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The WWE's spectacular battle royal takes place each January with the winner guaranteed a title shot at WrestleMania - and Stone Cold is SPORTbible's pick as the all-time No 1. The Texas Rattlesnake is the only three-time winner of the event (in 1997, 1998 and 2001) and that's the bottom line.
Also high, in TierMaker's 'Legend' category, are The Rock - Austin's fellow attitude era icon - plus proven greats such as the Undertaker, John Cena, Bret The Hitman Hart, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.
Stone Cold Steve Austin went three straight years with most eliminations in the Royal Rumble match. (97-99) pic.twitter.com/GElBk6tUYO
- Wrestling Stats (@WrestlingsFacts) May 1, 2020
However Orton, Triple H and Batista - all two-time Rumble winners - are panned as 'Overrated'. Not because each man hasn't achieved grappling greatness, but because the WWE likes to inflate their true importance to the business.
Well below that, in the 'Trash' can, sit the first two Rumble winners: Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Big John Studd. Duggan was surprisingly over with fans, despite his inability to do anything much except carry a flag, yell and swing a plank of wood. Skills.
The 'Future Legend' category contains Roman Reigns - who's transformed his career since his heel turn last year - plus 2020 Rumble winner Drew McIntyre and Brock Lesnar (arguably a legend already, but still near the peak of his powers).
Asuka and Becky Lynch join them, as two of the first three women's Rumble victors are heading for greatness. Charlotte Flair sits in 'Overrated', as while she's a very talented athlete, she's also over-pushed for some reason. Can't imagine why.
Right at the bottom of the pile, in 'Not A Wrestler' sits Vince McMahon - or Mr McMahon to you. The 1999 winner and WWE owner is in no way an actual wrestler - but he did portray one of the most sensational, unstable, villainous heel characters ever created. That's right "portray" - let's go with it.
Every* men's and women's Royal Rumble victor is below in their TierMaker category.
GOAT: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Legend: The Rock, Undertaker, John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio
Future Legend: Drew McIntyre, Roman Reigns, Asuka, Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins
Overrated: Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista, Charlotte Flair, Edge
Solid: Sheamus, Shinsuke Nakamura, Lex Luger, Yokozuna
Trash: Alberto Del Rio, Jim Duggan, Big John Studd
Not A Wrestler: Vince McMahon
*Note: Chris Benoit is absent, as his unique in-ring gifts are almost impossible to assess given everything that overshadows them.
Let us know your thoughts on the WWE Royal Rumble winner ranking in the comments.
Featured image credit: WWE/TierMaker
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