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Three WWE superstars who should have won the Royal Rumble

Royal Rumble

(Graphic By Michael Ivanoskos / Vendetta Sports Media)

Three WWE superstars who should have won the Royal Rumble

This is a tale of what could have been with the superstars that could never quite add Royal Rumble winner to their impressive resumes. These three wrestlers stand out among the rest in terms of match experience, hype-up and potential WrestleMania classics we would have witnessed.

2023 marks 35 years of many highs and lows of this premium live event. What will the fantasy booking from fans everywhere look like and how will WWE continue to disappoint? Two questions I always ponder when it comes to the Royal Rumble.

1. Chris Jericho

What can be said about Y2J, Chris Jericho? He holds the record for the largest cumulative time spent in the match. Having lasted almost five hours in the match when all his appearances are factored into it. He was the Iron Man of the event twice — 2003 and 2017 — lasting longer than any other participant.

2012 marked Jericho’s first return to action in almost two years. We saw a compilation of mysterious vignettes and he would show up in the weeks before the Royal Rumble leaving the crowd in awe with very few words. The one phrase which stuck was essentially saying the event would be “the end of the world as we know it.”

This would not come to pass, as Sheamus would eliminate Jericho killing any build-up. Instead, we would have to wait until AEW to get a proper Daniel Bryan vs. Jericho feud.

2. Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan could never add Royal Rumble victor to his esteemed resume. He ranks 18th all-time in time spent in the match at over two hours in the ring. His best performance came in the Greatest Royal Rumble Ever in Saudi Arabia, where he lasted an hour and 16 minutes.

There were two years in 2015 and 2016, where many felt one of the best pure wrestlers in the world was robbed by Roman Reigns and Triple H, respectively.

The lack of Rumble wins did not stop Bryan from having his big WrestleMania moment, but we can only help to wonder what more could have happened.

3. AJ Styles

The Phenomenal One most certainly would have been a better choice to win the 2022 Royal Rumble than the eventual winner, Brock Lesnar. It was one of the worst-produced matches in wrestling history and Shane McMahon was fired for his involvement.

Styles was entrant No. 1 and lasted almost a half hour only to be eliminated by Madcap Moss. The end result was Lesnar burying the whole roster.

Everyone knew the result weeks ahead of time because it became overwhelmingly obvious. Styles vs. Reigns sounds infinitely better than the signature fest we received with Reigns vs. Lesnar, a rivalry that’s been done to death.

Who do you feel should have won the Royal Rumble?

***

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