Once a year, WWE puts on a PPV with one of the most exciting matches in wrestling: the Royal Rumble. Every 90 seconds, a superstar enters the ring, and the only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope. In total, 30 wrestlers compete in this event, and the prize is a championship match at Wrestlemania in April. On Sunday, January 28, the 31st Royal Rumble will take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Considering this is such a huge event, we’re going through the history of the PPV to take a look at all the winners, from Royal Rumble I to Royal Rumble XXX. In addition, we’ll also be mentioning some noteworthy moments from the event.



Royal Rumble (1988)


Winner: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Eliminations: 3

Entering in at #13, crowd-favorite Jim Duggan ended up being the very first winner of the Royal Rumble. Unlike the vast majority of other Rumble matches, the 1988 event only had 20 participants.



Royal Rumble (1989)


Winner: Big John Studd

Eliminations: 2

Big John Studd entered the Rumble at #27, which is considered the luckiest number to enter the match, as four wrestlers–in total–have won at this placement.



Royal Rumble (1990)


Winner: Hulk Hogan

Eliminations: 6

Hulk Hogan won his first Rumble in 1990, entering the match at #25. Both he and Ultimate Warrior had six eliminations, the most for that year.



Royal Rumble (1991)


Winner: Hulk Hogan

Eliminations: 7

Hulkamania continued to run wild in 1991, with Hogan’s second consecutive win. He entered the match at #24, and once again, Hogan claimed the top spot that year for most eliminations.



Royal Rumble (1992)


Winner: Ric Flair

Eliminations: 5

Woo! Ric Flair won his only Rumble win in 1992, entering the match at #3. He ended up staying in the ring for over 52 minutes during the battle.



Royal Rumble (1993)


Winner: Yokozuna

Eliminations: 7

The winner of the 1993 Royal Rumble, Yokozuna, entered the contest at lucky #27. Yokozuna had the most eliminations that year as well.



Royal Rumble (1994)


Winner(s): Lex Luger & Bret Hart

Luger Eliminations: 6

Hart Eliminations: 4

1994′s Rumble was the only time two contestants won the match. Both Lex Luger, who entered in at #23, and Bret “The Hitman” Hart, who entered at #27, landed on the outside of the ring at the exact same time, making them both winners.



Royal Rumble (1995)


Winner: Shawn Michaels

Eliminations: 8

In a Royal Rumble first, Shawn Michaels entered the match at the #1 spot and made it all the way to the end. Even though he was the first man in the ring, the match lasted 38 minutes because this was the only Rumble where wrestlers came out in 60-second intervals, instead of the traditional 90.



Royal Rumble (1996)


Winner: Shawn Michaels

Eliminations: 8

Once again, the Heartbreak Kid got another Rumble win, but this time, he entered at #18. This Rumble was noteworthy for being the first appearance of wrestler Glenn Jacobs (as Isaac Yankem). He appeared in 1997′s match as the Fake Diesel, and from 1999 on, he appeared as Kane. In total, Jacobs has been a part of 19 Royal Rumbles.



Royal Rumble (1997)


Winner: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Eliminations: 10

While the 1996 King of the Ring tournament introduced the world to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, his win at the 1997 Royal Rumble cemented his main event status for years to come. Austin entered the match at #5 and had a then record-setting 10 eliminations.



Royal Rumble (1998)


Winner: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Eliminations: 7

Steve Austin won the Rumble again in 1998. This time, he entered during the latter half of the event at #24. The most interesting fact about the 1998 event was that Mick Foley participated in the Rumble three different times, as Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love.



Royal Rumble (1999)


Winner: Vince McMahon

Eliminations: 1

In one of the weirdest moments in Royal Rumble history, Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, won the 1999 Royal Rumble, entering at #2. He and Steve Austin spent the majority of the match fighting backstage, off camera. That year’s match also marks the first time a woman participated in the event. Chyna entered as #30.



Royal Rumble (2000)


Winner: The Rock

Eliminations: 4

The Rock won the Royal Rumble, entering at #24. The match has a cringe-worthy moment when the members of Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Rikishi) spent time during the match dancing in the ring. Luckily, it didn’t last long as Rikishi tossed them both out of the ring. 2000′s Royal Rumble is considered to be the best Rumble PPV to date.



Royal Rumble (2001)


Winner: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Eliminations: 3

2001 marked the year Steve Austin returned to the top, kicking off the year with a Royal Rumble win. Austin entered the match at #27, and this PPV is considered by many to be the second best Royal Rumble in WWE’s history. Kane had a then record-setting 11 eliminations.



Royal Rumble (2002)


Winner: Triple H

Eliminations: 4

Triple H got himself his first Royal Rumble win in 2002, entering at #22. Interestingly enough, this Rumble marked the return of Mr. Perfect, who made it to the final four.



Royal Rumble (2003)


Winner: Brock Lesnar

Eliminations: 4

“The Beast,” Brock Lesnar, picked up a Royal Rumble win in 2003, entering at #29. In order to get that spot in the Rumble, Lesnar had to beat the Big Show at the beginning of the PPV.



Royal Rumble (2004)


Winner: Chris Benoit

Eliminations: 6

For only the second time in history, a #1 entrant won the Royal Rumble: Chris Benoit. He lasted a then record-setting 1 hour and 1 minute in the ring.



Royal Rumble (2005)


Winner: Batista

Eliminations: 5

In 2005, Smackdown and Raw were split into different shows with brand-exclusive wrestlers. Much like the ’94 Rumble, the two last contestants, Batista and John Cena, went out of the ring at the exact same time, in what some call a botched finish. The Raw referee said Batista won, and the Smackdown ref said Cena won. Vince McMahon came out to rectify the situation, tore his quadriceps muscle, and sat in the ring, while they restarted the match, in the weirdest moment in Rumble history. Batista ended up winning after the restart. He originally entered the match at #28.



Royal Rumble (2006)


Winner: Rey Mysterio

Eliminations: 6

In 2006, Rey Mysterio ended up winning the Rumble after entering the match at #2. Currently, he holds the record for longest time spent in the match with 1 hour and 2 minutes.



Royal Rumble (2007)


Winner: The Undertaker

Eliminations: 3

For as long as the Undertaker has been around, it’s puzzling that he didn’t win his first Rumble until 2007. Believe it or not, this is also the first time where a #30 entrant won the match.



Royal Rumble (2008)


Winner: John Cena

Eliminations: 4

For the second year in a row, the 30th entrant won the Royal Rumble. That man was John Cena. Many fans consider this single Rumble match to be one of the best.



Royal Rumble (2009)


Winner: Randy Orton

Eliminations: 3

In 2009, Randy Orton, who entered at #8, won the Rumble. In addition, Santino Marella set a record by spending the shortest amount of time in the match before being eliminated: 1 second.



Royal Rumble (2010)


Winner: Edge

Eliminations: 2

Edge ended up taking the victory at the 2010 Royal Rumble. He entered the match at #29 and only spent 7 minutes in the ring.



Royal Rumble (2011)


Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Eliminations: 2

The 2011 Royal Rumble was the first and only Rumble to have 40 participants. Alberto Del Rio ended up winning after entering at #38.



Royal Rumble (2012)


Winner: Sheamus

Eliminations: 3

In 2012, Sheamus took home the win after entering at #22. It was rumored that he won because “insiders” were predicting that Chris Jericho was going to win, and WWE wanted to shake things up.



Royal Rumble (2013)


Winner: John Cena

Eliminations: 4

John Cena won his second Royal Rumble in 2013, after entering the match at #19. While both Ryback and Sheamus had five eliminations, the most for that year, it was Cody Rhodes who put on an unforgettable performance, which included eliminating his own brother, Goldust.



Royal Rumble (2014)


Winner: Batista

Eliminations: 4

In an unforgettable moment, Batista won the 2014 Royal Rumble, surprising everyone by entering in at #28. He had been absent from WWE since 2010. In addition, Roman Reigns eliminated 12 people during the match, which is the current record for most eliminations in a single Rumble.



Royal Rumble (2015)


Winner: Roman Reigns

Eliminations: 6

Roman Reigns took the spotlight in 2015, after entering in at #19 and winning the Rumble. In addition, Curtis Axel was supposed to enter at #6, but he was attacked before making it to the ring. After the Rumble, Axel claimed to be the real winner because he was never eliminated.



Royal Rumble (2016)


Winner: Triple H

Eliminations: 4

The 2016 Royal Rumble had extremely high stakes. The winner of the event would end up taking home the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H stunned the crowd by entering at #30 and winning the match.



Royal Rumble (2017)


Winner: Randy Orton

Eliminations: 1

Orton entered the main event as #23 and stands with Vince McMahon as having the fewest eliminations while winning: 1. This was the second time Orton won the Rumble, with his first win coming in 2009.