From Titus O’Neil to Santino Marella: WWE Superstars Who Have Had the Most Embarrassing Performances in Royal Rumble Matches

Published 01/30/2021, 7:00 AM EST

A victory at the Royal Rumble can be a critical turnaround for a Superstar’s career. Not only does the said Superstar gain the recognition of outlasting 29 other men, he also gets to main event WrestleMania. However, some Superstars enter only to provide comic relief and make the others look good.


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Across its 33 editions, there have been some shockingly quick eliminations.

Here, we will look back at how some wrestlers made the history books by getting eliminated faster than they entered.


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#5 The Godfather – 5 Seconds (Royal Rumble 2013)

In his defense, The Godfather made a one-night-only return to WWE during the 2013 event. He made a surprise entry at number 17, and made his way to the ring in typically flamboyant fashion with his ‘Ho Train.’

However, he was tossed over the top rope after only five seconds by Dolph Ziggler. Later in the match, John Cena won the Rumble to set up a match with The Rock at WrestleMania.

#4 Titus O’Neil, Jerry Lawler, and Bushwacker Luke – 4 seconds (Royal Rumble 2015, 1997, 1991)

Three men are tied for the number three spot with 4 seconds each. Most recently, Titus O’Neil was eliminated from the match by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins following a clothesline.

In 1997, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler got up from his commentary table to enter the Rumble. However, Bret Hart immediately punched and eliminated him from the match, and Lawler promptly went back to commentary as if nothing happened.

In the 1991 event, the most hilarious elimination goes to Luke. He literally walked in and out of the match as Earthquake threw him over the top rope. Luke marched straight back up the ramp in his iconic stride.

#3 Owen Hart, Mo, and Xavier Woods – 3 seconds (1995, 2019)

In the 1995 Royal Rumble, fans saw two of the fastest eliminations of the night. Bret Hart attacked his brother Owen on his way to the match. Upon entering the match, his real-life brother-in-law, the British Bulldog, eliminated Owen.

Mo’s short stay in the 1995 Royal Rumble happened when King Kong Bundy tossed him over the top rope three seconds after he entered the match.

Two years ago, Xavier Woods fell prey to the returning Drew McIntyre and got eliminated in three seconds.

#2 The Warlord, Sheamus, and No Way Jose – 2 seconds (1989, 2018, 2019)

Warlord held the record for the fastest elimination for two decades. Hulk Hogan eliminated him following a huge clothesline within seconds of entering the match.

In 2018, Heath Slater eliminated Sheamus (a former Royal Rumble winner) in record time. The following year, Samoa Joe instantly threw Jose over the top rope after he entered.

#1 Santino Marella – 1 second (2009)

There can be only one King of the Mountain, and on this list, it is Santino Marella. In fact, Marella’s record is unbreakable.


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In the 2009 event, Marella took a long and steady walk to the ring, determined to win the match. After he entered the ring, Kane immediately sent him back over the top rope with a clothesline.

As the Italian screamed, “I wasn’t ready,” fans and commentators laughed hysterically. Kane holds the record for the most eliminations in the Royal Rumble (43), and Santino became the most iconic of them.


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Angana Roy

1067 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.