For wrestling fans the month of January means just one thing: The Royal Rumble. An event that sees 30 superstars vie for the chance to face the WWE Champion at WrestleMania. As well as stand-out performances, it is an event also home to a number of other records including shortest Rumble appearances. In this piece, we list the 12 superstars with the shortest time in a Rumble.
The Warlord in 1989
The 1989 Royal Rumble was the first to be broadcast on pay-per-view and also set a record that would last 20 years: namely the shortest time a superstar spent in the ring.
That dubious honour went to The Warlord, then partner with The Barbarian in ‘The Powers of Pain’. He entered the match as number 21 but was very quickly eliminated, in just two seconds, by the eventual winner Hulk Hogan.
Bushwacker Luke in 1991
No superstar would face the indignity of a brief elimination in the 1990 Rumble and fans had to wait until the 1991 edition to see a performer last a matter of seconds in the ring. In ’91 it was the turn of Bushwacker Luke. One half of the popular lower-midcard duo ‘The Bushwackers’, Luke entered number 27.
He made his way to the ring in the trademark arm-waving Bushwacker style and left almost immediately – after being tossed over the top by Earthquake – and returned to the back in the same fashion as he made his way to the ring.
Owen Hart in 1995
The 1995 Royal Rumble might have been the shortest in the event’s history but it also featured not one, but two quick-fire elimination with the first showing a distinct lack of brother-in-lawly love…
In the Summer of 1994 ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart followed in his brother’s footsteps by winning the year’s King of the Ring tournament. His royal success didn’t run to the next event with a royal theme with Hart entering number 11 but lasting just 3 seconds before being thrown over the top by The British Bulldog. His chances of success wasn’t help by an attack by his brother as Owen made his way to the ring, revenge for Owen’s interference during the Bret Hart vs. Diesel WWF title match earlier in the night.
Mo in 1995
Although former tag team champions, and with Mabel set to win the year’s King of the Ring tournament, Men on a Mission had very little success in the 1995 Royal Rumble lasting a combined two minutes. However, almost 100% of that total was made up by Mabel’s efforts with Mo lasting 3 seconds.
Entering number 16, the position before his partner, Mo didn’t even last long enough to see Mabel make his way to the ring before being eliminated by King Kong Bundy.
Jerry Lawler in 1997
Lawler might be ‘The King’ but his Royal rumble appearance didn’t go according to plan. The Rumble match featured a number of superstars from Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), owing to a deal between the two promotions, and was also the first Rumble match not to headline the show, with Sycho Sid defending the WWF title against HBK going on last.
The match is best remembered for the finish that saw Stone Cold Steve Austin eliminated by Bret Hart but with the referees distracted, Austin returned and eliminated Hart to win the match. Lawler’s rumble, however, was far less memorable lasting a mere 4 seconds, after entering as number 22, before being eliminated by Hart.
Gillberg in 1999
Ah, Gillberg. The mildly amusing gimmick of perennial WWF jobber Duane Gill. After a stint in the J.O.B squad – which featured a win over Marc Mero that forced the former Intercontinental Champion to leave the promotion – Gill defeated Christian to win the Light Heavyweight title and soon adopted his most famous gimmick, a play on WCW’s top star Goldberg. He would hold the gold for a total of 453.
His 1999 Rumble appearance, though, was much shorter. Entering sixth, he was quickly tossed out by Edge becoming the second man eliminated from the match after Golga – who lasted a more impressive 15 seconds.
Tazz in 2001
At the 2000 Royal Rumble Tazz debuted as the mystery opponent of Kurt Angle and quickly defeated the former Olympic gold medallist in 3.15 seconds after forcing him to pass out with his trademark Tazzmission in the event’s opening match-up.
Fast forward a year and Tazz’s contribution to the year’s Royal Rumble event was a ten second run in the Rumble match before he became the seventh of eleven men eliminated by Kane – a record that lasted until the 2014 Rumble – just ten seconds after entering the bout.
The Miz in 2007
Although failing to win the 2004 WWE Tough Enough – coming second to Daniel Puder – Michael Gregory Mizanin was still offered a development deal with the promotion and debuted in March 2006. His first Royal Rumble match occurred the following year at the AT&T Center in San Antonio Texas.
The show featured superstars from Raw, Smackdown and ECW but will be memorable to The Miz for all the right reasons. Despite getting a plum draw, making his way out as entrant number 29, his time in the ring lasted ten seconds, before he became the latest victim of the Great Khali, who eliminated a total of seven men in the match.
Santino Marella in 2009
20 years after being set, The Warlord’s unwanted Royal Rumble record was finally beaten when Santino Marella lasted a mere 1 second. It’s a record that stands to this day and is impossible, really, to be beaten. It would take until the 2011 Rumble for Marella to appear again, performing better and being runner up to Alberto Del Rio in the first – and to date only – Rumble match-up to feature 40 superstars.
Montel Vontavious Porter in 2010
Not only was MVP’s 2010 Rumble appearance short-lived but he was also responsible for his own elimination on a night MVP pulled double duty – also featuring, in a losing affair, against US Champion The Miz earlier in the night.
Entering as number 14, MVP was attacked by The Miz as he made his way to the ring and was taken backstage to be treated by medical personnel. The Miz then made his way out as number 16 and was attacked, and eliminated, by Porter who took himself over the top rope at the same time.
The Godfather in 2013
The 2013 Royal Rumble is remembered for The Rock defeating CM Punk to win the WWE Title and John Cena winning the Rumble to set up a second consecutive ‘Once in a Lifetime’ bout between the pair.
The Rumble match also featured a return from one of the Attitude Era’s most popular acts: Charles ‘Godfather’ Wright. As he entered as number 17, accompanied by his Hos, The Godfather got a very warm reception. His participation in the match, however, would amount to little more as a cameo before being eliminated after five seconds.
Titus O’Neil in 2015
He may indeed be a ‘Prime Time Player’, but that didn’t save him from an embarassing appearance for Titus O’Neil at last year’s Royal Rumble event. Entering 26th, the powerful O’Neil lasted four seconds before being eliminated by eventual winner Roman Reigns and former Shield parter Dean Ambrose.
In total, the above 12 appearances amounted to just 57 seconds. Will we see an unluckier than usual number 13 join this less than illustrious list later on this month at the 2016 Royal Rumble?