The Royal Rumble pay-per-view event will take place this Sunday. It is every pro wrestler’s dream to win the Royal Rumble match. The reason behind it is that the winner gets to main event WrestleMania. Also, it is one of the toughest matches to win in WWE. It requires patience, smartness, stamina, and skills.
The rules for elimination in Rumble are that both feet of a Superstar should hit the floor. Also, the Superstar needs to be sent out from above the top rope to consider the elimination. Many Superstars have made it to the Final 4 of the Royal Rumble and choked. Some have even made it to the last two and then got eliminated to lose the match. Here are the five Superstars who have been the Royal Rumble runner-up more than one time in their careers.
(Source – Wikipedia)
5. John Cena – 2 times
John Cena is one of the top Superstars in WWE history. Vince McMahon pushed him as the face of the company in his prime. Cena jointly holds the record for the most world title wins (16) in WWE with Ric Flair. While John has won two Royal Rumble matches, he has also been a runner-up twice. The first instance came in the year 2005.
Batista and John Cena were the two stars remaining in the final phase of the 2005 Royal Rumble. Batista eliminated Cena and then went to WrestleMania. There, he defeated Triple H to become the World Heavyweight Champion. In 2010, Cena was in the last two with Edge. While Edge won the Rumble, he could not win the world title from Chris Jericho at WrestleMania.
4. Triple H – 2 times
Triple H was the first Superstar to finish runner-up in the Royal Rumble for two consecutive years. The King of Kings has won two Royal Rumble matches in his career. His first win came in 2002. 14 years later, he eliminated Dean Ambrose to win his second Royal Rumble. HHH finished runner-up in 2009.
In 2009, he made it to the last two along with Randy Orton. However, Triple H could not eliminate The Viper and then lost the bout. The previous year, John Cena stunned him by entering the match at #30. Cena and HHH were the last two Superstars remaining in the bout. Cena eliminated his nemesis Triple H to earn a world title shot.
3. Shawn Michaels – 2 times
Shawn Michaels and Triple H are best friends in real life. They have won two Rumble matches. Incidentally, they have also finished runner-up two times. Michaels was the last Superstar to be eliminated from the 2007 Royal Rumble. The Undertaker won the bout by eliminating him last.
Shawn Michaels had reached the final of the 1994 Royal Rumble as well. In that match, there were two winners. Bret Hart and Lex Luger were the winners of that bout. Shawn Michaels was the last man to be eliminated. Thus, he was the official runner-up in that match.
2. Big Show – 2 times
Big Show is the only Superstar on this list who has not won the Royal Rumble match yet. Despite being The World’s Largest Athlete, Big Show has not been able to win a single Royal Rumble. He has made it to the last two twice. The first occasion came in the year 2000. The Rock eliminated him last to win the match.
However, video footage showed The Rock’s feet hit the floor before Big Show’s did. Eventually, both Big Show and The Rock received a world title shot. But, the history books consider The Rock as the winner of that Rumble match. The second instance came in the year 2004. Chris Benoit eliminated Big Show last and later won the world title at WrestleMania.
1. The only Superstar with 4 Royal Rumble runner-up finishes – Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns is the WWE Universal Champion right now. He will defend the championship against Kevin Owens at the upcoming Rumble show. Reigns will likely not compete in the 30-man match this year. However, it is noteworthy that Roman has been one of the most successful competitors in Royal Rumble history. Roman has won the match once.
Besides, he even finished runner-up in 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2020. Many members of the WWE Universe did not like him at the top. Hence, some felt that Vince McMahon kept Roman till the last two so that the winner gets a massive pop. Drew McIntyre won the Royal Rumble last year by eliminating Roman Reigns. It will be interesting to see if any other man could match Roman’s record.