Five Of The Best Gimmick Matches At The Royal Rumble

12/23/2023 4:50 AM

By using this website, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information. 🍪

Five Of The Best Gimmick Matches At The Royal Rumble

Five Of The Best Gimmick Matches At The Royal Rumble

December 23, 2023 4:50 AM
Five Of The Best Gimmick Matches At The Royal Rumble

The best gimmick matches that took place at the Royal Rumble.

Royal Rumble is infamous for its popular rumble matches, but it’s also a show that has plenty of other gimmick matches. Royal Rumble  has been a major WWE staple for 36 years and the big PLE has produced some incredible moments and matches throughout its time. Below are the five best gimmick matches that took place at this event. 

I Quit Match for the WWF Championship: Rocky Maivia vs. Mankind - Royal Rumble 1999

The Rock’s heel turn did wonders for him as a personality and character. That transitioned into his match as these two had amazing chemistry in their I Quit match. 

The opening minutes were great in highlighting the differences between the competitors: Mankind had nothing to lose and was willing to do anything to get the WWE title back. The Rock was the opposite. Once Mankind was put into those handcuffs, the match was down right nasty. Those chair shots were hard to watch, but it perfectly summed up the heart of Mankind’s character. 

That stunt where The Rock knocked Mankind off the balcony was great, even though it was clear that Mankind did all the work there. The finish remains clever. Granted, you can tell that wasn’t Mankind saying it live when watching it on television, but the positioning of the former WWE Champion and the structure of the match helped make it believable. 

Street Fight: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack - Royal Rumble 2000

At this point, Foley could have a hardcore match against a broomstick and it would turn out to be a classic. What’s so great about this match is that it doesn’t try to be so over-the-top or spot heavy. This was a gritty match between two men who hate each other. 

The structure of the match moved at a perfect pace. Nothing felt staged and all of the spots had true purpose. The call back of Foley being in handcuffs was great. So was Rock releasing him from the handcuffs.  This match had a big fight feel and the level of intensity and emotion matched it. An iconic match that still holds up to modern wrestling standards.

Tables Match: The Hardys vs. The Dudley Boyz - Royal Rumble 2000

The Royal Rumble 2000 was an incredible pay-per-view. Tazz had a remarkable debut. The WWE Championship match was a classic. But before that match was the first-ever tables match. The tag team division was at its peak during this time, with The Dudleys, Hardys, and Edge & Christian producing classics throughout the year. 

The spots here were brutal, but memorable. One of the better sequences was when D-Von ducked both attempts from the Hardys trying to put him through the table on the outside. The four table eliminations were great. However, the final sequence of Jeff pushing Bubba off the ledge through a stack of tables and then performing a swanton onto D-von was simply perfect. 

Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels - Royal Rumble 2004

Triple H and Shawn Michaels had one of the best rivalries of the early 2000s. Sure, their Hell in a Cell match was way too long and easily the weakest match in their rivalry. However, their other bouts were incredible. Coming off their Three Stages of Hell Matches at Armageddon, it was going to be hard to top that bout. 

They came close, but this remains the best Last Man Standing match to take place at the Royal Rumble. The story of the heated rivalry has always been the strong point, and it once again elevated this match-up that made this crowd easily get invested in both characters. 

The draw made you want to see these two fight until WrestleMania. Triple H’s reign of terror gets a bad rap. Sure, matches like Scott Steiner do exist, but he was the perfect villain who you desperately wanted to see get his comeuppance. 

No Disqualification match for the WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns. Chris Jericho was suspended above the ring in a cage - Royal Rumble 2017

Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens have had three WWE title matches at the Royal Rumble. They were all great! Their bout in 2023 had more storyline meaning. The 2021 Last Man Standing match was predictable, but fun nevertheless. The lack of crowd really brought that match down though. But their No Disqualification bout stands out. Nevermind the silly stipulation that Chris Jericho was suspended above the cage, these two have incredible chemistry in the ring. 

Kevin Owens path to WrestleMania wasn’t exactly clear, so it was very well possible that Reigns would walk out as the champion. Say what you will about Reigns’ failed push as a babyface, but the guy was always a good wrestler, especially when he was paired with veterans like Kevin Owens. 

The match had a good pace to it, with the two fighting it out in the crowd in the beginning and they transitioned into the ring later on. Kevin Owens was insane for taking that stacked chair spot. A really great title match with a solid ending.