Since 1988, there have been 780 entries into 30-man Royal Rumbles at the WWE’s most unpredictable and unique event of the year. In an attempt to do the maths behind this year’s potential winner, the Paddy Power Blog have painstakingly crunched the numbers on all 780 entrants, analysing everything from height, weight, age, and experience to find out what it takes to be the model Rumble winner.
What we can now reveal are the perfect attributes based on previous trends that your selection needs before conquering the main event and rolling into a title shot at WrestleMania.
No Small Feat
As you can see, the perfect height of a WWE Royal Rumble winner is between 1.9m – 1.99m, or if you’re using a different kind of ruler, it’s 6ft 2in to 6ft 5in. There have been 237 entrants who are between 1.9m and 1.99m tall and they have contributed to 11 wins, including in five of the last six years. This gives this height range a strike rate of 4.6 per cent, marginally better than wrestlers who are between 1.8m – 1.89m who also posted 11 wins but from a total of 379 entrants. Worryingly for Kevin Owens () and Daniel Bryan (), being between 1.7 – 1.79 is the worst possible height, as they have posted zero wins from 65 entries since 1989.
- Best Height: 1.9 – 1.99
- Next Best: 1.8 – 1.89
The Bigger They Are…
The theory is being stupidly heavy is an advantage going into the Rumble. After all, the larger you are the harder it would be to lift you over the top rope. However the statistics disagree. Yokozuna is the only man heavier than 575lb to have entered the Rumble, and he won it once in two attempts. That’s a 50 per cent strike rate, but from such a small sample it’s unreliable. Instead the best weight appears to be between 250lb and 274lb (17.9st – 19.6st). There have been 10 winners from 144 entrants giving them a strike rate of 6.9 per cent. Entrants weighing the optimum amount also last, on average, close to 13 minutes a time. the worst weight to be is between 200lb and 224lb. These slightly lighter guys have contributed 108 Rumble entries with just a single win (Chris Benoit in 2004), giving them a strike rate of just 0.9 per cent. That’s bad news for Dean Ambrose () and Dolph Ziggler ().
- Best Weight: 250lb – 274lb
- Next Best: 275lb – 299lb
Over The Hill
The Rumble also appears to be an event that doesn’t go to young guys. Brock Lesnar became the youngest winner in history in 2003 at just 25 years old, but the trends say it pays to be slightly older. Wrestlers aged between 35 and 39 can boast of nine wins from 195 entries at a strike rate of 4.6 per cent, closely followed by superstars aged between 40 and 44 who have four wins from 91 entrants. Wrestlers aged 45 or older can only boast of one win from 54 entries – and that was Mr McMahon’s shocking triumph in 1999 to deny Stone Cold Steve Austin three in a row. That’s bad news for seasoned guys like Triple H () and Kane () who both look too old to triumph, according to the trends.
- Best Age: 35 – 39
- Next Best: 40 – 44
Experience is Key
Unsurprisingly – given how unusual a Royal Rumble environment is – wrestlers very rarely win on debut. In fact there have been 267 Rumble entrants who had never previously fought in the match, and they have produced seven winners at a strike rate of 2.6 per cent. A far healthier strike rate of 5.3 per cent can be found from wrestlers who have made three or four Rumble appearances. They have seven wins from just 132 entries, showing that some experience can prove golden. Not too much however – as there have been 14 entrants with nine or more Rumbles under their belt and they have never picked up a win. Neville (), Braun Stowman () and Finn Balor () are all potential Rumble entries who will be trying to win on debut this year, while The Undertaker () and The Big Show () have missed their chance.
- Best Level of Experience: 3 or 4 Rumbles
- Next Best: 1 or 2 Rumbles
And the Winner Is…
The man who hits every trend – and we promise there is no Irish bias here – is former Heavyweight Champion Sheamus! The Celtic Warrior lost the title after just 22 days at Monday Night Raw in December, but a Royal Rumble win would put him bang on course for another shot at the gold. At 1.95m, 266lb, 37 years of age and with three previous Rumbles under his belt, Sheamus hits every one of our WWE trends and looks a great bet at to be in the mix towards the end. In his three previous appearances he has lasted until the final three, and won the event in 2012 before going onto be crowned Champion at WrestleMania.
If Sheamus enters this year, the stats say he can give you a sweat at .
Another man who is hard to ignore is Brock Lesnar who is . He hits three of our key trends, and only falls down on experience a she has only entered one previous Rumble. However that being said, he won the only previous Rumble he entered, eliminating The Undertaker to win at just 25 years of age. 13 years later and Brock looks a solid bet if he enters the fray.
A more left-field and nostalgia-fueled punt might be on The Rock at . The People’s Champ hits three trends (1.93m tall, 264lb in wieght and with four previous Rumbles under his belt) but might be slightly too close to his pipe and slippers at 43 years of age.