Will history be made at the 2020 WWE Royal Rumble?


Sunday night marks the 33rd WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view event (32nd if you don't include 2018's Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia). In looking back at 30-plus years of Royal Rumble matches, while a lot of the most interesting and relevant numbers involve accumulation -- such as most eliminations or most time spent in the ring -- there's plenty more to parse and examine as we look forward to the showcase Sunday night.

We watched the tape, crunched the numbers and came up with the top 10 stats you need to know heading into this year's men's Royal Rumble Match.

Lesnar looks to make history

WWE champion Brock Lesnar not only announced his entry into the 2020 Royal Rumble Match, but he will also be the No. 1 entrant.

While drawing the No. 1 or No. 2 spot and having to begin the Royal Rumble match might be a huge disadvantage, four superstars have actually gone wire-to-wire to win. That is more winners than the coveted No. 30 spot has produced (3).

Won Royal Rumble match as No. 1 or No. 2 entrant

2006 Rey Mysterio (No. 2 entrant)
2004 Chris Benoit (No. 1)
1999 Vince McMahon (No. 2)
1995 Shawn Michaels (No. 1)

Champions' disadvantage?

Unfortunately for Lesnar and Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura, only one superstar has ever entered a Royal Rumble match holding a championship and then gone on to win. Hulk Hogan entered the 1990 Royal Rumble Match as WWE champion and won the match from the No. 25 spot.

Orton seeks third Royal Rumble win

Randy Orton has also announced his entry in this year's men's Royal Rumble match. He could join Steve Austin as the only superstars to win three Royal Rumbles (Orton won in 2009 and 2017).

Most Royal Rumble Match Wins

■ Steve Austin: 3
■ Randy Orton: 2
■ John Cena: 2
Triple H: 2
■ Dave Batista: 2
■ Shawn Michaels: 2
■ Hulk Hogan: 2

Additionally, Orton has been among the final five remaining superstars in eight of his 11 Royal Rumble appearances, including a fifth-place finish in 2019. That is the most top-five finishes in Royal Rumble history.

Will Rollins repeat?

At last year's Royal Rumble event, Seth Rollins entered at No. 10 and lasted 43 minutes on his way to winning the men's Royal Rumble match. If Rollins competes in this year's match, he could be the fourth superstar to win back-to-back Royal Rumbles -- and the previous three to do so are all in the WWE Hall of Fame. Austin won two straight in 1997 and 1998, Shawn Michaels won in 1995 and 1996 and Hogan won in 1990 and 1991.

Main event at 'Mania on the line

It is an annual tradition that the winner of the Royal Rumble match earns a world title match at WrestleMania. However, only four of the past 11 Royal Rumble winners walked away from the "Granddaddy of Them All" as champion. This balances out a stretch from 2001 to '07 in which seven straight Royal Rumble winners went on to become world champion at WrestleMania.

Dominant performances

At the 2018 Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia, Braun Strowman set the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble with 13, breaking Reigns' record of 12 in 2014. Kane holds the record for most career eliminations with 42.

Most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match

2018 Braun Strowman: 13 (2018 Greatest Royal Rumble)
2014 Roman Reigns: 12
2001 Kane: 11
1997 Steve Austin: 10

Most career Royal Rumble eliminations

■ Kane: 42
■ Shawn Michaels: 40
■ The Undertaker: 38
■ Steve Austin: 36
Big Show: 32
■ Triple H: 31
■ Roman Reigns: 30
■ Braun Strowman: 30

Another Rumble moment for Kofi?

If Kofi Kingston competes this year, he will be appearing in his 13th Royal Rumble Match, tying Goldust for second-most in WWE history. Dolph Ziggler and the returning Big Show could also compete in their 13th Royal Rumble this year.

Most Royal Rumble match appearances entering 2020

■ Kane: 19
Goldust: 13
■ Big Show: 12
■ Shawn Michaels: 12
■ Kofi Kingston: 12
Dolph Ziggler: 12
■ The Undertaker: 11
■ Chris Jericho: 11

Kingston is also famous for displaying his athleticism and creativity to avoid elimination in the Royal Rumble Match.

Mysterio is an Iron Man

Rey Mysterio will appear in this year's Royal Rumble Match and already has the third-most combined ring time in Royal Rumble match history. If Mysterio can last 10 minutes, he will join Chris Jericho as the only superstars to spend more than four hours combined in the ring in Royal Rumble matches.

Most total time spent in Royal Rumble matches -- WWE history

■ Chris Jericho: 4 hours, 59 minutes
■ Triple H: 3 hours, 59 minutes
■ Rey Mysterio: 3 hours, 50 minutes
■ Shawn Michaels: 3 hours, 41 minutes
■ Kane: 3 hours, 33 minutes
■ Randy Orton: 3 hours, 18 minutes

At the 2018 Greatest Royal Rumble, Daniel Bryan broke Mysterio's record for most time spent in a single Royal Rumble match, entering at No. 1 and lasting more than 76 minutes before he was eliminated by Big Cass and settled for a third-place finish. Santino Marella holds the "record" for shortest appearance, after being eliminated by Kane in 1 second in 2009.

Longest time in a single Royal Rumble

2018 Daniel Bryan: 76:16 (2018 Greatest Royal Rumble)
2006 Rey Mysterio: 62:12
1993 Bob Backlund: 61:15
2004 Chris Benoit: 61:01
2017 Chris Jericho: 60:13
2006 Triple H: 60:13

Shortest time in a single Royal Rumble

2009 Santino Marella: 0:01
2019 No Way Jose: 0:02
1989 The Warlord: 0:02
2019 Xavier Woods: 0:03
2018 Mike Kanellis: 0:03 (2018 Greatest Royal Rumble)
1995 Owen Hart: 0:03
1995 Mo: 0:03

First time is the charm

Ricochet, Buddy Murphy and Heavy Machinery are competing in their first career Royal Rumble match. Ten of the 32 previous men's Royal Rumble winners were actually in their Royal Rumble match debut, including Shinsuke Nakamura in 2018.

Won first career Royal Rumble match

2018 Shinsuke Nakamura
2011 Alberto Del Rio
2004 Chris Benoit
2003 Brock Lesnar
1999 Vince McMahon
1994 Lex Luger
1993 Yokozuna
1992 Ric Flair
1989 Big John Studd
1988 Jim Duggan

Luck of the draw

The No. 27 spot in the Royal Rumble has produced four winners -- more than any other slot -- but none since 2001.


Only 19 of this year's Royal Rumble match participants have been announced as of Jan. 19, leaving the opportunity for some surprises. Only three times has a Royal Rumble been won by a superstar who had not been previously announced as an entrant. In 2008, Cena made a surprise return from a torn pectoral muscle and won the match as the No. 30 entrant. In 2010, Edge made a surprise return from a torn Achilles and won from the No. 29 spot. Finally, in last year's women's Royal Rumble, Becky Lynch was a last-second replacement for the injured Lana and won from the No. 28 spot.