The 36th annual WWE Royal Rumble is upon us. What better way to celebrate the upcoming pay per view than to look back. Not at its winner, but the lovable losers who entered the 30-man Rumble and always came up short. This is my list and part 2 of the Top 5 wrestlers who should’ve won the Royal Rumble.
5. Macho Man Randy Savage
Before this man ever made you want to “snap into a Slim Jim” his promos had you wanting to run through a brick wall. Kind of like Dan Campbell. No wonder where he gets it from. Anyway, with a very well stacked resume, including being the main event for WrestleMania IV and V. Macho Man should’ve at least gotten a fair shot at winning the Rumble, just like his counterpart Hulk Hogan. After all, in his 32-year career, he had a King of the Ring victory and is holding two title reigns.
Yet, in the 1989 Rumble Hogan took Macho out then Dusty Rhodes the following year, so it never happened. He came close in 1993 when he entered at number 30, only to fall victim to Yokozuna. Without a doubt, Macho Man is a main-eventer. His top rope elbow drop is still an iconic move. I’m sure we have all tried it at least once on our brothers or cousins. He has been in big matches and is a showman to the craft. He is just not good at this type of match. Though it wasn’t in the cards, I would have loved to see what a road to WrestleMania would have looked like with him. Rest in peace, Macho Man aka Randy Savage. Oohh Yeah!!!!
4. Cody Rhodes
Ok, stop laughing. Seriously, stop laughing. Look, I know the stardust gimmick was terrible and him just being a goon. Cody Rhodes wasn’t that great, but let me sell you on this. Cody has spent over three hours combined competing in the Rumble. Up to now he only made it to 3rd place in 2009. Others with more time spent in the ring have at least made it to 2nd place. He’s never been a Rumble MVP but has done well in the matches. He made it to the final 4 in 2012 only to be eliminated by the Big Show. However, he had the most eliminations that year as well.
I bring up Cody Rhodes because he’s coming back to the ring after being out from getting injured in June at Hell in a Cell. Also, he was the most talked about after making his return to WWE given the success of his AEW career. He has changed his image, shed the past of failed gimmicks, and the jokes he once was back in the late 2000s of WWE programming. I am all for seeing this guy shine, giving him his flowers and awaiting his well-deserved title run. Which I hope we get to see soon!
3. Lita, Trish Stratus, & Beth Phoenix
I know the women’s Royal Rumble wasn’t fully established until 2018. Still, I truly believe these women would’ve gotten their shine. Of course, if the matches were in their era, just as they should have. If given the opportunity, any of these women would have been a guaranteed lock at winning the Rumble year after year. Even without the Rumble, all three women have had an amazing career.
Lita is a 4 time WWE women’s champion. Beth Phoenix has held the women’s title 3 times and having a Diva’s title reign. Trish Stratus was 7- time women’s champion. There is no telling who either of their opponents would be at WrestleMania, but what do I know, is that they would have put on one hell of a match.
2. Mick Foley
The only man to enter the same Royal Rumble 3 different times and still wasn’t able to win it. How is that even possible? Yes, you read that correctly. Back in 1998 Mick Foley entered the Royal Rumble as 3 different characters: Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack. Yet, he still did not win the match, as all characters were eliminated. Despite that, I can say each time he came out, behind the curtains, the fans loved every moment. That’s a credit to how much of a fan favorite he would soon grow to be.
To be fair, Foley had bigger matches in those years. There was no need to really even care about the Rumble. He had an “I Quit” match with the Rock in 1999 and then a cringe worthy “Street Fight” against Triple H the next year. Man, I’m still thinking about how much blood and thumbtacks we saw left in the ring. Even though he lost, he was at the main event for WrestleMania in 2000 against the Rock, Triple H and the Big Show.
Looking back on Foley’s career, he’s better without having a Rumble win under his belt. He’s still held the WWE title 3 times. The Hardcore title once and has been an 8 time Tag Team champion all while with the company. It would have been nice to see Mrs. Foley’s baby boy win the Rumble just once, but he’s still made the most of any match he was in at the Royal Rumble. Mick Foley is the definition of fearlessness and hardcore on mainstream television. It’s no wonder why this man is a unanimous Hall of Famer.
1. Chris Jericho
With over 5 hours combined in the matches, Jericho has made the most of all of his opportunities in his Rumble appearances. You may be thinking, but Kane has the most Royal Rumble appearances and eliminations. However, it’s Jericho who has spent the most time in the Rumble. He has only been in 10 Rumbles during his career. Yet, he’s almost come close to winning it twice. That is, until creative, decided to go in a different direction for WrestleMania. Back in 2012, he and Sheamaus were the final two. As well as in 2017 when Brock Lesnar suggested him versus Goldberg would be a bigger draw for Mania. Even with WWE going in different directions for the Rumble, Jericho has had 6 combined title reigns. As not only a WWE champion, but also a WCW Heavyweight champion during their merger.
Jericho got to main event for WrestleMania X8 as the undisputed champion holding two belts. Unfortunately, he lost to Triple H. Even with tough competition around him like The Rock, Stone Cold, or the Undertaker, he still thrived by letting his talents show. He’s had hilarious segments and some terrible feuds. But has always made the most of any story or opportunity given to him. If you have ever read any of his books, which I highly recommend. Then you would understand that he truly is a company man. As for now, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rocka Rolla spends his time trying to build up the AEW. He may not have gotten his Rumble win, but he’s left a mark on the record book. It will take time for the next man to beat.
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