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  1. #1
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    Half Luck, Half Skul: Top 10 Surprisingly Irrelevant Royal Rumblers

    Every year, we see WWE’s “By the Numbers” promotional package for the upcoming Royal Rumble. You know the one – #27 always wins, Rey Mysterio lasted 62 minutes, Santino broke the Warlord’s record, Shawn Michaels has a million eliminations, blah blah blah. Logically, it highlights the massive accomplishments, sheer longevity, and even occasionally loudly embarrassing moments, such as the aforementioned Italian Stallion.

    What is typically not broadcasted, though, is the motley collection of Rumble veterans who have been quietly embarrassing – ineffectual, even. I’m not talking about the Chris Jerichos and Kanes, even though they’ve each spent upwards of 3 hours in the Rumble and combined for 0 wins. Hard to say a guy like Jericho has been ineffectual or irrelevant when he tossed out 6 guys in the ’03 version. And just ask virtually the entire midcard class of 2001 how much Kane impacted their shot at winning the big one.

    No, for this specific microscope zooming, I’m looking at the guys who, despite entering multiple January classics, have not affected the course of any Rumble in any statistical way – in that they have accumulated zero career Royal Rumble eliminations.


    While the likes of Gillberg, Mark Jindrak, and Tyler Breeze predictably and comfortably fit this set of parameters, I am focusing much more on the somewhat surprising contenders. Wrestlers who have amassed respectable championship reigns, solidified upper midcard careers, or have even sniffed the main event – but haven’t been able to huck a single body over the top rope in the entire history of the Royal Rumble (for Christ’s sake, even Heath Slater has an official elimination on his resume!) – are my surprisingly irrelevant Rumblers.

    For the record, I am only considering the annual January classic – ignoring the slew of Rumble imitators such as the Corporate Rumble, the Greatest Royal Rumble, the SmackDown Royal Rumble, and so forth.




    10. The Warlord

    Total Rumble Time: 11:36

    When most think of the Warlord at the Rumble, nearly all of us will think, almost in Pavlovian manner, of his 1989 appearance, which of course saw the big man give thanks that he wasn’t being paid by the hour. Hulk Hogan threw him out in 2 seconds flat, a record which would stand in stench for 20 years until the blustering Santino Marella relieved Warlord of that dubious “honor”. ’89 was only Year 1 of 4 consecutive Rumbles for Szopinski, and though his following three were less blatantly humiliating, he failed to make any statistical impact. For a 300+ lb guy who had a WWF Championship match against the Hulkster, was on a Sole Surviving tag team, and collected singles victories over the likes of Greg Valentine and Jake Roberts, you’d think he’d be able to heave a single jobber in 4 Rumbles? Nada.




    9. Steve Blackman

    Total Rumble Time: 17:12

    Like the Warlord, Blackman entered four consecutive Rumbles, but in Steve’s case, it was ’98 through ’01, otherwise known as the Stone Cold Era. Tough draw, my man. Technically, though Austin won damn near every Rumble he entered, the Rattlesnake never directly threw out Blackman…but there were plenty of others to do so. The Lethal Weapon was a great statistic for other dominant Rumblers in his appearances. Three times, he was dumped by a guy who collected 5 or more eliminations in that given year, particularly notable in being Victim #2 of 11 for Kane in 2001. His resume includes victories over the likes of The Rock, being undefeated for nearly a year after debuting, and having the record for most days as Hardcore Champion. And yet, the man who put the Cheese in Head Cheese tallied a goose egg on the career Rumbles eliminations chart. Thanks for padding Kane’s stats, kid.




    8. The Hurricane

    Total Rumble Time: 9:37

    OK, so depending on what phase of his career you want to focus on, Helms could be argued as being only marginally above the likes of Breeze et al., who were the target of my mockery earlier. That said, not only did the Superhero turn things around in terms of accomplishments when he ditched the green and became Gregory Helms (and therefore earned himself more kayfabe credibility, landing him on the “Surprising” list), but his Royal Rumble resume is stuff of sheer gold. Really, you have to take note of this. Five times Sugar Shane entered the Rumble, with his debut and his most recent appearance stretching 16 years in difference. Four of these times, he entered with the mask and cape; but the other entry, he had a legit spot as the longest-reigning Cruiserweight Champion in history. That one wound up being a 2007 entry as Gregory Helms – his best by far. Sure, it was underwhelming but not hilariously so: 6 minutes and 50 seconds, with obviously no eliminations. His other four entrances, however? 2 minutes and 47 seconds of ring time combined! I guess a match in which you don’t want to go over the top rope is one of the few times that having the ability to fly is a disadvantage. Remember, this guy beat The Rock once.




    7. Drew McIntyre

    Total Rumble Time: 22:09

    If there’s a candidate on this lowly list of 10 wrestlers to remove himself from embarrassment at the upcoming Rumble, I’d bet a lot of money on Drew McIntyre. Having stood toe-to-toe with the likes of Ambrose, Cena, Rollins, and Strowman recently, you gotta imagine the Scottish Psychopath is due for a couple of eliminations…hell, the kid has got to be at least a dark horse for the guy with the most eliminations this year. That said, while we wait for his first career throw-out, let’s point and laugh while we can! Three appearances, zero eliminations for the former Intercontinental and NXT Champion. The silver lining for Drew is that it took some prestigious names to eject him – DX in a combined effort, Big Show, and Chris Jericho did the honors.




    6. A-Train

    Total Rumble Time: 46:58

    Big Matt Bloom is tied for the record for most Rumble appearances with zero eliminations at 6. I mean, really, the guy is the size of a fucking truck – you would think, in six goes at it and 47 bloody minutes, he’d at least accidentally bump into someone on the ropes and send him flying via sheer size! And by the way, no version of Bloom got the job done – not Prince Albert the euphemism, not A-Train with the biological sweater, not Tensai with the face tats. Here’s a guy who wrestled the Undertaker at both WrestleMania and SummerSlam, has victories over John Cena and CM Punk, and – again – spent over 45 minutes surrounded by scrubs half his size, but failed to nerf a single one. Renaming time is no stranger to him, so it's probably appropriate to rechristen him the C-minus Train.




    5. Jack Swagger

    Total Rumble Time: 40:31

    The All-American American American (how many times did he have it in his actual nickname? …I’m going to throw one more in there to play it safe) American, Jack Swagger, ties Train with six Rumble appearances and a feeble zero eliminations. The fact that thinking “underwhelming midcarder” and having Hager pop into your head is as automatic as Austin/Bret stirring memories upon hearing “double turn” is the reason for Swagger not fumbling his way higher up this list. The fact that the numbers make this guy look like a bigger clown than Doink validate him being unable to sneak his way further down the chain of humiliation. Any way you mash it, the Real American (American?) had Rumble appearances stretching back to the Carlito days and also as recent as the AJ Styles debut, yet barely played a warm body in any of them.




    4. The Honky Tonk Man

    Total Rumble Time: 29:24

    Prolific Intercontinental Champions have a history of doing well in Royal Rumbles matches, even if they are failures at closing. Take Chris Jericho and The Miz, for instance. Both have a pile of appearances, both have impressive Iron Man runs, but both are hitting nothing but foul balls when the winning pitch comes across the plate. But WWE’s answer to Elvis? If Y2J and Mizanin are hitting fouls, this cat is swinging a toothpick with his non-dominant hand. Not only is he the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time, there have been over 160 reigns and only three can even touch the two-thirds mark of Honk’s. And yet, he laid an absolute egg every time it came to the January classic. In four appearances across three different decades, he tried his fare, but emerged as the Donkey Tonk Man every time without fail.




    3. Finlay

    Total Rumble Time: 62:33

    I blame Fit’s love of mashing his opponent into the mat for his failure. Seriously – that tough Irish bastard has to have some excuse for spending over a combined hour in the biggest case of “here are a shit-ton of people for you to beat up” in WWE history and having zero statistical impact throughout. He couldn’t possibly have cared about actually eliminating people. Surely, rules were for nerds. As long as Finlay got to beat the piss out of the ham and eggers, he was probably happy. Well, excuses or not, not even the former United States Champion, and also the man most likely to squash my ass into a crying, shriveling mess is exempt from my temporary mockery. Hornswoggle Sr. actually pissed away his chance in ’08, but went on two mini-Irons in his other two appearances, making this a real head-scratcher. 30+ minutes each in two separate Rumbles and not a toss-out to show for it? Mandy Rose fans laugh at you.




    2. William Regal

    Total Rumble Time: 10:34

    Woof, this is a surprise. Regal has represented every silly North American view of the British citizen, be it the well-groomed and polite to a fault gentleman in his ’01 entrance or the disheveled rapscallion in ’09. No medium ground, eh? And as badass as he has actually been, Sir Regality has mustered a blithering skunk on the board of Royal Rumble effectiveness. Oy - Intercontinental Champion, King of the Ring, et al. What stuns me the most is how few Rumbles William has been in. Cripes, how long has this fellow been in WWE? And a total oval in terms of Rumble eliminations to boast? That’s grimy, lad.

    (OK, Skul, you’ve spent enough time with these UK folk – time to get back to the Canadian dialect). Eh-hem. At least you fuckers had Layla to accompany Regal to one Rumble, eh. I know that the boys of Bearly Reviewing will pour one out for Regal’s Rumble ineptitude, but we'll always envy Will for that.




    1. Big E

    Total Rumble Time: 41:53

    NOOO! What the fuck?! I was all set to diss the tits off of the Bearly Reviewing lads, but the absolute unit of my favorite faction of all time has to show up as Number 1?! Big E…I can’t defend you anymore. I don’t care what kind of pec dances you have. I don’t care how many pancakes you eat and still maintain that ridiculous muscle-bound figure.

    It’s true. My man, the figurative and literal tits of the New Day, has entered four Rumbles and eliminated nary a competitor. Ewen is a co-holder of the longest tag team championship reign, is a top 25 Intercontinental Champion, and has the greatest gyrations quite possibly ever seen, and yet, when faced with a game-winning pitch, has pissed into snow in Arizona. Honestly, ignoring the faction aspect, and from a sheer “winner-take-all” viewpoint, one could easily argue that Big E has negative eliminations – given the fact that he’s saved Kofi Kingston from extinction multiple times. Now, I would never latch onto that perspective, given that I am a follower of the Power of Positivity! But I’d understand those who did.

    There it be! The surprising list of WWE talent who have entered multiple Royal Rumbles and never eliminated a soul. Some folks that you wouldn’t have thought made the list, only because…you wouldn’t have thought of them at all. And then, there are some folks that you wouldn’t have thought made the list because they’re too damn good! Who’ll snap the drought in 2019? Who’ll continue the embarrassing streak? And most importantly, how many wrestlers will Otis Dozovic have to eliminate before he wins the Royal Rumble?

    #OtisMania

  2. #2
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    This was a fantastic take on a Rumble topic, very innovative. I've actually never even thought of the guys who never had even a single elimination as I assumed everyone who entered throughout the years had at least one, whether it was a gang up elimination or otherwise.

    I agree that Drew has the potential to remove himself from this list next Sunday and I'll be absolutely shocked if he doesn't. Also, William Regal and Finley not having any eliminations was a huge shocker. I thought for sure Regal had to have more than 10 overall minutes in the Rumble. Also, Big E? This can't be right! The big guys should be ashamed of themselves. What's the use of having a size advantage over your competitors if you can't throw them over the damn ropes.

    Great work. Enjoyed your unique Rumble column as it's something I don't believe has been done before.

  3. #3
    Forgotten Ponder
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    I will fight Mandy Rose fans for laughing at my boy Finlay

  4. #4
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    You may believe in the Power of Positivity but I know deep down that my Influence of Negativity inspired this column! Thought about including you in the finale of my parody series but quickly realized that would be sacrilege.


    I loved this though, Skul. It works well as an aside to your Rumble tourney because of the lighthearted, breezy execution. I remember doing an Elimination Chamber countdown 4 or 5 years ago and being shocked by some of the guys involved who had never recorded a single elimination. McIntyre is bound to leave the goose egg behind in 2019 but I'd also love to see Big E have a breakout performance. This made me miss your solo stuff!

  5. #5
    The Brain
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    Love this, love the way you break stuff down in such unexpected ways. Some of these were really shocking, maybe I should have expected it but I really would have thought poor A Train would have thrown some poor shmuck out considering how he's was pushed for a while in the early 00s. Great stuff Skul!

  6. #6
    I don’t even know how u get these stats. Incredible work.

  7. #7
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    I can't believe I missed this one before the Rumble, only just noticed it today in amongst all the KOTC columns!

    This was fantastic, best pre-rumble column ever.

  8. #8
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    Don - Cheers man! If it has been done before, I don't think I've seen it, so I'm with you there. And yeah, Drew was indeed able to shake his name off of this list last Sunday...but poor Big E wasn't! And now he's overtaken A-Train with total minutes spent in the Rumble without an elimination. My woes continue.

    Hoody - If you're anything like Finlay, you'll take 'em 3 at a time without breaking a sweat.

    SkitZ - Lol, I certainly do engaging in some schadenfreude once in a while! Not too dissimilar to you. Glad you liked it, man.

    miz - Cheers buddy! I mean, it really is kind of shocking. Obviously no Undertakers or Cenas in here, but some pretty big names once you move down from the obvious top echelon!

    Jacob - PLENTY of cross-referencing and research. I love a good stats challenge, particularly the kind that takes more than a one or two page Wikipedia look-up. Appreciate the comment man!

    Dyno - That's some mighty high praise! Thanks so much DB.

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