Every 30th Entrant to Win the WWE Royal Rumble: John Cena, Brock Lesnar and More
WWE Royal Rumble is the definition of high stakes: One win can change the career of any wrestler. The winner of the Royal Rumble match goes on to the main event of WrestleMania where they can challenge for any main-event title. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become immortal in professional wrestling.
But with 30 wrestlers entering the match, the number you enter at plays a huge role. The wrestlers who enter the match early on are at a massive disadvantage because they have to go through 29 wrestlers to win it all.
The 30th entrant is the most coveted because you spend the least amount of time in the ring, which means you will be the freshest in the match. With such great odds to win when you enter at No. 30, there must be a lot of people who win after entering at that spot right? Not necessarily. Of the 35 Royal Rumble matches in history, there have only been four winners who were the 30th entrant in the match.
Here is every wrestler who won the Royal Rumble after entering as the 30th entrant.
The Undertaker entered the 2007 Royal Rumble match as the 30th entrant. It came at a big moment as well, since the Great Khali recently entered and knocked every remaining wrestler down. But out came the one person who everyone knew could eliminate the biggest threat in the match, the Undertaker.
The Undertaker shortly eliminated the Great Khali along with a few other superstars, so it came down to him and Shawn Michaels. Michaels was a two-time Royal Rumble winner and a rival of the Undertaker. Ultimately, Michaels got too ambitious as he went to hit a sweet chin music on the Undertaker and got eliminated. This marked the first Royal Rumble win for the Undertaker and the first person to enter the match at No. 30 and win.
John Cena entered the 2008 Royal Rumble match as the 30th entrant. To the surprise of everyone watching, Cena made his highly anticipated return to the ring.
Cena suffered a torn pectoral muscle only four months prior to the WWE Royal Rumble match. In case you didn’t know, torn pectoral muscle usually takes anywhere from six to 12 months to return from, Cena did it in four. In fact, doctors typically don’t recommend any heavy lifting until six months after surgery.
Cena’s return at the 2008 Royal Rumble is an anomaly like none other. It is probably going down as the biggest return in wrestling history. He eliminated four people in the match and would go on to challenge for the title he had to relinquish because of his injury. This was truly a Royal Rumble return that will never be forgotten.
Triple H was the final entrant in the 2016 Royal Rumble match, which was an interesting one. Instead of having 30 men compete for a shot at a main-event title, the WWE Championship was on the line in this match. The winner of the Royal Rumble would become WWE Champion — the first time this stipulation was put into this match.
Roman Reigns was the champion heading into it, but this was at the time when he was feuding with The Authority. With only a handful of people left, out came Triple H as the final entrant. Triple H was out for about a month after Roman Reigns injured him. Triple H went on to eliminate Reigns and then Dean Ambrose to win the match. This was his 14th championship and his second Royal Rumble victory.
Brock Lesnar entered the 2022 Royal Rumble as the final entrant. This came as a big surprise because Lesnar lost his WWE Championship to Bobby Lashley earlier in the night. But it was Reigns and Paul Heyman who cost Lesnar his title.
Lesnar entered the rumble looking to earn an opportunity to face Reigns at WrestleMania. When Lesnar entered the match, there were five people still in it, not including himself. Well, Lesnar dispatched all five men to win the match. This marked Lesnar’s second Royal Rumble win, his first coming nearly 20 years prior in 2003.