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!
8. HHH – 2002 Royal Rumble
Although he no longer regularly competes in the ring, HHH is still one of the driving forces behind the corporate machine that is the WWE. While he was once one of the company’s greatest champions, he now serves as on air authority figure and backstage decision maker. He also runs NXT, creating and molding the next generation of WWE superstars. At the 2002 Royal Rumble, HHH entered at number 22 and eliminated Mr. Perfect and Kurt Angle to win.
The Good: whether you love him or you hate him, there’s no denying HHH’s importance to the Attitude Era and beyond in the WWE. He’s as decorated a champion as any other wrestler in history: 13 time World Champion, 5 time Intercontinental Champion, 3 time Tag Team Champion, King of the Ring and Royal Rumble winner. He was an original member of one of the greatest factions in wrestling history, Degeneration X. He had memorable feuds with a who’s who of professional wrestlers, including Mick Foley, The Undertaker, The Rock, HBK, Stone Cold, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton & Henry Godwinn (just kidding).
The Not So Good: internet wrestling fans have varying opinions on HHH, but almost all of the dirt they think they have on HHH is second hand information. If he did in fact “bury” certain wrestlers, add him to the long list of guys who have done so over the years. The facts are that he was an excellent in ring performer, and a very important part of the WWE during their ‘war’ with WCW and the years following it. He has changed NXT from a pseudo reality show competition to the best wrestling show WWE offers, and the future looks very bright.