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!
14. Rey Mysterio – 2006 Royal Rumble
Chris Benoit’s 2004 and Rey Mysterio’s 2006 are almost identical. This is one of my favorite Rumble matches, and Mysterio is one of favorite wrestlers. If I were ranking winners by the Rumble match itself, this one would be easily be in the top 3. Not only did Mysterio eliminate HHH and Randy Orton to win the match, but he did so after being in the Rumble for over an hour. At his peak, Mysterio was the greatest high flyer in American wrestling, and he proved that everywhere he went.
The Good: pretty much everything Mysterio did in ECW, WCW and pre 2012 WWE. When he came over from Mexico and premiered in ECW, he changed the game. While people who watched Mysterio in Mexico weren’t surprised by his success, American audiences were left picking up their jaws from the floor. He really was a revolutionary, and it’s a testament to this list that he’s only at #14. He had legendary feuds with Psicosis, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko in ECW and WCW, but Mysterio’s greatest year was unquestionably 2006. Not only did he win the Royal Rumble as the 2nd entrant with a time of over an hour, but he went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship against Kurt Angle and Randy Orton at the following WrestleMania.
The Not So Good: unfortunately for Mysterio, the last few years of his WWE run have been sidetracked by injuries. It was only a matter of time before injuries caught up with Mysterio, who was such an exciting and high flying performer for so many years. He’s been off TV for quite awhile, and rumors continue to swirl that he wants out of his WWE contact because he’s done with in ring competition. It’s tough to blame a guy for getting hurt, especially in something as physical as wrestling, but they have had a negative impact on what will surely some day be a Hall of Fame career.