Which WWE Royal Rumble Winner Has Taken the Most Finishers?

royalrumbleIt’s January, which means it’s time for WWE fans across the world to prep for the Royal Rumble by watching every past edition of the event.

(We all do that, right?)

Anywho, I was watching the part in the 2004 edition where the Big Show gets hit by everyone’s finishers and I thought, “In wrestling reality, you can only survive a few finishers unless it’s Wrestlemania or you’re Kurt Angle. Big Show should have been stretchered out.”

Then I thought, it’d be interesting to see which winner has taken the most finishers during their time in the ring. To see what degree of punishment they went through.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. It’s not that interesting. But, here it is anyways…

Note: This write-up is not even close to being scientifically accurate. The camera isn’t always on the winner. So, someone could’ve snuck one in there. Also, I don’t know what Chainz or Timothy Well’s finishers were. Also, I’m not always the most observant person. In short, don’t use this list to settle any bets.

1988 – Jim Duggan
No Finishers Taken

Thoughts: We’re not off to a great start here.

1989 – Big John Studd
No Finishers Taken

Thoughts: C’mon, guys.

1990 – Hulk Hogan
The Perfect Plex – Curt Hennig

Thoughts: Could you imagine if the World Champion won the Royal Rumble today? The Internet would riot.

1991 – Hulk Hogan
The Earthquake – Earthquake

Thoughts: Winning the Royal Rumble give Hogan the title match at Wrestlemania. Simply being Hogan did that.

1992 – Ric Flair
Tornado Punch – Kerry Von Erich
El Paso del Muerte – Tito Santana
Figure-Four Leglock – Greg Valentine
Sleeperhold – Roddy Piper
Sweet Chin Music – Shawn Michaels

Thoughts: OK, maybe Sweet Chin Music is a stretch. But it was still Shawn Michaels throwing a superkick.

1993 – Yokozuna
Flying Elbow Drop – Randy Savage

Thoughts: I like to pretend that Randy Savage never tried to cover Yoko for a pinfall.

1994 – Bret Hart (Co-Winner)
No Finishers Taken

1994 – Lex Luger (Co-Winner)
No Finishers Taken

Thoughts: Diesel’s run in this was a thing of beauty. They’ve tried to recreated it a few times, but it’s never been quite as good.

1995 – Shawn Michaels
No Finishers Taken

Thoughts: I was so mad about the shortened entries back then. Life was different.

1996 – Shawn Michaels
No Finishers Taken

Thoughts: I was tempted to give credit to Owen Hart for using his send-Shawn-to-the-hospital enzuigiri. But ultimately decided against it.

1997 – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Running Powerslam – British Bulldog
Caribbean Kick – Savio Vega
Piledriver – Bret Hart
Chokeslam – Undertaker

Thoughts: Yeah, I know that piledriver is iffy. But Bret used to use it as a singles finisher before the Hart Foundation split up.

1998 – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Love Handle – Dude Love

Thoughts: Mike Tyson is right; Cold Stone is the man.

1999 – Vince McMahon
Stone Cold Stunner – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Thoughts: Worst Rumble ever? It’s gotta be this or 2015, right?

2000 – The Rock
Chokeslam – The Big Show

Thoughts: This will always be the Rikishi/Too Cool Rumble to me.

2001 – Steve Austin
Fameasser – “The One” Billy Gunn
Rock Bottom – The Rock
Chokeslam – Kane

Thoughts: This Rumble needs more love. It’s was action-packed from top to bottom.

2002 – Triple H
Chokeslam – Big Show
Angle Slam – Kurt Angle

Thoughts: Curt Hennig does his trademark gum spit/swat in the middle of almost being eliminated. I will never have a moment in my life that is that cool.

2003 – Brock Lesnar
Chokeslam – Kane
Tombstone – The Undertaker

Thoughts: The tombstone during a Rumble is pretty harsh, but it’s nothing compared to what Lesnar would do to himself a few months later at Wrestlemania XIX.

2004 – Chris Benoit
Chokeslam – Kane
Chokeslam – Big Show

Thoughts: I was in attendance for that one. Philadelphia went crazy. I went crazier. I actually went home and bought the Pay Per View replay so I could watch it again.

Other Thoughts: This one isn’t as much fun to watch anymore.

2005 – Batista
Spear – Edge

Thoughts: Batista and Cena both claim that the double elimination was an accident. If that’s the case, it’s a perfect accident. Watch it again if you don’t believe me.

2006 – Rey Mysterio
Back Stabber – Carlito

Thoughts: I always hated that they had Rey go wire-to-wire so close to Benoit’s 2004 effort. Fortunately, they seem to have gotten away from that in recent years.

2007 – Undertaker
Spear – Edge
Sweet Chin Music – Shawn Michaels

Thoughts: I remember thinking, “Please give us the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels in one more singles match someday.”

2008 – John Cena
No Finishers Taken

Note: If you weren’t around the Internet at this time, take my word for it that NOBODY SAW THIS RETURN COMING.

2009 – Randy Orton
Pedigree – Triple H
Chokeslam – The Undertaker

Note: Orton is the last single-digit winner. I think that’s good news because we had a period where McMahon, Benoit, Mysterio, etc. were all going the distance.

2010 – Edge
Attitude Adjustment – John Cena
Sweet Chin Music – Shawn Michaels

Note: Batista eliminating Michaels might be my favorite Rumble moments ever.

2011 – Alberto del Rio
RKO – Randy Orton
Attitude Adjustment – John Cena

Note: Shouldn’t Alberto del Rio have been disqualified for not entering the ring before the next competitor? Santino Marella is the rightful 2011 Royal Rumble winner.

Another Note: The silence during the Orton/Cena standoff always cracks me up.

2012 – Sheamus
Walls of Jericho – Chris Jericho
Codebreaker – Chris Jericho

Note: I’m really glad Sheamus’s “Great White” nickname didn’t stick.

2013 – John Cena
Walls of Jericho – Chris Jericho
RKO – Randy Orton

Note: I genuinely get uncomfortable with how excited JBL gets when Wade Barrett beats up the rookie Bo Dallas. Did a rookie kill JBL’s parents?

2014 – Batista
Superkick to Kneeling Opponent – Alberto Del Rio
Brogue Kick – Sheamus
Spear – Roman Reigns

Thoughts: So many boos. This kicked off three straight years of awkward Wrestlemania builds.

2015 – Roman Reigns
Chokeslam – Big Show

Thoughts: I was in attendance for this one too. The crowd wasn’t quite as happy as in 2004.

2016 – Triple H
Superkick – Dolph Ziggler
Codebreaker – Chris Jericho

Thoughts: Did anyone else love watching Triple H and Bray Wyatt square off? Hunter did have some of his best matches against a similarly-styled Mick Foley…

Verdict: Ric Flair was the king. That match could have been 29 people hitting their finishers while Bobby Heenan was having a fit on commentary and I would’ve loved it.

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