted Dibiase

Year – 1989
Royal Rumble # – 2
Entry Number – 27
Time Lasted – 12:21

How He Won – The Million Dollar man initially tried to bribe Big John Stud to take the loss by offering him money. Big John declined and essential lay a beat down on Ted Dibiase. He eventually grabbed Dibiase by the hair and just tossed him over the top rope easily.

#3 Hulk Hogan

hulk hogan royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Million Dollar Man

Eliminations
Haku
Jimmy Snuka
Ultimate Warrior
Honkey Tonk Man
Rick Rude
Mr. Perfect

Year – 1990
Royal Rumble # – 3
Entry Number – 25
Time Lasted – 12:49

How He Won – Mr. Perfect was laying a beat down on Hoan and hit the Perfect Plex. This of course led to a classic Hulk-up moment. After softening Mr. Perfect up with some clotheslines, Hulk tossed Perfect over the top turnbuckle for the win.

#4 Hulk Hogan

hulk hogan 1991 royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Earthquake

Eliminations
Greg Valentine
Smash
Crush
Brian Knobbs
The Warlord
Tugboat
Earthquake

Year – 1991
Royal Rumble # – 4
Entry Number – 24
Time Lasted – 21:00

How He Won – Hogan did what he does best and that is going full Hulkmania after receiving a beat down. After a body slam leaves the big man Earthquake wobbled Hogan sneaks up behind him and hits a clothesline from behind to knock Earthquake over the top rope.

#5 Ric Flair

ric flair 1992 royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Sid Justice

Eliminations
British Bulldog
Texas Tornado
Big Boss Man
Macho Man
Sid Justice

Year – 1992
Royal Rumble # – 5
Entry Number – 3
Time Lasted – 1:00:02

How He Won – Ric Flair got a sneaky win in the 1992 Royal Rumble. After Sid eliminated Hulk Hogan the two started jarring at each other. Hogan was able to reach up and grab Sid Justice’s arm trying to pull him out. Flair snuck up behind grabbed Sid’s legs and flipped him over the ropes.

#6 Yokozuna

yokozuna royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Macho Man Randy Savage

Eliminations
Tatanka
Carlos Colon
Earthquake
Tito Santana
Owen Hart
Bob Backlund
Randy Savage

Year – 1993
Royal Rumble # – 6
Entry Number – 27
Time Lasted – 14:53

How He Won – This finish was one of the crazier ones in Royal Rumble history. After missing a corner splash on Savage Yokozuna tumbled to the ground. Macho Man hits his patent flying elbow from the top rope and for some weird reason goes for the pin. Yokozuna presses savage from his back, like a barbell, up and over the top ropes for the win.

#7 Bret Hart and Lex Luger

hart luger royal rumble

Who They Beat To Win
Shawn Michaels

Eliminations
Great Kabuki
Sparky Plugg
Adam Bomb
Bam Bam Bigelow
Genichiro Tenryu
Shawn Michaels

Year – 1994
Royal Rumble # – 7

Lex Luger
Entry Number – 23
Time Lasted – 21:58

Bret Hart
Entry Number – 27
Time Lasted – 15:08

How They Won – One of the most anti-climatic finishes belongs to the 1994 Royal Rumble. It came down to Bret Hart and Lex Luger who slugged it out in the middle of the ring for 20 seconds. They bear-hugged their way to the ropes and both tumbled over at the same time. It was declared a tie but there were no camera angles that actually showed their feet touching the ground. This of course was down on purpose.

#8 Shawn Michaels

shawn michaels royal rumble 1995

Who He Beat To Win
British Bulldog

Eliminations
Duke Droese
Tom Prichard
Bushwhacker Luke
Jacob Blu
Bushwhacker Butch
Aldo Montoya
Lex Luger
British Bulldog

Year – 1995
Royal Rumble # – 8
Entry Number – 1
Time Lasted – 38:41

How He Won – Michaels and The British Bulldog had a great back-and-forth battle to end the 1995 Royal Rumble. The Bulldog actually threw Michaels over the top ropes and thought he had the victory. Shawn was able to hold onto the top rope and pull himself back into the ring. While the British Bulldog was celebrating his perceived victory on the turnbuckle Shawn hit him from behind sending him over the ropes.

#9 Shawn Michaels

shawn michaels diesel royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Diesel

Eliminations
Yokozuna
Vader
1-2-3 Kid
Jerry Lawler
Owen Hart
Isaac Yankem
British Bulldog
Diesel

Year – 1996
Royal Rumble # – 9
Entry Number – 18
Time Lasted – 26:10

How He Won – Michaels got a very quick win over Diesel once it was down to the final two. After Diesel had just eliminated wrestler Kama, Shawn set him up for some Sweet Chin Music while he was near the ropes. Michaels connected knocking Diesel over the top ropes.

#10 Stone Cold Steve Austin

stone cold royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Bret Hart

Eliminations
Phineas Godwin
Bart Gunn
Jake Roberts
Marc Mero
Owen Hart
Savio Vega
Jesse James
Vader
Undertaker
Bret Hart

Year – 1997
Royal Rumble # – 10
Entry Number – 5
Time Lasted – 45:07

How He Won – The ending to the 1997 Royal Rumble was chaotic, to say the least. Stone Cold actually got eliminated by Bret Hart a few minutes before he won however no referee saw him get eliminated. He got back into the ring and snuck up behind the final four eliminating them all one by one.

#11 Stone Cold Steve Austin

stone cold royal rumble 1998

Who He Beat To Win
Bret Hart

Eliminations
Marc Mero
8-Ball
Thrasher
Kama Mustafa
Savio Vega
Chainz
The Rock

Year – 1998
Royal Rumble # – 11
Entry Number – 24
Time Lasted – 15:58

How He Won – In 1998 we saw the first glimpse of the magic that would be Stone Cold vs The Rock. The two had a great battle ending when Stone Cold hit the Stunner wobbling the Rock. Austin proceeded to toss him out and over the ropes while he was stunned.

#12 Vince McMahon

vince mcmahon royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Stone Cold

Eliminations
Stone Cold Steve Austin

Year – 1999
Royal Rumble # – 12
Entry Number – 2
Time Lasted – 56:38

How He Won – Even though Vince drew the #2 entry he never actually entered the ring until the very end. Once Stone Cold and Vince were the only two left, The Rock came down to the ring to distract Stone Cold. Vince used this opportunity to sneak up behind Austin and toss him out of the ring.

#13 The Rock

rock royal rumble 2000

Who He Beat To Win
Big Show

Eliminations
Big Boss Man
Crash Holly
Al Snow
Big Show

Year – 2000
Royal Rumble # – 13
Entry Number – 24
Time Lasted – 14:47

How He Won – Lucky #13 was the Royal Rumble number where The Rock finally won the big event. He pulled off one of the best moves ever seen to win it. The Big Show had The Rock on his shoulder for an easy toss-out. As he ran towards the ropes the Rock reached down and grabbed the top rope and held on for dear life. The Big Show’s momentum sent him flying over the top rope.

#14 Stone Cold Steve Austin

stone cold kane royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Kane

Eliminations
Haku
Billy Gunn
Kane

Year – 2001
Royal Rumble # – 14
Entry Number – 27
Time Lasted – 9:38

How He Won – The 2001 Royal Rumble was a bloody classic. The final three were The Rock, Stone Cold, and Kane. They didn’t disappoint and all three had a good old fashion slobber knocker. It came down to Kane and Austin where Stone Cold had to hit Kane 3 times with a steel chair in order to weaken him enough to knock him out of the ring.

#15 Triple H

triple h royal rumble 2002

Who He Beat To Win
Kurt Angle

Eliminations
The Hurricane
Faarooq
Mr. Perfect
Kurt Angle

Year – 2002
Royal Rumble # – 15
Entry Number – 22
Time Lasted – 23:14

How He Won – Like other wrestlers before him, Kurt Angle thought he had eliminated Triple H and turned his back to celebrate. Triple H climbed back into the ring and hit Kurt with his classic knee drop. From there Hunter was able to easily clothesline Angle out of the ring.

#16 Brock Lesnar

brock lesnar 2003 royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Undertaker

Eliminations
Charlie Haas
Shelton Benjamin
Matt Hardy
Undertaker

Year – 2003
Royal Rumble # – 16
Entry Number – 29
Time Lasted – 9:00

How He Won – Lesnar let the Undertaker do most of the work as Taker eliminated both Kane and Bautista while Lesnar was taking a breather. While trash-talking Bautista on the outside Brock sneaks up behind the Undertaker and flips him over the top rope.

#17 Chris Benoit

chris benoit royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Big Show

Eliminations
Mark Henry
Bradshaw
Rhyno
Matt Morgan
A-Train
Big Show

Year – 2004
Royal Rumble # – 17
Entry Number – 1
Time Lasted – 1:01:30

How He Won – Unfortunately, due to the Chris Benoit tragedy story the 2004 Royal Rumble has been all but erased from the history books. That being said he and Big Show had a long battle and Chris eventually got Big Show in a DDT hold from the outside apron. He dragged him up and over the top rope while maintaining his balance on the apron.

#18 Batista

batista royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
John Cena

Eliminations
Gene Snitsky
Chris Jericho
Christian
Chris Benoit
Edge

Year – 2005
Royal Rumble # – 18
Entry Number – 28
Time Lasted – 10:54

How He Won – The 2005 Rumble match will always be known as the Great Botch. As Batista went for a “Batista Bomb” their momentum brought them back to the ropes where they both tumbled over and hit the ground at the same time. Problem was, Batista was supposed to hold onto the ropes and win. Chaos ensues with Vince McMahon running to the ring only to tear both his quad muscles in the process, yikes. He orders the match to continue and limps back up the ramp.

Batista this time hits a powerbomb, picks Cena up, and properly tosses him over the ropes to secure victory.

#19 Rey Mysterio

rey mysterio 2006 royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Randy Orton

Eliminations
Simon Dean
Psicosis
Super Crazy
Rob Van Dam
Triple H
Randy Orton

Year – 2006
Royal Rumble # – 19
Entry Number – 2
Time Lasted – 102:12

How He Won – Randy stalks Rey Mysterio for a while as he lies on the mat. He then picks him up on his shoulder and makes his way to the ropes. Mysterio reverses the hold and turns it into a Hurrancanrana flipping Randy Orton over the ropes.

#20 The Undertaker

undertaker royal rumble 2007

Who He Beat To Win
Shawn Michaels

Eliminations
The Great Khali
Montel Porter
Shawn Michaels

Year – 2007
Royal Rumble # – 20
Entry Number – 30
Time Lasted – 13:15

How He Won – Shawn Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music laying the Undertaker out. As Undertaker starts to get back up, Shawn sets him up for another Sweet Chin Music. Taker, this time, dodges it and immediately atomic drops Michaels over the top rope.

#21 John Cena

john cena royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Triple H

Eliminations
Carlito
Chavo Guerrero
Mark Henry
Triple H

Year – 2008
Royal Rumble # – 21
Entry Number – 30
Time Lasted – 8:28

How He Won – Cena and Triple H had an epic battle as the final two wrestlers lasting over 6 minutes. After a few back-and-forth momentum shifts between them, Cena was able to get Triple H in his Attitude Adjustment position. From there he dumped him straight over the ropes onto the concrete below.

#22 Randy Orton

randy orton 2009 royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Triple H

Eliminations
Kane
Big Show
Triple H

Year – 2009
Royal Rumble # – 22
Entry Number – 8
Time Lasted – 48:30

How He Won – Randy’s first Royal Rumble win was a pretty simple elimination. Triple H had just finished eliminating Cody Rhodes and had his back turned to Orton. Randy immediately grabbed him from behind and flipped him over the top ropes.

#23 Edge

edge royal rumble 2010

Who He Beat To Win
John Cena

Eliminations
Chris Jericho
John Cena

Year – 2010
Royal Rumble # – 23
Entry Number – 29
Time Lasted – 7:37

How He Won – Edge’s win at the 2010 Royal Rumble was rather anti-climactic. His one-on-one with Cena was very short and ended with Cena running at Edge only to have Edge step to the side and toss him out.

#24 Alberto Del Rio

alberto del rio royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Santino Marella

Eliminations
Randy Orton
Santino Marella

Year – 2011
Royal Rumble # – 24
Entry Number – 38
Time Lasted – 9:33

How He Won – Santino looked to be on his way to victory and was celebrating a little too long in the ring. He picked up Del Rio and sprinted towards the ropes to throw him out. Alberto dropped right before the ropes and using Santino’s own momentum flung him over the top ropes.

#25 Sheamus

sheamus royal rumble 2012

Who He Beat To Win
Chris Jericho

Eliminations
Kofi Kingston
Jack Swagger
Chris Jericho

Year – 2012
Royal Rumble # – 25
Entry Number – 22
Time Lasted – 22:22

How He Won – Jericho was hanging on to the top rope for dear life after Sheamus initially threw him over. He got back up to the apron only to be greeted with a massive “Bro Kick” to the face which dropped him to the ground.

#26 John Cena

john cena 2013 royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Ryback

Eliminations
Heath Slater
Cody Rhodes
Antonio Cesaro
Ryback

Year – 2013
Royal Rumble # – 26
Entry Number -19
Time Lasted – 26:39

How He Won – The final two match-up between Cena and Ryback had great energy and the crowd really hyped this one up. Ryback got Cena up on his shoulder and ran towards the ropes. Cena escaped out the backside and threw him over from behind.

#27 Batista

batista royal rumble 2014

Who He Beat To Win
Roman Reigns

Eliminations
Erick Rowan
Ryback
Alberto Del Rio
Roman Reigns

Year – 2014
Royal Rumble # – 27
Entry Number -28
Time Lasted – 14:34

How He Won – This finish was pretty straightforward. Roman goes to throw Batista out of the ring, but Batista reverses the throw, and out goes Roman Reigns. Simple, easy, and dull finish.

#28 Roman Reigns

roman reigns royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Rusev

Eliminations
Goldust
Stardust
Titus O’Neil
Kane
Big Show
Rusev

Year – 2015
Royal Rumble # – 28
Entry Number -19
Time Lasted – 27:29

How He Won – Roman got his revenge after the previous year being the bride’s maid to Batista. It came down to him and Rusev with some help from The Rock. After hitting a spear, Roman picks up Rusev and tosses him like a rag doll over the top ropes.

#29 Triple H

triple h 2016 royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Dean Ambrose

Eliminations
Dolph Ziggler
Bray Wyatt
Roman Reigns
Dean Ambrose

Year – 2016
Royal Rumble # – 29
Entry Number – 30
Time Lasted – 9:03

How He Won – Triple H was on the outside apron and hit Dean with a stiff knee to the face. He then went under the second rope and backflipped Dean Ambrose over the top rope for the win.

#30 Randy Orton

randy orton rko royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Roman Reigns

Eliminations
Roman Reigns

Year – 2017
Royal Rumble # – 30
Entry Number – 23
Time Lasted – 20:52

How He Won – Roman Reigns charges at Orton and runs right into an epic RKO. Randy picks up Roman and proceeds to throw him over the top ropes to secure his second Royal Rumble victory.

#31 Shinsuke Nakamura

shinsuke nakamura royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Roman Reigns

Eliminations
Sami Zayn
John Cena
Roman Reigns

Year – 2018
Royal Rumble # – 31
Entry Number – 14
Time Lasted – 44:38

How He Won – After a 5-minute battle, Shinsuke nails Reigns with a flying front kick. As Reigns collects himself to his feet Nakamura grabs him from the trunks and throws him over the top rope.

#32 Seth Rollins

seth rollins royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Braun Stroman

Eliminations
Elias
Bobby Lashley
Braun Stroman

Year – 2019
Royal Rumble # – 32
Entry Number – 10
Time Lasted – 43:00

How He Won – The two battled on the outside apron for what seemed like forever, both threatening to fall off many times. Finally, Seth hit a foot stomp while Braun was on one knee and sent him to the ground.

#33 Drew McIntyre

drew mcintyre royal rumble

Who He Beat To Win
Roman Reigns

Eliminations
Brock Lesnar
Ricochet
The Miz
King Corbin
Seth Rollins
Roman Reigns

Year – 2020
Royal Rumble # – 33
Entry Number – 16
Time Lasted – 34:11

How He Won – Drew McIntyre hits a Claymore off the ropes and drops Roman Reigns. He promptly picks him up and easily tosses him over the ropes for victory.

#34 Edge

edge royal rumble 2021

Who He Beat To Win
Randy Orton

Eliminations
Braun Stroman
Seth Rollins
Randy Orton

Year – 2021
Royal Rumble # – 34
Entry Number – 1
Time Lasted – 58:30

How He Won – For the first time, the last two men remaining were the one and two entries. Sadly, it had a weak ending with Edge simply reversing an attempted throw by Orton and tossing him out instead.

#35 Brock Lesnar

brock lesnar f5

Who He Beat To Win
Drew McIntyre

Eliminations
Randy Orton
Bad Bunny
Riddle
Shane McMahon
Drew McIntyre

Year – 2022
Royal Rumble # – 35
Entry Number – 30
Time Lasted – 2:32

How He Won – Brock Lesnar came in like a wrecking ball in the 2022 Royal Rumble. He eliminated the last 6 guys including Drew McIntyre whom he put in an F5 position and simply threw over the top rope.

More Wrestling Lists: