Listing 5 wrestlers who should have won a Royal Rumble match

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WWE, Daniel Bryan
WWE, Daniel Bryan (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images) /

We have reached the end of January, and every WWE fan knows what this part of the year brings: the Royal Rumble. The 30-wrestler battle royal — which serves as the centerpiece match of the eponymous January pay-per-view — has become a fan favorite because of the potential for surprises and the implications the match carries for WrestleMania season.

Since 1992, the Royal Rumble winner has either received a world championship match at “The Showcase of the Immortals” or outright won the title. With stakes that high, fans understand the significance of being the last person standing.

Most years, WWE picks the right person to win this match. You don’t hear too many fans talking about how Steve Austin shouldn’t have won in 2001 (or 1998), or that someone other than Shinsuke Nakamura should’ve gotten the dub in 2018, for example.

That said, WWE has gotten the Royal Rumble winner wrong more than a few times, leaving wrestlers who should’ve won without a cool accolade on their résumé.

These are wrestlers who — due to the trajectory of the storyline they were in, how over they were with the audience, or both — seemed like obvious candidates to win the Royal Rumble only for WWE to go in a different direction. In some cases, the lack of a Rumble win derailed their momentum and they’re still working to recover from the misstep.