The following is an excerpt from Fightful's Inside The Royal Rumble feature. For the full story an additional context, please visit the full article at this link, and when posting quotes from this piece, please link to the original article.
Not everyone gets their shine in the match. There are lots of spots set up to highlight an entering wrestler and make them look good, but sometimes that's just not the job. With the field a wide one, often some names have to be sacrificed to help out others.
AEW's Jake Hager, a former World Champion in WWE as Jack Swagger, was in that position in 2016. He didn't really mind that, though, all things considered.
"The time I was in there was the shortest where Lesnar just threw me out. I really think that was my favorite because that was the most I got paid for a Royal Rumble with the shortest time. Who knows how they decided to pay us. But, for some reason, that was a good payday for me. It was literally seven seconds. It was like duck a clothesline, F-5, see ya. Mike Chioda came running over to me, he was so upset. He was like, “Swags, what was that?” I just turned to him and said, “I just got tagged, Chi-chi. What do you want?" Hager laughed.
Dr. Tom Prichard is known for his wrestling career and his stellar track record of training eventual megastars. He's definitely not known for the five and a half minutes he spent in one of the shortest Royal Rumbles of all time in 1995. No eliminations and ceremoniously dumped out.
"I just remember we certainly were not an integral part or heavy part of that match at all. But, they’re gonna try something and see if it works," Prichard told Fightful of the uncharacteristically short 38-minute 1995 Rumble. "I think that was part of just trying to keep the pay-per-view down to a reasonable time and try to give everybody a chance to get out there and have a lot of fun. WWE knows how to innovate and knows how to regroup and knows how to reinvent. I’ll go that far. They reinvented the business before when pay-per-view was in its infancy."
The shorter Rumble matches didn't stick around long. There was never another on PPV that even approached that pace. In fact, they got longer. Way longer at times.