Ranking The Royal Rumble Winners – Part 7
It’s Royal Rumble season, which means it’s almost WrestleMania season. Thanks to the WWE Network, you can go back and watch all the old Royal Rumble pay per views and matches, and in that spirit, I decided to rank the winners. I’ll be ranking the winners every day until the we reach #1, including this weekend, so make sure you come back to the blog Saturday and Sunday and check it out. If you’re interested in checking out who’s already on the list, use the tricky magnifying glass at the top of the screen and search ‘Royal Rumble winners’ or scroll through the blog. Now, onto the rankings!
16. Batista – 2005 & 2014 Royal Rumbles
Batista marks our first multiple time winner on this prestigious list, as he won Royal Rumbles almost a decade apart. While both of his wins were shrouded in some kind of controversy, there’s no denying that Batista was one of the most important wrestlers in the WWE for the better part of the 2000s.
The Good: Batista was a 4 time World Heavyweight champ & 2 time WWE champion; he won two Royal Rumbles, something only four other wrestlers have done. When he was on, he was very good. He had memorable feuds with HHH, Undertaker and John Cena, a major reason he was a 6 times combined World or WWE champion. He was an integral member of one of the better post Attitude era factions, Evolution.
The Not So Good: As mentioned above, both of his Royal Rumble wins involved a bit of controversy. In 2005, he and John Cena were eliminated at the same time, causing a restart of the Rumble with the final two, Batista and Cena, back in the ring. Batista did win the match fair and square after the restart, but as far as Rumble wins go, it was pretty controversial a la Bret and Luge in ’94 except with a decisive winner. Then there was last year. Poor Batista was brought back and thrust into the main event scene just as the legitimate best wrestler in the world was becoming the most popular wrestler in the world. WWE made the mistake of trying to bring him back as a good guy, and the crowd shit (feces were literally flying everywhere) all over it. When Rey Mysterio entered at #30 and the crowd realized Daniel Bryan wasn’t going to be in the Rumble, they turned on Batista, booing him out of the building when he finally eliminated Roman Reigns. He was officially the least popular Rumble winner of the modern era. During his first run with the company, Batista ‘quit’ the WWE just as he was getting good to pursue his Hollywood dreams, which always left a bad taste in my mouth. The funny thing is Batista’s initial push reminds me of what the WWE is trying to do with Roman Reigns right now: a guy with the right look and the right attitude backstage getting thrust into the spotlight before he’s ready. It worked out for Batista, so hopefully the same can be said for Reigns a decade from now.
Make sure to check the blog over the weekend, as I’ll be featuring #15 and #14, including one of the most controversial wrestlers in WWE history.