One of the WWE’s yearly cornerstone pay-per-view’s will take place on Saturday, January 28 with the 2023 Royal Rumble taking place from the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX.
The show is different from other pay-per-view’s because it is headlined by a pair of 30-person battle royals or “Royal Rumble” matches for both the men and women’s rosters. Because of the unique structure of the ppv, some WWE fans have cited this as their favorite show of the year, even over Wrestlemania.
Here, we’ll go over the rules of the Royal Rumble matches and what comes for the winners.
The Royal Rumble match is a 30-person over-the-top-rope battle royal where it’s every man/woman for themselves. The objective is to throw your opponent over the top rope and if both feet touch the floor, they’re eliminated from the match.
What separates this from a traditional battle royal is that the entrances into the match are staggered, instead of everyone starting in the ring at the same time. The match will begin with two competitors in the ring and after a one-minute or 90 second interval (varies by year), another competitor enters the match. The order of entrants is arbitrary and the WWE doesn’t usually reveal the order to keep up the element of surprise. This will continue over the course of about an hour until all 30 wrestlers have entered the match. The final superstar left standing in the ring wins the Royal Rumble match.
The Royal Rumble is notably a no disqualification match, so weapons are allowed if a competitor brings them into the ring. Competitors are also allowed to exit the ring as long as they exit either through the middle ropes or under the bottom rope, not over the top. This has led to a common trope of a wrestler leaving the ring and hiding under the ring to avoid getting eliminated.
The two-feet rule has led to interesting scenarios where wrestlers have narrowly avoided elimination. Both Kofi Kingston and Naomi have become known for spots where they’ve done things like handstand their way back into the ring after fending off certain elimination.
The winner of the Royal Rumble will receive a world championship match at Wrestlemania. With Wrestlemania traditionally held in late-March/early-April, the Royal Rumble has effectively served as the kickoff point towards that show with the primary storyline usually involving the Rumble winner’s pursuit of the title.
This began in 1993 when Yokozuna won the Rumble and went on to defeat Bret Hart for the WWF Championship in the main event of Wrestlemania 9. (He lost the title to Hulk Hogan about five minutes later, but that’s a completely different story).
With multiple brands like Raw, Smackdown, and NXT, each rumble winner has the option to choose which champion they’ll challenge.