FightFans / WWE / The History of the WWE Royal Rumble

The History of the WWE Royal Rumble

Last updated

The WWE Royal Rumble, a cornerstone event in the world of professional wrestling, has captivated audiences since its inception in 1988.

This annual event, produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is renowned for its unique match format and its significant role in the wrestling calendar.

WWE Royal Rumble: Origins and Evolution

The Royal Rumble was the brainchild of WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. It first tested its waters at a house show in October 1987 before making its television debut on January 24, 1988.

The event initially aired as a television special on the USA Network and transitioned to pay-per-view (PPV) from 1989 onwards.

Over the years, it has become one of WWE’s “Big Five” events, alongside WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, and Money in the Bank.

WWE Royal Rumble: The Match Format

The Royal Rumble match is a modified battle royal. Unlike traditional battle royals where all participants start in the ring simultaneously, the Royal Rumble has wrestlers enter at timed intervals.

The objective is to eliminate opponents by tossing them over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor.

The last wrestler standing is declared the winner. Since 1993, the prize for winning the Royal Rumble has been a world championship match at WrestleMania, adding a high stake to the event.

WWE Royal Rumble Milestones

The Royal Rumble has seen several milestones in its history. In 2018, the event featured the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match, marking a significant moment in WWE’s women’s division.

The event has also evolved in terms of production, with the 2008 Royal Rumble being the first WWE pay-per-view available in high-definition.

The event’s reach expanded further with its availability on WWE’s online streaming service in 2015 and on Peacock in 2022.

Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 brought unprecedented challenges, leading WWE to hold events behind closed doors.

The 2021 Royal Rumble was held in WWE’s bio-secure bubble, the WWE ThunderDome, before the company resumed live touring in July 2021.


  • What is the Royal Rumble? The Royal Rumble is an annual professional wrestling event produced by WWE, featuring the unique Royal Rumble match.
  • When did the first Royal Rumble take place? The first Royal Rumble event took place on January 24, 1988.
  • What is unique about the Royal Rumble match? In the Royal Rumble match, participants enter at timed intervals, and the goal is to eliminate others by throwing them over the top rope. The last person remaining is the winner.
  • What does the winner of the Royal Rumble get? Since 1993, the winner of the Royal Rumble earns a world championship match at WrestleMania.
  • Was there ever a women’s Royal Rumble match? Yes, the first women’s Royal Rumble match took place in 2018.
  • How has the Royal Rumble adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic? In 2021, the Royal Rumble was held in the WWE ThunderDome, a bio-secure bubble, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Is the Royal Rumble available on streaming services? Yes, the Royal Rumble has been available on WWE’s streaming service since 2015 and on Peacock since 2022.
Jake Skudder
Written by
Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.