Who Should Have Won Every Royal Rumble?

Who Should Have Won…EVERY Royal Rumble? Hi, I’m Scotty Flamingo.  You might remember me from such BoD’s as “I Dream of Wrestling”.  Last year, I sent in a rather lengthy tribute to Wrestlemania where I speculated what every main event should be.  For my next trick, I decided to try to do it with every Royal Rumble winner.  You are encouraged to play at home. (Scott sez:  I accept the challenge, because I don’t really feel like watching RAW anyway and this is more fun.)  Royal Rumble (1988) Who won?  “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Who should’ve won?  I don’t think the WWF had any idea what the event was going to become.  Just looking at the participants, it seems like it was just a nice midcard gimmick match to draw interest.  In fact, the event wasn’t a PPV and was more to set up the events leading to Wrestlemania IV.  It seems incredibly odd to me that Randy Savage wasn’t even in the match. Especially given that he was about to become “The Man”. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, the first Rumble should have had a better winner.  I love Hacksaw as much as the next guy, but they needed a top name to sell the importance of the match.  One idea would have been to have Andre win it since the show was setting up the SNME rematch with Hogan and that Andre was often billed as the king of the battle royale.  However, a heel winning the first Rumble would have not set well with the crowd (especially back then) .  I think Savage was the guy that should’ve won. (Scott sez:  Give ‘em a pass on this one, as they didn’t know it would become what it would become.  Duggan, Race, Bad News, JYD…any of those level guys were fine to win it.)  Royal Rumble (1989) Who won?  Big John Studd Who should’ve won?  I am taking these one by one, in order.  I’m worried some of these are gonna be tough, but this one is a no brainer.  Mr. Perfect.  What better way to keep that gimmick rolling?  Studd was never more than a poor man’s Andre anyway. (Scott sez:  Hey, he had $15,000 per bodyslam to pay out!  That’s hardly poor.  I don’t agree 100% with your detective work on the Perfect thing there, Lou. Perfect was barely midcard at that point.  I think THIS is where you put Macho Man over, tossing out Hogan to win while Hulk is distracted by Slick macking on Elizabeth or something.)  Royal Rumble (1990) Who won?  Hogan Who should’ve won?  Hogan.  I agree with this one.  Hogan was still the top guy and if the Rumble was going to be something worth winning, he needed to win one.  Also, Perfect was #30 it would‘ve been some good drama to have my 1989 winner against Hogan at the end.  Not to mention this was the beginning of the road to Wrestlemania VI and Hogan needed to be strong as World Champion. (Scott sez:  Motherfucking Ultimate Warrior.) Royal Rumble (1991) Who won?  Hogan Who should’ve won?  I was already getting tired of Hogan by this point, even as a kid.  Also, winning the Rumble twice is enough of a stretch but back-to-back??  This was a bad time in booking for the WWF as they were setting up the horrible Slaughter feud.  Unfortunately, I don’t see much of an alternative.  If you went for Hogan Vs Warrior II instead of Hogan Vs Slaughter at WM7, Hogan will still need to win the Rumble.  The other option would be to stick with what happened and have either Savage or Warrior win the Rumble to set up that match at Mania.  Since Warrior was defending the belt, that leaves Savage and yes,  that would make Savage a two time winner, but at least it wasn’t consecutive. (Scott sez:  I actually agreed with Hogan winning this one.  The Slaughter win was such a kick in the nuts that you needed something to send the fans home happy, and it set up Hogan up as the challenger for WM.) Royal Rumble (1992) Who won?  Ric Flair Who should’ve won?   You will touch nothing.  The perfect Rumble match. (Scott sez:  Duh.)  Royal Rumble (1993) Who won?  Yokozuna Who should’ve won?   Another dead period for the WWF as we are leading up to the horrible Wrestlemania IX.  Other than his size, there was nothing about Yoko that made me feel like he was a big deal.  He just seemed like an overpushed midcarder.  I think I’d go one of two ways.  The first would be to give Lex Luger a megapush and have him win and face Bret at Mania.  The other idea would be The Undertaker as he was becoming a very popular act by then.  Luger had that whole WBF run and I can’t remember if that was because of injury or Vince shying away from muscular guys with the steroid stuff still floating around.  Screw it, I’ll stick with Luger. (Scott sez:  Luger wasn’t even in the promotion at that time, dude.  In fact I’m not even sure he was cleared to wrestle given contractual issues and the motorcycle injuries.  As others have noted in the past, this should have been Savage’s miracle win so he could challenge Bret at Wrestlemania.)  Royal Rumble (1994) Who won?  Co-winners:  Lex Luger and Bret Hart Who should’ve won?   I never liked the mini-tourney for Mania X, so I’d just give Bret the win.  The Bret Vs Owen match was their best storyline anyway and you’d have Bret winning the Rumble but losing in the tag match with Owen to further it. (Scott sez:  Co-winners was the worst thing ever.  Bret goes over, end of story.)  Royal Rumble (1995) Who won?  Shawn Michaels Who should’ve won?   Shawn was a good choice, but then we get a consecutive Rumble winner in 1996 and I hate that.  Let’s go with Diesel. (Scott sez:  Yeah, but the winner getting the title shot was a thing by this point, so Diesel wouldn’t have been in the match.  Shawn was the right call.)  Royal Rumble (1996) Who won?  Shawn Michaels Who should’ve won?   Shawn Michaels.   This was when Shawn should have gone over. (Scott sez:  Yup.)  Royal Rumble (1997) Who won?  Steve Austin Who should’ve won?   Is there any other choice? (Scott sez:  Austin wasn’t the big deal he would become, though.  Either Bret or Austin would have been fine.)  Royal Rumble (1998) Who won?  Steve Austin Who should’ve won?   Aw crap.  Consecutive winner.  Screw it, Austin was that over. (Scott sez:  Any opinion other than Austin is objectively stupid.)  Royal Rumble (1999) Who won?  Vince McMahon Who should’ve won?   No Chance in Hell Vince should have won the Rumble regardless of the overbooking.  Austin was runner up, but even I don’t love Austin enough to give him 3 Rumbles running.  The Rock was the way to go here. (Scott sez:  Rock was already the champ.  Three in a row for Austin because MONEY.)  Royal Rumble (2000) Who won?  The Rock Who should’ve won?   The Rock.  And yes I know I am pissing all over my “no consecutive winner” rule, but I like Austin and Rock a helluva lot better than Hogan and HBK, so sue me.  (Scott sez:  This was indeed the Rock’s time.)  Royal Rumble (2001) Who won?  Steve Austin Who should’ve won?   This is where it gets tricky.  Austin Vs Rock at Wrestlemania X-7 was obviously the way to go, but both guys have already won two Rumbles in my alternate universe.  I think that Kurt Angle should have won and insisted on getting his shot at No Way Out the next month, then have Austin win a match to be #1 contender.  No a great scenario, but that’s what I’m going with. (Scott sez:  Rock again.  Or Austin.  Can’t lose either way.)  Royal Rumble (2002) Who won?  Triple H Who should’ve won?  Triple H.  I was at this Rumble and he was mega-over.  I am far from a fan, but this was his time.  He was hot coming back from injury. (Scott sez:  Yup.)  Royal Rumble (2003) Who won?  Brock Lesnar Who should’ve won?   No problem with this. (Scott sez:  Yup.)  Royal Rumble (2004) Who won?  Chris Benoit Who should’ve won?   I could sit here and sugar coat this with hindsight and say someone else should have won,  but at the time it was a huge moment and the horrible events that ended Benoit’s life don’t change that. (Scott sez:  Still one of the highlights of my fandom.)  Royal Rumble (2005) Who won?  Batista Who should’ve won?   The company was really picking the right guys to win these things.  This was another smart move by them.  They had basically penciled in Orton Vs HHH as the main event of Wrestlemania but the fans were far more supportive of The Animal, so the changed plans.  Nowadays Batista would been fired while begging for his job on RAW only to be brainwashed by a cult and led out of the ring with his head hanging down. (Scott sez:  I see what you did there.  Either Batista or Cena would have been fine here.)  Royal Rumble (2006) Who won?  Rey Mysterio Who should’ve won?   Now we get to the period where I stopped watching nearly as much.  Doing my research, the aftermath of this was a big convoluted mess, so really anyone could have won.  But looking at the participants, nobody really stands out.  Rey was as deserving as anyone.  That’s 5 straight years I agree with their booking! (Scott sez:  Rey on top was a disaster.  This should have been Edge retaining the title over someone else at the Rumble, and then Cena winning the Rumble and regaining the belt at WM.)  Royal Rumble (2007) Who won?  The Undertaker Who should’ve won?   Make that 6 years.  Taker totally deserved to win a Rumble by this point in his career and it was also high time a #30 won it. (Scott sez:  No problem with it here.)  Royal Rumble (2008) Who won?  John Cena Who should’ve won?   7 in a row.  Cena returning early and winning was a great wrestling moment. (Scott sez:  Returning early was huge, but he didn’t need to win, especially since he blew the title shot against Orton anyway.  I’d go with Jeff Hardy and put him over at WM.)  Royal Rumble (2009) Who won?  Randy Orton Who should’ve won?   I really wanna pick someone different, but Orton was really clicking here.  He was the heel that fans were starting to get behind by beating up the McMahons.  Of course the booking after this neutered him by doing things like having Shane McMahon beat up the entire Legacy but whatever. (Scott sez:  I barely remember this period.  I’m sure Orton was fine.)  Royal Rumble (2010) Who won?  Edge Who should’ve won?   This is where the Streak was becoming more important than the belts, so I think Michaels should have won used his shot to challenge the Undertaker. (Scott sez:  People were losing their shit when Shawn got eliminated after fighting so long and so hard.  He could have won easily.)  Royal Rumble (2011) Who won?  Alberto Del Rio Who should’ve won?   CM Punk.  2011 should have been all CM Punk all the time.  But logic be damned we needed that Latino demo! (Scott sez:  Yeah, in hindsight this was a really misplaced win, especially given how meaningless his title shot ended up being and because they hit the reset button and gave him the briefcase anyway.  That being said, too early for Punk because he wasn’t a big deal until June anyway.  This was, what, Miz v. Cena at Wrestlemania?  What a shitshow all around.  Was Jericho around at that point?  Maybe give it to him for the hell of it.)  Royal Rumble (2012) Who won?  Sheamus Who should’ve won?   I’m torn on this one.  At the time I totally called the winner of the match and everyone thought I was crazy, but Sheamus was a “HHH Guy” and the face turn was getting his some good fan reactions.  At the time, everyone thought Jericho was a lock to win and go on to take on Punk at Mania.  That feud was not as good as it should have been.  Still I’ll go with Jericho as the winner since Sheamus went on turn into Cena Jr. smiling all the time and making a joke out of everything. (Scott sez:  Yeah, Sheamus didn’t do much with the win.  Should’ve been Jericho or Dolph Ziggler on the outside.)  Royal Rumble (2013) Who won?  John Cena Who should’ve won?   Cena Vs Rock II was set in stone, but I really think they should have had Rock end Punk’s reign at Mania instead.  It was just the hotter match.  So I’ll say Rock should have been in the Rumble and won instead of beating Punk. (Scott sez:  I would have had Ziggler win the Rumble while still holding the briefcase and thus given him two shots at the belt.)  And there you have it. 26 Rumbles, 26 winners.  This was harder to come up with than the Mania Main Events, but it was still fun in an obsessive wresting fan sort of way.  I got kinda lazy during that 2004-2010 period because the shows weren’t doing much for me.  This year should be interesting as we are back to an Undisputed Champion and that should make things more predictable  But just for fun, let’s do 2014. Royal Rumble (2014) Who should win?   This has been Daniel Bryan’s year.  I mean, not even Punk is getting the connection with the fans that D-Bry is getting right now. Who will win?  What is the rumored Wrestlemania card THIS week?  With Lesnar wanting the belt it seems like they are gonna do Cena Vs Lesnar II for Elimination Chamber.  If Lesnar wins, I think there is a chance Bryan gets the Rumble win and the shot at Lesnar.  I also wouldn’t rule out Roman Reigns as a surprise win.  Meltzer said he’s getting a push sooner than you think and the seeds have already been planted for a Shield breakup.  I really don’t know, and for the Rumble, that’s a good thing. (Scott sez:  I have no idea how they’re gonna get to WM and I’m finding it hard to care at this point. )