WWE Royal Rumble: Ranking Every Winner After Lynch, Rollins Wins

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Some cruise smoothly on the Road to WrestleMania, but others hit some major speed bumps at the WWE Royal Rumble.

From a kayfabe perspective, no match (bar the main event of WrestleMania) shares the same level of prestige as the WWE Royal Rumble. Every year since 1988, WWE has presented its twist on the classic battle royal formula.

Starting in 1993, the Royal Rumble added the stipulation that the winner of the match would be granted a title shot at WrestleMania, creating a spectacle with real stakes beyond bragging rights, as well as a  shortcut to booking new feuds and pushes.

Officially, WWE recognizes 26 unique winners across 34 Royal Rumble matches (32 men’s matches, and two entries in the more recently established women’s match).

Not every winner has fared as well as others, however. In fact, even individuals who have won the match on more than one occasion have shone brighter on certain occasions than others.

With that in mind, it seems like a good idea to rank the winner of every Royal Rumble match. Criteria include the performance in the Royal Rumble match itself, the quality and historical significance of the Royal Rumble match itself, the quality and historical significance of the winner’s match at WrestleMania (if any), whether the winner was successful in capturing the championship at WrestleMania, and, if so, the quality and historical significance of the ensuing title reign. Only accomplishments that occurred during the calendar year in which the superstar won the match will be considered.

Multi-time winners will be included for each of their wins.

Note: In order to be eligible for this list, a performer must have won a match at the actual Royal Rumble event. As such, things like Chyna’s victory in the Corporate Rumble or Braun Strowman’s win in last year’s 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble are not included here. In addition, each of the 2019 winners are included here. Their placement is admittedly speculative, and is based on the lead up to their wins and their prospects for WrestleMania 35.