In this year’s Royal Rumble, competitors will be representing their respective brands for the first time in six years. Traditionally, when the brand was previously split, the winner of the Royal Rumble had a chance to compete for either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship, no matter what brand it was on.
Perhaps the most memorable example of this was in 2005. After the controversial double-elimination finish between Batista and John Cena, which caused Vince McMahon to come out and restart the match, Batista won the Royal Rumble, and had an opportunity to compete for the championship of his choosing.
At the time, his choices were WWE Undisputed Champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield, or Evolution ally, World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. While it seemed like a no-brainer that Batista would choose JBL, he shocked the WWE Universe by executing a spinebuster on Triple H, and signed the contract to compete against him at WrestleMania 21. Batista would defeat Triple H and become the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time.
Another double elimination occurred at the 1994 Royal Rumble, but this one was intentional. The last two competitors, Bret Hart and Lex Luger, somehow managed to eliminate each other, resulting in the first and only co-winners in the history of the event.
This year, it could be happening again. When Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer was asked whether this scenario would happen 23 years after the first one, he commented, “You could, it was more than 20 years ago.”
At this point, there are many names strongly predicted to win the Royal Rumble. While The Undertaker has been the favorite for a number of weeks, latest reports are speculating that Goldberg may end up winning the match.
As of right now, he is favored to win the match according to the fan vote by a slight margin, 52-48, on the WWE website.
With Goldberg being the favorite from the fan’s perspective, and Undertaker being the slated favorite, WWE could put the co-winner idea out of their hat for the second time and how both win.
Admittedly, it would be a very intriguing scenario to see The Undertaker and Goldberg as the last two members of the Royal Rumble looking at each face to face. This match has never occurred before and has even been discussed as a dream match.
In 2013, in a way to promote WWE 2K14, WWE gave a poll that was viewed on Raw of which dream match they would want to see the most.
- Daniel Bryan vs. Ric Flair
- Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena
- Undertaker vs. Goldberg
- Shawn Michaels vs. The Rock
In an overwhelming 55 percent of the votes, Undertaker vs. Goldberg was the top choice.
While it does not look like this match will happen at WrestleMania, or even at all, a face-off between the two would be fascinating to see.
Ultimately, WWE needs to keep the mystique of old school babyface wrestlers who still generate a larger-than-life reaction, that only a few names currently have. Goldberg and the Undertaker would be interesting to see as the last two entrants in the match, but a double elimination would be a bit of a buzzkill.
Whether it is Undertaker or Goldberg who wins the match, this Royal Rumble truly looks to be one of the best in history. All of the different scenarios and big names involved are keeping the fans speculating and anticipating the event.
As wrestling fans, the hope is the WWE will deliver on their hype and leave the fans with a feel-good moment at the conclusion of the Royal Rumble, as well as anticipation to watch Raw and latch onto the road to WrestleMania.
[Featured Image by WWE]