WWE Royal Rumble: Refresh your memory of the previous 10 winners
Learn how Cena and Batista became two-time Rumble victors
Last Updated: 19/01/16 4:31pm
Thirty of the finest wrestlers in WWE are headed to Philadelphia on Sunday with one target: to win the Royal Rumble Match and, with it, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Whichever man achieves that feat will not only hold WWE's richest prize but also move one step closer to main-eventing WrestleMania, which this year emanates from Texas on Sunday, April 3.
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE
Live on Sky Sports Box Office
1am, Sun (Monday morning)
Click here to order
For the world title to be on the line in the Rumble is a rarity, with Superstars used to fighting for a shot at the belt, not the belt itself.
Read below to see who emerged victorious from the previous 10 Rumbles, who they conquered along the way and, most importantly, whether they went on to win the big one at WrestleMania...
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 two 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 Deadman came to life in 2007, 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 extended to 21 matches before he was bested by Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 in 2014.
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 Soldier 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 rap and muscle-car fan fought for the title at the Show of Shows, in a Triple Threat 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 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 chucked to the ground by Orton, ensuring the Cerebral Assassin would take the runner-up spot for the second consecutive year. The grapplers' feud was not over, though, and after Orton RKOd Triple H's wife Stephanie McMhaon and defeated his brother-in-law, Shane McMahon, in a singles match, the Game exacted revenge at WrestleMania, beating 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 and delivered his infamous Spear on remaining participants Chris Jericho, Michaels, Batista and Cena to become the last man standing. Edge bided his time before selecting which championship to fight for at WrestleMania, but eventually plumped 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 continued to flourish in WWE, however, and became a four-time world champion before he was released from his contract in August 2014. Now back with the company, though, he will be hunting another world crown.
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 - becoming 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 2012.
2013 winner: John Cena
You can call him The Cenation Leader, you can call him The Chain Gang Soldier, and, if your memory stretches that far, you can call him the Doctor of Thuganomics, but you now must call him a two-time Royal Rumble winner. Cena sent Ryback tumbling over the top rope in 2013 and, after overcoming CM Punk in a wrestling clinic when his 'Mania berth was on the line, the West Newbury native met The Rock for the WWE Title at the Show of Shows. Cena responded to his defeat at the hands of The Great One a year earlier by emerging victorious and remained holding gold until he was pipped by a fired-up Daniel Bryan in a pulsating match at SummerSlam in Los Angeles. Cena did not compete in the 2014 and 2015 Rumbles due to his involvement in the events' world title matches and it seems unlikely he will partake in the 2016 Rumble, too, having recently undergone surgery on a shoulder injury.
2014 winner: Batista
Nine years after winning his first Royal Rumble, things went full circle for Batista as he edged the 30-man dust-up for the second time. The Animal held his nerve to lastly topple Roman Reigns, the then-Shield Superstar who had run roughshod earlier in the match, eliminating 12 of his peers, including third-placed Sheamus and the veteran Kevin Nash. Unlike in 2005, Batista was not a popular winner, with fans irked when their darling, Daniel Bryan, was prevented from competing. Bryan had the last laugh, though, dealing with everything The Authority threw at him to firstly earn a place in Batista and Randy Orton's main event at 'Mania and then win it by forcing The Animal to tap out to the "Yes!" Lock. Batista remained with WWE for a few months after that but then quit to focus on his acting career and has not been seen in a wrestling ring since.
2015 winner: Roman Reigns
2014 victor Reigns went one better a year later, thanks to help from his iconic cousin, The Rock, but, much like Batista 12 months previously, left WrestleMania WITHOUT the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Reigns survived being taken to Suplex City by Brock Lesnar - the Big Dog even chuckling to himself as he was being hurled around the ring like a ragdoll - and after unleashing a clutch of his most potent moves, seemed in with a real chance of slaying The Beast. That was until his former Shield stablemate Seth Rollins appeared, cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and pinched the title for himself. Reigns' desire to win the world title never diminished, though, and he won it for the first time at Survivor Series and for a second time the night after TLC. The Juggernaut's hopes of defending the belt in the Rumble, though, appear slim - The Authority will do anything to rip the strap from him and have forced him to start the bout at No 1!
You can watch the 2016 Royal Rumble pay-per-view live on Sky Sports Box Office from 1am on Sunday, January 24 (Monday morning). We will also be running a live blog of the event on skysports.com/wwe.
Royal Rumble booking details
WWE Royal Rumble will be shown on Sky Sports Box Office (channel 491) and Sky Sports HD Box Office (channel 492) at 1am, on Sunday, January 24 (Mon morning).
WWE Royal Rumble will be repeated on Sky Sports Box Office (channel 491) but NOT Sky Sports HD Box Office (channel 492) between 9am, Monday, January 25 and 9pm, Thursday, January 28.
Repeat showings will last for three hours, with the final showing STARTING at 9pm on Thursday, January 28.
The event is priced at £19.95 for UK customers, €24.95 for viewers in the Republic of Ireland.
Viewers can call 03442 410 888 to book WWE Royal Rumble. (There may be an additional charge for telephone bookings).
You can also book WWE Royal Rumble online by visiting this link: https://my.sky.com/orderboxoffice/?DCMP=bac-SS.com_RoyalRumble
Only bookings via Sky TV remote are recordable using Sky Plus.
Sky TV residential customers only. Commercial customers contact Sky for price and to order. Sky Box Office terms apply.
Cable customers should contact their local cable operator.