The 5 Most Surprising Royal Rumble Victories

Chris Woolridge

Many fans in the WWE Universe say their favorite show of the year is the Royal Rumble. The Rumble matches are exciting, filled with surprises, treated with importance, and play a major role in determining what matches we will see at WrestleMania.

Over the years, however, we've seen some truly surprising Royal Rumble winners. Below, we've put together a list of the top-5 Royal Rumble victories that fans never saw coming.

Scroll down to reveal the #5 most surprising Royal Rumble winner.

Becky Lynch 2019

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Becky Lynch was not even supposed to be in the 2019 Royal Rumble match. Earlier on the show, Lynch lost her Smackdown Women's Championship to Asuka in a shocking upset. She hadn't been scheduled to be in the Rumble itself but evidently after losing her title, Lynch knew the only way to book her spot in the WrestleMania main event was to find a way into the match.

After Lana had been taken out by Nia Jax, Lynch stormed out to the ring and convinced officials to allow her to enter as a replacement. She would go on to win the whole thing and then win the main event of WrestleMania 35 as well.

Scroll down to reveal the #4 top surprising Royal Rumble winner.

Mr. McMahon 1999

Heading into 1999, there was no bigger heel in the wrestling business than Vince McMahon. He'd only wrestled in 3 official matches before the Rumble and nobody thought he would actually win the thing. The storyline was that McMahon had placed a bounty on Steve Austin and would give $100,000 to whoever could eliminate him from the match. To that end, McMahon would enter the match himself to see to it that Austin didn't win.

Austin and McMahon entered the match in the #1 and #2 positions but McMahon soon fled through the crowd. He wouldn't return until the Rumble was almost over. Finally, it came down to Austin and McMahon as the final two. When The Rock came to the ringside and distracted Austin, McMahon came up from behind and eliminated him.

McMahon ended up losing to Austin the following month at St. Valentine's Day Massacre in a match with the WrestleMania main event title shot on the line.

Sheamus 2012

Nobody is quite sure why Sheamus won the Royal Rumble in 2012. He was far from the hottest Superstar in the match. At the time, Chris Jericho's popularity was soaring and he would have been considered the heavy favorite to win.

Sheamus would go on to beat Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania in just 18 seconds. It was a booking so poorly received that many credit it with kick-starting Bryan's rise in popularity. Fans didn't want to see him treated as a "B+ Player" and started to let the company know this.

Meanwhile, Jericho went on to main event WrestleMania against CM Punk in a match that was much more prominently featured on the card.

Sheamus' win in 2012, and the lack of buzz around his Mania angle made the Rumble match feel less important than it had throughout the years.

Scroll down to reveal the #2 most suprising Royal Rumble victory.

Batista 2014

The 2014 Royal Rumble was one of the most controversial Rumbles in history. The WWE Universe had chosen Daniel Bryan as their most favorite Superstar and many had assumed he would win the Rumble and move on to main event WrestleMania as the top babyface in the company.

What the live fans in Pittsburgh didn't know was that Bryan was not even planned to be in the match. He had wrestled Bray Wyatt earlier in the show. When Rey Mysterio entered in at the #30 position and the fans realized Bryan wasn't in the Rumble, they pelted the match with boos. The fans turned on the show entirely. Everyone was surprised when Batista won, but not in a good way. They had been expecting something else entirely.

The fan rejection of the 2014 Rumble caused WWE to change course, and Bryan was eventually inserted into the World Title picture along with Batista and champion Randy Orton.

Scroll down to reveal the #1 top surprising Royal Rumble winner.

John Cena 2008

Nobody expected John Cena to return in time for the 2008 Royal Rumble. He was on the shelf with a shoulder injury and the reports were that he would not be back until spring at the earliest. Those reports turned out to be incorrect, however.

Cena entered in at the #30 position, eliminated 4 wrestlers, and promptly won the Rumble. Unfortunately for his fans, Cena lost to Randy Orton in a triple threat match at WrestleMania 24. His return at the Rumble that year is widely regarded as one of the most shocking moments in WWE history, however.