What Are All the Rules of the Royal Rumble Match in WWE?

Published 01/13/2021, 7:15 AM EST


The Royal Rumble is one of the Big Four events for WWE that has been an annual occurrence for decades. Over the years, there have been clear rules in the Rumble, but loopholes have been a constant occurrence that has played around the rules of the match.

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Concept

The Royal Rumble Match is a classic format in which several Superstars enter the ring. Their job is to eliminate every last man remaining in the ring and try to be the sole survivor. 

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The winner of the Rumble becomes a number one contender for any WWE Championship of his/her choice and gets the rare opportunity to main-event WrestleMania.

Unlike the Battle Royale, each participant enters at random “entry slots” from which point they compete in the ring. The concept of the Royal Rumble was derived from the Battle Royale but differs in this aspect. 

Battle Royales generally begin with all Superstars in the ring, fighting out in a brawl to be the last man standing. The Royal Rumble is a more tiring and challenging format that gives an equal chance to every Superstar. 

Eliminations

A Superstar can only be eliminated after being thrown over the top rope of the ring. Furthermore, both his feet have to touch the ground outside the ring, failing which the elimination will not count, and s/he gets t0 continue.

This clause was famously used by Shawn Michaels in 1995 when he held onto the ropes with just one leg touching the ground. Seeing this, the official ruled out the elimination, and Michaels went back in the ring to eliminate the British bulldog to win the Rumble. 

If a Superstar exits the ring through the bottom rope or middle rope, he/she is not considered eliminated and can return to the ring anytime during the match.

Unfortunately, the method of elimination favors the eliminator rather than one who is thrown over the ropes. Quite unfairly, a Superstar can be eliminated by not only someone competing in the rumble but also by a non-competitor. 

Interferences from outside also count like when the Posse eliminated Farooq in 2000 even though they weren’t in the Rumble. The base rule is that if the Superstar goes over the top rope and both feet hit the floor, he/she is eliminated, regardless of who eliminated the contestant.

Conduct inside the Rumble

Each Superstar can enter the Rumble only once in the match and don’t get a second chance once they are eliminated. However, nothing states that they cannot enter with different characters. 

In 1998, Mick Foley entered the Rumble 3 different times from his three different persons or alter-egos. Therefore, we got to see Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind all at one Rumble even though it was the same person. 

If a Superstar gets injured during the match, he/she can take time off to recover and can return to fight if the match is still going on. The star will be considered eliminated if the match ends. 

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Winner

The rules of the Royal Rumble state that only one person can be declared the winner. However, this has also been breached. In 1994, Bret Hart and Lex Luger both won the Rumble after eliminating themselves at the same time. 

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Officials could not decide which superstar’s leg hit the floor first and hence, decided to declare both Superstars as the winner. In 2005, Batista and John Cena had the same debacle but had to fight until a winner could be declared. 

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Luke Dias

1465 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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