Ranking The Royal Rumble Winners – Part 8
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, and 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!
15. Chris Benoit – Royal Rumble 2004
You knew it was coming eventually. Chris Benoit was a phenomenal professional wrestler. Similar to the next guy on this list, he got his start in American wrestling in ECW, then went to WCW before finally reaching the mountaintop in WWE. Benoit entered the 2004 Royal Rumble at #1, and over an hour later, he was headed to WrestleMania with a guaranteed shot at a Heavyweight title.
The Good: Benoit’s whole career, really. I know professional wrestling is fake, but I wasn’t sure if Benoit knew it. He gained the moniker of ‘The Crippler’ in ECW after he accidentally broke Sabu’s neck in a match, and would be known for his toughness throughout his entire career. Similar to Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, Benoit was a master in the ring for WCW but was stuck playing second fiddle behind the main event scene of the NWO, The Four Horsemen, Sting and DDP. He debuted in the WWE along with Guerrero, Malenko and Saturn as The Radicalz which would begin a decorated career for Benoit in the WWE. He would win numerous titles, culminating in 2004 with a Royal Rumble win followed by a World Heavyweight Championship victory over HHH and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 20.
The Not So Good: The last few days of Benoit’s life have overshadowed anything he ever did in the squared circle. It doesn’t erase Benoit from the history of the wrestling, but its impossible to bring up his name without the events surrounding his death being brought into the conversation.
Make sure to check back tomorrow when I’ll reveal who came in at #14 in our Royal Rumble Winner Rankings.