Royal Rumble history
Click here for a rundown of the previous eight Royal Rumble winners and to see where victory led them.
Last Updated: 16/01/14 6:45pm
Thirty of the finest wrestlers in the WWE will head to Arizona on Sunday with one target: to win the Royal Rumble.
Whichever man achieves that feat will earn himself a guaranteed shot at either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship under the bright lights at WrestleMania XXVIIII in April.
You will be able to see every second of the 2013 Royal Rumble on Sky Box Office HD, but before this year's showpiece gets underway, check out skysports.com's potted history of the previous eight Rumbles.
Read below to see who emerged victorious, who they conquered along the way and, most importantly, whether they went on to win the big one at WrestleMania...
2005 winner: Batista
The Animal took the spoils in the 2005 Rumble - but only after a dramatic restart. Batista and John Cena, the final men left in the match, sent each other flying over the top rope, but after WWE Chairman Vince McMahon ordered the contest to resume, the Evolution member administered a devastating Spinebuster before tossing Cena to the mat. Batista then elected to face former ally Triple H at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship, a strap he would win and go on to hold for nine months, until an arm injury forced him to relinquish it in January 2006. The Washington-born grappler won world title gold a further five times before leaving WWE in 2010 and moving into the world of mixed martial arts (MMA).
2006 winner: Rey Mysterio
The Ultimate Underdog certainly had his day in Miami, lasting an epic 62 minutes and 12 seconds to win the Royal Rumble. Mysterio entered the contest at number and seized victory by eliminating number-one entrant Triple H and, finally, Randy Orton. Orton would seemingly steal Mysterio's WrestleMania title shot after beating the Master of the 619 at the No Way Out pay-per-view, but SmackDown general manager Theodore Long would later add Mysterio back into the bout, meaning a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship would be contested at the biggest show of the year. Mysterio subsequently defeated reigning titlist Kurt Angle and Orton to scoop his maiden world championship in Chicago.
2007 winner: The Undertaker
The Dead Man came to life in 2007 to win the multi-man melee, surprisingly becoming the first man to achieve that feat having entered the duel as the number 30 entrant. The Phenom was joined in the final four by Shawn Michaels, Orton and Edge, but after the Heartbreak Kid eliminated the latter duo, an epic brawl materialised between the two legends. Undertaker survived a vicious Superkick from Michaels - who he would later face at WrestleMania 25 and end the career of at WrestleMaina 26 - and eventually eliminated the Icon to book his berth at WrestleMania 23. Taker opted to face World Heavyweight Champion Batista in Detroit and emerged victorious to claim the belt and maintain his unbeaten record at WrestleMania, which has since been extended to 20-0 after 2012's conquering of Triple H.
2008 winner: John Cena
Cena stunned a raucous WWE crowd in New York's legendary Madison Square Garden by returning earlier than expected from a pectoral injury to win the 2007 Rumble. Triple H entered the match at number 29 and went on to dominate proceedings, eliminating Big Daddy V, Batista, Mick Foley and Kane, but the tide turned when Cena entered the fray and the Chain Gang Solider registered victory after sending the Game flying to the mat. Cena broke with tradition by choosing to face WWE Champion Randy Orton at No Way Out instead of WrestleMania, but after Orton got himself intentionally disqualified, the West Newbury native did fight for the title at the granddaddy of them all in Orlando, in a Triple Threat Match with Orton and Triple H, which Orton won.
2009 winner: Randy Orton
Teamwork paid off for Orton in 2009 when his Legacy comrades TedDiBiase and Cody Rhodes helped him outlast the competition and finally win the Rumble. The Viper, DiBiase and Rhodes joined 2002 winner Triple H in the final four, making a Legacy victory all but certain, but the Game found an extra gear and went on to remove DiBiase and Rhodes from the match in one foul swoop. However, before he had a chance to regroup, Triple H was unceremoniously chucked to the ground by Orton, ensuring he would take the runner up spot for the second consecutive year. The grapplers' feud was not over though and after Orton RKO'd Triple H's wife Stephanie McMhaon and defeated his brother-in-law, Shane McMahon, in a singles match, the Game exacted revenge at WrestleMania, defeating Orton to retain the WWE Title he had plucked at No Way Out.
2010 winner: Edge
Just like Cena had done in 2008, Edge emerged after an injury hiatus to win his first Rumble in Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. The Rated-R Superstar entered at number 29, delivered his infamous Spear on remaining participants Chris Jericho, Michaels, Batista and Cena, and emerged as the last man standing. Edge bided his time before selecting which championship to fight for at WrestleMania, but eventually pumped for the World Heavyweight Title, held by fellow Canadian and former tag team partner Jericho. The Ultimate Opportunist lost to Jericho at the big bash in Phoenix, Arizona, but gained a modicum of vengeance when he conquered the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla in a non-title Steel Cage match at the next pay-per-view, Extreme Rules.
2011 winner: Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio not only won the Royal Rumble. He won the largest Royal Rumble in history. The iconic match featured 40 participants in 2011 and the Mexican Aristocrat, who had only made his WWE debut in June of 2010, bested the other 39 to secure his spot on the WrestleMania card. Del Rio, whose victory came after he sent Santino Marella packing, battled Edge at WrestleMania for the World Heavyweight Championship, in what would prove to be the latter's final match before retirement. The Essence of Excellence fought gamely against the Rated-R Superstar, who had lifelong friend Christian accompanying him at ringside, but slipped to defeat after being hit by a Spear. Del Rio has continued to flourish in WWE, however, and is the current World Heavyweight Champion, having defeated Big Show in a last man standing match in January 2013.
2012 winner: Sheamus
The luck really was with the Irish at the 2012 Royal Rumble, with Dublin-born Sheamus outlasting his peers to triumph. The Celtic Warrior knocked Jericho off the ring apron to win - and become the first European victor of the event - and after much deliberation elected to tackle World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania in Miami. The Great White, whose match with Bryan for the United States title was left off the 'Mania card in 2011, made light work of the submission specialist, catching him unawares with a devastating Brogue Kick to garner the win and the title in just 18 seconds. Sheamus would defeat Bryan in a two-out-of-three-falls match at Extreme Rules to retain his strap, before losing it to Big Show at Hell in a Cell in October.