The Royal Rumble match might seem like a boy's club, but it hasn't always been that way. Three different women have graced the most famous Battle Royal of them all, and one of them even wrestled in two different Rumbles.
1999 was the year we witnessed the very first female competitor in the Royal Rumble. Entering in at #30 was the 9th Wonder of the World, Chyna. She truly was one who could hold her own in the ring with the men. Even though she only stayed in a total time of 35 seconds, she did eliminate Mark Henry before then getting eliminated herself by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin went on to win the Royal Rumble that year after defying the odds, being entered in at the number one position. Even though Chyna was in a short amount of time, she made her presence known and history was made.
The following year, once again Chyna was in the Royal Rumble. This year it was at #17. Again, her time in the Rumble was very short, only 37 seconds. She entered in going straight for Chris Jericho and eliminated him while she was on the apron. She took an elbow by Big Bossman and got eliminated herself. Chyna made history again by being the only female competitor to ever be entered in the Rumble twice.
Fast forward and in 2010 we finally see another female competitor entered in, this time it is Beth Phoenix at #6. She was in for 1 minute 37 seconds and eliminated The Great Khali by distracting him with a kiss. She was then eliminated by CM Punk.
2012 was the last time we saw a woman climb through the ropes and enter the Rumble. Kharma came in at #21. Michael Cole (also a surprise entrant that year) was so terrified of her, he voluntarily climbed over the top rope and onto the apron. This is when Booker T and Jerry Lawler grab his feet and eliminate him. Kharma then delivers her finisher to Dolph Ziggler, eliminates Hunico and then gets eliminated herself by Dolph Ziggler. She lasted a total time of 1 minute and 2 seconds.
Since then, no other female competitors have been entrants which makes us wonder, who and when will another woman enter the Rumble? This last year we were re-introduced to the women in WWE as Superstars instead of “Divas”. So, will will we see a female competitor in the Rumble this year? With Sasha Banks and Charlotte starring as Main Events for Raw and doing the first women's Hell in a Cell match, will one or maybe even both be entered in?
In my opinion, this is unlikely. Why? The current WWE does not like to do matches that involve both genders. We did see a couple of mixed tag team matches in 2016 (remember Sasha and Enzo vs. Charlotte and Jericho?) However, the women and men didn’t wrestle each other. When was the last time you saw a mixed match? When was the last time a woman interfered that wasn’t pepper spray? We have been seeing some slaps lately (thank you Smackdown), but is the WWE going to take the next step? Lucha Underground had women in their Rumble type match with Aztec Warfare, will WWE follow? I would be so hyped up to see any women in the roster come out during the Rumble, even if it is short lived like with Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Kharma. I know women and men alike are ready for this, as long as it's done right!
We will find out during the 2017 Royal Rumble on January 29th, and fightful.com has you covered on all bases!