The WWE Royal Rumble is a yearly event where wrestling fans get a chance to look at their sport from a fantasy perspective, similar to the other mainstream sports. Fans often get together and make pools on who they think will win, they bet on which entrant number the winner will emerge from, and they argue with their buddies on who will stay in the match the longest.
Have you ever wondered what the real statistics are behind the celebrated history of the Royal Rumble? Inquisitr reader Marlon Heimerl from HalloweenCostumes.com sent over the following infographic, put together by he and his co-workers. It is a fascinating look at the past history of the Royal Rumble.
Crunching The Numbers
The Most Common Victor
Examining the infographic above reveals the most common entrant spot for an eventual winner of the Royal Rumble. The number 27 has yielded the most Rumble winners in the past, with four victors emerging from behind the curtain at that position. Big John Studd (1989), Yokozuna (1993), Bret Hart (1994), and Steve Austin (2001) all went on earn Royal Rumble victories from number 27.
Starting First, Finishing Last
Shawn Michaels (1995) and Chris Benoit (2004) are the only men who have started the Royal Rumble from position number one and gone on to emerge victorious.
The WrestleMania Title Shot
It might be surprising for new WWE fans to find out that the winner of the Royal Rumble has not always been awarded with a title shot at WrestleMania. The first time this was a stipulation was in 1993, a year that saw Yokozuna win the Rumble and earn a shot at Bret Hart’s WWF title at WrestleMania IX. Yokozuna turned his Rumble victory into a championship that year at WrestleMania, though he only held the belt for a matter of minutes (Yokozuna immediately challenged Hulk Hogan, and Hogan defeated him for the title).
The 40-Man and 20-Man Royal Rumble
It was being heavily rumored a few months ago that the WWE was considering returning to a 40-man format this year for the Royal Rumble. They opted not to take that route though it has been done before. In 2011, Alberto Del Rio won the (to this point) only Royal Rumble involving more than 30 superstars. He started from position number 38.
The first Royal Rumble in 1988 included only 20 superstars in the match. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan won the Rumble that year, entering from the number 13 position.
Cumulative Time Spent In The Royal Rumble
Entering the 2015 Royal Rumble, Triple H has spent more time than any wrestler in the Rumble match itself. Looking at his statistics reveals that Triple H has been in the Rumble a total of three hours, 51 minutes, and 32 seconds.
Most Rumble Wins
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin holds the record for most Royal Rumble victories. He won the match in 1997, 1998, and 2001. Four other superstars have won the Rumble twice, including Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Hulk Hogan, and Batista.
So What Is The Ideal Entrance Position?
Calculating the average starting position of the winner of the Royal Rumble over the years is a tricky proposition given the changing nature of the match itself. All but two of the Rumbles have included 30 superstars, but 1988 (20 entrants) and 2011 (40 entrants) throw us off when calculating the average. Furthermore, both Lex Luger and Bret Hart were declared the victors of the 1994 edition of the Royal Rumble (they eliminated each other, with their feet touching the floor at the same time).
For calculation purposes, we adjusted Duggan’s (1988) and Del Rio’s (2011) starting positions to adhere to a 30-man format. Duggan entering at the 13 spot in a Rumble with 20 competitors would be statistically equivalent to entering a 30-man Rumble from the 19.5 spot. Del Rio entering at 38 in a Rumble comprised of 40 superstars is statistically equivalent to entering at 28.5 in a 30-man Rumble. For the Luger and Hart problem, we averaged their starting positions (23 and 27, respectively) to an entrance number of 25 for 1994.
After all the numbers are run, we come to the conclusion that the average starting position for a Royal Rumble winner over the years is 19.55.
[Images via HalloweenCostumes.com, ProWrestlingPowerhouse.com]