Editors' choice: Who is “Mr. Royal Rumble”?

WWE Photo Mr. Royal Rumble

WWE has hosted 33 Royal Rumble Matches as the event continues making history in its fourth decade. We’ve witnessed giants dominate and underdogs stun the field. Champions have been crowned, and roads to WrestleMania have been paved. We’ve seen Superstars win their first Rumble Match and multi-time victors.

But who is the greatest Rumbler in history? WWE.com editors have looked back at every winner, from “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to Braun Strowman. After much consideration and deliberation, here are the Superstars they’ve decided to call “Mr. Royal Rumble.”

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin goes crazy in the Royal Rumble Match: Royal Rumble 2002

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin enters the Royal Rumble Match on such a tear that he eliminates his opponents twice!

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin was so dominant in the Royal Rumble Match that he’d do push-ups while waiting for the next entrant. The Texas Rattlesnake, who made his WWE pay-per-view debut in the 1996 Rumble Match, eliminated 36 Superstars in six appearances.

Austin owns the record for the most victories with three — 1997, 1998 and 2001. In fact, he would have won four if The Corporation hadn’t robbed him in 1999. He didn’t win with flashy acrobatics, and in one case, he literally stole the victory. Yet, whenever he stepped through the ropes, “Stone Cold” became the instant favorite. — JEFF LABOON


Kane shows off his immense strength by lifting Big Show over-the-top-rope: Royal Rumble 2002

Kane uses a low blow to gain the upper hand and eliminate Big Show from the Royal Rumble Match.

It may seem a bit odd to compare Kane to the likes of Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, but utter dominance is rather easy to spot when you see it in action. Hence, let’s dim a spotlight on the 2001 Royal Rumble Match.

The Big Red Machine set the then-record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble Match when he tossed out a staggering 11 Superstars. To watch Kane decimate the best of the Attitude Era in one match was to unequivocally see the very best thriving in his element. Kane ultimately finished as the runner-up in that match, but much like Jordan in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semis or Tiger in the 2018 PGA Championship, you don’t always have to come out on top to be considered the greatest. — RYAN PAPPOLLA

Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio wins the Royal Rumble Match: 2006 Royal Rumble

Rey Mysterio draws No. 2 in the Royal Rumble Match and remarkably lasts over 60 minutes to triumph over Randy Orton, showing why he's truly The Ultimate Underdog of WWE on January 29, 2006.

When you start at No. 2, go over an hour to win the 30-Superstar over-the-top-rope bout and make good on your WrestleMania opportunity to become World Champion, you own the Royal Rumble Match. That’s just the way it works. For more than a decade, Rey Mysterio held the record for the longest single stint in a Rumble Match.

Before all the alterations to the January classic, all the special editions, and all the bells and whistles, Rey went the distance, did the thing and ultimately won the championship at WrestleMania. The line starts behind him, literally and figuratively. — ANTHONY BENIGNO

Braun Strowman

The Monster Among Men sends Big Cass careening over the top rope to claim the win!

The Monster Among Men sends Big Cass careening over the top rope to claim the win!

There are two key factors when it comes to determining who deserves to be known as “Mr. Royal Rumble”: One’s ability to hurl opponents over the top rope, and opponents’ inability to do the same to you. The boulderesque Braun Strowman fits the bill in both categories, and he proved it during the Greatest Royal Rumble Match — the largest iteration of WWE’s over-the-top-rope classic to date.

Of the 50 Superstars competing in the milestone melee, The Monster Among Men eliminated 13, surpassing the Royal Rumble record established by Roman Reigns in 2014. After a baker’s dozen of Superstars got those hands, The Monster Among Men went on to win the entire match, making him “Mr. Greatest Royal Rumble” as well. — JAMES WORTMAN

Randy Orton

Randy Orton and other WWE Superstars rewatch the 2017 Royal Rumble Match: WWE Playback

The Viper, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and other WWE Superstars add their commentary to the epic 2017 Royal Rumble Match on WWE Network.

When it comes time for the Royal Rumble Match, there’s no better prepared Superstar than Randy Orton. The Viper’s cold, calculating and predatorial method of attack makes him the perfect competitor for the 30-Superstar melee.

Statistically, WWE’s Apex Predator is among the Rumble’s crème de la crème, having won two Royal Rumble Matches (2009 and 2017) and eliminated 25 Superstars over the 10 Rumbles he has entered. That, along with The Viper’s ability to strike out of nowhere, has surely had many Royal Rumble Match entrants dreading the moment when they were taken out by Randy Orton. — BOBBY MELOK

Triple H

Triple H wins the 2016 Royal Rumble Match: Royal Rumble 2016

The Game shocks Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose by winning the 2016 Royal Rumble Match - and the WWE Championship.

“Mr. Royal Rumble” is a title that can easily be bestowed upon Triple H. For starters, he is one of an elite group of Superstars — including Hulk Hogan, Batista, Randy Orton, John Cena and Shawn Michaels — that have claimed victory in two Royal Rumble matches.

The Game’s first Royal Rumble Match victory came in 2002, when he eliminated four Superstars to earn an opportunity for — and ultimately win — the Undisputed Championship at WrestleMania X-8.His second victory in 2016 made history after The Cerebral Assassin eliminated four Superstars to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It was only the second time that the Royal Rumble Match also resulted in the crowning of a new world champion. — KEVIN POWERS

The Rock

Royal Rumble Match winners who lost at WrestleMania: photos 11

The Rock stood tall at the end of the 2000 Royal Rumble Match.

Despite having just one Royal Rumble Match win under his belt, The Rock always electrified the famous marathon bout. Entering at No. 4 in the 1998 Royal Rumble Match, he proved his mettle by logging 51 minutes and coming in second to last before getting eliminated by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

He’d up the ante two years later by eliminating the mighty Big Show in what became one of the most talked about Royal Rumble Match conclusions. Given his rich history at the Royal Rumble event, The Great One’s contributions continue to leave the millions (…and millions!) in awe. — RALPH BRISTOUT

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