By RJ Marceau
The Royal Rumble has always been a big event for me especially making me a fan. In 2002, I was browsing through the channels and stopped at Sunday Night Heat on SPIKE TV. The entire show they were promoting the 2002 Royal Rumble and saying how Kane was the favorite to win.
They got me hooked in but when I tried to watch it I had to watch it on PPV, which my parents wouldn’t pay for especially at the last minute. I made sure I tuned into Raw the next night and saw that Triple H had won. I decided to watch all the Rumble matches since 2003 and rank my Top 5 favorite. The Royal Rumble has had some good years and some bad years but here are My Top 5 Favorite Royal Rumbles since becoming a fan in 2002.
5. 2011 Royal Rumble
I was in attendance for the 2011 Royal Rumble and thought the match was good and the 40-man concept was intriguing. The only issue I had with this rumble was how Alberto Del Rio won this Royal Rumble and how it came down Del Rio and Santino Marella. This match had good surprises with Diesel and Booker T.
The New Nexus with the numbers game dominated majority of the match until John Cena tossed out Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, David Otunga and CM Punk. The Final Four competitors were Wade Barrett, Randy Orton, Santino Marella and Alberto Del Rio. It seemed as though Del Rio won until Santino came into the ring but was eliminated by Del Rio. The crowd didn’t really pop but besides Alberto Del Rio winning it was a fun match.
4. 2015 Royal Rumble
I know what people will say and say last year's rumble wasn’t good and Reigns winning was predictable. Besides the ending of this match, the rest was enjoyable. Wyatt went on a tear at the beginning until Daniel Bryan came in. Bryan's elimination was upsetting but I thoroughly enjoyed the match even after Bryan was tossed.
Big Show and Kane knocking people out pissed me off but The Rock coming out to fend them off was good. Reigns winning wasn’t ideal but was better than Batista winning. The IWC pooped all over it and I probably did as well but besides the ending this Rumble was entertaining.
3. 2004 Royal Rumble
The WWE never mentions this Royal Rumble but at the time and after watching this match again I was entertained. Chris Benoit and Randy Orton starting 1 and 2 was a nice touch and foreshadowed the feud they had in the summer of 2004. The involvement of Mick Foley attacking Orton was exciting to set up their matches at WrestleMania XX and Backlash.
Kane went on a rampage until the next entrant with the Undertaker's gong going off. The distraction led to Booker T eliminating Kane. Brock Lesnar screwing Goldberg was great as well setting up their feud leading into WrestleMania. The Final Four were Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, The Big Show and Kurt Angle. Big Show eliminated Jericho and Angle with the crowd expecting The World's Largest Athlete to toss Benoit as well. When Big Show went to throw Benoit out he grabbed him around the head like he was going to suplex him.
Benoit kept cranking to get Big Show over and won the 2004 Royal Rumble. 2004 was one of my favorite years as a whole but it sucks that since Benoit was in the main event scene most of the year it is never mentioned. I don’t agree with anything Benoit did I just really enjoyed seeing him win and get the title shot he deserved.
2. 2003 Royal Rumble
This Royal Rumble will always be one of my favorites especially for being the 1st Royal Rumble I ordered. The first two competitors were Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. When Jericho came out it happened to be Christian behind the entrance with Y2J attacking Shawn Michaels. One of the entertaining parts was Shannon Moore helping Matt Hardy stay in the matchup.
Moore was a V1 follower and was at ringside to help Matt stay in. He also ate a Swanton Bomb from Jeff Hardy which was funny. This match was also the Royal Rumble debut for Rey Mysterio, Brock Lesnar, Batista and John Cena who would become big stars in the WWE. The Final Four may be the most star studded of all time with Batista, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker and Kane.
It came down to Undertaker and Brock Lesnar with Lesnar tossing The Undertaker out but gaining the respect of the Deadman. Lesnar winning was predictable but it was nice to see “The Next Big Thing” win the Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania XIX.
1. 2006 Royal Rumble
This match is far from the best Royal Rumble, which I would give to the 2003 Royal Rumble, but with Rey Mysterio winning it is easily my favorite Royal Rumble match. Since Rey debuted in 2002, he became my favorite WWE wrestler. Mysterio honored his performance after the late Eddie Guerrero and lasted 62 minutes and 12 seconds to win the 2006 Royal Rumble.
The match didn’t have much stories but the Final Four with RVD, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio and Triple H was good. Orton and Mysterio became the final two with Rey head scissoring Orton over the top rope. They feuded into No Way Out with Orton dropping the line “Eddie isn’t in heaven, Eddie's down there in Hell”.
They both faced Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22 with Mysterio winning. RVD went on to win the Money in the Bank and Triple H faced John Cena for the WWE Championship. Mysterio winning was amazing and will be tough to beat as my favorite Royal Rumble of all time.
SEE ALSO: RJ's Two Cents - Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match Predictions