The road to WWE Wrestlemania 34 begins this Sunday Night with the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble event.
Over the next week here on Fightful, I will be bringing you a “Countdown To The 2018 WWE Royal Rumble.” During these columns, we will be looking at the past history of the Royal Rumble event and while also previewing this years event as well.
So, without any further ado, here is Day Three of our countdown, as we rank the best non-Royal Rumble matches to take place at the event.
Please keep in mind that we will be ranking the winners from the first ever Royal Rumble Match (won by Jim Duggan) to the winner’s of all the Royal Rumble matches that were includes on pay-per-view, so the winners of house show and Raw/Smackdown rumbles will not be included on this list.
#10: Dean Ambrose (Champion) vs. Kevin Owens - WWE Intercontinental Title Match (Last Man Standing Match) (2016)
This match was a plunder filled brawl that will go down as one of the best matches in the history of the event. These two destroyed each other with every single weapon that was not nailed down, including chairs, ladders, tables, kendo sticks and even a fire extinguisher. Ambrose would retain the WWE Intercontinental Title when it was all said and done, he would also be one of the last two men in the ring a few hours later in the Rumble Match, but would be eliminated by Triple H.
#9: The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (Tables Match) (2000)
It would be a few months later at WWE Wrestlemania 2000 that The Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boyz would have their historic Tables Ladders & Chairs match, but everything began with this tables match at the 2000 WWE Royal Rumble event. The sheer amount of tables broken in this match was amazing, with bodies going through tables like there was no tomorrow. The tables were used in interesting ways to, such as being propped against guard rails, on top of the ring steps, on top of each other and some were even destroyed in the crowd. The Hardy Boyz would win the match after Jeff Hardy dove off the doorway of the arena to put one of the Dudley Boyz through the table.
#8: Chris Benoit (Champion) vs. Chris Jericho - WWE Intercontinental Title Match (Ladder Match) (2001)
The feud between Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho had in WCW and would continue for many years in the WWE. This ladder match is not only the first of that stipulation to happen at a WWE Royal Rumble event, it has been the only ladder match thus far in the event's history. These two Canadian stars not only did your typical ladder spots, but Benoit did an amazing diving headbutt from the top of the ladder onto Jericho. The match ended when Jericho applied the Walls Of Jericho to Benoit on the top of the ladder, Jericho would then grab the WWE Intercontinental Title to win the historical bout.
#7: Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan (2014)
This is the night where Daniel Bryan’s rise to the top of the WWE mountain would begin, oddly enough, the rise would begin with a loss. Bray Wyatt and Bryan would put on a wrestling clinic for over twenty minutes of time, Wyatt would get the win after hitting Bryan with two Sister Abigails. While the match was fantastic, it was a Batista win in the Rumble Match itself which caused a rebellion from the fans that would prompt the WWE to put Bryan in the main event of WWE Wrestlemania 30, Bryan would win the WWE World Heavyweight Title.
#6: AJ Styles (Champion) vs. John Cena - WWE World Heavyweight Title Match (2017)
John Cena is called "Big Match John" for a reason and that nickname was well earned with an amazing performance in this title match against AJ Styles, who also had an amazing performance in this encounter. This battle would go on for nearly 30 minutes, with plenty of big moves and false finishes that kept everybody on the edge of their seats until the final bell sounded. Cena would walk away victorious in the match and put himself even closer to the most world heavyweight title reign record held by the legendary "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.