Ranking The Royal Rumble Winners – Part 10
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!
13. Lex Luger – 1994 Royal Rumble
This Royal Rumble will always be special to me, as it was the first live pay per view I ever went to. 6 year old Ryan was there to root on the Steiner Brothers and almost shit his pants during The Undertaker’s entrance. Now that I’m older, The Undertaker’s entrance has more of a cool vibe, but when I was a kid, he was the scariest person in the entire world. This Rumble was also special because it would mark the first and only time that the WWE would end this event with more than one winner. Luger and Bret Hart would both end up getting title shots at the following WrestleMania, but Luger lost the title match via DQ, a pretty accurate summation of his time with the then WWF. Luger is an anomaly on this list, because almost all of his success would happen outside of the WWE.
The Good: In the 80s and early 90s, Luger was one of the most popular wrestlers in the NWA/WCW. He was consistently in the main event scene, winning both the United States and World Heavyweight Championships. He was a member of two historically important factions, The Four Horsemen and the NWO, as well as a main foil to both groups. He had legendary feuds with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham and was a huge part of the NWA/WCW’s success going against Hulk Hogan and the WWF.
The Not So Good: His time in the WWF was less than stellar. He debuted as The Narcissus, a self absorbed wrestler who posed in front of a variety of mirrors but did little else in the ring. He was repackaged with an ‘All American’ gimmick, and besides his win at the 1994 Royal Rumble, his other major moment came when he body slammed Yokozuna aboard the USS Intrepid. His second run in WCW started with major promise after he debuted on the first episode of Monday Nitro, but he was soon overshadowed by Hulk Hogan and the NWO.
His early success secured his spot on this list, and he’s sure to be a future hall of famer.