If you don’t like the Royal Rumble match, what is wrong with you? Basically a massive game of “the floor is lava” (I know you played that as a kid), 30 superstars randomly enter the ring at 90-second intervals, throwing each other over the top rope and eliminating each other. The last one standing receives a title shot at Wrestlemania!
But you all knew that. What you didn’t know, however, were these 5 surprise entrants into the Rumble. With a countdown timer and easy big reveal, WWE has pulled out all the stops when it comes to surprise Rumble entrants. From injured superstars to legends, here are the top five surprise entries in Royal Rumble history.
5. The WWE Announce Team
Now let me make something clear before I start this: The WWE announce team entering the Royal Rumble was embarrassing and better left in the past.
Either way, the 2012 Royal Rumble featured lots of gimmicks to fill the void of star power that the match lacked. Jerry Lawler entered first at number 12 but was eliminated by Cody Rhodes in less than one minute. Booker T entered at 17 and lasted nearly five minutes before being eliminated by Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes. Finally, Cole entered the match at 20 and was quickly eliminated and showered with boos. Despite cringing while watching this, I was surprised that announcers were featured. Although it didn’t go so well, WWE decided to do it again, featuring JBL just a few years later.
Kharma is no doubt, the most intimidating female talent that the WWE has ever seen. In a Divas division comprised of models, Awesome Kong brought something fresh to the table. Kharma became the third woman in WWE history to enter the Royal Rumble after her music hit in 2012, sending the arena into a frenzy. Although quickly eliminated by Dolph Ziggler, she did eliminate Hunico. Sadly, Kharma asked for her release and was never seen again in a WWE ring.
In July of 2009, Edge suffered a torn Achilles which sent him home for what seemed like 9-12 months. Fortunately for us fans, Edge returned in the 29th spot of the Royal Rumble. After just six months of recovery, Edge eliminated his former Tag Team partner in Y2J and then Cena to win the Rumble. Edge became the second of three men to win the Rumble as a surprise entrant, along with Triple H and John Cena.
2. All Three Faces Of Mick Foley (Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind)
In 1998, Foley was competing as a Tag Team with Chainsaw Charlie as Cactus Jack. That’s why when Jack entered at number one and Funk entered at number two, fans were immediately intrigued. Jack was eliminated by Funk after about 10 minutes, leading fans to believe that Foley’s night was over. However, we were wrong as entrant number 16 was Mankind! He was eliminated quickly by Goldust, but struck again at entrant 28! Dude Love actually made it all the way to the final four along with The Rock, Farooq, and Steve Austin, but was eventually eliminated. The comedic effect of re-entering the match, not once, but twice, along with the fact that this was a genius strategy, lended itself perfectly to the storytelling aspect of this match. Foley became the first superstar to enter the Rumble more than once in the same night, and the only person to do it three times in one night.
1. John Cena
In October of 2007, John Cena tore his Pectoral muscle, an injury that fans thought would force Cena to miss Wrestlemania. Little did we know, we were about to get our first taste of “Super Cena”. Just three months later, Cena entered the Rumble at number 30 to a shocked crowd, completely ungluing MSG. Cena proceeded to eliminate the favorite to win the match: Triple H. An injury that could keep a normal person on the shelf for a year only kept Cena out for three months…