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IT'S TIME TO RUMBLE: A Look Back At Royal Rumbles' Past (Part IV)


2000



Winner: The Rock
(Entry: 24th | Lasted: 14:47 | Eliminated: 5)



Bridesmaid: The Big Show
(Entry: 26th | Lasted: 11:12 | Eliminated: 3)



Iron Man: Test
(Entry: 10th | Lasted: 26:17 | Eliminations: 1 | Dumped: 17th)



Eliminator: Rikishi
(Entry: 5th | Lasted: 16:23 | Eliminations: 7 | Dumped: 8th)



First To Fall: Headbanger Mosh
(Entry: 3rd | Lasted: 3:37)



Loser: Faarooq
(Entry: 18th | Lasted: 0:18 | Dumped: 12th)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 51:34
Billed Interval Between Entries: 90 seconds

  • Despite not being in the Royal Rumble officially, Kai en Tai (Taka Michinoku and Sho Funaki) kept trying to interfere, but kept getting thrown out over the top rope.  Eventually, Big Bossman threw poor Taka over the top rope so hard he landed on his head and got a concussion.  Which of course WWF replayed the SHIT out of, even on Raw
  • Test's Iron Man time is the lowest since Bret Hart in 1988.  (When did you ever think you'd hear those two mentioned next to each other in the same statistical category?)  Though Bret Hart's time of 25:42 was racked up during the shortest Royal Rumble ever (which lasted 33:35), so there's that.  Still, Test was the best at something at one point, and no one can take that away from him.


Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

Triple H.  Helmsley and Cactus Jack had one of the most brutal, bloody matches in WWF history, but Trips came out on top.  It not only solidified him as a villain, but as someone who belonged in the main event picture.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

No.  The Rock was the last to be eliminated in a four way match for the championship (also featuring Mick Foley and The Big Show).  Triple H became the first heel ever to walk out of Wrestlemania as Champion.



2001



Winner: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
(Entry: 27th | Lasted: 9:47 | Eliminations: 3)



Bridesmaid: Kane
(Entry: 6th | Lasted: 53:46 | Eliminations: 11)



Iron Man: Kane (53:46)



Eliminator: Kane (11)



First To Fall: Bull Buchanan
(Entry: 2nd | Lasted: 2:08)



Loser: Tazz
(Entry: 15th | Lasted: 0:10 | Dumped: 13th)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 61:55
Billed Interval between Entries: Two minutes

  • Kane is the first to win Bridesmaid, Iron Man and Eliminator in the same Rumble.
  • 11 Eliminations breaks Hulk Hogan's long-standing record of 10 set back in 1989.
  • Kane's ring time of 53:46 is longer than the entire 2000 Royal Rumble.  (Also 1988, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2010.)  There are three men who have gone over an hour, so imagine that.
  • One man Kane did not eliminate was Drew Carey.  He eliminated himself instead of facing the Big Red Machine after trying to bribe him failed.  (And yes, this one appearance was enough to induct Carey into the WWE Hall of Fame four years before Randy Savage.)

Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

Kurt Angle.  He beat Triple H in the climax of their feud, then went on to lose the belt at No Way Out in February.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

Yes, but with help.  Wrestlemania X-Seven (it was the "New Millennium"; we had 2 spl thngz dif, yo) was where the infamous Austin heel turn occurred, and he sold out to Vince McMahon to win the title.  A lot of people point to this very moment as the end of the Attitude era and really, they're right.  WCW folded less than a week before Wrestlemania took place, and the Invasion angle was so bad it made ME quit watching wrestling.  (For a whole week.  I lived in exurban Wisconsin and it was before my house had internet; there was NOTHING to do on a Monday night back then.)  I'd never actively said "That's it!  I've HAD it!" with wrestling before that moment in July when Austin said he switched over to the Alliance side because Vince didn't hug him enough.  And you know what?  Given that there have been far more downs than ups in wrestling ever since, I kind of wish I'd stayed away.  But I've got this sickness, and this blog is proof.  We'll see if I stick to my plan if Wrestlemania 32 sucks...



2002



Winner: Triple H
(Entry: 22nd | Lasted: 23:14 | Eliminations: 4)



Bridesmaid: Kurt Angle
(Entry: 26th | Lasted: 16:09 | Eliminations: 2)



Iron Man: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
(Entry: | Lasted: 26:46 | Eliminations: 7)



Eliminator: The Undertaker (7)
(Steve Austin had help on one of them from Triple H (which counts towards Trip's total as well), so there's your tie-breaker)



First To Fall: Big Bossman
(Entry: 3rd | Lasted: 3:05)



Loser: Booker T
(Entry: 30th | Lasted: 0:33 | Eliminations: 1 | Dumped: 26th)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 69:22
Billed Interval between Entries: Two minutes

  • 2002 was the first post-WCW, post Invasion angle Rumble.
  • This was Steve Austin's last Rumble.  He spent much of 2002 on the lamb (literally; there was a domestic battery charge on him) then came back briefly in 2003 before retiring at Wrestlemania XIX.
  • Austin set a career mark for Eliminations with 36, which has been broken by Shawn Michaels in 2010 (39) and Kane in 2015 (42).
  • Booker T is the only #30 to be the loser.  Ever.  (Junkyard Dog was #20 in the 20-man Royal Rumble, so I guess technically, they share this dubious distinction.)
  • Big Bossman shouldn't feel bad.  The vast majority of #3's are the first to fall.  Seriously, it's like clockwork.
  • This is the longest 30-man Rumble.  The 2011 Rumble (which had 40 entrants) was only 27 seconds longer.

Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

Chris Jericho.  He was the Undisputed, unified WWF/WCW champion, and his build to Wrestlemania X-8 (again with the krazy spewingz) involved walking Stephanie McMahon's dog.  Ultimately, the main event of Wrestlemania that year, if you followed the build to it, was supposed to be Triple H VS Stephanie by proxy.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

Yes.  You're not going to bring back Triple H as a face after eight months of not being sure if he'll ever wrestle again (torn quad) and not put the title on him.  At least they got that part right.  (No, the triple negative was not intentional, but I found it amusing, so I left it in.)



2003



Winner: Brock Lesnar
(Entry: 29th | Lasted: 8:59 | Eliminations: 4)



Bridesmaid: The Undertaker
(Entry: 30th | Lasted: 6:45 | Eliminations: 5)



Iron Man: Chris Jericho
(Entry: 2nd | Lasted: 38:54 | Eliminations: 6 | Dumped: 14th)



Eliminator: Chris Jericho (6)
(It was legit hard to find another picture of Chris Jericho from this event. Which is weird, because he was in half of it.) 


First To Fall: Shawn Michaels
(Entry: 1st | Lasted: 2:31)
(Oh, hey.  There's Jericho.  Wait.  Look out Shawn!  He's right behind you!)


Loser: B Squared (Bull Buchanan)
(Entry: 11th | Lasted: 0:24 | Dumped: 7th)

NOTES:

Total Match Time: 53:41
Billed Interval between Entries: 90 seconds

  • I shouldn't have been so hard on Test.  He's the guy who dumped Chris Jericho here.
  • The ring must have been crowded, because #29 and #30 combined for nine eliminations.  (That's a third of the field.)
  • This is Shawn Michaels's first Rumble appearance since 1996.  (He was in title matches in '97 and '98.)
  • 2003 was the first Royal Rumble after the Brand Extension.  This is where they pretended Raw and SmackDown were separate federations or something (y'know, kinda like WCW and WWF.  If only they'd had the rights to WCW.  Would've been so much less confusing...)

Who Walked Out Of The Event As Champion?

This is where things get tricky, because this was the first of eleven Royal Rumbles where there were two World Championships (The WWE Title and the World Heavyweight Championship).  Triple H lost by DQ to Scott Steiner in one dogshit of a match, but since a title cannot change hands on disqualification or countout, he kept the World Heavyweight Championship.

On the other side of the roster was Kurt Angle with the WWE Championship (at the time part of SmackDown).  He survived the onslaught of the Rabid Wolverine Chris Benoit, but just barely.

Did The Winner Go On To Win The Championship?

Yes.  Brock Lesnar had the best Rookie year in wrestling history.  He came in the day after Wrestlemania X-8 and destroyed like 4 to 6 dudes at once.  He won the 2002 King Of The Ring (which was the last until 2006).  He beat The Rock at Summerslam to win the WWE title.  He threw The Big Show around like a ragdoll at Survivor Series.  He won the Royal Rumble.  And he won the main event of Wrestlemania XIX, despite almost killing himself after a botched shooting star press.

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