You can't toss the boss!
Should you ever find yourself walking the hallowed corridors of World Wrestling Entertainment's headquarters in Stamford, Conn., don't be surprised if you hear an incredible tale of 30 warring Superstars, a hell-bent Texas Rattlesnake and the billionaire boss who surpassed overwhelming odds to de-venom him. In fact, don't be surprised if you hear this story from Mr. McMahon himself. On many occasions, he has held court among WWE employees to regale them of the "Herculean effort" that enabled him to throw "Stone Cold" Steve Austin over the top rope, and earn an improbable Royal Rumble triumph in January 1999.
Without question, some of what Mr. McMahon says is true. Positioned in the unenviable No. 2 slot in the 30-man Royal Rumble Match—with his most hated enemy, Austin, almost salivating at being the No. 1 pick—the WWE Chairman seemingly had "No Chance in Hell" of making it out of Anaheim's Arrowhead Pond in one piece, much less winning the main event. Yet, truth be told, he did outlast 29 WWE Superstars, and prevented the Bionic Redneck from achieving an unprecedented third consecutive Royal Rumble win. Certainly, Mr. McMahon's version of this story might make for an incredible movie that could shatter box-office records.
However, there are the "deleted scenes" to consider, all of which are thankfully preserved on archived Royal Rumble footage (and on DVD). The Chairman himself won't bore you with "unimportant" details like luring Stone Cold into one of the arena's ladies' rooms (neither man had climbed over the top rope, so they weren't eliminated), where his Corporation cronies—Big Boss Man, Ken Shamrock and Test—delivered a beatdown that almost sent Austin to the hospital. Mr. McMahon won't describe the abject fear on his face as the Texas Rattlesnake later returned to the ring and proceeded to toss seven Superstars over the top rope, bringing his total in the match to eight. And he'll certainly never dwell on the can of whoop-ass Austin opened on him (including a Stunner that nearly sent McMahon out of his shoes) before The Rock walked down toward ringside. No, Mr. McMahon will tell you that he simply did what he has always done: capitalize on an opportunity, even at the detriment of others. While The Rock—having reclaimed the WWE Championship from Mankind earlier that evening—laid the verbal smack on Stone Cold, the WWE Chairman came up from behind and (barely) tossed Austin over the top rope…then dropped to the floor, exhausted.
Granted, Stone Cold would beat Mr. McMahon in a Steel Cage Match at St. Valentine's Day Massacre two weeks later, allowing him to face (and ultimately defeat) The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XV. Nevertheless, one must credit Mr. McMahon's resource-filled approach for picking up the unlikeliest of victories. That, plus the fact that he can shut down WWE.com at a moment's notice, earns our employer WWE.com's No. 10 Over-the-Top Royal Rumble Performance.