Ranking The Royal Rumble Winners – Part 19
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!
4. The Rock – 2000 Royal Rumble
Overall, this Royal Rumble pay per view was one of the more memorable shows the WWF/E put on, but not because of the match itself. Two of the under card matches, The Hardyz vs. The Dudleys in a tables match, and HHH vs. Cactus Jack in a street fight, stole the show. Both matches were brutal, and if anything, the Rumble match itself was sort of a let down. The Rock entered at #24, and almost 15 minutes later, he eliminated the Big Show and was on his way to a WWF title match at WrestleMania 2000.
The Good: Despite only being in the WWE consistently for five years, The Rock made a tremendous impact. Along with Stone Cold, he embodied everything about The Attitude Era. He was electric on the microphone and smooth in the ring, and his backstage interview segments with Michael Cole are still some of the funniest segments in WWE history. While he started off as a dorky baby face, he quickly transitioned into a heel after he joined the Nation of Domination. From there, the sky was the limit for The Rock. He would be involved in legendary feuds with Mick Foley, HHH, Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan. A lot of people make up gimmicks and catch phrases, but The Rock truly was the ‘People’s Champion’. After almost seven years away from the WWE ring, The Rock returned in 2011 and went on to main event both WrestleMania 28 and 29 with John Cena. The WWE Universe welcomed him back with open arms, and it was clear that The Rock’s charisma and connection with the crowd was something that would never go away.
The Not So Good: plain and simply, The Rock left wrestling to pursue a career in Hollywood and that always rubbed me the wrong way. He has been immensely successful, so it was clearly the right move, but with other stars such as Stone Cold, Mick Foley and Edge being forced to retire due to injuries, I always held it against The Rock that he left to make more money elsewhere. It doesn’t affect his spot on this list, because the three men ahead of him deserve to be there, but every time he comes back for a one off, a part of me wishes he’d just stay away. Also, anyone who made fans chant DIE ROCKY DIE was doing something wrong.