WWE’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view is considered one of its biggest shows of the year.
Traditionally taking place at the beginning of the year, it sets in motion the angles and feuds that the company will focus on moving forward.
The match has always gone by a set format, though some small changes have been made in certain occasions. Two superstars start the match, and another superstar joins them after a set time interval – this is usually 60 or 90 seconds, depending on the time of the show.
The number of total superstars in the match is usually 30, though it has been upped to 40 in the past due to the swelling roster size. The object of the match is to throw others over the top rope in order to eliminate them. The traditional methods of victory in WWE’s matches (pin fall, submission) are not applicable in this match.
A person is eliminated after they’ve gone over the top rope and both feet have touched the floor. The match continues until only one superstar remains, and he’ll go on to compete at WrestleMania for the company’s main championship.
The Royal Rumble has been won by some of WWE’s most popular wrestlers over the years. Ric Flair, Seamus, and even owner Vince McMahon have won the match. Randy Orton, John Cena, Batista, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Hulk Hogan each have two Royal Rumble wins to their name. Stone Cold Steve Austin holds the record for most Royal Rumble wins with three.
While a very interesting and unique match, it’s always had one other condition – it was for male superstars only. But WWE continues to show their female superstars can put on as good a show as anyone. It was recently announced the women would be competing in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble matchup.
The idea may have been tossed around for a while, but the growth of the women’s roster this past year may have finally made the match feasible.
WWE has taken their female competitors much more seriously in recent years. Women were, during the WWE’s boom period (back when they were the WWF) treated a little more than eye candy. Flash forward nearly two decades, and women have competed in pay-per-view main events and broken down numerous barriers.
Charlotte Flair (daughter of legendary superstar Ric Flair) faced Sasha Banks in the first ever women’s Hell in a Cell cage match earlier this year. Carmella won the first ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. The object of this match was to climb up the ladder and retrieve a contract for a shot at the women’s title.
There are rumors that former MMA poster-girl Ronda Rousey will make her WWE debut in the Royal Rumble. There are also talks that WWE vets like Trish Stratus could be returning. This would definitely make it feel like a Royal Rumble – these matches have been historically known for outsider appearances and big returns from former superstars.