4. Becky Lynch (2019)
Out of the three winners so far of the Women’s Royal Rumble match, Becky Lynch’s victory has to be the biggest. After she was supposed to turn heel by assaulting Charlotte Flair, she accidentally became the top star in the company. She became “The Man” and the fans ate it all up. At the 2019 Royal Rumble, she had the chance to become SmackDown Women’s Champion.
She came up short against Asuka, but she wasn’t going to let that be the way her night ended. When Lana was injured before the match, Becky showed up and took Lana’s place in the Rumble to a monster reaction from the crowd. “The Man” was on the run of her life at the time and the fans wanted to see her win.
Fittingly, it came down to Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch towards the end, bringing us full circle to what sparked Becky’s momentum. Once again, Lynch gained the upper hand over her former best friend to earn a women’s title shot at WrestleMania. The road to WrestleMania is what made Becky’s victory so important. It was announced going into WrestleMania that for the first time ever the women would main event WrestleMania.
Despite losing the rumble, Flair was able to pull some strings to get her way into the match. To make things more interesting, Flair beat Asuka days before WrestleMania for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. At WrestleMania 35, Lynch defeated Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and SmackDown Women’s Champion Flair to become “Becky Two Belts.”
3. Ric Flair (1992)
This Royal Rumble was one of a kind for fourteen years. Until the 2016 Royal Rumble, the 1992 Royal Rumble was the only Rumble match contested for the WWE Championship. Before the match, the world championship had been stripped from Hulk Hogan by President Jack Tunney. It was announced that for the first time ever, the championship would be on the line in the rumble.
Ric Flair made history by winning the Royal Rumble match in his first go. With a tear in his eye, he won the WWE Title for the first time. However, he has Hogan to thank for his assist in his victory. Hogan was irate after being eliminated by Sid Justice and tried to pull him out from ringside. As he did, Flair came up from behind and finished off the job.
During the Rumble match, Flair showed why he was considered one of the best wrestlers in the world. He spent an hour in the match after coming out as number three. He was right behind Sid with the second most eliminations at five. Flair went on to lose the championship to “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania 8. Many fans are still upset that they didn’t get the mega match of Ric Flair versus Hulk Hogan instead.
By early 1993, Ric Flair was out of the company and back to being a big name in World Championship Wrestling. In the company, he would have multiple big matches against Hogan. It is one of my favorite “what if?” scenarios to consider: What if Ric Flair stayed in WWE? He was reported to have been headed to the midcard, but you know you can’t keep “The Nature Boy” down.